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Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: N.C. Science Festival, farm tours, 'James and the Giant Peach,' more

Posted April 19
Updated April 22

Happy weekend! Here’s what’s happening on the family fun front. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas.

Strawberry farms are open! Pick them at a local farm. And celebrate the red berries at the Garner Strawberry Festival, which starts at 9 a.m., Saturday, on Technology Drive and includes activities for kids, food, strawberries, of course, and more.

The N.C. Science Festival wraps up Sunday. There are a bunch of events scheduled for the weekend - including the UNC Science Festival and stargazing parties. Another to add: The Art and Science of Color from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill. The event explores the art and science of color. Visitors also can take a self-guided tour of the exhibition Color Across Asia. It’s free.

And more science: There will be a Community Science Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, in the southeastern corner of Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. The fair is an end point for marchers involved in Saturday's March for Science. The fair aims to highlight ways science is impacting people in North Carolina. You'll see local scientists from businesses and universities, who will be on hand for "ask me anything" presentations, along with groups that share a passion for science. Some examples: There will be hands-on demonstrations from Triangle DIY Biology; an opportunity to see the National Parks in 360 virtual reality; and chances to meet a linguist, a plant pathologist and many other scientists to learn more about their work.

N.C. Museum of Art's Hoopla: Party in the Park starts at 5 p.m., Friday, at the Raleigh museum. See new works of art in the museum's park, including the interactive pig-shaped play piece, and larger-than-life head sculptures Awilda & Irma by Jaume Plensa. There will be music, food trucks, performers and more. Admission is free.

Durham celebrates Earth Day with an Earth Day Celebration from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, at Durham Central Park. For kids, the family fun zone will include hands-on activities from a variety of groups, along with free face painting. An Earth Day Parade, open to all, is at 3:15 p.m. Kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite animal or plant.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh opens Race: Are We So Different?, a new special exhibit that explores race. It opens to the public at noon, Saturday. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

Raleigh City Farm in downtown Raleigh will mark its fifth birthday with the fifth annual Bearthday Celebration, featuring a free, family-friendly bazaar, farm tours, entertainment from local vendors, nature-inspired crafts and games from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday.

Also farm-related … the popular Piedmont Farm Tour, which features tours of farms across the region, is Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $30 per car to see all farms, all weekend. If you go, be sure to check out the tour guide to pick the farms you’d like to see (it’s impossible to see them all). And bring a cooler so you can take home some farm-fresh meats and produce.

Raleigh Little Theatre opens “James and the Giant Peach” this weekend, based on the classic Roald Dahl story. It runs through April 30. Tickets are $17 and $11 for kids ages 12 and under.

Durham Academy's Used Book Sale is open to the public 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, at the school's middle school gym, 3116 Academy Rd., Durham. Nearly 15,000 books of all genres will be on sale for between $1 and $2.

The Southern Women’s Show is Friday through Sunday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, a silver and gold medal winner in Rio, will be at the show Saturday. Keegan Allen from the show “Pretty Little Liars” will be there Sunday. And there will be a mini soccer workshop for kids from the professionals on the new Triangle-based soccer teams - NC Courage and North Carolina FC on Sunday. Faye Prosser from WRAL Smart Shopper will be on the spotlight stage sharing coupon tips all three days. And good luck to WRAL’s Amanda Lamb, who will be Dancing Like the Stars, at 4 p.m., Saturday, to benefit the National Inclusion Project. Tickets are $10 (and $12 at the door) for adults and $6 for kids ages 6 to 12.

The Spring Carnival for children with special needs and their families is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, at Brooks Avenue Church of Christ, 700 Brooks Ave., Raleigh. The annual event features food, games, bounce houses, local mascots and more. It’s designed for all ages.

Wake Forest’s Arbor Day Expo is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Rd. Activities include a tree seedling giveaway, arts and crafts for kids, including building their own birdhouse and making a “tree cookie” necklace.

Cary’s Children’s Day Festival is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Fred G. Bond Metro Park. Admission is free. The Children's Day Festival is a global celebration where children come together to have fun, build memories, and cherish diversity, according to the description.

Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh will host a Storybook Ball from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday. Registration is requested. Kids ages 3 and up and their families are invited to join in while the library is closed for an evening of dancing, crafting, stories and more.

We have two touch a truck events on Sunday ...

UPDATE: The event was rescheduled to May 21 because of storms in the forecast on Sunday. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, at Apex Community Park, there will be a variety of trucks and vehicles for kids to check out and explore. For those sensitive to loud noises, there will be a quieter time from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. It’s free.

Chapel Hill Boy Scout Troop 39’s 9th annual Touch A Truck is noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, in a new location - the Friday Conference Center at Chapel Hill. There will be lots of trucks, along with kid-friendly activities, entertainment, silent auction with prizes, and food truck alley. Proceeds benefit the NC Children’s Hospital and Chapel Hill Boy Scout Troop 39. Tickets are $6 per person and free for those under 2. Families pay no more than $25.

And, find author Bonnie Rochman at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh with her new book, “The Gene Machine,” which explores the pros and cons of pre- and post-natal testing. It’s a fascinating subject. (This one isn't an event for kids, but something more of interest to adults).

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