Women’s Health Advances, Wellness Tips


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The average life expectancy for women in the U.S. has steadily increased during the past few decades. This is largely due to advancements in medical technology and an increased awareness about the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some recent medical revelations include new guidelines about cholesterol for heart health, diagnosing and treating breast cancer, and the impact stress may have on fertility and overall well-being.

CHOLESTEROL COUNTS

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance produced in the liver and other body cells. It is also present in most dairy products, eggs and meat. Some cholesterol is required by the body to produce hormones, Vitamin D and the bile acids that aid in fat digestion, but too much is not a good thing.

"Like rust in a pipe, excess cholesterol builds up in the arterial walls and creates plaque that will obstruct the flow of blood to the heart," says John Sinden, M.D., adult cardiologist at Raleigh Cardiology. Eventually, this accumulation of plaque can cause atherosclerosis and heart disease, Sinden says.

Know your numbers

If you are 20 years or older, health professionals recommend that you have a fasting lipoprotein profile every five years. This blood test reveals total cholesterol, as well as your levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides.
The American Heart Association's guidelines call for a total cholesterol count of less than 200 mg/dL; HDL ("good cholesterol") of 60 mg/dL or above; and LDL ("bad cholesterol") level of less than 100 mg/dL, and less than 150 mg/dL in triglycerides.

Cholesterol guidelines focus on the LDL level, according to Sinden. "An LDL level of 130 used to be OK, but recent recommendations have lowered it to 100, or 70 if you have risk factors for heart disease. These more aggressive guidelines for lower LDL are the result of several large studies on cholesterol. Each one reinforced the one before, concluding that a lower LDL is important to preventing heart disease," he says.

Other risk factors for heart health

Controlling your cholesterol is an important step toward overall cardiac health. An even more basic approach, though, is to maintain a healthy weight and a lifestyle that includes good habits like regular exercise, according to Sinden.

Some people have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, and women tend to have higher HDL ("good cholesterol") levels than men. Often, cholesterol is easily controlled by diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. "HDL increases and LDL decreases when you exercise," Sinden says. Smoking lowers the "good cholesterol" HDL levels while moderate alcohol consumption increases it.

Overall, a person's risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke is dependent on multiple factors, including family history, diabetes and hypertension, as well as cholesterol levels.
"Even if your cholesterol levels are elevated, that doesn't necessarily mean you need medication. Take control by maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. These simple choices are the foundation of effective cholesterol treatment," Sinden says.

BREAST CANCER BREAKTHROUGHS

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer in women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that researchers continue to find new and more effective ways to diagnose and treat this disease.

Diagnostics controversy

Recent recommendations about mammography screening and breast self-exams by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) stirred a controversy among medical professionals.

Specifically, the USPSTF recommended biennial screening mammography for women ages 50 to 74, and discouraged routine screening for women 40 to 49 years. It recommended against doctors teaching women how to perform breast self-exams, and determined there was "insufficient evidence" to support use of digital mammography or MRI vs. film mammography to detect breast cancer. The USPSTF is an independent, voluntary body supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The USPSTF's recommendations conflict with those from other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Radiology, according to Lola Olajide, an oncologist at Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh. "Limitations of the USPSTF review include lack of studies in older women, lack of digital mammography studies and lack of MRI studies," Olajide says.

Olajide and most oncologists continue to recommend annual mammography screening, beginning at age 40. Women with a strong family history, known genetic mutation (BRCA) or other
high-risk profile may be advised to undergo mammography before age 40.

"I do not discourage periodic self breast exams. It is important for women to know what their breasts feel like and promptly report any abnormalities to their doctor. In premenopausal women, breast self-exam should be performed at the end of a menstrual cycle," Olajide says.
Olajide also encourages women to have a clinical breast exam by a gynecologist or primary care physician every one to three years, between ages 20 to 40, and annually after age 40. Women with a high risk for breast cancer should discuss having more frequent exams with their doctor.

Expanding, honing treatment options

Tamoxifen is a drug commonly given to women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. However, due to genetic variants of the CYP2D6 enzyme, some women (up to 30 percent) are unable to effectively metabolize the anti-cancer effect of this drug in their bodies. A new test can now identify patients who would be most likely to benefit from Tamoxifen. Although this screening is not currently routine, it is available to be used at the treating oncologist's discretion.

The Oncotype DX assay is a new test that helps doctors determine the likelihood that a tumor will recur. The assay also predicts which patients would benefit most from chemotherapy, and those who should forgo chemotherapy for treatment with Tamoxifen.

In addition to chemotherapy, targeted agents that interfere more directly with cancer cell growth and proliferation are being used more frequently. The majority of these targeting agents have focused on treating metastatic breast cancer. However, clinical trials are under way to examine using these agents in early-stage breast cancer.

