floodplain.jpgWhether you are a child or an adult, Lake Crabtree has a program for you! All programs offered at Lake Crabtree are FREE unless otherwise stated. All programs have space limitations and, therefore, require registration prior to the program.

To register in person, by mail or fax, please download a copy of our Registration Form or call 919-460-3355 for more information.

​To register online, use the registration buttons to the right of each program or the links below the description.

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Family Programs
(Everyone welcome)
Preregistration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. All participants must be registered.

Birding with Vernon
1st Saturday of each month (unless otherwise stated), 8:30–10 a.m.
July 6, August 3, September 7
No preregistration required

Meet at the Waterwise Garden (first parking lot on right)
Join our bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​

Crabtree Casters
Wednesday, 6:30–8 p.m.

​Whether you already enjoy fishing or would like to learn how to fish, this program is for you! Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All participants 16 years and older must have a valid NC fishing license to participate. Fishing is catch and release only. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If the accompanying adult does not have a license, minors will be covered by the licensed instructor. Children and adults must be registered. This program occurs on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from April through September. Choose a date below to register online.

Nature Nerds
9–10 a.m.
Expand your knowledge of our local flora and fauna by exploring a different area of the park each month. Join park staff as they "nerd out" over amphibians, birds, insects, spiders and anything else they see or hear along the way. Help collect data for the Natural Resource Inventory Database while increasing your own identification skills.​

Sunset Canoe Trip
Friday, July 12, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Join staff for a sunset paddle around the lake. We will explore "bird island", Crabtree Creek and other areas in search of herons, beaver, turtles, and more.​

This program is for ages 8 and up. Each registration is for one canoe, and all participants must be listed. Each canoe is limited to two or three people (if three; one of the three must be a child). An adult is required in each canoe.

Nature at Night
Saturday, July 13, 8–10 p.m.
Experience the sights and sounds of sunset and beyond. Learn more about the park's nocturnal animals and test your night vision. Come prepared with a flashlight and a sense of adventure!

A Trip To Whoville
Saturday, July 20, 9–11 a.m.
"In every flower, every stem, every leaf, a world to discover that's beyond belief!" In the Dr. Seuss story, Horton the elephant finds a tiny world on a clover flower. Just like "whos," insects large and tiny make their homes from almost every plant in nature. We will explore our own whovilles, finding the crazy and often amazing creatures that make homes out of leaves, stems and flowers. We will make our own guides to the worlds we find (with drawings and stories), so others who visit can learn about them. For those who are interested, this program will also provide you with some tools for contributing to science by looking for the worlds in your backyard.​ Ages 5 and up.

Nature's Jamboree
Saturday, Aug. 3, 9–11 a.m.
Nature makes noise! Why do birds sing? Why do frogs call? Why do bats make sounds we cannot hear? We will explore the sounds of nature: how and why animals make them, and discover the good and bad things that happen to animals that make noise. We will play games, listen to the sounds of nature, and try to make our own musical instruments out of natural materials.​

Animal Detectives (TACO)
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10–11:30 a.m.
Grab your magnifying glass and help solve the many mysteries along the Old Beech Nature Trail. Who left the pile of acorns by the rotten log? Whose scat is that? Use your senses and detective skills to answer these questions and more on a leisurely walk.​ Ages 6 and up.

Turtle Talk (TACO)
Saturday, Sept. 28, 1–3 p.m.
In 1979, the NC Legislature designated the Eastern Box Turtle as our state reptile. Learn how you can help conserve this valuable state symbol. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted turtle, Shel Silverstein, and join park staff on a box turtle survey. Enjoy an opportunity to search for wild turtles in their natural habitat.​ Ages 6 and up.

Discover nature, beginning with a story, followed by outdoor, hands-on nature exploration. Each program will end with a fun activity or craft to take home. Come prepared to actively participate with your child. First Wednesday of each month. Programs run from 1–2 p.m. at the Beech Shelter. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–6.

A Pill Bug's Life
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 1–2 p.m.
Have you ever caught a pill bug (aka rolypoly) and wonder what it does all day? Discover the life of a pill bug, and explore under logs and leaves to see how many you can find around the park. We will make a pill bug to take home.​

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1–2 p.m.
After a story about the barn owl, we will learn about all of the owls that live in North Carolina and what makes them different from other birds. Hoot like an owl, discover what they eat by looking at owl pellets, and make an owl mask.​

These programs are open to students 6–12 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Parent/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. Preregistration is required.

