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Weekend Plans: Black History Month, Valentine's Day, the circus, Darwin Day, more

We have a couple of themes this weekend when it comes to family events - Black History Month and Valentine's Day. Plus the circus, a consignment sale and more. Your weekend family fun.

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Morehead Planetarium Observatory Dome
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

We have a couple of themes this weekend when it comes to family events - Black History Month and Valentine's Day. I'm grouping those events together. And you'll find more activities that have nothing to do with either at the bottom of the post.

Here's your weekend family fun.

Black History Month
The Harlem Gospel Choir will perform at Durham's Carolina Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $28 for the performance, which will aim to create a better understanding of African American culture and Gospel music.
The Raleigh City Museum will host Five Faces & Places of Raleigh's African American Community at 2 p.m. Saturday. Learn how Chavis Park got its name, all about places like the Lightner Arcade and the history of the African American community in Raleigh. Visitors will get a coloring book with local landmarks such as Shaw University and the Pope House. Participants also can create their own cornhusk doll. It's free.
Magic of African Rhythm will perform with students from Raleigh's Community Music School at a free concert from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History on E. Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. For the last two months, the ensemble has been working with students at the school and teaching them about the connection between African music and blues music. The Community Music School offers music lessons to kids who qualify for Wake County's free and reduced lunch program.
Wake County's Black History Month Celebration is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in two locations - the Wake County Commons Building and Historic Oak View County Park, which are right near each other on Carya Drive off Poole Road in Raleigh. At the commons building, you'll find a variety of performances including the Healing Force storytelling group at 11 a.m.; the Martin Luther King Jr. All Children's Choir at 1 p.m.; and the MKM a capella doo-wop group at 3 p.m. There also will be crafts for kids; displays of African American history and art; and more. Historic Oak View County Park will open its traveling exhibit, "From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in the Gilded Age." And WSHA FM 88.9 Shaw University Radio will broadcast live with music from a local reggae band from noon to 3 p.m. A haywagon will shuttle people between the sites. It's all free.
Valentine's Day
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will screen its "Carolina Skies: Valentine Edition" on Friday, Saturday and Monday (which is Valentine's Day). This seasonal planetarium show replaces the regular "Carolina Skies" show on Friday and Saturday. It is appropriate for older teens and adults. It explores the legends of love told by ancient cultures about the constellations. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $7.25 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.
Barnes & Noble stores across the region will be hosting special Valentine's Day storytimes with stories and crafts at 11 a.m. Saturday. The stores include the Crabtree Valley Mall, Triangle Town Center, Brier Creek Commons, The Streets at Southpoint and SE Maynard Road in Cary locations.
PB&J Fun Factory on Fayetteville Road south of Raleigh will be hosing a Girls Valentine's Day Diva Designer Party (no boys allowed) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. This drop-off program is for girls ages 5 to 10. It's $15. Space is limited and registration is required. (A Boys Night Out is Feb. 18.) Check the store's Facebook page for details.
There's at least one daddy-daughter dance, along with other events, coming up, including the Forever Fancy Daddy-Daughter Dinner & Dance from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Hope Mills Shrine Club in Cumberland County. It's $25 per daddy-daughter couple and $10 for each additional daughter. Check the website for details. And see my earlier post for more on other daddy-daughter events in the area (most have happened, but there are a few in the next week).
And while not necessarily a Valentine's Day event, it celebrates pink, a color of the day, so I'll mention it. Borders book stores across the Triangle will be holding a special event to celebrate the newest book in the Pinkalicious series at 2 p.m. Saturday. For kids ages 4 to 8. Looks like the event is at the Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill and Apex stores.Check Borders' website to find the store near you and more details about the event.

And here's what else is on tap for the weekend ....

Of course, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is at the RBC Center through Sunday. Our ticket discount still works for the Thursday night and Sunday shows.
Carolina Parent holds its annual Camp & Education Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Cary Academy. The free event features camps and programs from across the region and beyond.
The Monkey Exchange, a children's consignment sale featuring high-end boutique clothing, is open Thursday and Friday at the North Hills Club in Raleigh. See my earlier post for details.
From 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, John Bemelmans Marciano, the grandson of Madeline creator Ludwig Bemelmans, will read and sign "Madeline at the White House," which is based on a story that his grandfather left unfinished. And he'll be at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh at 2 p.m. Saturday with the same book.
A Sea of Learning in Durham's Northgate Mall will host a special day with Elmo on Saturday. Elmo will be visiting at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Macy's Court area of Northgate. There will be a short, free interactive show with Elmo and a few other characters such as Big Bird. After a quick break, Elmo will be available for pictures. It's $7 to sit with Elmo and get your picture taken. Tickets are available at the store now or on the day of the show. See my earlier post on A Sea of Learning for more about the store.
Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences will perform "The Owl and the Turtle," at 11 a.m. Saturday at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The show tells the tale of two creatures whose friendship challenges the rules of the forest and forces them to consider what values they stand for. Tickets are $7 in advance and $8 at the door for kids and $9 in advance and $10 at the door for adults. Kids 2 and under are free. Best for preschoolers to third graders.
Marbles Kids Museum's Music Makers series continues with a focus on Peter & the Wolf. The drop-in program, which is free with admission to Marbles, is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Grant Llewellyn, the N.C. Symphony's music director, will be there from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. And the symphony's instrument zoo will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where kids can check out different instruments. The N.C. Symphony will perform Peter & the Wolf next month. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, kids can conduct crazy experiments and explore the science of rockets as part of Marbles' Science Solvers program. It also is free with admission.
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will host Darwin Day from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Learn more about Charles Darwin; take a closer look at his theories and their impact on modern science; and meet some of the scientists who are continuing his work. There will be activities on all three floors of the museum, including some hands-on activities and games such as a button-making station and Darwin bingo, I'm told. It's geared toward all ages.
And at 4 p.m. Sunday, Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill will offer Music and Movement with Laurie. There will be singing, dancing, instruments and more. It's led by Laurie Siegel, music teacher at the Lerner Jewish Community Day School. For kids ages 2 to 5. It's a free program and, remember, admission to Kidzu is always free on Sunday.

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