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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Artsplosure, Got to Be NC Festival, Letterland, poetry at Nasher

Posted May 13, 2015

Courtesy: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; Photo by J Caldwell

It’s one of those weekends where there’s so much going on. So let’s get to it. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more activities. And our strawberry database has details on farms across the region.

Here’s your weekend family fun!

Artsplosure, the long-running spring festival, takes over downtown Raleigh streets this Friday through Sunday. The event features artists and crafts people, showcasing and selling their wares. There’s also crafts and activities just for kids in Moore Square on Saturday and Sunday. This is a great, free annual event in Raleigh that will draw thousands. My earlier posts has tips if you go and things to check out if you take kids.

The Got to Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds is Friday through Sunday. The mini-fair offers free admission and parking, along with carnival rides, games, animals, demonstrations and more. If you go, be sure to read my earlier post with details about all of the family activities and a deal for N.C. State Fair tickets.

The 46th annual Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival is noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, at Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Dr., Durham. The free family event celebrates African and African American history, culture, arts and traditions. An interactive kids area includes crafts, a drum circle, inflatables and more. Free parking will be available at Durham County Stadium, across the street from Rock Quarry Park.

Pullen Park in Raleigh will turn into Letterland, the imaginary place that’s home to all the letters of the alphabet, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The phonics-based approach turns regular old letters into actual characters, who live in a place called Letterland. Each character has their own personality and story that goes along with their sound. The program is popular in preschool and kindergarten curriculums. The day includes opportunities to meet with characters such as Firefighter Fred and see his fire engine; Clever Cat for a ride on the carousel; and Bouncy Ben and his boats. Pullen's train will turn into Talking Tess's train; and Impy Ink will be face painting at Golden Girl's gazebo.

There are a couple of opportunities to see "Big Hero 6," rated PG, on the big screen outdoors. In Cary, Koka Booth Amphitheater’s Movies by Moonlight series will feature “Big Hero 6”, rated PG, at dark, Friday. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 or free for kids under 12. Picnics welcome. In Chapel Hill, The Lumina will open its outdoor movie series on the green in Southern Village on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $5.

Carolina Ballet will present “Cinderella” with shows at at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh through Sunday. Get a ticket deal for the Thursday and Friday shows. Earlier this week, we chatted with the company’s original Cinderella, dancer Lilyan Vigo Ellis, who is now a mom of two.

Families of children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade can enjoy skill clinics and games for basketball, cheer, dance, flag football, soccer, boot camp and track and field at a free Community Sports Fair on Saturday at Hillside High School in Durham. Some groups will also offer discounts for summer session signups. You’ll want to register online in advance for the various sessions. The event is sponsored by 100 Black Men of the Triangle East.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will open a new special exhibit called "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil." It opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 16. The exhibit explores the profound ways soil supports our lives. Thanks to BASF, the Soil Science Society of America, and other North Carolina donors, admission is free. I'll have more about this exhibit on Go Ask Mom.

First Bloom, an annual event at Witherspoon Rose Culture in Durham is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Adults and kids can learn more about roses. The store also is planning scavenger hunts and a craft corner so kids can make cards for children at Duke Children’s Hospital. The shop is at 3312 Watkins Rd., Durham.

Raleigh’s annual Tour d’Coop is Saturday and features urban chicken coops around the city. The event also includes The Coop Carnival with animal demonstrations, food trucks and a craft. There’s also a Hive Hike, featuring homes with active bee hives. The event raises money for Urban Ministries of Wake county. It’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.

The Durham Bulls are at home in Durham and have a bunch of special activities planned as part of their games. There are fireworks after the game Friday night. Saturday is Star Wars Night. Costumed characters will be on hand. Sunday’s game is at 1:05 p.m. Kids can run the bases after the game. They also can meet Super Why! and Sid the Science Kid.

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market will host a Strawberry Jamboree starting at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, until the supplies run out. (The market is open from 7 a.m. to noon). There will be strawberry shortcake by Chef Sear Cuni of The Root Cellar. The morning also includes strawberry-themed kids’ activities, strawberry recipes, information on local strawberry pick-your-own farms, and live music.

Applause! Cary Youth Theatre will present the classic children’s book “The Phantom Tollbooth” with shows Friday through Sunday at the Cary Arts Center. Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors and $5 for children age 5 and under. All tickets at the door are $10.

In Morrisville, the East Meets West Festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, on Town Hall Drive. The festival celebrates Wake County’s most diverse community with food, music and performances. Admission is free. Children’s activities include face painting, a bounce house and other activities.

Local author Stephanie Irwin Adams will read from her new book, "Ethan's Chocolate Chip Cookie," at 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Barnes & Noble at 760 SE Maynard St. in Cary. "Ethan's Chocolate Chip Cookie reflects the devotion, caring and thoughtfulness, as well as dealing with disappointment between a single mom and her son," according to the description.

On Sunday, the N.C. Museum of Art offers a Family Renaissance Fair from noon to 4 p.m. It’s free. The afternoon features music, games, craft demonstrations, art making and more. They include armored combat and blacksmith demonstrations. Kids can make tiny fairy houses. There will be a castle photo booth and pirate tattoo parlor, among other activities.

And at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, admission is free all day on Saturday as part of the national Art Museum Day. Admission also is free from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, as part of the museum’s regular free family days. Activities include screenprinting shirts, free poems from Poetry Fox and more.

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