After the last couple of weeks, I'm more than happy to report that spring will actually come (despite what might be in the weather forecast for later this week. I'm pushing all of that from my mind, at the moment).
JC Raulston Arboertum has several activities for families coming up, starting with a program this week. Here's what's scheduled:
2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, March 6 and April 17, Afternoon Adventure. Families can explore the garden while they search for five brain tickling questions. The cost is $1 per family. All ages.
10 a.m., March 13, Garden Buds: Garden Critters. Garden Buds is a hands-on, seasonal themed preschool program. Garden Buds will discover a garden theme through hands-on activities, creative art projects, stories, and a snack. Suggest for ages 3 to 5 years old. Spots are limited. The cost is $12 or $10 per child for friends of the arboretum.
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 17, 24 and 31, Naturally Creative: Botanical Illustration for Youth. Students learn to draw as well as develop writing, creative thinking, and keen observation techniques using nature as a subject with local artist and landscape designer, Preston Montague. For kids ages 9 to 13. The cost is $120 or $90 for friends of the arboretum. Space is limited.
9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., March 21, Second Year YGuides and YPrincess Event. Complete three of the second year requirements while you and your child explore the Arboretum! Each dad and child pair will go home with a container garden, a leaf and bark project, a craft project to attract birds to their home garden, and a JCRA patch. The cost is $15 per dad/child pair.
March 30 to April 5, Fourth Annual Spring Egg Hunt. Free activity for all ages. This isn't your typical egg hunt! Arboretum staff have hidden brightly painted wooden eggs throughout the Arboretum gardens. Begin your hunt by picking up an answer sheet in the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center during open hours. Search the Arboretum for the hidden eggs and write down the letters you find on them. After unscrambling the letters, come back to the visitor's center during staffed hours to tell us the secret word and receive a small prize.
April 10 to April 15, 15th Annual Birdhouse Competition. There is no entry fee and the contest includes categories for youth. Submissions are accepted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during those dates.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 11, Raulston Blooms! Learn, shop for your garden, get great ideas, and enjoy gourmet treats at Raulston Blooms! The arboretum is rolling out the red carpet for members, home gardeners, families, and children by offering a day that's packed with garden and nature activities, shopping, and outdoor fun. Free for members, $5 for nonmembers, $10 per family.
1 p.m. to 3 p.m., April 21, Homeschool Afternoon. Celebrate Earth Day with hands-on fun and educational sessions for your homeschooler at the Arboretum! Parents are free of charge but asked to stay and participate with their students. Suggested for kindergartners to fifth graders. The cost is $5 per child or $3 for members.
The arboretum's website has more information and registration information (where applicable) for the programs. The arboretum is part of N.C. State and sits off Hillsborough Street between N.C. State and the N.C. State Fairgrounds.