Historic Oak View County Park offers programming for history lovers of all ages!
Reservations are required in advance for any staff-led program. To reserve programs at Historic Oak View County Park, please call Joshua Ingersoll, Assistant Park Manager, at 919-212-7695. Reservations cannot be made via email.
For Elementary School Students (Grades 2–4):
Historic Oak View offers educational programming Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–noon. Your students will receive three great programs in one trip!
All of Oak View's programs are written to comply with the Social Studies requirements in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study!
Program fees (instituted July 1, 2011) for these curriculum-based programs are $8/program/class, so $24 per set of three programs for each class that visits (and we can accommodate up to three class-sized groups, or about 90 students per day). Please note: Fees are waived for Title I schools.
Choose three programs from this list to customize your program:
- From Field To Fiber: During this interactive program, presented in the early-20th-century Cotton Gin House, students will learn about the history of cotton in North Carolina. They will even get to try their hand at picking cotton! (Weather permitting)
- All in a Day's Work: This program focuses on chores that were done in and around the farm's barn, with hands-on activities including milking a cow, feeding the horse, slopping the pig, and collecting eggs. (All activities use fake animals!) Students will learn how farms today differ from those smaller family/local farms of the past like Oak View, and will learn about farm work by examining some barn-related artifacts.
- Change Over Time: Through an interactive presentation in Oak View's Farm History Center, your students will learn about 400 years of agricultural history in North Carolina and visit a real sharecropper's cabin.
- In the Farm’s Kitchen: This program will allow students to explore the daily work done in the farm’s kitchen through hands-on and sensory activities. Students will try their hands at butter making, and cleaning laundry with a scrub board and lye soap!
Also available for early elementary-age students, but for smaller groups:
History Hike: This one-hour program offers a docent-led tour of the old farmstead, including all of the buildings and the pecan grove, gazebo and water tower, examining what life would be like for a child growing up on the farm. Along with the property tour, this is the only program offered on the weekends. This option is especially popular for Scout groups, homeschools or small track-out groups.
The fee for the History Hike is $15 per group.
For Middle School and High School Students or Adult Groups:
Historic Oak View Property Tour: Learn about the past of a Wake County farm on the Oak View property tour. Tour group will visit the 1855 farmhouse and detached kitchen, the livestock barn, carriage house and turn-of-the-century cotton gin to learn about the changing face of farm life in Raleigh from the mid-19th century until today. Watch the past come alive as you hear stories from the many Raleigh families that lived at Oak View and made their living off its land.
The fee for a property tour is $15 per group.
Self-Guided Tour through OnCell!
Visitors to Historic Oak View County Park can use their cell phones to tour the park free of charge, and at their own pace! Visitors are able to tailor their tour to the aspects of Oak View's History that interest them most. The tour will share information about each of the historic structures on the grounds and provide a historical context for more than 200 years of Oak View's history. Additionally, the tour will offer stories about the families who made their homes and livelihoods here. Stop in the Farm History Center when you arrive to pick up your brochure containing an OnCell Tour insert (which gives you all the stop numbers) and get started on your personal tour!
The OnCell tour is FREE (regular cell carrier charges may apply). For more information, please call the main park office at 919-250-1013.
The park buildings are open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1–5 p.m. on Sundays. The park grounds are open from 8 a.m. to dusk.
Other Self-Guided Opportunities
Historic Oak View County Park also offers several activities for small groups or families, which can be "checked out" in the Farm History Center (our visitors' center). These self-guided activities allow you to see all the buildings on the property on your own, free of charge. Ask any staff member about these fun activities!
We have “B.W.'s Artifact Adventure” for young audiences (early elementary age), which features a workbook (that you keep at the end of your activity) to guide your 'adventure' around the property and to discover what artifacts are.
Our “Get Your Bearings” Compass Activity for older kids (upper elementary students), allows kids to use a compass to 'get their bearings' at Oak View to lead from one place to the next! (Please note: This self-guided activity requires a short (5–10 minutes) set-up time, so we encourage you to let us know if you plan to use this activity, so we can have it ready for you when you arrive and you won't have to wait while we set it up!)
Adventure Backpack Series
The “Antebellum Era Backpack” features interactive activities and an instructional guide to provide families with fun ways to learn about the Antebellum Era. Children will learn about architecture, slavery, education, fashions and pastimes through roleplaying, crafts, games and educational projects.
The “Barnyard Friends Backpack” is a preschool-friendly adventure that teaches children about animals and life on the farm through games, play and exploration.
The "Goats at Night" is a preschool-friendly activity that shows kids what the goats do at night. They will cook a meal in the Farmer's Corner, water in the herb garden, and can sing songs in the amphitheater.
The "Civil War Era Backpack" allows kids to be enlisted soldiers for the day, learning about Morse code, army movements, soldiers' games, medicine and more!