Understanding Mental Illness in Children


Published:

Despite years of research, medical breakthroughs and efforts to educate the public, mental illness is still widely misunderstood. A family facing a child's mental health crisis is likely to feel overwhelmed, isolated and judged.

The key to finding a way through this struggle, mental health experts say, is knowledge and support. Several Triangle-area families who have traveled this road - whose last names are withheld to protect their child's privacy - share their experiences in hopes of helping other parents facing a child's mental illness.

Signs of a mental health challenge

Experts cite changes in sleep patterns or appetite, irritability, difficulty focusing, avoiding favorite activities and problems in relationships as possible indications that a child is struggling with a mental health challenge. Physical complaints are also common with younger children; truancy and drug abuse can be red flags for teens. These symptoms may be most noticeable at home but can also impact school performance and friendships.

Karen recalls that her daughter had always been "a little high-strung" but says she became concerned when the then-6-year-old began complaining excessively of stomachaches and exhibiting heightened anxiety. "She didn't want me to go anywhere without her," Karen says. "I began having to pick her up from school on a regular basis."

Kim notes a similarly unexpected change in her daughter. "My daughter was 4½ when we first noticed a change in her personality and behavior," she says. "She turned from a calm, complacent, loving child into a demanding, loud, obnoxious brat - like the 'terrible 2s,' only delayed."

Heidi remembers that her son, as a 15-year-old, was "smart, social and well-liked" when, over the summer, he began sleeping all day and avoiding his friends. Unsure whether this was just a stage, she and her husband gave him some time. But when school resumed and he opted not to try out for the basketball team - and then refused to go to school at all - they became concerned that it was something more serious.

What to do if you suspect a problem

One of the difficulties in identifying whether a child is experiencing a mental health challenge is that children are, by their very nature, changeable. The brain undergoes normal changes that can disrupt sleep and affect mood. For that reason, experts caution, consider changes in your child's mental or emotional state in

terms of the severity, duration and impact symptoms are having on your child's quality of life.

"It's important to note that these changes do not necessarily indicate any specific condition or even a mental illness at all," says John Curry, a clinical psychologist specializing in adolescent psychology at the Duke Child and Family Study Center in Durham. "A good starting point is a conversation between the parents, then with members of their immediate support system to see if others have noticed the changes and share this concern."

Teachers and guidance counselors may also offer perspective as to whether these changes are a normal developmental phase or something unusual. If concerns persist, talk to your pediatrician or visit a child mental health specialist to discuss whether an evaluation is warranted, Curry says.

Experts and parents caution, however, that even with these elements assessed, the path to answers is not always a straight one. Sometimes an initial diagnosis is discarded as treatment fails to help, new symptoms appear or evaluations suggest an additional condition is present.

Cynthia's son, now 20, was diagnosed with autism at age 2. Then, just before turning 11, he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder as well. "I was aware of some of his compulsions/obsessions early, around age 4 or 5 - his extreme neatness, absolute need for order," she notes. "[But] as these challenging rituals became more intense, we knew we were dealing with something in addition to the autism."

To help guide parents through the often complex process of getting an accurate diagnosis, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has developed recommendations that include a comprehensive physical exam by your child's pediatrician, an evaluation for co-occurring conditions (such as learning disability or sensory integration problems), good record-keeping and working with specialists in children's mental health.

Cynthia's advice: "One, don't panic. Two, don't jump to conclusions. Three, you are not alone."

Managing fear, stigma and guilt

Unfortunately, "alone" is how many parents feel when they learn their child has a mental illness.

"Our world went dark, to put it mildly," says Kim of her now 15-year-old daughter's difficulties. Managing her conditions - attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, pervasive developmental delay and oppositional defiant disorder - involves frequent adjustments to her treatment regimen as she matures. "It's getting harder to do," Kim acknowledges. "As a parent, my heart breaks every day."

