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Public Programs

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Christina D. Sorensen

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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Harris Lake County Park staff offers a variety of public educational programs for all ages year-round. Visit our calendar of events, check out our e-newsletter and sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date!
Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:
Our staff also offers public programs at the American Tobacco Trail!
Check out the ATT programs page for details.

We would love your feedback!

Did you attend one of our programs? Let us know how we did!
Complete our brief public program evaluation online.
Internet Browser Issues?
Internet Explorer works best when registering or searching via our program calendar!

Online Public Program Registration

You can register for public programs online at your convenience and pay for them with a credit/debit card.
Register for any of our programs by clicking the Harris Lake icon next to the program, or click the one below to search for programs by location, age, date and more!
Learn more under How to Register.


Family Programs

 Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.


September Stroll
Saturday, Sept. 9
10–11:30 a.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Enjoy a leisurely hike along a portion of our Peninsula Trail to observe the natural world while playing a game of nature bingo.
Meet at the kiosk at the start of the Peninsula Trail.

Big Sweep
Sunday, Sept. 17
1–4 p.m.
Ages 6+ for shoreline cleanup; 10+ for roadside cleanup
Free but all participants must be registered through our online system.
Help keep Harris Lake clean! Volunteers are needed to help collect trash along the lake shore and along New Hill Holleman Road, preventing lots of litter from reaching Harris Lake. Minimum age for shoreline cleanup is 6, minimum age for roadside cleanup is 10. All participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and your own work gloves if you prefer. We will provide park gloves and trash bags for all and safety vests for the roadside crew. All volunteers must sign the Wake County Volunteer Release.
Meet at the Park Office for introduction and assignments.

Evening Campfire
Friday, Sept. 22
7:30–9 p.m.
For all ages
$2 per person
Usher in the first day of autumn and spend the evening at Harris Lake County Park around the campfire roasting marshmallows and enjoying the sounds of a variety of musical instruments. We will go on a short hike to see what critters are out and about. Marshmallows and roasting sticks will be provided. Bring a camp chair or blanket and a water bottle. 
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Marvelous Migration (TACO)
Saturday, Sept. 30
2–3:30 p.m.
For all ages
Free for Take a Child Outside week!
Migration is a worldwide phenomenon. Explore the amazing adaptations that make animals great migrants such as the Monarch Butterfly and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Participants will discover how to make their homes ideal rest stops for weary travelers. Register soon – space is limited!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Geocaching 101
Sunday, Oct. 1
2–3:30 p.m.
For ages 6 and up
$1 per person
Geocaching is like a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden "caches." Learn what geocaching is all about and head off to find a geocache in the park! We will provide GPS units and instruction on how to use them, but feel free to bring your own unit or smartphone with a geocache app. Register early as class size is limited.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter. 


Preschool Programs

Programs meet at the Cypress Shelter.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Nature Tots: Seasonal Discoveries

Ages: 1–3 years with an adult
Time: 10–10:30 a.m.
Cost: $2 per child
(Please register each child attending. Children must be accompanied by an adult
but the adult does not register.)
Discover the season and what is out and about in the park through a story,
interactive activities and more. 
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Click on a date below (all Mondays) to register online:


Kids Discover Nature

Ages: 3–7 years with an adult
Time: 11 a.m.–noon
Cost: $4 per child
(Please register each child attending. Children must be accompanied by an adult
but the adult does not register.)
Young kids will discover nature with an adult in this series.
Our monthly nature themes will be brought to life through stories, games, crafts, hikes, snacks and other hands-on activities.

The Fallen Log
Monday, Sept. 11
Logs provide great habitat for many animals. Join us for a story, log exploration and a craft. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Wood duck eggs in nest box

Citizen Science Thursday

Ages: 10 and up
Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.
FREE but all participants must be registered
through our online system.
Volunteer your time with our monitoring and citizen science projects! Tasks will vary depending on what needs attention. Tasks may include: cleaning or repairing habitat boxes or installing new ones, monitoring our current boxes and assisting with other tasks as needed. Come prepared to learn and work as you contribute to our citizen science projects. This volunteer opportunity is free but registration is required so we know who to expect and can plan accordingly.
Wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves and water.
Please print and sign the Volunteer Release and bring to the program.
This release is required for participation.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter unless told otherwise.
Click on one of the dates below to register online:
                                              August 24 *Please note: meets from 9:30–11:30 a.m.!
                                   September 28 TACO week program!

 Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids


Check back for upcoming programs for kids!

Saturday, October 14, 1 - 6 p.m.
Don't miss our 14th annual Haunting at Harris: Rise of the Legends!
Famous legends, urban lore and crazy characters, oh my! 
This family-friendly event includes fun for all ages!
There are two parts to this event and all activities are FREE:
Our interactive wagon ride takes you on an adventure to see legends such as Blackbeard, the Loch Ness Monster, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and more as you help the Woodland Fairy Godmother return the Legends Idol to its resting spot.
Please note: A limited number of tickets to ride the wagon will be available at the event on a
first-come, first-served basis. Please see "Wagon Ride Tickets" below so you are aware of the rules and how to get your tickets.
The second part of this event takes place in our shelter area, and no tickets are needed.
Come as you are or show off your Halloween costume!
- Pumpkin Pass Games for Kids  - play all 8 games to earn a prize!    - Creative Crafts
- Legendary Fun Hands-On Activities       - Cool Crawly Critters     - Bubbles    
 - A Legends Obstacle Course - guaranteed fun!
Wagon Ride Tickets:
Ticket lines will start near the playground. You must be present in the ticket line
at the event to receive a ticket. Every member of your family/group must be in line by the time you reach the ticket table - no exceptions!
Rides depart every 30 minutes from 1 - 5:30 p.m.
At 12:30 p.m. tickets for rides departing at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 will be passed out.
(You may choose your time when you get to the table based on availability.)
At 3 p.m. tickets for rides departing at 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5 and 5:30 will be passed out.
(Again, you may choose your time based on available seats left.)
These rules are intended to make the ticket process fair to all event patrons. Please plan accordingly. If you have any questions, contact park staff before the event at 919-387-4342.
If you are unable to secure a seat on the wagon, we hope you will enjoy the many other activities we have planned for you in our shelter area!
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Parking for Haunting at Harris will be in our day use area near the shelters.
Please observe any no parking signs or cones you see around the park -
these are placed so that our wagon can make turns and to protect sensitive areas.
If parking fills up, we will overflow into our parking field (the first gravel drive on your left after entering the park). Park in the field and take a 5-minute walk on unpaved trail to the event.
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Would you like to volunteer to help with event games and crafts
or on our spooky wagon ride? We would love to have you!
Stay tuned for links to register to volunteer on our online system!

How to Register for Public Programs

Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space has launched one of our most requested features – an online registration system.
You can now sign up for a public program online and pay for it with a credit/debit card!
To register for one of our public programs, click the link by that program to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website.
The most common registration questions are answered on our FAQ page.
If you still need further assistance after visiting that page or if you have a question about a program, please call the park office at 919-387-4342.
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Interested in a private group program? Please note that you will still need to contact park staff by phone at 919-387-4344 or by email at to schedule school field trips, birthday parties and other group programs.
Are you unable to register online with a credit/debit card? Contact the park office at 919-387-4342 or email us at for assistance.



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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 389.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 8/18/2017 4:13 PM by Stephen R. Walston





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