Happy weekend! Here’s what’s happening on the family fun front. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas.
Raleigh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 10 a.m., Saturday, in downtown Raleigh. It’s starts at E. Lane and Wilmington streets and then eventually, at the State Capitol, moves onto Fayetteville Street, then Salisbury Street before ending at the Raleigh Convention Center. It’s followed by a free festival on City Plaza on Fayetteville Street with music, vendors, food and more.
It’s Mario Night at the NC State Gymnastics meet against Towson at 7 p.m., Friday. There will be some Mario-themed activities inside Reynolds Coliseum and lots of gymnastics. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids. My family had a great time at a meet last month.
Saturday is Reptile & Amphibian Day at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The free event is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the downtown Raleigh museum. Enjoy presentations, exhibits, craft tables and hundreds of live animals from North Carolina and around the world — including bearded dragons, venomous Gila monsters and giant alligator snapping turtles. Kids can make their own “fantastic frogs” to take home, and regular or reluctant snake handlers can observe live snakes closely, or even touch them.
Transactors Improv: For Families! is 6 p.m., Saturday, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Tickets are $10 and $6 for kids and students. These are a lot of fun for grade schoolers and up. Performers will take suggestions from the audience and build hilarious skits on stage.
Theatre Raleigh launches its 2017 Family Series with a contemporary version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shows take place through March 19 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts.
The Museum of Life and Science celebrates the brain through Saturday with special activities in The Lab as part of Brain Awareness Week. The Durham museum’s pop-up exhibit, Forts, also is open through March 19.
And picture book author Camille Andros will celebrate her debut book, “Charlotte the Scientist is Squished,” with a launch party at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.