Why College Visits Are Worth Time, Expense


Published:

The Harvard University campus in spring.

Photo by Jannis Tobias Werner/Shutterstock

Residing in the digital age, it’s tempting to forgo more and more tasks that, a decade or two ago, involved an actual trek out into the real world. Hassles such as buying paper towels or searching for the perfect used car that used to require legwork, human interaction, and possibly even wearing pants can now be done with a click of a mouse from one’s own living room.

Similarly, parents and students may find themselves considering skipping the annoyances of long car rides or plane trips, days away from work/school, and the slew of hotel bills that come from visiting your teen’s prospective colleges. After all, it’s possible to take a virtual tour of campus, chat with an admissions officer in an online forum, and find answers to most questions about anything from dorm life to financial aid on a school’s FAQ page. So, given the availability of fairly comprehensive virtual excursions, is it still worth the time and expense of a physical trip? We at College Transitions believe that, when feasible, it is for the following reasons:

1. Campus visits allow you to use your senses, including your gut.

For many, college will be life’s greatest expense outside of buying a home and should thus be given every bit as much attention. Would you ever considering buying a house, sight-unseen, from an online listing? What looks like a lush backyard may actually be swampland, the beautiful hardwood floors may be rotting and moldy, and two of the three alleged “bedrooms” may feel more like medium-size closets.

Just as with a new home, it helps to see, smell, feel, and fully experience a college campus before forking over that tuition money. Equally important will be the gut-sense you get around campus. Have a meal in the cafeteria, sit in on a class, read the student newspaper, and talk with a few current students. Does it feel like it could be home for four years? Does it have a positive vibe? Do you feel safe and comfortable walking around campus? The only way to answer these questions is to plant your feet on campus and soak it all in.

2. Distance is more than an abstract concept.

There are a multitude of reasons that 72 percent of college students choose to attend school in their home state, the chief one, of course, being reduced tuition at public universities. Yet, many teens are equally influenced by the proximity to family. After all, it’s comforting to know that a home-cooked meal, a free washer and dryer, and most importantly, a network of love, support, and guidance is no further than a few hours away.

If you don’t visit your prospective colleges then you are missing out on accurately assessing how important distance to family is to you. In the abstract, a school that is 200 miles away isn’t that much different than a school that is 2,000 miles away. One can rationalize that a 4-hour plane trip and a 4-hour car ride are roughly equivalent. As an armchair globetrotter it’s easy to acquire a false bravado. Actually packing your bags for the opposite coast, waiting for hours in the airport, crossing time zones, experiencing jet lag, and seeing how it feels to be so far from home is an appropriate test that will bring clarity to the geographical parameters of your college search.

3. Go on an official and unofficial tour.

It’s wise to begin with the official tour offered by your college. While sanitized and sales-pitchy, you’ll likely get a good sense of the heart of campus, and of the school’s main architectural and social attractions. It will also be a chance to ask your tour guide questions about dorm life, the social scene, and other anecdotal information that is tough to glean from websites and guidebooks.

After the official tour ends, we recommend setting off on a self-guided tour to make sure the infomercial version of the school appears to align with reality. Chat up a few random students about their favorite and least favorite things about their school. Explore the surrounding town or city. Dine at a restaurant or two. The more information you can take in, the better, whether of the school-sanctioned or unofficial variety.

4. Connect with an admissions officer.

If you are visiting a liberal arts school or a mid-size university, you will likely be able to schedule a one-on-one evaluative interview. If you are attending a larger university that does not offer a formal one-on-one interview, try to participate in an information session with an admissions official. Either way, you’ll want to come prepared to talk about your academic interests and achievements, extracurricular activities, and also have a number of thoughtfully-crafted questions for the admissions officer about their institution. Particularly at small liberal arts colleges, making a positive and lasting impression as a nice and engaging human being can pay dividends when application review time rolls around.

For more on how to prepare for a college interview and what type of questions one should expect, revisit our previous blog on the subject.

