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Weekend Plans: Duke Gardens festival, storytimes, concerts

Duke Gardens holds its Family Fun Day, a local author reads from his new book for kids, lots of live music. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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Taking a moment to smell the flowers
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Usually Memorial Day weekend is a slow weekend when it comes to events. Not so much this weekend ...

It's a big weekend at Duke Gardens in Durham. The gardens' Family Fun Day is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and is a culmination of many of the family programs there over the last month. Kids will be able to create salt crystals, build a sun clock or fairy house, make their own slime, or create rain in a bag. There will be plant scavenger hunts for readers and non-readers. And there's a festival-ending parade led by the giant puppets of Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The festival is free. Paperhand also is performing separately at the Angle Amphitheatre behind the Doris Duke Center at 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to that special performance are $10 each. Click here for details.
Bookmarked! A Celebration of Reading with Young Children continues this weekend with free readings and events for kids from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at North Hills in Raleigh. Other events are scheduled on Saturday across Wake County. The festival to mark the one year anniversary of Lucy's Book Club continues through June 6 and will include appearances by author Judith Viorst (who you might know from her great children's book "Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"). Read all about it in my earlier post on the event.
Stephen Messer, a Durham author, will present his debut children's novel, "Windblowne," with a reading and book signing at 7 p.m. Friday at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham. According to Messer's website, the book is "a fantasy adventure about a boy who is blown away from his mountain wind-world of treehouses and kites, and his encounters with a mad genius, mechanical hunters, a missing moon, and the secrets of the powerful night winds."
Hillsborough is celebrating the last Friday of the month with its Last Friday series starting around 6 p.m. Friday. There's live music, an art walk, a special program at the library, a pie contest and a lot more. Check the Hillsborough Arts Council's website for all the details and full schedule.

It's always a good day to check out your library.

East Regional in Knightdale will hold its regular 10:30 a.m. Saturday family storytime. And storytimes at West Regional in Cary are resuming. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday, the library will host a See Spot Read event where beginning readers can practice their skills with certified therapy dogs. And from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for kids ages 8 to 11, the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society will offer a special presentation about the Morse Code. Registration is required for that one. Call 919-463-8520 for more information. To find out more about these events and others offered by the Wake County libraries, click here.
The Main Library in Durham County will hold a storytime from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday for babies to first graders. Click here to register.
Wake Forest's free Six Sundays in Spring concert series wraps up Sunday with a concert featuring The Milagro Saints. The very popular concert series brings out lots of families. It's at E. Carroll Joyner Park, 710 Harris Rd., Wake Forest. Concerts start at 5 p.m. and last about two hours. Snacks and refreshments available or bring your own picnic.
And at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, the town will present a concert featuring the Concert Singers of Cary and the Triangle Wind Ensemble. Doors open at 5 p.m. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15 for the lawn. Students and seniors are $12. Kids 12 and under are free. Picnic baskets, lawn chairs, blankets, small umbrellas and strollers all are welcome. This is a popular Memorial Day weekend event for families.

All of the region's major museums and usual kid-friendly venues are open this weekend. And Raleigh's Marbles Kids Museum, which usually is closed on Mondays, will be open on Memorial Day.

And of course, strawberries are still in season. Check out our giant list of pick-your-own strawberry farms.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!