Middle School Camps: Discovering Passions While Building Life Skills

Specialized summer camps enable middle-schoolers to dive into an activity they love without school-year obligations.


Published:

Many summer camps, including Schoolhouse of Wonder, located in the Triangle, offer leadership programs for teens seeking new challenges.

Photo courtesy of Schoolhouse of Wonder

In middle school, kids often discover their extracurricular passions. From the arts and sports to robotics and outdoor adventure, specialized summer camp options enable middle schoolers to dive into an activity they love without school-year obligations. While refining their abilities or taking on new challenges at camp, middle schoolers also develop important skills that may help them later in life in unexpected ways.

The Group Effect

Camps that draw tweens and teens who share similar passions open up opportunities for collaboration and communication. George Ramsay and Dean Williams, owners of Bold Music launched their summer Studio Recording and Songwriting Camp to inspire young musicians. Ramsay says many students who take traditional music lessons are technically competent but lack the ability to play with others.

“What makes music exciting is feeding off each other,” Ramsay says. “We want to encourage kids in middle school and high school to use their ability to play music … It’s also a tool that helps you interact with people and collaborate.”

By writing, recording and mixing original music together during the one-week intensive camps, kids learn the art of collaboration.

Learning to work as a team is also important at NC Elite Volleyball in Morrisville, a club that provides year-round opportunities for young athletes to train and compete at a national and/or regional level.

“In a team environment you have to work with people that you didn’t choose to be with,” says Director of Operations Micholene Schumacher. While NC Elite Volleyball’s middle school camps focus on building skills to help players excel during tryouts, the club’s culture emphasizes other aspects of being a good team member, such as communicating effectively and encouraging teammates.

By writing, recording and mixing original music together during Bold Music's one-week intensive camps, kids learn the art of collaboration.

Photo courtesy of Bold Music


Independent Thinking and Exploration

In addition to collaboration, personalized learning is an essential component of specialized camps. At TechTerra Education’s summer camps, located in various areas of the Triangle region, students explore the natural world using science, technology and maker-space activities. They can focus on what interests them the most.

“In schools, pursuing one’s passion and interest is not always the priority,” says TechTerra Education founder and CEO Susan Wells. “Here, it is.”

After 30 years of working in schools, Wells wanted her camps to be different. By keeping numbers small — 25 students per session with one instructor for every six students — TechTerra is able to offer a variety of stations the campers can rotate through during the day. Kids switch stations at regular intervals, using critical thinking and creativity to experiment with 3-D printing, robotics and more. Some campers choose to spend more time focused on a particular activity. Giving students control keeps learning “authentic and meaningful,” Wells says.

Students who attend TechTerra camps explore the natural world using science, technology and maker-space activities.

Photo courtesy of TechTerra


Building Confidence

Choosing a camp organized by ability and age ensures middle schoolers are challenged and supported while trying new things. This can motivate them and help them build confidence.

Bold Music limits the number of participants in each of its sessions to ensure that everyone has enough time to contribute and shine.

“Middle school can be a little bit challenging with their social development,” Ramsay says. “Getting kids together in a small setting — eight kids max — really helps them develop their confidence.”

Kids who participate year-round in an activity are likely to see faster improvement and skill growth than those who only do it for part of the year. Schumacher cautions parents, however, to let their children’s interest level guide the intensity of their participation.

“A lot of times parents want it more than their kids do and that makes me sad,” she says.

Real Life Skills

A great camp experience can be transformative for teens, making an impact that extends beyond the program’s specific subject, sport or theme. When middle schoolers choose a specialized camp, they are exposed to other educational aspects of the experience.

Wells knows most TechTerra campers will not become engineers, but she believes it’s beneficial for all kids to learn to code, have access to technology and understand how the digital and natural worlds intersect. They need this knowledge to make sound ethical decisions as 21st-century citizens and consumers, and they may not have the opportunity to learn how to do this in school, Wells says.

At NC Elite Volleyball, camp participants learn their actions have real consequences. Developing simple habits like “shagging” (collecting) volleyballs without being asked, arriving first to the gym to help set up the nets and treating others with respect can play a critical role in coaches’ selections of players.

“Everything that they learn in volleyball can be transitioned to real life, which is one of my favorite things,” Schumacher says.

Developing Leaders

Many camps offer leadership programs for teens who are seeking a new challenge or their first professional experience. While counselor-in-training programs are widely available for high schoolers, some organizations extend the opportunity to older middle school-aged kids, too. Applications are typically due before March.