Dragons and Damsels
Wednesday, July 31, 9–11 a.m.
Explore the world of dragonflies and damselflies! Learn about their amphibious nature, and the great distances some of them migrate. Identify some of our common species, and discover fun facts about these amazing and beneficial creatures.​

Hoo's Eating Hoo?
Tuesday, Aug. 27, 9–11 a.m.
Learn about predator and prey relationships by taking a closer look at the eating habits of that mysterious creature of the night, the owl. Release your inner scientist as you examine an owl pellet. If time allows, we will also learn about other raptor species, including eagles, osprey, and hawks.​

The Fungus Among Us
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 9–11 a.m.
Discover the amazing world of mushrooms and learn about these organisms that are neither plant nor animal. Learn how to identify some of the more common types of fungi in our area and discover the important role they play in our ecosystem. We will even go on a mushroom hunt!​


Lifestyles of the Small and Squishy
Friday, July 12, 9 a.m.–noon
Insects eat plants – let us count the ways! There is a surprising and incredible variety of ways to eat plants, ranging from chewing them to sucking out their juices (like mosquitoes do to us), to mining trails through the insides of leaves, to creating tumors on plants that create fresh food. In this workshop we will explore different ways animals eat plants and discuss the adaptations behind some of these methods of feeding. Then we will work on finding examples of herbivores in nature to provide you with some tools for contributing to science by looking closely at the small things feeding on plants in your backyards.​

Sounds of Summer: Insect Song Workshop
Friday, Aug. 2, 9 a.m.–noon
Summer brings a symphony of singing insects, including crickets, katydids and cicadas. Learn how to distinguish between the different groups of Orthopterans, and learn the songs of some of our common species. We'll spend some time trying to catch insects around the park and test our new ID skills. Ages 18 and up.​

Spiders 101 Workshop
Friday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m.–noon
North Carolina is home to a vast array of spiders with a variety of hunting styles and body types. Learn how to identify some of our common species and discover the many benefits of having spider neighbors. We'll spend some time trying to catch spiders around the park and test our new ID skills. We will share activities and program ideas for educators and give you plenty of resources to make you an arachnid expert!​

Beginner Birding Class
9 a.m.–noon
What is the difference between birdwatching and birding? Birding with Vernon walk leader, Vernon Janke, will talk about the art of birding, and the tools and techniques you need to improve your birding skills. Discover why birding is one of the most popular outdoor activities, and use your new knowledge on a bird walk around the park.​ Preregistration is required. Choose a date below to register online.



Weed Warrior Wednesdays
Wednesdays, 6–8 p.m.

​Become a Weed Warrior and help park staff battle against invasive plants! Invasive species are non-native, aggressive plants that displace native species and have negative impacts on habitats and wildlife. Ages 16 and up. Preregistration is required. Choose a date below to register online. 


Fall Big Sweep
Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m.–noon
Help clean up Lake Crabtree's shoreline and other areas around the park. Individuals, families, and groups can register to participate in this event. Ages 5 and up. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. ​

Dragonfly Detectives Camp
Monday–Thursday, July 22–25, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. each day
$80 per camper
Dragonfly Detectives Camp is a four-day camp at Lake Crabtree County Park for children ages 9–13 years old. All participants should wear play clothes and bring weather-appropriate outerwear each day. Closed-toe shoes are required, and extra shoes that can get wet are strongly encouraged. Refund Policy: You must cancel 2 weeks in advance of a multi-session program or camp in order to get a refund/credit/transfer.​
Explore the world of dragonflies! Learn about aquatic systems, animal migration, and dragonfly identification while participating in fun, scientific activities. Campers will help gather data on dragonfly migration and contribute to a citizen science project. Each camper will receive a dragonfly field guide, insect net, activity guide, and water bottle to keep. Snacks will be provided each day. This camp is co-sponsored by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.​

Creepy Crabtree Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2–6 p.m.
Mark your calendars! Our annual Halloween event, Creepy Crabtree, will return in October! This free park wide event will investigate the darker side of nature. Join the freakish festivities, featuring scary scavenger hunts, creepy crafts and gruesome games. Wear a costume if you like. Come anytime, no signup necessary. FREE!

LCCP Adventure Backpack Bin image for website.jpg
Visit Lake Crabtree's Adventure Backpack Bin, on the garden side of the manager's office, for some educational fun! You can participate in a citizen science project, go on a scavenger hunt or do some birdwatching! All of the information and tools you need are provided. Just show up anytime during park hours, sign out a backpack at the bin and begin your adventure! Junior Naturalists can earn one Lake Crabtree credit by participating in one of the activities and answering the corresponding question sheet. Please be sure to take our short survey when you have completed your activity.


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