2017 Mother’s Day Reflections & Raleigh Events

water lilies at NC Art MuseumOver the past two years, I’ve learned that Mother’s Day is all about the balance for me. After losing my mother so suddenly in 2015, I realize I yearn for more reflection and relaxation (aka alone time without kids) to counter my natural tendency for wide-open family fun and adventure. I’ve consciously let the reflection and relaxation needs run their course because I know later that day, that week, or that month I’ll be a less crazy better mom and wife. 

After our traditional Nags Head trip with friends last year (aka the fun and adventurous side of things) I walked solo around the NC Museum of Art’s Museum Park while listening to music and my favorite parenting podcast, Atomic Moms. It helped me clear my head, process things, and feel grounded. This year, I’ll probably head to a similar place after getting home from our Nags Head trip. 

So, if you’re around in Raleigh this week/weekend and are looking for a special way to celebrate the special wife or mom in your life, look no further than this list of upcoming organized events in the local parks and my personal mix of outdoor outings to balance adventure with relaxation.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and cheers to making memories and searching for finding balance.

Organized Programs

  • You are my Sunshine Mother’s Day Craft at Buffalo Road Athletic Park (Tues., May 9 at 11am) – Join the super fun Fit4Mom Midtown Raleigh Stroller Strides group after class for a Mother’s Day footprint craft. All ages welcome & all supplies will be provided. Meet by the playground and we’ll make sunny feet under the shade at the picnic tables; all ages welcome; FREE
  • Dorothea Dix Guided Walking Tour at Dorethea Dix Park (Tues., May 9 from 5:30-7:30pm) – Take a 2-hour, 3.5 mile tour that covers the history of the buildings, land, and legacy of Dorothea Dix, the current use of the area as the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services and the steps the City will take in planning a future park; pre-registration required; FREE
  • Moonrise Stroll at Falls Lake State Recreation Area (Tues., May 9 from 7:30-8:45pm) – join an easy 1.2 mile hike to watch the nearly full moon rise over Falls Lake; start location – Beaver Dam Recreation Area, Duck Cove Trailhead; all ages; FREE; hikers are encouraged to pre-register
  • Birds & Nests at Annie Louise Wilkerson Park (Wed., May 10 from 10:30-noon or Sat., May 13 from 10:30-noon) – go on a bird hunt, make a craft, and meet Mama and Papa bluebird and take a peek in their nest box; $3; ages 3-5 with parent; course # 205486, 205487
  • Gifts for Mom at Worthdale Community Center (Wed., May 10 from 10-11am) – Make a special gift for Mom; $8; ages 2-5; course # 207187 
  • Mother’s Day Crafts at Hill St Community Center (Wed., May 10 from 5-6pm) – create a special Mother’s Day Craft; ages 5-12; FREE; course # 197397
  • Mother’s Day Tea Party at Greystone Community Center (Thurs., May 11 from 10-11:30am) – do you want to make Mom feel special? Come and enjoy time with your mom/caregiver at our Mother’s Day Tea Party. This workshop will give children an opportunity to create a special gift for their mother. Enjoy tea/juice and cookies; ages 18 months to 4 years with parent participation; $9; course # 205695
  • Photography walk at JC Raulston Arboretum (Thurs., May 11 from 2-3pm) – let mom explore the close-up world in the garden and achieve strong compositions and fun abstracts; $10 members/$15 non-members 
  • nature play space at Durant Nature ParkNature & Sensory Play Day at Durant Nature Preserve (Fri., May 12 from 10-noon) – come check out Durant’s Sensory and Nature Play Garden! Enjoy self-guided activities to delight the senses and encourage nature play. Although registration is not necessary, it is helpful for preparation; all ages, with parent participation; FREE; course #205363 
  • Wee Wetland Walkers at Walnut Creek Wetland Center (Fri., May 12 from 11am-noon) – this program is designed to move at a toddler’s pace: Run. Stop. Pick dandelions. Run. Climb on a rock. Find an interesting leaf! Join others for an easy-paced hike around the greenway, accompanied by one of our naturalists. Registration is not required but is helpful for planning; FREE; all ages; course # 203539
  • Parents’ Evening Escape at Millbrook Exchange Community Center (Fri., May 12 form 6-8:30pm) – Mom and Dad deserve a night out! Let your child join us for a fun-filled night of games, activities and pizza. Participants will create a Mother’s Day gift while you’re out; $15; ages 5-10; course #205154
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt at Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve (Sat., May 13 from 1-2pm) – Exploring the preserve, and learn about nature while uncovering the hidden nature-themed treasures! Make an afternoon of it and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy before or after the hunt; ages 4 years and up with adult participation; $1; course # 206618
  • Weekend Family-Friendly Tours: Bon Voyage at NC Art Museum (Sat., May 13 or Sun., May 14 at 10:30am) – Discover all the places art can take you as you travel the world without leaving the Museum walls; FREE; half-hour tours for ages 5-11 with their adult companion
  • Are you my Mama at Blue Jay Point County Park (Sat., May 13 from 1-2pm) – Create great Mother’s Day cards while learning about different styles of mothering in the animal world; $1, all ages but most appropriate for ages 5 years+, pre-registration required  
  • Mommy & Me Tea Party at Eastgate Park (Sat., May 13 from 2-4pm) – Celebrate Mother’s Day with a spot of tea at an afternoon tea party for mothers and daughters of all ages. We will enjoy tasty treats while sipping steaming cups of tea or ice cold lemonade. Mothers, grandmothers, daughters and other significant women in your young lady’s life are all welcome; $10 per person; all ages, course #205100

