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Go Ask Mom

First Friday Family Fun: Rainforest Adventure deal, Irish songs, kids eat free deals, more

Posted April 28, 2014

The exhibit is designed for kids ages 3 to 12 and their families.

Hello, May! Friday marks the first Friday in May, making it First Friday in downtown Raleigh. If you're a regular Go Ask Mom reader, you know the drill: That means we feature some of the kid-friendly activities and deals available downtown this Friday.

As always, check's Out & About section for more First Friday fun. Here we go! 

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, winner of a 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, stays open until 9 p.m. on First Friday. The museum, as usual, will have a bunch of activities, including a discount on its new Rainforest Adventure exhibit, best for families with kids ages 3 to 12. Tickets to this interactive exhibit, which takes visitors on a maze, are $5 on First Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit is free for museum members. Also, the museum will host a free screening of the 1955 flick "Revenge of the Creature," which features the creature from the Black Lagoon, who pursues the love of his life across (where else) the state of Florida. It's at 7 p.m. The museum's Daily Planet Cafe also is open for dinner and treats.

Marbles Kids Museum is open until 7 p.m. for after hours play on First Fridays. Marbles also has a First Friday camp until 8:30 (pre-registration required). Also, Pogo, the restaurant in the museum's IMAX theater building, is now open with a limited menu on Thursday to Sunday nights.

CAM Raleigh is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday. Admission is free. The evening features an exhibit curated by CAM Raleigh's Young Artists Advisory Panel, hands-on crafts station, food trucks and pop up performances.

The City of Raleigh Museum, along with the consulate general of Mexico, will feature the works of eight contemporary Mexican artists. The exhibit debuts on Friday Friday when the museum is open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Artspace is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is a great place to take kids. You can talk to artists at work in their studios and explore a variety of exhibits.

Tir na nOg Irish Pub & Restaurant on Moore Square will feature the music of Gerry McCrudden of Belfast, Ireland. Here's what the pub says about McCrudden: "With a mix of traditional Irish tunes, and light hearted sing-alongs, Gerry will have all the kids in the crowd onstage singing “green alligators, and long necked geese…”, after learning to mimic the animals in the song." It's from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Other food options (among the many downtown):

The Cupcake Shoppe, 104 Glenwood Ave., offer 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.

Sam & Wally's on Fayetteville Street is open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays. The casual, family-friendly restaurant offers a menu for kids. Bonus: Kids eat free every day at the restaurant.

And the Raleigh Times Bar will have a street party for adults, kids and dogs with hula hoops, fire dancers, a drum circle, art and more. It's 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Trinity Gallery is open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with activities for the whole family. Kids can make a pinwheel craft on the front porch. Inside, there's an exhibit of travel photography, food and music.

Lee Hansley Gallery is open until 10 p.m. The gallery, long known  for its support of North Carolina artists, will feature works by North Carolina masters and contemporary artists.

Blake Street Shops & Studios is open until 10 p.m. The spot will feature photos of old cars and factories; paintings; jewelry; and more. The band Stark Rayven Mad will perform.

Finally, both Zinda and The Oxford, part of the Eschelon Experiences, a group of Raleigh restaurants, will host art exhibits on Friday - a knitted text series at Zinda and paintings at The Oxford. First Friday hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at both restaurants.


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