Lots of festivals this weekend! Here's what's happening:
Bookmarked! 2012, the Lucy Daniels Center's reading festival for kids, wraps up this weekend with a Family Fun Concert from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, at North Hills in Raleigh. The morning includes a performance from the Sandbox Band, along with readings from the Carolina Ballet's Elice McKinley and Theatre in the Park's Ira David Wood. The event's featured author, Audrey Penn, also will be there for a reading. It's all free!
Peak Fest takes over downtown Apex from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. You'll find live entertainment, crafts, a car show and more. For kids, there's a kid's corner in front of the fire station featuring the sweet songs of Trish Miller (great for toddlers and preschoolers) and magic shows.
The Ham & Yam Festival in Smithfield begins Friday evening with a free concert and continues all day Saturday. This long-running event includes lots of food, music and more. There's a 5K and fun run, plus a duck race and barbecue contest.
Carrboro Day is 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday at Town Hall, 300 W. Main St. You'll find crafts, food, entertainment, interactive balloon sculpting and many other activities.
Baisakhi Mela 2012, a festival celebrating spring and the lunar New Year, features entertainment, performances from local artists, food stalls, henna and more at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday. The festival is traditionally held in April in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, according to the town of Cary. Based on Cary's biennial survey, not only is Cary’s second largest population Asian, but Hindi is the most predominate foreign language, according to a press release. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. Kids five and under are free on the lawn.
The Central Park School for Children's annual Strawberry Festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at Old North Durham Park, 724 Foster St., Durham. The day includes a lot of activities for kids, including face painting, crafts, an obstacle course and "strawberry fingernails." There's food (including some trademark strawberry shortcakes with cakes made for us by Scratch Bakery) and live music.
On a related note: The Carrboro Farmers' Market will hold a Strawberry Jamboree starting at 7:30 a.m., Saturday. Chef and author Sheri Castle will whip up some special strawberry recipes. And there will be all kinds of things to try. We're still in the midst of strawberry season in North Carolina. Don't forget to check out our list of pick-your-own strawberry farms.
Harris Lake County Park in New Hill will hold a Longleaf Festival. Take a hayride into the 60-acre Longleaf Pine stand and learn about the wildlife that depends on it. There will be crafts, games and other activities. It's from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday.
The fifth annual Festival for Wildlife at the Piedmont Wildlife Center in Durham is noon to 5 p.m., Saturday. Visitors can see live animals and enjoy music, crafts, games and displays. Exhibitors will come from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Orange County Beekeepers Society and more. Admission fees help pay for the center's mission of fostering healthy connections among people, wildlife and nature. Advance tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for teens and free for kids 12 and under. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for teens and $2 for kids 12 and under on Saturday.
In Durham, the Museum of Life and Science's Magic Wings Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. The popular event celebrates the butterflies in the museum's giant butterfly house. But it's also a celebration of bugs of all kinds. There will be dancing, arts, gardening information, live music, a bug safari hunt, crafts and the Dare Cafe, where you can sample a variety of stir fried insects. (Enjoy!) It's free with admission to the museum.
And the 32nd Annual Meet in the Street festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, in downtown Wake Forest. You'll find arts and crafts, live music and children's activities. The festival includes a free bike safety fair for kids from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Not festivals, but still fun ...
It's the first Friday of the month, which means its First Friday in downtown Raleigh. Galleries, restaurants and museums stay open late or offer specials. Many of the activities are great for a moms' night out or date night. But there is plenty of family-friendly fare too. Marbles Kids Museum, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences (and its new Nature Research Center), the N.C. Museum of History and the Raleigh City Museum all stay open late. Artspace is a great destination for families too.
NC MomsRising and Kids Voting Durham will throw a party for kids and families in Durham to celebrate voting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Durham Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. Kids Voting will host elections in the main lobby. Story time and activities will take place in the children's room. Email Beth@momsrising.org if you plan on going. For much more information about the upcoming primaries and ballots, read this earlier post from Beth Messersmith of MomsRising.
Raleigh Little Theatre is opening Dear Edwina Junior, part of its youth series, on Friday. The show runs through May 20 at the theater near Cameron Village in Raleigh. The musical for young people and adults is written in the style of "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." It tells the story of 13-year-old Edwina Spoonapple, who decides she and her friends will put on a show. Tickets are $15 for adults and teens and $10 for kids 12 and under. Shows are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and include some matinees. If you're tracked out in the next week, there is a show on Thursday, May 10. It's designed for groups, but there could be individual tickets available. Check with the theater if you're interested.
North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre will open "The Wind in the Willows" on Friday. The show runs through May 20. The non-profit community theater with classes, summer camps and more will present the classic children's tale featuring Mr. Toad, Rat, Badger and Mole through May 20. Tickets are between $10 and $15.
The NFWalk, which raises money for neurofibromatosis research and awareness of the genetic disorder, is Saturday at Lake Benson Park in Garner. There's a 5K and fun run, along with lots of other activities for kids. Plus, Lake Benson is a great park. Read my earlier post for details.
Marbles Kids Museum and its IMAX theater will throw a Barbie Bash on Saturday. Watch the 10 a.m. screening of "Barbie in a Mermaid Tale" and then enjoy some related activities. You'll need a ticket to the movie to participate in the activities.
Explore the Montessori toddler program at Pinewoods Montessori in Hillsborough during a special program this weekend. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, school staff will talk about the Montessori classroom, its teacher/student ratio and emphasis on practical life skills. Childcare and playground time will be provided by one of the school's teachers. Check the Facebook event page for details.
Duke Gardens in Durham is a busy place this weekend with a drop-in nature storytime from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday; traditional Japanese tea gatherings to mark Children's Day Tea on Saturday for kids 6 and up (reservations a must for this, a child and adult can attend for $40); and a free Spring Family Fun day from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday with drop-in activities.
Dreamsports Center in Apex will hold its free KidsFest from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday. Scheduled events include inflatables, a dunking booth, corn hole, face painting, in-line skating and more. There also will be free child development trial classes, giveaways, raffles and discounts.
New Hope Valley Railway's monthly hour-long train rides on its diesel and steam engines through southwestern Wake County begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.