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November 28
​‘Tis the Season to Visit Wake County Parks

Don’t let the cold weather fool you – Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space programs and events are in full bloom in December. Join us to find out what it means to be evergreen, play some reindeer games and nerd out over nature. Here’s a sample of the programs available in December:

Sleigh Rides and Cider
Saturday, Dec. 1, 5–7:30 p.m.

Historic Oak View County Park
This holiday tradition features horse-drawn carriage rides, hot apple cider, live music, handmade crafts, holiday activities and, of course, Ol’ Saint Nick himself! The event is free, and no reservations are required. Historic Oak View County Park is located at 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh.

Nature Watchers: Forever Green
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.–noon
Crowder District Park
How do pine trees stay so green when it’s so cold outside? Which animals love to live in evergreen trees during winter? We’ll explore the answers to these and other questions using our five senses during a winter stroll around the park and by doing an art project. We’ll also read "The Sheltering Cedar," by local author Anne Marshall Runyon. This program is for children ages 3–5, and the program fee is $4 per child. Preregistration is required, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the Upper Pavilion. Crowder District Park is located at 4709 Ten Ten Road, Apex.

Take a Photo with Santa at the Old Mill
Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.–noon and 1–3 p.m.
Historic Yates Mill County Park
Come have your picture taken with Santa inside Yates Mill. While at the park, play some "reindeer games," try out a variety of old-time toys, enjoy some free seasonal refreshments and shop for handmade crafts. Photo packages will cost $15 and up, depending on photo sizes. A digital image will be $35. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Dec. 8. Proceeds from the event will benefit Yates Mill Associates’ ongoing efforts to keep Yates Mill operating and open to the public. Historic Yates Mill County Park is located at 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh.

Kids Discover Nature: Create Treats for Wildlife
Monday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m.–noon
Harris Lake County Park
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 wildlife. Dress warm for outdoor fun in nature! This program is for ages 1–6 with an accompanying adult, and the fee is $4 per child. Preregistration is required. Meet at the Cypress Shelter. Harris Lake County Park is located at 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill.

Nature Nerds
Wednesday, Dec. 19, noon–1 p.m.
Lake Crabtree County Park
Expand your knowledge of our local flora and fauna by exploring a different area of the park each month. Join park staff as they "nerd out" over amphibians, birds, insects, spiders and anything else they see or hear along the way. Help collect data for the Natural Resource Inventory Database while increasing your own identification skills. This is a free program for ages 9 and older, and preregistration is required. Lake Crabtree County Park is located at 1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville.

Full Moon Hike on the ATT
Friday, Dec. 21, 5:30–7 p.m.
American Tobacco Trail
Celebrate the first day of winter by taking a moonlit stroll down the trail to the Beaver Creek Bridge and back, listening and looking for nocturnal animals. We will also enjoy some fun nighttime activities. Bring a water bottle and flashlight, dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. This program is for all ages, and the fee is $1 per person. Preregistration is required. Meet at the New Hill Parking Area at 1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road, Apex.

Family Wildlife Series: Natural Creations
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2–3 p.m.
Blue Jay Point County Park
Have you ever looked at a silhouette of bare tree branches against a winter sky and thought it looked like a work of art? Come practice your winter tree ID and take some photos to capture your favorite work of art. We’ll post these photos on Facebook and let folks vote for “best in show” in this fun amateur photography contest. Who knows, there might even be a prize or two! This program is free, but preregistration is required. Blue Jay Point County Park is located at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road, Raleigh.

Reminder
The new Park Locator makes it easy to explore all the parks and preserves in Wake County! Filter results by activity or location, and get customized directions.

To learn more about Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WakeGovParks. You can also check out each of our parks on Facebook.

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