How to Life-Proof Your Teen

6 skills every young adult should master before graduating from high school


Published:

Image courtesy of Steve Debenport/iStockphoto.com

Mother birds trust instincts and nature when they push their babies out of the nest. Human parents typically do not. The 18-year lead-up to a child’s departure is filled with careful lessons — from shoe-tying to driving a car. Before your teen graduates from high school, consider whether the following skills could be left to instinct, or warrant a lesson or two. 

 

Staying Healthy

Even adults crave a little hand-holding when they get the flu or a sore throat. Here’s what you can do to help your teen cope with his first illness away from home. 

Teach prevention. Strive for three balanced meals (meal-skipping and late-night snacking can interfere with sleep); stay hydrated; sleep, brush and floss teeth; wash hands; don’t share drinks or personal items with friends; and exercise. 

Teach your child health care and first aid basics. Provide him with a medical kit, thermometer, Band-Aids and cough drops. Make sure he has had a CPR and first aid class, and that he can recognize common ailments like the flu, strep throat and mono. Help him figure out where to go or whom to call when he is really sick. 

Help your child learn how to avoid anxiety. Stave off concerns by explaining to your teen how different college life will be. “They can be taken aback by how unstructured it is,” says Franca Alphin, director of Nutrition Services at Duke University Student Health. “They have to think about what to eat, when to eat, how to study, when to study. It’s the first time they’ve had to manage their own time and some find it overwhelming.” Alphin, who has worked at Duke University Student Health for 30 years, says it’s vital for students to find an activity that eases stress, whether that is exercise, meditation, playing an instrument or simply taking a warm bath. 

Encourage healthy sleeping habits. “The sleep piece is enormous,” Alphin says. “If your teen is struggling with sleep at home, they will struggle with it in college.” If it is an issue, she suggests talking about it with your teen, pediatrician and a counselor before your teen leaves home. 

Remind your teen to ask for help when she needs it. There are lots of resources for a student on a college campus — but “they are adults,” Alphin says. “We are not going to force them to come and see us.” 

 

Maintaining a Clean and Ordered Living Space

Jocelyn Reckford, a graduate of East Chapel Hill High School and junior at Princeton University, describes her personal style as “organized clutter,” but adds that having her parents constantly remind her to keep her room tidy in high school has helped her in college. She keeps her dorm room clean and organized because she says it helps her “make sure [she] has things under control.” A tidy dorm room also makes for a happier roommate and a healthier environment. A sloppy, chaotic room can lead to lost keys and assignments, forgotten bits of food and spilled drinks that attract insects like ants and roaches, and piles of dirty towels and clothes that increase the spread of germs. 

How do you teach these skills to a distracted child? Start young and set an example, says Lynda Rothman, owner of Sane Jane, a professional organizing service in Raleigh. 

“Children should definitely have responsibilities, but make it easy,” she says. “You want to set your child up for success.” 

Rothman offers the example of getting her son a laundry basket with a lid for his closet. He never used it. She took it out of the closet and put it in the corner of his room. He threw things in the general vicinity. “I finally just removed the lid and his clothes actually made it into the basket. Now it’s a habit,” she says. 

Requiring that your child make her bed every morning is an easy place to start. It’s a quick and satisfying fix that immediately changes the feel of a room. The same goes for vacuuming and dusting. 

From there, move to basic laundry skills. Teach your child to separate whites from colors, run the washer and dryer, strip beds, and wash sheets and towels. 

Next up: bathroom cleaning. Show her what cleaning supplies to use, how to scrub grout, and how to clean and plunge a toilet. 

Last, do not take your child’s household knowledge for granted. Have her practice replacing a lightbulb and changing the batteries in a flashlight. 

 

Cooking

Caroline Bretherton, an international cookbook author and instructor at Duke University, recommends that parents involve children in cooking at the list-making stage. 

“Make a meal plan with your child and take him to the grocery store with you,” she says, pointing out that having a list saves money and results in fewer trips to the store and less unhealthy impulse buying. Bretherton believes teens should learn how to read unit prices listed on grocery shelves so they can compare deals, as well as learn how to buy staple supplies in bulk.

