Family-Friendly Fall Festivals in North Carolina

Venture out of town for a day trip or weekend getaway to enjoy one or more of the state's best fests


Published:

Carolina BalloonFest happens Oct. 19-21 at Statesville Regional Airport.

Photo courtesy of Edgar L. Payne

From the mountains to the sea, there's a lot to enjoy about North Carolina in the fall, including fall festivals. Venture out of town for a day trip or weekend getaway to enjoy one or more of the state's best fests.


WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina Apple Festival
Aug. 31-Sept. 3 | Hendersonville
Cost: Free admission
Best for: Those who love freshly picked apples, arts and crafts, festival food, and free entertainment.
What's in it for kids: Family Fun Zone with rides and inflatables. Tickets available for purchase for amusements and attractions.


North Carolina Mountain State Fair
Sept. 7-16 | Fletcher
Cost: $3-$9. Free for ages 5 and younger.
Best for: Those who like to celebrate North Carolina people, agriculture, art and tradition. Enjoy rides, games, high-diving firemen, roaming dinosaurs, The Great Atlanta Puppet Show, the Sea Lion Splash, racing pigs and more.
What's in it for kids: Dinosaurs, puppets, rides, games and three new rides: Cherokee, a new ride for small children; Dalmatians, a spinning ride for older children; and Surfer, an exhilarating ride for teenagers and adults.


Cherokee Indian Fair
Oct. 2-6  | Cherokee
Cost:
$10. Free for ages 6 and younger.
Best for:
Culture and fun seekers. The Cherokee Indian Fair mixes traditional fair entertainment with a Cherokee twist. Dispersed amongst carnival rides and agricultural demonstrations are archery and blowgun demonstrations, cultural art, dance and music.
What’s in it for kids: Unique games, such as stickball and archery. Wednesday is Children's Day with gates opening at 9 a.m. and children 17 and younger being admitted free. Enjoy kid-focused performers, a baby-crawling competition, a turtle-crawling competition, a longest-hair contest, and a youth stickball tournament.  


Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest
Oct. 13-14 | Sugar Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain
Cost:
Free
Best for: Fans of German culture, cuisine and beer. In addition to typical Oktoberfest festivities, food and drink, Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest includes high school band performances, ski chair-lift rides, and plenty of arts and crafts.
What’s in it for kids: Hayrides, inflatable bounce houses, and Sugar Bear and Sweetie Bear mascot appearances. Unlike most Oktoberfest festivals, this one is family-friendly.

Families play games and have fun with inflatables at Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy of Todd Bush Photography 

Kids enjoy bounce houses and games at Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest.


Lake Eden Arts Festival
Oct. 18-21 | Black Mountain
Cost:
Day passes start at $56 for adults and weekend passes start at $154 (includes tent campsite). Special prices for youth ages 10-17. Free for ages 9 and younger.
Best for: Fans of eclectic visual and performing arts. LEAF, as the festival is also called, is a world folk-arts celebration with performing artists, family adventure villages, activity centers and vendors as unique as the event itself.
What’s in it for kids: Throughout the festival are eight interactive family villages that include live performances at Roots Village, Stagecoach Theater in Elfhaven Village, old-world crafts in Barn Village, and sports in the World Wide Playfield. 

Girl plays guitar at LEAF

photo courtesy of lake eden arts festival

A young girl plays guitar while enjoying the Lake Eden Arts Festival.


Woolly Worm Festival
Oct. 20-21 | Banner Elk
Cost:
 $6 adults, $4 ages 6-12. Free for ages 5 and younger.
Best for: Lovers of nature, fun and absurdity. The highlight of the annual Woolly Worm Festival is the woolly worm race. The winning worm receives a cash prize of $1,000. There also are juried arts and crafts, rides and food vendors.
What’s in it for kids: The centerpiece of the festival itself, the Woolly Worm Race. Kids can enter their own worm for $5 and you can help them cheer it on. 

photo courtesy of wooly worm Festival

Winners of the Wooly Worm Race receive up to $1,000.


Halloweenfest in Transylvania County
Oct. 27 | Downtown Brevard
Cost:
Free
Best for: Fans of ghouls, ghosts and other Halloween fun. Expect plenty of costume-themed activities, plus a pie bake-off, a pumpkin-carving competition and a beer garden.
What’s in it for kids: It’s a Halloween festival, so come dressed in costumes for contests (pets can enter, too) and a parade. Enjoy trick-or-treating and ghost stories as well.

Halloweenfest

Photo courtesy of Seyl Park

Wear your costume to Halloweenfest in downtown Brevard.


