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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Outdoor movies, Artsplosure, Got to Be NC Festival, more

Posted May 14, 2014
Updated May 15, 2014

Got to Be NC Festival 2012

It’s a busy, busy weekend with outdoor movies and major festivals. So let’s get to it! As always, check’s Out & About calendar for more activity ideas (including lots of outdoor concerts). If you’re looking for berries, check our strawberry database for pick your own farms.

Koka Booth Amphitheater opens its Movies by Moonlight series with “Frozen,” at about 8:30 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $3 and free for kids 12 and under. Picnics welcome. I suspect this will be very popular!

Garner’s Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Rd., will host a free screening of “Despicable Me 2,” at 8:30 p.m., Friday. Bring a blanket or chairs. Refreshments are available. Families also can camp overnight at the park, but advanced registration is required for camping. Call 919-773-4442 for details. Another movie and camping night is scheduled for June 13 and will feature “Monsters University.”

Artsplosure takes over downtown Raleigh with all kinds of free performances, music, art and crafts for kids. The festival on Saturday and Sunday transforms City Plaza into an urban hideaway dotted with traditional and unusual instruments for the public to play. Moore Square is the center of the action with drum circles, the art market, lots of music and performances and more.

At the N.C. State Fairgrounds, the Got to Be NC Festival kicks off Friday and runs to Sunday. Parking and admission are free for this smaller version of the N.C. State Fair. You'll find rides, games, animals, displays, farm equipment and more. Follow the link for details on deals and kid-friendly attractions.

The 45th annual Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival in Durham is noon to 8 p.m. at Rock Quarry Park. The celebration of African and African American history, culture, art and tradition includes live music, arts and crafts, an activity area for kids, food and more.

Pullen Park in Raleigh will be transformed into Letterland from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday. As usual, admission is free to the park; rides are $1 per person. Letterland Adventure Day includes special activities along with performances from local school groups. Kids can meet Firefighter Fred and see a fire engine, get a ride on Clever Cat's Carousel, or drive one of Bouncy Ben's boats. Letterland is a phonics-based approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling to kids ages 3 to 8. 

I’m excited to be part of The Great Glow Run at North Hills Friday evening. The event raises money for Easter Seals UCP and all of the great work it does to help individuals and families dealing with disabilities and mental health challenges. It starts at 8:30 p.m. at Midtown Park in Raleigh’s North Hills.

The N.C. Symphony performs the music from “Fantasia,” as the classic Disney movie is played on the big screen. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Cary’s third annual Wheels on Academy is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, on Academy Street in downtown Cary. The event includes antique cars to modern hot rods and exotic cars. For kids, there are crafts and an area where they can explore trucks of all kinds. Demonstrations include take-a-part Model T demonstrations (which are worth checking out).

Divine Children’s Show hosts a special consignment sale to raise money for a couple of charities. Public sale hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. Many items will be half off from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday. It takes place at Grove Park Chapel, 605 Sherron Rd., in Durham.

The Regulator in Durham and Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh will host special events for families on Saturday as part of storytime day at independent bookstores across the country.

The 10th annual Tour D'Coop is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at various sites around Raleigh and Cary. The event highlights backyard gardens and chicken coops. I’ve been many times and it’s pretty amazing to see what people do with a simple chicken coop. The family-friendly event includes some new activities this year: a Hive Hike for bee-keeping enthusiasts, a bike tour, and a coop raffle. Also this year: Coop Carnival, a fun and educational day of chickens and coops, food trucks, live music, games and more. The event benefits Urban Ministries.

Finally, Art Museum Day is Sunday at museums around the world. Museums will offer free programs and deals. Here, the N.C. Museum of Art will offer free admission to "Estampas de la raza/Prints for the People: The Romo Collection" on Sunday. My family went last weekend to check out the exhibit. It's fascinating. My preschooler loved picking out the Mickey Mouses and other images that she recognized. My nine-year-old enjoyed learning more about how the prints are made. If you go, also be sure to check out the exhibit of children’s book illustrations, which is always free.  Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University also is offering free admission on Sunday. There will be live entertainment and crafts.


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  • recontwice May 17, 2014

    Curiously absent from wwrl is any mentiom of the bimbe festival!

  • Sarah Hall May 15, 2014
    user avatar

    Indeed! Thank you @deannea10! I just added it.


  • deannea10 May 14, 2014

    Letterland Day at Pullen Park Saturday 10am-6pm.