Encourage the creation of a “minimum pantry,” Bretherton says, which might include rice, pasta, three kinds of oil (vegetable oil, olive oil and sesame oil for stir-fry meals), flour, sugar, baking powder and a few good spices (she loves smoked paprika). 

“A packet of taco seasoning can take the place of four different spices,” she says. 

When it comes to teaching teens to cook, “teach them to make what they like to eat,” Bretherton recommends. They are more likely to cook if they know how to make favorite meals. Bretherton plans to create a cookbook of favorites for her two sons to take to college.

In the cooking classes Bretherton teaches at Duke University, she finds that many students have never cut up a vegetable, let alone a piece of raw chicken. So she starts with basic knife skills. From there, she teaches them how to make easy sauces (bechamel for macaroni and cheese, and marinara for pasta), followed by simple baking skills. 

“The real trouble,” she says, “is when parents don’t cook and kids have no exposure.”

While teaching students to make hummus, she noticed a boy struggling to open a can of chickpeas. She waited five or ten minutes and then showed him how to use the can opener. He turned bright red when she asked, “Aren’t you a mechanical engineering major?”

Let’s face it — most of our kids will not be making mille-feuilles every night. There will be a lot of ordering out, frozen entrees and reheating. Therefore, make sure your child knows what materials can go in an oven (not paper or plastic), on a stove (not a glass bowl), or in a microwave (not aluminum foil, metal, plastic or paper) — and how long food safely lasts in the refrigerator. 

 

Getting a Job

Kristin Heimstra, a college counselor, career coach and owner of The Art of Potential, a consulting group, says high school is a great time for teens to start thinking about long-term goals and how to reach them. There are several concepts teens should work on. 

Appearance. Make sure your teen knows how to dress for a number of occasions — from a job interview to dinner at a restaurant or professor’s home. Your son should know how to tie a necktie and your daughter should know how long her skirt needs to be, if the occasion calls for formal or semi-formal attire.

Etiquette. Your teen should be comfortable greeting an adult with a firm handshake and eye contact. He should know how to send a polite email to a professor or school administrator, and how to thank people for gifts or favors. 

Conversation. Encourage your teen to be comfortable in conversation. “Parents should avoid speaking for their child in meetings at school or elsewhere,” Heimstra advises. In addition to having basic conversational skills, teens need to be able to talk about their strengths and experience, and to advocate for themselves. Heimstra suggests having teens practice with a grandparent. 

Receiving feedback. Hiemstra says resiliency is a vital skill to learn in high school, while a teen still has parent support at home. Teach this skill by encouraging your teen to deal positively with constructive criticism. “Kids mature when they understand what is expected and see how their own performance is matching up,” she says. 

Explore areas of interest. Think about what gives your teen joy and then try to give him opportunities to explore that interest. If he likes music, for example, allow him to investigate that field. “There are a million jobs in music, and letting him explore the options develops good job research skills and builds confidence.” 

Encourage teens to be nice to themselves. Heimstra encourages teens to talk to themselves the way they would talk to a friend. “With friends, teens are so encouraging,” she says. “They don’t see a friend’s disappointment as failure, they see it as the possibility of something else. They should treat themselves the same way.” 

 

Understanding Money

“Understanding the value of money is important to people of all ages,” says Clark Troy, a financial advisor with Red Reef Advisors in Durham. “The sooner your child starts understanding what money is and what it’s good for, the better.” 

Troy says entrusting your child with money and empowering her to make decisions is the first step in developing a mindful attitude toward financial management. 

“If you’re buying everything for your kids, then money and possessions seem to be falling from the sky,” he says. “If they have their own budget, then they have to decide whether to see a few movies or to buy more expensive sneakers. They have to forego certain things, and that’s how they learn — with real-world trade-offs.”

Equally important, he adds, is teaching kids to save. Some parents use the “Bank of Mom and Dad” approach, through which they give their young child a small monthly allowance and pay 25 percent compound interest for any money their child puts into “savings” so he can watch his money grow. 

“Compound interest is the embodiment of deferred gratification,” Troy says. “It’s a great lesson.” 

