Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

First Friday lines up fun for families, including kindergarten kickoff for year-round kids

Posted June 4, 2013
Updated June 7, 2013

Friday is the first Friday of the month and that means that it's First Friday in downtown Raleigh.

This monthly event includes special hours or deals at downtown museums, restaurants and galleries. And while First Friday offers a great date night or girls' night out option, it's also fun for families too.

Here's what's happening on the family fun front this Friday night in downtown Raleigh. As always,'s Out & About section will have more about First Friday.

Let me start with the usual suspects:

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and its Nature Research Center stay open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays. Events include a free screening of a classic sci fi or horror movie movie. This week, it's "Starcrash," which includes Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff and features the music of John Barry, who is behind the music of 11 James Bond films. So you know this flick, from 1978, is going to be good. The museum's Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit (sponsored, in part, by Go Ask Mom) also is open late. Adult tickets are $2 cheaper from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This is a stunning exhibit (though it's not recommended for kids under five). The Daily Planet Cafe, which serves up some great food, also is open late and includes live music. Lots going on.

Marbles Kids Museum will be doing things a little differently this Friday. The museum will open its doors from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to rising kindergartners of year-round schools and their families for its Kickoff to Kindergarten. The museum has been hosting this event each year, but usually in August. As most people know, by then, many year-round students have been back to school for a month or longer. The event, free for rising kindergartners and their families, offers opportunities to hop on a school bus, go through a school lunch line, play some recess games and check out circle time. A second event is set for Aug. 17 for traditional calendar students. Marbles also offers a First Friday kids camp from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for ages 3 to 11, if you're looking for a drop off program. (Pre-registration is required).

CAM Raleigh marks Friday Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with after-hours access to the galleries, hands-on activities for all ages in the creation station, music, food trucks and a cash bar. Admission is free.

The City of Raleigh Museum is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music from a group called The Bipolar Stoics. It's a good opportunity to check out their exhibits about kit homes in Raleigh and the local media.

If you're looking for something to eat ... The Cupcake Shoppe on Glenwood Avenue offers a buy one cupcake, get one half off deal on First Fridays. And Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Davie Street offers this deal: Free dessert with purchase of barbecue meat plate and drink or one free kids meal (12 and under) per paid adult meal of equal or greater value.

And then there's Videri Chocolate Factory, which is open from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., also on Davie Street. Take a self-guided tour of the chocolate factory and enjoy some free samples. The shop also recently opened up a coffee bar and, more recently, its outdoor patio. I'll have more about this fun spot on Friday.

Here's what's happening at a few of the galleries:

Blake Street Shops and Studios is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. They'll have snacks for kids, wine for mom and dad and art, including a show featuring the work of a variety of different artists.

Gallery C is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The gallery's exhibit, Haiti Revisited, features the work of more than 25 different artists working in bright colors and reflecting subjects and activities in Haiti.

DECO Raleigh will offer an artisan showcase with a focus on Father's Day gifts, along with a book signing by author and judge Rich Leonard. He's written a book called "The House by the Creek," which I've been told by several people is great for kids and adults. The shop will have some refreshments, including wine for the adults and treats and sparkling juices for kids. Hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

And Artspace in City Market is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can see a variety of artists and work here. Read my earlier post for details.


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