How Music Improves Learning for Special Needs Kids

And which resources are available in the region


Published:

COURTESY OF CENTER STAGE MUSIC SCHOOL

In almost every culture around the world, music plays a central role in bringing entire communities together, whether to help people celebrate special occasions, make memories or simply pass the time. In fact, U2 lead singer Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” Music is a universal language because it removes physical and verbal barriers.

Over the last few decades, there has been a substantial increase in research concerning how music therapy can also improve behavioral traits. Clinicians and scientists are studying how the acts of listening to and making music can impact a person’s physical and emotional health, while monitoring his or her ongoing cognitive activity. What they have found is that because listening to and performing music stimulates almost every area of the brain — and almost all sensory systems — music has a significant positive influence on cognitive functions. 

The National Endowment for the Arts published research in December 2015 titled, “The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Arts Participation,” that shows promising implications for parents of special needs children. Let’s tune into some of music’s many benefits, particularly when it comes to how special needs children learn. 

 

The Great Equalizer

According to Arts Access, an organization that was founded in 1982 to address this issue by increasing access to North Carolina’s arts community for children and adults with disabilities, kids with disabilities do not participate in the arts at the same rate as kids who don’t have disabilities, largely because they have fewer opportunities to do so, compared to nondisabled peers. Arts Access Executive Director Betsy Ludwig cites the organization’s Wake Arts Inclusion Project as one of the many ways it is working to ensure that music educators in Wake and Durham counties’ public school systems have the tools and skills they need to better include school-age kids with disabilities. 

“Music education is good for all kids’ social and emotional development, as well as educational outcomes,” Ludwig says. 

Music therapy helps special needs kids build self-confidence and awareness, and improves their communication, motor and social skills, according to the Masters in Special Education Program Guide, which offers information for special education professionals. Music therapy also gives them effective resources for interacting with and understanding their environment. Essentially, it is the great equalizer, leveling the playing field for many kids who may not otherwise thrive in a traditional learning environment. 

Rebecca Smith, director of the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center in Raleigh, says the school’s music therapy sessions, offered three to five times a week, often provide the first opportunity for staff to witness children who can’t otherwise communicate with their teachers. These sessions really engage children to participate in teacher-directed activities. 

“Music therapy has greatly benefited many of our children,” Smith says. “Our music therapist works on so many developmental skills during her sessions, but the children don’t even realize how hard they are working because they are having so much fun.”

Parents agree. Amy Klabon, whose son has developmental disabilities and attends the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center, says the center’s music sessions offer a sound-sensory experience that has made it easier for her son to learn and grow.

“There’s a connection between movement and speech when these kids interact with musical instruments like the tambourine, drums and maracas,” Klabon says. “Song and music engages him, holds his otherwise short attention span and allows him to get his energy out.”

The interactive nature of playing instruments while singing makes it easier for special needs kids to learn traditional songs like “Ring Around the Rosie” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Even focusing on the difference between a yellow tambourine versus a blue drum has taught these children colors and shapes. 

 

The Chemistry of Music

Studies highlighted in publications such as Psychology Today and Nature have looked at the link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and music. Researchers are not surprised to learn about music’s benefits for someone with ADHD. Since music is enjoyable, it can improve multitasking, adherence to structure, collaboration, auditory processing and self-confidence. 

Experts also know that kids with ADHD tend to have low levels of dopamine, a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other neurons. These experts are now discovering that music is a stimulant that actually increases dopamine levels, which might account for the sense of pleasure people experience while listening to music.

 Photos courtesy of Center Stage Music School

Taylor (8) has ADHD. She plays guitar and sings in her own band 46&2.

For some professionals in this line of work, engaging special needs children through music not only gives them personal satisfaction; it’s also a way of giving back. In 2010, two years after losing his construction business to the financial collapse of 2008, Robert Peele started Center Stage Music School in Garner, which serves roughly 140 students ages 5 and older, and offers guitar, violin, voice, drums and piano lessons. Peele says about 5 percent of his students are special needs children with either autism, ADHD, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. He says oftentimes special needs kids excel in music more than their peers do because they see patterns the other kids don’t. 

“Music is math,” Peele says. “We have, basically, 12 notes and eight beats. Drumming, for instance, is a rhythmic pattern.” 

Many kids with autism seek out visual and/or auditory patterns. Peele works with the kids who are drawn to auditory patterns. 

“Do we treat them any differently? Absolutely not,” Peele says, adding that, in fact, the opposite is true. The very reason parents enroll their special needs children in music is because it provides a sense of equality and normalcy that other extracurricular activities don’t.

Center Stage Music School offers two recitals a year and puts its students in bands and competitions around the area. 