If you can’t swing an in-person tour …

As we stated at the beginning, we believe that visiting a college is immensely helpful, when it’s feasible. Sometimes due to budgetary or time constraints, seeing some of your prospective schools simply isn’t possible, especially if you have a lengthy and geographically diverse college list. If you aren’t able to view a campus in person, there are still actions that you can take to better form an assessment of a school’s fit.

For those who can’t make it to campus, attempt to schedule an alumni interview at a location near you. Doing so will still afford you the opportunity to humanize your application and make a lasting impression with someone affiliated with the university.

Connect with current students at your prospective college through social media or via your high school’s guidance department. Chances are, unless you attend a tiny high school, a recent alum is currently attending your institution of interest and will be willing to share his or her experiences.

If you aren’t making a pilgrimage to campus, there are plenty of other ways to please the demonstrated interest gods. Attending a local admissions event, following a school on Facebook, and corresponding over email with an admissions counselor are all excellent ways to show a potential higher education destination that you have a genuine interest in attending.

College Transitions’ bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with buying paper towels online but when it comes to a six-figure purchase like a college education, an in-person inspection is recommended. If a school is within reasonable driving distance but doesn’t feel worth the time, effort, and money to visit, then it should be eliminated from your list.

Dave Bergman, Ed.D., is a co-founder of College Transitions, a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. He is also a co-author of “The Enlightened College Applicant: A New Approach to the Search and Admissions Process.” Learn more at collegetransitions.com.

 

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About this Blog

College Transitions

Expert advice for finding the right fit


About This Blog

College Transitions is a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. As counselors and published higher education researchers, we aim to bring perspective (and some sanity) to college planning, and we strive to provide students with the support they need to enroll and succeed at a college that is right for them. Learn more at collegetransitions.com

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Calendar

October 2017

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Pottery and glass pumpkin patch pottery demonstrations, kiln openings, raku firings, glass blowing demos, word turning demos, a fire truck, live music and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cedar Creek Gallery
1150 Fleming Rd.
Creedmoor, NC  27522
View map »


Sponsor: Cedar Creek Gallery
Telephone: 919-528-1041
Contact Name: Jennifer Dolan
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

Join a textile artist and long-time sewing instructor for this class designed for brand new beginners and re-entry sewers. The session covers tools and sewing concepts, machine threading and...

Cost: $30

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: The Scrap Exchange
Telephone: 191-921-31278
Contact Name: Anna Graves
Website »

More information

Design and build a parachute and engineer an action figure's safe landing off the big blue bridge. In partnership with NC State Engineering Ambassadors + Marbles STEM Play Corps.

Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

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


Website »

More information

Take the family for arts and crafts vendors, train rides, a car show, corn hole tournament, food trucks, inflatables and more. Live music continues until 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the world of squirmy animals and learn their roles in their habitat. All ages with parent. Registration required. 

Cost: $1/person

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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. Tours take place from 2-3 and 3-4 p.m....

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

Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. 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

Carolina Ballet presents a night of haunted stories and bewitching tales.

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy Flamenco dance performers. All ages.

Cost: $3/person

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


Website »

More information

The Blessing of Animals is an outdoor worship service held each year. Duke Chapel has hosted a Blessing of Animals since 1989, a worship tradition made notable by the camels and other circus...

Cost: Free. $5 parking fee at Bryan Center garage

Where:
Duke Chapel Quad
Duke University
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Blessing of Animals is an outdoor worship service held each year. Duke Chapel has hosted a Blessing of Animals since 1989, a worship tradition made notable by the camels and other circus...

Cost: Free. $5 parking fee at Bryan Center garage

Where:
Duke Chapel Quad
Duke University
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Blessing of Animals is an outdoor worship service held each year. Duke Chapel has hosted a Blessing of Animals since 1989, a worship tradition made notable by the camels and other circus...

Cost: Free. $5 parking fee at Bryan Center garage

Where:
Duke Chapel Quad
Duke University
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

TABLE's Annual Empty Bowls event features live music, pottery demonstrations and delicious soups, bread, sandwiches and desserts from area restaurants and chefs.  Attendees will also...

