Blue Jay Point Public Programs

An instructor and family dip netting at the Blue Jay Study Pond
The Study Pond features in many of our public programs.

Blue Jay Point County Park offers programs covering history, nature and recreational topics. Public programs are open for registration to the general public.

Nature Peekers

Preschool aged kids making a dinosaur skeleton out of cardboard tubes on the brick patio in front of the Education Center
Cardboards tubes make great dinosaur bones!

A monthly program series for very young children ages 18 months–3 years (and their grown-ups!) where we listen to a story, practice developmentally appropriate skills, interact with other youngsters and enjoy nature outside whenever possible.  Preregistration is required for these free 30 minute programs.

Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones
Tuesday, Jan. 11, 10–10:30 a.m.
Enjoy some sensory stations that let us look at dinosaurs – inside and out! We’ll read Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones, by Bryon Barton, to really see what is underneath a dinosaur.
Register here

Busy Beavers
Tuesday, Feb. 8, 10–10:30 a.m.
Munch and crunch! Here come the beavers in Busy Beavers, by Lydia Dabcovich. Investigate the beaver’s world through interesting textures like beaver fur, gnawed bark and more. Register here

Little Cloud
Tuesday, March 1, 10–10:30 a.m.
Follow Little Cloud, by Eric Carle, as we drift through the clouds. We’ll count some clouds, build clouds and even make our own unique cloud to take home. Register here

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Nature Stories

Kids looking for small living things under a rotten log
You can find an amazing secret world under a rotting log.

Nature Stories is a 1-hour program for children ages 3–6 years with a participating parent and includes a combination of inside time and outside nature exploration. Preregistration is required for these free, 1-hour programs.

Did You Hear That?
Thursday, Jan. 27, 10–11 a.m.
There are sounds all around us! Come “listen” as we learn who is making these different sounds, and then make your own special sound maker to take home. Register here

Alphabet Soup
Monday, Feb. 21, 10–11 a.m.
Come explore the letters of nature as we practice the alphabet and go on an alphabet hunt! Join us on this teacher workday. Register here

In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb
Tuesday, March 22, 10–11 a.m.
As the seasons change, spring weather is often unpredictable. Sometimes the cold north winds roar like a lion, other times the breezes are as gentle as a lamb. Come join us for a windy day story and craft. Register here

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Family Wildlife Series

Animal pictures made out of colorful fall leaves
Animal inspired leaf collages

Family Wildlife Series (FWS) programs are usually open to all ages, although information and activities are most appropriate for ages 5 years and up. Occasionally there will be a FWS program with a higher age limit – it will be so indicated in the description. All members of the family in attendance must be registered to attend the program – if you are unable to register a family member, either the size limit of the class has been reached or that child does not meet the age limit to attend. Don't forget, kids are not required to attend – individual adults are welcomed! Preregistration is required for all Family Wildlife Series Programs unless otherwise stated.

Family Wildlife Series: Oh Deer!
Saturday, Jan. 15, 2–3 p.m.
Are you seeing more deer in your backyard? North Carolina’s growth is causing area residents to see more of these once-elusive animals. Come and learn about deer ecology and their amazing ability to adapt to a changing North Carolina. Register here

Family Wildlife Series: Tricky Tracks
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2–3 p.m.
Come dressed for the weather so you can roam the park learning the fine art of “tracking.” We’ll even make your own track to take home!  Register here

Family Wildlife Series: The Snowflake Man (Virtual)
Thursday, Feb. 10, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
Like the frozen crystals he studied, ‘Snowflake’ Bentley was one of a kind. Learn how Wilson Bentley was not your average explorer and how snowflakes form. We’ll then create our own nature themed snowflakes to put up around your home. Register here

Family Wildlife Series: Animal Olympics
Saturday, Feb. 19, 2–3 p.m.
Olympic athletes are considered some the best athletes in the world...but how do they hold up against their animal counterparts? Can you balance as well as a squirrel, run as fast as a cheetah, jump as high as a flea? Test out your athletic prowess in our Animal Olympics! Register here

Family Wildlife Series: Family Nature Journaling
Saturday, March 12, 2–3 p.m.
Want a new way for the family to get out and explore nature? We’ll get creative with hands-on activities as we explore field, woods and garden and try out nature journaling and rediscover spring! For ages 5yrs. and up. Register here

Family Wildlife Series: Green Living
Saturday, March 26, 10–11 a.m.
Spring is here, and the world is greening around us. Learn what plants need to live as you plant seeds for a salsa garden to take home in recycled containers. Register here

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Serious Skills for Adults

Adult workshop participant looking for spiders and small insects in a beat sheet
ID'ing spiders caught in a beat sheet.

Whether you are an outdoor buff wanting to hone your skills, or a dabbler who would just like to try something new, come hang with the Blue Jay staff and work on some Serious Skills! Criteria II or III or CEU credit may be available for participants in the NC EE Certification Program, depending on the session. Preregistration is required for all SSA sessions. SSA session topics run the gamut from Field ID workshops to Eco-Crafts and Upcycling!

Please check back for future SSA sessions!  In the meantime, please visit our Blue Jay from Home page for digital jigsaw puzzles and short educational videos that are definitely adult-worthy!

Educator Workshops

Adult workshop participants participating in a small group discussion inside a classroom in the Blue Jay Center for Environmental Education
Educator Workshops combine group discussion with field skills.

Blue Jay Point offers a variety of adult programs, including a number of workshops for NC Environmental Education Certification or CEU credits.

Please check back for future Educator workshops! In the meantime, please visit our Blue Jay from Home page for digital jigsaw puzzles and short educational videos that are definitely adult-worthy!

 

Nature Play Days

Children using thematic "loose parts" in a natural play area during a Nature Play Day
Nature Play Day participants hard at play!

Nature Play Days will be back in May 2022

Adults with young children are invited to come to Blue Jay for summertime monthly thematic Nature Play Days taking place in Blue Jay’s Natural Play Area. The focus will be on free play, which means having self-guided activities with no start and end time and flow from kids' creativity. Education staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide guidance. Materials and activities are planned for 3–7-year-olds, but younger children are welcome to attend.  Meet in the Natural Play Area – follow the wooden signs from either the playground or t-ball parking lots. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

A Nature Play Day at Blue Jay is a free, walk-up activity from 10 a.m.–noon and requires no preregistration. If the weather seems uncertain, check our Facebook page or call 919-870-4330 before coming to make sure the Nature Play Day is still happening.