2014 Fall Festivals @ Local Parks

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Here’s a list of upcoming Fall Festivals happening at various parks in the Greater Raleigh area:

Southeast Raleigh Community Day @ John Chavis Memorial Park – Sat., Sept 20 from noon-4pm; free event that will feature free food, health information, music, voter registration info and more

9th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration @ Historic Yates Mill Park – Sat., Sept 20 from 11am-3pm; free event includes costumed corn-grinding tours of Yates Mill, 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 more; pre-registration is not required; all ages

Community Art Day Festival @ Powell Drive Park – Sat., Sept 27 from 10am-2pm; free kid-friendly activities such as bracelet making, sidewalk chalk, painting and more; performers will be on site; art vendors will be on site to purchase from local artists with vendor spaces still available

4th Annual Festival in Motion along Walnut Creek Greenway – Sat., Sept 27 10am-2pm; designed to get people out and moving in nature; enjoy this day of discovery with live music, art-in-the-making, nature games and fitness challenges

IMG_1592Heritage Day @ Historic Oak View County Park – Sat., Oct 4 from 10am-4pm; a free “county fair” type event featuring live animals, antique farm equipment displays, heritage crafts, handmade items, live music, antique cars, horse-drawn carriage rides, quilt auction, cane pole fishing, and more; food will be available for purchase

Annual Heritage Day at Jordan Lake (White Oak Recreation Area) – Sat., Oct 4 from 10am-3pm; enjoy hands on activities, live entertainment and demonstrations all relating to the unique cultural and natural resources of this region; gain an appreciation for the rich history of the land and natural resources; for more information or volunteer opportunities for this event, please contact Ranger Jim Trostle at 919-362-0586 ext. 227 or jim.trostle@ncparks.gov

Haunting at Harris Lake: Creatures of the Forest – Sat., Oct 18 from 1-6pm; free event with games, activities, crafts, and a wagon ride adventure as you search for the weird, creepy and outrageous creatures of the forest; wear a costume or come as you are; all ages

Fall Events @ Umstead Park – hosting a variety of events in Sept & Oct from Free Weekend Matinee Movies, Take a Child Outside Week events, Trail Running with a Ranger, Big Year Birdwalk, From Farm to Park and more; for additional info, visit the main Events page and search for September and October 2014

Greater Raleigh Drop-in Rainy Day To Do List

With all the recent rainy and snowy weather in Raleigh I wanted to create a list of drop-in activities that I could refer to whenever I’m grasping looking for something to do with little ones in tow.  Here’s a starter list of indoor activities outside the house that are guaranteed to educate and entertain the sweet babes:

