Happy weekend! Here's what's happening:
The UNC Science Expo, part of the 2012 North Carolina Science Festival, will feature events across UNC's campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. There's a "small science" area for kids, an Ask-A-Scientist booth and talks from professors on a range of science topics. You'll also find a variety of hands-on activities about everything from robots and volcanoes to DNA. Innovation Avenue will feature technology that was actually invented at UNC. A stage will feature science performances including a chemistry magic show and science storytelling. It's free!
Also at Carolina, its spring football game is 3 p.m., Saturday, at Kenan Stadium. Admission is free.
JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh will hold its annual birdhouse competition (with categories for kids and adults) and is adding special guided children's tours this weekend. Tours are Saturday and Sunday. For more information, read my earlier post. If you haven't been to the arboretum, which sits between N.C. State and the N.C. State Fairgrounds, this is a great opportunity to explore this beautiful place. The guided tours are free.
The Museum of Life and Science is getting ready to rumble robot style. It's Robot Rumble runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. Visitors will learn all about the science of robotics through hands-on demonstrations, workshops and more (including something called Bot Hockey). This annual event is one of the museum's more popular ones. It's free with admission, which is between $10 and $14 per person (kids under age 3 are free).
Pittsboro will host lots of family fun Saturday as part of the annual ClydeFest, which celebrates local folk artist Clyde Jones. The event includes the 11th annual Kids Carnival of Folk Art with art, games, music, magic, clowns, hula hoops and an environmental education focus. It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday (the rain date is Sunday) at Bynum Ballfield, 173 Bynum Hill Rd., off of U.S. 15-501 between Pittsboro and Chapel Hills. Admission is $3 for kids under 12 and $7 for adults.
The fifth annual Earth Action Day Festival in Chapel Hill is from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Southern Community Park. There's live music; a market featuring artists who use mostly recycled and up-cycled materials; and lots of exhibits and interactive workshops. The event also will include the first 5K at Earth Action Day, along with a one mile family fun from from 10 a.m. to noon. A portion of the proceeds will support the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Teacher's Supply Store. Runners are encouraged to dress up in a sustainable themed costume.
It's time for Touch a Truck at University Mall in Chapel Hill. The annual event, organized by Boy Scout Troop 39, features trucks of all kinds for kids to explore and investigate. It's from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $5 per person with a maximum $20 per family (kids under 2 are free). It's a fun event that draws many people and a great opportunity to support some kids who are helping out their own community.
Primrose of West Cary will hold its 2012 Spring Fling from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday. The fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and Reach Out and Read includes carnival games, crafts, a dunking booth, face and nail painting, a fishing booth, food trucks and more. There's also a cut-a-thon featuring $10 kids haircuts. The school is at 2511 NC Hwy 55 in Cary. Call 919-363-2700 for more information.
The Friends of the Durham Library spring book sale is this weekend at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. in Durham. This is another great opportunity to load up on books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs for the kids (and you) for summer breaks and track-outs. Public hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Book prices start at 50 cents for paperback and $1 for hard covers. Get there early for the best selection (including items that are in gift giving condition). The sale can now accept debit and credit cards. On Sunday, there's the $7 bag sale. Bags will be supplied.
Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex will host the launch of the new children's book "Follow the Bouncing Ball," written and illustrated by D.M. Eason. The free event is noon to 2 p.m., Saturday. There will be games, prizes and bouncing balls, along with a "counting adventure" in English and Spanish for preschoolers and kindergartners.
The Raleigh City Museum at 220 Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh will focus on its exhibit [R]evolution of Media: The History of Newspaper, Radio and Television in Raleigh exhibit with special activities from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday. The event includes a discussion about the news and media, along with a scavenger hunt for kids. It's free and open to the public.
Wake Forest's annual Carnival for the Kids opened Tuesday and runs through Sunday in the Home Depot Parking Lot, 11915 Retail Dr. The event, sponsored by the Wake Forest Police Department, raises money to fund police projects that benefit kids in the area. You'll find rides, games, food and more. The hours are 5 p.m to 10 p.m., through Friday; 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday.
Marbles Kids Museum is planning several special activities this weekend. They include a Forces of Nature Family Learning Lab at the IMAX theater from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. See the film "Forces of Nature" and then learn more about hurricanes, wind speed, tornadoes and more. You'll need a ticket to "Forces of Nature" to participate in the activities. Jammin' Baby will offer musical fun for babies to five year olds from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday (it's free with admission, which is $5 per person). And Gadgets & Gizmos, a regular offering at Marbles, will give kids the opportunity to design a protective package to help an egg survive a drop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday (also free with admission). Click here for information about the Gadgets & Gizmos and Forces of Nature events, which are part of Marbles' celebration of the North Carolina Science Festival.
At 7 p.m., Friday, Jun's World Champion Tae Kwon Do will hold a free Tae Kwon Do lesson in in front of Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt in the Quail Corners Shopping Center, 5017 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh.
The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh will hold a family-friendly afternoon of fun. It's from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, at the downtown Raleigh museum and will included a tour of the museum's current exhibitions, a creation station and more. Activities are free with $5 museum admission. Admission is free for kids 10 and under.
Duke Gardens in Durham will hold one of its Spring Family Fun days from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday. The event features free drop-in activities for families. Activities focus on nature and the wonders of the world. Plus, this is as fabulous time to see the gardens.
A new postpartum depression/anxiety support group called H.O.P.E. will meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, at Whole Family Chiropractic, 160 NE Maynard Rd., Suite 204, Cary.
And one last reminder: Strawberry farms across the region are starting to open. Check our database of farms to find one near you (just check with the farm before you go to make sure they're ready for customers!).