Take a Child Outside Week is Sept 24 - 30

News posted Aug. 23, 2019 - 6:00 am
Girl and dad catching bugs

Raleigh Parks invites you to join our celebration of Take a Child Outside (TACO) Week! This annual event encourages children and families across the country to get outside, explore, and learn more about the local environment. What will you discover about yourself or your backyard?

Find an event near you, all over the city! Join one – or many – of our special programs this week to learn, play, and spend time together in the wonderful world outdoors. All programs are FREE unless otherwise listed.

Register online via RecLink using the barcodes listed below.

TACO WEEK PROGRAMS

Magical Monarchs

Ages 3-6 yrs. Meet the Monarchs, our most famous butterflies, as they journey south for the winter. We’ll learn about the Monarchs’ long migration and what they like to eat, make a craft fit for the king of butterflies, and search for flying visitors in our Monarch Garden. Preregistration is required. Children must be accompanied by adults.

  • Durant Nature Preserve
    • #245805 Sep 24 Tu 10:00 AM-11:00 AM
  • Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
    • #245806 Sep 26 Th 10:00 AM-11:00 AM

Junior Kids Fishing

Ages 4-6 yrs. This program is for younger children who have never fished before but would like to try. We will practice with some casting games and then spend some time fishing in the lake. Your child will leave with stickers and fishing themed coloring pages. We will teach them that fishing is fun, join us today. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren), adult(s) attend free and do not need to register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park
    • #244412 Sep 24 Tu 10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Way Up High in an Apple Tree!

Ages 2-6 yrs. With this engaging program, little ones will delight in the wonders of apple trees as they grow from tiny seeds to tall, fruit-filled trees! Budding botanists will enjoy songs, hands-on activities and great fun. Preregistration is required. Children must be accompanied by adults. This program is offered at no charge in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week. For more information, contact Nature Programs at 919-996-6856.

  • Laurel Hills Community Center
    • #243481 Sep 24 Tu 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
    • #243482 Sep 24 Tu 12:30 PM-1:30 PM
  • Carolina Pines Community Center
    • #243483 Sep 25 W 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
  • Sertoma Arts Center
    • #243484 Sep 26 Th 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Chimney Swifts

Ages 6 yrs and up. Join us as we celebrate the migratory chimney swifts and learn why their future is threatened. After a short education session, we'll walk across the street to watch them as they come together in a magical aeronautical show before roosting for the night in the chimney at Carnage Magnet Middle School. Times are approximate and may be adjusted as the date approaches. There is no rain date for this event.

  • Walnut Creek Wetland Park
    • #243262 Sep 24 Tu 6:30 PM-8:00 PM

Nature Hike

Ages 4 yrs and up. Come enjoy the outdoors while participating in a nature scavenger hunt throughout the park. We will be learning all about local plant and animal species here at Lake Wheeler Park. A parent or guardian must accompany children for the duration of the event.

  • Lake Wheeler Park
    • #244272 Sep 25 W 3:00PM-4:00PM

Nature Art – Sun Prints

Ages 4 yrs and up. Team up with the warm, summer sun to make art from light and shadows. With the right supplies, we'll make art prints from natural items and sunshine. Collect natural materials, explore textures and shapes, and set your prints in the sun to preserve the bright, sunny day in your creation. Make patterns, try some art science, and explore! Preregistration is required for children and adults. Children must be accompanied by adults.

  • Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
    • #245811 Sep 25 W 4:00PM-5:00PM

Guided Nature Walks

Ages 3 yrs and up. Get outside and explore the trails at Forest Ridge Park. Join one of our experienced naturalists to gain information on flora and fauna, or just enjoy walking as part of a group. These walks are designed for the whole family. Routes and topics will be tailored to accommodate the group. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Pre-registration is recommended although not required.

  • Forest Ridge Park
    • Afternoon Walk
      • #244398 Sep 25 W 4:00PM-5:30PM
    • Morning Walk
      • #244399 Sep 27 F 10:00AM-11:30AM

Kids Fishing

Ages 7-12 yrs. This program is great for youth new to fishing. We will go over casting techniques, setting up your rod and reel, and what fish are found in the lake. Then of course we will spend time fishing in the lake. Come see if your child can hook one and reel it in. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren), adult(s) attend free and do not need to register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park
    • #244413 Sep 25 W 5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Family Fishing

All Ages. Enjoy 'Take A Child Outside' Week by participating in Lake Johnson's Family Fishing activities. Participants will learn how to cast and set up a rod and then go fishing in the lake. This is a great way to spend an afternoon with the whole family! Equipment is provided including rod, reel, and bait. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren). Adult(s) and child(ren) must both register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park
    • #244414 Sep 26 Th 5:00 PM-7:00 PM

Nature Play Days

All Ages. Join us anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to enjoy our latest ideas for playing in nature. Children of all ages, as well as the young at heart, are welcome to join us for imaginative play in a natural setting. Dig for gemstones, make a fort out of natural materials, fly a kite, make mud pies and more. We’ll provide the materials and guidance to get you started on a playful adventure, free of charge! Please wear clothes you can get dirty. Note: Adults must accompany their children. No large groups please! This play day is designed for small family groups.

  • Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve
    • #244780 Sep 27 F 11:00 AM-3:00 PM

Know Your Knots

Ages 7-12 yrs. A well tied knot can go a long way. In this program participants will learn how to tie 10 useful knots. Participants will even put a few to the test to see how well their knots hold up. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren), but do not need to register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park – Thomas G. Crowder Woodland Center
    • #242335 Sep 27 F 5:30 PM-6:30PM

Family Paddle

Ages 8 yrs and up. Come celebrate Take a Child Outside Week with us at Forest Ridge Park. On Friday 9/27 we'll be loading up the canoes for an evening paddle to explore the wonders of Falls Lake. Guarantee your spot today by preregistering online or drop in on a Friday evening to join us for a paddle. Paddling experience is not required, but participants should be comfortable in on or around the water. At least one adult is required to register per family group.

  • Forest Ridge Park
    • #244397 Sep 27 F 6:00 PM-7:30 PM

Durant Family Campout

Ages 6 yrs and up. Families gather for an overnight campout at Durant. We’ll cook dinner at the campfire, stargaze, and go for a night hike. In the morning, wake up with the birds, enjoy a camp breakfast, and have time for morning paddling on the lake. Bring a tent if you have one or borrow one of ours. We’ll haul your gear by vehicle down to the primitive campsite that we will call home for the night. Class fee is $20 per adult and $15 per youth. Preregistration is required at least four days prior to the program.

  • Durant Nature Preserve - Course fee: Youth $15, Adults $20
    • #245812 Sep 27 F-Sa 5:30 PM-11:00 AM

Beaver Pond

Ages 3-5 yrs. Discover how beavers live, eat and play in their watery world. Weather permitting, we will search for beaver signs in and around the farm pond at the preserve. Story and craft are included. Advance registration is required for this program. Adults must accompany their children; adults attend free. This program may take place on trails that are not accessible by strollers.

  • Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve
    • #244774 Sep 28 Sa 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

All About Beavers

All Ages. Join us to learn all about the amazing beaver - nature's ecosystem engineers. Participants will learn about beaver adaptations with a fun filled activity and even go on a short hike to look for signs of beavers. All ages welcome, but most appropriate for families with children elementary school age or older. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren), adult(s) attend free and do not need to register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park – Thomas G. Crowder Woodland Center
    • #243366 Sep 28 Sa 1:00PM-3:00PM

Stories, Songs, and S’mores

Ages 5 yrs and up. Come together for a special evening campfire where we’ll enjoy stories, silly singing, quality time together, and S’MORES! Bring your favorite campfire tale and a few good friends. Preregistration is required for children and adults. Children must be accompanied by adults.

  • Durant Nature Preserve
    • #245813 Sep 28 Sa 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Compass Basics

Ages 7-12 yrs. Have you ever been lost in the woods? This course will teach you the skills needed to navigate using a compass through fun, hands-on experience. We will end the course with a fun orienteering activity. Adult(s) must accompany child(ren), but do not need to register. Advance registration is required for this program.

  • Lake Johnson Park – Thomas G. Crowder Woodland Center
  • #242334 Sep 29 Su 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Scutes & Scales

Ages 3 yrs and up. Explore the remarkable world of reptiles at the Preserve. Meet Scout, our Eastern box turtle, and visit with our friendly snakes. Find out what it takes to make it in the wild as a turtle, a snake, or a lizard, and take on a turtle scavenger hunt at the lake. Learn about how you can protect the turtles of Raleigh and help rescue them in times of need. It’s an afternoon full of scales, scutes, and surprises! Preregistration is required for children and adults. Children must be accompanied by adults.

  • Durant Nature Preserve
    • #245814 Sep 29 Su 3:00 PM-4:00 PM


Nature Art - Wild Sculpture

Ages 5 yrs and up. Learn about the natural world art of Andy Goldsworthy and work with new friends to sculpt an Andy-inspired art installation at the Preserve. Discover wild works of art based on the colors, lines, and potential of natural materials. You’ll never look at leaves and pebbles the same way again! Preregistration is required for children and adults. Children must be accompanied by adults.

  • Durant Nature Preserve
    • #245815 Sep 30 M 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Can’t join a group program? Explore nature sites across the city on your own at any time. Check out Self-Guided Explorer Kits at these locations to borrow all the gear you need for nature study and play.

  • Walnut Creek Wetland Park – Birds, Amphibians, Trees, Bugs
  • Durant Nature Preserve – Aquatics, Insects, Birds, Nature Art, Wildlife Tracking, Trees
  • Forest Ridge Park – Nature Explorer Backpacks
  • Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve – Nature Explorer Backpacks, Gardens Kit, Sandbox Kit, Costume Kit, Fort Building Kit, Fairy Houses Backpack

For more information, contact

  • Nature Program, 919-996-6856
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