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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 October 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.
Now Available!
Online Public Program Registration
You can now 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.


Families roasting marshmallows

Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Cunning Coyotes
Friday, September 30
3–4 p.m.
For all ages; best for 6+
Coyotes are some of the most adaptable mammals around and they are found in every county in North Carolina. Learn about these elusive and highly misunderstood creatures, many of which live right here at Harris Lake County Park! Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
This free program is in celebration of "TACO" (Take A Child Outside) Week.
Nature Through Sign Language
Monday, October 17
11 a.m.–noon
For all ages
$1 per person
Discover nature through sign language. Begin your learning journey on a short walk as we practice signing things we may see in nature. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Pumpkin Carving Wagon Ride
Saturday, October 22
1–3 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Celebrate the season with a wagon ride out to the back areas of our park to search for a pumpkin, then return to the shelter to carve a Halloween masterpiece with your family. Each family will be limited to one pumpkin from the field (you may bring additional pumpkins of your own to carve). Space is limited to 10 families. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.
Super Spiders
Saturday, October 29
10–11:30 a.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Discover why spiders are so fascinating and beneficial! After a short introduction and seeing some up close, we will hike to find some spiders in action out in the park. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Sunset Campfire
Saturday, October 29 (date changed from Friday, Oct. 14)
6–7:30 p.m. (new time)
For all ages
$1 per person
Spend an evening at the park by the light of the setting sun as we build a rustic campfire. Join us to learn fire building techniques, sing songs, roast marshmallows and more. Marshmallows and roasting sticks will be provided. Please bring a water bottle and camp chairs or a blanket to sit on. Meet at the field by the Cypress Shelter.

Preschool children at program

Preschool Programs

Programs meet at the Cypress Shelter.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Nature Tots 
Discover the natural world through stories, hands-on
nature activities, games, crafts and more!
Ages: 1–3 years with an adult
Time: 10–10:30 a.m.
Fee: $2 per child
Monday, October 10
Pumpkins are all around us this time of year. we will read a story about the life of a pumpkin, open up a real one to see what is inside and try a tasty pumpkin snack. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Kids Discover Nature
Young kids will discover nature with an adult in this new series.
Our monthly nature themes will be brought to life through stories,
games, crafts, hikes, snacks and other hands-on activities.
Ages: 2–6 years with an adult
Time: 11 a.m.noon
Fee: $4 per child
Hide and Seek
Monday, October 10
Fall is a fun time to learn about camouflage as there are so many more colors in nature. Discover how animals hide to survive as we play a camouflage game. Observe some live animals "hiding" and make your own hide and seek critter. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids


Check back soon for more exciting opportunities just for kids!

 Adult workshop in park shelter


 Programs and Workshops for Teens and Adults

Check back soon for more exciting opportunities just for teens and adults!

Wood duck eggs in nest box

Citizen Science Thursday  


Ages: 8 and up
Time: 35 p.m.
Help the park staff with our citizen science projects! Each month will vary depending on what needs attention. Projects may include monitoring bird houses or other artificial habitats, cleaning or repairing boxes/habitats or installing additional projects.
Come prepared to learn and work as you contribute to our citizen science research and our Natural Resources Inventory Database. Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Click on one of the dates below to register online:


Haunting at Harris

Saturday, October 8, 16 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          Face Painting          Bubbles
A Legends Obstacle Course designed by NCSU PRT 358 students - guaranteed fun!
Story Times at 1:30, 3 and 4:30 presented by Wake County's Holly Springs Library staff
Hot dogs, chips and drinks sold by the Southern Wake Academy PTO
Watch for updates as we add more activities!
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 919-387-4344.
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!
*   *   *
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.
 *   *   *
Would you like to volunteer to help with event games and activities
or on our spooky wagon ride? We would love to have you!
Call us at 919-387-4342 or email to sign up!


 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.
*  *  *
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: 324.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 9/29/2016 4:39 PM by Erin Latimer





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