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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Free family concert, nature preserve opens, festivals, more

Posted October 3, 2012

It’s another busy weekend! Here’s your weekend family fun (and be sure to check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas):

I’ll start off with the Fox 50 Family Fest from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham because Go Ask Mom will be there. This free event includes live music (including from the Sandbox band), fun games led by the YMCA, animals from Noah’s Landing, displays from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and more. The main event is the Great American Duck Race where you can see thousands of rubber duckies floating down the Ol’ Bull River to raise money for several non-profit groups. Go Ask Mom’s table will be inside Bay 7 where you’ll find many other activities. Read my earlier post for more information on the event and duck race. I hope to see you there!

Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh will host a free family concert on Saturday. Doors open at 2 p.m. for Broadway Under the Stars, which is the first of two free concerts for families this month at the outdoor amphitheater. You’ll find free face painting, juggling, magicians and more, along with local groups including the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, Peace University Musical Theater, Raleigh Little Theater and more. The day ends with a performance by North Carolina’s own Red Clay Ramblers. The next free concert is Oct. 20 featuring some local kindie rock bands, among others. Read my earlier post for details.

The opening of the Horton Grove Nature Preserve, a 708-acre preserve next to Historic Stagville in Durham, will be celebrated this weekend with some special events Friday and Saturday. They kick off on Friday evening with a dedication and stargazing. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be music, hikes and tours, animals, crafts, games, food trucks and picnicking on the lawn. This is a great addition to Durham. Can’t wait to check it out!

Downtown Chapel Hill will be busy with its annual Festifall from noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Arts and crafts, food, music and fun activities for kids all are part of the fun.

Selma hosts its Selma Railroad Days this weekend. Activities start Friday, though the big day is Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, you’ll find arts and crafts, food, entertainment and a special area for kids with inflatables and games. The event also includes a model train display.

And in Smithfield, it’s time for the Ava Gardner Festival, which runs Friday to Sunday, and marks the career of the Hollywood legend and Johnston County native. You can tour the Ava Gardner Museum or take a heritage tour. And they’ll be screening some of her movies. I think this would be a fun outing for parents with older kids, especially tweens and teens who enjoy classic movies.

The N.C. State Fair is about a week away, starting Oct. 11. But if you’re craving a taste of the fair (minus the rides, carnival games, deep fried food and some others things), head over to Historic Oak View County Park in Raleigh for its annual Heritage Day. It’s 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, at the park off Poole Road. The free event includes live music, animals, agricultural displays, heritage craft displays, re-enactors, a quilt auction and much more.

Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh will hold its annual used book sale to benefit Books for Kids from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. The sale in the store parking lot is a great opportunity to pick up some bargains. I was at Quail Ridge yesterday and the children’s staff tells me that you’ll find a huge selection of books for kids (and adults). For kids books, the prices are generally no more than $3.

Speaking of deals, we have three consignment sales this weekend. Read my earlier post for details.

It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s First Friday in Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh galleries, museums and restaurants will be open late or have special deals. You’ll find late hours for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences (which just opened a new Titanic exhibit), N.C. Museum of History (which just opened a small exhibit on American Idol winner Scotty McCreery) and Marbles Kids Museum, among other places. Marbles is open until 8 p.m. and will feature some real electric cars and the families who drive them.

Also this weekend at Marbles, the museum will be part of Nickelodeon’s 9th annual Worldwide Day of Play. Nick will “go dark” on Saturday for the day to encourage kids to get up and be active. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Marbles will offer some old-school recess fun, including a "hula hoopla," giant volleyball, rocket launches and more. It’s free with admission, which is $5 per person. The N.C. Symphony also will be at Marbles from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. , Saturday. Kids can check out instruments and meet a musician.

Cary celebrates a free Downtown Game Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, on the downtown performance green at the corner of Academy and Chatham streets. They’ll have Frisbee Golf, corn hole, table tennis and more. Activities are designed for all ages levels.

The Cary Ballet Conservatory will host a Celebration of Children in the Arts from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. Free activities include pumpkin and face painting, make and take crafts, live music, a ballet lecture demonstration, magician and more. The conservatory is at 3791 NW Cary Parkway in Cary.

In Raleigh, Arts Together will host an open art session as part of the This Place Matters! children’s art contest. The contest is sponsored by the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission with help from Arts Together and Marbles Kids Museum. The commission is asking preschoolers (starting at age 3) to high schoolers what their favorite old building is in Raleigh. It’s from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. This is a drop-off event. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

Northgate Mall in Durham will have some special Halloween-inspired stories with professional educator Terri Morley. Find seasonal stories, singing and crafting at the Macy’s Court at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., Saturday. For a small fee, kids can decorate their own “boo buckets” for Halloween treats.

And Big Bang Boom, the Greensboro-based power pop group for kids, will launch the BSC Kids series on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., at the Broad Street Cafe. The free concert (donations happily accepted) is the first of many that will run a couple of Sundays a month at the Durham cafe through March. Read my earlier post for more about the series..

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