Weekend Plans Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Edition: What's open, closed, happening
Posted November 27, 2013
It’s a big weekend with lots of activities to keep the kids and extended family and visiting friends busy.
Keep reading for the holiday hours for the region’s most popular family destinations. You’ll find those at the bottom of this post.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah! And good luck to all of those Black Friday shoppers out there!
Here’s what’s happening:
The region’s big light shows will all be open starting this weekend. Lake Myra Christmas and Meadow Christmas opened earlier this month. Lights on the Neuse in Johnston County and Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights in Youngsville open Friday evening. Read my earlier post about the region’s big light shows for details.
Downtown Raleigh’s Winterfest ice rink on City Plaza on Fayetteville Street is open all weekend, including Thanksgiving Day when the hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s $9 to skate and that includes ice skates. American Tobacco Campus in Durham also has an ice skating rink, which also is open all weekend, including Thanksgiving day from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s $10 to skate (including skates) at The Ice Factory.
“Frosty the Snowman,” the final show in this season's Storybook Theater series opens this weekend at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh. Tickets start at $14 for the show. The run ends Dec. 24. Read my earlier post for more information about this show and series featuring live theater for kids. It will continue next year!
Apex will host a big Hanukkah celebration starting at 3:30 p.m., Sunday. It culminates with the lighting of a nine-foot menorah, snow play, Hanukkah treats and games and more. Read my earlier post for more information.
Dean’s Farm Market in Wilson begins its Santa’s Weekend Workshop on Saturday. It runs weekends through Dec. 22 and is $8 per person. There are visits with Santa, stories with Santa, cookie decorating, warm drinks and a playground for the kids. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. The market also has trees for sale.
Starting this weekend, Santa will take a seat at Bruegger’s Cafe in Raleigh’s North Hills on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. He’s there from noon to 3 p.m. It’s free to visit and take your own picture. (This is where my girls visit him every year. We love Santa here!).
The N.C. Symphony will perform a Holiday Pops concert on Friday and Saturday in Raleigh. WRAL’s David Crabtree will serve as narrator for The Night Before Christmas. The concert features popular and classical Christmas favorites, along with a visit from Santa Claus. Tickets start around $50 a piece.
On Friday, parts of downtown Fayetteville will be transformed into a Victorian-era scene for A Dickens Holiday. Visitors are encouraged to dress in their Victorian best and come out for food, performances, carriage rides, tree lighting and more, including a candlelight procession at 5 p.m. It’s all capped by fireworks.
Now in its 26th year, the Christmas Carousel at the N.C. State Fairgrounds returns Friday through Sunday for lots of holiday shopping and visits with Santa. Tickets are $8 for adults; $7 for seniors age 60 and up; and $4 for kids ages 6 to 12. Kids 5 and under are free. Santa will be there all three days to hear your Christmas wishes.
Chapel Hill will hold its annual tree lighting from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, at the University Baptist Church corner garden. The church choir will sing carols. Santa will be there for pictures.
Barnes & Noble stores across the Triangle have a couple of storytimes planned for Sunday afternoon. One features “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The other marks Hanukkah. Check Barnes & Nobles’ website to find out what the store near you has on the schedule.
Downtown Zebulon’s Christmas Parade is 2 p.m., Sunday, in the eastern Wake County town. The parade usually has more than 100 entrants, including marching bands, floats and community groups.
And here’s what’s happening at local family destinations. Except for the N.C. Zoo, everything will be closed on Thanksgiving day.
Marbles Kids Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week and weekend except Thursday. The museum recently opened up the new Ready, Set, School exhibit in the Around Town gallery and added a big news helicopter right next to it. The Raleigh destination will be collecting non-perishable food and other items on Wednesday and Friday for the needy. Marbles also will offer Thanksgiving-themed play this week. The IMAX theater will be open Thanksgiving evening for screenings of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
Birds of Paradise, a fascinating exhibit about the birds that live in New Guinea and parts of Australia, continues at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Read my earlier post for more about that. The museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays and Saturdays (not including Thanksgiving) and noon to 5 p.m., Sundays.
The N.C. Museum of History has an exhibit on Russian decorative arts. Its sports hall of fame and exhibit on the history of North Carolina are very kid friendly. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays and Saturdays (but not Thanksgiving) and noon to 5 p.m., Sundays.
The N.C. Museum of Art features Porsche by Design, an exhibit featuring the sports car since the 1930s. At 8:30 a.m., Saturday, the museum will host its final cars meet up, which is part of the exhibit. This weekend, the focus is on art cars. The morning includes cars, food trucks, a play area for kids and health screenings from UNC-Rex. The meet up is free.
In Durham, the Museum of Life and Science offers Springs, Sprockets and Pulleys, a fun exhibit featuring the art of Steve Gerberich. This is highly interactive and fun to watch. Read more about it here. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (closed Thanksgiving), and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (closed Thanksgiving), and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is always free on Sundays.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill has shows Friday through Sunday.
The N.C. Zoo is open all week, including Thanksgiving. Just know that some animals may not be on exhibit if temperature gets below 45 degrees.
Pullen Park and its amusements in Raleigh is closed for Thanksgiving, but open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every other day.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!