For many families, too, the difficulty is compounded by society's general unease with the subject of mental illness.

"One thing you hear is that mental illness is not a 'casserole' illness - [meaning] if your child is hospitalized due to a psychotic break or suicide attempt, neighbors do not bring casseroles or offer to get your mail," explains Jennifer Rothman, NAMI North Carolina program director for young families. "Families feel isolated due to family members and friends not knowing how to handle a mental illness."

Heidi's family has experienced such isolation during her now 29-year-old son's battle with bipolar disorder. When he dropped out of school and was hospitalized for severe depression, "all of his friends disappeared. I kept thinking that if he had broken his leg, they'd have been lining up to see him," she says. "That really sparked my anger."

Adding to families' pain is the common misconception that a child's mental illness is the result of poor parenting. Ironically, sometimes the people struggling hardest with this notion are the parents themselves.

"I felt very guilty," says Karen, whose daughter, now 10, was eventually diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. "I wondered what I was doing wrong as a parent that I could bring my child to such a state of trauma."

While these feelings are common, mental health experts urge parents not to focus on blame, but on how to help their child.

"Emotional problems have different causes," explains Donald Rosenblitt, executive and clinical director of the Lucy Daniels Center in Cary, which provides mental health services for children up to age 11. "Some types of emotional problems are more dependent upon genetic and other biological factors than others. Some are more likely to be affected by life experiences than others."

Curry adds, "I simply tell parents, 'We're going to form a team' - parent, child and me - 'to identify the problems and how to address them.'"

Cynthia, who is now a parent educator with NAMI NC, agrees. "We are not helpful to our children when we spend time determining responsibility or assigning blame," she asserts. "Mental illness, like all illness, is a part of the human life experience."

Family education and support

One critical element helping parents face this challenge is knowledge.

"An informed, educated family can make a big difference in helping a child facing a mental health challenge," explains Deby Dihoff, executive director of NAMI NC. Participating in a family psycho-educational program, such as NAMI Basics, can help parents understand what their child is going through and how to manage their child's illness.

The goal, Dihoff says, is "wrapping support around families facing this challenge, from people who have been there" - trained facilitators who are also parents of children with mental illness. Other organizations offer support groups for specific mental health conditions.

Some parents find they benefit from professional support as well. Heidi - who, like Cynthia, is now a NAMI Basics instructor - sought therapy to come to terms with her son's suicide attempt. "My friends were very supportive, but they didn't know what to do," she remembers. "Talking to a trained person who can help you understand what you can help, and what you can't, is very helpful."

Karen, too, says that counseling gave her comfort. "I have learned that we are all who are, regardless, and that I shouldn't blame myself," she says. "Now we can all move forward with the strength and knowledge that there is nothing wrong with us, with our daughter or with having mental health issues." 

Karen Lewis Taylor is an Apex-based writer and editor and mother of two school-aged daughters.

CHILD MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

*      Duke Child & Family Study Center: www.dukechildrens.org/services/child_psychiatry

*      Duke Child Development and Behavioral Health Clinic: www.dukechildrens.org/services/child_development_and_behavioral_health

*      Lucy Daniels Center: www.lucydanielscenter.org

*    N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (includes links to local services by county):

www.ncdhhs.gov/mhddsas.consumers.htm

*      UNC Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: www.med.unc.edu/psych/patient-care/child-adolescent

See resource listings under "Mental Health/Behavioral Counseling" (p. 39 of the Special Kidsguide) for additional children's mental health service providers.

WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?

Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. The Surgeon General has estimated that 1 in 5 children will face a serious mental health challenge at some point in their lives.

For more information, including details about family education and support programs, visit www.naminc.org.

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4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

The Six Swans is an ancient German fairy tale that was documented by the Brothers Grimm. In the story, to save her brothers, a princess may not speak until a curse is broken. Find out how she...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

If you cannot see animals, how do you know they are there or where they have been? Read a fun story about exploring the critters of the forest. Then discover a few sets of funny feet and match them...

