A bit of a slow week ... but the kids are still having a blast with their Christmas toys. Right?
Your weekend family fun ...
The Lion King at the Durham Performing Arts Center started this week and runs for four weeks. So you think there would be plenty of time to catch this very popular Disney musical. But tickets are going very fast. At this point, the best availability are for Jan. 11-13, Jan. 18-20 and Jan. 25-28. There were very scattered, mostly single seats available for this weekend.Tickets start at $25. And the show is recommended for kids ages 5 and up (6 and up for evening performances). It's a 2 1/2 hour show with a 20 minute intermission so that could be a very late night for a little kid if you go in the evening.
And of course you could see real lions during the Conservators' Center's second Tree Toss, which involves a lion, tiger or wolf tussling with a leftover Christmas tree donated by a local farm. Apparently the scent of pine makes them go wild. It's the afternoon of Saturday and Jan. 15. Tickets are required (and there are more tickets available for Jan. 15 than this weekend) and must be purchased in advance. They cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 are not permitted at this event. And for their safety, children and their guardians must stay together as part of an escorted group. Check the website for more about the center, which is near Mebane, and to buy tickets.
It's the first Friday of the month, which means it's First Friday in downtown Raleigh. Museums, galleries and shops stay open late in what can be a very family-friendly event especially for kids who don't have early bedtimes. Some highlights: Marbles Kids Museum stays open until 8 p.m. on Friday. The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences stays open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets to Animal Grossology are $4 after 5 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 7 p.m. And the museum will offer a free 7 p.m. screening of one of the first episodes of the popular 1960s sci-fi TV Series "Outer Limits" (which might be fun for middle schoolers and high schoolers out there especially).
The N.C. Museum of Art also will host another Rockwell Family Friday at 5:30 p.m. Friday to take advantage of its family-friendly exhibitions - the Norman Rockwell exhibit and Fins and Feathers, which features illustrations from children's books. Enjoy some comfort food at the Rockwell Cafe. Both the Rockwell and Fins and Feathers exhibits end Jan. 30. The museum's winter-spring film series also is underway and I think could be fun for high schoolers. It will feature some classic films over the next few months. Friday's film is "Bigger Than Life," a 1956 movie with Walter Matthau. Tickets are $5. The movie starts at 8 p.m.
Cary will host a Three Kings Day Parade at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Fred G. Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd. The parade ends a month-long effort by local group Diamante to provide gifts and groceries to low-income children and families in the Latino community. About 300 children and 100 families will be served this month. Representatives from Spanish speaking countries will walk in the parade in traditional dress with music. The parade ends with the arrival of the Tres Reyes Magos, the Three Kings. The event is free and open to the public.
The Elks Hoop Shoot is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bond Park Community Center in Cary. Kids ages 8 to 13 can participate in the local competition of the Elks National Free Throw "Hoop Shoot" contest. It's open to boys and girls. Participants must be registered by 2 p.m. on Saturday to participate. And they must bring a copy of their birth certificate the day of the event. Check the website for more details and contact information.
And Marbles Kids Museum offers a couple of special programs this weekend. Its Music Makers series with the N.C. Symphony explores "The Mozart Experience" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. This drop-in program lets kids play musical instruments, make a powdered wig, dress up and meet members of the symphony. It comes in advance of the symphony's Young People's Series concert at 11 a.m. Jan. 22 featuring the music of Mozart and the Magic Circle Mime Company.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Marbles' Science Solvers Guest Star series will feature Space Rocks. Folks from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at N.C. State University will be on hand with some rocks from outer space. Both Marbles programs are free with admission, which is $5 per person.
Of course, you could clean out your closets this weekend in anticipation of the many consignment sales coming up. Check our list for more details.
And a heads up: PlayMakers in Chapel Hill will present a show that will hit home with some of us (including the nannies out there). "Exit Cuckoo (Nanny in Motherland)" runs Jan. 12 to Jan. 16 at Kenan Theatre in Chapel Hill. The show is written by a writer/actor and former nanny who turned her experience into an award-winning solo show. The New York Times called it "funny, sad and satisfyingly complex." Best for ages 12 and up.