Historic Yates Mill County Park offers a variety of site-based, experiential programming for all generations.

For a printout of upcoming programs and events, please refer to the Yates Mill quarterly program newsletters below.
To register, complete and sign the Park Program Registration Form and return it with payment (made out to Wake County Parks) by mail or bring by the park office located at the address listed below. Payment and registration form must be received to confirm your spot in our programs.

Looking for Guided Tours of Historic Yates Mill? View the Mill Tours page.

Looking for Organized Group Programs? View the Group Programs page.

Interested in Volunteer Opportunities?  Check out the Volunteers-in-Parks page.

Please note that all payments must be made using cash, check or money order – park staff do not have the ability to take credit cards.
The following programs are offered at Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh, NC 27603. For more information, contact the park at 919-856-6675 or email yatesmill@wakegov.com.

Special Events

State Capitol Independence Day Event
Saturday, July 4, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Help us celebrate Independence Day on the Capitol Square in downtown Raleigh. This family-friendly event features music, a kids' parade, and more. Admission is free, and open to the public. We'll have costumed volunteers on hand with a variety of fun activities and an educational Yates Mill display.

10th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration
Saturday, September 19, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
This family-oriented event includes a fun children's scavenger hunt activity, live music and dance, story-tellers, community displays, hand-craft demonstrations and sales, antique vehicles, farm tool displays, food vendors, and much more! For all ages, FREE! Preregistration is not required.

Historic Trades

Free historic trade wayside displays and demonstrations are offered on the third Saturday of each month, March through November, in the mill yard.   


Ice Suppliers and Tradesmen

Saturday, July 18, 1–4 p.m.
Cool summer treats like ice cream, snow cones and Popsicles all have one thing in common. Ice! Valued around the world for its cooling purposes for thousands of years, it was first harvested as a sellable commodity in the United States in the early 1800s. Explore the history of this often overlooked essential ingredient and try your hand at ice bowling. For all ages; fee: FREE!  Preregistration is not required.
The Candy Maker
Saturday, August 15, 1–4 p.m.
Did you know that candy was originally a form of medicine either used to calm the digestive system or cool a sore throat? Due to the high cost of sugar and the specialized knowledge needed to make candy, it did not become widely available in the United States until the early 1800s. Join us to learn about the trade of candy making, taste some penny candy, and take a trip around the globe to explore the world’s favorite sugary treats. For all ages; fee: FREE!  Preregistration is not required.
Harvest Event Artisans
Saturday, September 19, 1–4 p.m.
Historic tradesmen and tradeswomen earned their expertise through apprenticeships over many years of work. Modern craftspeople learn their skills in much the same ways that their predecessors did. A variety of artisans and crafts demonstrations will be featured during the park's 10th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration. For all ages; fee: FREE. Preregistration is not required.

Art in the Park

Project Friendship
Sunday, August 2, 1–4 p.m.
Come by the Finley Center any time during the day to participate in a collaborative community art project celebrating "Friendship Day." A variety of artistic materials will be provided to help you to express your vision of friendship and goodwill. For all ages; FREE!  Preregistration is not required.

Little Historians

For ages 5–7; fee: $4/child or $10 for three Little Historian programs. Preregistration is required.

Teddy bear old Barbie LeBrun 7-14 I.jpgTeddy Bears' Picnic
Friday, July 10, 12–1 p.m.
A "Teddy Bears' Picnic" is a song with a 1907 melody by American composer John Walter Bratton and lyrics by Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. Grab your own lunch and teddy bear from home, and join us as we "go down to the woods today" for a fun picnic together in the park. We'll explore the history of Teddy Bears and play some sweet bear games. For ages 5–7; fee: $4/child or $10 for 3 Little Historians programs. Preregistration is required.
Light the Way
Friday, August 7, 11 a.m.–noon
August 7th is National Lighthouse Day! North Carolina is home to nine lighthouses including Cape Hatteras, the tallest in the United States. Join us to hear the true heroic tale of Abbie Burgess, a young woman who was forced to run her family's lighthouse alone in the winter of 1856. Play a lighthouse game and make your own model lighthouse to take home. For ages 5–7; fee: $4/child or $10 for 3 Little Historians programs. Preregistration is required.
The Little Red Hen
Friday, September 4, 11 a.m.–noon
Will you help the Little Red Hen bake bread? Follow the Hen through her story to learn where wheat, milk and eggs come from. Visit the old mill to find out how the Little Red Hen's grain was ground into flour and make a craft to take home. For ages 5–7; fee: $4/child or $10 for 3 Little Historians programs. Preregistration is required.
Be sure to check out the Nature Watchers (for ages 3–5) and Nature Friends (for ages 6–9) Program Series that are being offered at Crowder District Park.