The most recent type of targeted therapy to treat breast cancer is the PolyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor group of drugs. PARP is one of the repair pathways that cells use to overcome DNA damage. All cells have multiple ways to repair ongoing damage to cell DNA. If a cell is unable to repair such damage, it cannot survive.
"The PARP inhibitor group of drugs is a new class of anti-cancer therapy in breast cancer that has generated quite a bit of excitement in the scientific community," Olajide says.

In particular subsets of breast cancer patients (i.e., BRCA mutation carriers or those with the "triple negative subtype"), there is an inherent lack of cell DNA repair mechanisms. By administering a PARP inhibitor, the drug impairs a second repair pathway for these cancer cells, making them more likely to die. Adding DNA-damaging chemotherapy in this instance may also lead to irrevocable damage to the cancer cell that lacks BRCA and a PARP inhibitor pathway. Currently, in the U.S., PARP inhibitors are only being used in clinical trials.

When it's genetic

The average woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer in the U.S. is about 12 percent. However, when a woman is born with an alteration in one of the genes that control cell growth (i.e., BRCA1 or BRCA2), the risk of developing breast cancer increases to as high as 85 percent.

Hereditary breast cancer accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers. In the U.S., an estimated 200,000 new cases of breast cancer develop each year, and up to 20,000 of these can be attributed to mutations in a couple of genes, according to Cecile Skrzynia, assistant professor and director of Cancer Genetic Counseling Services at the Department of Medicine and Department of Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill.

"The good news is we are getting better at finding mutations in genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, that are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Through the use of new technology, we are also able to search for other genes that contribute to this condition," Skrzynia says.

Recent advancements in genetic testing for breast cancer include a shortened turnaround time (less than two weeks instead of one month); new technology that can detect genes and some types of mutations that were not detectable a few years ago; and increased awareness among health care providers about genetic counseling and test availability. Identifying those who carry such mutations allows tailored care with reduced risk.

One of the biggest improvements in the area of genetic testing has benefited patient rights. "Patients who undergo genetic testing are now protected by federal law so this information cannot be used against them in any way in the realms of health care and employment," Skrzynia says. "In other words, people no longer have to worry about losing their insurance coverage or their job because they underwent genetic testing."

Preventive steps

Breast cancer is not caused by one specific factor. Instead, a combination of chance and several contributing genetic and environmental factors affect its development, according to Skrzynia.

Whether or not there is a genetic risk, Skrzynia says the same advice applies to help prevent breast cancer. The following steps tend to lower a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to Skrzynia:

* Get regular physical activity starting in adolescence;

* Maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity, particularly after age 40;

* Breastfeed and have children before age 30; and

* Limit alcohol consumption.

Finally, if a woman is in the minority of individuals who have a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, there are specific strategies that can dramatically lower their high risk of breast cancer. To determine if genetic testing would be beneficial, consult a genetic counselor or medical geneticist.

STRAIN OF STRESS

High stress levels can negatively impact overall health, and recent research suggests stress may also affect fertility. A recent study by Oxford University and the U.S. National Institutes of Health is one of the first studies to evaluate how stress might affect fertility, according to Julia Woodward, Ph.D., director of the Psychological Services Program at Duke Fertility Center and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical School.

"I'm pleased to see the relationship between stress and fertility being examined," Woodward says. "However, the results of this study — showing a 12 percent decrease in fertility within a small sample of healthy women — are preliminary."

Further research, with a longitudinal sample of fertile and infertile women, is needed. In addition, behavioral factors such as substance abuse, smoking and diet should be taken into account, Woodward notes. "This study emphasized the results of women with elevated levels of alpha-amylase (an enzyme that can be induced by stress) who did not become pregnant. Within the same study, though, women with elevated levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) were more likely to get pregnant, so the jury is still out on this," she says.

Mechanics of stress

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and shuts down recuperative processes like digesting food and repairing injuries. This allows the body to focus its energy on the "fight or flight" response. High levels of stress become detrimental when they interrupt eating and sleeping patterns and trigger panic attacks. Such extreme stress produces increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline and is related to elevations in heart rate and blood pressure.

"Fertility is probably affected by extreme stress. However, it is inaccurate to tell women that the key to becoming pregnant is to 'just relax'," Woodward says. "Women become pregnant during all types of stressful situations — war, prison, rape — so the idea that you can't become pregnant if you're stressed is a big misconception."

Stress reducers

Woodward advises her patients to focus on physical self-care: pain management (if coping with migraines or other chronic pain issues), weight management (by maintaining a healthy diet), and exercise for cardiovascular health. These efforts will help lower stress and may give fertility a boost.

In addition, Woodward suggests a variety of relaxation strategies to engage the parasympathetic nervous system so that the body can "rest and digest." These are helpful for everyone, whether you are coping with infertility or not.

Deep breathing, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and biofeedback can help reduce stress. "These strategies become more effective with practice and help to balance your system. The mind and body are connected, so a reduction in stress is definitely health-promoting," Woodward notes.

