Family Picks: A great weekend to peek at some leaves at local parks

BY CORBIE HILL | Correspondent

Happy Halloween! Or, you know, happy last weekend in October. Even for those who go all out for the spookiest of holidays, there’s a limit to how much costumes-and-candy mayhem you can handle in one weekend. So here are some non-Halloween alternatives for this weekend – they’re out there!

▪ Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh holds Pumpkinpalooza from 10-11 a.m. Saturday. Kids get to paint pumpkins to take home, learn about gourds and go on a pumpkin hunt. And it’s early enough to get home, eat lunch and gather up more energy before whatever your evening has in store. The cost is $5 per family or $3 a person, and preregistration is required at

▪ A little farther south, Harris Lake’s fall wagon ride promises a relaxing ramble through the park’s back roads in the cool October air. There may be some Haunting at Harris decorations still evident, but the focus of this 11 a.m. ride is the fall foliage. Bring a blanket and register quickly, as this could easily fill up. The cost is $5 per family or $3 for individuals. Visit

▪ Take a free hike Sunday afternoon at the American Tobacco Trail in Apex. The focus here, too, is fall colors – the trees are turning, after all, and their branches will soon enough be bare. So go! Meet at the White Oak Parking Area at 3:30 p.m. and expect to hike until 5:00, so dress accordingly. Visit

▪ Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra’s “First Things First: Composers in Their Twenties Take on the World” program focuses on compelling work by young composers, including the debut of Michael-Thomas Foumai’s “Music in the High Castle.” Children under 12 get inspired for free – that is, they pay no admission – while adults pay $10, seniors pay $8 and students pay $5. 4 p.m. Sunday at the Stewart Theatre in the NCSU Student Center.

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