Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend full of good food, friends and family.
I know many will be shopping all weekend. Faye Prosser, my colleague over at WRAL.com's Smart Shopper blog, has all kinds of great information about the best deals and tips for how to go about it. And, as always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more weekend activities.
Here’s your weekend family fun!
If you’re looking to work up an appetite for the big meal, we have some Thanksgiving morning runs.
- The Gobbler’s 5K run and walk in Wake Forest starts at 8 a.m., Thursday. The event benefits the Boys & Girls Club. The course is open to walkers and runners of all ages. Strollers are welcome. And kids 5 and under are free.
- In Raleigh, Ridgewood Shopping Center will have an 8K on Thursday morning starting at 8 a.m. The event also includes a 100 yard kid’s dash. During the 8K, kids can decorate the last stretch with sidewalk chalk or make signs to cheer on mom or dad.
- In Durham, The Streets at Southpoint Turkey Trot starts at 8:30 a.m. with a one-mile fun run. The 5K starts at 9 a.m.
- In Cary, the Inside-Out Sports Turkey Trot starts at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, and includes a one-mile run fun/walk and an 8K.
Holiday light shows continue to open for the season. Hill Ridge Farms, a popular fall pumpkin patch destination in Youngsville, opens its new Festival of Lights Show on Friday. Hill Ridge will be open nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. Kids under 4 are free. Tickets for a Christmas train are $3. And in Clayton, Lights on the Neuse, also home to a popular fall spot, opens for the Christmas season on Friday with lights, a 3D Christmas house and more. Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and up, $7 for kids 3 to 12, and free for kids 2 and under. Read my earlier post for details about other holiday lights shows in the region.
The Carolina Ballet opens its run of The Nutcracker on Friday at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts. The ballet includes magical elements, which were incorporated into the show last year. The show runs for more than a month at various venues across the Triangle. Read my earlier post for more about the Carolina Ballet’s Nutcrackers and others across the region.
Also at the Progress Energy Center, the N.C. Symphony will perform music from the classic movie “Wizard of Oz,” with shows Friday and Saturday. Watch the movie on a big screen while the symphony plays the music live. Attend the concert in costume and you could win a costume contest. It's a splurge. Tickets are between $40 and $70 a piece.
Chapel Hill will hold its community tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., Sunday, at the Memorial Garden of the University Baptist Church. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will light the tree. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there too so bring your cameras.
The Christmas Carousel, an annual event on the N.C. State Fairgrounds, is open Friday to Sunday. Find all kinds of holiday crafts, gift items and more here. Santa also will visit the show all three days. Santa’s hours are 10 a.m. to noon; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and noon to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under.
In Wilson, Dean’s Farm Market will open its Santa’s Workshop on Saturday. On Saturdays during the holidays, the farm will offer a Christmas hayride; visit with Santa, who will read a story; crafts and more. Hayrides leave on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. Parents ride free.
Downtown Fayetteville will celebrate A Dickens Holiday on Friday. The day includes horse-drawn carriage rides, Victorian holiday decorations, performances, costumed characters and much more. Father Christmas will be there too.
Popular Triangle family destinations are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. But they do have some special exhibits and offerings for the holidays. Here’s what’s scheduled:
- Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill will be screening its new show, “The Longest Night,” which was made in collaboration with the Paperhand Puppet Intervention, along with other planetarium shows.
- The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will have its regular free family tours at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. These 30-minute tours are great for kids 5 to 10 and their adults. The museum's special exhibits include "Still-Life Masterpieces: A Visual Feast from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston." There's also an exhibit of Edvard Munch pieces, though museum staff cautions that it may not be appropriate for young children because of the subject and themes of the work. Admission to the museum is free. Tickets to the Still-Life Masterpieces exhibit is $15 for adults and $7.50 for kids 7 to 12. Tickets to the Munch exhibit are $5 and free for kids 6 and under.
- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit continues at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Tickets to this special exhibit are between $9 and $14 a piece. Read my earlier post for details. And click here to find out about online guides about the exhibit for kids.
- Marbles Kids Museum's IMAX theater has a couple of new movies. "Flight of the Butterflies 3D" follows the journey of real butterflies to a secret hideaway. I saw it with my seven-year-old and can highly recommend this fascinating documentary. The theater's Kids Movie Series also features "Dino Dan," a 24-minute movie about the adventures of paleontologist-in-training Dan Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world.
- The rides at Raleigh's Pullen Park are open right now from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park's grounds and playground are open from dawn to dusk.
- In Durham, the Museum of Life and Science now has alpacas in its newly renovated farmyard. It also has opened its holiday model train exhibit.
- The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh has an exhibit about the classic movie "Gone with the Wind."
- And don't forget that admission to Kidzu Children's Museum is free on Sundays, when it's open from 1 p.m .to 5 p.m. The museum in Chapel Hill is best for kids 8 and under.