In addition, studies have found that moderate exercise and social support (friends) are also ways for women to successfully reduce stress.
"We live in a 24/7, instantaneous, multitasking culture of constant responsiveness. Women need to counter that by making time for themselves to disconnect and relax," Woodward says "Whatever you choose to do, it should be fun for you. Once you commit to that, you'll see impressive results in how you feel physically and how you cope with the stresses of life."

Maria J. Mauriello is a freelance writer, communications professional and the mother of two children. She lives in Raleigh.

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Calendar

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
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675

More information

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

Experience some of the best trail running the Piedmont has to offer in this unique trail marathon and 10 miler across Durham County, North Carolina. The course winds along the scenic Eno River...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
5253 Roxboro Rd
Durham, NC  27712
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Website »

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Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Website »

More information

Hike along Bolin Creek Greenway to the Adams Tract Red Trail to learn about the trees and wildlife in Carrboro.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilson Park Shelter
101 Williams St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

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

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ 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

Learn about mammals of the Piedmont through skulls and pelts, and what bones reveal about animals.  This is a hands-on family friendly presentation by Patricia Thomas-Laemont with Elon...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bynum Front Porch
950 Bynum Rd
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area
Website »

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November is a time to be thankful! Celebrate the natural world and where our favorite Thanksgiving foods come from. Investigate corn under microscopes and hand lenses, learn the difference between...

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

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850

More information

Join in the fight against kidney disease by taking part in a 3.5-mile walk at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. All ages. Strollers are welcome; however, bicycles and in-line skates are not...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Website »

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Fall Family Cookie Decorating. Enjoy a family outing…. Come learn a variety of cookie recipes suited for decorating. Then practice piping and flooding sugar cookies for the perfect look....

Cost: $5.00

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
Website »

More information

Search for salamanders, owls and more. Equipment provided. Ages 10-13. Register online. Choose course #128019.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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
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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

Red, yellow, orange, and brown – leaves come in all different sizes and colors. Practice your color and shape recognition through centers, songs, and stories. For ages 18 months to 3 years (adult...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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...

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

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

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #127196.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko will delight fans of all ages with live performances featuring world-class production, toe-tapping tunes and a whole lot of super fun as they go into...

Cost: $28.50 and up

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

See Happy Dan perform magic, comedy and more.

Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

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We’ll enjoy poetry written in honor of the many holidays that occur around this time of the year. Following questions and discussion, those attending will have the opportunity to share by reading...

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

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

Join us in the Kidzu Front Yard Garden for a special off-season Junior Gardeners in honor of Chapel Hill Arbor Week. Get hands on and explore trees, and all the things they provide including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »

More information

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online.  Chose course #127203.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

The word philanthropy means love of mankind. From the earliest days, human civilization has depended upon kindness directed towards strangers. Explore the history of giving, then help to cut out...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675

More information

Join us to learn about 4H and then enjoy fall activities and crafts!  No registration is required. Grades 3-5

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

Join Cary Lifestyle Magazine for a wonderful night of charity, fashion, decadent food and drinks and shopping. Proceeds go to Saving Grace NC,non-profit animal rescue, that since its inception in...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn
131 Columbus Ave
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina LifeStyle Magazine
Website »

More information

Enjoy a family-friendly movie and a slice or two of pizza. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5/person. $2 for ages 2 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs help support the Town of Cary's annual toy drive by donating an unwrapped toy for a child in need. Make cards for the holiday cards for these...

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
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

Celebrate collards at the State Farmers Market.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in The District. Kids of all ages will enjoy our Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping, featuring colorful holiday lights...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Park West Village
Contact Name: Conner
Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

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


Website »

More information

Deck the halls at Waverly Place and welcome the holiday season with their Eighth Annual Tree Lighting Celebration! The festivities kick off on Friday, November 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and...

Cost: Free

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

More information

Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

The Triangle Youth String Orchestra and Youth String Sinfonia present a joint concert of their fall repertoire. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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

Ages 5 and older move through yoga poses and show gratitude by writing a thank-you note for someone special. Registration required online. Choose course #127447. 

Cost: $19/child

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


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Learn about the state’s American Indian culture from musicians, dancers, craftspeople and storytellers from eight state-recognized tribes. Over 100 presenters will fill the museum and...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Join dozens of ethnic communities at the Global Holiday Festival and Market to celebrate and honor holidays and traditions from around the world.  Sample traditional dishes, view free dance...

Cost: Free

Where:
Moore Square, Downtown Raleigh
Raleigh, NC


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Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at noon and 5 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 & 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history...

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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Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Register online. 

Cost: $8/resident, $10/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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Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at noon and 5 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in The District. Kids of all ages will enjoy our Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping, featuring colorful holiday lights...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Park West Village
Contact Name: Conner
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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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Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
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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.