For the past couple of weeks in this very space, I've been writing something along the lines of "it's another big weekend." For the next few months, let's just remember that phrase because it's pretty much going to be big weekends, in terms of family fun, through about July.
Here's what's happening this weekend!
Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Cary is this Saturday. More than 15,000 people are expected to fill up the town's Fred G. Bond Metro Park for art, crafts entertainment and lots of activities for kids. The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Spring Daze includes a Children's Village with interactive exhibits and hands-on crafts for kids and their parents. Town staff will give away more than 1,000 tree saplings. And kids can explore the town's newest hybrid vehicle - a garbage truck. For more information, including parking information, check the website.
Bookmarked! 2012, the Lucy Daniels Center's reading festival for kids, begins on Saturday. The event continues through May 5 with a variety of special readings, along with visits from award-winning children's author Audrey Penn, author of "The Kissing Hand" and many other books. Read my earlier post with more information and a schedule of some of the readings, which begin Saturday with an event with Penn at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh.
Project Enlightenment will host its second annual Project Palooza from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at 501 S. Boylan Ave., near downtown Raleigh. The event celebrates all of Project Enlightenment's 43 years of service to families, children and teachers in Wake County. Project Enlightenment offers all kinds of resources for young children and their parents, including classes, workshops, counseling and a resource library. I highly recommend it. Saturday's event includes music from local folk rock band Milagro Saints, food from Pullen Place Cafe, crafts, face painting, yoga for kids, a children's parade and more. I took my kids last year and we had a great time.
Farmer Jason will perform a show for families at 11 a.m., Saturday, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. This critically acclaimed performer recently released a CD called Nature Jams, focusing on exploring nature. Tickets are $7 for kids, $9 for adults and $28 for a family four pack. Kids two and under are free.
The 17th annual Piedmont Farm Tour is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, at farms across the region. This is a great opportunity to give kids a look at exactly where their food comes from. Advance tickets are $25 per car ($30 the day of), which gives you access to all of the farms all weekend. But you can also just go to one farm, for $10 per car, which is a great option, especially for those with younger kids who might not be up for a full afternoon of touring. If you go, be sure to bring a cooler so you can bring fresh produce, meat and other items home. Be careful that your kids wash their hands after petting animals. Also, if you're going with kids, check the farm description brochure for more details about what the farm offers. Some offer activities that might be more appealing to younger children than others.
Carrboro Farmers' Market will be giving away tomato seedlings to kids starting at 8:30 a.m., Saturday. Market staff also will have some other activities and be offering tomato planting tips. For details, read my earlier post.
Christ Church of Raleigh will hold a children's clothing sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the church's parish hall, 120 East Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. The sale will include some higher-end brands. For details, read my earlier post. In Chapel Hill, Kidcycle will hold its Dollar Day, when all items are just $1, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, at University Mall. Proceeds from the sale will go to a local group that helps needy families.
Northgate Mall in Durham will host a Children's Festival to benefit the Durham Arts Council from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. This free event includes lots of performances and other activities for children. There will be activities and performances from the Durham Symphony Orchestra, Cotton the Clown and Co., the Bouncing Bull Dogs, High Strung Petting Zoo and more.
The Southern Women's Show is Friday to Sunday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. I'll be there Saturday and Sunday morning with my friend Faye Prosser, the WRAL Smart Shopper. Show fans also know there are lots of opportunities to shop and learn here. The event includes a display of Princess Diana's dresses. Check my earlier post for more information about the show.
Sk8 Cary will have an open house on Saturday and Sunday, featuring contests, deals on membership, prizes and more. The focus is skateboarding and inline skating on Saturday, BMX on Sunday.
Blue Jay Point County Park in north Raleigh will hold its annual Songbird Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. This free festival recognizes International Migratory Bird Day. The event includes some drop-in activities, along with programs that require registration. For more information, a full schedule and registration information, click here.
The School of Grace Preschool's annual Young Artist's Exhibit and Silent Auction Reception begins at 12:15 p.m., Sunday, at the school at 5010 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh. The preschool and Grace Lutheran Church invites the public to celebrate children's creative expressions of artwork. Preschoolers from six months to five years will have their artwork displayed for sale. There also will be a silent auction with items donated by preschool families and church members. Proceeds will provide tuition scholarships to children of refugee families and families in need. There also will be hands-on activities for young kids.
The outdoor concert season is beginning!
Wake Forest's Six Sundays in Spring begins Sunday with a free concert at E. Carroll Joyner Park Amphitheater, 701 Harris Rd., in Wake Forest. It all begins at 3 p.m. Bring a picnic, a blanket and the kids. Jazz musician Marcus Anderson will perform. (Wake Forest also is wrapping up HerbFest this weekend).
Mommie will open the Music on the Porch season at Mordecai Historic Park near downtown Raleigh on Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The band, which includes Doug MacMillan of The Connells, plays some great music for kids and families. And the concert series, run by a grassroots group, is great family fun with plenty of places for the kids to run around. There's usually a food truck or two on site or you can bring a picnic. To raise money for the cost of the series, a $5 donation per adult is requested. (In completely unrelated Mordecai news, the park also will have a Lawn and Garden Sale from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, with needlework supplies, plants, jewelry and other items. Proceeds will benefit projects at the park).
And at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, the Music on the Lawn series begins at 6 p.m. Friday with a concert from fiddler Erynn Marshall and songwriter and musician Carl Jones.
Duke Gardens in Durham will hold one of its Spring Family Fun days from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday. Enjoy free drop-in activities that focus on science or craft projects. Head to the front desk of the Doris Duke Center to find out where Sunday's activities are located. It's free. No registration is required.
A couple of NASA astronauts will be in the Triangle this weekend. And NASA will be unveiling a new traveling exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Read this post on WRAL's WeatherCenter blog for more information.
A note: Marbles will close at 4 p.m., Saturday, to prepare for its Imagination Ball (tickets still available at last check).
And don't forget, it's strawberry picking time! Check our strawberry farms database to find a pick-your-own farm near you!