Weekend Plans: Bluegrass, nature programs, fall festivals, Marbles' birthday, more
Posted September 25, 2013
It’s another big weekend. Here’s your weekend family fun for Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29! As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more weekend activities. And check our Halloween and Fall Fun database for more.
It’s a bluegrass invasion in downtown Raleigh with the three-day business conference of the International Bluegrass Music Association and the two-day Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, which runs Friday and Saturday. Some of the biggest names in bluegrass music will be here for ticketed shows. But there are plenty of free concerts and activities to keep families busy, including kid and sports zones during the festival and more. Read my earlier post for more information.
Take a Child Outside Week, an initiative of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, started Tuesday and runs to Sept. 30. The goal is to encourage adults to spend quality time with kids outside. Lots of parks and other venues will be holding special events to encourage outdoor activities and nature exploration. Read my earlier post for details. Among them is Prairie Ridge Ecostation, part of the natural sciences museum. Officials there will unveil the first part of an outdoor playspace on Saturday. I’ll have more about it on the site on Friday.
Saturday is the annual Museum Day Live, a national event organized by Smithsonian magazine. The day offers free tickets for two to participating venues on Saturday only. In order to receive your free tickets, you’ll need to download them from Smithsonian’s site before you go to the museum of your choice. There are many museums across the state that are participating. Click here to see the list of sites in North Carolina and to learn more about how you can download your free tickets.
On Saturday and Sunday, Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh will mark its sixth birthday with all kinds of activities. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days, with special activities starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, and 10:30 a.m., Sunday. They include a giant "wrecking ball" that kids can smash into a huge pile of "presents," an opportunity to meet a farmer, and more. On Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes will debut new upgrades to the very popular Workout Zone and Play by Play announcer's booth in the Power 2 Play exhibit. The Storm Squad and CanesVision crew will be there from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Stormy will make an appearance from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday. It's all free with admission, which is $5 per person. Also, this weekend, tickets to documentaries at Marbles' IMAX theater are $6. Cake pops at its restaurant Pogo are $2.
Raleigh will mark the 75th anniversary of the John Chavis Memorial Park, home of the city’s lesser known carousel, with two days of activities. It begins with an evening reception and free music on Friday evening and continues Saturday with a day-long event that offers free rides on the park’s historic carousel, a performance from Shaw University’s marching band, inflatables, games and more. There’s a scavenger hunt from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for families and a soul train dance line at 3:30 p.m. This is a great park that could use more foot traffic.
We have lots of festivals:
Wake County’s annual storytelling festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at Historic Oak View County Park, off Poole Road in Raleigh. The day features storytellers Heather Forest and The Healing Force. Kindie rock group Big Bang Boom (which always does a great show) and Rags to Riches, a children’s theater group, will also perform. A hayride shuttle will get you from the parking lot to the park. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic for some great, free entertainment.
The Carrboro Music Festival runs Saturday and Sunday at venues across the Orange County town. And it’s all free. If kids are in tow, head to the Town Commons where you’ll find Kidzu Children’s Musuem staff hosting activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday.
In collaboration with the Carrboro Festival, the 2013 Statewide Folklife Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday in Carrboro. The event celebrates the state’s vibrant traditional arts, folklife customs and musical and cultural heritage. This includes art and craft; music; documentary films; food; storytelling; and more. There are child-friendly activities sprinkled throughout the festival. It’s all free and open to the public.
The Five Points Fall Festival at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 301 E. Whitaker Mill Rd., Raleigh, is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. The free event includes inflatables, games, pumpkins and food trucks.
The Raleigh Irish Festival is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. It’s free. You’ll find Irish music, dancing and more.
Bennett Place Historic Site in Durham will host a Tarheel Harvest Fair and Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. It’s free. The event includes music, farm animals, children’s games and more.
The annual Latino Festival is noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Rock Quarry Park in Durham. The free event includes music, dancing, and food, along with hands-on crafts for kids.
Fuquay-Varina Community Library reopens Saturday after a minor renovation. It’s been closed since early August. Library staff is planning a day of storytimes, crafts and more. Read my earlier post for the schedule.
Northgate Mall will host a Durham College Fair from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, with Duke University and Durham Public Schools. Read my earlier post for more information.
And NOFO, the restaurant and shop on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh’s Five Points, will hold a storytime featuring local author Karen Matthews and her book “The Legend of Lizard Lick.” It’s a story about the naming of the real place - Lizard Lick, N.C. She’ll have free coloring pages for kids and prizes for the oldest and youngest in attendance. For ages 4 to 12 and their adults.