7 Family Outings to Make December Fun


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Enjoy Historic Oak View County Park's annual Sleigh Rides and Cider event.

Historic Oak View County Park Staff

Shopping for gifts. Wrapping. Baking. Cleaning. Cooking. As the holidays approach, our to-do lists get longer, and family fun seems to take a backseat to obligations and chores. Each December, I try to find time for spontaneity and joy by heading back to nature with my family. Here are some outings — offered at Wake County Parks and Recreation areas — that let you and your family relax and enjoy the season together. 

1. "Geocaching 101" – Friday, Dec. 4, 3-4:30 p.m.  Learn about geocaching and then search for some newly placed geocaches along the American Tobacco Trail. GPS units will be provided, and instruction will be given on how to use them. Pre-registration is required as space is limited based on available equipment.  This program is for ages 6 and up, and the cost is $5/family. Participants meet at the New Hill Parking Area, 1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road in Apex.

2. "Take a Photo with Santa at the Old Mill" – Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.  Have your picture made with Santa inside Historic Yates Mill County Park, play some "reindeer games" in the mill yard and try out a variety of old-time toys. Enjoy free seasonal refreshments. You'll also find handmade crafts for sale. Photo packages are $15 and up, and a digital image ia $35. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Dec. 5. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Yates Mill Associates’ ongoing efforts to keep Yates Mill operating. Throughout the day in the park center, visitors can also participate in an Art in the Park: Handmade Holidays program and make hand-crafted greeting cards for family and friends. Historic Yates Mill County Park is located at 4620 Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh.

Photo at right courtesy of Historic Oak View County Park Staff 

 

3. "Sleigh Rides and Cider" – Saturday, Dec. 5, 5-7:30 p.m. Get in the holiday spirit at Historic Oak View County Park's annual Sleigh Rides and Cider event. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, play a game of holiday bingo, and listen to fun stories and entertaining music. Enjoy free hot apple cider and cookies, and help support Oak View's holiday crafts and bake sale fundraiser. End your night by visiting Santa Claus. Historic Oak View County Park is located at 4028 Carya Drive in Raleigh.

4. "Family Feature: Winter Wrap Up" – Sunday, Dec. 13, 2-3 p.m.  Bundle up and join a naturalist at Crowder District Park to learn how to identify tracks, explore conifers and drink pine-needle tea. Observe snow and ice through hands-on science experiments, and don't forget to bring your scarf and mittens. This program is for all ages. The fee is $5/family, and pre-registration is required. Crowder District Park is located at 4709 Ten-Ten Road in Apex.

5. "Geminids Meteor Shower Viewing" – Sunday, Dec. 13, 6-9 p.m.  View the Geminids Meteorite Shower, which is caused by the tail of an extinct comet, 3200 Phaethon, passing through the earth’s atmosphere. Dress warmly and take a reclining chair or warm blanket to Blue Jay Point County Park to spread on the ground for seating. Telescopes will be provided to look at other objects in the sky. Poor viewing conditions will cancel this event, so call (919) 870-4330 for a recorded message or check the park's Facebook page after 5 p.m. Sunday for updated conditions. Blue Jay Point County Park is located at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road in Raleigh.

Photo courtesy of shutterstock.com

6. "Winter Waterfowl Workshop" – Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m.-noon. Lake Crabtree County Park is a birding hotspot, and a great place to observe both common and uncommon winter waterfowl. Learn to identify various species by looking at field markings, behaviors and more. Participants will spend time observing waterfowl on the lake, so dress warmly.  This program is free and for adults only.  Pre-registration is required.Lake Crabtree is located at 1400 Aviation Parkway in Morrisville.

7. "Crafts and More for Kids" – Monday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Finish shopping while your kids enjoy four hours of crafting, hiking and games at Harris Lake County Park. Your child's crafts make wonderful holiday gifts.  Send a lunch and water bottle.  Park staff will provide a snack and all the supplies. This program is for ages 6 to12, and the program fee is $16/child. Pre-registration is required, and participants meet at the park office. Harris Lake County Park is located at 2112 County Park Drive in New Hill.

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About this Blog

News, Fun, Deals

Parenting news, opinions, family fun, free offers

About This Blog

Karen Shore lives in Holly Springs with her husband and two sons. By day, she works at the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce and by night, she's a cook, chauffeur, tutor, secretary and amateur therapist for her family. She will blog about family fun in the Triangle — including freebies and news that matters to local parents. Check back here Mondays and Thursdays for her weekday and weekend fun blog posts. 

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Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


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Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $5/person

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
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View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult) meet a real turtle and hike to see others.  Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Preregister online using...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC  27502
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More information

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Cost: Free

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760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $35/resident, $45/nonresident

Where:
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View map »


Website »

More information

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: $7/nonmember. Free for members and ages 6 and younger.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

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