Happy weekend! It’s a busy one with a lot of fun activities for families. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About section for more ideas.
Here we go …
Friday is the first Friday of March, which means downtown Raleigh shops, museums and restaurants are open with special hours, deals and activities for First Friday.
Here’s a sampling of the activities: The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, is open until 9 p.m. with special deals for its exhibit “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs.” A Teen Science Cafe, focused on palm oil, is at 6 p.m. And the museum will screen “Curse of the Swamp Creature” at 7 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum is open until 7 p.m. on First Fridays. Admission is free to CAM Raleigh from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on First Fridays. Visitors can check out the exhibits with local middle school docents, take part in crafts and enjoy some surprise entertainment. This one is for the moms: Brushstroke Studio and Gallery at North West Street will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a food truck, entertainment and select artists from Vend Raleigh, which supports local mom-owned businesses.
The N.C. Symphony wraps up its children’s series for the season with Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage. Concerts are at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday. These hour-long performances are great for kids ages 4 to 12 or so. Get there an hour early to take part in the symphony’s instrument zoo and activities courtesy of Marbles Kids Museum. Tickets are about $33.
Spring must be nearly here because we’re talking about the Durham Bulls. The team will host its Fan Fest from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday (note: the event was originally two days, but is now scheduled for just one), at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. TFans can take batting practice and play catch on the field. The box office will be open, selling tickets for individual games. By buying at least one ticket to a 2015 regular season Bulls game at Fan Fest, visitors will get a free lunch at the event. Kids also can meet Wool E. Bull and bounce in a collection of inflatables.
“The Velveteen Rabbit,” a play based on the classic children’s book, opens Friday at the Raleigh Little Theatre.
Mordecai Historic Park near downtown Raleigh will have free hearth cooking and weaving demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Historic Raleigh Trolley Tours also return on Saturday. They are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors. Kids 6 and under are free. These are interesting, historical tours of downtown Raleigh. I’d say they’re best for grade schoolers and up.
For ages 12 and up, the N.C. Museum of History will host Tar Heel Sports Legends: A Panel and Workshop for Youth from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, at the downtown Raleigh museum. The free program includes a gallery hunt through the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame. It’s presented with Our Youth Matters of Raleigh. Donal Ware, host of the nationally syndicated sports talk radio show “From the Press Box to Press Row,” will moderate the panel discussion. The panel includes Stanley Myron Bryant, a Goldboro native and an offensive lineman with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League; Bershawn “Batman” Jackson, Wake County resident, who won the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 400m hurdles; Tresa “Tree” Brown-Tomlinson, a Raleigh native and legendary ACC women’s basketball powerhouse who led the UNC-Chapel Hill team from 1980 to 1984; and Donald Williams, Garner native who helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA National Championship in 1993, when he was named the most outstanding player, and later played professionally and with the Harlem Globetrotters. No registration is required for this. Just show up!
Kids and adults are building forts during Build It: Forts at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Use everyday materials to build tunnels and other structures. It’s free with admission, which is $14 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3 to 12. It's offered during the museum's operating hours.
Mr. Blue Shoes will perform a family show at 3 p.m., Saturday, at the Cary Arts Center. It’s part of the town’s Marvelous Music Series. Mr. Blue Shoes is otherwise known as Michael Dyson, who won the Grammy award for best traditional blues album in 2008. He’ll take kids on a “voyage through the blues, starting with its origins in West Africa and traveling through rock and roll,” a description says. Kids will have opportunities to participate. Tickets are $8.
Discover the Dinosaurs will stop at the N.C. State Fairgrounds this Friday through Sunday. The indoor exhibit features animatronic dinosaurs and a variety of activities. Tickets are between $21 and $27 for this one. The event does get some mixed reviews on its Facebook page, primarily for the price and long lines, so be sure to check those out before you go.
Stone’s Education and Toys in Cary will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. The event includes books, games, crafts and snacks. There also will be prizes for best costume (individual and family).
Northgate Mall and Durham County Library also will celebrate reading from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the mall’s Discovery Nook, suite 118 in the mall’s Children’s Alleyway. Free educational activities include a Science Saturday presentation from Morehead Planetarium at 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.; songs, stories, games and crafts themed around “Green Eggs and Ham at 2 p.m.; an African music and dance performance at 3 p.m.; and other activities.
Finally, Durham Central Park will host its Spring Food Truck Rodeo from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. The event features 50 food trucks, along with music and free baby tree saplings. These are family friendly and fun.