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Weekend Plans: Opening weekend for pumpkin patches, corn mazes, festivals, Caniac Carnival, Harry Potter, more

Posted September 13

Parents and children played floor hockey inside PNC Arena at the 2012 Caniac Carnival.

Happy weekend! Here’s what’s happening on the family fun front. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more weekend activities. And be sure to peruse our fall fun database too as pumpkin patches and corn mazes start opening up this weekend!

It’s a busy weekend with lots of big festivals, so let’s get started!

The 21st annual BugFest is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The free event celebrates all things insect with a special focus on the dragonfly. Tens of thousands of people come out to this event for activities, presentations and even a “cafe,” where bugs are the main ingredient.

Other festivals this weekend …

The 43rd annual CenterFest in downtown Durham is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, in downtown Durham. Admission is free to the festival, which includes music, dance, art and lots of activities. Be sure to check the Kids Zone in the South Bank parking lots across from the Durham Arts Council building for hands-on activities designed for kids and families.

SparkCon, the annual celebration of all things creative, is Thursday through Sunday in downtown Raleigh. Here, you’ll find music and dance and fashion and sidewalk chalk and circus arts and comedy and much, much more. Everything is free and open to everyone. If you go, be sure to peruse the website to pick out specific events and activities that match your family’s interests and age levels.

Clayton Harvest Festival starts Wednesday with carnival games and rides and continues until Sunday with all kinds of music, vendors, food and more.

Hog Day is Friday and Saturday in Hillsborough. You’ll find local bands, contests and a BBQ cook-off contest.

Carnaval Latino, celebrating traditional and contemporary Latino cultures, is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, at the Garner Performing Arts Center Back Lawn.

And Layfayette Village in north Raleigh will celebrate Oktoberfest from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, with more than 20 fall style beers to try, wiener dog races and more.

Project Enlightenment, Wake County schools' early childhood education and intervention program, will host its annual Project Palooza from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at the center, 501 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh. The event includes games, face painting, activities and more. The event is free. A $5 donation per family is appreciated. Best for kindergartners and younger with their families.

We have six children’s consignment sales across the region - in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and Chapel Hill.

The 18th annual Caniac Carnival is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, at the PNC Arena. The event features FREE admission and parking and discounted food and beverage. You’ll find activities inside and outside the arena, including an autograph session, inflatable rides, interactive games, more than 15 food trucks, a kid’s zone, sports area, live music and practices that are open to the public.

We have a couple of big performances at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

There are some tickets left for Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - in Concert Featuring the N.C. Symphony. Shows are Friday through Sunday.

And Carolina Ballet presents “The Ugly Duckling,” which opens Thursday and runs on select dates through Oct. 1.

And the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham will host a free family day from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. Dress up like a Medici in a portrait booth, interact with instruments in a musical petting zoo and make a map of your neighborhood inspired by Jacopo de’ Barbari.

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