January/February 2022

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I could rattle off 101 dog-friendly places in our area, but when it comes to putting together Chapel Hill Magazine’s annual Kids Issue, I turn to my colleagues with children for advice. 

When production manager Ashlin Acheson heard we were considering a story about places to take swim lessons in Orange County, she knew just the place. Ashlin raved about Goldfish Swim School where her little ones take lessons in their heated indoor pool. Those are her two kids – Greyson, 6, and Henley, 3 – on the cover. And it only took minimal bribing from their mom to get them to suit up and smile. (Congratulations on your family’s new pony, Ashlin!)

The newest parent in our office is photographer John Michael Simpson; he and his wife, Carrie Grace Simpson, welcomed their first child, Ava James, on Oct. 9. Between diaper changes and photo shoots, John Michael shared a few thoughts on fatherhood: “Being a dad has been a joy, and as you can imagine, we’ve taken so many pictures. Every day has something new, and we’re trying to soak it all up.”

The new dad crossed the county to photograph kid-friendly activities for this issue, from Kidzu Children’s Museum’s newest venture, The Nest, to a Puppet Show Inc. performance in Carrboro. “I look forward to taking Ava James to 1870 Farm when she is older, so she can meet Pearl, the pony, Socks, the Flemish giant rabbit, and Coda, the huarizo,” John Michael says. To find your own inspiration for family adventures, flip to page 22. And if you’re on the hunt for the perfect summer camp for your kiddo, check out our guide starting on page 38. Jessica Stringer


22 Building The Nest
Visit this wondrous new space for tiny tots

26 Schools of Fish
Nine places to take lessons around Chapel Hill and beyond 

32 Behind the Curtain
Meet the woman who has been delighting and educating audiences for years

36 The Big Picture
Down on the Farm

38 Summer Camp Guide


46 Leaders by the Dozen
A new mural highlights 12 Black trailblazers in Carrboro and Chapel Hill

50 Shining Example
The new Eno Arts Mill is the crown jewel of the arts in Orange County

56 Lake Living
Two world travelers set down sustainable roots on Lake Orange

81 Wedding Venue Guide


6 Letter from the Editor

8 About Town
Events not to miss

10 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

20 What We’re Eating
News from our restaurant community, plus a dish we love

74 Dining Guide


87 Sigmon & Wood

88 Horner & Tabor


15 Gallop & Gorge 8K

16 Women of Achievement Luncheon

18 Friendsgiving Luncheon

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