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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.
Pumpkin Carving Wagon Ride (FULL w/ Waitlist)
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.
Canoe, Craft and Campfire
Wednesday, November 9
3–6 p.m.
For ages 8 and up
$3 per person
Paddle along the shore of Harris Lake County Park, decorate your own gourd, learn about local wildlife and roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire. NCSU Parks, Recreation and Tourism students will be developing and leading this program with park staff as part of their programming class and service learning lab. Space is limited. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.
Scurrying Squirrels in Search of Seeds
Saturday, November 19
1–2:30 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Squirrels are busy this time of year preparing for winter. Learn about our native squirrels and what kinds of seeds they're after, then go on a hike to see them in action around the park! We'll also make a fun squirrel craft to take home. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Wagon Ride with Santa
Saturday, December 10
3–4:30 p.m.
For all ages
$2 per person
Harris Lake County Park will welcome a special holiday visitor this December! Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join us for a cup of hot cocoa and ride on our wagon to explore the back roads of the park. Be one of his special guests on the wagon as you listen to stories and sing Christmas carols! Prepare for chilly weather - bring a blanket to stay warm. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.

Preschool children at program

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
 Discover what is out and about seasonally in the park each month! Experience the natural
 world and the critters that live in it through stories, hands-on nature activities, games and
 more. Dress warm for outdoor fun in nature! Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Click on a date below (all Mondays) to register online:
                                          January 9   
 November 14                 February 13
December 5                  March 13  
Kids Discover Nature
Ages: 2–6 years with an adult
Time: 11 a.m.noon
Cost: $4 per child
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.
Rocks Plain and Pretty
Monday, November 14
Find a special rock, sort and explore rocks and make your very own rock. Laura Purdie Salas' lyrical rhyming text and Violeta Dabija's glowing illustrations in A Rock Can Be show how rocks decorate and strengthen the world. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Wildlife Treat Creations
Monday, December 5
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. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids


Nature Lab: Kids Get Holiday Crafty
Thursday, December 22
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
For ages 612
$16 per child
Need a few more hours to finish shopping? Bring your kids to the park for 4 hours of crafting, hiking and games. The crafts your child creates will make great keepsakes or wonderful gifts for family members. Send a lunch, water bottle and holiday spirit. We will provide a snack and all the supplies! This has become an annual tradition at Harris Lake County Park, so register early. Wear closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for hiking outside. Meet at the Park Office.

 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 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:


 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: 328.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 10/18/2016 5:33 PM by Christina D. Sorensen





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