Historic Oak View County Park offers programming for history lovers of all ages!


The health and safety of our visitors and staff remain the top priorities for Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. As Wake County follows the state's phased approach to lift COVID-19 restrictions, we are also working to safely reopen park services in phases over the coming months.

Shelter Rentals and Park Use Agreements
As of October 1, shelter rentals and other park use agreements are available. Gatherings are limited to 50 people per the governor's executive order.

Playgrounds at parks managed by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space are open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to maintain physical distance, wear masks or cloth face coverings, and wash or sanitize their hands often. Capacity limits are posted near each playground.

Park Capacity
Measures to limit the number of people allowed in the park at one time remain in place. If a gate is closed or cones are blocking the entrance, that means the park has reached capacity. Parks that are run by towns or cities may be operating differently—please reach out to them directly before visiting their parks.

Help Continue to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Wake County park and preserve visitors must comply with guidelines set forth by the State of North Carolina, including gathering with no more than 50 people, maintaining physical distance of at least six feet from any other person, and wearing a mask or cloth face covering when social distancing is not possible.
The following restrictions will remain in place at Wake County parks and preserves through at least January 31:
  • Park centers are closed.
  • Park programs and events are canceled.
  • Special operations, such as boat rentals, group camping and lodge rental, are not available.
As a reminder, 24/7 digital programming is available at wakegov.com/parks/fromhome.


You may register for several of Oak View's upcoming programs or camps online. Select the button below to register, or scroll to the program of your choice.

Important Updates

As of Jan. 1, 2019, there will be no charge for all Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space public, group and outreach programs. Fees will still apply for camps and shelter rentals.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, we will no longer accept cash on site at any Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space location. Payments can be made on site or in advance with a credit or debit card. Checks must be mailed in advance to:
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
PO Box 550
Suite 1000
Raleigh, NC 27602

Historic Oak View County Park offers educational programming for visitors to learn about the daily lives of 19th and 20th century farmers.

Historic Oak View County Park interprets the agricultural and rural heritage of Wake County. Oak View's educational programming offers opportunities for students to learn about our state's diverse agrarian past. Through hands-on activities and engaging and interactive presentations, your students will leave Oak View with a deeper understanding of the lives of people, free and enslaved, landowner and landless, who lived and worked at Oak View before and after the Civil War.

Reservations are required in advance for any staff-led program. There are no fees for group programs. We offer different programs for elementary schools, homeschool/daycare/track-out groups, as well as older students and adult visitors. All educational programs are for 10 or more students. Descriptions of our program offerings can be found below.

For Elementary Schools:

Elementary grade-level field trips are offered Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–noon. All of Oak View's programs are written to comply with the Social Studies requirements in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Each school that visits will receive three of the four programs listed below, depending on grade level. We can accommodate a maximum of 90 students per day. If you are bringing your own lunches, groups can use the picnic shelter free of charge, provided that you indicate in advance.
  • 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, and follow the plant's life cycle from field to fiber through hands-on and sensory activities. (All grades)
  • In the Farm’s Kitchen: This program allows students to explore the daily work done in the farm’s kitchen through hands-on and sensory activities. Students get to try their hands at butter making and cleaning laundry with a wash board! (All grades)
  • All in a Day's Work*: This program focuses on chores done in and around the livestock barn, with hands-on activities including milking a cow, feeding the horse, slopping the pig, and collecting eggs (all activities use fake animals!). Students also learn about change over time by examining barn-related artifacts (Offered to k-2nd grade)
  • Change Over Time*: Through an interactive presentation in the Farm History Center, students learn about 400 years of agricultural history in North Carolina. Students will discover how major historical events in North Carolina's history affected the lives of all people who lived and worked at Oak View, free and enslaved, landowner and landless, and will also visit a real sharecropper's cabin. (Offered to 3rd-5th grade)
* These programs include a visit to the Oak View goats


For smaller groups or groups with a wide age-range, such as homeschool groups, daycares/track-out camps, scout troops:

History Hike: For elementary-aged audiences, this one-hour program offers a staff educator-led tour of the farmstead, examining how daily farm life at Oak View changed over time before and after the Civil War. Your students will tour the farmhouse, tenant house, and all of the farm buildings, including the cotton gin house, livestock barn, and plank kitchen. Several hands-on, sensory activities are included along the way! And of course, this program finishes with a visit to our goats and chickens.

Preschool History Hike: This 45-minute program is our staff educator-led tour tailored for ages 3–5, giving young children the opportunity to explore life on a farm through learning and play. The program includes a story, a visit to the livestock barn to learn about and do some (pretend!) farm chores, and then finishes up with a visit to our goats and chickens.


For Middle School and High School Students or Adult Groups:

Property Tour: Learn about changes in Wake County's agricultural history on the Oak View property tour and explore what daily life was like for the people of Oak View, free and enslaved, landowner and landless, before and after the Civil War. Your group will visit the 1855 farmhouse and detached plank kitchen, the 1870s tenant house, the livestock barn, carriage hours, and turn-of-the-century cotton gin house, to learn about the changing face of rural farm life in Raleigh from the mid-19th century until today.



Self-Guided opportunities

Historic Oak View from Home!

Experience Historic Oak View digitally! Park staff have developed fun and educational resources and activities that you can complete from home, to encourage and enrich your learning about Oak View's history and Wake County's diverse agrarian past. Be sure to check back for updates, new resources will be posted regularly.

Find all of our Historic Oak View from Home resources here!

Take a self-guided mobile tour during your visit!

Looking for an educational activity to pair with our mobile tour? Why not take the Historic Oak View Mobile Tour Scavenger Hunt! Print out the Mobile Tour Scav Hunt 2020.pdfOak View Mobile Tour Scavenger Hunt, then hop on over to the Historic Oak View Property Tour to begin! Good luck! 

