Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: BugFest, SparkCon, CenterFest, pumpkin patches, more!

Posted September 12, 2012
Updated September 13, 2012

It’s a busy, busy weekend! In addition to some major annual events, the region’s pumpkin patches are just starting to open up this weekend. Check out our 2012 Halloween and fall fun database for details on pumpkin patches, haunted houses and other fall events.

Here’s your weekend family fun! As always, check’s Out & About calendar for details about other events across the region.

BugFest, the annual event at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, begins at 9 a.m., Saturday. This free event features a variety of opportunities to learn about bugs, see bugs, touch bugs and, at the Cafe Insecta, eat bugs. The festival turns into the Evening Insectival from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., where you’ll find live music, food and other activities. The evening activities would be fun for families with older kids (though all of the activities are great for all ages). Read my earlier post for all the details about this big event.

Also in downtown Raleigh, SparkCon, celebrating the Triangle’s creativity, runs Thursday to Sunday at spaces across downtown Raleigh. You’ll find everything from street painting on Saturday to circus workshops to fashion to skateboarding to much, much more. The festival’s website highlights a few activities just for kids, but there is much more.

In Durham, the Durham Arts Council’s 38th annual CenterFest Arts Festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, in downtown Durham. The festival features arts and crafts and a variety of performances. A Creative Kids Zone in the Ninth Street Bakery parking lot along Parrish Street will feature activities led by Durham Arts Council instructors, staff and volunteers. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at 500 W. Main St., you’ll find a pop-up history museum where visitors are asked to bring tools of their trade. Click here for more information about the kids activities and pop-up museum.

The Escapist Expo in Durham brings together fans of video games, tabletop games, science fiction, fantasy, comics and more. It runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Durham Convention Center. Tickets are $30 for a three-day pass or $15 for a one-day pass. The Expo includes tournaments, panels discussion, concerts, open play and more. It's bringing in some experts and celebrities in the gaming industry. For older kids in particular, this one sounds like a lot of fun.

It’s baklava time! The Raleigh Greek Festival is at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. This annual festival features some delicious baklava, along with many other Greek foods. You’ll also find dancing, music, cooking demonstrations and a marketplace. Admission is $3; $2 for kids 13 to 18 and seniors; and free for kids under 13.

The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, at farms across the region. This is a great opportunity to show kids where their food comes from on self-guided tours of 23 farms. Some suggestions if you're going with children: Don’t plan on seeing all 23 farms or even the majority of them. Pick a handful or even just one to spend some time at. Some of the farms offer more for kids than others, so be sure to read the tour's online brochure for details about each of the farms. Be sure to wash your hands at each of the farms' hand washing stations after petting any animals. And don’t forget a cooler for bringing some yummy local food home with you. Advanced tickets are $25 per car for all farms or $30 the day of the tour. It costs $10 per car to visit individual farms.

We have seven consignment sales where you can find great deals on clothing, toys, gear and more for kids. Here’s where you’ll find them.

The Clayton Harvest & Music Festival runs Thursday through Sunday and includes carnival rides and games, music, food and more.

Historic Yates Mill County Park’s annual Fall Harvest Celebration is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the Wake County park just south of Raleigh. This popular event includes corn-grinding tours of Yates Mill with costumed interpreters, a children’s scavenger hunt, live music and dance, storytellers, a cornmeal cook-off contest and more. It’s free and designed for all ages, especially families. The fun includes two sets from the Sandbox band for kids and families. They'll start at 11 a.m. and end at 12:45 p.m. This also is a beautiful park to explore.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s show City of Frogs moves to the N.C. Museum of Art this Friday through Sunday. Shows start at 6:20 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $7.50 for kids ages 3 to 12. The show, which has been playing at the Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill since August, features puppets of all kinds, live music and much more.

The Raleigh/Wake Chapter of Jack and Jill of America will sponsor its second annual Jack and Jill Ran Up the Hill 5K and Fun Run starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, at 1050 Town Hall Drive in Morrisville. The event includes an officially timed 5K race and a 5K walk. For kids 12 and under, there’s a one-mile Fun Run. The event will include entertainment, vendors, and a guest appearance by Triangle native Naya Coard, Miss Black USA Talented Teen. Participants can register online or at the event. Profits go to the Boys and Girls Club and the Jack and Jill Foundation.

Dreamsports Center in Apex will hold an open house to showcase its sports programs for kids from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. There will be inflatables and other activities.

Cary’s Fall Sertoma Series at Sertoma Amphitheatre at Fred G. Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd., opens this weekend with two free concerts. The Cary Town Band will play at 7:30 p.m., Friday, with a concert full of “sticky music,” or catchy melodies that stick in your head. The Triangle Brass Band will perform “Pops in the Park,” at 7 p.m., Saturday.

And the third annual Rockin’ 5K Family Fun Run Festival starts at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Southern Village in Chapel Hill. There’s a 5K or 1.56 mile course to choose from. The event also includes lots of other activities for families including a giant slide, mechanical bull and mobile game unit. Money raised will be used to support the Super Cooper's Little Red Wagon Foundation mission of providing housing and support for families affected by brain tumors.


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  • shall6 Sep 13, 2012

    Ack! Thank you treasa! I just fixed it.


  • treasa12802 Sep 13, 2012

    the link for the clayton harvest & music fest goes to the 2010 info. here's the link for 2012:

  • shall6 Sep 13, 2012

    Thank you for sharing!


  • 10hummingbirds Sep 13, 2012

    There's also the Fly for Tots charity Fly-In in Youngsville. It is Sept 14-16. It is NC's biggest remote control event for remote control airplanes and helicopters. The admission is free to the Public. There are food vendors, hobby vendors, Helicopters rides. Also a daily candy drop for the kids. More info at All of the money goes to the Victory Junction Children's camp in Randleman NC. This is all for a very good cause. Come out and enjoy the fun!!