Colleges that are Probably Better than Harvard


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Now that you understand what research has to say about the contextual and often-limited benefits of attending a highly-selective school, you may have opened your mind to a few less competitive yet wonderful institutions. However, we've worked with enough cream of the crop high school superstars to know that for many, the lure of prestige is just too strong. Ultimately, you still want a "name" school.

We get it. The Harvard name is the Harvard name and that is an undeniable fact. When an alumni list includes seven signers of the Declaration of Independence, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, John K. Kennedy and 25 of the current Fortune 500 CEOs in the world, it would be just plain silly to assert that students would have more of life's doors swung wide open for them by choosing to attend any other school (apologies to forgotten 19th President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes and the actor who played Herman Munster for narrowly missing inclusion on this list).

That being said, there are other elite, name-brand colleges and universities that may provide a better undergraduate experience than Harvard. Let us begin by revealing the truth about an undergraduate education at Harvard.

What does a Harvard classroom look like?

A Gallup Poll survey of 50,000 students found that where you went to school was in no way predictive of happiness in your future life or career. There was, however, a strong correlation between close mentorship by one or more faculty members in college and future satisfaction. Graduates who felt emotionally supported by faculty and were encouraged to learn on a deep and experiential level by their professors found themselves far more engaged in their work years down the line than those who did not. The average college consumer's method of discerning how much of this highly important personal connection and intimate interaction takes place is to look at a school's student-faculty ratio. Yet, this figure can be highly misleading.

Harvard touts a remarkably low student-faculty ratio; some years it is the very best in the nation. Unfortunately, their stated 7:1 ratio does not necessarily mean classes are small and taught primarily by their eminent, full time faculty. The average class size at Harvard hovers around 40 students and a handful of introductory classes are filled by hundreds of students. According to The New York Times, many Harvard graduates lament making it through four years and not even getting to know a single professor well enough to ask for a letter of recommendation. While this factoid is a bit anecdotal for our research-based tastes, a significant amount of hard data is suggestive of its veracity.

While there exists no shortage of Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and leaders in government and business on the Harvard faculty, the undergraduate teaching duties for these individuals range from limited to non-existent. With over 1,200 instructional graduate assistants at their disposal, a surprisingly large number of Harvard's undergraduate courses are taught by either graduate students or "undergraduate teaching fellows." Yes, you heard correctly—some courses at one of the world's most prestigious courses are taught by fellow undergrads. In the fall of 2013, Harvard hired 32 graduate students and 32 undergraduates to help teach statistics courses. That same year, a popular computer science course was led by 16 undergraduate teaching fellows overseen by one graduate assistant.

A 2005 survey conducted across 31 elite campuses found Harvard undergrads ranking 27th in overall student satisfaction. The main reasons given were the faculty's emphasis on research over teaching, lack of faculty availability, quality of instruction, quality of advising, and student life factors such as sense of community and social life on campus. While the school has since put together committees geared toward addressing these issues, student ratings of professor engagement and availability continue to lag well behind many other premier academic institutions.

Elite schools with a superior commitment to teaching

Swarthmore College in suburban Pennsylvannia has a slightly higher student-faculty ratio than Harvard (8:1) but boasts an average class size of only 15 students and an average laboratory class of fewer than 10 students. Take a moment to visualize the difference between sitting in a class of 40 and a class of 15. The educational implications are obvious: higher engagement, more discussion, more face-time with your professors—heck, they might even take the time to learn your name.

Harvard and Swarthmore both have some of the toughest admissions standards in the country. The competition for a spot at either institution is a case of valedictorian on valedictorian crime and perfect SATs are by no means a guarantor of acceptance. Clearly, if you are sitting in a classroom at either school you're surrounded by peers who are also incredibly bright and driven individuals, the intellectual 1 percent. The difference is that at Swarthmore, a liberal arts college without any graduate programs, the instructor in your class is guaranteed not to be a graduate student and certainly won't be a fellow undergraduate. Further, Swarthmore students, as a whole, rate their faculty as being ultra-accessible.