Cost: Free (ages 3-5); Registration required for everyone

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

You Call This Yoga, A 501(c)(3) Educational Nonprofit which provides yoga programs for physically challenged and under-served groups in the Triangle region and the Grewal Center for Mind Body...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
1003 High House Road
Suite 103
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
Telephone: 919-234-7169
Contact Name: Harkiran Grewal
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

Young children and their families are invited to participate in an interactive program with books, songs, movement, and other early literacy-based activities, carefully selected to engage an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Regional Library
1930 Clark Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries

More information

In 2017, every 7th grader in the UK was given a tiny programmable computer to help them learn coding. So what is this small, affordable technology called? A micro:bit!In this workshop, students...

Cost: Free: registration required

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

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The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
View map »


Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on week of camp

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

You Call This Yoga, A 501(c)(3) Educational Nonprofit which provides yoga programs for physically challenged and under-served groups in the Triangle region and the Grewal Center for Mind Body...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
1003 High House Road
Suite 103
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
Telephone: 919-234-7169
Contact Name: Harkiran Grewal
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

Spanish Alive is providing Family Spanish classes starting in January! Join us to learn Spanish as an entire family in an immersive, fun environment. Our teachers are trained Spanish educators and...

Cost: $75-$216

Where:
Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Help us monitor and keep our bluebird and wood duck boxes clean throughout our park, create or place additional habitat boxes, and assist with other natural resource tasks. Come prepared to learn...

Cost: Free

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

Short class advertising for local class   I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

Short class advertising for local class   I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets Dave Ramsey" class that has teens experience...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

Azevedo Family Psychology and Kym Azevedo will host an Art for Life group each Thursday from 5:30-6:30PM beginning January 16 and running through March 26. This group is completely free, kid...

Cost: FREE

Where:
1903 N. Harrison Ave
Suite 201
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Azevedo Family Psychology
Telephone: 919-624-9568
Contact Name: Kym Azevedo
Website »

More information

Young children and their families are invited to participate in an interactive program with books, songs, movement, and other early literacy-based activities, carefully selected to engage an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Regional Library
1930 Clark Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries

More information

Join us for our Junior High Prospective Parent Night on February 27th from 6-7pm! Drop by Thales to visit our campus, view our classrooms and curriculum, meet our teachers, and ask questions about...

Cost: Free

Where:
Thales Academy Rolesville JH/HS
1201 Granite Falls Blvd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: Thales Academy Rolesville JH/HS
Telephone: (919) 435-2715
Contact Name: Ashley Bahor
Website »

More information

Please join us for the national "Jazz N Friends" National Day of School and Community readings. The main goal is to foster conversation about how to keep LGBTQ youth safe in our schools and...

Cost: FREE

Where:
NCAE Conference Center
700 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Contact Name: Edmon Jones
Website »

More information

Carolina Youth Theatre is staging the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. Performances are Feb. 27-28-29 @ 7:00pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Call...

Cost: $15 adults / $8 students

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Youth Theatre
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
View map »


Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
Website »

More information

Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on week of camp

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

You Call This Yoga, A 501(c)(3) Educational Nonprofit which provides yoga programs for physically challenged and under-served groups in the Triangle region and the Grewal Center for Mind Body...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
1003 High House Road
Suite 103
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
Telephone: 919-234-7169
Contact Name: Harkiran Grewal
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Young children and their families are invited to participate in an interactive program with books, songs, movement, and other early literacy-based activities, carefully selected to engage an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Regional Library
1930 Clark Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries

More information

Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
Website »

More information

Carolina Youth Theatre is staging the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. Performances are Feb. 27-28-29 @ 7:00pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Call...

Cost: $15 adults / $8 students

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Youth Theatre
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
View map »


Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
Website »

More information

Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on week of camp

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

The Sigma Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® in partnership with the IBM Research Triangle Park Black Business Resource Group will be hosting a “FREE” hands-on...