A Side of History 

gears_colored.pngLabor Saving Devices
Monday, September 7, 1–2 p.m.
Explore the simple machines (tools that make work easier) that are employed in Yates Mill and help to efficiently get work done, including the wheel and axle, gears, pulleys, screws, inclined planes, wedges and levers. Explore each type through fun, self-guided stations. For ages 6 and up; fee: FREE. Preregistration is encouraged.
A guided Mill Tour will be offered on Monday, September 7, from 2–3 p.m. (fee: $3–$5).

Homeschool Days   

The Milk-Makers
Friday, July 17, 3–4:30 p.m.
Dairy farmers work hard to bring fresh and wholesome milk products to market. Have an "udderly" fun time as we read a story about cows, compare different cow breeds, and learn about life on a dairy farm. Then explore how milk can be made into butter, cheese and other yummy products. Ages 6 & up (with accompanying adult), $6/child. Preregistration is required.
Messing About with Boats
Monday, August 17, 10–11:30 a.m.the-wind-in-the-willows.jpg
Ratty, Badger and Mr. Toad love spending leisurely summer days boating on the river. Folks coming to Yates Mill do, too! Make your own simple boat and enter it in our Mill Pond Regatta. One never knows what sorts of adventures a simple day on the water can bring. For ages 6 and up (with an accompanying adult); fee: $6/child. Preregistration is required.
Historic Trades
Monday, September 21, 10 a.m.–noon
Everyone has an important role to play in their community. Experience the life and times of historic trades people, learn how knowledge and skills have been passed through the generations, and try some projects of your own. For ages 6 and up (with an accompanying adult); fee: $10/child (includes a mill tour). Preregistration is required.


Natural Explorations 

Seniors Stay Fit Nature Hike
Mondays, July 20, August 10 and September 14,
10–11 a.m.
Join us as we enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and the beautiful park. This short nature walk is being offered every month, so make it a healthy habit to come out and view the changing seasons. Make sure to bring water and wear sturdy hiking shoes! For ages 55 and older; fee: FREE! Preregistration is encouraged.

A Summer-time Stroll
Sunday, July 5, 11 a.m.–noon
Head out with the whole family for a wild expedition into the wet and wooded lands surrounding Yates Mill Pond.  Explore the park using binoculars and other field guides, and search for summer-time wildlife with a naturalist.  For all ages; fee: FREE. Preregistration is encouraged.
Hot Weather Hiking
Sunday, August 2, 9–10 a.m.
Summer means hiking in hot weather. With a bit of planning, you can still hike safely. But you should pay attention to conditions and take precautions to prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Explore the ways you can plan ahead for the heat and care for yourself while outdoors on hot days. For ages 6 & up; fee: FREE! Preregistration is encouraged.

Yates by Night: Late Summer Sounds
Friday, August 14, 8–9 p.m.
Join a park naturalist for an evening hike to enjoy the sights and sounds of early summer. Learn tips for observing wildlife and find out ways to identify the sounds made by birds, amphibians and insects as the sun goes down. For ages 8 and up; fee: $5/family or $3/person. Proper footwear and preregistration required.
Take a Child Outside
Sunday, September 27, 11 a.m.–noon
Spend some quality time enjoying the great outdoors with your family while getting some fresh air and exercise. Develop your child's interest in nature and listen to a park naturalist as they share their knowledge of and experiences with nature and wildlife. For all ages; fee: FREE! Preregistration is required.

Recreational Adventures 

Family Fishing Fun
Saturdays, July 25, August 22, September 26,
9–10 a.m.
Come out to the millpond and fish the old fashioned way – we'll provide you with a cane pole, tackle, and bait, along with basic instructions and assistance with identifying fish species. You'll need to bring your own luck and patience! For ages 5 & up, with accompanying adult; fee: $5/family or $3/person. Preregistration is required.

Paddle the Pond
Saturdays, July 25, August 22 and September 26,
11 a.m.–noon
Come out to Yates Mill Pond for a morning canoe float. After basic instruction, explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles and life jackets will be provided. This program is subject to suitable weather conditions. For ages 6+ (with accompanying adult); fee: $10/boat. Preregistration is required. Space is limited, so register early!