When I brought up with one of my best friends — who also happens to be a mom — that my next assignment for discovering and compiling things to do in Chapel Hill was babies, she gave me this advice:
“Oh that’s easy.  Tell them they have six months.  They can bring their baby wherever they want.  And then it’s over.”
Saying it’s over might be a bit of hyperbole, but I get it.  Our conversation had taken place over an elegant dinner at Acme, followed by delicious ice cream from Tar Heel Creamery, then a sophisticated cocktail at Pecadillo.  It was a wonderful evening, and maybe we could have pulled it off with baby in tow, but definitely not with a toddling almost-two year old.
But I do believe, that although not covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, there is plenty to do in Chapel Hill with your wee one! 

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Me, Jane Hoppen, and Angela Paige, with Maddie, one of my favorite
wee ones.  To support a healthy future for babies like Maddie, click here.

No matter what age you are, first things first.  How are you going to FEED your baby in Chapel Hill?  Well, maybe your baby isn’t going to be eating from the fine selection of local restaurants, but maybe you’re like my friend who lives in Raleigh but came to town to visit and asked me recently “what are some kid-friendly restaurants?” 
I freaked.  I eat a lot.  And I eat out at about every restaurant in town.  But I had never paid attention to who had high chairs since I was picking up thrown crayons and tortilla chips during my days as a hostess at Flying Burrito, not to mention my emotional scars from being told to “silence the Slinky®” as a young child dining at The Orient Express (the ancestor of Southern Rail). 
So I put it out to the Twitterverse, and thanks to the Morehead Planetarium, Hallie Sessoms, and the Chapel Hill Recorder, they vouched for the kid-friendliness of some of our area eateries:

  • Elmo’s seems to be popular for that purpose!”
  • Tyler’s is very kid friendly as well – no matter the time of day.”
  • Elmo’s, Breadmen’s, and Torero’s (now Munchies) all have kid’s menus and crayons!”

Or maybe you stayed up late the night before and need some major caffeine.  You can stop by at Open Eye Café in Carrboro, who along with having great coffee, also have a box of toys and are always host to many kids in the A.M.
But now, that your progeny has dribbled all over their pretty dress, you realize you might need to change their clothes.  You need to know where you can DRESS your baby in Chapel Hill

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McKenna and Keaton, my friend Andrea’s babies, both dressed in garb I purchased.

Well, if you’re like me and you were left to your own devices, you’d dress your child in head-to-toe Carolina blue every day, no matter whether boy or girl.  But maybe you want to branch out from the most beautiful color on earth (not sure why) or worry that folks will mistake your Ava as Evan, so here are some other places to dress your baby (or your nephew, cousin, godchild, or grandbaby):

  • The Red Hen: Loved having them as a neighbor in Carrboro, but I’ve been told for parents is a place you can entertain for hours in this children’s consignment store’s new location in University Mall. 
  • Glee Kids: In longing for what’s in the window at nearby neighbor Apple, I’ve also longed for the clothes at this store at University Square. 
  • The Children’s Store: Not just clothes, but every toy you can think of, their new space on Elliott Road is HUGE, and worth visiting, not to mention hosting their very own story time
  • Puddle Baby: Most folks are probably aware of this store’s big sister Purple Puddle, but find equally beautiful items (clothes and the bibs to cover them) at this shop in The Galleria. 
  • Kidcycle: “Kidcycle was started by two moms who are passionate about kids, passionate about the environment, passionate about their community and passionate about saving money!”  Join their venture and find great children’s clothes, save the environment, and help our community! 
  • Twig: My go-to for baby shower gifts, visit this eco-boutique on Elliott Road for clothes, toys, and my most recent baby shower gift, bamboo bowls and utensils!

So one of my mantras is looking the part is half the battle, but even if your baby is looking cute, you’re still looking for something to DO with your baby in Chapel Hill.  For one thing, if you so choose, you could just stop reading this blog, and pick up a copy of Erin Baldwin’s book, The Big Fun Guide to Tar Heel Country.  As a review on the jacket says, “I laughed. I cried. I found the potty.”  Erin’s book is incredibly comprehensive in covering everything that one can do with the young and really, the young at heart.
Some other ideas of what to do with your baby in Chapel Hill:

  • In a new location and looking to expand, Kidzu Children’s Museum is a great place to bring little ones, including programs like “Busy Babies Bees,” for infants as young as four months. 
  • Decided that you need to lose some of that baby weight?  Join Vanessa Moore’s Stroller Strides.  I bet I couldn’t keep up with you, even sans stroller!
  • Want a more artistic option?  Check out Ro Vila’s My SweetArts in University Mall.  Join her for “age-appropriate exercises in music, movement and visual arts” – plus they still have spaces for summer camp!
  • Or maybe you want to introduce your baby to the great outdoors? Take your baby to Coker Arboretum or the North Carolina Botanical Garden to bask for some exposure to the world’s flora.    


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Me and my cousin Nicole in front of The Old Well.
I plan for her to be back here taking a sip
on her first day of class freshman year.

But I understand, you might be saying, why should I listen to this girl?  She doesn’t have any kids.  I don’t have any kids but I do love them.  And I still think even if they aren’t yours, there are things to eat, wear, and do as a baby in the southern part of heaven.  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out these local resources on blogs, Twitter, and Pinterest, for more great things to do with your (or someone else’s) baby! 

Blogger Website Twitter Handle  Pinterest site
Carolina Parent http://www.carolinaparent.com/ @carolinaparent  /carolinaparent/
Chapel Hill Local Kids http://chapelhilllocalkids.com/ @CHLocalKids  /chlocalkids/
Chapel Hill Recorder http://www.chapelhillrecorder.com/ @CHRecorder  /chrecorder/
Notes From a Mom in Chapel Hill http://mominchapelhill.blogspot.com/ @mominchapelhill  /mominchapelhill/
Sarah Hall http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/goaskmom/ @wralmoms