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.
September 7, October 5
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.​

December 10

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.

Nature at Night
Saturday, Oct. 12, 7–9 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! Ages 6 and up.​

Intermediate Orienteering
Sunday, Nov. 10, 1–4 p.m.
Leave your GPS at home and learn how to find your way using only a compass and a map. We will cover the basics of orienteering, including reading bearings, calculating your stride and more. Use your new skills to navigate through the woods on our 1-mile orienteering course.​ Ages 8 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.

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.

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!​

Hoo's Eating Hoo?
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 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.​

Weather Wonders
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1–3 p.m.
The science of weather is called meteorology. This program investigates the basics of meteorology: what causes the weather, how meteorologists study it, and why it is important that they do! Students will go on a hike to collect some real world weather data and play Lake Crabtree's Weather Jeopardy game.​


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.


Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, Oct. 13, 7–9 p.m.
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Experience this unique opportunity to be in the park after hours!​ There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats. Preregistration is required. Choose a boat type below to register online.

Full Moon Paddle
Monday, Nov. 11, 6–8 p.m.
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Experience this unique opportunity to be in the park after hours!​ There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats. Preregistration is required. Choose a boat type 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. ​

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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