“Making the change from a camper at age 12 to a counselor-in-training at age 13 can be quite a challenging transition if they have been a camper for many years,” says Wendy Tonker of Schoolhouse of Wonder, a nature-based, outdoor day camp with locations in the Triangle area.

At Schoolhouse of Wonder, staff mentors help participants develop their leadership style. As a counselor-in-training assumes new responsibilities, he or she builds self-confidence and starts seeing his or her position as a role model, Tonker says.

They also serve as invaluable resources to full-time staff. Since many are former campers, they provide insight into what makes the camp special and why they choose to come back each year.

“Some of these kids who have not perceived themselves to be leaders anywhere else can find a place here,”  Tonker says.  


Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a freelance writer who lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons, ages 5 and 8.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

The Benefits of Obstacle Course Camps

Several facilities have popped up in North Carolina to offer kids and adults safe environments in which to learn, train and play.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


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

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

See epic athletes from across the globe battle it out for the titles of strongest men and women. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Dorton Arena
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the holiday season with goats, farm animals, a new hay ride and tractor ride, holiday treats and a Christmas Market. Santa will be at the farm on all weekends giving you the perfect...

Cost: $13.50/person

Where:
Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd.
Chapel Hill , NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Spring Haven Farm
Telephone: 919.407.1806
Contact Name: Andrew Crihfield
Website »

More information

Shop antiques, crafts and art, and enjoy food trucks at this artisan and vintage market in downtown Cary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fidelity Bank Parking Lot
100 W. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Contact Name: Leslie & Jessica
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy the story of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. With Santa’s permission,...

Cost: $20-$73

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


Website »

More information

Join Mickey Mouse and his friends, including Captain Hook, Moana, Belle, Elsa, Aladdin, Ariel and more in a magical celebration on the ice. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $37 and up

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


Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie...

Cost: $12/person

Where:
Theatre In The Park
107 Pullen Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

The heartwarming story centers on a fellow named Kris Kringle, who works as Santa for Macy's. He fills everyone with the Christmas spirit--except for his boss, Doris Walker, who's...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Telephone: 919.929.2787

More information

Enjoy seasonal favorites and new discoveries.

Cost: $15/adult, $5/child

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy two musicals in one performance. "Last Minute Wishes" takes place on Christmas Eve, the busiest shopping day at Carrington's Department Store. Meet the...

Cost: See the website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Search for owls and other active wildlife after the sun sets. Ages 13-15. Register online. Choose course #117116.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Young adults with developmental disabilities enjoy a book club featuring "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."  The group meets most Sundays at 4:45 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join Mickey Mouse and his friends, including Captain Hook, Moana, Belle, Elsa, Aladdin, Ariel and more in a magical celebration on the ice. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy the story of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. With Santa’s permission,...

Cost: $20-$73

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate the season with The Oakwood Waits, a cappella caroling ensemble dressed in authentic 1840’s costume, as it presents a concert of medieval to modern carols for the Christmas...

Cost: $10 minimum suggested donation

Where:
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
1520 Canterbury Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

As winter approaches, don’t forget the wildlife this season! We will read the charming book Night Tree by Eve Bunting and then spend time creating treats for you to take home for your backyard...

Cost: $4 per child

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


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

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

Have your photo taken with Santa, decorate a gingerbread house, and enjoy tasty holiday cookies and hot cocoa. Take a toy donation for Myra's Angels Foundation. No RSVP required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Gladwell Orthodontics
13271 Strickland Rd., Ste. 100
Raleigh, NC  27613
View map »


Website »

More information

Children with disabilities learn the basics of meal preparation, cooking and clean-up with easy-to-follow recipes. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #116724.

Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Children with special needs make cupcakes with bright holiday designs. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #116724.

Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a painting workshop and pizza party. Register online. 

Cost: $35/child

Where:
Little Guru Kids Yoga and Creative Arts
215 Glenwood Avenue
Suite A
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Little Guru Kids Yoga
Telephone: 919-720-4921
Contact Name: Jen Fisher
Website »

More information

Take the family for free pizza from Domino's, pictures with Santa (our photographer will take the family photo and send you the free digital files), hot chocolate and other holiday treats, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Family Focus Chiropractic
2106 Crossway Lane
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Family Focus Chiropractic
Telephone: 919-762-5034
Contact Name: Kaitlyn
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Explore the history of giving and help to cut out and assemble warm fleece blankets for children in need. The blankets will be donated to Project Linus. Ages 6 and older. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

Enjoy a painting workshop and pizza party. Register online. 

