Work Life Balance - Fun Things to Do

Personal Assistance Service (PAS) is the Duke employee assistance program. The staff of licensed professionals offers assessment, short-term counseling, and referrals to help resolve a range of personal, work, and family problems. Common concerns include balancing time, money management, stress, and depression. PAS services are available free of charge to Duke staff and their immediate family members.

Fun things to do

Cell Biology Department Specific activities

Weekly happy hour 

 Every Thursday after In-House the Cell bio department gathers together to enjoy some food and beverages. This is a great opportunity to meet other department members.

Monthly cookout Friday 

Each month the Cell bio department organizes a cook-out. In some instances, other departments join in. 

Annual retreat 

Our annual retreat is an amazing weekend filled with scientific talks and posters, of course and fun games. It is a must for every member of the Cell bio department. 

Fun things to do on your own


There are several hiking opportunities available in this area. Some are closer than others: Duke forest, Al buehler trail, Eno river state park, Jordan lake, Carolina North Forest - Chapel Hill, Johnston Mill preserve, Brumley Nature Preserve, Uwharrie National Forest, Hanging Rock State Park and the Appalachian Mountains. 

There are several apps that you can use to find trails in your area (komoot, alltrails etc.).

Trail biking 

Brumley Nature Preserve, Carolina North Forest - Chapel Hill and Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill (near Pittsboro) have some excellent Mountain Bike trails.  

The American Tobacco Trail is a great place for a nice walk, a run or a bike ride. It’s 22.1miles long and goes from Durham to Cary. 


Duke University offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools. However, if you prefer to swim in a more natural surrounding the Eno River State provides swimming in the Eno river or the Rock Quarry. Falls Lake or even Jordan Lake are other options for swimming and other watersports. 

The beaches near Wilmington and the Outer banks are only a few hours away. 

Duke recreation membership

The Duke University provides acess to different facilities from gyms over swimming pools to tennis courts

Winter activities

There are ski resorts in the Appalachian Mountains.


Nasher Museum

North Carolina Museum of Art

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (they also host several outreach events where postdocs can volunteer to share their science)North Carolina Museum of Life and Science (great museum in Durham.  Host Night at museum events for adults only.)

Arts River district in Asheville, NC is a great place for Art Lovers

Seagrove NC is a great place to visit for pottery and studio tours

Seasonal events

State Fair

Eno River festival

Chapel Hill Festifall arts festival

A good place to look for different events is

If you are on instagram: thebestofthebull and thebullsofdurham curate lists of things around town every week.


Food and drinks

Good places to eat on campus

-         West Union

-         Twinnies

-         Nosh (Trent Semans) and Nosh (MSRBIII)

-         Duke North (Atrium Café offers wide selection of cafeteria foods) and South Cafeteria’s   

       (Chick-fil-a, Subway, Panda Express, Sushi, Starbucks, Chopped), Tropical Smoothie  


-         Divinity Café

-         Law school café

-         Business school café


Good places nearby with Wifi/tables to work

-      Cocoa Cinnamon (inside and outside depending on location)

-      Namu (inside and outside)

-      Honeysuckle tea house (summers only)

-      Mad Hatters (inside and outside)

-      Joe Van Gogh (mostly inside; though depends on location, downtown durham may 

        have some outside)

-       Bean Traders (inside and outside)

-       Cloche Coffee (inside and outside)

-       East Durham Bake Shop (inside)


Good places to go out in Durham:

  • Pizzeria Toro - delicious pizza and good wine selection
  • Hutchins garage- Another great pizza place. Casual, open late, and fair prices. 
  • Mateo’s - tapas, empanadas and all that good stuff
  • Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant- If you are into dim sum this is probably your closest and best option. They serve dim sum by carts circulating the restaurant on Saturday and Sunday during lunch hours. 
  • Don Becerra Taqueria- Great place for authentic unassuming tacos. It is by no means a fancy place but if you are looking for the real deal, I think this is pretty close.  
  • Motorco - great for drinks and good food, it’s also an event venue, with live music and a really fun science communication series, periodic tables
  • Fullsteam - one of Durham’s breweries, good beer, good food and dogs are welcome (inside too!)
  • Bull McCabe’s - great in the warmer months, has a nice outdoor area and a large tap selection
  • Ponysaurus - Another great Durham brewery with a great outdoor area. They have rotating food trucks and grills that are open to customers (you can reserve them online).  
  • Bar virgile- Hip place in downtown durham offering craft cocktails and a rotating lunch/dinner and small plates menu.  
  • The Durham Rooftop Bar- Located on the rooftop of the Durham Hotel in Downtown, this bar has nice panoramic views of the city. Great place to grab a cocktail and snack during sunset.
  • The Accordion club- More of a dive bar feel to it but still has a great beer selection and a large outdoor area in the back. Food menu consists of hotdogs and frito pies...
  • Souly vegan cafe
  • Beer Study and the Boot Room - Great beer choices and good food next door.


Good places to go out in Chapel Hill:

  • Bartaco - good tacos and nice atmosphere
  • Top of the Hill - more on the fancy side, great rooftop location for a nice view of Chapel Hill and delicious food and drinks
  • Dead Mule Club - low-key bar with 5$ Gin & Tonics and nice outdoor seating
  • Mint
  • Mediterranean Deli
  • Lantern
  • Kipo’s
  • Gourmet Kingdom


Good places to go out in Carrboro

  • Spotted dog (Vegetarian/Vegan)
  • The Station - live music on weekends 
  • 2nd wind - small bar, but there are live bands 
  • OCSC - laid back bar
  • Baxter - Arcade video games
  • Steel String Brewery
  • Open Eye Cafe