Another strategy is to be open about “real-life” expenses. Show children how much money is coming into the household and how much goes out to pay bills and living expenses. But, Troy cautions, “be sensitive about making a child feel guilty, inculcating a notion of burden — this is how much you’re costing us — as opposed to simply providing a teaching moment.” 

With older kids, talk about the difference between credit and debit and the potential danger of credit card debt. Discuss the concept of insurance —  particularly how car insurance works — and what to do if your teen is involved in a fenderbender. 

Troy is quick to add that he does not implement all of these things in his own house. “People communicate their values to their kids in their behavior,” he says. “Figure out what your children have naturally picked up from you, and then tailor your lessons to suit your child. I have to actually encourage my daughter to spend money.” 

 

Self-Defense

The first thing Darren Phillips, owner of Carolina Self-Defense & Krav Maga in Raleigh, teaches in his self-defense classes is how to recognize and avoid conflict. Situational awareness is a great lesson for all teens, whether they are starting college, traveling in Europe or heading to a concert. 

“You have to learn to judge character,” Phillips says. “Whenever possible, you want to de-escalate a situation and avoid conflict.” 

Phillips and his wife have six kids. They decided to take self-defense classes as a family when his oldest was just starting college. They chose Krav Maga, a defense method developed by the Israeli national forces in the 1940s. All of them loved it. 

“It is extremely practical, not a lot of style or fancy moves,” Phillips says. “It’s all about getting home safe, which sometimes means just turning around and running.”

Phillips says it can be difficult for teens to decide if a situation is going to lead to conflict. “You have to learn to see conflicts before they occur,” he says. “Trust your intuition. If you don’t feel comfortable around someone, don’t allow them to get into your space. Move away. Make noise.” This kind of training can be great for self-confidence, he adds. 

And when bad stuff happens? 

“You need to flick the ‘on-switch’,” he says. “Cats weigh a fraction of their owner’s weight, but if a cat decides it does not want a bath, then it’s impossible for anyone to wrangle it into the water. You just have to be like that cat and say ‘this is not going to happen.’”

 

Caitlin Wheeler is a Parenting Media Association award-winning freelance writer who in Durham.

 


Lessons from a College Student 

Jocelyn Reckford, a graduate of East Chapel Hill High School and junior at Princeton University, never had a lesson in financial literacy or cooking. She and her friends have talked about taking a self-defense class for fun, but haven’t yet. For Reckford, the life skill that has been “by far” the most valuable in navigating college is “strong self-awareness.” 

“It's relevant to every aspect of my life,” she explains, from how long an assignment will actually take her (she’s not as efficient as she’d like to be), to how much sleep she needs (she’ll forgo a party to make sure she gets enough). Also a residential college advisor, Reckford says her strategy has kept her healthy and relatively stress-free. 

Here are a few lessons she shares with her first-year mentees: 

Learn to say no. “There really are always distractions, and I do a good job picking the ones I'll actually enjoy and making sure my health and schoolwork come first,” she says. “I never feel pressured to go, and have zero qualms saying no when a friend seems disappointed that I'm not coming out. Being able to say no has served me very well. I already have too many commitments, and I have seen friends way overextend themselves because they can't turn down an "opportunity."

Know when to ask for help. “People who ask for help get help, and sometimes that's way more efficient and beneficial than trying to figure it out by yourself,” she says. 

Believe in yourself. “Being able to articulate your knowledge, experiences and opinions helps you win  respect. Standing by your thoughts is just as important as listening to others' (thoughts),” she says. “No one wants to get lost in the crowd.”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Six Red Wolf Pups Born at Museum of Life and Science in Durham

The red wolf is now one of our planet's most endangered species and continues to be at risk

April 22-25: Going Green, Nature Play Day, BioBlitz and a Community Concert

Here are some fun things to do this week with the kids.

Triangle Offers Low-Cost or Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series

Keep the kids entertained this summer with free or low-cost live outdoor concerts throughout the Triangle area.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 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 »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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 »

More information

Take your budding paleontologist on a quest to unearth colorful dinosaur eggs. Explore the Dinosaur Trail where you will find fun activities, adventure, and prehistoric excitement, including...