Cost: $15-$60

Where:
Weaver Street Market
101 E. Weaver St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy live music and receive a meal of hearty soup, sandwich and a dessert, as well as a locally-made pottery bowl. Hear live music from local Americana and Bluegrass musicians. All ages....

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Weaver Street Market
101 E. Weaver St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: TABLE
Telephone: 919-636-4860
Contact Name: Suzanne Tormollen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Burns and Company performs storytelling, mime and ventriloquism for all ages.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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

Watch a brief slideshow and explore the inner workings of the mill itself. Witness the power of water as it turns the milling machinery. Tours take place from 2-3 and 3-4 p.m....

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

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Parents learn more about ADHD, autism, OCD, anxiety, SPD, ODD, dyslexia and Tourette's. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Impact Family Chiropractic
5176 NC Highway 42 W, Ste. A
Ste. A
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: Impact Family Chiropractic
Telephone: 919-977-5744
Contact Name: Impact Family Chiropractic
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Parent and child explore what's happening in nature on an easy-paced hike around the preserve. Register online. Choose course #210344.

Cost: Free

Where:
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd.
Wake Forest, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Head outdoors with a park educator and explore popular creepy critters in the park. Dress for exploring and wear closed-toe shoes. Ages 6-12.  Registration required.

Cost: $7/child

Where:
White Deer Park Nature Center
2400 Aversboro Rd.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: Town of Garner, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919.661.6982
Contact Name: Nature Center Front Desk
Website »

More information

Have your child's car seat checked for safety with Safe Kids of Durham County.

Cost: Free

Where:
buybuyBaby Durham
5430 New Hope Commons Dr
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: buybuyBaby and Safe Kids
Telephone: 919-593-3672
Contact Name: Jennifer Loomis

More information

Enjoy crafts, engaging activities and a guided walk through the park. Ages 2-6 with adult. Register online. Choose course #209272.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

More information

Prepare a quesadilla recipe with a seasonal twist. Kids can be their own chefs as they follow the recipe for a delicious and healthy butternut squash quesadilla.

Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


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

This annual celebration of multiculturalism brings together nearly 60 international groups who call the Triangle home. Explore the world through main stage performances, cultural exhibits, world...

Cost: $5-$15/person

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


Sponsor: International Focus
Telephone: 919-782-0552
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

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 the Halloween season with a creepy crawly yoga class. Paint a pumpkin to take home. Supplies included. Grades K-5. Registration required.  

Cost: $40

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


Sponsor: Little Guru Kids Yoga
Telephone: 919-345-5873
Contact Name: Jen Bluestone
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

Design and decorate pumpkins to display at home, roast and eat pumpkin seeds and play pumpkin games. Registration required.

Cost: See website for fees

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


Telephone: 919-933-1455
Website »

More information

Meet superhero characters and enjoy music, activities and refreshments. Costumes optional. Ages 4-12. Register online. Choose course code #106338.

Cost: $39/parent and child; $17/additional child

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


Website »

More information

Learn about bats and go on a night hike to look for them. All ages with adult. Advance registration required online.

Cost: $1/person

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Take the family to view classic films. Games and activities will occur before the movie every Friday in October, 6-9 p.m. (The movie starts at dark.) Pullen Place Café will have...

Where:
Pullen Park and Pullen Place Café
408 Ashe Ave.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a night of singing and dancing, fun activities for all ages and free carriage rides from 6-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
100 S. Third Street
, NC  27577
View map »


Sponsor: Downtown Smithfield
Telephone: 919.934.0887
Contact Name: Sarah Edwards
Website »

More information

Enjoy a comic ballet with charming characters telling the story of this age-old fairytale. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/person

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


Telephone: 919-249-1120
Website »

More information

One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

North Carolina's signature event features live music, carnival rides, delicious food, kids' entertainment and more. See website for hours and ticket prices.  

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Join artist Peter Marin and explore traditional Mexican folk art to create amazing sugar skulls and "papel picado," the art of paper cut into beautiful designs. All...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 919-821-2787
Website »

More information

This annual celebration of multiculturalism brings together nearly 60 international groups who call the Triangle home. Explore the world through main stage performances, cultural exhibits, world...

