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. 20-22 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
Sept. 1-4 | 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. 8-17 | Fletcher
Cost: $3-$7. 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. 3-7  | Cherokee
Cost:
$7-15. 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 Kids’ 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, a youth stickball tournament, and the Little Miss Cherokee and Teen Cherokee pageants. Plus, kids receive ride wristbands and boxed lunches. 


Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest
Oct. 14-15 | 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 chairlift 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. 19-22 | Black Mountain
Cost:
Day passes start at $45 for adults and weekend passes start at $150 (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. 21-22 | 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 on Saturday and $500 on Sunday. 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. 28 | 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. 30-Nov. 19 | 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. 7 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. 14 | Downtown Randleman
Cost:
 Free
Best for: NASCAR and car fans. The 29th 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. 20-21 | 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 Fifi in a tutu for the pet costume contest, there’s also a kids’ zone with pumpkin decorating, children’s games, inflatables and a human hamster wheel. 

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. 20-22 | Statesville
Cost:
 $5 for Friday, $20 in advance for Saturday and $15 in advance for Sunday. 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. 28 | 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 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. 11-12 | Huntersville
Cost:
 Ticket costs haven't been updated for the 2017 year yet, but last year it was $11 for adults and $7.50 ages 5-12 (free for ages 4 and younger).
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. 1 | 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. 6-7 | 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 42nd 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. 12-22 | 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 or buy a family 4-pack.
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. 20-22 | Raleigh Convention Center, downtown Raleigh
Cost:
 $15 for adults and $7 for kids ages 6-12. Free for ages 6 and younger. Family four-packs and discounted rates available ahead of time online.
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, international story time and a Kids Got Talent competition. 

Dancers at the International Festival of Raleigh

photo courtesy of PTm photography - palani mohan

Dancers take the stage at the International Festival of Raleigh.


COASTAL

Wilmington Riverfest
Oct. 7-8 | 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 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. Janice Lewine is the associate editor at Carolina Parent.

 

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Calendar

September 2017

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Take the family for a showcase of popular and folk music and art, dance performances, educational booths, children's activities and food from different regions of Latin America.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a self-guided scavenger hunt for all ages. Drop-in program.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Take part in a walk for suicide prevention. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. with the walk starting at 2:00 p.m. Proceeds benefit local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
South Park in Fuquay Varina
900 S. Main Street
Fuquay-Varina, NC  27526
View map »


Telephone: 919-593-2578
Contact Name: Katie Biasi
Website »

More information

Discover the rich history and natural beauty of the American Tobacco Trail. Take a walk through time to learn how people historically used and shaped the land along the old railroad bed while...

Cost: Free

Where:
American Tobacco Trail -New Hill Parking Area
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Watch a brief slideshow and explore the inner workings of the mill itself. Witness the power of water as it turns the milling machinery. Registration encouraged. Tickets available inside...

Cost: $5/adult, $3 ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Learn reptile adaptations, observe scales using hand lenses and meet Popcorn, the park's corn snake. All ages with parent. Advance registration required online. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents the tale of an ugly little duckling who ultimately transforms into a beautiful swan. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $32-$72

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

Spice up your weekend at the 10th Annual Pepper Festival featuring one of the largest chef competitions in North Carolina. Enjoy pepper-themed dishes and brews, family activities, a kid chef...

Cost: $25-$35

Where:
Briar Chapel, Great Meadow Park, Chapel Hill, NC
Margaret B. Pollard Middle School 185 Granite Mill Blvd
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Briar Chapel & Abundance NC
Telephone: 919-511-5181
Contact Name: Hannah Eck
Website »

More information

Listen to a story about Johnny Appleseed, play the game of "fruit dash" and create a seed work of art to take home. All ages with adult. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

In recognition of the special role that companion animals play in many of our lives, Millbrook Baptist Church hosts its 6th Annual Blessing of the Animals and fundraiser for Second Chance Pet...

Cost: Free

Where:
Millbrook Baptist Church
1519 E. Millbrook Rd.
RALEIGH, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Millbrook Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-876-1519
Contact Name: Franka Hawkins
Website »

More information

Honor hometown heroes and enjoy live music and free food while recognizing the Holly Springs Police and Fire Departments for their dedicated service. See a fire truck and Cinder the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sunrise United Methodist Church
5420 Sunset Lake Rd
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Telephone: 919-303-3720
Website »

More information

Enjoy hay rides and a hay bale obstacle challenge. Visit the “What’s it all About” Hay discovery table and take a leisurely stroll down to Ma Sue’s Hay Bale...