Cost: $35/child

Where:
Little Guru Kids Yoga and Creative Arts
215 Glenwood Avenue
Suite A
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Little Guru Kids Yoga
Telephone: 919-720-4921
Contact Name: Jen Fisher
Website »

More information

Learn to make holiday cupcakes. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #116728.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Take the family for Kids Night at Chick-Fil-A in Garner. Enjoy a free indoor playspace, face painting and balloon twisting with Mimi the Clown. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Chick-Fil-A
2720 Timber Dr.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: The MelodyMaker Entertainment
Telephone: (919)639-9328
Contact Name: Melody Scruggs
Website »

More information

Larger-than-life puppets, Russian-made costumes and a 60-foot magical Christmas tree highlight the Moscow Ballet's holiday treat. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $30 and up

Where:
Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Learn about the activities of winter animal neighbors and make a special treat to invite them to your yard. Ages 3-5 with adult.

Cost: $4/child

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy a stroll through the winter woods. Register online. Choose course #117342.

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

Learn to make holiday cupcakes. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #116729.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

This one-hour program includes the Chorale, NCMC Chamber Choir, and orchestra, plus a visit from Santa. Enjoy kid-friendly, familiar selections both old and new, as well as a...

Cost: $9/child, $24/adult

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Larger-than-life puppets, Russian-made costumes and a 60-foot magical Christmas tree highlight the Moscow Ballet's holiday treat. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $30 and up

Where:
Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

 The rock opera features such enduring fan-favorites as "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," "O’ Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas...

Cost: $43-$75

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy Josh and Lindsey Wright’s classical take on traditional holiday favorites, including classical and popular repertoire, their own arrangements of Christmas carols, music...

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
The Barn at Broadslab
4682 NC Hwy 50 S
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Sponsor: Clayton Piano Festival
Telephone: 919-606-9703
Contact Name: Jonathan Levin
Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver take a relaxing stroll to experience nature. Register online. Choose course #117304.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Enjoy holiday fun with cookies, crafts and a children's show.

Cost: Free

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

The Geminids meteor shower peaks Dec. 13. Enjoy an indoor presentation and (weather permitting) use of the preserve's telescope outdoors. Children must be accompanied by an adult....

Cost: $2

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


Sponsor: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Larger-than-life puppets, Russian-made costumes and a 60-foot magical Christmas tree highlight the Moscow Ballet's holiday treat. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $30 and up

Where:
Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Children make holiday crafts for their homes using materials from the gardens for inspiration. Parent accompaniment required; parents are admitted free of charge.

Cost: $10.00 per child for members, $15.00 per child for nonmembers

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


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

More information

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: $18

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


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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: $18

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


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

Take the family for s Christmas theme-park style event all under one roof. Experience a winter wonderland with winding hallways of lights and decorations with special events beginning in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossroads Fellowship
2721 E. Millbrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Crossroads Fellowship
Telephone: 919-981-0222
Contact Name: Lorraine Entwisle
Website »

More information

Kids enjoy games and food while parents enjoy a night out. Ages 5-10. Register online. Choose course #117711.

Cost: $16/child resident, $20/child nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #117241

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Enjoy an evening of holiday fun with your canine friend.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Armory
212 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Telephone: 919-560-435527295

More information

Kids have fun and make pottery at the clay studio while parents enjoy a night out. Each kid will complete and paint a piece of pottery that will be glazed and fired by the instructor and...

Cost: $18/child

Where:
The Clay Studio
1058 West Club Blvd.
Space 836
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2735
Contact Name: Lauren Tannenbaum Whittaker

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

This class is a chance for adventurous women to get together for a fun-filled workshop where we explore the basics of aerial silks. No need for a background in aerial yoga, this is a workshop...

Cost: $25

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

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


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

Where:
Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Website »

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
View map »


Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

The Justice Theater Project presents the rebirth of its annual holiday family favorite, "Black Nativity by Langston Hughes," Dec. 14-18 at two locations: Umstead Park United Church...

Cost: $27 Adults, $23 Seniors/Students/Military, $21 groups of 10+.*Prices do NOT inc

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theater
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC   27607
View map »


Sponsor: The Justice Theater Project
Telephone: 336-655-2119
Contact Name: Melissa Zeph
Website »

More information

Enjoy a solo theatrical performance to benefit post-Florence recovery at Shelter Neck. Actor Peter Battis becomes Charles Dickens (and his beloved characters) as Dickens tells his classic tale...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU
106 Purefoy Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU
Website »

More information

Celebrate the season with favorite carols and enjoy a singalong.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy a continental breakfast (juice, muffins, fruit, juice, etc.), a story read by Mrs. Claus, and photo opportunities. Be sure to bring your letter for Santa that Mrs. Claus can take back to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Garden Supply Company
1421 Old Apex Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing polkhouse2@bellsouth.net. 

