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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: BugFest, festivals, farm tours, pumpkin patches, more

Posted September 17, 2014

A boy examines a African Giant Millipede during Bugfest at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

It’s another big weekend with lots of opportunities for family fun. So let’s get to it.

As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more and check our Halloween and Fall Fun database. More pumpkin patches and corn mazes will open for the season this weekend. Some haunted trails and mazes will begin next weekend.

BugFest takes over the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the outdoor spaces around the downtown Raleigh museum from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday. This long-time event, which draws 35,000 people most years, features a range of demonstrations, games, activities, information and even food that features bugs. This year's bug is the stink bug, though you’ll learn about spiders, moths and other creatures as well. This is a free event. Some highlights: Cafe Insecta, where local chefs have created dishes featuring bugs that you can try; a Stump the Experts table where you can bring a bug (or picture of one) and find out what it is; and the Evening Insectival from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with live music, a nocturnal insect tour and street carnival. Parking around the museum is free on the weekends unless a sign says otherwise. This is a great annual event.

And there are other festivals …

The 29th annual International Festival of Raleigh is at the downtown Raleigh Convention Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The event offers food, crafts, music, dancing from groups representing cultures from around the world. There’s also Sophia’s Courtyard with games, storytelling, facepainting and more for kids. Tickets are $8 and $6 for kids ages 7 to 12.

The Clayton Harvest and Music Festival in Johnston County runs through Sunday. Activities include rides on the Food Lion Midway, concerts and, on Friday, a screening of “Frozen” at 7:30 p.m. (activities begin at 6 p.m.). 

The 40th annual CenterFest Arts Festival is Saturday and Sunday in downtown Durham. The festival features food, arts, crafts and performances. Don’t miss the creative kids zone in the South Bank parking lot across from the Durham Arts Council. Kids can make Mardi Gras masks, owl puppets, maracas and visors. A moon bounce, train and face painting also is available for a fee.

Fall Back in Time at Mordecai Historic Park near downtown Raleigh is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The free event features crafts, games and music of the 1800s.

Historic Yates Mill County Park will hold its ninth annual Fall Harvest Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the park just south of Raleigh. The free event includes corn-grinding tours of the Yates Mill, a children’s pumpkin pass scavenger hunt, games performances, hand-craft demonstrations and sales, food vendors and other events. Parking will be off-site at 3841 Inwood Rd., which is about one mile north of the park off Lake Wheeler Road. Free shuttle rides will take you to and from the lot.

La Fiesta Del Pueblo is noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, along Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. The annual festival celebrates Latino arts and culture and offers educational booth and children’s activities.

We have consignment sales in Cary, Morrisville, Durham and Fayetteville this week.

Northgate Mall (home to Kidcycle, that consignment sale in Durham this weekend) and Durham County Library will present one of their Discovery Nook events for kids at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, in Northgate’s Children’s Alleyway in Suite 123 between entrance 2 and 4. The Discovery Nook is a dedicated kid-friendly, educational zone featuring books, stories, drama, local authors and fun with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). On Saturday, Bright Star Touring Theatre will perform Professor Parsnip’s Lab of Healthy Choices, which takes young audiences on an adventure through science, teaching lessons on how to make good choices in diet, exercise and environment along the way. Science experiments in Professor Parsnip’s lab reinforce healthy habits and good character traits. It’s free. The event ends with a craft time with Durham County Library Youth Partners and free books from Reading is Fundamental.

And we have some performances ...

For teens and their families, Raleigh Little Theater presents Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till. It chronicles the murder, trial and confession of the men accused of 14-year-old Till’s lynching. It is not recommended for kids under 12. Tickets are $14 and $10 for students and seniors.

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro hosts Mister G (AKA Ben Gundersheimer). He is a former indie rocker who went on to earn a master’s degree in education. He’s now making highly acclaimed music for kids and families. The hour-long show is 11 a.m., Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids. Family four packs are $32.

Also …

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The free event includes agilty demos, activities for kids, the chance to meet rare breeds, a Teddy Bear Repair clinic and more. Goodie bags are available for the first 500 families.

The first Ellerbe Creek Nature Tour is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, in Durham. The event features stops along the creek, short nature walks and information about the work to protect this urban creek.

The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, a great chance to learn more about what happens at farms in our area, is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. These are definitely kid-friendly opportunities to show kids where our food comes from. This year’s tour includes 27 farms. It’s pretty much impossible to go to all 27 over the two days. So check the online brochure to pick where you want to go. Don’t forget a cooler for any goodies you pick up along the way.

In Cary, Kids Together’s Walk, Run and Roll for Inclusiveness, is Saturday morning at the Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park in Cary. The event includes a short walk, run or roll, along with activities for families.

On Saturday, Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh celebrates Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play when the network goes dark to urge families to play together. Marbles offers a day full of fun activities that are free with admission (that’s $5 per person). It’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday.

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