Home Grown Adventure & Relaxation

Take a Child Outside Week: Sept 24 – 30, 2014

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Brookhaven Nature Park hike, Fall 2012

With the fall weather on our heels, it couldn’t be a better time to participate in Take a Child Outside Week (TACO), held September 24-30, 2014. Take a Child Outside Week is an national initiative through the NC Museum of Natural Sciences with partner organizations throughout the country.  The program emphasizes outdoor nature activities with children to increase their awareness and appreciation of the environment.  Here are several outdoor activities at local parks to highlight this program:

Umstead Park – various organized events that week including: Animals of Umstead, Hug-a-Tree, Learn to Fish, Millin’ Around, American Beech Hike; for more info search their September calendar

JC Raulston Arboretum – various organized events that week including: Leaf Rubbings, Garden Bingo, Plant Sale, Cloud Watching, Garden Storytime; for more info visit their September calendar 

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Prairie Ridge Ecostation Nature Play Space

NC Museum of Natural Sciences – a few events that week including Nature Stories and a family-friendly event on Sat, Sept 27 at Prairie Ridge Ecostation; for more info visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation TACO Events Page

Historic Yates Mill County Park – enjoy several events including Paddle the Pond, Apple Orchards, Mill Tours, Fishing Footprint, and an organized Nature Hike; for more info visit the Yates Mill Events

Blue Jay County Park – free events this week including Hopper Herding and Nature Stories; pre-registration is required; for more info visit the Blue Jay County Park Events

Bill hiking with Jerry at Harris Lake, circa 2008
Pre-kiddo pic of Bill hiking with Jerry at Harris Lake, circa 2008

Lake Crabtree County Park – free scavenger hunt event on Mon, Sept 29 at 6pm; pre-registration is required; for more info visit the Lake Crabtree County Park Events

Harris Lake County Park – various events including Park After Dark and a Drop-in Nature Exploration; for more info visit the Harris Lake County Park Events

American Tobacco Trail – attend the Biking with Bats 3-mile bike ride on Sun, Sept 28 from 6-8pm; for more info visit the ATT Events

 

Durant Nature Park

  • Durant Family Campout (COR Reclink barcode #161109) – Fri, Sept 26 at 6pm; ages 6+; a lakeside campsite will be your home for the night; have an overnight experience including dinner, a night hike, s’mores, a light breakfast and fishing; Adults $15, Youth $10; for more info check the Reclink description or visit the Nature Programs page
  • Wee Walkers (COR Reclink barcode #161125) – Thu, Sept 25 from 10-11am; easy paced hike around the park; free; pre-registration is required; for more info check the Reclink description or visit the Nature Programs page

If you can’t make it to any of these organized events, check out TACO’s list of suggested activities and head to the nearest park or greenway and just explore!

By the way, what TACO activities in the Greater Raleigh area am I missing?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

9/15/2014 Update: Since this post was originally posted, the City of Raleigh has compiled a list of TACO week events happening at various parks around the county.

2013 Thanksgiving & Christmas Park Events

2012 Holiday Express @ Pullen Park
2012 Holiday Express @ Pullen Park

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to compile a list of all the kiddo-friendly activities taking place at nearby Raleigh parks.  The events below are either organized through the Wake Co Parks & Rec, City of Raleigh Parks & Rec or JC Raulston Arboretum.  Some of the events require pre-registration so be sure to follow up for more information and let me know which ones I’m missing! And be sure to visit TriangleExplorer.com to see a complete list of Christmas parades, concerts and more.

