We offer a variety of park programs for all ages - register for one today! Visit our calendar of events, view our January e-newsletter or sign up here to receive our e-newsletters to keep up with what is happening in the parks.
Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:


Family Programs

 Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Astronomy Evening
Friday, Jan. 19 
5:30–8:30 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Enjoy an evening of fun astronomy activities followed by night sky viewing through telescopes and binoculars. Winter's cool temperatures allow for some of the best stargazing conditions of the year. Bring your own viewing instrument if you have one, a chair or blanket and a water bottle. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
History Lesson: Log Hewing
Saturday, Jan. 27
2–3 p.m.
For all ages
Before there were sawmills, people who needed lumber had to make it themselves. The art of log hewing in America dates back to the early 1600s. Join us for a fascinating trip into the past with Joe Judge as you learn about the history of log hewing and watch a hewing demonstration. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
Wagon Ride to the Longleaf Area for Bird Watching
Saturday, Feb. 3
10 a.m.–noon
For ages 8 and up
$1 per person
Join us on a wagon ride to our 60-acre Longleaf Pine Forest, where we will disembark to go bird watching in this unique habitat. Naturalists and Wake Audubon Society members Will Rowland and Larry Zoller will help us identify the birds we see and hear. Bring your own binoculars and field guide or borrow ours. Dress for the weather and bring water.
Meet at the wagon at the playground.
Nature in my Backyard
Saturday, Feb. 10
1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages
$2 per person
Do you love nature? Join us to learn simple ways to attract all kinds of wildlife to your backyard then build a birdhouse to take home.
Each family will make one box. Limited to 10 families.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Participate in the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count from February 16–19.
Bird watchers of all ages are encouarged to count birds to create a real time snapshot of where birds are across the globe. Visit the GBBC website for more information.
The following programs are free at Harris Lake County Park for this exciting event.
Check the American Tobacco Trail programs page for more GBBC programs!
Introduction to Bird Watching and the GBBC
Friday, Feb. 16
3:30–5:30 p.m.
Free for all ages (best for over 4)
Discover some tips and techniques to identify birds as we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of bird watching through fun activities. Learn how to participate in the GBBC and hike along the shoreline to practice your new skills and help us count the birds. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
Meet in the Educational Garden.
Morning Bird Walks
Click on a date below to register:
9–10:30 a.m.
Free for all ages (best for over 4)
Help park staff add to our Great Backyard Bird Count data as we walk along the trails and shoreline to identify our birds in different habitats of the park. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
Meet at the platform in the Educational Garden.
Wonderful Woodcocks and Wagon Ride for GBBC
Saturday, Feb. 17
5:30–7 p.m.
Free for ages 12 and up
Embark on a wagon ride into a remote area of the park in the hopes of seeing one of nature’s coolest spectacles. The male Woodcock takes making a good impression to new heights! These small birds will take flight into the evening sky and perform aerial acrobatics before coming back down to the ground. Dress for the weather, bring a blanket for the wagon ride and binoculars if you have them (or borrow ours).
Meet at the wagon at the playground.
Heart Healthy Bird Walk
Sunday, Feb. 18
1–2:30 p.m.
Free for all ages for GBBC and Heart Health Awareness Month
Join park staff for an afternoon walk for the Great Backyard Bird Count to add birds to our GBBC list while engaging in heart healthy physical activity for Wake County’s Heart Health Awareness Month. A representative from Wake County Human Resources will share some heart healthy tips and enter all participants in a drawing for a door prize.
Meet in the Educational Garden.
Raptors of Harris Lake County Park
Monday, Feb. 19
1–2:30 p.m.
Free for ages 6 and up
There are many kinds of raptors or birds of prey that call Harris Lake County Park home. Some stay all year, such as the Bald Eagle, and others, such as the Osprey, live here only part of the year. Discover the adaptations that make them such great survivors and take a short hike to search for them around the park. Bring binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Winter Campfire
Friday, March 2
6–7:30 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Are you ready for spring? Enjoy an evening outside roasting marshmallows and listening to Native American tales, then go on a night hike to see and hear who is out and about. Bring a camp chair or blanket and a water bottle.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Salamanders at Harris Lake County Park
Sunday, March 4
2–3 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Harris Lake County Park is home to several species of salamanders. Join us as we learn about these elusive amphibians and see some up close.
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter. 
Geocaching 101
Saturday, March 10
2–3:30 p.m.
For ages 6 and up
$1 per person
Geocaching is a like a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden "caches." Learn what geocaching is all about and take off to a find a geocache in the park! We will provide a GPS unit per family and instruction on how to use them. 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.
Family Orienteering
Sunday, March 11
1–3 p.m.
For ages 4 and up but best for 6 and over
$1 per person
Learn how to navigate using a compass. When you think you are ready, we'll send you off an orienteering course that takes you around the Day Use area of the park. This family activity is perfect for beginners. We will have compasses, or you may bring your own.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Catchin' Crappie
Saturday, March 24
6–8 p.m.
For ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)
$1 per person
Early spring is Crappie time! Kids join us and learn how to catch this very tasty and important fish. Topics covered will include: gear rigging, knot tying, bait selection and tactics to catch crappie. Bring your own pole or use one of ours.
Meet at the fishing pier.
Full Moon Hike
Saturday, March 31
7:30–9 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
We'll let the moon light our way and the frogs serenade us as we explore the trails and ponds at Harris for signs of nighttime critters.
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.


Kids Discover Nature Preschool Programs 

Due to unpredictable weather, our preschool programs are taking a break for the months of January and February.
Hide and Seek in Nature
Monday, March 12
11 a.m.–noon
For ages 1–6 (*Ages 1–3 may attend only the first half of the program for the story and hands-on activities, if desired.)
$4 per child
Kids love to find things in nature – nature is great at hiding! We will read a story about camouflage, observe some critters that hide in nature and play a game to find things hidden in the woods. Dress for the weather and for outdoor fun!
All children attending must be registered in our online system and must be accompanied by an adult (who does not register).
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Citizen Science ThursdayCleaning a Bluebird Box.jpg

Ages: 10 and up
Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.
FREE but all participants must be registered
through our online system.
 Click on a date below to register:
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 or assisting with other relevant tasks. Come prepared to learn and work as you help manage our natural resources. This volunteer opportunity is free but registration is required so we know who to expect and can plan accordingly.
Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves and a water bottle.
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.

 Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids

Nature Lab: Bird Bonanza
Thursday, March 29 
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
For ages 7–11
$16 per child
What makes a bird a bird? We'll get to know our feathered friends and their adaptations for survival through hands-on activities, games, a bird watching hike and more! Observe some native birds of different kinds up close with our educational mounts. Bring a snack, lunch and full water bottle. Dress for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Check out our public programs at the American Tobacco Trail!
Go to the American Tobacco Trail programs page for details.
We would love your feedback!
Did you attend one of our programs?
Let us know how we did by completing our brief public program evaluation online. 

How to Register for Public Programs 

You can register for public programs online at your convenience and pay for them with a credit/debit card.
To register for one of our public programs, click the Harris Lake icon next to the program to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website, or use the button below to search for programs by location, age, date and more.
Internet Browser Issues?
Internet Explorer works best when registering or searching via our program calendar.
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 jackie.trickel@wakegov.com 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 harris.lake@wakegov.com for assistance.