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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Art museum holiday fun, Hanukkah concert, and more

Posted December 14, 2011

The final weekend before Christmas is here! If you're not running around trying to finish all your Christmas shopping or busy with parties and gatherings, here are some other ways to celebrate the season.

The N.C. Museum of Art will hold a Holiday Family Fun event from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday. The free evening includes art, music and more. Create seasonal art in the studios, learn about holiday celebrations across the globe, take a story tour and enjoy live music and performances. Santa will be there. Have dinner at the museum's Rembrandt Cafe, which serves special items for kids. On this night only, children under 12 can see Rembrandt in America for free with a paying adult. 

Rudy's Pub & Grill in Apex will have Lunch with Santa from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday. The event raises money and collects gifts for local needy children. If your child brings in a gift, he gets a free lunch.

Santa will stop at the Selma Train Depot for his annual visit. Get your picture with the big guy and ride on Tommy the Train. The event is free. Bring your own camera for a picture with Santa. Rides on Tommy the Train are $1. It's from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday.

The Raleigh City Museum will present Holiday Customs in Raleigh from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The museum will have artifacts and facts from Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's celebrations from the 1850s to the 1950s in Raleigh. Learn all about where people in the mid-19th century got their Christmas trees, cards, presents and sweets. Try some Victorian wintertime treats and toys. The program is free. The museum is on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh.

Skate with Santa at the Triangle Sportsplex in Hillsborough from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.

Halle Cultural Art Center in Apex will present "The Prince Who Wouldn't Talk" and "Nanny Claus: The North Pole Nanny" at 7 p.m., Friday; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday. Both are based on children's books. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for kids 12 and under and free for kids 2 and under.

Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker moves to the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh on Friday. It continues through Dec. 24. As I've written before, the Carolina Ballet has taken a new spin on the classic by adding some illusions, created by Las Vegas magician Rick Thomas, into the party scene in the first act. Read my earlier post for more details. Tickets start at $35.

Raleigh Little Theatre's Cinderella wraps up this weekend at the theater, located next to the Raleigh Rose Garden on Pogue Street near Cameron Village. Tickets are $25. Now in its 28th year, this musical version of the popular story is a Christmas tradition for many families around here. I'm excited to take my older daughter on Saturday.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center's Holiday Concert Series continues with concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Grammy Award nominee John Brown brings his 17-piece orchestra to Morehead on Friday. Tickets are $28. Julie Elkins and Jan Johansson will play bluegrass on Saturday. Tickets are $16. You'll listen to the music under the "stars" of the planetarium.

Vollmer Farm in Bunn is hosting its first-ever Christmas at Vollmer Farm this year. It start last weekend and wraps up Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The afternoon includes horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa train, live nativity scene, caroling, a giant underground slide, visits with Santa and a viewing of the movie "The Polar Express." Tickets are $10 per person, $8 for seniors and free for kids under 2.

Triangle Community Birth Stories will hold its monthly gathering at 4 p.m., Saturday, at the Hillsborough Yoga and Healing Arts Studio. Two mothers will share their birth stories. A birth instructor/doula also will be there. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

The Hayti Heritage Center in Durham will offer visits with an African-American Santa from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday.

Quail Ridge Books & Music on Wade Avenue in Raleigh will hold its annual family Hanukkah concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The concert, a Quail Ridge tradition, features Mishpacha, a Raleigh-based group. I'll have more information about other Hanukkah events on Friday.

And the Raleigh Flute Choir will have its annual holiday concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh featuring the beautiful sounds of the entire flute family. Full disclosure: I'm a bit biased here as I once played in a flute choir that was part of this group. But, really, the concert will feature a variety of flutes. It's fun for kids to see all the different kinds of flutes that exist and a surprise for many adults who thought the flute family ended at the traditional concert flute and piccolo. You'll hear classic holiday tunes and pieces that will appeal to all ages. Tickets are $10 and $6 for students.

For other holiday events, activities, recipes, crafts, posts and more, go to Go Ask Mom's 2011 Holiday Page.

Happy Holidays!

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