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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Will spring come early? 4 Groundhog Day events in Raleigh, Garner this weekend

Posted January 27, 2020 9:00 p.m. EST

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane reports that Sir Walter Wally saw his shadow and there will be six more weeks of winter during the Groundhog Day activities at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh on Feb. 2, 2014.

Editor's note: This annual post is updated for the 2020 season.

Local groundhogs Sir Walter Wally and Snerd are gearing up for their day in the spotlight this weekend. Here's hoping they forecast an early spring!

The two will be on display for annual Groundhog Day celebrations at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and White Deer Park Nature Center in Garner. And because Feb. 2 falls on a Sunday this year, more families will get to enjoy these annual Groundhog Day events.

Watch groundhogs make their decrees (or just learn a little bit more about the animals) at these four events:

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' Groundhog Day event is noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2. The shadow ceremony, starring Sir Walter Wally, starts at noon. But the day holds many other activities, including displays about the history of Groundhog Day, animal architects, how animals survive in the winter and signs of spring.

White Deer Park Nature Center will have special activities from 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, including Snerd's weather prediction at 3 p.m. The event also includes crafts, games, educational booths and more.

Historic Yates Mill Park in Wake County has a special drop-in program from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, to Sunday, Feb. 2. Wizened Woodchucks & Weather Predictors explores how people predicted the weather before The Weather Channel and whether animals can really help. No registration is needed for this free event. In the visitor center, park guests can check out at-home weather equipment they can make and test colonial "weather proverbs."

And a few days before Groundhog Day, Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh will focus on the groundhog at its weekly nature storytime. It's 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 30. The free program includes stories, a short nature walk and other activities. Best for ages 6 and under.