Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans Christmas Edition: What's open, closed, happening this holiday weekend

Posted December 21, 2011

Christmas weekend is here! In this space, I normally offer lots of ideas for family fun. This weekend, much of that fun probably will happen in your home Sunday morning ... or whenever your kids open presents.

But there are a couple of events worth noting. And there are a variety of new and special exhibits at local museums if you're looking to get out of the house with visitors before or after the holiday.

Here's what's happening this weekend, along with holiday hours for favorite family destinations.

The North Carolina Symphony will present "Twas the Night Before Christmas," at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh. Maestro William Henry Curry will lead the orchestra. The concert also features the Capital City Girls Choir, along with North Carolina singers Brandi Q. Hancock and Jason McKinney. They'll perform a variety of holiday favorites and classical selections. WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree will read "The Night Before Christmas," accompanied by the orchestra. Tickets start at $20.

And Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker wraps up its performances at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts on Christmas Eve. This year, 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 Winterfest, the city's downtown ice rink, is open all weekend, including Christmas day. The hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday. It is open weekdays too. If you're not a great skater, see my earlier post for tips on how to get on the ice.

Here are the holiday hours for family destinations in the Triangle, along with any new or special exhibits.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh is closed on Saturday and Sunday. It will be open on Monday because of the school holiday. Marbles recently renovated its popular Power2Play exhibit. It now includes basketball nets, a mini Jumbotron above the ice rink and more. Read my earlier post for details.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will be closed Saturday and Sunday. It reopens Monday. The museum in downtown Raleigh recently opened a new 3D theater and is screening "Tornado Alley 3D." It also has a special exhibit on Genghis Khan, which runs through Jan. 16.

The N.C. Museum of History will be closed Saturday and Sunday. It reopens Monday. The downtown Raleigh museum recently opened the second half of its massive exhibit The Story of North Carolina. I highly recommend a visit to the exhibit. Admission is free. Read my earlier post for details.

The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh is closed Saturday and Sunday (though its museum park is open daily). The museum is usually closed on Monday, but its special exhibit Rembrandt in America will be open on Monday. If you go, read my earlier post on tips if you're taking kids. And remember: The museum now allows strollers in the exhibit halls, including in Rembrandt.

Pullen Park's rides will be closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They will reopen at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Raleigh park's playground and grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham will be open until 3 p.m., Saturday, and closed on Sunday. It will reopen on Monday. The museum has two special exhibits this season. The Wonderland Express features model trains traveling through a wintry North Carolina scene. Read my earlier post for details. And Race: Are We So Different? explores the science, history, and everyday impact of race and racism. I'll have more on that on Friday.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill will be closed Saturday and Sunday, but it will offer extended holiday hours through Jan. 1 on other days. Morehead has two new full dome planetarium shows this season. "Solar System Odyssey" is an original Morehead production, supported by NASA. "Wildest Weather in the Solar System," is produced by National Geographic.

Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill is closed Saturday and Sunday. It's also closed on Monday, as usual. The museum recently reopened in new space in University Square.

Merry Christmas!


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