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, click on the registration buttons to the right of each program.

Jump to:


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 1, August 5, September 2
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 the month, 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, kids can be covered by the instructor's fishing license. Preregistration is required, and all participants must be registered.
Free Fishing Day
Tuesday, July 4
Each year on July 4, North Carolina celebrates Free Fishing Day. This is the one day of the year when anyone can fish in NC public waters without having a fishing license. Come out to Lake Crabtree and test your hand at catch-and-release fishing. Park staff will be available to teach you the basics of casting and what types of fish are in the lake. All equipment and bait is provided by the park. Borrow one of our poles or bring your own.
Adults attending with children who require assistance will be expected to have at least one adult available for supervision who does not plan to fish (or can share a pole with the child/children). Children must be at least 5 years old to borrow a pole.
All participants must register. Click on a time slot below to register.
Mighty Macros
Saturday, July 8, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
Keep your eyes peeled! Find and learn about macroinvertebrates, their importance, and their significance to aquatic systems. We will get in the water and catch some, to have an up-close look at them.
Going Batty
Friday, August 11, 8–10 p.m.
Look, up in the sky! It's a bird...It's a bug...NO, it's a bat! Bats are the world's only flying mammals, and having wings is only one of the adaptations that make them unique. Discover just how special bats are during this evening program. Ages 5 and up.
Spider Sniffing (TACO)
Sunday, Sept. 24, 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."
Fishing Fun (TACO)
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m.–noon 
Learn basic fishing skills, fish anatomy, and the role fish play in an aquatic food web by participating in a variety of games and activities. Then use your skills to try and catch a fish or two and learn how to identify them.
Nature at Night (TACO)
Friday, Sept. 29, 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!
Adult Programs
(Adults only)
Beginner Birding Class
Saturday, July 8, 9–11 a.m.
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.
Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, July 9, 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! There is a limit of two adults for tandem boats. Preregistration is required. One registration per boat. Click on a boat type below to register.
Rain Barrel Workshop
Tuesday, August 8
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. Click on a time type below to register.
Beginner Birding Class
Friday, Sept. 1, 10 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.
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. Free. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5.
Wednesday, July 5, 1–2 p.m.
Explore the world of turtles and discover which species call Lake Crabtree home. We will read "Box Turtle at Long Pond" and meet the park turtle, Shel Silverstein. Get an up close look at turtle shells, make a turtle to take home, and play "The Great Turtle Race"!
Water, Water Everywhere
Wednesday, August 2, 1–2 p.m.
August is a great time to play with water! Participants will compete in the "Water Olympics", learn about the water cycle by becoming water drops, and discover what lives in the lake.
"Little Skink's Tail"
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 1–2 p.m.
Tails are important to a lot of animals, including skinks and other lizards. Follow the story of a skink that goes through some changes, and discover how different animals use their tails. Make a lizard to take home, and play a matching game all about tails!



(back to top)



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. Free. Preregistration is required. 


Thursday, July 6, 9–11 a.m. 
Turn your arachnophobia into arachnophilia! Discover how amazing (and harmless) spiders are, and turn your fear into appreciation. Learn about the variety of spiders found in North Carolina, how to identify them, and how they help us and the environment. We will go on a spider safari and observe webs and the spiders that made them.


Water Wonders
Tuesday, August 15, 9–11 a.m.
Learn all about that amazing substance we all rely on by playing the Water Cycle Game, the Water Recycling Relay Race, and by participating in the H2Olympics. You may even get a little wet while you're at it!
Fascinating Fungi
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 1–4 p.m.
Have you ever wondered why mushrooms seem to magically appear after it rains? Explore fairy rings, decomposition, mushroom diversity, and help track down and identify the fungi of Lake Crabtree.



(back to top)


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. Preregistration is required. Refund Policy: You must cancel 7 days in advance of a multi-session program or camp in order to get a refund/credit/transfer.
Dragonfly Detectives Mini-Camp
Monday–Wednesday, July 24–26,
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 years old. Cost is $48.00 per child. 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.
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.



                                                                              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.


(back to top)