Cost: $7 for egg hunters, $2 for accompanying adults. Museum admission not included.

Where:
Museum of LIfe and Science
433 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC  27704-3101
View map »


Sponsor: Museum of Life and Science
Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Heather Hill
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Preregistration is encouraged. Tours are not available between Noon-1:00 p.m....

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

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Explore the rocks of Crowder through hands-on science. Conduct scientific tests to discover the hidden identity of rocks. Learn the three types of rocks and play the rock cycle game. All ages....

Cost: Free

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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Detective work in nature will take us on an adventure around the park discovering tracks and other signs wildlife leave behind. Make your own animal track. Celebrate Earth Day exploring the park....

Cost: $16 per child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization.

Cost: $15 or use your package/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 5-13 enjoy a one-hour yoga class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness, encourage the development of communication and social...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 5-13. Homeschool Yoga is a one-hour class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness. Weave in art and journaling before or after...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »

More information

Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks, scat, and other signs that they leave behind. Learn more about the mammals in our area by studying their skulls and scat....

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

Ages 11 and older with disabilities make coffee cake and yogurt parfait. Register online. Choose course #120056.

Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization and more.

Cost: $15/child, use your package/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt Carmel Church Rd
chapel hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to reuse everyday objects to reduce trash. Blow bubbles, make musical instruments and create bird feeders. Get crafty and save the planet by reducing, reusing and recycling. All...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: (919) 662-2850
Website »

More information

Try your hand at back-to-basics living, just like the Ingalls and Wilder families experienced in the late 1800s and as is described in the Little House on the Prairie book series. Do your farm...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs explore Swift Creek to discover fish, salamanders, crayfish and more. Dress to get wet. Register online. Choose course #121545.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Ages 11-17 create old-fashioned taffy and hard candy using ingredients like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate. Register online. Choose course #119996.

Cost: $18/resident, $23/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Ali Standish discusses her new book, "August Isle", that tells the story of one girl’s journey to a magical seaside town, where she uncovers her family’s long hidden...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Telephone: 919-942-7373
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

Connect with your baby, other parents and yourself during this adult-focused postpartum yoga class. Recommended for babies newborn to walking. Take a mat, a blanket for your little one, and...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet other families in your community in a recreation setting. The play room will be reserved for parents and their young children. Sports and recreation equipment will be available...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Discover the joy of cooking with storybook characters. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online. Choose course #120083.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

This after-school class for kids in grades 3-5 offers fun learning yoga poses and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress. Grades 3-5. 

Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about what lives in those woods and and unravel nature mysteries. Take a hike to help staff find animals, plants and fungi. Make a nature craft, participate in animal...

Cost: Free

Where:
Piedmont Wildlife Center
364 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Piedmont Wildlife Center
Telephone: 919-489-0900
Contact Name: Noelle Dalhouse
Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs watch the movie "Spiderman". Drinks and light snacks provided. Register online. Choose course #121047.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Parents learn to help children with special needs manage anxiety and worries. Register online. Choose course #121427.

Cost: $11/resident, $15/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

The kick off for the 3rd annual Series of Fortunate Events to benefit Arts Access.  An evening celebrating the artists, hosts, sponsors, and Honorary Chair Martha Keravuori of the...

Cost: $50/person

Where:
AIA NC (American Institute of Architects) Building
14 Peace Street
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Access
Telephone: 919-833-9919
Contact Name: Penny Arrowood
Website »

More information

Join artist Jacklyn Bowie for an immersive and collaborative project that will be projected on the exterior walls of the Gregg Museum. The projections will be inspired by the museum’s spring...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gregg Museum of Art & Design
1903 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Telephone: 919-515-5335
Contact Name: Evelyn McCauley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy imaginative play in a natural setting. Materials provided. Register online. Choose course code #231348.

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Enjoy springtime temperatures at Waverly Place during the second spring Wine Walk. With a $15 donation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, visitors receive a sampling glass plus a Waverly Place...

Cost: Visitors receive a sampling glass plus a Waverly Walk Passport that allows acces

Where:
Waverly Place Shopping Center
302 Colonades Way
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy fun, games, friendship and more every Friday.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Relax in the courtyard with food and jumbo games. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Edison Johnson Community Center
500 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert. Based on the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now...

