Crowder Public Programs

Programmer walks with children during a guided hike on the parks paved trails

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

In-person programs are back! Find them below to register! 

Public Programs

Register for Programs

You may register for several of Crowder’s upcoming programs or camps online.

Download and print our October-December program quarterly here.

Family Features

Children play with nature activities under wooden shelter

In-person programs (with restrictions): No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive 10 minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

History of Halloween
Sunday, Oct. 17th, 2–3 p.m.
Did you know the history of Halloween dates back to almost 2,000 years ago when it was better known as the festival of Samhain? Join us as well learn all about this spooky holiday and some of the fascinating stories and lore associated with it. Discover this holidays origin, read a fun story, and paint a pumpkin to take home to “scare away the ghouls!”. For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

 

Nature's Bounties
Sunday, Nov. 21st , 2–3 p.m.

Join us as we learn about Indigenous American farming practices, investigate corn under microscopes and hand lenses, and learn the difference between fruits and veggies. Learn about the different indigenous communities of the Americas and their ways of life, then go on a hike to discover edible and medicinal plants. For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Winter Wrap Up
Sunday, Dec. 12th,  2–3 p.m.

Winter is a great time to explore nature at the park! Join a naturalist to learn how to identify tracks, explore conifers, and how to make pine needle tea. Then observe snow and ice through hands-on science experiments. Don't forget to bring your scarf and mittens! For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Nature Watchers

little boy with hat on looks under microscope under wooden shelter during program

Children discover the natural world through stories, hands-on activities, games, crafts and outdoor exploration. Registration is required. This weekday program is for ages 3–5. Meet at the Upper Pavilion.

No Nature Watcher programs are available at this time. 

Discover the Park

programmer shows children corn snake while sitting on grass

Hiking fun for the whole family. Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resource Inventory Database and other citizen science projects. All experience levels are welcome. Let's learn together! No registration required. Meet at park office.

No Discover the Park programs are available at this time.

Crowder by Night

programmer and children stand around firepit during night program

Upcoming virtual programs:

Spooky Spiders
Thursday, Oct. 7th, 3–4 p.m.

Did you know there are over 40,000 different species of spiders! Join us as we explore a few arachnids found in our area, and learn all about these 8-legged creatures. Learn how and why spiders build webs and why they are so important to the ecosystems, play some fun interactive games, and read a cute story. For all ages; FREE. Registration required for all virtual programs. A zoom link will be sent out to all registered participants a day before the program start date.

Mysteries of the Moon
Thursday, Nov. 4th, 3–4 p.m.
Is there a man in the Moon, and is the Moon made of cheese? Join us as we learn all about the Moon and its role in our solar system! We will talk about how moons are formed, and how other planets got their moon(s) too. Play some fun interactive games, then read a cute story. For all ages; FREE. Registration required for all virtual programs. A zoom link will be sent out to all registered participants a day before the program start date.

The Deep Sleep
Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 3–4 p.m.

Hibernation, brumation, and estivation, oh my! Hibernation isn’t the only type of dormancy behavior and winter isn’t the only time of year animals might reduce their activity. Learn about these survival strategies and create your own survival tip journal! For all ages; FREE. Registration required for all virtual programs. A zoom link will be sent out to all registered participants a day before the program start date.

In-person programs (with restrictions): No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. We ask that you and your family please arrive 10 minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Spooky Spiders
Friday, Oct. 8th, 5-6 p.m.

Did you know there are over 40,000 different species of spiders! Join us as we explore a few arachnids found in our park as we search out these 8-legged creatures. Learn how and why spiders build webs and why they are so important to the ecosystems, read a fun story, and practice your nature journaling! For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Cardinal Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Mysteries of the Moon
Friday, Nov. 5th, 4-5 p.m.

Is there a man in the Moon, and is the Moon made of cheese? Join us as we learn all about the Moon and its role in our solar system! We will talk about how moons are formed, and how other planets got their moon(s) too. Go on a moon hike, read a fun story, look through a telescope, and see if you can remember all the different phases of the moon! For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

The Deep Sleep
Friday, Dec. 3rd, 4-5 p.m.

