Carolina Inn & Bluegrass
The Carolina Inn is a UNC institution-- expensive rooms, expensive meals, expensive drinks, expensive teas. No way I would waste that money on a child (fear not, I would definitely do it as a splurge for myself!). BUT, good news for parents, Carolina Inn offers a special event every Friday during the summer months that is fantastic for kiddos.
Starting in April, Carolina Inn hosts Carolina Inn Fridays on the Front Porch. From 5-8 pm people come out in droves to listen to good, local Bluegrass music (we love Big Fat Gap, and they usually are the featured band). Casting aside it's higher-sensibilities, Carolina Inn sells BBQ out of buffet trays. Wine & beer are also available for consumption.
If you can stand the mosquitoes and the crowds (although keep in mind that when UNC is on summer break, the crowds get much smaller (and more casual!)), take the kids. There is a lot of dancing, tag, and yelling. Unfortunately for us, C has himself a very early bedtime right now. We took him when he was a little one without a bedtime, and we look forward to going again once he can stay out of dreamland a little longer.
As with all things near UNC's campus, parking can be rough. Again, you'll get a break in the summertime as it should be easier then, but plan to get aggressive for that spot on the street.
** A very informative reader comment on this post reminded us that they have implemented a "no coolers" at this event. You can only consume what you buy on premises. We haven't tested that out with regards to sippy cups and kids snacks yet.
The Carolina Inn
211 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
On the Campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill