Weekend Plans: Lights, parade, Santa Claus, Frozen viewing, more
Posted November 19, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
Thanksgiving isn’t here yet, but it’s Christmas, judging by this week’s list of weekend family fun. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more activities.
Two of the region’s major Christmas light displays open for the season this weekend - Meadow Lights on Friday and Lake Myra Christmas Lights in Wendell on Saturday.
The WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade, one of the largest on the East Coast, starts at 9:40 a.m., Saturday. The 2.5 hour parade runs along Hillsborough Street and ends along Fayetteville Street. It features floats, balloons, marching bands and, at the very end, Santa Claus.
The Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest ice skating rink will open for the season on Saturday after the parade. It will be open nearly daily through Feb. 1. It’s closed on Mondays. The rink is located at City Plaza at the 400 block of Fayetteville Street. Polar Ice House operates the rink. Admission, including skate rental, is $9 for both adults and kids. Hours this weekend are noon to 11 p.m., Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
In Durham, The Ice Factory at American Tobacco Campus opens for the season on Thursday. It will remain through Feb. 16. Admission is $10 per session, including skates. It’s open to the public Wednesday through Sunday. Special events will be offered throughout the season. Skaters can get $2 off on Friday during the Carolina Hurricanes Night. Saturday is Superhero Skate Night when visitors are invited to dress as their favorite superhero. And Sunday is Family Skate Night when you can get $2 off admission for a family of four.
And we have some tree lightings and Santa appearances. Cameron Village welcomes Santa on Thursday. The big guy makes his appearance at events at Northgate Mall and The Streets at Southpoint in Durham on Friday. Waverly Place in Cary hosts a tree lighting on Saturday. And North Hills in Raleigh has its big tree lighting event on Saturday. See my earlier post on Santa at the mall for details.
300 East Main in Carrboro will host a “Frozen,” as in the movie, holiday open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday. The Disney hit will be shown at the Hampton Inn & Suites Carrboro/Chapel Hill at 2 p.m. After the movie, visitors can walk through some falling snow and take part in crafts, listen to carolers and take pictures with “Frozen” characters. Costumes welcome. So are food donations to support TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food help to children in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will premiere its newest original fulldome planetarium show based on the Grossology book series. The public can see “Grossology and You” for the first time at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, with screenings through the weekend. On Sunday, during a premiere celebration, there will be free hands-on activities for kids from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; “gross” Science Stage presentations and an appearance from “Grossology and You” star Boogie.
The 19th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. The free event includes musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers and authors from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes. There also will be craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, games and food.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella continues through Sunday at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The show is for ages 6 and up. I’ve heard this is a really fun one!
For adults, Vend Raleigh hosts is annual Holiday Sip and Shop from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, at Cobblestone Hall in downtown Raleigh. Vend Raleigh supports local mompreneurs.
Activate Good is hosting a National Family Volunteer Day on Saturday. There are a few spots left for families with kids of all ages to help out.
The Doris Duke Center at Duke Gardens in Durham will host a family concert called “What’s Your Musical IQ?” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. Tickets are between $5 and $10. Cellist Brooks Whitehouse and Bassist Paul Sharpe will perform a mash-up of artistry, virtuosity, and comic relief. These are best for kids ages 5 to 11. Kids can check out instruments after the concert.
Raleigh’s City Ballet will perform parts of The Nutcracker at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh at 10:30 a.m. and noon, Sunday. They are free with admission to the museum, which is $5 per person.
And the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will hold one of its free family days. From noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, the museum will offer craft projects, free admission to the exhibitions and galleries and other activities. The museum has a special exhibition featuring the work of the Spanish-born artist Miro during his final 20 years.
Addition: Ligon GT Magnet Middle School's fall performances will feature two classic works, William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Laura Eason. The eighth grade Encore ensemble will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at 7 p.m., Saturday. The seventh grade Applause ensemble will perform The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at 7 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $5 at the door. Ligon, which has a focus on the arts, is located at 706 E. Lenoir St., Raleigh. The auditorium entrance is on Haywood Street.