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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans New Year's Edition: What's open, closed, happening

Posted December 28, 2011

We have another holiday weekend ahead of us. There are a few events, including the massive First Night Raleigh. Like last week, I'm also listing the hours for popular family destinations in the Triangle.

Happy New Year!

First Night Raleigh will take over a 20-block area of downtown Raleigh on Saturday. It all begins at 2 p.m. with the Children's Celebration and includes an early acorn drop at 7 p.m. This year, First Night is bringing in a giant Ferris wheel too. For all the details, read my earlier post.

We also have a few Kwanzaa events in Cary and Durham. Read my earlier post for details.

Kids can ring in the "noon" year at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. The celebration starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. If you have a First Night Raleigh button, you'll get buy one, get one free museum admission vouchers (limit 4) and a free small popcorn with the purchase of an IMAX movie ticket on Saturday.

The Raleigh City Museum will celebrate the 219th anniversary of Raleigh from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. There will be cake, goodie bags, games and a scavenger hunt. The program is free.

There's a big cat show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The First in Flight Cat Club will feature about three dozen breeds of cat. Tickets are $3 for kids ages 2 to 12 and $5 for adults. The hours are 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday.

And the annual New Year's Day hike at Eno River State Park begins at 2 p.m., Sunday. Take the shorter, two mile hike, or the longer four to five mile hike, and finish up with hot chocolate, popcorn and s'mores around a campfire. It's free.

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

Raleigh Winterfest, the city's downtown ice rink, is open daily. The hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday. It also will be open Monday, a school holiday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you're not a great skater, see my earlier post for tips on how to get on the ice.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh is open all weekend, including Monday, a 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 Sunday. 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 Sunday and 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 open Saturday and Sunday and closed, as usual, on Monday. The major exhibit Rembrandt in America continues. 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 Sunday only. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every other day. The Raleigh park's playground and grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, which is usually open daily, will be closed Sunday. 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. Read my earlier post for more.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill will have special holiday hours all weekend. 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 will close at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, and will be closed on Sunday. It's also closed on Monday, as usual. The museum recently reopened in new space in University Square.

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