Cost: $8 and up

Where:
Hubb's Fall Festival and Corn Maze
10276 US Hwy 421 N.
Clinton, NC  28328
View map »


Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
Website »

More information

Discover the secret art of "spider sniffing." Take a flashlight. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville , NC  27560
View map »


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

More information

Celebrate the motorcycle lifestyle with family-friendly activities ranging from stunt shows and specialty rides to live music and local vendors. See website for hours.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Take the family for live music, crafts and food. See website for hours.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Town Hall
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

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Use sticks, leaves, seeds and other natural materials from the gardens to make paint brushes and use them to create a fall masterpiece. All ages.

Cost: Free for members; $5/nonmember.

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


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Take a nature stroll. Ages 3 and older with adult. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a 45-minute class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness and more. Yoga classes for children incorporate breathing, music,...

Cost: $12/child; $10 for siblings

Where:
Yoga Garden PBO
184 E. Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Sponsor: Kids Yoga with Emily
Telephone: 919-780-3516
Contact Name: Emily Behr
Website »

More information

From alligators to opossums, come face-to-face with a new live animal each week. All ages. Sessions are at 11 a.m.,  11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Programs start on time; arrive a few minutes...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Windows on the World
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Make a craft inspired by the leaves changing colors. Materials provided. All ages with adult. Registration is not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Experience a music and movement class. Explore Orff and percussion instruments and do a little jumping and jamming.  Call to register.

Cost: Free

Where:
Millbrook Baptist Preschool
1519 East Millbrook Rd
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Millbrook Baptist Preschool
Telephone: 919-876-4030
Contact Name: Suzanne Holleman
Website »

More information

Learn basic fishing skills, fish anatomy and the role fish play in an aquatic food web by participating in a variety of games and activities. Use your skills to try and catch a fish or two and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


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

More information

Learn what monarch butterflies like to eat and ways to attract them to your backyard. Make a butterfly craft to take home. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adults attend...

Cost: $3/child

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Spend the morning in a magical fairy garden looking for fairies. Make a magical wand and decorate a fairy door to start a fairy garden at home. All ages. Register online.

Cost: $5/child member; $10/child nonmember

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


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

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

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

Kids ages 6 and younger enjoy stories. Take part in an optional arts and crafts session after storytime for $5.

Cost: Free

Where:
Read With Me Book Shop
111 E. Hargett St., $110
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

From alligators to opossums, come face-to-face with a new live animal each week. All ages. Sessions are at 11 a.m.,  11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Programs start on time; arrive a few minutes...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Windows on the World
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 5-12 learn about healthy fruits and vegetables, kitchen and food safety, and enjoy a healthy snack. Meet in the bakery side of the cafe. Email sherry.thrasher@wholefoods.com to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods North Raleigh
8710 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Telephone: 919-354-0350
Contact Name: Sherry Thrasher

More information

The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

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


Website »

More information

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Toddler Time is a special time for ages 5 and younger to bounce under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Sky Zone Durham
1720 Guess Rd., Ste. 90
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the water in the pond to see what's living in the water. Create a special pond friend to take home. All ages. Register online.

Cost: $5/child member; $7/child nonmember

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


Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Enjoy an outdoor session of yoga. Ages 3 and older with adult. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids ages 6 and younger enjoy stories. Take part in an optional arts and crafts session after storytime for $5.

Cost: Free

Where:
Read With Me Book Shop
111 E. Hargett St., $110
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about nature and wildlife with a park naturalist. All ages with parent. Advance registration required online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Discover how beavers live, eat and play in their watery world. Search for beaver signs around the pond. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online. Choose course #210656. 

Cost: $3/child

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


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

More information

The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

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


Website »

More information

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Play with nature. Use natural items to explore and play with under the pine trees. Take a picnic lunch. All ages. Drop-in program.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Help park staff with citizen science projects. Take a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes. Ages 8-10 with adult; 11 years and older adult optional. Meet at the Cypress Shelter. Registration required.

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

The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy garden stories and make a craft to take home. Take a blanket. All ages. 

Cost: Free for members; $5/nonmember

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


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Hear a funny tale by Gianna Marino about nocturnal animals that are afraid of the dark, only to find out that they are night animals themselves. Learn some fun facts about the nocturnal...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Enjoy imaginative play in a natural setting. Materials provided. All ages. Register online. Choose course code #210655. 