Cost: $28-$81

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-8711
Website »

More information

Come experience the wonder of Japanese koi fish, a living art. Meet national experts and local hobbyists. Learn how to care for your pond and fish. Enjoy various raffles, auctions,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge #735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Telephone: 919-818-0289
Contact Name: Robin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Spring Daze features more than 180 North Carolina artists, entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration. The Children's Village at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

RTP Young Women In Bio, in coordination with Graduate Women in Science RTP, hosts its annual Spring Into STEM event on April 27 for middle school girls. Throughout the morning, participants will...

Cost: Free

Where:
BRITE Building at NC Central University
302 E Lawson Street
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Women in Bio
Website »

More information

Celebrate all things strawberry. Enjoy inflatables, food trucks, craft vendors, kiddie rides, facepainting, a classic car show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Technology Dr., off Hwy. 42 W.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate crossing the finish of Girls on the Run's spring season. Join more than 2,000 runners and walkers of all ages, genders and physical abilities, along with hundreds of volunteers and...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
American Tobacco Campus
300 Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Telephone: 919-401-6307
Contact Name: Jamie Botta
Website »

More information

Dogs and their owners take part in a benefit event to help homeless pets. Register online. 

Cost: $35/adult, $20 ages 14 and younger.

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


Website »

More information

Throw paint on walls, jump over a huge 20-foot, green sofa, enjoy a massive food fight and much more at the YMCA Families On! Challenge, presented by Delta. This family race is...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Vollmer Farm
677 North Carolina 98 Hwy E
Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: YMCA of The Triangle
Website »

More information

Celebrate Earth Day on April 27 at the Museum as we throw a giant party for the planet! Local conservation groups and our friends at Paperhand Puppet Intervention will join us for a day of...

Cost: Free to members / Included with admission

Where:
Museum of Life and Science
433 W Murray Ave
Durham, NC  27704
View map »


Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Matt Pusateri
Website »

More information

Letterland brings letters to life by turning them into colorful characters, each with their own personality and stories that go along with their sounds. Children will be welcomed by...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pullen Park
520 Ashe Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate spring in Mebane with live entertainment, vendors, kids' activities, a car show and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Mebane
Mebane, NC  27302


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. Choose course #121599.

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

Author David Silkenat will discuss his book, “Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War,” and historian Earl Ijames will lecture on the...

Cost: $3 per adult, $2 for ages 5 to 16 years, and under age 5 is free.

Where:
Bennett Place
4409 Bennett Memorial Rd.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the return of feathered friends with game booths, activities, crafts and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about all the beautiful home designs from Stanley Martin now selling in 12 Oaks. Kids will have the opportunity to plant something at the model home while also having fun inside a bounce...

Cost: Free

Where:
12 Oaks - Stanley Martin Model Home
116 Oaks End Drive
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: 12 Oaks
Telephone: (919)-557-6850
Website »

More information

Enjoy a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history and aspects of its preservation. All ages....

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

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

An afternoon of accessible theater, music and dance featuring performers with and without disabilities. Enjoy performances by:  Diantha Lopez (Musician), Doug Kapp (Comedian), Eddie Cisneros...

Cost: $25/person

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Access
Telephone: 919-833-9919
Contact Name: Penny Arrowood
Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Enjoy a magical evening of dancing, crafting, stories and more. Dress as your favorite storybook character or dress in your royal best, and take a new look at the library after the doors close...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Library
1930 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

Adults enjoy an evening gala to support Marble's Kids Museum.

Cost: $75/member, $95/nonmember

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


Website »

More information

Walk with a park naturalist to look and listen for wildlife in the woods and fields as daylight transitions to night. Ages 4 and older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Trails are not...

Cost: $2

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


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

More information

Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert. Based on the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now...

Cost: $28-$81

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-8711
Website »

More information

Come experience the wonder of Japanese koi fish, a living art. Meet national experts and local hobbyists. Learn how to care for your pond and fish. Enjoy various raffles, auctions,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge #735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Telephone: 919-818-0289
Contact Name: Robin
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 »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.