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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Got to Be NC, Artsplosure, Lego festival, Astronomy Days, more

Posted May 16, 2012
Updated May 18, 2012

So much to do! Here's what's happening this weekend:

The Got to Be NC Festival opens at the N.C. State Fairgrounds on Friday and runs through Sunday. This mini-State Fair has carnival games, rides, food, displays, animals and much more. Best of all, parking and admission are free! Read my earlier post for all the details, including highlights of some of the many family-friendly attractions.

Artsplosure, downtown Raleigh's major arts and crafts festival, is this Saturday and Sunday in downtown Raleigh. This free festival features lots of activities and performances for kids on Moore Square (which is across from Marbles Kids Museum). You'll also find a variety of artists and their creations. New this year: The Impressionist Garden on City Plaza on Fayetteville Street. The garden features eight life-sized painted bronze sculptures depicting famous paintings. Admission is free to see the exhibit. And yes! Kids can go up and touch and climb on the sculptures. For more details, read my earlier post.

Lego fans will want to head to the BrickMagic Lego Festival at the North Raleigh Hilton on Saturday and Sunday. There will be plenty of opportunities for kids to build, be inspired and learn how they can take Lego bricks to the next level. The independent event is sponsored by Lego, but organized by local Lego enthusiasts, including John Morrow, publisher of BrickJournal, the Raleigh-based international magazine for Lego fans. Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the door for ages 17 and up; $7 in advance and $8 at the door for kids ages 4 to 16; and free for kids 3 and under. Lego will be unveiling new sets at the event. Read my earlier post for details.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences celebrates Astronomy Days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. This year, the free event will showcase some exhibits in the Nature Research Center, the museum's new wing which opened last month, including the new Astronomy Lab. NASA's Destination Station, which focuses on the work being done in the International Space Station, will be there. There's also a moon bounce, face painting, rockets on display, crafts, demonstrations and classes. Tony Rice, who writes for WRAL.com's Weather blog, will be there both days talking about making the transition from the shuttle to commercial space flight. He is a volunteer in the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program and software engineer at Cisco Systems.

Durham's Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival is noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, at the CCB Plaza, 201 N. Corcoran St., in downtown Durham. The free festival celebrates music, art and dance in the Triangle. There will be activities for all ages including a Kid’s Zone hosted by the Interactive Playgrounds, Durham Arts Council, Game Truck and Home Depot.

Diabetes Sisters' third annual conference is in downtown Raleigh on Saturday and Sunday. The national group, started by a Durham mom, aims to connect women with diabetes. There will be workshops and information for women with diabetes. On Sunday, the Orange:Will Diabetes Walk will go through downtown Raleigh. For details about the group, the conference and the walk, read my earlier post.

Hog Day celebrates its 30th year in Hillsborough this Friday and Saturday. The festival features food, live music, activities for kids, games and rides.

Just 4 Kids consignment sale continues in Willow Spring through Friday. Read my earlier post for details.

Garner United Methodist Church also will hold a consignment sale 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. (It's closed between noon and 1 p.m. Some items are half off from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.).

Glee Kids, the children's clothing and gift store in Chapel Hill, will celebrate new ownership this weekend with some special activities, including mini photo sessions with Abigail Blosser Photography. Read my earlier post about the new ownership and what's in store for this weekend.

Durham County Library will host Comics Fest on Saturday and Sunday at Southwest Regional Library. The event, now in its second year, celebrates comics and graphic novels. You'll find prizes, giveaways, book signings and classes for kids to adults (starting around age 6). Read my earlier post for details. This sounds like a fantastic event for kids who live for comics and graphic novels.

Cary kids will present Greek mythology with southern flair at the Cary Arts Center in its production of the award-winning musical "Perseus Bayou." Advance tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students; and $5 for kids five and under. They'll be $10 at the door. Performances are 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday. The production involves 35 youth actors and 11 design technicians. It tells the story of Percy, who must try and save his home on the bayou from the evil Polydectes and other swamp terrors.

Raleigh Little Theatre wraps up its production of Dear Edwina Junior, part of its youth series. The show runs through Sunday 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 Friday, Saturday and Sunday and include some matinees.

North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre also ends "The Wind in the Willows." 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 Sunday. Tickets are between $10 and $15.

The Carolina Ballet opens Beauty and the Beast on Thursday. The performance also includes the world premiere of a ballet set to Beethoven: Symphony No. 9. Tickets start at $25. It runs Thursday through Sunday.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre will launch its Movies by Moonlight series this weekend with a screening of the PG-rated "Puss in Boots" on Saturday. Gates open at 7 p.m. The movie starts at dusk. Tickets are just $3 per person. Kids 12 and under are free. I know a lot of people bring a picnic dinner for the show. Food also will be for sale. Speaking of summer movies, I'm in the process now of updating Go Ask Mom's free and cheap summer movie database.

Historic Oak View County Park, off Poole Road in Raleigh, will celebrate its goats' seventh birthday from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday. There will be games and activities for the kids, along with cake and ice cream, and a round of Happy Birthday to Boyd and Quint, the goats, who will enjoy carrots for a birthday treat.

The Tour d'Coop, Raleigh's tour of chicken coops, is noon to 4 p.m., Saturday. The tour's goal is to educate people about urban chickens and their benefits. I live in a neighborhood with many chickens and both my kids love watching them and feeding them from time to time. In fact, one coop is on our regular neighborhood walk. I know this one is popular with kids (just don't bring your dogs. Pets aren't allowed). Get a ticket for a donation to Urban Ministries of Raleigh.

The N.C. Museum of Art's Art Scene: Spring Teen Event is 1 p.m., Saturday. The free event planned by the museum's Teen Advisory Board with high school students from across the state, features quests throughout the museum. There's a graffiti T-shirt wall and activities to celebrate the museum's new Art of Game Design course. Performances include local artist Sunny at 1 p.m., Enloe High School's dance department at 1:30 p.m. and Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic at 2 p.m. This is part of the museum's growing offerings for teens, which I wrote about earlier.

Ritmo Latino Festival starts at noon, Saturday, in downtown Cary. The free family festival showcases Latino music, arts and dance. You'll find live music, artists and activities for kids.

Go Chapel Hill - Carrboro will hold its annual Spring Roll Cruiser Ride at 5:30 p.m., Friday. Meet at the Wallace Deck, 150 E. Rosemary St. The free event offers a two-mile ride, designed for families, and an eight-mile ride. A band, along with contests and food, will start the evening. Dress up your bike for the Most Outrageous Bike Contest.

Nasher Museum of Art will host a free family day from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. The event includes hands-on art activities, a gallery hunt and more. The student dance group NC Arts in Action will perform at 1 p.m. Acro Sports Gymnastics will give a demonstration at 3:30 p.m. Activities are designed for kids ages 3 to 12 and their adults, but all ages are welcome. Admission is free.

And, a couple of blocks away, Duke Gardens will host its final Spring Family Fun event of the season from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday. The free, drop-in family program features crafts and science projects. The location changes each week, so be sure to ask at the information desk to find where the fun is on Sunday.

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