Cost: $5-$15/person

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


Sponsor: International Focus
Telephone: 919-782-0552
Website »

More information

Play with life-sized Jenga, jumbo Bananagrams, sidewalk tic-tac-toe, hoolah hoops and more. This event is organized by Communities in Schools.

Cost: Free

Where:
CCB Plaza
201 Corcoran St
Durham, NC  27701
View map »

More information

Enjoy a raffle, sensory activities, a bouncy house, trick-or-treating, a fire truck, police car and more. Open to children of all abilities. Costumes welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Aspen School
1050-A NW Maynard Rd
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Telephone: 919-981-6588
Contact Name: Lisa Wagner
Website »

More information

Infants-age 6 enjoy storytime featuring books related to a particular social justice theme. Stories are paired with an activity and music. May: Differently Abled People; June: Women...

Cost: Free

Where:
302 West Main Street
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Social Justice Storytime
Telephone: 919-714-3377
Contact Name: Jessica Hulick
Website »

More information

Enjoy a Halloween party featuring a costume parade, storytime, pumpkin crafts, games, family photo booth, trick-or-treating and more. Registration required online. 

Cost: Free. Suggested donation of either a new board book or $5

Where:
Triangle Presbyterian Church
5001 Tudor Place
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: Triangle Area Parenting Support
Telephone: 919-744-8876
Contact Name: Monica Richardson
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a guided tour of the trees, shrubs and flowers that adorn the park, followed by an art activity using plant materials collected during the tour. All ages and abilities welcome. Registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kids Together Playground
111 Thurston Dr.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Carve a pumpkin alongside the steady hands of a WakeMed pediatric surgeon. All participants receive a free pumpkin while supplies last. 

Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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 how to use mixed media techniques to create a dynamic self-portrait. In order for the instructor to prep for this workshop, students will need to provide the instructor with two items in...

Cost: $35

Where:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris St.
Durham , NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2726
Website »

More information

Enjoy a festival celebrating work, food and harvest. This event explores the season for all people on one of North Carolina's largest plantations, through games, music, food,...

Cost: $5/person, $15 family rate

Where:
Historic Stagville
5828 Old Oxford Hwy.
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Telephone: 919-620-0120
Website »

More information

Join a costumed interpreter to learn 19th-century country dances. No registration required. Sessions are noon-12:45 p.m. and 4-4:45 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy a health fair, food, interactive exhibits, arts, crafts, games provided by Playworks NC, prizes face painting and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Poe Center for Health Education
224 Sunnybrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »

More information

One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Learn about the trade of candy making, taste penny candy and take a trip around the globe to explore favorite treats. All ages. No registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Celebrate Halloween and nature with scary scavenger hunts, creepy crafts and fun games. Costumes optional. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Carolina Ballet presents a night of haunted stories and bewitching tales.

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Kelly Starling Lyons debuts her new chapter book series "Jada Jones" along with illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Richard B. Harrison Community Library
1313 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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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
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Activities include large KidZone with fire engine, face-painting, reading corner, giant games, inflatable obstacle course, paint-a-pumpkin, bird-feeder craft and more. Adult activities include...

Cost: $10/adult, $5/child. Free for ages 5 and younger

Where:
Midtown Park @ North Hills
4011 Cardinal at North Hills Street
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Midtown Raleigh Alliance
Telephone: 919-606-6068
Contact Name: Tara Robbins
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Enjoy a comic ballet with charming characters telling the story of this age-old fairytale. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/person

Where:
The Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Telephone: 919-249-1120
Website »

More information

One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

All ages enjoy a barn dance hosted by the Sassafras Fork Farm with live music and barbecue.

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Sassafras Fork Farm
639 U.S. 158
Rougemont, NC  27572
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Sponsor: The South Durham Farmers' Market
Contact Name: Jessie Kadolph
Website »

More information

Enjoy a comic ballet with charming characters telling the story of this age-old fairytale. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/person

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


Telephone: 919-249-1120
Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents a night of haunted stories and bewitching tales.

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


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.
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