Finding Time to Get Fit


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When Suezette Redfield was making her bucket list, she knew she wanted to do something that would really challenge herself.

So the Fuquay-Varina mom decided to participate in a triathlon. The kicker? Not only had she not ridden a bike in years, she didn't know how to swim. But she didn't let that stop her. "I signed up for swim lessons and I'm taking spin classes at the gym," she says.

Those aren't the only challenges she's facing. With three school-aged kids and their busy schedules, Redfield is hard-pressed to find time to devote to working out as rigorously as she needs to train for the triathlon - but she gets creative when she has to.

"As soon as I get the last child out the door to school, I leave for the gym and take two hours in the morning to work out," she says. During track-out from year-round school, she'll try to take at least one child with her. "But lots of times I have to wait until evening to get a chance to work out," she says. Weekends are time for the whole family to be active together, walking or going boating.

"It can be tough to balance training time with family time," she admits. "It would be great to work out as long as I want, whenever I want. But you've got to think about what's best for the family, and not just what's best for you."

It's a common dilemma, says Kathy Kreis, wellness director at Clubworx in Fuquay-Varina. "Moms are usually going to put their family first, not themselves," she says. "The important thing is to allot time to yourself every week without feeling guilty about it. At least one hour, three days a week, will make a big difference, and we need to do that."

Whether you're like Redfield and have a big training goal, or have lower-key targets - like losing baby weight or becoming more active before the big 4-0 - you need to have a plan. You need to set concrete goals. Having a solid idea of your workout plans will help you stick with the program - and achieve your goals.

Setting realistic goals

There's a difference between a good goal and one that's destined to tank. "Goals should be specific, measurable and achievable," says Kelly Nordby, an instructor with Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, an online program developed by the N.C. Division of Public Health and N.C. Cooperative Extension. Rather than saying, "I'm going to start working out," make it more specific. Say, "I'm going to walk on the treadmill 30 minutes a day, three days a week."

Romain Marriott, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at the Cary YMCA, suggests breaking goals into several parts. "Set a six-week goal and a 12-month goal, for example," she says. "And keep re-evaluating them. Ask yourself what made them work, what made them not work. That way, you're not getting frustrated if you don't achieve goals. You're also finding out what works best for you."

Making progress toward your goals

After setting specific goals, what's the key to meeting them? Make sure you keep those goals a priority. "There are always going to be roadblocks," Marriott says. "Kids have to get to their sports events, or they have homework, or you work full time, or your husband doesn't support your goals. Moms put themselves on the back burner so often, but this is one of those times where you have to make yourself a priority."

Sometimes it comes down to time management, Marriott says. Be honest about how you use your free time. If you fritter away a half-hour on Facebook, surely that time could have been spent with a few resistance training exercises, right?

Start off on the right foot to meet your fitness goals with the following tips:

*    Block off time. Grab your smartphone or the kitchen calendar and schedule your fitness time. Make it an unbreakable date, an appointment with a VIP. "Don't give yourself excuses," Nordby says. "Pack your workout bag the night before, bring your walking shoes to work, or take other steps to make it easy on yourself to keep your fitness plans."

*     Reward yourself. Forget "no pain, no gain," at least when it comes to rewarding yourself. "Plan on rewarding yourself when you reach your goal," Marriott suggests. "If you meet your fitness goals, treat yourself. That's probably something you'd do for your child who got a great report card. Do the same for yourself!" Get a great manicure, get together with your friends, or even splurge on a new workout outfit. Knowing there's a "prize" when you reach your goal can make things more fun.

*     Seek motivation. At 76, Maggie Sullivan's grandmother is doing great. "She can literally run circles around me and she's on very little medication," the Angier mom says. "My other grandmother never took care of herself, and she died young. But this grandmother is having a chance to enjoy her great-grandkids. She's an inspiration to me, and that's one reason I work out. I do it for my long-term health."

*     Buddy up. Last fall, Raleigh mom Kerry Heckle joined a Fit-Tastic group sponsored by Rex Healthcare. She sent out the call to friends to see who wanted to join her, and Jill Weincek accepted the challenge.

"We each have two kids under the age of 4," Heckle says. "Scheduling our workouts can be a bit of a juggle, but it's great because we hold each other accountable." They found having a workout partner goes beyond the "Hey, it's six o'clock. You ready to go running?" reminder phone calls. Heckle and Weincek also reap the benefits of "girlfriend time," and they share healthy recipes and de-stress together, too.

