We'd heard about these cow parades in other cities so when Mom in Chapel Hill first mentioned that the cows had come to the Triangle area I knew we would have to check it out!
What it is: The Cow Parade is the the world's largest public art exhibit. It has traveled to 75 different cities and 30 different countries and now it has come to the Triangle! Eighty-one 8-foot fiberglass cows have been painstakingly and beautifully decorated by local artists and placed at popular locations around the area. There are some in UNC, Raleigh, and several locations in Durham. The cows will be on display through Dec. 7, and then they will be auctioned off for charity.
While they were out roaming the streets of Durham, I figured I had to take the kids on a little cow hunt! There are two main locations in Durham - American Tobacco Campus and Golden Belt. So we started at the American Tobacco Campus. Four of the cows were located right next to the parking garage so we saw them immediately after parking. One of our kids was a bit nervous about getting close to the cows, but she was fascinated by them when she could look from the safety of her mother's arms. The other kiddo, on the other hand ,was happy to run right up and give the cows a big hug.
The kids and adults alike had a great time looking at the fancifully decorated cows-from cows painted in Duke and NCCU colors to a Burt's Bee's version complete with beehive and real flowers on its back. Besides the four near the parking garage, there were also two located at the other end of the campus near Burt's Bee's building (next to the waterfall), and four or five more located across the street from the campus near the ballpark. The kids had a great time wandering through the tobacco campus itself by the river and waterfalls. Plus, we saw older kids enjoying it, as a school field trip went on a cow scavenger hunt complete with their own clipboards for recording important information.
After our cow hunting at American Tobacco, we continued our trip by heading a few miles down the road to Golden Belt. Golden Belt is a group of office and art buildings located just off of Main Street. Not only is it the official headquarters of Cow Parade NC, but there were also more cows there for our viewing pleasure! There were three or four cows right out in front including my favorite cow of the day named Mootalic (silver and shiny, of course). In the building right next to the cows on display, we could also peer in the window and see the cow workshop where there were several cows that were in the process of being beautified for us to see. Then, we headed through the main building to the middle section of Golden Belt where there were two more cows for us to find.
It was a great morning, and the kids had fun "finding" all of the cows. Plus, you could finish the morning off right there at Golden Belt at the great new stop - Blend. There you could have a sweet treat like gelato, coffee or a light lunch. Or, you could head back to Scrap Exchange (also located in Golden Belt) for some more exploring after your hunt is over. Both would be great ways to finish off a fabulous bovine Durham morning. I can't wait to head to Raleigh or UNC to continue our quest for cows!
What we liked: We loved how beautiful all of the cows looked. It was great to look at all of the unique artistry that was present on each of the cows.
What we would change: We actually found it a bit difficult to park at the American Tobacco Campus on a weekday morning because the upper section of the garage was blocked off to visitors. However, we realized we could have parked in the one hour visitor parking near the entrance of the garage because viewing the cows there didn't take us more than an hour.
Website and other important information:
Website: http://cowparadenc.com/ (You can head here to find out about the parade, download maps and you can also get a cow parade app on your smart phone!)
Dates: The cows will be out until December 7th.
(Oh, and if you find and photograph any cows, you can add your pictures to the ongoing Mom in Chapel Hill Flickr album at this link: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2050242@N25/)