Labor Day weekend is always a bit of a slow weekend when it comes to family-friendly events. But if you don't have an end-of-summer picnic or pool party in your future, here are some other ideas for fun with the family.
Friday is First Friday in downtown Raleigh. And that means that the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
will be open until 9 p.m. for a B-movie, a chance to see GLOW: Living Lights at a reduced rate; and other activities. The museum will show a "secret and suspenseful spider flick chock full of hirsute arachnids" at 7 p.m. Tickets to GLOW are only $4 after 5 p.m. Friday (last ticket sold is at 7 p.m.). Tickets are normally $7 for adults; $5 for students with ID and $4 for kids ages 5 to 11. GLOW, which explores the world of organisms that produce their own light, closes Sept. 12. First Fridays at the museum can be a great activity for older kids.
Also during First Fridays, Marbles Kids Museums stays open until 8 p.m. And the N.C. Museum of History and Raleigh City Museum keep their doors open until 9 p.m. Check the First Friday website
As you may remember from my post earlier this week, Noah's Landing, the non-profit zoo in Coats with more than 60 species, will hold its Blue & 'Cue at the Zoo
on Saturday and Sunday. The event features bluegrass music, local barbecue and all kinds of kid-friendly activities, including a moonbounce, wagon rides and crafts for kids. The Wildlife Rescue Center in Sanford also will be out for the weekend and release a red shouldered hawk each day at 2 p.m. Blue & 'Cue at the Zoo is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 per person. Barbecue plates are $8. Coats is about 45 minutes from Raleigh.
The African American Cultural Festival
will take over parts of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You'll find an African American arts and crafts market, specialty items and food vendors. A family-friendly area will feature performances and educational and interactive programming for school-aged kids.
Paperhand Puppet Intervention continues its massive summer production of giant puppets, masks, stilts, painted cardboard, and shadows all set to live music. This year's show, called Islands Unknown
, explores the story of young girl, who finds herself in a mysterious library that is being consumed by a rising sea of information. This weekend marks the end of the show's run at Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill. It's at 7 p.m. Friday through Monday (a pre-show starts at 6:20 p.m.). A matinee also is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday with a pre-show at 2:20 p.m. It all moves to the N.C. Museum of Art the weekend of Sept. 10. Tickets are $12. Kids 4 to 14 are $8.
The Durham Bulls and Carolina Mudcats are at home Thursday through Monday. Both play afternoon games on Monday - 1:05 p.m. for the Bulls and 2 p.m. for the Mudcats. And each team is planning some special events over the weekend. At the Bulls, bring a new children's book to the Bulls box office on Thursday and receive a free ticket to the game, thanks to sponsor Smith Breeden Associates. Tom and Jerry will be at the game Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And there will be fireworks after the game Friday. Check Durham Bulls' website
for more details and tickets. At Five County Stadium, the Mudcats plan to have Read-a-roo, the UNC-TV mascot, during the Friday game. Fireworks are scheduled after the games Friday and Sunday as well. Check the Mudcats' website
for more details and tickets.
Sunday is the first Sunday of September, which means that New Hope Valley Railway
in southwestern Wake County will load up its steam and diesel engines for hour-long rides. Departures start at 11 a.m. Be sure to check New Hope Valley's website before you go for tips, information and to buy tickets. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids ages 2 to 12.
And most family-friendly attractions are open on Labor Day, including the N.C. Museum of Natural Science, the N.C. Museum of History, Museum of Life and Science, Marbles Kids Museum (which normally is closed on Mondays), and the N.C. Zoo. Happy Labor Day weekend!