Turkey Time at Crowder District Park – Sun, 11/17 from 2-3pm; $5/family; for all ages

A Side of History: Pilgrims at Play at Historic Yates Mill Park – Fri, 11/22 from 11am-noon or 2-3pm; $5/family or $3/individual; for all ages

Holiday Wreath Making at Durant Nature Park – Sun, 12/1 from 2-3pm or 3-4pm; $5/person; ages 5+

Home School Day: The Spirit of Giving at Historic Yates Mill Park – Mon, 12/2 from 10am-noon; Free; ages 7+

Children’s Wreath Workshop at JC Raulston Arboretum – Tues, 12/3 from 9:30am-noon; $35/member or $45/non-member; ages 6-12

Garden Buds Winter Fun at JC Raulston Arboretum – Fri, 12/6 from 10-11:30am; $10/member or $12/non-member; ages 3-5

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause at Historic Yates Mill Park – Fri, 12/6 from 11am-noon; $4/child; ages 5-7

IMG_2470Holiday Express at Pullen Park – tickets are only available for Fri 12/6, Fri 12/13 & Sun 12/15; 4-9pm; $8/person; all ages

Sleigh Rides & Cider at Oak View County Park – Sat, 12/7 from 5-7:30pm; all ages

Handmade Holidays at Historic Yates Mill Park – Sat, 12/7 from 1-4pm; $4/person; for all ages (ages 6 and under require accompanying adult)

All American Girls Create & Play – Sat, 12/7 at Kiwanis Park from 10am-noon or Sat, 12/14 at Optimist Park; $15/person; ages 5-11

Little Holiday Creations at Lions Park Comm Ctr – Sat, 12/7 from 11-11:45am; $5/person; ages 4-6

Poinsettia Open House at JC Raulston Arboretum – Sun, 12/8 from 1-5pm; FREE; all ages

Holiday Card Making at JC Raulston Arboretum – Tues, 12/10 from 9:30am-noon; $25/member or $35/non-member; ages 6-12

Holiday Ornaments at Five Points Center – Tues, 12/10 or Tues, 12/17 from 1-3pm; $20/person; all ages

German Christmas Papercutting at Pullen Arts Center – Thurs, 12/12 from 7-9pm; $10/person; ages 16+

Holidays Open House at Mordecai – Fri, 12/13 (noon-4pm); Sat, 12/14 (10am-4pm); Sun, 12/15 (1-4pm); FREE; all ages; call 919-857-4364

Wake Audubon’s Winter Bird Count at Historic Yates Mill Park – Sat, 12/14 from 8-11:30am; no fee shown

Walnut Creek Christmas Bird Count at Walnut Creek Wetland Center – Sat, 12/14 from 7am-noon; FREE; all ages

Holiday Tours at Mordecai – Sat, 12/14 from 5-10pm; $5/person; all ages

Holiday Crafts for Little Hands at Millbrook Exchange Comm Ctr – Sat, 12/14 from 9:30am-10:15am; $10/person; ages 3-5

Holiday Ornaments for Young Crafters at Millbrook Exchange Comm Ctr – Sat, 12/14 from 11am-noon; $10/person; ages 6-10

Holiday Cookies and Milk with Santa – Sat, 12/14 at Anderson Point Park from 10-11am or Sun, 12/15 at Lake Lynn Comm Ctr from 1:30-2:30pm; $8/person; ages 18months – 8yrs old

Holiday Gifts from Nature at Durant Nature Park – Sat, 12/14 from 2-4pm; $4/person; ages 6-12

Holiday Stop, Drop & Shop at Laurel Hills Comm Ctr – Sat, 12/14 or Sat, 12/21 from 9:30am-2pm; $20/person; ages 6-11

Holiday Workshop at Lions Park Comm Ctr – Sat, 12/14 from 10:45-11:45am; $5/person; ages 4-10

Winter Wrap Up at Crowder District Park – Sun, 12/15 from 2-3pm; $5/family; for all ages

Holiday Wrapping Paper at JC Raulston Arboretum – Tues, 12/17 from 9:30am-noon; $25/member or $35/non-member; ages 6-12

Little Sprouts: Sparkling Snow at Historic Yates Mill Park – Wed, 12/18 from 1-2pm; $4/child; ages 3-5

Winter Tree ID at Lake Crabtree Park – Sat, 12/21 from 1-3pm; $5/family or $3/person; ages 7+

Winter Hayrides at Harris County Lake – Sun, 12/22 from 1:30-3:30pm; $5/family or $3/individual; for all ages

Winter Break at Lake Crabtree Park – Sun, 12/22 from 1-3pm; $5/family or $3/person

Christmas Games & Crafts at Harris County Lake – Mon, 12/23 from 12-4pm; $16/child; ages 7-12