Weekend Plans: Father's Day activities, lavender picking, train rides
Posted June 11, 2014
Updated June 12, 2014
Summer break is here (for most of us)! And it’s Father’s Day weekend! Check our Summer Fun Guide for all sorts of activities to keep you busy all summer - from ball games and free movies to park and museum exhibit information.
For weekend fun, check WRAL.com’s Out & About section. Here’s your weekend family fun!
Mezza Luna Lavender Farm, a new family-run farm at 1850 New Hope Church Rd. in Apex, will be open for farm previews through Sunday. This is a family affair for the Santos family of five. The kids, who are homeschooled, help with free face painting and nail polishing. There’s also crafts, frisbee and soccer to play. There’s no admission or parking fee, but you can pick your own lavender for $8 per bundle. There also is a store with various products with lavender. Lourdes Santos, the mom in this operation, tells me that she and her husband visited sunflower and lavender farms while stationed in Europe. They moved here four years ago and began planting lavender a year later. It died the first year, but the lavender is now in its second year. Santos tells me that she’s calling it a preview as next year the crop will be considered mature. There are 12 varieties planted at the farm. It’s open 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday through Sunday, through this Sunday when the season ends.
Garner’s Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Rd., will host a screening of “Monsters University” at 8:30 p.m., Friday. The movie is free, but you also can camp overnight at the park. You’ll need to pre-register for that by going to Garner’s website. Camping is $12 for town residents and $15 for non-residents.
The newly renovated Holding Park Pool in Wake Forest will celebrate a grand re-opening, Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, admission is free. The day also includes tours, music and free hot dogs (while supplies last).
New Hope Valley Railway is offering rides on its open-air cars Saturday. The railway, which is running its diesel engine this weekend, is in southwestern Wake County. The railway also includes some historic cars to explore and a miniature trains. The rides last about an hour. (Be prepared: There are no bathrooms on the actual train). Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up and $7 for kids ages 2 to 12.
Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh has Father’s Day activities all weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. While you’re there, check out Marbles’ new Kid Grid exhibit. It’s all free with admission, which is $5 per person.
Wake Forest has a Classic and Antique Charity Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. It will run along South White Street in downtown Wake Forest. The free exhibit will showcase vehicles of all makes and models, including muscle cars, sports cars, pony cars, street rods and trucks. There also will be a Take-Apart-T Model T assembly demonstrations and a monster truck on display, along with music and food and retail vendors. While you’re in Wake Forest, may I suggest Lumpy’s Ice Cream. This sounds like a fun Father’s Day weekend activity.
The state’s cultural resources sites will be busy with activities. Some of the events are part of the second Saturday summer series with free and very cheap events on the second Saturday of June, July and August.
The N.C. Museum of History is marking Flag Day on Saturday by being part of a national sing-along of the national anthem. The plan is for Americans around the country and the world to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 4 p.m., Saturday. At the Raleigh museum, visitors can watch a live webcast of the Smithsonian’s sing-along concert in Washington, D.C., from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., wrapping up with the big moment. Also on Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m., artist Alyssa Hinton, a mixed-media artist inspired by her North Carolina Indian heritage, will be at work. Visitors can make their own mixed-media picture to take home. It’s all free.
Duke Homestead, a state historic site in Durham, will host Bull Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The day features items made by local Durham artists and crafters. A stage will feature musicians from the N.C. Songwriters Co-Op. There also will be a mini food truck rodeo and costumed interpreters demonstrating the early life and beginnings of the Duke manufacturing business. The day also includes historic cooking demonstrations, 19th century games, a country doctor display and more. It’s free.
North Carolina’s copy of the 13th Amendment, which formally ended legal slavery in this country, is on tour as part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and to recognize Juneteenth, June 19, the date many African Americans observe as when the last of the enslaved in 1865 learned they were free. The document is traveling to six historic sites this month. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, it will be a Historic Stagville in Durham. The day also includes tours of the historic buildings, crafts for kids and music. It’s free. The document will be on view at Stagville's original slave cabins.
Bentonville Battlefield Historic Site in Johnston County will focus on camp life and the role of the Civil War enlisted man in battle with an event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Historians in period dress will demonstrate how Union and Confederate soldiers made meals, maintained weapons and uniforms, and trained for battle. There will be the firing of a three-inch ordnance rifle, a typical Civil War cannon, and the showcasing of some other reenactments.
Three library systems will be kicking off their summer reading programs. Durham’s summer reading kick-off is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at Northgate Mall. The event includes performers, music, games, face painting and other activities. And Orange County’s Main Library will offer carnival games, music, a magic show, prize drawings and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. And Chapel Hill Public Library will kick off its program with events from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, at the library. The afternoon includes live music with Baron von Rumblebuss; a chance to explore emergency vehicles; food trucks; activity tables; a staring contest with the police chief; and a pop-up book sale. Check this earlier post for more about summer reading programs in the region.
Some Barnes & Noble stores will offer a Father’s Day story and craft at 11 a.m., Saturday. It looks like it will be held at the Triangle Town Center, Cary Commons, Brier Creek, The Streets at Southpoint and New Hope Commons Durham locations. Check Barnes & Noble’s website for details about the events and addresses.
JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh has a series called Can You Find Cami? this summer. It features activities such as honey tasting, flower pressing, butterfly feeders and more. It's 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 14. The program is designed for all ages. The cost is $3 per child. No advance registration is required.
On Sunday, Durham Central Park will host one of its very popular food truck rodeos from noon to 4 p.m. Fill up from more than 40 trucks, featuring all sorts of food and drink. There’s also live music. The Eno River Foundation will have a watershed display, wildlife display and more.
Happy Father’s Day!