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Family Picks: Introduce children to the great outdoors

Cathy Fergen, middle, helps Exploris Middle School students find grasshoppers at Prairie Ridge Ecostation for Wildlife and Learning at a 2009 Take A Child Outside Week.
Cathy Fergen, middle, helps Exploris Middle School students find grasshoppers at Prairie Ridge Ecostation for Wildlife and Learning at a 2009 Take A Child Outside Week. NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Take a Child Outside Week, which runs Sept. 24-30, was started by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences director of education Liz Baird in 2006. The idea is to not only get kids outside, but to get them paying attention to the outdoors. Considering geese are migrating overhead and some trees are starting to change, this weekend is an excellent time to slow down, step outside, and look around.

• Saturday, bring the kids to Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh and explore. Between 9 a.m. and noon, you can check out the pond, the garden or the prairie. Contact Cathy Fergen at 919-707-8878 with any questions about this free event.



• Take a three-mile twilight bike ride Sunday at the American Tobacco Trail in Apex and see which animals wake up when the sun goes down. Kids 6 and older are welcome at the free “Biking with Bats” event, which runs from 6-8 p.m. and starts at the New Hill parking area. Call 919-387-2117 with any non-Batman questions.



• Throughout the week, the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh has events daily. Sunday’s free cloud-watching session, from 1-3 p.m., sounds like an excellent way to close your weekend – though there are also leaf pressings and garden story times scheduled into next week. View the calendar at

jcra.ncsu.edu

for all Take a Child Outside activities at the Arboretum.



• Admission to the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill isalways free. It’s surprisingly quiet there, especially for its proximity to Fordham Boulevard, and there are cultivated gardens and forest paths to wander at your own pace. The gates are open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. On Saturdays they open at 9 a.m. and on Sundays at 1 p.m. Visit

ncbg.unc.edu

for more info.



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