Over on the west coast, in Claremont, California, sits Pomona College, a school that is remarkably similar to Swarthmore in terms of student body size, class size, professor accessibility, and a generally happy and satisfied student body. Student accounts of their professors almost universally laud them as "warm, helpful and friendly people." Only 15 percent of Pomona's professors are not full-time instructors. The overwhelming majority of those teaching classes at Pomona are tenured or occupy tenure-track positions with the college. Opportunities for undergraduate research abound whether through grants, research assistantships, and summer opportunities. Undergrads present with professors and even co-author academic papers on a regular basis.

Perhaps the stark difference between the commitment to undergraduate teaching at Pomona and Harvard is best illustrated in the two schools' own words. In a recent job posting for an instructor in Physics and Astronomy, Pomona declared that "candidates must have a strong commitment to high-quality undergraduate teaching in a liberal arts environment, and those with significant teaching experience are especially encouraged to apply." Compare this to a recent Harvard posting for an instructor in the Life Sciences, which emphasized skills around "supervising and training a staff of approximately 30 teaching fellows, as well as a team of undergraduates who run weekly help sessions."

Swarthmore and Pomona are hardly the only ultra-elite schools known for their commitment to the classroom experience of their undergraduate students. Located a mere 15-minute drive from Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr both offer comparably wonderful educational experiences. These three schools also work on the same academic calendar and allow their students to take courses or even major on each other's campuses. Within a stone's throw of Pomona stand the other four members of the Claremont Consortium and all have a similar arrangement. Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer are all prestigious schools with low student-teacher ratios and a high-level of student engagement and personal connection with faculty.

Outside of these two geographic hotbeds of liberal arts glory, many schools fit this profile right in Harvard's own region of New England. Amherst, Middlebury, Bates, Bowdoin, Williams, and Wesleyan all offer a chance for the best and brightest students to learn from faculty strongly invested in teaching and student success. Other phenomenal options are scattered between the coasts such as Carleton in Minnesota, Oberlin in Ohio, and Grinnell in Iowa.

Pomona, Haverford, Kenyon and co. may not inspire the same awe among the general public. However, you can rest assured that the people who need to know—graduate schools and employers—are familiar with the quality and prestige of these institutions. In other words, these colleges still very much qualify as the type of "name" schools that many students crave.

Not all Ivies are created equal

When seeking a school with a deep commitment to undergraduate instruction, you don't necessarily have to look beyond the Ivy League. Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth, for example, have long been known for their balanced commitment to research and teaching.

Yale's storied residential college system is emblematic of the school's commitment to an intimate undergraduate experience. All Yalies are divided into one of 12 residential colleges prior to their freshman year and remain part of a cohort throughout their four years together. Each residential college is overseen by a Dean and a Master, distinguished faculty members who live on site and regularly eat meals with students, allowing these anointed shepherds to better advise and mentor members of their flock.

The senior thesis requirement at Princeton ensures that no student will ever exit Princeton without having had close contact with at least one faculty member. Working in a one-on-one capacity with a professor, students begin crafting an original piece of scholarship in their field during their junior year. Seniors typically take a reduced course load so they can focus on completing this culminating project, which usually hovers in the 80- to 100-page range. Many alums say that the chance to generate a legitimate academic work was part of what made the Princeton experience so special, unless of course you speak with those who ended up running for high office or were nominated for the Supreme Court, in which case the words they penned at age 21 were dug out of the stacks, publicized, and scrutinized to the nth degree (See Michelle Obama, Elena Kagan, & others).

Dartmouth College prides itself on providing undergraduate students with structured research opportunities. Their First-Year Research in Engineering program allows freshmen to work with research faculty up to 10 hours a week for an entire year. The Women in Science Project matches female students with researchers in fields where women are underrepresented, such as computer science, mathematics, and physics. These samples only scratch the surface of the abundance of opportunities at Dartmouth—in total, 600 undergraduates participate in student-faculty research each year.

Relax, Harvard folks...

