Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: Corn mazes, BugFest, farm tours, Dan Zanes, much more

It's a big weekend with many of the region's corn mazes opening; the major downtown festival BugFest; Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes; and much more. Your weekend family fun.

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BugFest is This Weekend!
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
It's a big weekend with a lot of of options if you're looking for something to do. And to add to all these options, I'll highlight Go Ask Mom's 2011 Halloween and fall fun database with all your pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses and fall and Halloween events. Some of the corn mazes and pumpkin patches are open now. Many will open this weekend. Happy fall!

Here's your weekend family fun ...

BugFest is here! The major annual event from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh features information, activities, games, a Cafe Insecta with edible bugs and more. As you probably have gathered if you haven't been, this festival is all about bugs. This year's theme is spiders. The events spread out across Bicentennial Plaza, Jones Street, Edenton Street and the entire museum. It's 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. An Evening Insectival is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with live bands, bug stations, a nocturnal insect tour and a street carnival. It's all free. My family has always had a great time at this event. I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend getting their as early as you can because it will get very busy.
The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday at 25 farms across the region. This is a great opportunity to show kids exactly where their food comes from and how it all gets to their plates. Advance tickets are on sale now for $25 per car to visit all farms. You can also buy tickets for $30 per car for all farms or $10 per farm on the days of the tour. Obviously the following recommendation all depends on your child, but, if you have young kids, I recommend visiting one or two farms in an afternoon. Bring along some hand sanitizer too, though it's really best to wash your hands after petting animals with good, old-fashioned soap and water. Hand washing stations will be provided at each farm. And Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which puts on the whole thing, encourages you to bring a cooler because you will be able to buy produce, eggs, cheese and meat at the farms. There are a lot of opportunities to see farm animals here. And, in the brochure for the event, I've noticed that several will have activities just for kids, including Melvin's Gardens Herb Farm in Rocky Ford and Lucky 3 Farm in Louisburg. Vollmer Farm in Bunn will be open for tours and giving away $15 coupons for its popular Back Forty playground, which opens Sept. 24 for the season. For many more details, including where to get tickets in advance, check the website.
Grammy Award winners Dan Zanes and Friends will rock with families at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh. This is the third year that Zanes has been part of the outdoor concert series at the art museum. You'll hear everything from sea chanteys to folk music to some rock 'n' roll too. And there will be lots of singing and dancing in the audience. This is a big, fun event! It's 6 p.m. Saturday at the museum. Tickets are $18 for adults; $9 for kids ages 3 to 12; and free for kids ages 2 and under. Ticket holders can get crafty from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. with The Scrap Exchange, which will bring in recycled and re-used materials to make musical instruments.
SparkCon offers all kinds of creative pursuits in Raleigh from Thursday to Sunday. The annual event features everything from circus acts to art displays to a downtown Raleigh street painting festival. A few things that caught my eye as I looked through the website: The street painting festival on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; there will be skate exhibitions at 30 W. Martin St. in downtown Raleigh featuring emerging skaters while hip hop and rap artists perform; and a family-friendly improv show is at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Wachovia Plaza. There's a lot more. Check the website for details.
The Museum of Life and Science's Heroes, Villains and Special Effects run this Saturday and Sunday at the Durham museum. Learn all about the science behind entertainment and meet experts in the fields of special effects, make-up artistry, video game design and simulation, comic book art, and staged combat. Plus, the Carolina 501st Garrison and Rebel Legion, a volunteer international Star Wars costuming organization, will be roaming the museum grounds in costume. This is one of the museum's more popular annual events. The event is free with admission to the museum, which is $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids ages 3 to 12.
The Triangle Brass Band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park, 801 High House Road. You'll hear marches, music from musicals and light classical music.
We have consignment sales this week in Raleigh, Morrisville and Wake Forest. Check my earlier post for more information. And as you may have read earlier, the Wake Forest sale Lullabies to Mudpies will be open at the same place, Heritage View Clubhouse, and time (in addition to other times) as The Buddy Run, a family-friendly run and event to raise money for Backpack Buddies, which provides food to needy kids on the weekends. The Buddy Run is Friday evening. Check my earlier post on the consignment sale and run for more information.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, which closed last month for regular maintenance, reopens this Saturday with a full schedule of shows. Check my earlier post for information.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will hold its 30th annual Greek Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Raleigh. Lots of Greek food, plus live music, performances and more. Admission is $3; $2 for seniors and kids ages 13 to 18; and free for kids under 13. Check the website for coupons too.
Historic Yates Mill County Park will hold its sixth annual Fall Harvest Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. Saturday. The Wake County park, just south of Raleigh, will feature weaving, corn husk dolls, a cornmeal cooking contest, crafts and games, vintage cars and tractors, music, a scavenger hunt for kids and more. And the Sandbox band, which was so kind to play our Go Ask Mom event at North Hills last weekend, will be there from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free. There is a fee for corn grinding demonstrations.
The annual Fly for Tots radio control airshow is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1339 Bethlehem Church Rd., Youngsville. This event, where kids can see all sorts of model airplanes, is a fundraiser for the Victory Junction Camp. Admission is free.
Mordecai Historic Park's annual cake, pie and cookie contest is at 11 a.m. Saturday. There are youth and adult prize categories. Visitors can sample entries too. Samples are available from noon to 1 p.m., while supplies last. It's free to attend. The park is at 1 Mimosa St. in downtown Raleigh.
The second annual Rockin' Run and Family Fun starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at Southern Village in Chapel Hill. The event is a fundraiser for the Little Red Wagon Foundation, which raises funds for organizations to support children and their families who are afflicted with cancer.
Duke Gardens will present "Play Again," a documentary about what happens when kids grow up removed from nature. It will start around 8 p.m. Thursday outside behind the gardens' Doris Duke Center. And from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, the gardens will host Fall Family Fun, a free series of drop-in science or craft projects. The series runs on Sundays through Oct. 9.
The Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool will host the second annual Kids Rock Benefit Concert from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Picnics are welcome. You'll also find face painting, drinks and merchandise for sale.
The sixth annual Good Neighbor Day in Wake Forest is Sunday. A special event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Holding Park, 133 W. Owen Ave. The event celebrates diversity and promotes goodwill among Wake Forest’s residents. There will be food, fun and entertainment. It's free.

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