IN THE PIEDMONT

Carolina Renaissance Festival
Weekends Sept. 29-Nov. 18 | Huntersville
Cost:
$24 for adults, $14 ages 5-12. Free for ages 4 and younger.
Best for: Fans of Comic-Con, free spirits who love to role-play, and those looking for fun and laughs while experiencing times of long ago. The Renaissance Festival is a hodgepodge of performance stages, medieval-themed games, arts and crafts, jousting tournaments, and random costumed characters.
What’s in it for kids: Everything is geared toward children with the exception of a few performances labeled for explicit content. Kids love the costume aspect (rentals are available). The Pirates Christmas weekend is a family favorite, and the weekend of Oct. 6 is Kids Free Weekend where kids under 12 are admitted free with a special coupon per paying adult. See website for coupon details.

Knights joust at the Renaissance Festival

Photo courtesy of carolina renaissance festival

Knights joust at the Carolina Renaissance Festival.


Annual NASCAR Day Festival
Oct. 13 | Downtown Randleman
Cost:
 Free
Best for: NASCAR and car fans. The 30th annual event pays homage to NASCAR with race cars on display alongside vintage race cars and other automobiles. Richard Petty is on site to sign autographs from 4-6 p.m.
What’s in it for kids: Children’s games and rides set to the backdrop of NASCAR heroes’ race cars. There’s also a Little Miss and Mister NASCAR Pageant. 

photo courtesy of Jeff Freeman, Randleman chairman

NASCAR Day features old race cars on display.


Mush, Music and Mutts Festival
Oct. 19-20 | Historic Uptown Shelby
Cost:
Admission to the Rotary Chili Cook-off on Friday is $10 and is free for ages 7 and younger. Admission to the Brew Fest on Friday is $30; participants must be age 21 or older. Admission to the Liver Mush Festival on Saturday is free.
Best for: Foodies, beer fans, music aficionados and pet lovers. What started as a festival honoring liver-mush has morphed into a two-day event, which includes a beer festival, chili cook-off, liver-mush recipe competition, Little Miss Liver Mush Pageant, pet costume contest and parade, and plenty of live music honoring Shelby’s bluegrass influences.
What’s in it for kids: Besides the opportunity to dress up your pup in a tutu for the pet costume contest, there’s also a kids’ zone with pumpkin decorating, children’s games, inflatables and new this year — Ghostbusters of NC

photo courtesy of Victorian rose studio, shelby

You don't have to like liver mush to enjoy all the festivities at this event. 


Carolina BalloonFest
Oct. 19-21 | Statesville
Cost:
 $5 for Friday, $20 in advance for Saturday and $15 in advance for Sunday. $10 for a parking pass. Free for ages 12 and younger.
Best for: Fans of hot air balloons or those curious to learn more. Hot air balloon events include two balloon launches a day where 50 balloons take flight, plus tethered balloon rides and a walk-in balloon. There are several non-balloon activities, including beer and wine tastings, live music and artist booths.
What’s in it for kids: There is a special kids’ zone filled with inflatables and magic shows. A climbing wall and a bungee jump cost extra. 

photo courtesy of michele's images

50 balloons take flight at each launch at the Carolina BalloonFest.


Barbecue Festival
Oct. 27 | Uptown Lexington
Cost:
Free
Best for: Lovers of the swine! That is unless you prefer yours prepared Eastern-style (there’s kind of a rivalry). Besides barbecue, the festival hosts a wine garden that showcases Yadkin Valley wineries, arts and crafts, and a 50-ton sand sculpture.
What’s in it for kids: Besides finger-licking good barbecue, the festival caters to kids with the annual pig race, dog team show and bicycle stunt shows and a lumberjack demonstration. There are also rides and games. 

photo courtesy of The Dispatch/Donnie Roberts/Barbecue Festival

Head to Lexington's Barbecue Festival to enjoy good food, alcohol and crafts. 


Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival
Nov. 10-11 | Huntersville
Cost:
 $7.50-$11. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. 
Best for: Friends of man’s best friend. The weekend celebrates all things dog with the National Border Collie Sheepherding Championships, dog sports demonstrations and canine history demonstrations.
What’s in it for kids: Plenty of chances to interact with furry four-legged friends, hayrides, tractor exhibits and pumpkin chunking. 


IN THE TRIANGLE

Festifall Arts Festival
Oct. 7 | W. Franklin Street, 
Chapel Hill
Cost: Free
Best for: Art enthusiasts and food-truck fans. The annual arts festival highlights everything from handcrafted artworks to live performances on three stages. Acts cover everything from music to improv and dance.
What’s in it for kids: An interactive kids' zone with science demonstrations, spin art, face painting and a poetry lab. Integrated into the live acts are performances by children's Tae Kwon Do, dance and gymnastics groups.

photo courtesy of katie garcia photography

Enjoy and crafted artworks and live performances on three stages at Festifall.


42nd Annual Selma Rail Roads Festival 
Oct. 5-6 | Downtown Selma
Cost: Free

Best for: Fans of railroads and trains, from model sets to the real thing. In addition to model-train displays and a full-size caboose, the 43rd annual festival features a carnival, parade, pageant and charity run, not to mention a Food Truck Rodeo Friday night.
What’s in it for kids: Plenty of trains on display, plus a kids’ zone and a children’s-focused Little Caboose Run. 


North Carolina State Fair
Oct. 11-21 | North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh
Cost:
$10 for adults, $5 ages 6-12. Free for ages 5 and younger. Discounts available if you purchase in advance.
Best for: Anyone who loves a county fair and the carnival rides, competitions, concerts and agricultural displays.
What’s in it for kids: Kiddieland and kid-focused competitions like sugar-cube building and cookie decorating. Bigger kids can enjoy the mobile robotics contest. 

photo courtesy of nORTH CAROLINA State Fair

Kids can enjoy an assortment of carnival rides at the North Carolina State Fair.


International Festival of Raleigh
Oct. 26-28 | Raleigh Convention Center, downtown Raleigh
Cost:
 $5-$12. Discounted family passes also available.
Best for: World travelers and those infatuated with learning about different cultures. The three-day event features cultural booths, sidewalk cafes serving international food, fashions from around the globe and an international dance competition.
What’s in it for kids: Children’s cultural performances, art and craft activities and a World Scavenger Hunt passport game. 

Dancers at the International Festival of Raleigh

photo courtesy of PTm photography - palani mohan

Dancers take the stage at the International Festival of Raleigh.


North Carolina Whirligig Festival
Nov. 3-4 | Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, historic downtown Wilson
Cost:
 Free
Best for: A celebration of the arts, specifically the whimsical, wind-driven whirligigs (giant sculptures made from recycled industrial parts by local folk artist Vollis Simpson). More than 200 vendors (arts, crafts, food, and beverage, including a beer garden), four live entertainment stages, Whirligig Warrior course and competition, where local “American Ninja Warrior” competitors will perform and greet visitors; attendees can also try the course.
What’s in it for kids: The Whirli-Kidz Zone, which features carnival games, bounce houses, an obstacle course, and arts and crafts. Also check out Inspiration Station, where kids of all ages can build and create alongside local artists and which this year will feature a tech component encouraging STEM skills among kids. Extreme inflatables, interactive inflatables and giant climbs/slides are available for teenagers and older to enjoy.


COASTAL

Wilmington Riverfest
Oct. 5-7 | Downtown Wilmington
Cost:
Free
Best for: Art lovers. Organizers do their best to keep the amount of commercial vendors low so the arts and craft vendors can shine. There’s also an accompanying car show and concert series.
What’s in it for kids: A fireworks display on Saturday over the Cape Fear River, and a children’s play area. 


Bryan Richards is a food and travel writer who lives in Charlotte and recently added family travel writer to his credentials with the birth of his son. He’s also the author of The Wandering Gourmand, a culinary and craft beer travel blog. Michele Huggins is the editor of Charlotte Parent.

 

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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
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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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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
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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 »

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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 »

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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. 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
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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
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Website »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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
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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

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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 »

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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
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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 »

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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

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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

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

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

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

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 »

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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

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 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

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

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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

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 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
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Sponsor: Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Telephone: 919-401-6307
Contact Name: Jamie Botta
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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
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Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Matt Pusateri
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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
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Sponsor: Women in Bio
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Celebrate spring in Mebane with live entertainment, vendors, kids' activities, a car show and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Mebane
Mebane, NC  27302


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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
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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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
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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
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All ages enjoy a dance performance, stories, and dance instruction for those interested in learning some new moves.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham East Regional Library
211 Lick Creek Lane
Durham, NC  27703
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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
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Sponsor: 12 Oaks
Telephone: (919)-557-6850
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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
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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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
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Sponsor: Arts Access
Telephone: 919-833-9919
Contact Name: Penny Arrowood
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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
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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


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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
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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
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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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
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Telephone: 919-996-8711
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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
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Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Telephone: 919-818-0289
Contact Name: Robin
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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
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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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.