Historic Yates Mill Public Programs

programmer teaches on wooden pond boardwalk while visitors fish with cane poles

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

We are happy to announce the launch of our virtual public programs! Find a few of them below!

Public Programs

Register for a Public Program

IN-PARK PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Click here the October 2022 Flyer.

PARK TALES: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the picnic area near the amphitheater at the north end of the parking lot, between the pond boardwalk and open field. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Park Tales – Lucas the Spider! Tuesday, Sept. 13, 10–11 a.m.
Spiders come in all shapes and sizes, and they play an important role in almost every habitat! Join us to read “Lucas the Spider,” and leap around with this little jumper as we follow his adventure. This adorable jumping spider goes on a bouncing journey, hopping around outside to greet his forest friends. Then learn some fun facts about these fascinating creatures, how they make their webs, or, like Lucas, pounce around. Then make a fun jumping spider craft to take home. Register here.

Park Tales – The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! Monday, Oct. 24, 10–11 a.m.                                                    Enjoy this story of a little ghost searching for her lost “boo!” who meets different animals who try to help her. Then make a fun Halloween craft to get ready for the upcoming holiday! Register here. 


Backyard Critters:  For all ages (recommended for ages 6 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the picnic area near the amphitheater at the north end of the parking lot, between the pond boardwalk and open field. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Backyard Critters – Awesome Opossums: Sunday, Sept. 11, 2–3 p.m.
Did you know that opossums are the only marsupial located in North America? Come learn all about these fascinating animals and the important roles they play in maintaining healthy natural ecosystems, and join us for some fun awesome opossum games! Register here.

Backyard Critters – Corvids: Sunday, Oct. 9, 2–3 p.m.
Did you know crows, ravens, and blue jays are super smart? They are master generalists that can survive in a variety of settings, including in urban areas amongst humans. Join us and learn all about these fascinating birds! Practice your corvid calls and do some fun interactive activities! Register here.


Field School:  For all ages (recommended for ages 6 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the picnic area near the amphitheater at the north end of the parking lot, between the pond boardwalk and open field. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Field School – Discovering Fossils: Tuesday, August 2, 3–4 p.m.
Fossils tell scientists how animals and plants lived a long time ago. Join us as we become Junior Paleontologists! Learn and experiment with the different types of fossils, then excavate pretend fossils! Discover the ways that dinosaurs are still among us through birds!  Register here.


A Side of History:  For all ages (best for ages 7 & up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the picnic area near the amphitheater at the north end of the parking lot, between the pond boardwalk and open field. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

A Side of History – Feathers, Fashion, and Conservation: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 3–4 p.m.
The year 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of the last known Carolina Parakeet, as well as the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Migratory Bird Act. Discover the historical reasons for the passage of this law and how the use of feathers to decorate women’s hats was one of the causes of overhunting; learn how the law has allowed certain bird species to recover; and make a fun craft to take home. Register here.

A Side of History – Great Ghostly Gourds: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.–noon                                                              There’s something about a pumpkin that is absolutely magical! Come discover the history of our favorite autumn gourds and their role in Halloween. Discover what lies beneath the rind and make a fun pumpkin craft to take home.  Register here                                                             


Hike with a Naturalist:  For all ages (recommended for ages 8 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all participants. Meet at the picnic area near the park amphitheater. 

Hike with a Naturalist: Friday, Oct. 28, 10–11:30 a.m.
Join one of our naturalist staff members on an unstructured nature hike around Yates to see what we can find! Come prepared to hike at least a mile by wearing close-toed shoes and bringing a full water bottle. Register here.


Yates by  Night:  For all ages (recommended for ages 6 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Meet at the picnic area near the amphitheater at the north end of the parking lot, between the pond boardwalk and open field. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Yates by Night – Enchanted Forest: Friday, Sept. 30, 67 p.m.
What do Historic Yates Mill County Park and the woodland faeries have in common? They both love nature! Take a short walk near the millpond to search for evidence of faeries (sightings are not guaranteed), and discover the hidden magic of the forest through a fun scavenger hunt, crafts and story time. Make sure to bring your imagination! Register here.

Yates by Night Web Weavers: Friday, Oct. 21, 5–6 p.m                                                                                            Did you know there are more than 40,000 different species of spiders and not all of them build webs? Join us as we explore a few arachnids found in our park as we seek out these 8-legged creatures. Learn how and why spiders build webs and then make a fun craft about these creepy critters. Register here

Register for a Virtual Program

Virtual Programs:  Registration through NCMNS. 

ecoEXPLORE: Insect Record Holders  Friday, July 15, 4–5 p.m.
There are more types of insects than any other animal in the world. There are so many insects that there are bound to be some weird ones. Come learn about the crazy, strange, and mysterious insects you may have never heard about! This program is geared toward children in grades K–8 and their families, but all are welcome! You will learn about the ecoEXPLORE project during the program. Register here
Please note that registration is handled through the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.

ecoEXPLORE: Insect Metamorphosis  Friday, August 19, 3–4 p.m.
Most people know that a caterpillar becomes a butterfly or moth. But did you know that dragonflies start as aquatic predators? Or that maggots become flies? This program is all about the crazy life changes that some insects go through in their lifetime. This program is geared toward children in grades K–8 and their families, but all are welcome! You will learn about the ecoEXPLORE project during the program. Register here
Please note that registration is handled through the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.

Become a Junior Park Explorer!

parent and child playing at park

Do you like to explore parks and preserves? Do you like winning prizes? Our Junior Park Explorers program is for you! Learn more here.

Take a Self-guided Mobile Tour

image of mill and waterfall

Check out the Historic Yates Mill Mobile Tour and learn about the history of the 200-year-old grist mill, as well as the lives of the people who lived and worked in the area.

Self-guided Activities for the Family!

flyer with self guided activity suggestions

Self-Guided Exploration Stations:  For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); fee: FREE. Registration not required. Stop by the visitor center anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Exploration Station –All About Seeds: Thursday, Sept. 22Tuesday, Sept. 27
For many plants to spread and grow, they need to get their seeds to travel. Some plants have seeds that get carried by the wind, some float down streams, others get carried by animals. This self-guided station will have all kinds of information about the many seed-dispersal strategies that plants use. 

Exploration Station –Creepy Crawlies: Thursday, Oct. 13Tuesday, Oct. 18
Snakes, spiders, bugs, and beetles! Most people either love them or hate these “scary” critters. Prepare to face your fears by exploring these animals and the important roles they play in their habitats.


Self-Guided StoryWalks®:  Join us for this fun self-guided activity, which will start at the parking lot kiosk near the Visitor Center and end near the mill. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. This wonderful program combines the joy of reading a story while also getting out and enjoying nature. 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.

StoryWalk®: “Dream Weaver” – Friday, Sept. 2–Friday, Sept. 30

StoryWalk®: “If You're a Monster and You Know It” – Sunday, Oct. 2–Monday, Oct. 31

flyer to yates mill storywalk

Everyone's Welcome

image of everyones welcome flyer

Historic Yates Mill 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 our programs and facilities. Check back regularly to see what new opportunities become available!

For questions about our accessibility resources or how we may best meet your needs in any of our programs, please contact Bianca Dubé, assistant park manager of education, at 919-856-5635 or bianca.dube@wakegov.com.