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Weekend Plans: Artsplosure, Go to Be NC, Hog Days, great music for kids, more

It's a huge weekend for family activities with some major festival and annual events. Here's what's going on this weekend.

Posted Updated
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

As I wrote earlier this week, it's a huge weekend for family activities with some major festival and annual events. So here goes ...

Artsplosure, the major arts and crafts festival in downtown Raleigh, is Saturday and Sunday. But Amococo, a giant inflatable structure with huge domes and chambers to walk through, is open starting Thursday in Raleigh's City Plaza. For all the details and other tips if you go, read my earlier post.
The Got to Be NC Festival, a smaller version of the State Fair, is Friday through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Admission and parking are free (though there is a charge for the carnival rides and games). You'll see animals, agricultural displays, an antique tractor parade and a lot more. This event is a lot of fun. See my earlier post for details. Friday morning would be a great time to go if you're at home with kids.
Grammy-nominated performer Justin Roberts returns with his Not Ready for Naptime Performers to The ArtsCenter in Carrboro for two shows - 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. I highly recommend his music and shows. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids. Perfect for preschoolers to early grade schoolers. (I'll be at the 11 a.m. show - say hi if you see me).
The Magic Wings Festival at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. This annual and very popular event features butterflies and other winged insects. There are a variety of exhibits and demonstrations (cockroach races anybody?), along with the Dare Cafe where you can eat insects (if you dare). Most activities are included in your admission to the museum. Registration is required for one - Bug Safaris. Check the website for details.
Disney's Imagination Movers hit the Durham Performing Arts Center for two shows on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets start at $15.
It's Hog Days in Hillsborough. The event starts Friday evening and runs Saturday. The barbecue and entertainment festival features lots of food, plus live music, games, rides and a special area for kids with pony rides and other games. The pig calling contest also is always a hit. Free admission.
Astronomy Days runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh. Great for kids interested in space, there will be a variety of discussions led by NASA experts including astronaut Jose Hernandez. Plus, robotics demonstrations, crafts and more. It's free.
Friday is Teen Night at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh. The program, a celebration of creativity and innovation, is at 6 p.m. and open to all high school-age students. It includes snacks, entertainment and activities. High school age students also are invited to hear Michael Gelb, author of "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci," speak at the museum at 5:30 p.m.
Help raise money for cystic fibrosis research during the Great Strides Walk, a 5K walk that starts at 9 a.m. on Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh on Saturday. Halifax Mall is a block north of Jones Street next to the state legislative building.
The Raleigh Little Theatre's production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School wraps up this weekend with shows through Sunday. The show, based on the very popular series for elementary school kids, is best for kids ages 5 and up.
Rex Hospital will host an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh called "Why My Dad is Special." Rex is taping kids talking about what makes their dad special to air at the Rex Hospital Open at the Wakefield golf course on Father's Day. Stormy from the Hurricanes and Muddy the Mudcat will be there.
Walnut Creek Wetland Center will have an open house from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Learn more about the Raleigh wetland center while taking part in crafts, a scavenger hunt, bird watching and exploring the greenway trail. The event is free and no pre-registration is required. The center is located at 950 Peterson St. Call 919-831-1960 for details.
There will be a Civil War encampment at Historic Oak View County Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. You'll get a glimpse of camp life and see a variety of demonstrations.
And if you're downtown for Artplosure or Astronomy Days, the State Capitol also will commemorate the 150th anniversary of North Carolina's secession vote with re-enactments, period music and lectures in living history on Saturday. The free event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex will host a Latino Arts Festival on Friday and Saturday. It includes some special free family activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, including mask and puppet making, pinatas, dance and music.
Fuquay-Varina's Movie Under the Stars for Friday night is "Yogi Bear." The evening starts at 7 p.m. and includes a DJ and screen trivia. The movie is shown on Ransdell Road in the historic Varina shopping district on a large inflatable screen.
NC Parent Consultants will host one of its Saturday morning forums for parents. The topic is consequences vs. punishment - what's the different, what's most effective. The forum is open to parents with children of all ages. It's 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The cost is $10 per person. The program is at 4904 Waters Edge Dr., Suite 151, in Raleigh. Click here to learn more and let them know you're coming.
Kids ages 8 and up might enjoy seeing the Carolina Ballet perform A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shows start Thursday and run through Sunday. I'm told that the ballet is very colorful and has lots of action. It is at the end of the program and there are some shorter works ahead of it. The performances are at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
Rush Hour Karting in Garner will donate 100 percent of all net proceeds on Friday to the American Red Cross tornado relief efforts. The fundraiser is from noon to midnight Friday. Rush Hour Karting is in the White Oak Business Park, 5335 Raynor Rd., Garner. The facility features a 1/3 mile track and both junior karts for ages 8 to 15 and adult karts for ages 16 and up (these are fast karts). Read my earlier post about the programs the business has for kids.
Also on Friday, Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville will be hosting a special fundraiser in honor of two young brothers who both have cancer. Singer and entertainer Rita Gumm of The Carolina Opry stage will sing. Gumm has a children's book and children's ministry called Noah and Friends. Read my earlier post for more information about the event and the family it honors.
The Reuse Rodeo is rounding up resources for non-profits in Wake County on Saturday. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 2420 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh. The Triangle Resuse Alliance is hosting the event to raise awareness about the groups in the area that focus on reuse. The ReStore, Scrap Exchange, the Green Chair Project, Kramden Institute, Wake Relief and ReTails Thrift Shop will be collecting specific items. Click here to find out exactly what they're looking for.
JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh will hold a special program for kids ages 8 and up. Superhero Plant! will focus on plants that can protect water quality and survive in all different kinds of conditions. The parent-child program is $8 per child. It's from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Registration required. See my earlier post for details.
The Strike Out Breast Cancer Bowling Tournament is Saturday at Buffaloe Lanes in north Raleigh. The event benefits Susie's Family Olympian, a local group who is working to raise money to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event in Washington, D.C., in September. Read my earlier post about the group.
You can take a look at chicken coops in some inside the Beltline Raleigh neighborhoods during the Henside the Beltline Tour d'Coop. It's 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It's a great event, especially if you're curious about keeping chickens yourself. And kids love seeing them. Admission is a cash donation or food donation to Urban Ministries of Wake County.
And if you're in the area Saturday, the merchants of Five Points, including the baby and children's consignment store Babiology, will be holding some sidewalk sales.
And if you're in Durham, come by and see me on Sunday starting around 2 p.m. at American Tobacco's Bay 7. I'll be there as part of the campus' new series for kids. See my earlier post for details.

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