Hibernation, brumation, and estivation, oh my! Hibernation isn’t the only type of dormancy behavior and winter isn’t the only time of year animals might reduce their activity. Learn about these survival strategies and make your own survival tip journal to take home! Bundle up - it's cold outside! For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Nature Families

programmer explains a display with children under wooden shelter

In-person programs (with restrictions): No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive 10 minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Bat Bonanza
Wednesday, Oct. 13th, 11 a.m.–noon

Did you know that NC has 16 species of bats? Learn how bats live and why they are important members of our natural community, and sort through bat facts and fiction. Read a fun story, practice your nature journaling, and take home a fun bat craft. For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Why the Leaves Change
Wednesday, Nov. 17th 11 a.m.–noon

Have you ever wondered how trees talk, or why all the leaves change color in the fall? Join us as we discover our native trees, do some nature journaling, and read a fun story, then build your own tree to take home.  For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Camo Critters
Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 11 a.m.–noon

Learn all about the amazing ways our neighbors in nature can hide in plain sight. Play a fun camouflage game, create a fun craft to see if you can hide your animal from predators, and go on a nature walk to look for camo critters!  For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration is required. No unregistered participants will be allowed into the program. Meet at the Heron Shelter, and we ask that you and your family please arrive ten minutes early for check-in and COVID-19 rules.

Tiny Tots

little girl looks at plastic bugs and insects on tray under wooden shelter

This half-hour weekday program is for children ages 18 months to 3 years old. Children will learn all about nature through hands-on age appropriate discovery stations. Meet at the Upper Pavilion.

No Tiny Tots programs are available at this time.

Kids Get Crafty

fruit and paint spread out on picnic table

This weekday drop-in program requires no registration. Come anytime for some creative fun (please note supplies may be limited on occasion)! Meet at the Cardinal Shelter.

No Kids Get Crafty programs available at this time.

Discovery Boxes

boy and girl look at nature activity while sitting on cement

Want to explore the park with the knowledge of staff? Check out a discovery box from the park! Discovery boxes are self-guided lesson plans, intended for use by teachers of small classes or parents who wish to educate children without requesting a formal program through the office. All boxes come complete with hands on lesson plans, equipment, story books, guides and take-home activities!

Discovery boxes can be checked out at the park office. Stop by and sign one out today!

For larger groups, please call ahead to 919-662-2850 to reserve a box.

A complete list of activities and age recommendations can be found here.

Birds: Activities Length 15 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will learn to identify different bird behaviors and common birds of the park.

Bugs: Activities Length: 30 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will familiarize themselves with insect life cycles and bugs found at the park.

Crowder’s Critters: Activities Length: 30 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will familiarize themselves with animals native to the NC Piedmont.

Pond-Go: Activities Length: 15 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will identify the plants and animals  that live in a pond.

ABC Hike: Activities Length: 30 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will practice their ABCs on a nature walk and learn about habitats around the world. 

Wetlands: Activities Length: 30 minutes +; Recommended Age: 6 years of age +
Summary: Students will explore a wetland and learn defining characteristics.

Trees of the Park: Activities Length: 15 minutes +; Recommended Age: 3 years of age +
Summary: Students will explore the parts of a tree, life cycle and discover the trees of the park.

StoryWalk®

images of three children's books

Crowder is excited to offer you and your families a wonderful interactive StoryWalk® activity within the park!

Join us for this fun self-guided activity. This will be located on the Outer Loop Trail, beginning at the park's Bird Garden, which is immediately on the left as you enter the park, across from the park's office.

This wonderful program combines the joy of reading a story while also getting out and enjoying nature. This hike is around 0.8 miles.

New to StoryWalk® concept? Laminated pages from a children's book are attached to signs, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you're directed to the next page in the story. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

“If You're a Monster and You Know It” by Ed Emberley and Rebecca Emberley
Month of October

“The Gift of the Tree” by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Henri Sorensen
Month of November

“Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming 
Month of  December