General Details

When did Downtown Cary Park open?

We officially cut the ribbon on November 19, 2023.

How big is the Park?

Downtown Cary Park sits on approximately 7 acres of land and is situated in the heart of Cary, North Carolina.

What is the most exciting feature at the Park?

Well, that’s for you to discover. Bring your whole self, your pup or your family and friends and step into another world.

How many bathrooms are there?

There are 5 individual bathroom areas and 24 total public toilets.

Will the Cary Downtown Farmer’s Market be moving to the Park?

Yes. The Farmer’s Market will be located near Park Street Courts.

Does the Park have security?

Yes! The Downtown Cary Police Department team is embedded in the Park’s offices. In addition, officers routinely patrol the Park and surrounding areas. There is also overnight security in the Park as well as numerous security cameras.

Where is lost and found?

Lost and Found is in Guest Services. Guest Services is located on the bottom floor of the Cary Regional Library near The Nest. Feel free to call ahead of time to verify if your lost item is there. Guest Services’ number is (919) 653-7180.

Is the Park cashless?

Yes. All of Downtown Cary Park’s points of sale (Market 317, The Bark Bar and Guest Services) are cashless. All cards and contactless payment options are accepted.

Visiting the Park

What are the Park’s hours of operation?

The Park is open 7 days a week, from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Do you have to have a dog park pass to access the dog parks?

Yes. The dog parks will operate on the same system as other active dog parks across Cary. You can secure a pass online or in-person at guest services.

What are the dog park hours?

The Barkyard is accessible 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

What are Guest Services’ hours of Operation?

Guest Services’ is open:

April – December:
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

January – March:
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Parking

Where can I park when visiting the Park?

There is an accessible parking deck located behind the Cary Regional Library with parking available. Additionally, parking is available in the lot on Charlie Gaddy Lane, at labeled street parking, and at the Town Hall Deck. 

See below for more parking options!

Events at the park

How many programs are there annually?

About 500. And there is truly something for everyone. Look for energizing events from fitness classes and demonstrations to concerts, yoga, book clubs, public art walks, story times, movies and so much more. There are also a handful of larger, signature events throughout the year. Check out our event calendar.

What is the cost of events at the Park?

It is our intent to make all programming as accessible as possible. While the majority of our events are free of charge, there may be occasions when a program or special event requires a fee.

Food + Beverage

Are there food and beverages options at the Park?

Yes. There are two food and beverage facilities. The Bark Bar serves beer and wine as well as non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks. Market 317, located in Academy Pavilion, is a grab-and-go style café that offers delicious wraps, sandwiches, snacks, ice cream and more. Food trucks are also regularly around the Park and at events. Check our calendar for food truck options.

Can I bring food into the Park?

Yes! Pack a picnic and enjoy.

Does the Park have water bottle filling stations?

Yes! There are four bottle filling stations located at various locations throughout the Park.

Who is running the food and beverage facilities?

Cary Park Ventures serves as the Park’s exclusive food and beverage vendor prioritizing local goods and offering fresh seasonal menus. Cary Park Ventures is led by father-son duo John and Mike Cline, who are longtime residents of Cary with extensive experience operating and investing in successful local and regional food and beverage businesses
like The Veggie Wagon (Carolina Beach and Masonboro) and Carolina Crust (Raleigh-Durham).

Can I bring in my own alcohol?

No. Bringing in outside alcohol is not permitted. You may, however, purchase and consume alcohol from participating permitted businesses within the social district.

What is the Downtown Cary Park Social District?

The social district allows individuals to carry alcoholic beverages purchased from a participating vendor in specific social district cups throughout the district. For more, visit carync.gov/socialdistrict.

Rental Information

Are there rentable spaces in the Park?

Yes, there are several rentable areas throughout the Park. A reservation is required and a rental fee will be charged for any activity that involves the set-up of any type of equipment (including tables) or restricts access to a specific area of the Park for Park guests. A reservation and rental fee are also required for filming or photography that will restrict the use of any area of the Park and will use equipment more extensive than a single tripod. Access Cary’s film and photography guide here.

Learn more about rentals here.

Environment

How many existing trees were saved?

36!

How many new plants were planted?

More than 66,000, reaffirming a commitment to sustainability and preservation.

How many new trees were planted?

More than 650 new trees populate the Park. This includes a variety of native and adaptive species. 

Amenities

What is The Nest?

It’s a nature-inspired outdoor play space, splash pad, and imaginarium anchored by two iconic 20-foot-tall wooden cardinals with various climbing structures.

What happens at the Barkyard

It’s where goldendoodles, cockapoos, collies, pomeranians, terriers and more, all run free. Tunnels. An interactive water feature. Playful logs. Welcome to dog paradise.

What is The Bark Bar?

It’s a place to gather with friends and fellow dog lovers at an open-air, all-season pavilion. Order a treat for your pup and a craft brew, glass of wine or light snack for you. Life is good. 

Tell me about the Great Lawn & Pavilion.

This is the heart and soul of the Park, featuring movies, concerts, fitness classes and much more. Bring a picnic blanket, spread out and dive in. 

What goes on at the Gathering House & Garden? 

Located inside of the Park near The Mayton Inn, the Gathering House offers meeting spaces for park visitors and features transparent walls with spectacular views into the botanical garden and green spaces. 

What happens in Frantz Square?

Prepare to marvel at the Park’s iconic fountain, browse at a pop-up market, or spread out on the lawn for an afternoon picnic, a book club meeting or a family gathering. Rotating public art provides a true sense of place. 

What happens at Park Street Courts?

Grab your bocce ball, cornhole beanbag or volleyball and challenge your mates to a little friendly competition. Golfers will appreciate a state-of-the-art putting green with multiple holes. 

What is Academy Pavilion and Plaza?

It’s your gateway to all that Downtown Cary Park has to offer. Wind along the paved plaza, past shade trees and prominent overlooks, and immerse yourself in a bounty of nature. Book an event. Schedule a meeting. Hit Market 317 for a delicious and healthy lunch. 

What is the Skywalk?

Floating 17 feet above the eastern side of the Park is the Skywalk – an elevated walkway that lifts you into the tree canopy and offers a new perspective of the Park.

What is the Tiered Water Feature?

The Park’s tiered water feature was designed to improve water quality, mitigate flooding downstream and add to the Park’s aesthetics. Willow Isle is an island in the pond that will feature a sculpture that will provide shade for relaxing.