Harvard University was founded in 1636 and has a historical and deep-rooted place in American life. The pride of being accepted to and graduating from such an institution is understandable; it's one hell of an achievement. Obviously you will be surrounded by an unsurpassed (but not unparalleled) peer group as well.

If you are one of the 37,000 brilliant, talented, and hyper-motivated individuals who will be applying to Harvard next year, we want you to do so with your eyes fully open. Should you emerge as one of the 2,000 odds-defying souls who gain admission, do your homework to make sure that Harvard is truly the best fit for you. If you end up joining the 35,000 who ultimately get rejected, revel in the fact that you have now been granted a beginning, released from the mesmeric allure of Harvard's iconic status. As T.S. Eliot once said, "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

Of course that's easy for him to say—Eliot was a Harvard alumnus.

College Transitions is a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. As counselors and published higher education researchers, we aim to bring perspective (and some sanity) to college planning, and we strive to provide students with the support they need to enroll and succeed at a college that is right for them. Please visit our website—www.collegetransitions.com—to learn more.
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College Transitions

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About This Blog

College Transitions is a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. As counselors and published higher education researchers, we aim to bring perspective (and some sanity) to college planning, and we strive to provide students with the support they need to enroll and succeed at a college that is right for them. Learn more at collegetransitions.com

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Calendar

September 2019

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

Enjoy local bands, arts and crafts vendors, car show, kids' area, fun contests and games, plus a barbecue cook-off contest featuring veteran cooking teams.

Cost: Free

Where:
River Park
114 E. Margaret Ln.
Hillsborouh, NC  27278
View map »


Website »

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Visual artists from near and far will showcase their work, and 75 performing arts groups provide continuous music, dance and entertainment throughout the festival including extended Saturday...

Cost: $5 suggested donation; free for children under 12

Where:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2719
Contact Name: Susan Tierney
Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

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Take the family for a showcase of popular and folk music and art, dance performances, educational booths, children's activities and food from different regions of Latin America.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Fayetteville St. City Plaza
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

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Did you know that beavers are actually large rodents? Join us at the park and discover the parts of a beaver and what they like to eat. Test your knowledge in a round of trivia and take a walk in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

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

This cultural exp features live entertainment, a kids zone, food vendors, games and much more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
494 Knightdale Station Run
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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It's 50% off ALMOST EVERYTHING! The word GREEN or BLACK will be written under the price on tags and you won't believe what's left!!! Check us out on facebook at Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Towne Centre
1105 Walnut St
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
Website »

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Take the family for a balloon artists, face painting, carnival games, obstacle courses, arts and crafts and a magician. This event celebrates the grand opening of the David R. Kahn Community Campus...

Cost: Free

Where:
David R. Kahn Community Campus
12804 Norwood Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Website »

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Enjoy all things pepper, kids crafts, live music, artisans, local farmers and much more.

Cost: $5 – $25

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
Pittsboro, NC


Website »

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PepperFest is a celebration of sustainable agriculture, farmers, and the creativity of the Piedmont’s top chefs, brewers and artisans. This outdoor event is held in NC’s...

Cost: $5-$30

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
205 Lorax Lane #5
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Sponsor: Abundance NC
Telephone: 919-444-9300
Contact Name: Tami Schwerin
Website »

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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

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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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

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

Grab your magnifying glass and help solve the many mysteries along the Old Beech Nature Trail. Who left the pile of acorns by the rotten log? Whose scat is that? Use your senses and detective...

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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Show Less...

The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

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

Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences presents the classic tale for all ages. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment required...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Learn about the annual, long-distance movement of the migratory birds in our park. We will learn the difference between summer migrants, winter migrants, and permanent residents and then go on a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

The library invites you to celebrate and enjoy poetry with a series of events for all ages hosted by Hillsborough’s Poet Laureate, Dee Stribling! On the last Wednesdays of the month throughout...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

In honor of Chicanx and Latinx Heritage Month, we’ll enjoy poetry written in English and in Spanish written by Chicanx and Latinx poets.  Following questions and discussion, those attending will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

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Apple Day features fresh North Carolina apples, an apple dessert and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Website »

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 “Shinrin-yoku” is a Japanese healing technique which means "taking in the forest atmosphere." Developed in the 1980s, it has become a cornerstone of preventive health...

