Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: CoolKidz, Earth Day, steampunk and more

No plans for the weekend? Hop on over to the CoolKidz Expo. Check out the Earth Day celebration in Raleigh. Settle in for some barbecue and bluegrass. And find out what steampunk is all about.

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KATAL at Kids Together Playground in Cary
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
If you've been reading this site at all over the past week or two, you'll know that this is the week of the CoolKidz Expo. I won't go into great detail here. But it's Saturday and Sunday at the downtown Raleigh Convention Center and will feature entertainment and products for kids and families. I'll be there both days so be sure to stop by the Go Ask Mom booth if you're there. I'll have some cute little items to take home, plus a contest for three family four packs to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham and free movies. Click here for more details about all that. It should be fun!

And there's lots more to do this weekend.

In time for Earth Day, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and Burt's Bees team up for the free Planet Earth Celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. In addition to free Capital Area Transit bus rides all day, there will be all kinds of information about sustainable living, activities for kids and live performances. Burt's Bees will set up its big sale tent (where I scored a bunch of deals last year). Garner also is celebrating Earth Day with a variety of events all day Saturday with its Get Your Green On event.
Herbfest kicks off Friday in Wake Forest and runs through April 25. The event features lots of information about gardening, but also activities for kids, including the juggling and magic of Paul Miller of Flow Circus at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Girls on the Run 5K and Fun Run presented by Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Durham. See my earlier post on the event. It supports a great program that works to build self-esteem and confidence for girls ages 8 to 12.
The 'Cuegrass Festival returns to downtown Raleigh's warehouse district from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There's barbecue, local brews and bluegrass music to benefit farmers' educational programs in North Carolina. The family-friendly festival is sponsored by The Pit Authentic Barbecue restaurant and Empire Eats. It's free and open to the public. Pork barbecue sandwich plates, beef brisket sandwich plates and beer are available for $5. Bring your lawn chairs. And I'll just add that I love the food at The Pit. For kind of a nicer restaurant, it's very kid-friendly from my experience. Love it.
Help raise money for a misting tent for Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park in Cary. The third annual Kids Together Family Fun & Fitness Walk runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the park at 111 Thurston Dr. in Cary. It's a low-key 1.4 mile walk with refreshments, medals and awards. It's $15 per family or $5 for an individual. See my post about the event from earlier this week for more details. And check back here on Friday for more about Kids Together.
Marbles Kids Museum will host GSK "Be Air Aware" Day starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The always fun Raleigh-based Sandbox Kids & Family Band will be there. And kids can learn more about the importance of clean air with special activities throughout the museum. The Triangle Air Awareness mascots Clair (the Clean Air Explorer) and CAM (the Clean Air Maniac) will be on hand. For adults, Marbles also will host Dig In on Saturday, an event organized to promote community gardening. Read more about Dig In on my earlier post. And on Sunday, Marbles has a planting party at its Castaway Cove Kids Garden from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids are invited to help Marbles staff plant a summer garden and take home a plant of their own.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will host one of its popular Family Science Days on Saturday with what it's calling "steampunk day." The free activities and musical performances highlight the steampunk cultural scene, which fuses 19th-century style with modern technology. And if that's not good enough of a description for you, check the steampunk Wikipedia page. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and features activities for all ages. Activities include races between steam-powered boats, a special Storytime Science for kids, the creation of an illustrated periodic table, "time travel" in Morehead's portable planetarium and short films that illustrate ways to blend art and science.
The Nasher Museum of Art in Durham holds one of its regular free family days from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Hands-on activities include Chinese folded paper, calligraphy, environmental art and more. Performances at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. include groups from Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill, the Duke Chinese Dance Club and the Duke Chinese Dance Troupe. Gallery hunts also available for families to explore the Nasher's exhibitions at their own pace.
The Halle Cultural Center will present Aesop's (Oh So Slightly Updated) Fables by Kim Espo Wyile. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The short comic play weaves some of Aesop's most famous fables into a fun, fast-paced show. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.