Quick Launch

Wake County News > Posts > ​Explore Wake County Parks after Dark
March 26
​Explore Wake County Parks after Dark

You’ve explored the trails. Your kids have spent hours on the playgrounds. You’ve participated in some amazing programs. Now it’s time to take a new look at Wake County parks and find out what happens when the sun goes down.

There are three opportunities to make that happen in April.

Friday, April 12: Star Party
Head over to the American Tobacco Trail for the NC Science Festival’s statewide Star Party, “The Moon and Beyond.”

There will be fun, hands-on activities, storytime and a solar system walk early in the evening. As the sun goes down, enjoy constellation storytelling, and observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars.

The Star Party will take place from 6:30–10:30 p.m., and all ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring your curiosity, water bottle, chair and/or blanket and your own viewing instrument (if you have one)—and be sure to dress for the weather. Meet at the White Oak parking area at 1305 White Oak Church Road, Apex, 27523. More information is available here.

Friday, April 12: Crowder by Night
Also that night, Crowder County Park will host Crowder by Night: Alive After Dark from 7:30–8:30 p.m.

Let the moon guide your way as you stroll around the pond in search of nighttime critters. Play fun games, try to catch some nocturnal bugs and bring a flashlight to spot the spiders!

The program is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Preregistration is required. Meet at the Heron Shelter. Crowder District Park is located at 4709 Ten Ten Road, Apex.

Saturday, April 20: Full Moon Paddle
The following week, you can enjoy the Full Moon Paddle on Lake Crabtree. This is a unique opportunity to be in the park after hours and see a full moon from a different perspective—on the water!

This program, which takes place from 8–10 p.m., is for ages 18 and older. There is a limit of two adults per tandem boat. Preregistration is required. Choose a boat type to register online: Solo Kayak, Tandem Kayak, Tandem Canoe or Bring Your Own Boat. Lake Crabtree County Park is located at 1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville.

Here’s a sampling of other programs and events available in April:

A Side of History: Milkweed, Monarchs, and More
Friday, April 19, 10–11 a.m.
Historic Yates Mill County Park
You may be aware of the role that milkweed plants play in the life of Monarch butterflies, but did you know that during World War II, the government encouraged citizens to collect milkweed fluff to be used in life preservers?

Discover the fascinating story of the war-time use of the milkweed plant, learn about the life cycle of Monarch butterflies and the essential role of milkweed plants in the butterflies’ survival, plant seeds in a pot you can take home, and make a fun craft. This program is for ages 7 and older, and preregistration is required. Historic Yates Mill County Park is located at 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh.

History Hike for the NC Science Festival
Saturday, April 20, 2–3:30 p.m.
Harris Lake County Park
Long ago, many families lived and worked on what is now Harris Lake County Park. Harvesting crops, tending livestock and carrying out daily chores were a major part of life in this bygone era.

On this one-mile hike, we will discover the rich history of the land. Connections will be made between how land is farmed today compared to the early days. Through engaging tales gathered from interviews of past residents and listening to our audio tour, we will take a walk back in time. Preregistration is required. Meet at the Disc Golf kiosk (first gravel lot on your right). Harris Lake County Park is located at 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill.

Spring at the Farm
Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Historic Oak View County Park
Learn about the history of farming at Oak View, go on a guided tour focused on springtime farm chores and plant your own spring vegetable seed to take home! Created with assistance from the Autism Society of North Carolina, this program welcomes children and teens with a range of abilities and learning styles. Preregistration is required, and the event is for ages 5 and older. Historic Oak View County Park is located at 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh.

To see a list of upcoming programs and events, visit wakegov.com/parks.

Our 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.

About Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space strives to provide outdoor recreation and educational opportunities while promoting environmental and cultural stewardship through a managed system of parks and open spaces. In 2018, more than 385,000 people visited Wake County’s 10 parks and nature preserves.

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.


         Wake County Departments & Agencies: