Artsplosure kicks off a little early this year with the opening of Mirazozo, the giant, inflatable structure that will take over City Plaza in downtown Raleigh starting Thursday.
I spoke with Terri Dollar of Artsplosure this week about what the major arts and crafts festival will feature for kids and families. The actual festival runs Saturday and Sunday in and around Moore Square and City Market.
So here are some tips and things to look for if you plan on going:
- Check out Mirazozo early. If you plan on taking the kids and can swing it, get there early Thursday or Friday. Dollar expects some long lines on Saturday and Sunday and long lines are never fun with young kids. The hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
- UPDATED TO SAY: You *cannot* take a stroller into Mirazozo. Terri had told me parents could take strollers, but when I came with a stroller on Thursday, I was told no strollers. Luckily I ran into Terri there and asked her for an update. She said wheelchairs are allowed so she assumed strollers would be OK. But they are not. I took my eight-month-old in a carrier and it worked out great.
- Wear socks if you don't like being barefoot. Strollers are allowed in Mirazozo, but shoes aren't. Dollar recommends wearing flip flops or other shoes that easily slip off.
- There's no charge to enter Mirazozo for kids ages 3 and under. Everybody else is $5.
- During Artsplosure, don't miss Kidsplosure on Moore Square, which will offer lots of crafts and other hands-on activities for kids. The Kidsplosure stage also has some great performers, including Big Bang Boom at noon on Saturday and Mama Lou: American Strong Woman at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. She likes to do things like bending metal bars and picking things up with her tongue.
- If you're looking for a date night idea, Dollar tells me that Karl Denson at 8 p.m. Saturday is not to be missed on Moore Square. Lawn chairs welcome. And it's free.
Check out Artplosure's website for all the details, a full schedule and more.