Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here’s what’s happening on the family fun front. For more ideas, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar and, if strawberry shortcake is on the menu this weekend, our strawberry farm database.
Also, public pools across the region are starting to open. Our public pools database has the details!
WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest is Friday through Sunday in Fuquay-Varina. In addition to dozens of hot air balloons, there’s also live music, activities for kids and more. Admission is free.
The N.C. Zoo opens a new ropes course on Friday called Air Hike. Tickets are $12 each and available on a first come, first served basis. It will be open daily through October.
The N.C. Symphony’s Summerfest opens for the season at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, featuring Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony. Tickets start at around $30, but kids 12 and under are free. Concessions are available at these concerts. Concert goers also are welcome to bring their own coolers and picnics.
North Carolina’s National College Savings Program and Marbles Kids Museum are collaborating to support school readiness and encourage families to plan ahead for college. NC 529 Savings Play Day includes special activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday (which is May 29, you know, kind of like the NC 529 Plan), at Marbles in downtown Raleigh. Families will have the opportunity to get hands-on with financial literacy and learn about NC’s college savings program and the importance of planning ahead. It's free with admission, which is $5 per person.
The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh hosts its regular free family tours at 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. This weekend, families will be searching for works of art with farm animals. The tours are free.
The Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh will host a special event to promote the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which comes out June 3. The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, and includes ticket giveaways and more!
New Hope Valley Railway in southwestern Wake County hosts a Brew 'n Choo with music, beer, food, activities for kids on rides on the railway's historic open-air train. It happens Saturday. Tickets are between $10 and $12.
And downtown Raleigh launches an outdoor movie series that will feature some of my childhood favorites, including "Raiders of the Lost Ark" this Friday and "Princess Bride" later this season. Craft beer, food trucks and other food vendors will be on hand starting at 5 p.m., Friday. Movies start at dusk. It's free and takes place on City Plaza, 400 Fayetteville St.
And, we have a lot of baseball!
From Saturday through June 4, the Town of Cary will host the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, 7445 Green Hope School Rd. Games times are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily; except June 3 and June 4 when games will be played at 3 p.m.; a 7 p.m. game is tentatively scheduled depending on the outcome of the games on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $12 for an adult day ticket and $32 for a Championship Pass. Tickets are $7 for children 12 and under, seniors 55 and up and Wake County and Cary residents. All tickets are $1 on Championship Day. The event includes some special promotions including fireworks after the 7 p.m. game on Saturday; kids running the bases after the 7 p.m. game on Sunday; and free admission for active duty and veterans on Monday, along with $1 hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches.
The Mudcats in Zebulon have home games through Monday. Special activities include fireworks after the Friday and Sunday games and free T-shirts on Saturday for the first 1,200 kids ages 14 and under.
And the 2016 ACC Baseball Championship runs through Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham. In addition to the games, there’s also an ACC Fan Fest and Alumni Village. You can find the Alumni Village on the American Tobacco Campus Courtyard, across the street from the DBAP. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., through Saturday, alumni associations of the tournament's final eight teams will each be represented with a tent from their respective school, featuring snacks and beverages and school apparel. There also will be daily attractions including visits with school mascots on Thursday and a Little League Baseball Day with special events for children on Saturday. ACC Fan Fest takes place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, and 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, on Blackwell Street outside the DBAP. You’ll find food trucks, an inflatable obstacle course and more.
Here are the Memorial Day weekend hours for popular destinations in the area:
Marbles is open all weekend, including Monday when the hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday will launch Marbles' new Monday summer hours, which will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Labor Day.
The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the N.C. Museum of History and the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro are open all weekend, including Monday.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and Kidzu Children’s Museum, both in Chapel Hill, are open on the weekend, but closed Monday.