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.

Public Programs

Register for a Public Program

IN-PARK PUBLIC PROGRAMS

PARK TALES: For all ages (best for ages 6 and under); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Park Tales: The Winter Dance
Thursday, Feb. 22, 10–10:45 a.m.
Enjoy this storybook featuring different ways animals get ready for winter. The squirrel gathers nuts, the geese soar south, and the snowshoe hare puts on its new white coat. But what should the fox do? Find out, then celebrate winter with fun crafts. Register here.


Hands-on History: How did people live while Yates Mill was operating as a business from the mid-1700s to the mid-1900s? These drop-in programs explore different aspects of life in the past.

Hands-On History: Quilting
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 10 a.m.–noon
Join us for a drop-in, hands-on activity to make quilt crafts to experience life from long ago. This program will meet in the mill yard by Historic Yates Mill. For all ages. No registration required.

Hands-On History: Valentines
Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.–noon
Join us for a drop-in, hands-on activity to make valentines to experience life from long ago. This program will meet in the mill yard by Historic Yates Mill. For all ages. No registration required.


Field School: Offered quarterly. For all ages (recommended for ages 7 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

Artifact Discovery
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 11–11:45 a.m.
Go back in time during this interactive program. Learn about different types of artifacts, and examine several objects found in the park to discover what they tell us about life in the past. Register here.


Yates Mill Ponderings: This wintertime program series offers more in-depth looks into topics of scientific and historical interest. Best for adults and older teens; FREE. Registration is required. 

The History & Biology of Bald Eagles
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1–1:45 p.m.
Join park staff for an engaging discussion about Bald Eagles in this winter program series designed for adults and older teens. Learn about the history of Bald Eagles as a national symbol, their past danger of extinction, and their habits in North Carolina. Join our 45-minute presentation and feel free to stay afterwards for a Q&A with our presenter. Registration for this free program is required. Register here.


Hike with a Naturalist: For all ages (recommended for ages 8 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all participants, and children must have adult accompaniment. 

Hike with a Naturalist
Friday, Jan. 12, 9:30–11 a.m., & Saturday, Jan. 27, 10–11:30 a.m.
Enjoy a hike with a park naturalist around the park to see what we can find! Come prepared to hike at least a mile by wearing closed-toe shoes and bringing a full water bottle. Register for the January 12 hike here; register for the January 27 hike here.

Hike with a Naturalist
Friday, Feb. 9, 10–11:30 a.m.
Join one of our naturalist staff members on a guided hike around the park 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

Hike with a Naturalist: Great Backyard Bird Count
Saturday, Feb. 17, 9–10:30 a.m., & Sunday, Feb. 18, 2:30–4 p.m.
Join one of our naturalist staff members on a guided hike around the park to see what we can find! This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, and we will be contributing data by identifying as many birds as we can! Come prepared to hike at least a mile by wearing close-toed shoes and bringing a full water bottle. Register for the Feb. 17 hike here; register for the Feb. 18 hike here.


Animals in Winter:  For all ages (suggested for ages 4 to 12); FREE. Registration required.

Animals in Winter
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2–3 p.m.
Join us for this family-friendly program as we hike almost a mile to learn how various animals survive the colder weather. Wear close-toed shoes and dress warmly for this outdoor program! Register here.


History Hike: For all ages (recommended for ages 7 and up); FREE. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment. Please arrive five minutes early for program check-in.

History Hike, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2–2:45 p.m.
Join park staff for a hike around the gristmill and to the site of the miller’s residence (which is no longer standing) to learn about the history of some of the people who have lived and worked on the land that is now a park. This program will be completely outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather. Register here.


Volunteer Interest Sessions

Volunteer Interest Sessions
Wednesdays, Jan. 3 and Jan. 31, 10 a.m.–noon
Do you want to learn more about the different ways you can volunteer at Historic Yates Mill? Join us at our drop-in Volunteer Interest Sessions! Staff will be set up outside of the A.E. Finley Center (or inside, depending on the weather). Registration not required.


 

The Heart Truth: Tips to Reduce Heart Disease and Save a Life with Hands-Only CPR
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2–3:15 p.m.
To celebrate American Heart Month, Wake County Health and Human Services, in partnership with Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, will discuss tips on how to reduce heart disease and how to save a life with hands-only CPR. Note that this is not a CPR certification class, but participants will be able to practice chest compressions and using an AED. FREE; for ages 16 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Registration required; register here.

Register for a Virtual Program

Virtual Programs: ecoEXPLORE Registration through North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This online 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. FREE.

Virtual ecoEXPLORE: Bird-Brain Quiz
Friday, Feb. 9, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
How big is your "bird brain"? Test your bird ID skills and get an update on the birds ecoEXPLORE has seen! Register here.

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!


Self-Guided Activities:  For all ages (adult accompaniment is required for all children); FREE.  Stop by the visitor center anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up nature journals, activity packs, coloring sheets, and more!

Exploration Station: These temporary displays are located inside the A.E. Finley Center in the exhibit hall area. Registration is not required. FREE.

Biophilia
Jan. 12–21, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Human beings have an innate need to connect with nature for our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. This concept is defined as “biophilia.” Visit our Exploration Station to learn about this concept, and discover tools on how to incorporate more nature into your life.

All About Groundhogs
Feb. 2–11, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Do you know why groundhogs hibernate in the winter? What about when Groundhog Day began? Visit our free self-guided Exploration Station to learn all about groundhogs!


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 the 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®: "Snow," Jan. 3–31

StoryWalk®: "The Mitten," Feb. 3–29

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 the park at 919-856-6675 or yatesmill@wake.gov