Happy Labor Day weekend … the unofficial end of summer! Here’s your weekend family fun, along with a list of Triangle family destinations and their open and closed schedules.
As always, check WRAL.com's Out & About calendar for information about other events across the region.
Noah’s Landing in Coats hosts its annual Blue and Cue at the Zoo. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. I featured Noah’s Landing, a small zoo about 45 minutes from Raleigh, last week. The zoo features more than 60 species, including a zebra, yak, lemurs and monkey. Noah’s Landing gives kids a chance for some up close encounters with many of the animals. This weekend’s event features the animals, along with crafts, games, bluegrass music and barbecue. Admission is $8 per person.
The Sandbox kids and family band will play a free concert featuring their folksy take on songs for kids and parents at Raleigh’s Fletcher Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday. This is a great band and great event that my family looks forward to every year! Get there a little early to set up your blanket or lawn chairs and picnic. It’s a wonderful way to end the summer! I’ll have more about the band on Friday.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill reopens for the season after a quick break. Shows return on Saturday and Sunday and include "One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure" at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. This show is perfect for the three- to six-year-old age group. Click here for the full schedule and for details on each of the shows (including very handy age recommendations). No shows are scheduled for Monday.
The African American Cultural Festival takes over City Plaza in downtown Raleigh on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find live music, food, entertainment and more. A Family Village on the 300 block of Fayetteville Street will include make-and-take crafts, large-scale community interactive art installations and a special stage with a variety of performers including the Houston-based Soul Street Dance Company.
Isaac Hunter's Oak City Tavern, 112 Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh, will hold Splash Bash starting at noon, Saturday. The fundraiser for a local family will include games, a water slide, dunk tank, food, music and more. Check the website for details about the event and the family it benefits.
The Duke Symphony Orchestra will perform a free pops concert from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, on Duke’s East Campus Main Quad. Bring a picnic to enjoy while listening to the orchestra play music from Broadway and popular movies.
As I’ve mentioned before: The Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s 13th annual puppet pageant, called City of Frogs this year, continues this weekend with shows at the Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill. This massive production features live music, masks, stilt walkers, shadow puppets and more started last weekend. Performances are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus Labor Day, through Sept. 9 with some matinees and mostly evening showtimes. Suggested donations are $12 for adults and $8 for kids (though nobody is turned away for lack of funds). The show moves over to the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh on Sept. 14 to Sept. 16.
We have a consignment sale in Fayetteville this weekend.
Duke Gardens will hold a free nature storytime for kids ages 3 and up and their adult. It’s from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday. Listen to a story and then talk about its connection to the garden. No registration required.
The North American Table Tennis Championships will be at Bond Park in Cary on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 per day or $10 for the entire event.
And New Hope Valley Railway in southwestern Wake County will hold its monthly rides on its diesel and steam engines on Sunday. They start at 11 a.m. Get there early to guarantee your departure time and also check out the railway’s exhibits. The hour-long rides take place on an open air train. Be sure to check the website for all the details.
And here’s the holiday weekend schedule for popular family destinations in the Triangle:
Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh is open all weekend and on Monday (when it is usually closed). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, including Sunday.
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and its new Nature Research Center, which I highly recommend, in Raleigh is open all weekend. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Don't forget that the museum opened a 3D theater last year.
The N.C. Museum of History is open all weekend. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. It's closed as usual on Monday, though its Museum Park and trails are open from dawn to dusk (and are a great place for a walk and picnic). The museum will offer one of its free family tours at 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. The half hour tours are best for kids ages 5 to 10 and their adults.
In Raleigh, Pullen Park's grounds are open from dawn to dusk all year. The carousel, kiddie boats and kiddie train at the Raleigh park are now open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, including this long weekend.
The Museum of Life and Science in Durham is open all weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. A note: The museum will be closed on Mondays from Sept. 10 to Dec. 17.
Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill will be open during its normal hours - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday (when admission is free).
The N.C. Zoo in Asheboro is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s just another month or so to catch its Dinosaurs exhibit.
Happy Labor Day weekend!