  • rainy day playgroundFit4Mom/Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh – grab your Bob Stroller (or any stroller, really) and join other mommas for a great workout with your babes; first class is free; check out the Facebook group which is free to join and full of fun playdates
  • Tot Time with City of Raleigh Parks & Rec – free, indoor playtime (ages 5 and under) at various community centers around the city of Raleigh; each center has different toys (i.e., basketball hoops, tunnels, push cars, slides, etc) available for play; my favorite Tot Time is at Laurel Hills Community Center; consult the most recent Leisure Ledger for dates/times at each center
  • Great Harvest Bread Co in North Raleigh – has small play area with toys for kids while you enjoy delicious coffee and breads!
  • City of Raleigh’s Greystone Recreation Center – indoor playground in North Raleigh with rock climbing wall and various rope climbing structures; designed for kids ages 5-12, but I’ve found Ashley began enjoying this park at age 2 1/2; playground times vary, so be sure to check their schedule or sometimes I’ve found it’s easiest to call for their hours: 919-996-4848
  • Storytime at the library – libraries throughout Wake County have several storytimes grouped by ages: baby, toddler, preschool and family; storytime at Cameron Village featuring Mr. Erik is the most interactive library activity we’ve been to; check the list of kids’ events for dates, times and locations
  • Bounce Houses – refer to the list of bounce houses compiled by WRAL’s Go Ask Mom
  • Marbles Kids Museum – hands-on kids museum in downtown Raleigh that offers two floors of interactive, creative play for children; $5 per person over age one; one of the only indoor places in Raleigh open on Sunday mornings
  • Storytime at NC Museum of Natural Sciences – free, downtown museum with an amazing variety of exhibits, events, and hands-on displays for kids of all ages, but the daily storytime and “Meet the Animals” activities are our favorite activities
    • storytime and “Meet the Animals” schedule
    • complete list of events
  • NC Museum of History – free, downtown museum that has fewer hands-on exhibits for toddlers, but still boasts a large permanent collection on the history of NC along with several very interesting rotating exhibits (be sure to check out Watergate); weekly storytime on Thursdays; check full schedule of eventsrainy day playground
  • Rainbow Play on Glenwood Ave – large indoor party room with swing sets mostly designed for kids older than 2, but they do have a small area for early walkers and crawlers; open play time is Mon-Fri from 10am-2pm but call during other times to see if room is available for play; $5/child for ages 2 and up
  • Tumble Gym of Raleigh – open gym time with trampoline, balance beam, bars, and more; $10/hr per child; call for dates/times: 919-977-0357
  • See an IMAX movie at Marbles – other than the latest Hollywood movies, this theater shows several educational documentaries that are appropriate for toddlers
  • Paint your own pottery – paint ceramic pieces (plates, mugs, household items, etc) in a pottery studio; prices usually include all painting supplies, glazing and firing; pieces are available to pick up about a week later; makes for great gifts; our favorite is Klaystation off Durant Rd
  • Kids’ Workshops at Lowe’s and Home Depot – free hands-on workshops to teach kids about tool safety and do-it-yourself projects; Home Depot runs workshops on the first Saturday of each month – check local store for times; Lowe’s runs clinics on select Saturdays – consult schedule
  • The Farmers’ Corner at Historic Oak View County Park – this is a fantastic park that is so much fun for kids and adults, but the Farmers’ Corner in the Farm History Center is where kids can plant and harvest crainy day poolrops while reading books and playing dress-up; main building is open 8:30am-5pm on Mon-Sat and 1-5pm on Sundays but the Farmers’ Corner is sometimes not available due to scheduled programs, so call ahead 919-250-1013; see previous posts on this park
  • City of Raleigh indoor swimming pools – with so many options for year-round swimming in Raleigh, visit one of the indoor pools: Pullen, Millbrook, Optimist, Buffaloe Rd Aquatic Center; be sure to check the hours of operation before heading out
  • Bass Pro Shops in Cary and local pet stores – endless rows of interesting animals and fish to see
  • Train tables at Barnes & Nobles (Triangle Town Center) and Logan Trading Company in Seaboard Station offer great fun for little ones
  • DefyGravity trampoline Park in Raleigh features great fun for all ages, including a special jump session from 9-10am for kids under 7 where they play fun princess/toddler music

Where else in the Triangle do you explore on rainy or snowy days?  Let me know what I’ve missed so I can include your ideas.

Historic Oak View County Park Egg Hunt & More

About a month ago we visited Historic Oak View County Park for an Easter Egg Hunt with our Stroller Strides friends.  Lucky for the group, the weather held off until after our event and we had a great morning of eating breakfast treats, hunting eggs, feeding goats, and running around like maniacs.  Renting the Bluebird Shelter was a great idea and such a great spot for nearby egg hunting and visiting with the goats.

After the egg hunt, we quickly explored some of the areas that we hadn’t seen much of during our last visit: the large barn, Carya shelter, restoration of the Tenant House, the pecan grove, and the Farm History Center.  The barn has several interactive exhibits for little ones to learn about farm animals and is the home to the Nubian goats.  The Carya shelter has four picnic tables and a nearby charcoal grill.  The Tenant House restoration project began in September 2012 to help tell the history of tenancy and its role in North Carolina’s agricultural past.  The pecan grove was planted in the early 1900s to diversify the crops on the farm and even though it has suffered major damage over the years due to weather it is a beautiful site.  The Farm History Center is a non-historic building at the park that has several NC agricultural exhibits, restrooms, a place to rest, and the super interactive Farmer’s Corner for kids.

Oak View County Park also has a temporary exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” that will be on display until May 26 that I hope to check out.  To see our previous post about Oak View County Park, visit here.  For more information about programs and visiting Oak View County Park, visit the Wake County website.

Thumbs up: rotating exhibits, Farmer’s Corner, visiting with the goats

Thumbs down: lots of geese (and geese poop) near the pond (don’t feed the geese!)