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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Sales tax holiday, Mars rover landing events, train rides

Posted August 1, 2012
Updated August 2, 2012

It’s the state's sales tax holiday weekend, which means you won’t have to pay tax on certain items under a certain price range, including clothes, computers and other back-to-school items.

Read my earlier post for details on exactly what is included, including information about a special after hours sale at the Lands' End at the Crabtree Valley Mall Sears (I know we have lots of Lands' End fans here on Go Ask Mom).

Here’s your weekend family fun (be sure to check WRAL.com's Out & About calendar for details on these and other events across the region!).

It’s the first Friday of the month, which makes it is First Fridays in Raleigh when museums, galleries and restaurants are open late or offer special deals. Go to the First Friday website for details about all that’s part of the evening. A couple of notes for parents: Marbles Kids Museum stays open until 8 p.m. with special events, store deals and a food truck. It also has a First Friday Kids Camp where you can drop off your kids while you enjoy a a movie at the IMAX theater or, simply, some me time. And the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will honor writer Ray Bradbury, who died in June. They’ll screen some films based on some of his short stories (fun for older kids and their parents).

Speaking of Marbles, its Marbles Olympics continues through Saturday. Join in some Marbles-style Olympics games daily through Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sports include pool noodle fencing and scooter rowing. Marbles also has an Olympics track and field circuit on the second floor right now.

The House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site will host one of the country’s Top 20 events this month (at least according to the Southeast Tourism Society). From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, the site in Sanford will offer an authentic Revolutionary War reenactment. The free event includes militia demonstrations and periodic firings of a replica 18th century cannon, along with period crafts and games for the kids. A battle reenactment is at 4 p.m., Saturday. At 2 p.m., Sunday, they’ll recreate the events of July 29, 1781 when British loyalist Col. David Fanning attacked the home of Revolutionary Col. Philip Alston. (Interesting fact: Alston’s wife eventually negotiated the surrender of Col. Alston and his militia to save her children).

The Cary Cross Current Chamber Music Arts Festival is underway. And while there are many ticketed concerts, there also are a variety of free open rehearsals - great opportunities to expose kids to music and the process of preparing a piece for concert. The free rehearsals include one from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at the Cary Arts Center. The open rehearsals run through Aug. 9. The festival will be reserving the first two rows for guests who want to “Draw to the Music.” Paper and pencil only.

UNC-Chapel Hill's Meet the Heels is Saturday at Kenan Stadium. Gates open at 3 p.m. Players will sign autographs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A Carolina Kids Zone will be in the east end of Kenan Stadium with inflatables and other activities. Check the website for details on entering, parking and a complete schedule.

MilkFest 2012 at The Family Nest in Morrisville will celebrate breastfeeding, offer support for nursing moms and be part of an international effort to set a world record for the number of moms breastfeeding at the same time. It's from 10 a.m .to 1 p.m. and includes all kinds of free activities for families. I'll be there as a judge.

At 8 p.m., Friday, Chapel Hill's Locally Grown movies series offers the PG-rated "Back to the Future." The N.C. Museum of Art will screen “Hugo,” at 9 p.m., Saturday. Tickets are $4 for this outdoor event.

Dress for Success will host its annual sale to raise money for its programs, which benefit needy women who are working to get their lives on track. It’s 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Northgate Mall in Durham. Read my earlier post for details about all the great deals (suits for $10!).

The Museum of Life and Science is planning a watermelon feast on Friday to mark National Watermelon Day. Bears, lemurs and other animals will enjoy watermelon in all kinds of forms. The museum’s cafe will serve up some watermelon specials for us humans too.

Little Pros Academy will hold a consignment sale with children's clothes and toys from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, at the preschool at 131 Keybridge Dr. in Morrisville.

In Wake Forest, Joyner Park will host a free concert featuring the steel drumming and Caribbean music of Sensory Expressions. It’s 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday. Bring a picnic.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will have a special Mars rover landing event on Sunday. NASA is scheduled to launch its newest Mars rover very early Monday morning (the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences is hosting a special public viewing of that). But on Sunday afternoon, Morehead will have some special presentations about Mars exploration and the rover starting at 1:30 p.m. They'll also have some hands-on activities for kids from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The presentations and activities are free. Regular ticket prices apply for the planetarium shows. (Make a note: Morehead's summer schedule ends Aug. 19. They'll reopen in September).

And New Hope Valley Railway will offer its monthly rides on diesel and steam engines Sunday. Departure times start at 11 a.m. The railway in southwestern Wake County also includes some exhibits. Check the website before you go for tips and important information (like it’s open air and there are no bathrooms on the train during the hour-long ride).

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  • NC Culture Aug 2, 10:29 a.m.

    Thanks for the great story! People can find out more about this weekend's event at House in Horseshoe at http://bit.ly/OsWJV6!