Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

First Friday Family Fun: Parasitic wasps, Welcome to Creepyville, wire-word necklace making, more

Posted February 4, 2014
Updated February 5, 2014

We're looking at the first Friday in February this week. That means downtown Raleigh museums, galleries and restaurants are open with special deals or extended hours.

While First Friday is fun for date nights and girls' nights out, they also can be family friendly affairs. Here are some of this Friday's family friendly options. Check's Out & About section for more First Friday information. 

Marbles Kids Museum is open until 7 p.m. for after-hours play on First Fridays. The museum also has a First Friday Kids Camp from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. if you are looking forward to an adult evening.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' First Friday events include a free 7 p.m. screening of "Thunderbirds Are Go!" a 1966 flick that involves a manned mission to Mars that is nearly sabotaged by the evil "The Hood." Then our heroes are later outgunned by giant red-eyed rock snakes. I love the descriptions of these monthly First Friday sci fi flicks that are probably best for tweens and teens (and maybe younger depending on the kid). This one is a cult classic, I'm told. The museum's Teen Science Cafe focus is insect predators such as parasitic wasps. It features N.C. State PhD student Emily Meineke and her research. The museum offers a BOGO deal on adult admission to its Birds of Paradise exhibit from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on First Fridays. And enjoy an opening reception for photograher Gene Furr (a former colleague of mine), whose show "Free and Untamed" runs Feb. 7 to March 2 in the museum's Nature Art Gallery. The art is for sale. The museum closes at 9 p.m., First Fridays.

The Visual Art Exchange is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a variety of pieces. They'll have an open hanging where artists from across the region can hang their own work. This year, artists at the gallery are working on a year of "retail experimentation and adventures." A special retail area features their work. Visitors can meet the artists during First Fridays. And finally there is "Welcome to Creepyville: The Hall of Cats." This exhibit, by Raleigh artist Rich Gurnsey, features a town where the "neighbors are decidedly odd, the cats are ridiculously cute and the dinner parties are a scream," according to a description. The series of comedic animated shorts features "feline-obsessed Wesley, his adorable cat Reginald, and their ... unusual ... friends," it says. Characters include Purrlock Holmes, Sir Paw McCartney and Kitty Gaga. This fascinates me.

CAM Raleigh will host a free evening of hands-on make and take art, tours from middle school docents, food trucks and more. It's 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Ornamentea, the bead and craft store, will offer a free First Friday project that's great for tweens and teens (ages 10 and up). The project is a wire-word necklace. Participants will write a short word in wire and use it to create a necklace. The project is free from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It costs $4 per person for the rest of February. The shop is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Fridays.

Artspace, a big stop on the First Friday circuit, will be open with many artists working in its various studios. They'll also have some special exhibits. They include exhibitions of 3D monoprints and art influenced by Asian culture and artmaking techniques. And artist Shannon Johnstone's shelter dog photo portraits series, Landfill Dogs, will be in the Lobby gallery through Feb. 15. Each week for 18 months from late 2012 to early 2014, Johstone has brought one dog from the county animal shelter to photograph at the local landfill. The series raises money and awareness for the issue. I know it's touched a lot of people. Artspace is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on First Friday.

Lee Hansley Gallery on Glenwood Avenue will feature Maud Gatewood: Works on Paper. The exhibit will feature the works of the late artists from Yanceyville, who died a decade ago. She might be one of the most popular female North Carolina artists from the second half of the 20th century, according to the gallery. People and places are common themes in her work. The gallery is open until 10 p.m. on First Fridays.

As much of the world celebrates the Lunar New Year, The Mahler Fine Art Gallery will feature an exhibition of artist Jon Kolkin's experiences during multiple trips to both China and Bhutan. Many of the photographs include the female Buddhist monks and nuns at the Taiping Temple in Wenzhou, China. The gallery is open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Trinity Gallery on North Blount Street will host an exhibit featuring oil paintings by artist Emily Brooks. The gallery, open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., also will offer free hors d'oeuvres, live music, art activities for kids and student docents to introduce the exhibit. It's an alcohol-free event.

Nuvonivo, the Hargett Street children's apparel and gift boutique, is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with Valentine's Day cookies and a goodie bag. Winter clearance is up to 50 percent off. 

Wondering where to get a bite to eat? There are a lot of great choices downtown. A few restaurants offer some kid-friendly deals.

The Cupcake Shoppe, 104 Glenwood Ave., offers its buy one, get one half off cupcakes deal on First Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There's also free coffee.

Videri Chocolate Factory offers free tours of its small chocolate factory, along with free samples. Relax with some coffee or hot chocolate from their bar. It's open until 9 p.m.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit, 170 E. Davie St.,offers free dessert with purchase of a barbecue meat plate and drink or one free kid's meal for ages 12 and under per paid adult meal of equal or greater value.

Shish Kabob Downtown, 438 Fayetteville St., offers free meals for kids 12 and under everyday from 2 p.m. to close. One kid eats free per paying adult. The menu for kids includes a burger, grilled cheese, chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks with fries.


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