We offer a variety of park programs for all ages - register for one today! Visit our calendar of events, view our program 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:
 Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.   
Friendly Snakes for "Take a Child Outside" week
Saturday, Sept. 29
11 a.m.–noon
For all ages
Snakes are very misunderstood and feared, yet are so important to our ecosystem. Meet some friendly snakes up close and learn about common snakes found in this area. This program is free in in honor of "Take a Child Outside" week but advance online registration is required for all participants.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Kids Discover Nature: Pumpkin Circle
Monday, Oct. 8
11 a.m.–noon
For ages 1–6
$4 per child
“We can be sure of this: It’s a circle without end. It’s pumpkin seeds to pumpkins to pumpkin seeds again!” Get ready for fall by learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin through George Levenson’s Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden, then plant a pumpkin seed to take home and watch it grow.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Pumpkin Carving Wagon Ride
Saturday, Oct. 27
1–3 p.m.
For all ages
$2 per person
Celebrate the season with a wagon ride along the back roads of our park to search for a hidden pumpkin, then return to the Loblolly Shelter to carve a Halloween masterpiece with your family. Each family will be limited to one pumpkin. (You may bring additional pumpkins of your own to carve.)
Meet at the wagon at the playground.
Nature Lab: Halloween Wildlife
Wednesday, Oct. 31
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
For ages 7–12
$12 per child
Spiders, bats and owls, oh my! Have fun learning about these not-so-scary animals through a boo-tiful morning at the park. After our activities, we’ll wrap up with lunch under the shelter. Bring a snack, light lunch and full water bottle. This is a kids drop off program.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Kids Discover Nature: The Fallen Log
Monday, November 19
11 a.m.–noon
For ages 1–6
$4 per child
Logs provide great habitat for many animals. Join us as we read Wendy Pfeffer's A Log's Life, explore a real log and create a log craft to take home.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Thanksgiving Wagon Ride
Friday, Nov. 23
1–2 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Bring the family out for a fall wagon ride along the back roads of the park to enjoy the fall colors and the beauty of Harris Lake County Park. Staff will interpret the natural and historical features in the park. Bring a blanket or wear a coat if weather is chilly.
Meet at the wagon at the playground.
Wagon Ride with Santa
Saturday, Dec. 15
2:30–4 p.m.
For all ages
$2 per person
Harris Lake 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 a ride on our wagon along the back roads of the park. Spend some special time with Santa. Photo opportunities will be provided. Prepare for chilly weather – bring a blanket to stay warm.
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
Nature Lab: Kids Get Holiday Crafty
Friday, Dec. 21
1–4 p.m.
For ages 6–10
$12 per child
Bring your kids to the park for an afternoon of crafting and nature while you take advantage of a few more hours of holiday shopping. The crafts your child creates will make great keepsakes or gifts for Christmas. We will provide snacks, music and all the supplies! This has become a holiday tradition at Harris Lake County Park, so register early.
Meet at the Park Office.

15th Annual Haunting at Harris: Halloween Around the World
Sunday, Oct. 7
1–6 p.m.
Free for all ages!
Join us on an adventure of discovery as you experience Halloween traditions from around the world! Mexico, Romania, Ireland, China and United States are just a few of the countries that will be represented. Come as you are or show off your Halloween costume at this FREE family event and see “Day of the Dead,” Dracula, jack-o-lanterns and other surprises on a creepy wagon ride as only Harris Lake County Park staff can present them!
At the shelters, play games, create crafts, meet some live critters, pass through the obstacle course and more!
The Wake County Animal Center will be on site with adoptable pets!
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Carolina Children's Museum
will hold a fun costume parade at 4 p.m.
that you won't want to miss!
*Please note, we are trying something different and holding the event on a Sunday this year!
Tickets for the Halloween Around the World wagon ride are free but limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis at the event. Rides depart every 30 minutes.
Tickets will be distributed at 12:30 p.m. for the 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 and 3:00 rides.
Tickets will be distributed at 3 p.m. for the 3:30, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30 rides.
Check back often as more specific details and happenings are added!
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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.

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.
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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.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, we will no longer accept cash on site at any Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space location. Payments can be made on site or in advance with a credit or debit card. Checks must be mailed in advance to
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space,
PO Box 550, Suite 1000, Raleigh, NC 27602.
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.