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 people and families who made their homes and livelihoods here.

To get started on the tour, stop in the Farm History Center when you arrive and park staff will provide instruction to get you started on your personal tour! You can also view the tour on a web browser here.

The tour is free (regular cell and data carrier charges may apply). For more information, please call the main park office at 919-250-1013.

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, and learn about a topic related to Oak View's history with fun and interactive hands-on activities. Ask any staff member about how to check out one of these fun activities!
The Oak View Letterbox Challenge is great for kids 4th grade and up (adults will find it fun too!). Get to know the park and its history as you follow clues to collect stamps found in letterboxes located throughout the grounds. 
The “Get Your Bearings” Compass Activity for 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 (10–15 minutes) set-up time.
The Oak View Scavenger Hunt, designed for children, is a great self-guided activity for kids. Stop by the Farm History Center to pick up a scavenger hunt and then learn all about Oak View while searching for answers to the clues. 

Adventure Backpack Series

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" Backpack 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 the herb garden, and sing songs in the amphitheater.

The “Antebellum Era" Backpack features interactive activities and an instructional guide to provide families with fun ways to learn about the Antebellum Era. Created for 3rd-5th graders, children will learn about architecture, slavery, education, fashions and pastimes through roleplaying, crafts, games and educational projects.

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! Great for 3rd-5th graders.

The "America's Farmer Presidents"  Backpack is geared toward 3rd-5th graders and explores how farming was important to many U.S. presidents. Kids can design a campaign button, take a tour of the White House, and meet a former White House pet!

The "All About Bugs" Backpack is great for elementary-aged children. Visit the buildings and gardens around the park and complete hands-on activities that teach you about insects and their friends and how they help out on the farm!

The "From Field to Fiber: The Story of Cotton" Backpack invites elementary-aged kids to learn all about the history of cotton through hands-on activities such as feeling real cotton straight from the cotton field, turning cotton sliver into thread, and all about different figures important to the history of cotton.

The "B.W.'s Kid Curator" Backpack is a great way to discover what makes a museum (like Oak View) a museum, and who decides what to exhibit and how. The backpack includes lots of activities to learn how to be a curator and also includes a workbook that you keep at the end of your activity. Created for upper elementary-middle school students.

The "Watching the Weather" Backpack invites kids to learn about weather tools and instruments, create their own weather forecast, and even play with a "pet" tornado! Created for kindergarten to 3rd grade students, this backpack is a great way introduce kids to the elements that make up the weather.


Everyone's Welcome

Historic Oak View County Park welcomes all visitors and affirms its commitment to offering programs and services that are accessible to everyone. We will make every effort to ensure that visitors of all abilities are fully included in all of our programs and facilities. For questions about our accessibility resources or how we may best meet your needs in any of our programs, please contact Abby Kellerman, assistant park manager of education, at 919-212-7695 or abigail.kellerman@wakegov.com.

Resources for Accessibility

Visitors Who Are Blind or Partially Sighted:
A recorded audio version of our property tour can be found online here.
Visitors Who Are Deaf:
A text version of our property tour can be found online here.
Visitors on the Autism Spectrum:
We welcome families with children and adults on the autism spectrum. The following resources will help you plan for an enjoyable visit.
Historic Oak View is a 27-acre site with historic farm buildings and grounds, with lots of different opportunities to learn about and engage with Wake County’s agricultural heritage. Preparing for your visit a few days beforehand can make for a more manageable and enjoyable experience. The following tips will help in your planning:
  • “My Oak View” Visual Schedule: Download, print and complete the “My Oak View” Visual Schedule (PDF) before visiting the park. It includes a visual checklist with location and communication cards that will help you and your child design and prepare for your visit.
  • “My Oak View” Park Pack: This pack is available to borrow during our regular business hours. Stop by the Farm History Center before you begin your visit to check out the kit, which includes a customizable visual schedule, maps, sensory-seeking toys, noise-reducing headphones and suggestions for making your visit an enjoyable experience.
  • Sensory supports: Noise-reducing head phones and various sensory-seeking toys are available to borrow any time during our operating hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply ask a staff member at the front desk of the Farm History Center to check them out at the start of your visit.
Tips and Resources to Prepare for a Successful Visit:
Noisy places – the Farmer’s Corner, the children’s play area located in the Farm History Center, can get very busy and loud during popular times. Quieter times are generally mid- to late weekday afternoons, early Saturday mornings and early afternoon on Sundays. Building hours are 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sunday. The park grounds are open from 8 a.m.–sundown every day.

Quiet places – the walking trails (Jones Creek Trail: 0.7 miles; Hunnicut Trail: 0.4 miles) offer quiet, shady opportunities to explore. The pecan grove also provides a shady area to rest or picnic under one of the historic pecan trees. The fishing pond offers a quiet, recreational opportunity (bring your own supplies, NC freshwater fishing regulations apply).

Activity suggestions – places that offer more interaction and sensory opportunities include the Farmer’s Corner play area (located in the Farm History Center), the “All in a Day’s Work” play area in the Livestock Barn and the “A Complicated Freedom” and “A Growing Challenge” exhibits in the Tenant House. Interpretive exhibits are also located in the Farm History Center, Cotton Gin House and Plank Kitchen. Be sure to visit our goats, and you can even bring baby carrots or diced apples and feed them a treat! (Please check in with staff before feeding them). The Oak View chickens, located next to the Tenant House, are also fun to watch as they scratch around their coop!
More to come!
We are constantly looking for new ways to add to the list of resources we offer our visitors. Check back regularly to see what new opportunities are available.