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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Chavis carousel reopens, Earth Day festivals, Comics Fest, more

Posted April 17, 2013
Updated April 18, 2013

There’s so much to do this weekend, it’s going to be hard to pick just exactly what to do ... (if you don’t already have a birthday party, soccer game, soccer practice, piano recital and various other regular family obligations ... that can’t be just me).

As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more activities. Here’s your weekend family fun!

The historic carousel at Chavis Park, which sits just south of downtown, reopens on Saturday after a massive 18-month renovation and project. It moved the carousel from the back of the park to right next to the community center and just off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The carousel, built around 1916, is more elaborate than the one we’re all used to at Pullen Park. Chavis also offers a playground, which is dated, a seasonal pool and more. I’ll have much more about the project and result on Friday. But the grand opening is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday. All rides on the carousel are free.

Two Raleigh museums are marking Earth Day, which is Monday. The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ massive Planet Earth Celebration is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. The free event, which also marks the one-year anniversary of the Nature Research Center, spills out across the museum and outside. There are presentations, demonstrations, educational exhibits, an outdoor area just for kids and more.

Marbles Kids Museum also will hold an Earth Day Celebration and “Growing Up Green” mural unveiling. Special activities are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. They include planting in Marbles’ garden (from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.), along with solar energy exploration, cloud science and more. It’s free with admission, which is $5 per person. Planet Earth

You can easily walk between Marbles and the natural sciences museum, but Capital Area Transit, Raleigh’s bus system, is offering free rides all day as part of Earth Day. So you could hop on a CAT bus for free to get between the two ... or go anywhere else the bus system takes you. It always amazes me how much both my kids love riding the bus. It's an event just on its own.

Durham holds its Earth Day Festival from noon to 5 p.m, Sunday, (updated to correct time), at Durham County Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr. The day includes green activities, demonstrations, a sustainability expo and more. Free.

And the N.C. Science Festival, which wraps up on Sunday, features other Earth Day and science activities.

Durham County Library will host its third annual Comics Fest from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, at Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Rd. The event is free and open to the public and includes activities for all ages - from kids to teens to adults. Guest cartoonists include Eisner winner Raina Telgemeier (Drama, Smile), Hugo winner Ursula Vernon (Digger, Dragonbreath), Harvey winner Scott Hampton (The Books of Magic, Batman), Eisner nominee Ben Towle (Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean) and Jan Burger (Uitke and the Magic Penny). Workshops and presentations will cover cartooning basics, visual storytelling and the comic art process from sketch to sales floor, according to a news release. The event also will launch the Durham Comics Project, which will teach people to tell their stories through pictures.

Three locally mom-owned baby businesses will celebrate Earth Day with discounts and other events on Saturday. Green Pea Baby & Child in Apex, SmartMomma Baby Store in Raleigh and The Diapering Doula in Morrisville will offer discounts and introduce modern cloth diapering to parents. SmartMomma and Green Pea Baby will offer 15 percent off cloth diapering products and accessories and 20 percent for customers coming in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday. The Diapering Doula, a local diaper service, will offer 25 percent off all diaper services and 40 percent off her “We Wash Your Stash” packages if the diapers were purchased at SmartMomma or Green Pea Baby.

In Cary, Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique will host the Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday, along with prizes, activities, local vendors and much more.

Speaking of diapers, a local firm wll be collecting unused disposable diapers as part of its effort to collect 70,000 diapers for The Diaper Train, a wonderful local group that distributes diapers to needy families. TriMark Internet Marketing Solutions will be collecting diapers at Pop-Up Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, at Ornamentea, 509 N. West St., Raleigh. See my earlier post for details.

N.C. State has lots of activities planned Friday and Saturday ahead if its annual spring football game, which is 1:30 p.m., Saturday, at Carter Finley Stadium. It starts up with Kickin at the Carter from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday. The event includes food, music and special activities for kids. On Saturday, the Wolfpack Club BBQ Bowl starts up at 9:30 a.m. Pre-ordered BBQ plates are served at 11 a.m. Reserve your plate by calling 919-865-1460.

Cary’s Marvelous Music Family Series wraps up with a show featuring Farmer Jason at 3 p.m., Saturday, at the Cary Arts Center. Farmer Jason is actually Jason Ringenberg, an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner who is considered a pioneer of the modern Americana and alt-country genres. He sings about nature appreciation, ecology and more. Tickets are $5 per person. Farmer Jason

Kidcycle children’s consignment sale is open this week at Northgate Mall in Durham. The GFCC Second Blessings Sale is in Cary. Read my earlier post for details.

Speaking of deals, Durham Academy holds its book sale this weekend. Read my earlier post for details.

Historic Stagville in Durham plans a living history program that focuses on trade. It features re-enactors depicting Native Americans and European colonists creating and trading material goods. It’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Free.

The N.C. Museum of Art will host tours geared toward families of its 0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art exhibit. The tours are designed for kids ages 5 to 11 and their families. They start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. It’s part of the museum’s regular Family Fun Saturday series. Pre-registration is a good idea. The fee is $5.

All weekend, Bennett Place in Durham will host a re-enactment of Civil War camp life that focuses on the portrayal of the war in art. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. Free.

The Apex Arts Council will hold its second Artists for Animals Faire from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Cloer Family Vineyards, 8624 Castleberry Rd., Apex. There will be face painting, the tiger transport cage from Carolina Tiger Rescue and more. The United States Equine Rescue League is scheduled to bring its mini-horses, Sassy and Tank. Food and ice cream will be available for purchase, along with wine tasting for adults. Live music is scheduled all day.

Kidical Mass, a bike ride for kids and families, is set for 3 p.m., Saturday, at Carrboro Elementary School. Participants will ride through the streets of Carrboro.

Project Palooza: Family Fun Event is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at Project Enlightenment, 501 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh. The third annual event celebrates Project Enlightenment’s service to kids, families and teachers in Wake County. You’ll find crafts, face painting, games and more. We went last year. This is a fun event and a great opportunity to check out what Project Enlightenment has to offer.

The Chapel Hill Public Library will dedicate its new and improved digs at 11:15 a.m., Saturday. The library is now back at 100 Library Dr. after an extensive $16.23 million expansion. To celebrate, they’ll have performances by the Phillips Middle School Choir, the Sacrificial Poets, Stickley-Hill and Mark Daniel, a magical storyteller.

Finally, Sassafras All Children’s Playground project, the effort to build a new playground at north Raleigh’s Laural Hills Park, will have a charity bike (as in motorcycle) ride on Sunday. It leaves from Ray Price Harley-Davidson near downtown Raleigh around 1:45 p.m. and arrives at Laurel Hills Park on Edwards Mill Road around 2:30 p.m. for a couple of hours of food and fellowship.

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