Charley and Gus Davis savor their time outside.

The next time you’re thinking about taking the kids on an outing but it seems like too much work, think about this: Jennifer Pharr Davis is currently hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with her family, which includes two kids. Two small kids. One is 4 years old. The other is still in diapers. And we’re not talking a short stretch of the trail, we’re talking the entire 1,175 miles.

OK, so maybe Charley and Gus (and hubby Brew) aren’t hiking the entire 1,175 miles. But they’re at least with Jen at the beginning of every day and at its conclusion. That’s three months of exploring with little people. Very little people.

A morning or afternoon outing suddenly doesn’t seem so daunting, does it?

And lucky for you, it’s even less daunting through Sunday, now that Take A Child Outside Week is upon us.

Take a Child Outside Week was conceived in 2006 by Liz Baird with the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. It was the result of the bestseller a year earlier, “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv, which documented what many of us already knew: that too many kids were spending too little time outside.

Baird wanted to help reverse that trend with a week dedicated to getting families out into nature. To do that, she wanted to create a week that would make it ridiculously easy for parents to take their kids outdoors. Worldwide, partners have joined in the effort to offer guided, family-friendly events geared toward sparking a child’s — and parents’ — interest in the outdoors.

A few examples of TACO events around North Carolina over the next week:


  • Fishing Fun at Lake Crabtree County Park, Morrisville, Tuesday, 10 a.m. More info here.
  • Pond Dipping at J.C. Raulston Arboretum, NC State University, Raleigh, Wednesday, 10 a.m. More info here.
  • Durant Family Campout at Durant Nature Park, Raleigh, Friday, 6 p.m. More info here.


  • Mammals of Stone Mountain at Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap, Friday, 1 p.m. More info here.
  • Come Canoe and Catch a Fish, Too! at Haw River State Park, Browns Summit. 5 p.m. More info here.
  • Richard Louv: No Child Left Inside presentation and book signing, Greensboro Montessori School, Greensboro. 7 p.m. More info here.


  • Creek Exploration at Lake James State Park (Paddy’s Creek), Nebo, Wednesday, 2 p.m. More info here.
  • Self-guided activities at Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain, Tuesday, all day. Stop by the Visitor Center for direction and ideas. More info here.

Coast / Coastal Plain

  • Teen Kayak Tour at Lake Rim Park, Fayetteville, Wednesday, 4 p.m. More info here.
  • Explore Nature Trail at Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center in Frisco, Saturday, 11 a.m. More info here.

Find more TACO events and get ideas for taking your kids outside here:

Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs

North Carolina Aquariums

North Carolina State Parks

North Carolina Zoo

Division of Coastal Management

Division of Marine Fisheries