TACO logoWake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space participates in Take A Child Outside (TACO) Week each year by offering free outdoor programs at different Wake County Parks!
 
TACO week occurs annually the week of September 24–30, and is a program developed by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to get children outdoors to discover the natural world around them. The goal of TACO week is to help children to understand and appreciate the environment in which they live and to have fun exploring nature!
 
Please note that while all of these programs are FREE in honor of TACO week, many do require preregistration!

Lake Crabtree County Park
Here, Fishy, Fishy
Wednesday, September 24, 9–11 a.m.
Program leaders will catch fish and other aquatic wildlife using a variety of methods. We'll spend time observing and identifying the critters we catch, and learn basic fish anatomy and life history. If time allows, we'll play a game to demonstrate an aquatic food web. Meet at the Floodplain. Preregistration is required.

Blue Jay Point County Park
Nature Stories: Creepy Crawlies
Wednesday, September 24, 1–2 p.m.
Spend an hour with some of the creepiest, crawliest critters around. Learn why they are so important and so much fun! Ages 3–5 with parent. Preregistration is required.

Lake Crabtree County Park
Rabies for Lunch!
Thursday, September 25, noon–2 p.m.
Here at Lake Crabtree we're positively salivating at the chance to help you swallow your fears about rabies. Rabies is a serious disease, but we're hoping to use a little humor to take a bite out of its fearsome reputation. Join us for some bat cupcakes, and we'll give you the best rabies vaccine next to the real thing: the facts! Meet at the Beech Shelter. Preregistration is required.
 
Harris Lake County Park
Build Your Own "TACO"
Thursday, September 25, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Build your own TACO – "Take a Child Outdoors" program. We will have a variety of fun, educational activities for you to participate in. We will have all the equipment/supplies you need to go bird watching, fishing, insect collecting, or go on a scavenger hunt, make nature crafts and more. Bring your picnic lunch and spend the day at Harris Lake. Drop in anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and do one or all of the activities. For all ages. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. Preregistration is preferred.

Harris Lake County Park
Park After Dark
Friday, September 26, 7–9 p.m.
End your summer with an evening at the "Park after Dark"! A variety of activities will be available for you to choose from: fishing, night hike, stargazing, flashlight games or roasting marshmallows. Times for certain activities will be available closer to the date, and space will be limited. All persons 16 and over who wish to fish must have a license. Bring your own fishing pole/bait, flashlight and camp chair. You will be provided with more information upon registering. For all ages. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. Preregistration is required.
 
Blue Jay Point County Park
Nature Stories: Creepy Crawlies
Saturday, September 27, 10–11 a.m.
Spend an hour with some of the creepiest, crawliest critters around. Learn why they are so important and so much fun! Ages 3–5 with parent. Preregistration is required.

Lake Crabtree County Park
Mysterious Mushrooms
Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.–noon
Discover the amazing world of mushrooms and learn about these organisms that are neither plant nor animal. Learn how to identify some of the more common species found in our area and discover the important role they play in our ecosystem. Meet at the Waterwise Garden. Preregistration is required.

Historic Oak View County Park
Storytelling Festival
Saturday, September 27, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Come on out to Historic Oak View County Park for the 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival and join featured tellers Beth Horner, Ron Jones and Donna Washington for an afternoon of continuous stories and activities for the entire family! Musical entertainment is back again this year with the Baron Von Rumblebuss Band performing their kid-friendly songs! Lawn seating: bring a chair or blanket. Free to all ages, no registration required. Rain or shine.

Crowder District Park
Family Pond Study: Busy Beavers
Saturday, September 27, 1–3 p.m.
Meet park staff on the boardwalk to study the beavers that once called our park home. Learn the unique adaptations of beavers and study a pelt, track and skull. For all ages; fee: FREE! No registration required.

Blue Jay Point County Park
Family Wildlife Series: Hopper Herding
Saturday, September 27, 2–3:30 p.m.
Don't know a grasshopper from a katydid or a cicada from a cricket? Then this is the class for you! We'll be sweep netting our meadow in search of these and other incredible insects that make up approximately 80% of the world's species of animals. Most appropriate for ages 5 and up. Preregistration is required.

Harris Lake County Park
Your Family Trees
Saturday, September 27, 3–4 p.m.
Your family tree details your family history, but did you know that trees can tell history, too? Join us at Harris as we explore how trees can tell us their history, and how you can tell yours. For all ages. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter. Preregistration is required.

Lake Crabtree County Park
Telling Trails
Sunday, September 28, 4–6 p.m.
Ever wonder what animal made those tracks you came across while wandering in the wilderness? Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks and other signs that they leave behind. Join us for an eye-opening hike and make an animal track to take home. Meet at the Beech Shelter. Preregistration is required.

American Tobacco Trail
Biking with Bats
Sunday, September 28, 6–8 p.m.
Load up your bikes and come on out for a twilight ride down the ATT to see what animals like to come up as the sun goes down. This will be a short, 3-mile ride down and back along the ATT. Minimum age is 6 years old. Meet at the New Hill Parking Area. Bring your bike, a water bottle and dress for the weather. Preregistration is required.

Historic Yates Mill County Park
Natural Explorations Hike
Monday, September 29, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Spend some quality time enjoying the great outdoors with your family while getting some fresh air and exercise.  Develop your child’s interest in nature and listen to a park naturalist as they share their knowledge of and experiences with nature and wildlife. For all ages. Preregistration is required.

Lake Crabtree County Park
TACO Scavenger Hunt
Monday, September 29, 6–7:30 p.m.
Follow the clues to discover Lake Crabtree's hidden secrets. Along the way, we'll learn how to use a map, a compass, and find out a few things about the park's history and its human and non-human inhabitants.