Cost: Free

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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Learn how to help your baby excel in motor development and mater the skill of crawling. The class will look at crawling from the earliest stages, all the way through learning how to challenge your...

Cost: $30

Where:
Baby + Co.
226 Ashville Ave
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Receive a sampling glass and passport for a $10 donation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Stroll the shops at Waverly Place and visit the participating retailers for wine samples and special promotions.

Cost: Samples available for a $10 donation

Where:
Waverly Place Shopping Center
307 Colonades Way
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Kay Yow Cancer Fund
Contact Name: Robin Pate
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Families gather to form a group and enjoy an overnight experience, which includes a Dutch oven dinner, a naturalist-led night hike, s'mores, a light breakfast and time for fishing. Take a tent...

Cost: $15/youth, $20/adult

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Explore light pollution and how different shades of light affect wildlife. Measure the stars and discover the importance of the moon for sea turtles. All ages with adult. Advance...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Walk or run in a 5K or 10K run and stay for the music, games, food, raffles in an uplifting event raising awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia. AlzNC provides education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Cary, NC


Website »

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Shop for clothing, baby equipment, toys, books and more. Many items half-off from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Cash and credit cards only. Kids can learn all about fire safety and explore a real fire...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
HillSong Church
201 Culbreth Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Sponsor: Chapel Hill-Durham Mothers of Multiples
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Toddler Time is a special time for ages 5 and younger to bounce under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Sky Zone Durham
1720 Guess Rd., Ste. 90
Durham, NC  27701
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The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is partnering with Wake Forest Arts to present the inaugural Wake Forest Dance Festival. This free event will feature...

Cost: Free

Where:
E. Carroll Joyner Park
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC
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Website »

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Take part in a self-guided scavenger hunt for all ages. Drop-in program.

Cost: Free

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
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Join gardeners as they share the joy of gardening and planting with the next generation. Read a gardening story, learn about the parts of a plant, what plants need to survive and about all the good...

Cost: Free

Where:
Garden Supply Company
1421 Old Apex Road
Cary, NC  27513
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Telephone: 919.460.7747
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Free food, classes, activities and more await families. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Garden Supply Company
1421 Old Apex Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Discover how beavers live, eat and play in their watery world. Search for beaver signs around the pond. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online. Choose course #210657. 

Cost: $3/child

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
Website »

More information

Kids ages 6 and younger enjoy stories. Take part in an optional arts and crafts session after storytime for $5.

Cost: Free

Where:
Read With Me Book Shop
111 E. Hargett St., $110
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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Enjoy a day at the park and listen to stories from professional storytellers in an event presented in partnership with Wake County Public Libraries. Featured storytellers include Tim...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Abby Jones
Website »

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Kelly Starling Lyons debuts her new chapter book series "Jada Jones" along with illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton. Enjoy a rock craft, prizes and refreshments. This...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Enjoy a one-hour coding lesson. Choose either the 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. session. Call to register. 

Cost: Free

Where:
thecoderschool - Raleigh
13200 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Sponsor: theCoderSchool - Raleigh
Telephone: 191-939-01708
Contact Name: Nidhi Joshi
Website »

More information

The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

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

More information

Explore the amazing adaptations that make animals great migrants. All ages. Advance registration required online. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents the tale of an ugly little duckling who ultimately transforms into a beautiful swan. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $32-$72

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

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Explore the historic nature of Leigh Farm Park with a friendly guide. Venture inside the historic farmhouse while being captivated by tales about life at Leigh Farm throughout the years.

Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Durham Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 919-560-1116
Contact Name: Natalya Buckel
Website »

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Put on a straw hat or sun bonnet and head to the park to try out the types of farm chores the Ingalls family had to tackle and what they did to get ready for winter. Explore how the family tended...

Cost: $6/person

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Be part of the 2017 Harvest Festival, organized by St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church Raleigh, where authentic freshly cooked food, stage performances, music, live auction,...

Cost: Free

Where:
St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church
Address: 225 Bashford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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More information

Families gather to form a group and enjoy an overnight experience, which includes a Dutch oven dinner, a naturalist-led night hike, s'mores, a light breakfast and time for fishing. Take a tent...

Cost: $15/youth, $20/adult

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The golden age of the circus comes alive with puppetry, contortionists, acrobats and more. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $20-$105

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


Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents the tale of an ugly little duckling who ultimately transforms into a beautiful swan. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $32-$72

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2016-17 Education Guide offers 643 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 debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.