When goals slip away

Sometimes, just like New Year's resolutions, goals just don't quite get met. But don't throw in the towel completely, Kreis says. These things happen. "Don't beat yourself up about it," she says. "Instead, think about what you have to change to reach your goals. Maybe your goal was too high to begin with, or maybe you didn't think through what you'd have to do to achieve it."

If you're new to working out, you may have thought you'd see results faster. But even if you didn't shed those 10 pounds pronto, stay the course. "Consistency is the key," Kreis says. "What you're really doing is changing your lifestyle and making sustainable changes. Look at other things, too, like your eating habits. Make sure they're not sabotaging your hard work at the gym."

Or, there may be physical obstacles, Marriott says. "If you haven't worked out before, your knees might hurt, or suddenly you've got some muscle pain you've never had before," she says. "People sometimes say, 'Well, forget this, I can't do it,' and bail."

If that's the case, consult with a trainer or your doctor and ease up on your fitness goals. Or try a different approach. Maybe swimming is your ticket instead of running, for example. You can achieve your goals with baby steps just as well as you can reach them with giant leaps.

Jumping in

You set your goals. You found a workout partner. You laced up your sneakers and you're ready to go. Now what? Jump in and start working toward that first goal, whether it's going to your first spin class, walking and running around your neighborhood or lifting light weights.

"It's normal to look around the gym and feel awkward or like everyone is more fit than you," Marriott says. "But remember, everyone was where you are at some point. Everyone had to start somewhere."

Do it for yourself - and do it for your family. "Sometimes I feel like, 'Gosh, I'm taking another hour away from my family to go run,'" Heckle says. "But it's so important to take care of you and foster your emotional and physical self."

Besides, you might start a ripple effect that makes all the difference in your family's health. "There's a woman I know who ran for six months, and finally her husband wanted to join in," Marriott says. "They did the Couch to 5K, and now they run together with their fifth-grade son. They were a sedentary family, and here's one mom who decided to make a change for wellness and to be a better mom. Now the whole family is better for it."  n

Kathleen M. Reilly is a Triangle-based freelance writer and mother.

October Fitness Events

PES Second Annual StrollerThon and 5K Run
Saturday, Oct. 1, Crowder District Park, Apex
http://postpartumeducationandsupport.com/events.html
5K run and fun family walk around Crowder Park.

Triangle Run/Walk for Autism
Saturday, Oct. 8, Moore Square, Raleigh
www.autismsociety-nc.org
Competitive and noncompetitive 5K, a 1-mile run/walk and a Kids Dash event.

Ramblin' Rose Women's Half-Marathon
Sunday, Oct. 16
American Tobacco Campus, Blackwell Street, Durham
www.ramblinroseevents.com
Women-only Ramblin' Rose half-marathon for individuals and relay teams of two or three. Online registration for the Oct. 9 Ramblin' Rose Women's Triathlon in Chapel Hill has closed.

Get Heeled 5K Run and Family Walk
Saturday, Oct. 22, UNC Friday Center
100 Friday Center Dr., Chapel Hill
www.getheeled5k.com
5K run and 1-mile family walk. Family fun registration package available. Benefits Get REAL &
HEEL, an exercise, recreational therapy, and mind- and body-strengthening program for breast cancer patients.
Paws for Life 5K-9 Road Race
Saturday, Oct. 22, 414 N. Main St., Wake Forest
www.fchsnc.org
5K run followed by a 1-mile walk for participants with their dogs.

Monster Dash 11
Sunday, Oct. 30, Cameron Village, 2000 Clark Ave., Raleigh
www.raleighmonsterdash.com
Family event includes a 1-mile fun run, 5K competitive run and 100-yard dash for ages 5 and under, as well as a costume contest.

STAY SAFE WHILE EXERCISING

Even if you were active in your younger days, becoming a mom can affect your days at the gym, says Kelly McLaughlin, a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer at Triangle Orthopedics in Apex. "During pregnancy, your ligaments stretch, and not just in your belly," she says. "Your knee ligaments do, too."
To prevent injury, McLaughlin suggests making sure you're on a stable, even surface when you exercise. Also, be sure your kneecaps don't travel past the tip of your toes during movements such as squats or lunges. And there's another workout surprise: "Moms usually carry their kids on one dominant side," she says. "That side will be stronger, and you could hurt the weaker side if you're trying to do the same amount of weights before it's built up to the same level."
Women also need to see their health-care provider for physicals and routine check-ups, McLaughlin says. This not only helps develop appropriate exercise plans, but also is important for general health concerns.

