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Destination: Historic Oak View County Park

There's no playground here, but Historic Oak View County Park off Poole Road in Raleigh has pretty much everything else.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
There's no playground here, but Historic Oak View County Park off Poole Road in Raleigh has pretty much everything else.

The Wake County park has a Farm History Center with exhibits about early farm life in North Carolina, along with a Farmer's Corner for the kids where they can play in a kid-sized kitchen and garden and dress up in period clothes. It's perfect for toddlers to young grade schoolers.

There's the barn, home to two goats, along with more activities for kids, including pretend pigs and a horse and a tractor to climb on. Families can bring carrots and apples to feed the goats (just check in at the center to make sure the goats - named Quint and Boyd - haven't had too many treats that day).

There's a collection of historic buildings to explore, including an old farm house built in 1855.

And don't forget the pecan grove. More than 100 trees dot this grassy grove, which provides a spectacular place for picnics and for kids of all ages to just run around. In the fall, the public is welcome to harvest the pecans that have fallen from the trees.

I caught up with Sara Drumheller, the assistant park manager, and Jennifer DuMond, educational programmer, to talk about some of Oak View's latest offerings. The park, which opened in 1995, focuses on telling the story of farm life during the 19th century.

Visitors can take self-guided tours of the property, but the park recently launched free cell phone tours with information about the historic structures and grounds, along with stories about the families who lived there. Check in at the Farm History Center for more information.

And earlier this month, the park began offering the first in its new Adventure Backpacks series. The first backpack's theme is the Antebellum Era and includes an instructional guide and activities focusing on the period. Kids can point out different architectural features of the buildings, talk about slavery or dress up in a fashion of the day, for instance. The activities are designed for early to middle elementary grades and is best for families or small groups.

More of the backpacks, which can be borrowed from the Farm History Center, are to come, including one on Civil War history.

You can also check out a couple of binders from the center with more activities for kids. B.W.'s Artifact Adventure puts a real artifact in the hands of kids, who are then charged with figuring out what it was used for. It's best for preschoolers to young grade schoolers.

For older grade schoolers, there's Get Your Bearings, which has kids use a compass to find different points around the park. This activity is great for groups. It's best to call the park ahead of time if you're interested in this activity so staff has enough time to set it up.

The details: Historic Oak View County Park sits next to the Wake County Office Park off Poole Road right near its intersection with the Beltline. There are restrooms (with changing tables), picnic areas and a picnic shelter.

The park buildings are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The park grounds are open from 8 a.m. to dusk.

For a closer look, watch the video and go to Oak View County Park's website.

And stay tuned for some big changes at Oak View this summer. The county will be moving an old tenant house from Wendell to the park.

Looking for other things to do with kids? Check our park and playground review database and look at Triangle family destinations. Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday.




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