Hey there! I hope everyone had a peaceful and reflective Memorial Day weekend. I don’t know about you, but we had all these fun plans like exploring playgrounds with the kids, enjoying cousin’s birthday time, visiting the Knightdale Station Park splash pad, etc. But surprise! Life and toddler germs got in the way, which meant that we were stuck at home with rainy weather, kids coughing, and runny noses. For a much-needed break, I got out for a little bit on Sunday while the kids were napping and while my understanding husband stayed home to hold down the fort. I knew my time out was limited, so I chose to head on out to explore Rolesville, North Carolina.
Rolesville is located north of Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon and south of Wake Forest, NC. From central Knightdale, it’s only about a 15-to-20-minute drive. According to the town’s website, it has a population of approximately 9,475 as of 2020 (but I’m guessing that number is over 10,000 now).
Like many towns on the eastern side of Wake County, Rolesville has seen a population explosion over the past decade, and the growth of this town will continue, as multiple development projects are now underway.
Exploring Rolesville’s Main Street Park
My first stop was Rolesville’s Main Street Park. Located at 200 South Main Street, this park packs in a ton of charm within its smaller footprint.
The Entryway and Massive Gazebo
The park has a beautiful, classic arched entryway with a section of the street completed with pavers, giving its visitors a charming welcome. All of the boxwoods and other shrubs surrounding the park’s huge gazebo were neatly pruned. Speaking of the gazebo, this gazebo was huge! It has two benches for seating and a pattern of engraved paver stones leading up to a town seal in the middle of the floor. I plan to come back sometime soon for a picnic under that gazebo (if it’s not too crowded). In fact, because of its size, if you run into another mildly drizzly day and just want to get out of the house, this gazebo would be the perfect spot for a rainy day picnic!
If you follow a short paver pathway just around the side of the gazebo, you will find a pretty stone/paver feature. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was a statue or a fountain that wasn’t turned on, but either way, it was cool to look at. The lighting leading into the park was new, but in the style of an antique street lamp, which adds such a special character to this place.
Heading deeper into the park, you will find two playground areas. Both playgrounds seem to be well-shaded due to the mature trees surrounding them, but I visited on a cloudy day so it was a bit hard to gauge. Because I didn’t have my certified playground testers with me (aka my kids), I didn’t pay too much attention to the function of the equipment there. But I did see plenty of slides, rock climbing walls, swings, bridges, and play towers.
There was also a smaller section with equipment for younger children (much lower to the ground). Although my 2-year-old son seems to be ignoring these ages 2-5 areas more and more now that he has discovered he can make my heart leap out of my chest as he climbs up the stairs on the “big kids” play area.
There were multiple picnic shelters throughout the park, with each section of the playgrounds conveniently having a shelter nearby for snacking or meal breaks. Restrooms were also located between the two playgrounds, making bathroom breaks convenient. The playgrounds were slightly removed from the roadway, making wandering playground visits a little less stressful.
Wowza! Rolesville’s Parks and Recreation Community Classes!
If you are interested in renting any of the park’s picnic shelters or would like to check out what’s available for community classes, you can find more information here. While looking for the link for the picnic shelter rental, I came across the rest of Rolesville’s recreational classes and events.
For a smaller-sized town, I was beyond impressed with what is available at their community center. From choices such as a Krav Maga self-defense class, a stained glass workshop, a flower arranging class, the sweetest Little Veterinarian School with Plush Cat course for children who are budding scientists, and even musical events at Mill Bridge Nature Park. I couldn’t believe the amazing variety! There are plenty of classes for a variety of age groups and physical abilities. Rolesville Parks and Recreation Department, get ready because we will be coming back for an event soon! 🙂
On To My Personal Favorite- The Trails
Main Street Park has three trails that run throughout a cleared wooded area. The trees are mature and tall. This lends itself to all those soothing nature sounds of squirrels kicking up leaves and the birds chirping away in the branches above. While the longest trail wasn’t too long (about one mile), it was flat and an easy, relaxing walk. I would feel comfortable bringing my children or a dog on the trails here.
