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Weekend Plans: Books, ballet, financial aid help for college kids, Madagascar, more

Bargain books, ballet for kids, a consignment sale, free help filling out college financial aid forms and more. Your weekend family fun.

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Crowds hit Wake County library's book sale
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
It's going to be a gorgeous weekend with temperatures in the 60s and maybe 70s! So check our park and playground reviews if you're looking for a new place to play.

And there's much more going on this weekend too. Your weekend family fun ...

The giant Wake County book sale and festival starts Thursday evening and runs through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The sale, which will have more than 450,000 books at bargain prices, will include live music on Friday and Saturday, along with special activities for kids on Saturday. Those activities (including the Sandbox Band from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday) are new for the long-running sale, but organizers hope they will continue after this year. Read my earlier post for more details about this event, a great place to buy gifts (some items are new) and reading for the summer.
Performances of Carolina Ballet's The Ugly Duckling begin Thursday and run through March 6. The 35-minute ballet is designed for families and kids and includes a narrator to tell the story. The rest of the two-hour performance (including intermission) will offer more traditional ballet. Read my earlier post for more information, including details about a Feb. 26 family performance which will just feature The Ugly Duckling.
Madagascar Live! runs Friday through Sunday at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The 90-minute stage show is Dreamworks Theatricals' first live family touring show and, yes, it will include the song "Move It, Move" (which now I can't get out of my head). Tickets start at $18. There are six shows including a Saturday morning show and 2 p.m. shows both Saturday and Sunday.
First United Methodist Church of Cary will hold its consignment sale Friday evening and Saturday at the church in downtown Cary. For the first time, the sale will offer special Friday evening shopping hours for shoppers who donate $5. The donations will go to a local family in need. Read my earlier post for details.
It's FAFSA Day on Saturday at locations across the region, including Meredith College, N.C. Central, St. Augustine's College and elsewhere. The free program is offered by the College Foundation of North Carolina, the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the State Employees' Credit Union. At the event, college financial aid officers and other volunteers will help students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms. The program is open to students who plan to attend college in the 2011-12 academic year. Click here for more information, including details on the times and locations.
The 13th annual African-American Celebration in Cary starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Herbert C. Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave. The free celebration includes live music and a family-friendly cultural program along with a special storytelling session. A children's village with arts and crafts runs from noon to 1:30. Storytelling is from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Children must be with a parent or guardian.
Lots going on at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh. This is all free with admission, which is $5. The Raleigh Little Theatre will show two special sneak previews of its production "Really Rosie!" at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. "Really Rosie", a family show, opens in March. There's a Home Depot Kids Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. You can help make a blanket for Linus from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, part of Wake County's Project Linus Chapter, which provides blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need through gifts of handmade blankets and quilts. And Marbles' Gadgets & Gizmos series will let kids solve engineering puzzles. That's from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. And a note: Marbles will be open on Monday, when schools are closed.
Crowder District Park in Apex will be taking visitors on a Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at different times Friday through Monday. Participants will get a quick lesson on bird watching tips and how to count them. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair. Registration is not required unless you're a group of more than 10. Check the park's website for details and exact times.
The 11th annual Historic Hillsborough Revolutionary War Living History Day is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Hillsborough. The event commemorates the anniversary of Lord General Cornwallis' occupation of Hillsborough in February 1781. Activities include demonstrations on camp life, food and military tactics. Guided walking tours will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for the tour. Everything else is free.
N.C. Parent Consultants will hold one of its regular forums for parents from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at its offices at 4904 Waters Edge Dr., Suite 151, in Raleigh. The topic is "Discipline Tips for Young Children." It's geared toward parents with kids ages 3 to 7. It's free and registration isn't necessary. Just send them an email at enroll@ncparentconsultants.com to let them know you'll be there.
Carrboro's Family Fun Sundays will showcase the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. The group has toured internationally and regularly appears at two large tap festivals. It's from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Century Center in Carrboro. Tickets are $3.

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