“Competition breeds excellence and advances the art form. There is no question about this,” Peele says. “I’ve seen it firsthand at dance, cheer, gymnastics, martial arts and all types of sports competitions. Children with developmental and even physical challenges can participate, compete and do as just as well as any other child. ... If I put one of my autistic kids on a drum set, keyboard, guitar or even up front on the mic, you would be hard-pressed to tell them apart from any other.” 

Peele says he could not ask for a more fulfilling job. “I wish I’d started doing this 20 years earlier,” he says. “When I’m playing with one of my autistic kids, the entire world outside doesn’t matter. They have no preconceived notions about what the music is supposed to sound like, their inhibitions are gone and they don’t care who is listening. We are all just in the moment and it is pure, unadulterated joy.”

 

Elizabeth Lincicome is a communications expert and freelance writer based in Raleigh. She is also the mother of a 6‑year‑old daughter.

 

Music Resources for Special Needs Families

Center Stage Music School
889 U.S. 70 Highway W., Garner • 919-662-5433
This school offers private music lessons for ages 5 and older in bass guitar, guitar, violin, voice, drums and piano. Lessons are available to individuals with and without disabilities.

United Arts Council
410 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 170, Raleigh •  919-839-1498
Through its existing Artists in Schools program and a partnership with Arts Access, United Arts was able to identify and highlight six programs specifically designed for students with special needs during its pilot year (2018-19). These curated programs give schools a way to narrow down options that best work for a particular class. For example, Drum for Change (see below) uses soft-sound drums so kids who have special sensory needs can fully participate. The United Arts Council is looking for community sponsors for its Artists in Schools program. If you are interested, please email or contact a staff member via the website.

Drum for Change
gregory@drumforchange.com • 919-696-0883 
Drum for Change Director Greg Whitt believes life is richer when we communicate, cooperate and collaborate with one another and the world around us. To that end, he has been facilitating interactive rhythm experiences to help people live, work and play well together since 2002. Whitt is the recipient of three United Arts Council competitive professional development grants, and he helped spearhead a program that puts artists in the workplace. Whitt works with a wide range of individuals, including students with intellectual disabilities, autism, vision loss and emotional disabilities. 

Frankie Lemmon School & Development Center 
3311 Carl Sandburg Court, Raleigh • 919-821-7436
The Frankie Lemmon School & Development Center offers a curriculum for ages 3-6 that is designed to encourage growth in all areas. The curriculum is designed for children with and without special needs, and focuses on the following developmental areas and subjects to reflect the development of the whole child: social-emotional, fine motor, early learning, self-help, gross motor, science, technology, math and communication. Among its programs, the school offers music therapy, movement class, pet therapy, and language and communication group sessions.

Lucy Daniels School
9003 Weston Pkwy., Cary • 919-677-1400 • info@lucydanielscenter.org
The Lucy Daniels School, a program of the Lucy Daniels Center, is a therapeutic day school serving children in preschool through fifth grade who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioral difficulties at home or in school. The center helps children lead emotionally healthy lives through in-depth evaluation and treatment, family involvement and education. Music on Fridays is offered 9-9:30 a.m. as part of the center’s focus on helping children develop and strengthen their capacities to be members of a group, while also building their individual academic and social development.

Camp Bluebird at 3 Bluebirds Farm
102 Hyannis Dr., Holly Springs • 919-629-7500
Camp Bluebird is an individualized track-out day camp for elementary school-aged children with autism that uses music and singing as part of their circle time. The camp is part of 3 Bluebird Farms, which serves adults on the autism spectrum.

 

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November 2019

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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A full, half marathon and 5k with convenient parking and fast course right off I-40. The RDC 5k takes place on Nov. 9 and Marathon/half marathon will take place on Nov. 10. ...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Southpoint Mall and American Tobacco Trail
6910 Fayeteville Rd
Durham, NC  27713
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Comic book pop culture goes into overdrive at this festival that features new exhibits, panel discussions, workshops, cosplay and more. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $20 and up

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Durham Convention Center
301 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
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Take part in a walk to deal with grief and honor those lost to suicide while raising money for local suicide prevention groups across the Triangle. Register online. 

Cost: $35

Where:
Halifax Mall, downtown Raleigh
, NC  27601


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Friends of Lower Haw is offering this free family outing in the Lower Haw River State Natural Area in Chatham County.  Join Board of Directors member Megan Lynch as we wander along the Haw...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lower Haw River State Natural Area
Bynum, NC  27228


Sponsor: Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area
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Leave your GPS at home and learn how to find your way using only a compass and a map. We will cover the basics of orienteering, including reading bearings, calculating your stride and more. Use...

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
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Discover Historic Yates Mill – a place of business, community, and exciting local history! Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of...

