Family Fun Abounds at NC State

Family walks up Hillsborough Street during Packapalooza.

Whether planning a staycation or fun-filled weekend, you can find plenty to do at NC State this summer. Often free or low-cost, these family-friendly activities and events provide opportunities for both fun and learning.


On Saturday, June 15 from 1-5 p.m., NC State and University Theatre will pull back the curtain for a never before seen glimpse of live theatre. This casual open house experience allows the audience backstage to see the magic behind live performance. Choose from a long list of ongoing experiences creating your custom event. Drop in for an interview with the actors or head backstage for a guided tour of the sets. Hear from TheatreFEST founder John McIlwee on life as an artist or try your hand at painting in our scene shop. Register for free tickets and download the event Guidebook to tailor your day.

Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum

This agrotourism museum on Lake Wheeler Road shows children and adults how Howling Cow milk and ice cream get from the farm to the table. Guided tours of the museum and the NC State Dairy Farm are available for organized groups of 10 or more, with a cost is $12 per person. Howling Cow ice cream is served at the end of each tour! To schedule a tour, contact Alex Ives:

JC Raulston Arboretum

The arboretum regularly schedules programs open to children of all ages, including Garden Storytime, Afternoon Adventures, Garden Buds and Garden to Table events. Contact Elizabeth Overcash, children’s program coordinator, at or (919) 513-7011 for more information or to register for programs.


The annual Wolfpack Welcome Week event offers something fun for everyone, from food, live music, games, vendors and more. This year, Packapalooza will take place on Saturday, August 24 and is completely free and open to the public.

Wolf Ears

If you’re taking a trek around campus, don’t forget to stop at the famous Wolf Ears outside of D.H. Hill Library! This is a great opportunity to introduce little ones to the science of sound — whisper in one ear, and someone can hear what’s happening at the other end.

Summer Programs

If you’re looking for something for elementary or middle school-aged children, be sure to check out the variety of camps that NC State offers. These include 4-H, design, engineering, STEM and other types of camps throughout the summer. Additionally, there are pre-college camps for high school students, including programs in engineering, design, communication, textiles, veterinary medicine, music and more.

Gregg Museum

The Gregg Museum of Art and Design hosts ongoing exhibitions and a variety of year-round programming that the whole family can enjoy. The Gregg Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays until 9 p.m., First Fridays until 7 p.m., and Sundays from 1pm-5pm. The museum is closed Mondays. Museum events are free and open to the public.

Do you know of other summer family events or activities on campus? If so, email us at

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.