My small family moved to Winston Salem in April of 2013. I had one goal in mind: find places and a support network to maintain my sanity as a stay-at-home mom. I jumped in with both feet within a day of moving into our 2-bedroom apartment.
Now, we are a bit more settled. I’ve tried out a ton of different places and groups. After almost a year and a half of living here, here are my favorites:
Social life and mommy support
MOMS (Mothers of Many Seasons) at River Oaks Community Church. This MOMS group in Clemmons is by far my favorite of all of the MOMs groups, MOPS groups, and Bible studies I’ve attended (and I’ve attended several). It’s fairly large (30-50 women) and meets every week during the school year (and playdates during the summer). The nice thing about it is that it isn’t a Bible study, so I don’t have to come “prepared for class.” I just show up. Shower optional (not joking). The childcare is phenomenal, the food is always amazing, and the speakers are always inspiring and practically helpful. I love too that they don’t just talk about faith or spirituality. There’s a ton of other practical topics like financial planning, mental health, homeschooling, fitness, and more that have been shared. Check out the MOMS at ROCC Facebook page.
Triad Moms on Main. This website is FULL of resources, events, giveaways – and so much more – for Triad moms. This is a resource that every Triad mom should be utilizing. Check out the Triad Moms on Main Facebook page.
WBFJ Your Family Station. Aside from playing amazing family-friendly music, WBFJ has also sponsored free concerts at Hanes Mall and announces traffic, weather, and Triad events on their website and Facebook page.
Health and Wellness
Fitness 2000. I chose Fitness 2000 because they offered free membership to all military and veterans, and offered me (a Veteran’s spouse) 50% off of my membership. Veteran family discounts like that simply are unheard of! They have good childcare, maybe a bit on the small side, but it does the job. Ms Brenda loves the kids like they are her own, and the childcare room is a peanut free zone. The facility is well-staffed and has all I need for my fitness goals, as well as a hair salon. Which means I can get a haircut without having to pay additionally for childcare, which is included in my membership costs! It’s also conveniently located right next to a large Food Lion, which makes it easy to do the gym and grocery shopping in one trip! Check out the Fitness 2000 Facebook page.
High Point Chiropractic. When I moved here I searched for chiropractors who would treat children and who were trained in the Webster Technique. Dr. Tracey filled both. From where I am, it’s a bit of a drive – but so worth. Her practice is very family friendly. There are toys for kids to play with, a Moms support group that meets monthly, and a monthly Family Discount Day. I highly recommend her (and the entire practice)! Check out the HPC Facebook page.
Barnes and Noble Winston Salem. While not the best for super-active children, Barnes and Noble was literally my first stop upon moving to the area. BnN has a train table, a lego table, and plenty of books and stuffed animals to entertain little hands. They also have several different story times throughout the week. And, of course, coffee.
Hanes Mall Soft Play Area. (located on the lower level, by Sears). At four, my son is starting to get a bit big for this, but we have literally killed HOURS here over the last year. It’s enclosed (if your kids aren’t smart enough to know how to open the gate – mine is), which is nice. And there’s always a ton of kids there. The mall also has a carousel and a train (at a cost), Starbucks, and a food court.
Monkey Joes in Greensboro. Wall-to-wall inflatables. It’s worth the hike from Winston, which we make once every few months. It’s an awesome way to wear out your kid!
Chick-Fil-A. We just love CFA and end up there about once a week. It’s one of the healthier fast-food options, and is allergen-friendly for our needs. Clean play areas. Five Winston-Salem locations, which makes it nice when meeting the friends we have scattered throughout town. We have frequented four of them and are always treated respectfully and have a great time.
Entertainment for Kids
SciWorks. This science museum has hands-on activities for kids of all ages. I think that the older my son gets, the more he will enjoy it, but there’s still enough there to hold his attention for a few hours, including outdoor animal exhibits, puzzles, and a free-play area. Get a family pass (costs $64) to the Western North Carolina Nature Center and you can get a year of free admission to SciWorks (as well as to all of the NC aquariums and science centers and the NC Zoo).
Greensboro Science Center. I absolutely love this place – and here’s why. It’s a science center, an aquarium, and a zoo, all in one. Each section just a bit smaller than a stand-alone one. Which makes it great for little ones who get too worn out because of low-attention span. A little bit of everything. (Free admission with the WNC pass listed above.)
Children’s Museum of Winston Salem. This is a fabulous children’s museum with daily active story times (we prefer this over the library and Barnes and Noble story times, just sayin). There’s also an art room, grocery store, donut factory, and plenty of other free-play areas. Admission is pricey, but with a yearly pass, you can go as much as you like! We have definitely gotten our money’s worth out of it!