floodplain.jpgWhether you are a child or an adult, Lake Crabtree has a program for you! All scheduled 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.

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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 7, August 4, September 1
FREE; 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
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, from April–September, 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. Preregistration is required for all participants, even those not planning on fishing.

August 15
September 5


Nature Nerds

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.


Nature at Night
Friday, July 13, 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!

Plant Detectives
Saturday, July 14, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
Did you know there are over 4,000 species of native plants in North Carolina? If you look outside and just see a sea of green, you are not alone! This program will give you tools you can use to help distinguish one plant from another. We will also learn why knowing which plant is which is important to us and other animals that eat plants. Ages 6 and up.

Weed Warrior Wednesdays
6–8 p.m.

Become a Weed Warrior and help park staff battle against invasive species! 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. All participants under 18 must have a Wake County Volunteer Waiver signed by a parent.

August 8

Spider Sniffing
Friday, Aug. 10, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Do you have a nose for nature? Bring it, a flashlight and your night vision for a walk around the Old Beech Nature Trail. Meet with park staff at dusk to learn what those bumps in the night really are and discover the secret art of "spider sniffing."

Hoo's Eating Hoo?
Friday, Sept. 21, 7–9 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.

Animals of Lake Crabtree (TACO)
Thursday, Sept. 27, 1–2 p.m.
Discover which animals call Lake Crabtree home and find out what makes them special. Become an animal detective, as we go on a hike in search of the animals of Lake Crabtree and the signs that they leave behind.


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.
Amazing Snakes
Wednesday, July 11, 1–2 p.m.
Learn why snakes should be appreciated and not feared. We will read a snakey story, and discover the amazing lives of these legless reptiles. Meet our park black rat snake, Willy! Make a craft, play games, and go on a walk to look for reptiles of all types.

Great Blue Herons
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1–2 p.m.
Great Blue Herons can be seen every day at Lake Crabtree. Learn all about these amazing birds, including how they catch fish, where they nest, and more! We'll practice catching fish, make a heron to take home, and go for a walk to watch herons in action.
Playing Possum
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1–2 p.m.
Opossums are often misunderstood. Discover why these unique mammals are a big help to humans, and learn all about their daily lives. See how well you can "play possum" during a game, and make a craft to take home.

These programs are open to students 6–13 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. 
Radical Reptiles
Tuesday, July 17, 1–3 p.m.
Come learn about what makes reptiles unique and which reptiles call Lake Crabtree home. Meet Willy, our adopted black rat snake, and Shel Silverstein, our adopted eastern box turtle. Join park staff on a box turtle survey, as we go in search of wild turtles and other reptiles in their natural habitat.
Wetland Wonders
Monday, August 20, 1–3 p.m.
Be prepared to get muddy as we study the vital role that wetland ecosystems play. We will net some macroinvertebrates, learn how to identify them, and discuss their value in the aquatic environment. Wander through some of Lake Crabtree's wetlands and discover what makes each one unique.

Plant Detectives
Tuesday, September 18 , 1–3 p.m.
Did you know there are over 4,000 species of native plants in North Carolina? If you look outside and just see a sea of green, you are not alone! This program will give you tools you can use to help distinguish one plant from another. We will also learn why knowing which plant is which is important to us and other animals that eat plants.

Rain Barrel Workshops
Wednesday, July 18
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. One registration per barrel. Cost is $45 per barrel, and participation is limited to two people per barrel. Preregistration is required. Choose a time below to register online.
5:30–6:30 p.m.
6:45–7:45 p.m.

Lifestyles of the Small and Squishy
Saturday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m.–noon
How do 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, 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.

Full Moon Paddle
Monday, Sept. 24, 8–10 p.m.
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight, and enjoy views of the full moon from the lake. Enjoy this unique opportunity to be in the park after hours! Preregistration is required. Choose a boat type below to register. There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats.



Dragonfly Detectives Mini-Camp
Monday, July 23, to Wednesday, July 25, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. each day

Dragonfly Detectives Camp is a three-day mini-camp at Lake Crabtree County Park for children ages 9–13. This camp is co-sponsored by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Each camper will receive a dragonfly field guide, insect net, activity guide, and water bottle to keep. Snacks will be provided each day. 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.
Cache In Trash Out (CITO) Event
Saturday, Aug. 11, 9 a.m.–noon
Join us to remove litter and invasive plants around Lake Crabtree, while having fun! A Cache In Trash Out (CITO) event involves finding geocaches and then picking up trash nearby. 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. Additional information will be provided in your confirmation email.

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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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