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Weekend Plans: Egg hunts, Planet Earth Celebration, farm tours, more

Spring break is ahead for many of us. And Easter and Earth Day is just a week away. It's a busy weekend. Here's what's happening.

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Planet Earth
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Spring break is ahead for many of us. And Easter and Earth Day is a week away. It's a busy weekend. Here's what's happening:

Update: Some events have been postponed because of the threat of severe weather on Saturday. Read this before you head out.
Lots of Easter egg hunts - from Raleigh to Cary to Garner to Chapel Hill to Durham to all over. Raleigh parks will host a slew of them at parks in pretty much every section of the city. They all are scheduled at 11 a.m. (which means I'd get there by 10:45 a.m. since they happen fast). And I'll note they include the popular event at Mordecai Historic Park near downtown Raleigh. Check our Easter events guide for all the details and to search for the closet egg hunt to you. Happy hunting!
And strawberry season is really gearing up. Many farms won't have berries until next weekend, but I'm hearing that Vollmer Farm in Bunn is among those that will have them. Check our full list for details and to plan your picking when the season really gets started.
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh will hold its 4th annual Planet Earth Celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. This large, free festival spreads out across the museum and outside on Bicentennial Plaza and the State Capitol grounds. You'll find more than 100 local groups that focus on helping us all live "greener." There's also hands-on activities for the kids (tumbleweed bowling is a fun one) and live music. Chatham County Line will perform at 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. You can take electronic equipment, such as computer equipment and old cell phones, to be recycled. And the big draw for many is the giant Burt's Bees tent sale, where the prices are slashed for these beauty products (just be prepared to wait a bit in line, though it's definitely worth it if you're a fan of these products).
Also this weekend, the N.C. Museum of History, also located on Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Raleigh, will open the first part of its major, permanent exhibit "The History of North Carolina." This first segment will trace the state's history from the earliest inhabitants to the 1830s. The rest of the exhibit will open in November. And it's free! Check my earlier post for details on some of the kid-friendly spots.
And, since you're downtown, pop over to the Executive Mansion, just a couple of blocks from the museums, to take a look at the gardens. The mansion, home to Gov. Bev Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves (that is indeed what he's called), is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for free tours. Docents will lead small groups through the more than four acres of flower and vegetable gardens. Reservations are not required. The mansion is at 201 N. Blount St. I took my kids to the mansion during its holiday open house. My one-year-old just wanted to climb up the stairs, which was not allowed. But my five-year-old was excited that we were able to finally see the "castle" that we drive by so often.
And then you can drive to the other side of downtown for the third annual Cuegrass Festival at The Pit. The streets are shut down for this event that includes live music and barbecue. Proceeds from the $5 gate donation supports North Carolina farmers. It's 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
We have synchronized swimming this week. Check out Meredith College's Aqua Angels, which will perform two free shows on Thursday and Friday on the Raleigh campus. The synchronized swimming team is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The show is at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Meredith's Weatherspoon Swimming Pool. It's open to the public.
Also at Meredith this weekend, the college's autism program will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Ledford Building on Meredith's campus. Faculty and student volunteers will provided guided tours of the Meredith Autism Program and share information about how the program uses Applied Behavioral Analysis and Discrete Trial Teaching to manage autism. Read my earlier post for details.
The Wings Over Wayne air show is Saturday and Sunday at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. This free event features live music and, of course, all kinds of aerial performances. Gates open at 8 a.m. Jets start flying around 10 a.m. Check the website for all the details, including the FAQ section with details on what you can and can't bring.
It's time to rumble at the Museum of Life and Science. The Durham museum's annual and very popular Robot Rumble is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. There will be lots of demos and information about the field of robotics. Check the full schedule for details.
The Piedmont Farm Tour is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at farms across the region. This year, 40 farms are open for tours. Advance tickets are $25 per car to visit all farms or $30 the day of the tour. It costs $10 per car to visit one farm. I definitely recommend the tour. It's a great opportunity to show kids how working farms work and where our food comes from. But I also recommend that if you're taking young kids with you, plan to just visit one or two farms. Otherwise, it might get overwhelming. For what it's worth ....
Speaking of farms, Carrboro Farmers' Market will hold its 6th annual Kid's Seedling Event starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The market will give away farmer-grown tomato seedlings to kids. The goal is to inspire a generation of young farmers and gardeners.
And HerbFest 2011 in Wake Forest starts up Friday and runs through April 24. The 12th annual event is one of the largest herb plant sales in the United States. There will be a variety of activities for kids. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. You'll find it at 525 S. White St. Activities for kids including an animal petting area this weekend that will feature bunnies. Check the full schedule of events for details.
Chapel Hill will hold a Literacy Fair at the Street Scene Teen Center, 179 E. Franklin St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Activities include a storytelling performance, buddy reading, face painting, bookmark making and more. Free books will be available for all children who attend. The literacy fair is sponsored by SCALE, a nonprofit literacy organization.
There are two events at two of Durham's historic sites: Bennett Place Historic Site will offer "Surrender: The End of the Civil War," a free program this Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will see demonstrations of five major surrenders of the Civil War from Virginia to the Oklahoma Territory. Bennett Place was the site of the largest Civil War surrender on April 26, 1865. Bennett Place is at 4409 Bennett Memorial Rd. in Durham. And country music legend George Hamilton IV, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, will perform Easter-themed music at Duke Homestead State Historic Site at 2 p.m. Sunday. His biggest hit was "Abilene," which spent four weeks in the top spot on Billboard's country singles chart in 1963. Tickets are $10 per person and $5 for kids under 12. For ticket information, call the site at 919-477-5498 or e-mail duke@ncdcr.gov.
The N.C. Renaissance Faire wraps up this weekend at Poplar Creek Village, 7633 Poole Rd., in Knightdale. You'll see brave knights, beautiful princesses and of course the queen, along with jousting and lots of vendors selling their wares. It's Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for kids ages 5 to 12 and seniors 65 and up.
It's A Mommy-A-Fair is Saturday and Sunday at the Crown Expo Center in Fayetteville. Admission is $7, $5 for grandparents. Kids under age 10 are admitted free. You'll find all kinds of information and resources for kids and families here. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
You might remember the feature profiling two moms who are leading teams in the annual March for Babies, which is April 30 in Durham this year. The walk raises money for the March of Dimes. One of those families is holding a yard sale to raise money for their team. It starts at 6 a.m. Saturday at 4004 Sherlock Court in Raleigh. I'm told there will be a lot of items for babies and kids.
University Mall in Chapel Hill will host the 3rd annual Touch a Truck, which gives kids a chance to explore all kinds of vehicles and raise money to support children and the community. It's from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in the University Mall parking lot outside Dillard's. Admission is $5 per person with a maximum fee of $20 per family. Kids under 2 are admitted free. This popular event also will feature crafts, activities and kid-friendly food. Kids can touch, climb on and ask questions about the trucks. Boy Scout Troop 39 in Chapel Hill organizes the event.

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