Cost: $22/attendee. $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call the park home. Help collect data for the Natural Resource Inventory Database and other citizen science projects....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
4028 Carya drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Website »

More information

Take the family to make gingerbread houses. Workshop takes place at 2 p.m. An allergy-free workshop takes place at 11 a.m. Registration required online for all workshops.

Cost: $40/per family

Where:
Family Preschool
4907 Garrett Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Family Preschool
Telephone: 919-402-1500
Contact Name: Ginger B. House
Website »

More information

Enjoy making a rustic wreath for winter starting with twine, pine cones, and some unexpected objects. Join artist Leatha Koefler in creating unique wintry garlands and wreaths for this...

Cost: $10/member, $15/nonmember

Where:
Artspace
201 E. Davie St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-821-2787
Website »

More information

Take part in a fun and playful aerial yoga and movement class for ages 8 and older. No prior aerial yoga experience required. Register online. $40 one parent+one child (age 8-12) $20...

Cost: $40 child+adult or $20/child $25/adult

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 888-587-9530
Website »

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
View map »


Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents a condensed version of the holiday story featuring Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: $12/person

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


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Celebrate the holiday season with goats, farm animals, a new hay ride and tractor ride, holiday treats and a Christmas Market. Santa will be at the farm on all weekends giving you the perfect...

Cost: $13.50/person

Where:
Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd.
Chapel Hill , NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Spring Haven Farm
Telephone: 919.407.1806
Contact Name: Andrew Crihfield
Website »

More information

Free Kidz Connection Event for kids in grades 1-5 featuring games, snacks and fun. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Bible Fellowship
9043 Chapel Hill Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Bible Fellowship
Telephone: 919-468-4590
Contact Name: Yvette
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, December 15; 1:00–3:00 p.m. Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about soil! Registration is not required. The display table is located at the Upper Playground.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850

More information

Enjoy a 75-minute workshop learning the fundamental components of aerial yoga in a relaxed and fun learning environment. The student will experience yoga asanas (poses) on...

Cost: $40/person

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
Website »

More information

Families make gingerbread houses together. Register online. 

Cost: See website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing polkhouse2@bellsouth.net. 

Cost: $22/attendee. $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

The Johnston County Chorus presents "A Christmas Spectacular," its annual holiday show featuring favorite seasonal songs and skits. Special guests this year include dancers from...

Cost: See the website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

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


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Learn to identify a few common winter “feeder birds” and make some yummy bird treats to take home. Ages 5 and older with adult. Register online. 

Cost: $1/person

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Harris Lake will welcome a special holiday visitor this December!  Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join us for a cup of hot cocoa and a ride on our wagon along the back roads of...

Cost: $2 per person

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

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

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


Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Contact Name: City Ballet
Website »

More information

Discover what's happening as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #117095.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
View map »


Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $26-$30/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Drop your children off to enjoy games, a pizza dinner, activities and crafts while you finish your holiday shopping or just enjoy a night off.  Ages 6-14. Registration required...

Cost: $25 for first child; $20 each sibling

Where:
East Coast Gaming
218 Nottingham Dr.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

The Johnston County Chorus presents "A Christmas Spectacular," its annual holiday show featuring favorite seasonal songs and skits. Special guests this year include dancers from...

Cost: See the website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a one-act performance of Clara’s journey to the Kingdom of the Sweets to life, with dazzling costumes, animated narration, and a talented ensemble of young dancers.

Cost: $12-$15

Where:
Heritage High School
1150 Forestville Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

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


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

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


Website »

More information

The Justice Theater Project presents the rebirth of its annual holiday family favorite, "Black Nativity by Langston Hughes," Dec. 14-18 at two locations: Umstead Park United Church...

Cost: $27 Adults, $23 Seniors/Students/Military, $21 groups of 10+.*Prices do NOT inc

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theater
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC   27607
View map »


Sponsor: The Justice Theater Project
Telephone: 336-655-2119
Contact Name: Melissa Zeph
Website »

More information

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

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


Website »

More information

The ArtsCenter’s annual Songs from the Circle shows are a celebration of the best in classic American folk and bluegrass. The Circle cast has added a second program to celebrate the...

Cost: $15

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: The ArtsCenter
Telephone: 919-929-2787
Contact Name: Patrick Phelps-Mckeown     
Website »

More information

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

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

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

The Triangle Go-To Guide

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