Weekend Plans Thanksgiving Edition: What's open, closed, happening
Posted November 26, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving weekend! As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About section for more weekend fun. And keep reading at the end of this post for weekend hours for some of the popular family destinations around here.
We have Christmas lights! The region’s major lights will nearly all be open starting this weekend. Meadow Lights near Benson and Lake Myra Christmas in Wendell opened last weekend. Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville opens on Thanksgiving and Lights on the Neuse in Johnston County opens this weekend.
Also, Santa is busy at local malls, sitting for pictures and taking wish lists. I’ve gathered the details for all of them if you’re looking for some holiday pictures.
The Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker begins its long run this season at the Durham Performing Arts Center with shows Friday through Sunday. This classic version features actual magic in the first act, including a new illusion. My family goes every year. It moves to UNC Memorial Hall from Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 and finally to the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh from Dec. 19 to Dec. 28.
Storybook Theater, a collaboration between Broadway Series South and Marbles Kids Museum, opens Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical this Friday. The show runs on select days through Dec. 24. This show tells the classic story of a reindeer who is a little different from the rest of the crowd. Tickets start at $20. I’m excited to see this one with my family this weekend!
It’s A Dickens Holiday in downtown Fayetteville. From 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, the streets will be transformed with horse-drawn carriages, Victorian holiday decorations, artisans, Father Christmas and more. There’s a candlelight procession at 5 p.m., followed by fireworks.
We have a couple of options for ice skating at seasonal rinks. Raleigh’s Winterfest rink in downtown Raleigh is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission and skate rental is $9 per person. And The Ice Factory at American Tobacco Campus in Durham is open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission and skate rental is $9 per person.
Sky Zone Raleigh will host a visit from Elsa, Anna and Olaf from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. If you want to go, it’s best to reserve your spot during the event now on Sky Zone Raleigh’s website.
The ArtsCenter in Carrboro has a couple of options for family shows this weekend, which might just be the thing a few families need on this long holiday weekend. Farmer Jason will perform an 11 a.m., Saturday, show for families. Farmer Jason is the brainchild of rock music legend Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers. Tickets are $28 for a family four pack. And Transactors Improv: For Families! has a 6 p.m., Saturday, show, featuring short-form improv with topics suggested by the audience. This is fun for grade schoolers and up. Tickets are $10 and $6 for students.
Going Local NC will host a Secret Santa Shopping and Holiday Open House from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday. Kids can spend the afternoon with artists to make craft projects, play games and enjoy refreshments. Parents can provide a list of names to the store’s “elves” to help kids with their holiday shopping. Elsa and Olaf will also make an appearance here, helping kids select gifts for friends and family (all gifts less than $20). It’s at 10940 Ravens Ridge Rd., Raleigh. Kids will make their own cards. Parents can shop the rest of the store where there will be free wine and coffee.
The annual Christmas Carousel holiday show, with vendors, exhibitors and visits with Santa, runs Friday through Sunday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
And Chapel Hill will have its annual tree lighting at 6 p.m., Sunday, at University Baptist Church. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there.
Here are the holiday hours and happenings at popular family destinations:
Marbles Kids Museum and its IMAX theater are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. They are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as usual.
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences is closed Thursday and open the rest of the weekend. The museum has a new special exhibit called “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs,” which explores the bodies of the largest dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth.
The N.C. Museum of Art is closed Thursday, but open the rest of the weekend. Its new exhibit “Small Treasures,” featuring tiny portraits, is an interesting one to walk through.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will be open this Friday through Sunday for the holiday weekend. Morehead just opened up “Grossology and You,” a new show based on the popular Grossology book series. There also is a related exhibit and lab.
Kidzu Children’s Museum’s pop-up location at University Mall in Chapel Hill is closed Thursday and Friday.
And the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro is open all week, including Thursday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.