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

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Girl Scouts in grades 6-8 spend the afternoon with activities to learn all about trees. Discover the parts of a tree and their functions, how trees are used in everyday life, create a craft...

Cost: $15 per girl scout; no charge for troop leaders or other accompanying adults

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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The Triangle Youth Jazz Fall Concert presents an afternoon of big band jazz selections. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Join us Monday Nov 11th for a Full Day Rock Band Camp! This camp is best for ages 7+. NO experience necessary!! Drop off starts at 8:45am Pickup is 5:00pm Students will learn two songs and...

Cost: $70

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
958 US 64
Apex, NC  27523
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Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

Discover Historic Yates Mill – a place of business, community, and exciting local history! Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of...

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

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Nature Peekers: Owl Babies Tuesday, November 12, 10:30-11 a.m. Three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can’t help but wonder where she is. What adventures will they...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Turkeys have very colorful feathers! Celebrate this Thanksgiving season with crafts all about this important bird! We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult...

Cost: For all ages (adult accompaniment required for all children); FREE. Registration

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

The science of weather is called meteorology. This program investigates the basics of meteorology: what causes the weather, how meteorologists study it, and why it is important that they do!...

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
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Ages 11-17 create old-fashioned taffy and hard candy using ingredients like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate. Register online. Choose course #127043.

Cost: $18/resident, $23/nonresident

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

More information

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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Please join Admissions, Division Directors and our Head of School as they talk about Duke School’s unique program, specifically for Preschoolers (3-4 year olds) for the 2020-21 school year. A...

Cost: $0

Where:
Duke School
3716 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Duke School
Telephone: 919-416-9420
Contact Name: Logan Blaylock

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. 

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

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

November Story Time, Puppet Show and Art Activity Puppet Show Incorporated https://www.puppetshowinc.org/ presents the classic folk story Stone Soup. Activities include a story time, puppet show...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hillsborough Main Library
137 West Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 919-245-2525
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
Website »

More information

Don’t miss one of the Triangle’s most popular fundraisers, benefiting Urban Ministries of Wake County. Stone Soup Supper, presented by Bank of America, that features 15 local...

Cost: $25-$45/person

Where:
McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn the basics of Stop Motion Animation then make your own movie.  Call to register, 919-245-2532. Space is limited. Best for kids ages 8 and up. 

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 »

More information

See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

When Possum sees the full harvest moon, he decides to throw one last party before the long winter. But everyone is too busy preparing for winter and it looks as if nobody will come to Possum's...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Discover all things sweet potato at the State Farmers Market. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

At Read and Feed's Novel Night Gala, attendees will enjoy premier cocktails and fanciful food all while supporting Read and Feed’s efforts to give kids an appetite for reading. Tickets...

Cost: $125

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Read and Feed
Website »

More information

See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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

Yates Mill Associates invites you to their annual holiday sale. Browse an array of gifts including crafts handmade by talented volunteers; Yates Mill souvenir mugs, T-shirts and hats; and cookbooks...

Cost: Registration is not required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Search for turkey cutouts that will be hidden throughout the park’s various trails and greenway. Each turkey “caught” can be redeemed for a special award (limit one award per...

Cost: $5/child

Where:
Joyner Park
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. 

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

Ages 4-12 enjoy free arts and crafts. Registration not required. Children must have adult accompaniment. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

November Story Time, Puppet Show and Art Activity Puppet Show Incorporated https://www.puppetshowinc.org/ presents the classic folk story Stone Soup. Activities include a story time, puppet show...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Branch Library
900 Old Fayetteville Road
Inside McDougle Middle School
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 919-969-3006
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
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Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resources Inventory Database and other citizen science projects. All...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
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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+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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During harvest time, farmers often helped their neighbors to get hard work done during communal gatherings such as corn shucking. Learn about this fall tradition and make a corn husk doll to take...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Usher in the holidays with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Carolers, a visit from Santa, a dance scene from the Nutcracker, special performances from local schools, and dozens of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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All evening and into the night, 3000 pounds of molten iron will be poured into molds, in an exciting fiery display. Additionally, there will be Liberty Arts artists’ work for sale, scratch...

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Discover what's happening as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #127674.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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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
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Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
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Join the Studio School of Durham team to sip, tinker, and create on Saturday, November 16th at 7:00pm for this FREE event!  We will provide the food, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Studio School of Durham
1201 W Woodcroft Pkwy
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
Telephone: 984-377-4502
Contact Name: Danielle Sunde
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The EWFL carries a unique experience in youth football to play in a “big game” atmosphere.  Our games begin in the afternoons on Saturday and play into the evening “under the...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Durham County Stadium
750 Stadium Dr
Durham, NC  27704
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See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2019-20 Education Guide offers 718 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.