There are also exercise stations all along the trail.
As a bonus, toward the end of my trail walk was a beautiful gardenia bush that smelled fantastic.
Walking By Rolesville’s Cobblestone Village
One of the largest new developments that I wanted to check out while I was in the area was Cobblestone Village. Cobblestone Village is a new mixed-use development by KDM Development that is located in the heart of downtown Rolesville at the corner of East Young and South Main Streets. There will be a combination of apartments and commercial space (which will hopefully allow more room for local, small businesses to come in!). From what I could tell, construction has started. It looked like framing for the apartments had begun.
One of the apartment buildings is visible from Main Street Park. I have a feeling that kids who love to watch construction trucks can probably watch them working over there. I couldn’t help but think of how those apartments will have such a pretty wooded view. According to the construction plans, there will also be access to the park from a trail extension. The town of Rolesville has much more detailed information about this project on its planning page.
While I am sure this development will take some time to complete, I am so excited to see what fantastic shopping and dining options this intimate town center will bring, not just for the citizens of Rolesville, NC, but for all of eastern Wake County!
Checking Out Some Local Shops
The Peak Boutique
After checking out the Cobblestone Village construction, I decided to pop into two shops across the street.
The first shop I visited is called The Peak Boutique.
This store has multiple vendor booths and areas throughout. These booths offer access to a large variety of local artists and small business owners’ products. I thought it was such a great way to allow these vendors to showcase their talent and sell their goods. Multiple vendors live in Rolesville. Others were from areas within an hour’s drive of the Triangle. I really liked Carolina Heartwood which offers these beautifully crafted live-edge wooden tables.
I used to ride horseback when I was a girl, so the little girl horse-lover in me just loved Gypsy Dreams, which sells all things equestrian. There were the sweetest plush horses and some beautiful home decor. Any of their items would be perfect for a horse lover!
There are so many unique products in each of the booths that I could have easily stayed there another hour just looking through everything. Here are just a few of the items they had for sale.
Look at these sweet pet accessories available from the Dapper Dog!
Are you a lover of all NC foods? If so, take a look at these prints!
There were even some products that showed some Rolesville love!
But like everything in life, my time was limited, so I had to move on. Before I left, I asked the sales associate (who was so friendly, helpful, and kind, by the way!) about some of the artists and vendors. I thought it was so great to hear how so many of their products were locally sourced.
Rolesville’s Creative Exchange
I did have the chance to also pop into the Creative Exchange right before I had to head out. You could tell immediately that this was a family-run business. There were helpful kids greeting me upon entry. The place smelled great. They sell Hershey’s ice cream and a variety of other treats. I knew I had to get out of there because I was getting hungry. I was weakening with my resolve to stay away from 3 pm ice cream breaks.
What drew me into the store was the prettiest stained glass window hangings displayed in their front window. I looked at them and snapped a few pictures to remember them for a future purchase. But the thing that caught my eye and I knew I couldn’t leave without was a little stained glass butterfly. My children are so in love with butterflies. I knew this was something I could get and we could keep out on the bookshelf for all to enjoy
I bought the little glass butterfly and headed on out, but I took a mental note that I had to come back here when I had time to browse around a bit more and when I am ready to eat ice cream. Because there is no way my willpower is escaping the smell of that store again. Lol. I also enjoyed looking at more artwork painted by Lisa Gaither on my way out.
Love Brings Me Home
When I got home, I showed my family the colorful glass butterfly. They “oohed” and “aahed”. I told them about the playgrounds I saw and how I couldn’t wait to return together as a family. And most importantly, thanks to my husband and the town and people of Rolesville, I came back mentally and emotionally recharged to enjoy the rest of the day. I can’t wait to come back soon!