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

This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

More information

Enjoy down time in nature, or take part in guided art making, herbalism, outdoor yoga, storytelling, or basic women’s camping skills. Dinner and breakfast included, but take camping...

Cost: $50/member, $55/nonmember.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Come out to the 5th Annual Wolfpack Games at Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center on Friday, September 27th at 6 PM. Enjoy a fun atmosphere and get an exclusive sneak peek at the 2019-2020 NC State...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center
2611 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »

More information

Enjoy free bowl cuts by Arrow, Worm Farms; a Most Annoying Sound Off; and Costume Contest. Wear a best orange or blue tuxes. Gates and food trucks will open and begin at 6pm with the movie starting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Raleigh Meadows
Campus Shore Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: VisitCentennial
Telephone: 704-651-3179
Contact Name: Jude DesNoyer
Website »

More information

Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring live music and food trucks.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

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Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

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

Give rugby a try. Take part in tag rugby pick-up games every Saturday morning at Baileywick Road Park, near the Second Shelter.  No experience necessary. All ages. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
Website »

More information

Welcome fall's arrival with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
125 U.S. 1-A
Youngsville, NC  27596
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the Fall Harvest with the Cary Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, September 28 along West Chatham Street in Cary! There will be contests and games, craft booths and food trucks lining...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511


Sponsor: Cary Downtown Farmers Market
Telephone: 919-244-6463
Contact Name: Lindsey Chester
Website »

More information

Take part in a 1.4-mile walk for inclusiveness. Registration and activities begin at 10 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, games, raffle and a decorating station. All ages and...

Cost: $15/family, $5/individual

Where:
Kids Together Playground
111 Thurston Dr.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Campbell Law School will host a bike ride from “The Creek to the Capital” the morning of Saturday, September 28 as part of its yearlong anniversary celebration. Riders of all skill...

Cost: $40 fee includes T-shirt/lunch

Where:
Finish line @ Campbell Law School
225 Hillsborough St
Raleigh , NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Campbell Law School
Telephone: 919-865-5978
Contact Name: Lisa Snedeker
Website »

More information

Enjoy a day at the park and listen to stories from professional storytellers in this event presented by Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Website »

More information

Live Entertainment all day, including a Talent Contest. Win the Raffle. Enjoy at least a dozen international options prepared by parishioners-- Mexican, Irish, Filipino just to name a few. ...

Cost: Free festival admission. Food and raffle incur fees

Where:
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square W. Third St. & W. Cypress St.
Wendell, NC  27591
View map »


Sponsor: St Eugene Catholic Church
Telephone: 919-449-5234
Contact Name: Susan Welsh
Website »

More information

Enjoy live performances, cultural exhibits, children's activities, dragon boat racing and more. Taste a wide collection of ethnic foods and delicacies created by local chefs.

Cost: $5 advance tickets; $8 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are provided,...

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

Travel to Germany without leaving the Triangle at this German-inspired festival featuring live music and food, as well as the ever-popular wiener dog races.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Website »

More information

This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 & 3:00 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's...

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

In 1979, the NC Legislature designated the Eastern Box Turtle as our state reptile. Learn how you can help conserve this valuable state symbol. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted turtle, Shel...

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

Take the family for live music, crafts and food. See website for hours.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Town Hall
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring food trucks and great music. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

East Cloud Kungfu hosts a Parent's Night Out event, featuring a safe environment for kids as they about the wide world of kungfu.   Check it out!...

Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
Website »

More information

Railroad Days' 44th consecutive year features the Railroad Days pageant at 7 p.m., where a queen in five age divisions will be crowned. The festival continues Oct. 4-5 in downtown Selma.

Cost: $12/person for pageant admission

Where:
Selma Elementary School
311 W. Richardson St.
Selma, NC  27576
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

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Education Guide

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