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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: SparkCon, pumpkin patches, dog olympics, Caniac Carnival, more

Posted September 11, 2013

It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous weekend. WRAL is forecasting temperatures in the mid-70s on Saturday and Sunday. And there are lots of reasons to get outside. One big one: Some pumpkin patches, corn maze and fall activities are starting to open up this weekend. Check our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide for details.

Here’s your weekend family fun for Sept. 13 to Sept. 15. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas.

SparkCon 2013 takes over downtown Raleigh for four days from Thursday to Sunday. The festival features all sorts of creative pursuits - from sidewalk art to circus performances to fashion, design, theater, food and more. This is a mix of performances, classes, workshops, demonstrations and interactive opportunities. There’s so much going on that it’s next to impossible to touch on it all. Some highlights for families (emphasis on “some” and not all) on Saturday: Sidewalk chalk art along three city blocks on Fayetteville Street (pre-registration required to actually do the art, but this is a great thing to watch); a “design a city workshop” for kids at Fayetteville and Davie streets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; aerial demonstrations from noon to 3 p.m.; an evening “fire show”; a free creative dance class for kids 12 and under at 11 a.m., Saturday, in the The Grand Ballroom; and an opportunity to crash through a cardboard box model of Raleigh as if you were monsters from noon to 8 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Courtyard (for real). This all happens in and around Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh.

The 22nd annual Dog Olympics is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. This is another really popular annual event with competition, canine demonstrations, rescue groups, free microchip clinic and a special “custom cart” Paralympics for dogs with spinal cord injuries. Dogs of all kinds can participate in competitions such as best beggar, high jump, longest tail, rollover rover and more. Admission is $5 for the owner and competing animal and that includes entry fee for one event and a photo of the canine champion on an Olympic platform. Each additional event and photo is $2. Admission for an owner and non-competing dog is $2. And if you’re just going to watch, admission is $1. Kids five and under are free. All dogs must be current on vaccinations and be kept on leash when not performing.

We have seven consignment sales across the region from Raleigh to Durham to Fayetteville and spots in between. Check my earlier post for details.

And it’s not a consignment sale, but it is an opportunity to score some deals. TROSA is holding a giant yard sale this week. It opened Tuesday and runs through Saturday. The hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Find it at 905 Jackie Robinson Dr., Durham, next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. You’ll find clothes of all sizes, toys, games, books, furniture and more. TROSA is a nonprofit providing long-term residential treatment for more than 400 men and women. All proceeds directly help provide services for the residents.

Garner will show “The Avengers” during a Friday Family Flick night on Friday. The movie is rated PG-13 and starts at 8 p.m. at Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Rd. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs.

You’ll have some really beautiful evenings to take in the final weekend of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s summer show at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with preshow entertainment starting at 6:20 p.m. The puppet show starts at 7 p.m. You’ll see all sorts of characters, puppets and creatures in this show, which I’m told is pretty spectacular. Tickets are $17 for adults, $8.50 for kids ages 7 to 18 and free for kids 6 and under.

Pullen Park will host the first of its Discovery Days programs. Pre-registration is not required for these 45-minute sessions, which are designed for preschoolers and grade schoolers. Saturday’s session starts at 10:30 a.m. The focus will be on birds of prey. Read my earlier post for more about the series.

And on Sunday, Pullen Park will host a free concert starting with local singer/songwriter Brooke Hatala (a very talented 12-year-old) at 5 p.m. She’s followed by SWAP, playing rock, blues, 60s surf music and 90s grunge rock at 6 p.m.; then acoustic rock from Nick Driver.

The Raleigh-Wake Chapter of Jack & Jill of America will hold its third annual 5K race on Saturday in Morrisville. Read my earlier post for more information about the race, which includes a one-mile fun run and other activities for kids.

Burwell School Historic Site in Hillsborough will host a Colonial Kids Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. See candle making, butter churning, old-fashioned lawn games and more.

And if you’re looking for more history: Bennett Place Historic Site in Durham will hold an artillery camp of instruction from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. Soldiers and horses will demonstrate the artillery of the American Civil War. And Duke Homestead in Durham will host a Harvest and Hornworm Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Learn all about tobacco harvesting, stringing and curing in the morning. In the afternoon, there’s a tobacco auction. All day, there’s hornworm races, a MoonPie eating contest, music and more. Both are free.

Crowder District Park in Apex will hold one of its regular Family Pond Studies from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. Meet park staff on the boardwalk to study the park’s pond creatures. It’s free and designed for all ages. Pre-registration is not required. Read my earlier post about all of the family programs that this great Wake County park has to offer.

And last, but not least, the annual Caniac Carnival is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. The event, which covers the inside and outside of the arena, includes games, inflatables, a zone for kids, music and appearances from Stormy and the Storm Squad. Admission and parking are free. The Hurricanes Red-White game is general admission (no tickets required) and will be run like an NHL contest with three 20-minute periods and intermission activities. 

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