Cost: 0

Where:
IBM Fitness and Recreation Center
3039 Cornwallis Road
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
View map »


Sponsor: Sigma Tau Omega AKA Sorority, Inc and IBM RTP Black Business Resource Group
Contact Name: Alesia Perry
Website »

More information

Raleigh North Carolina's 4th Annual Koreafest! Come learn about Korean culture, try some delicious Korean food, cheer on the kpop dancers as they compete for first prize. Love Korean music? There...

Cost: $0 - $25

Where:
Kerr Scott Building (NC State Fairgrounds)
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: InWave
Telephone: 919-210-2845
Contact Name: HeOak
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

InWave hosts the annual event, which offers K-pop performances of dancing and singing, Korean food, clothing and craft vendors, games, and more. The group has been hosting the event since...

Cost: 10 (free for visitors under 8 years old).

Where:
Kerr Scott Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

YOU & YOUR CHILD ONE SATURDAY A MONTH Developing Your INNER POWERS Workshop #1: Achieve Your Goals & Dreams   Featuring the I Shine® Inner Wellness Curriculum for Kids, Parent & Child POWER...

Cost: 35.00

Where:
Unitarian Universalist PEACE Fellowship
4104 Watkins Road
Raleigh, NC  27616
View map »


Sponsor: Mighty Me
Telephone: 919-397-2475
Contact Name: Karin Cross
Website »

More information

Winter magic returns to the Triangle! Bundle up and join Waverly Place for our Ninth Annual Snow Day event on Saturday, February 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festivities include sledding hills,...

Cost: $8 for a Sledding Ticket

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


Sponsor: Johnson Subaru of Cary

More information

Once every four years, we get an extra day in the year – February 29! We’ll celebrate Leap Day by learning all about some of our amphibian friends for whom every day is Leap Day – the frogs...

Cost: Free

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

You Call This Yoga, A 501(c)(3) Educational Nonprofit which provides yoga programs for physically challenged and under-served groups in the Triangle region and the Grewal Center for Mind Body...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
1003 High House Road
Suite 103
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grewal Center for Mind Body Medicine
Telephone: 919-234-7169
Contact Name: Harkiran Grewal
Website »

More information

Saturday, February 29: The Good Hub POP UP Kick-Off   Join Activate Good to celebrate the launch of The Good Hub POP UP! Sat, February 29, 2020 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST 702 Oberlin Road,...

Cost: Free

Where:
702 Oberlin Rd
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Activate Good
Telephone: 919-696-5753
Contact Name: Lee Pike
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

Spanish Alive is providing Family Spanish classes starting in January! Join us to learn Spanish as an entire family in an immersive, fun environment. Our teachers are trained Spanish educators and...

Cost: $75-$216

Where:
Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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
View map »


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

More information

Hear excerpts by authors, musicians, poets, scholars, orators, and more as we celebrate literature during Black History Month! A free read-in hosted by the North Carolina African American Heritage...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pure Life Theatre
3801 Hillsborough St.
Suite 113
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina African American Heritage Commission
Telephone: 919-814-6516
Contact Name: Kyma Lassiter
Website »

More information

Many animals are active around sunset or shortly after. Take a walk with a park naturalist to explore the woods and fields at this special time. Look for deer, coyotes, and owls. The program is...

Cost: $3

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


Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Bryan England
Website »

More information

Young children and their families are invited to participate in an interactive program with books, songs, movement, and other early literacy-based activities, carefully selected to engage an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Regional Library
1930 Clark Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries

More information

From the highly acclaimed Raleigh author of Caterpillar Summer comes a heartfelt story about the sweetness and stings of middle-school friendship. Ages 8-12.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Carolina Youth Theatre is staging the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. Performances are Feb. 27-28-29 @ 7:00pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Call...

Cost: $15 adults / $8 students

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Youth Theatre
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

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