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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Science Festival, Literary Festival, Dirt Day, more

Posted April 2

Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden at Duke Gardens

Another busy weekend of family fun. The Durham Bulls and Carolina Mudcats open their seasons!

Be sure to check our spring break guide and Easter event database for lots of activity ideas. And go to WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more.

Friday is the first Friday of April, making it First Friday in downtown Raleigh. We have a guide listing some of the many family-friendly activities.

The N.C. Science Festival continues with science-themed events across the state. Read my Q&A with the director to learn more about the festival and what’s planned. This weekend’s activities include the Triangle SciTech Expo at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences; Leaping Lemurs at the IMAX theater at Marbles Kids Museum as part of its new movie “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar;” another plaza party with science-themed activities at the PNC Arena before the Carolina Hurricanes game; and statewide star parties.

The N.C. Literary Festival, which runs Thursday to Sunday at N.C. State University, features a slate of offerings for kids and families on Saturday and Sunday, including storytimes, Lego play, math activities, Mr. Erik and more. There’s also a lot of offerings for adults that might make for a fun book club outing. The festival rotates between the libraries of N.C. State, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Saturday is Safe Kids Day at the Super Target in Apex, 1201 Beaver Creek Commons Dr. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the free event will include lessons about safety and prevention. Bring your bike for a bike rodeo so it can be checked by a mechanic. You'll also find helmet fittings, tours of emergency vehicles, mascots and more. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available while supplies last. There also will be a drawing for fire alarms with installation through local fire departments. It’s sponsored by Safe Kids Wake County, led locally by WakeMed.

Northgate Mall and the Durham Arts Council are together again for the third annual Children’s Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the Durham mall’s center court. It’s free. Featured performers on stage from 11:20 a.m. to 4 p.m. include a children’s choir, science demonstrations, jump rope team and magician. Throughout the mall, there will be other activities including a DJ, face painting, Betty the Balloon Lady, McGruff and more. Dozens of local kid-friendly groups will be on hand with information and activities. 

Celebrate the outdoor lifestyle during Wake Forest Dirt Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The event along South White Street in Wake Forest focuses on topics such as gardening, landscaping, camping and exercise. Activities planned for all ages. Free. 

Duke Gardens in Durham is busy blooming and hosting events for kids and families this month. They include storytimes (registration required); a drop-in nature ranger cart; and a drop-in exploration station on Saturday. There’s also a family concert with the Mallarme Chamber Players from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunday. Learn more about how composers come up with ideas for new pieces and what elements they work with. Tickets are $5 for kids 12 and under and $10 for adults. Call 919-560-2788 for tickets.

In other garden news, JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh hosts its Raulston Blooms garden festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. Children’s activities include storytimes, maze, games and hands-on learning activities plus N.C. State’s Howling Cow ice cream.

Crowder District Park’s 15th annual Frog Fest is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Learn all about frogs and water quality in Wake County with crafts, games, live music and food from local food trucks.

The All About Autism Expo at the N.C. State Fairgrounds is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. The event, here in Raleigh for the second year, offers discussions, information and resources for the autism community.

The Cary, the downtown movie theater in Cary, will screen “Mary Poppins,” rated G and starring Julie Andrews, at 10 a.m., Saturday. Tickets are $5. It’s part of the theater’s monthly kids series.

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