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Calendar

August 2019

August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. Come to the Finley Center anytime during the day to share some jokes with the park community. A large board will be set up in the Exhibit Hall where...

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 »

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

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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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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 »

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Enjoy live music, kid activities, a taco eating contest and The Best Taco contest.

Cost: Free

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

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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

Stop in during one of our Back to School Open Houses!  Meet our instructors, tune your instrument, learn a quick song and more!. Aug 12th 7-8:30 Brass & Woodwinds Aug 17th 12:30-2:00...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Bach To Rock Music School
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster
Website »

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See the Game Grumps play games, make jokes and more in this stage show. Purchase tickets online. 

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

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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 11-17 learn how to make foods inspired by Asia. Register online. Choose course #124729.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Stop in during one of our Back to School Open Houses!  Meet our instructors, tune your instrument, learn a quick song and more!. Aug 12th 7-8:30 Brass & Woodwinds Aug 17th 12:30-2:00...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Bach To Rock Music School
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster
Website »

More information

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Enjoy storytime with Amy Godfrey. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Locopops Dessert Cafe
2618 Hillsborough St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Dragonflies love to eat flying bugs, especially mosquitoes and gnats!  Discover the different parts of a dragonfly's body through a colorful craft, learn about its life cycle, and play fun...

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

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 »

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Join us at Harris Lake County Park as we explore the wonders of water through educational activities and some for just plain fun! We will dip for critters in our pond to discover what lives...

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

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

Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
Website »

More information

Come to Learning Express Falls Pointe for an instructive class on how to make your very own Do-A-Dot Art creation.

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

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Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

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Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #124972.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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

Design a T-shirt. Materials provided. Grades 3-5. Register at the library or call 919-245-2539.

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 »

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We are so excited for our next Durham Night Market at Pine & Poplar at The Wine Feed. Over 40 local makers will be selling their handmade products. There will be food trucks, live music...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Wine Feed
307 S Roxboro St
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
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Film to be announced. *Actual time to be determined by sunset. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics to enjoy a movie under the stars in our beautiful garden!

Cost: Free

Where:
GREGG MUSEUM OF ART & DESIGN
1903 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Sponsor: Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Telephone: 919-515-3503
Contact Name: Gregg Museum
Website »

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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

Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. Little Miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Bring your friends and family to Learning Express for a Family Game Night. There will be several games available to play including popular board games, card games, arcade games, and dice...

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #124903.

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Take the family for a night of jigs, reels and anything Celtic. 

Cost: $3/person

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

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Shop for local handmade arts and crafts from local vendors. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Hundreds of artisans from across the Southeast, festival foods, demonstrations, a kids' play area and live music highlight the town's signature arts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Campus
316 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

The North Carolina Boys Choir and Girls Choir Half-Day Camp and Music Workshop is open to public (all children in our community between 7 and 14 years of age). Register online. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Binkley Baptist Church
1712 Willow Dr
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Boys Choir and Girls Choir
Telephone: 919-239-9083
Contact Name: Robert Unger
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...

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

Play children's games from the past. No registration rquired. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history at Duke Homestead. Don't miss the looping contest and Hornworm Race. This event features live music, local arts and crafts vendors, hands-on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history at Duke Homestead. Don't miss the looping contest and Hornworm Race. This event features live music, local arts and crafts vendors, hands-on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

This event is FREE and open to the public! Join Read-a-roo and her PBS KIDS friends for a music-filled day of concerts, hands-on activities and more, Saturday, August 24, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at...

Cost: Free

Where:
University Place
201 S. Estes Dr
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: UNC-TV

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

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

Take the family for treats, music, art and more. See a special exhibit showcasing the work of Artspace's talented young artists.

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace
201 E. Davie St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

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...

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

Come into Learning Express North Hills for a trading event. Socialize with others who collect Pokemon and/or LOL dolls and negotiate for rare cards.

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

More information

Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #124931.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Join Horne Memorial UMC & First Baptist Church of Clayton for an evening of Christian fellowship, inspirational music, free food and family fun. All proceeds benefit Clayton Area Ministries...

Cost: Free

Where:
Clayton Town Square
100 W. Main Street
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Sponsor: First Baptist Church of Clayton and Horne Memorial UMC of Clayton
Telephone: 919-218-4010
Contact Name: Melissa Dooley
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

North Carolina State University celebrates the beginning of a new academic year with good, music and family-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC  27607


Website »

More information

Caribbean culture and cuisine showcase this 7th annual festival that features masqueraders, arts and craft vendors, live music and a kids corner. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
400 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

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