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.
April 6, May 4, June 1
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
Wednesdays, noon–1 p.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. Ages 9 and up. Choose a date below to register online.

Sunset Canoe Trip
Wednesday, March 20, 6–8 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.


Signs of Spring Hike
Sunday, March 24, 1–3 p.m.

Join park staff on an easy hike to look for early wildflowers, blooming trees and singing birds. Learn how to identify some common spring species and enjoy the park as it comes to life!​

Hoos Eating Hoo?
Friday, May 17, 8–10 p.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. Then join park staff on a hike to look for signs of owls, other predators and their prey.​

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.

Wind Power!
Wednesday, March 6 , 1–2 p.m.

 Air is all around us, but we can't see it. Do an experiment to prove that air is everywhere, and discover fun things to do with wind. We'll make boats and pinwheels and test them out!​

Eww! Critter Litter
Wednesday, April 10, 1–2 p.m.
Learn all about "scat" as we explore the signs various animals leave behind. We will discover what scat tells us about an animal, and why scientists and trackers study it. Go on a Scat Safari and play a matching game.​

Box Turtles
Wednesday, May 1, 1–2 p.m.
Learn about North Carolina's state reptile, the box turtle! Meet our park turtle, Shel, and play various games to learn about turtle survival. Make a turtle to take home and use it to play the turtle race game.​

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.


Fish Frenzy
Tuesday, March 12, 1–4 p.m.

Do you know which fish call Lake Crabtree home? Learn about fish anatomy, adaptations for survival, aquatic food chains, and more. The first two hours of this program will focus on activities and games, and the last hour will be dedicated to actual fishing!

Please note: Drop-off is available for the first two hours of this program, but children wishing to participate in the fishing hour from 3–4 p.m. must have a parent or adult in attendance. Adults will assist their children.

Footprints & Feces
Monday, April 22, 1–3 p.m.
​Tracking is tricky! Finding animals is hard, but it's easier when you know what to look for. Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks, scat and other signs that they leave behind. Learn more about the mammals in our area by studying their skulls and scat.

Hunting for Herps
Wednesday, May 22, 1–3 p.m.
Come learn about the unique life cycle that makes an amphibian an amphibian, and other ways they differ from reptiles. Join park staff as we go in search of wild turtles and other reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitat.​


Rain Barrel Workshop
Wednesday, April 10, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
$45 per barrel

Build your own rain barrel! Participants in this workshop will take home a fully functional 55-gallon rain barrel with installation kit. These are the same rain barrels that retail for $99 and up! Workshops are limited to eight barrels, so reserve your spot now. Ages 18 and up. Preregistration is required. One registration per barrel. Cost is $45 per barrel, and participation is limited to two people per barrel.

Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, May 18, 8–10 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! Ages 18 and up. 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. 

Spring Big Sweep
Saturday, April 6, 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. Preregistration is required. Ages 5 and up. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Gloves and bags will be provided. Participants must bring a completed Wake County Volunteer Waiver Form to the event. Long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. Drinking water, sunscreen, and a hat are recommended.​

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.​

Pollinator Festival
Saturday, June 15, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Lake Crabtree is excited to host its seventh annual Pollinator Festival, in honor of National Pollinator Week. This event is FREE and features games, crafts and all sorts of other activities. There will be prizes and cool stuff for you to take home, local experts to answer your questions, and food vendors. Show up any time. Fun for all ages!​

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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