What to do? What. To. Do!?
Students and parents at schools in Wake County and elsewhere are heading into their fourth snow day on Friday. For the full list of closings and delays, check WRAL.com's list in the More on This section to the left.
Now that the sledding hills are muddy, the novelty of snow is gone and cabin fever has set in, just exactly how will you while away those hours? We have some options for excursions and at-home activities.
As if Disney knew exactly what many of us would need on Friday, "Frozen Sing Along" is opening in local theaters on Friday! Click here for showtime information at theaters across the region. "Frozen Sing Along" features the insanely popular Disney animated movie with subtitles so the audience can sing along. I'm going to predict that these just might be packed tomorrow.
Marbles Kids Museum's IMAX theater is showing "Journey to the South Pacific 3D" at 1 p.m. and 4:55 p.m., Friday. The new documentary takes viewers to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, which sounds pretty awesome to me right now. These G-rated, 45-minute films are great for all ages. My favorite part (in addition to learning about the movie's subject matter) is watching the little kids reach out for the 3D effects throughout the entire movie.
Check out one of the daily programs at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. They include a 10:30 a.m., storytime, and 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m., Meet the Animals programs. These are free, daily affairs that happen in the third floor Windows on the World in the original section of the museum. These are great for toddlers to grade schoolers. The natural sciences museum also has its Birds of Paradise exhibit, which my kids love.
If you're at the natural sciences museum, you might as well head across the plaza to the N.C. Museum of History. There, you'll find History in Every Direction discovery gallery with some hands-on activities for kids. I think preschoolers to early elementary school kids will enjoy this area the most. It's free.
The N.C. of Art is getting ready to close out its Porsche by Design exhibit this week, but Friday might be a great day to catch this exhibit featuring some gorgeous cars and interesting history. Or you can just walk around the rest of the museum for free. The museum has an online guide with more information for family visits.
Go ice skating! Raleigh's Winterfest ice rink is wrapping up for the season on Saturday, but it will be open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday. Head down there after an afternoon trip to one of the downtown Raleigh museums.
You also can check our indoor playgrounds and inflatables page for more indoor fun. Another option is the Indoor Greens Mini Golf in Cary. The Stay and Play Snack Cafe in Durham is great for the under 5 crowd and their adults.
Also ... go outside! Friday is forecast to be 50 degrees and sunny. Pullen Park is open (though know that the train and carousel are scheduled to be closed for maintenance) or just visit one of the many other parks across the region. Check our park and playground database for many of them.
Valentine's Day is nearly here. Decorate your home for the holiday with some homemade crafts or knock out those Valentine's Day cards for classmates now. Some ideas: Valentine's Day felt bracelets, play dough chocolates and sweet paper Valentine's Day bouquets.
The Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year starts Jan. 31. Mark the day with crafts, food and a field trip to a local Asian store. My family enjoys going to Grand Asia Market at 1253 Buck Jones Rd. in Cary. The giant store offers all kinds of foods. Kids love seeing the big tanks of fish, lobsters and other sea creatures. There's a small food court and bakery with breads, donuts and other treats. Bring your treats home and then celebrate with neighborhood friends. Make your own dragon masks, pick up some tangerines (a traditional fruit for the holiday) and stomp on some bubble wrap to create your own "fireworks." (A nod to Marbles, which marks the new year on Dec. 31 with bubble wrap stomping).
Check out one of my favorite sites for great, kid-friendly videos that mostly weren't originally intended for kids. The Kid Should See This is a fantastic compilation of all kinds of short videos - science, technology, space, animals, music and more - that kids and parents will love watching together.
Have your kids work on creating a "whatchamacallit" like the pieces on view at the Museum of Life and Science's Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys. They can be entered to win a one-of-a-kind hour-long workshop with Steve Gerberich, the artist. Entries accepted now through Feb. 12. This is a great opportunity for one-on-one time with a very talented artist and creator. Click here for details.
What am I doing? I'm teaming up with a couple of other moms on my street for some kid swaps. We'll be taking each others kids in shifts so we all can cobble together some time for work and ourselves. I suspect we'll all come together at the end of the day to celebrate. I highly recommend it. It takes a village sometimes ...