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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans July 4 Edition: What's open, closed, happening

Posted July 2, 2014

A fireworks show dazzles the crowd of 11,536, the third largest in the park's history, following Durham's win over Norfolk Saturday, August 24, 2013 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC.

Happy July 4 weekend! It's a busy weekend! Here's what's happening. Keep reading for holiday hours for some popular family destinations.

WRAL.com's Out & About section has a searchable database of July 4 events and fireworks. Also, check our Summer Fun Guide for lots of activities, including links to the Carolina Mudcats and Durham Bulls, which both will be in town all weekend and offer a host of fun activities such as nightly fireworks.

Friday also is the first Friday of July, making it First Friday in downtown Raleigh. Some regular First Friday participants won't be marking the evening with special activities. They include Marbles Kids Museum and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, which both close at 5 p.m. on Friday. Check the First Friday website for more about First Friday happenings this week. 

The Festival for the Eno, now in its 35th year, is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at West Point on the Eno Park in Durham. This huge annual event celebrates the Eno River and features food, live music on several stages, exhibits, demonstrations and opportunities to cool off a bit in the river.

Some daytime July 4 events to note: 

The Works takes over downtown Raleigh along Fayetteville Street and the Red Hat Amphitheater from noon to 11 p.m., Friday. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m. The day includes live music and some eating contests. A kid zone offers bounce houses and slides, face painting and other activities on Martin Street between Fayetteville and Salisbury streets.

Durham Central Park will host a children's Independence Day Parade and event from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Friday. Get there early so the kids can decorate their bikes, big wheels, trikes, strollers and other wheels with help from The Scrap Exchange. There will be free popsicles, balloons, music from DJ Piddipat, a fire truck and more. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.

Wake Forest holds its annual children's parade through downtown on Friday. Line-up starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue. It starts at 10:30 a.m. Kids are invited to come on their bikes or in their wagons. It's free. Arts and Games in the Park follows at 11 a.m. at  Holding Park where there will be sack races, a watermelon seed spitting contest, arts, crafts and more. 

The State Capitol in downtown Raleigh will host a July 4 celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, with a naturalization ceremony, live music, a kid's parade and other activities. It's free.

The Joel Lane Museum House in downtown Raleigh will host its 23rd annual July 4 Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday. Admission is free. Costumed docents will staff the historic house, home to a founding father of Raleigh, and answer questions. Re-enactors will demonstrate colonial life and there will be a variety of hands-on activities. For the kids, there will be crafts and games and free lemonade for all.

Cary offers an Olde Time Celebration at Fred G. Bond Metro Park from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday. The event opens with a fishing tournament and continues with a parade in the park, along with classic summer games like a water balloon toss, donut eating contest, watermelon eating contest and Lakeside Olympics. Registration is only required for the fishing tournament. All activities are free.

And downtown Apex holds its Olde Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration on Friday. Activities begin at 9 a.m. with a flag raising, followed by inflatables, street performers, carnival games, a cake walk and more. Line-up for the parade begins at 11:45 a.m. Kids are invited to decorate their bikes and wheels and participate. It ends with a splash down at the fire department at 12:30 p.m.

And Carrboro's July 4 Celebration starts at 9:30 a.m., Friday, at Weaver Street Market Lawn. There's a parade, a kids fun zone, live entertainment and other activities. 

And here are holiday weekend hours for popular destinations: 

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday.

The N.C. Museum of History and the N.C. Museum of Art are closed Friday.

The Museum of Life and Science is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill is open Friday as part of its summer schedule.

Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill is closed Friday.

The N.C. Zoo in Asheboro, about 90 minutes from the Triangle, is open.

Happy July 4!

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