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Weekend Plans Halloween Edition: Spooktaculars, Raleigh Living Dead festival, and much more

With Halloween next Wednesday, it's definitely a Halloween-themed Weekend Plans! Here's your weekend family fun.

Posted Updated
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
UPDATE: Cary has canceled its outdoor Halloween activities on Saturday because of the threat of stormy weather from Hurricane Sandy. Click here for details about these and other events. If you're headed to an outdoor event this weekend, be sure to check to make sure it's still on before you go.
It’s definitely a Halloween-themed Weekend Plans post this week. I’ll list some highlights here, but, of course, we have many more events, pumpkin patches and haunted houses listed in our Halloween and fall fun database. Be sure to check it out!
And, as always, check WRAL.com's Out & About calendar for more things to do this weekend.

Here’s your weekend family fun!

The N.C. Symphony will kick off its Young People’s Series with Halloween Spooktacular at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday. The one-hour concert is designed for kids 4 to 12 and their adults. Kids can come dressed in their Halloween costume for a parade on stage after the show. The hour before each concert, kids can try out instruments as part of the symphony’s Instrument Zoo. Tickets are $20. The concert is at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, which also will host ARTSober, a celebration of arts with lots of free activities on Saturday afternoon. Read my earlier post for details on both.
Morehead Planetarium will show “Scare-olina Skies” on Saturday and Sunday. The main show is best for adults and older teens and runs 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday. A family edition, for kids 5 and up, is set for 2:30 p.m., Saturday, and 3:30 p.m., Sunday.
The Raleigh Living Dead festival will take over parts of downtown Raleigh on Saturday. It runs 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, at Raleigh’s City Plaza. I’m told that this is an all ages, family-friendly event that will include activities for kids. As part of the event, the Raleigh Jaycees is hosting a full-scale kids carnival with more than 15 carnival games, face painting, a kids hair color station, popcorn, cotton candy and more. Tickets to the festival are between $5 and $12. Kids under 3 are free.
Saturday is a busy day in Cary. The Downtown Harvest Day is 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Ashworth Village. The festival includes live music, carnival games, face painting, kids’ fortune telling, balloon animals and more. There will be food, including a bake sale benefiting a Mothers of Preschoolers program. Wristbands are $3 for kids 3 and older and free for adults. The wristbands will let kids continue on for free to the town’s events that night, including trick or treating at Ashworth Village from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., a hayride between Ashworth Village and Cary Elementary School between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the Cary Teen Council’s Tricks & Treats Bash at Cary Elementary, which runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Adults will need a $1 wristband for events after 5 p.m. Cary has a lot going on, including a scary movie series at Koka Booth Amphitheater through Saturday, a haunted house and more. Click here for all the details.
It’s time for HollyFest in Holly Springs. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at Womble Park, you’ll find food, entertainment, activities for kids, inflatables, a pumpkin carving contest and more. Admission is free. UPDATE: HollyFest was moved to Nov. 3.
Noah’s Landing, the hands-on zoo in Coats, about 45 minutes from Raleigh, will hold its Halloween Spooktacular from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Check out the zoo’s animals and stay late to see nocturnal animals, participate in spooky games and a mad science lab and “enjoy” an edible insect cafe. There’s also trick or treating. Tickets are $8 per person and free for kids under age 2.
New Hope Valley Railway’s Halloween Express runs through southwestern Wake County starting with the first departure at 4 p.m., Saturday. The hour-long train ride features some Halloween characters and scenes, but is fun for all ages (though very young riders are urged not to board the 7:45 p.m. train). Tickets are $10 each.
At the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro, about a 90 minute ride from the Triangle, is Boo at the Zoo, on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find treat bags and candy in the North America Plaza and kids ages infant to 12 can visit in their costumes. A costume contest is located at the Africa Amphitheater.
Creepy Crabtree is set for Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville on Friday. The free, park-wide event lets visitors investigate the spookier side of nature. We’re talking bats, snakes and spiders. There are creepy crafts, a scary scavenger hunt and a night hike. Come in costume if you want. The main event runs 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Night hikes go from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ Natural History Halloween is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, in Raleigh. Admission is free. You’ll get to see snakes, spiders and other animals up close. Kids 12 and under can participate in an annual costume contest with categories such as “Creepy and Crawly,” “One of a Kind,” “Fantastically Fictional,” “I Belong in a Museum,” and “Creatures of the Night.” Contestants must enter by 3 p.m. There’s also Halloween-themed games and a spooky craft. This is an annual fundraiser for the museum’s teenage volunteer group. Money is raised through the sale of pizza, drinks and Halloween-themed home-baked goodies.
Marbles Kids Museum will hold its very popular Kooky Spooky Halloween Party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday. Tickets range between $8 and $12 per person (you get a deal if you buy them in advance). Activities include wrapping mommy or daddy like a mummy; bat, spider and candy corn hat making; a Monster Mash dance party; storytelling; a hide-and-seek maze fort; potions fun and more.
University Mall in Chapel Hill will hold a Harvest Festival at its farmers’ market from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday. Kids can wear their Halloween costumes and join a parade at 10 a.m. There’s also free face painting and games.
Western Wake Farmers’ Market also will host some special Halloween activities from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, in Cary, including a trick-or-treat treasure hunt for kids.
Darkside Haunted Estates, the usually very scary haunted destination in Middlesex, which is about six miles from Five County Stadium in Zebulon where the Carolina Mudcats play, will host a low-scare night for kids. It’s 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $5 for kids and free for adults. Organizers tell me that nothing scary happens. It’s essentially just a tour where guides talk about what happens. They’ll have trick-or-treating. Kids ages 3 to 10, or so, usually come out to the event.
The Communities In Schools of Durham will host Durham's Thrill of the Nerds at the Hill House from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday. They’ll have live music, crafts for kids, family games, a costume contest, pumpkin hunt and food. Tickets support the programs of Communities in Schools of Durham, which help increase literacy rates, bring families together and help students reach graduation day. Tickets are $6; $3 for ages 3 and up; and free for kids under 3.

Also this weekend:

The Junior League of Raleigh’s annual A Shopping Spree! runs Thursday to Sunday at the downtown Raleigh Convention Center. It costs $10 for a four-day admission pass. This is a big event where a lot of people get a jump start on their holiday shopping.
The Chapel Hill/Carrboro Mothers Club will host a preschool fair from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the Century Center in Carrboro. The fair will offer information about a variety of preschool programs in Orange County. I know this surprises many who haven’t signed up for preschool before, but, preschool registration for next fall begins in January for many schools. So now is the time to start looking around if you plan on sending your child to preschool next year.
The Museum of Life and Science celebrates its new alpacas with Woven: A Fiber Arts Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The museum will showcase local fiber artists, who will display their work and talk about what they do. Some items will be for sale. It's free with admission to the museum. Check back here on Go Ask Mom for more about the alpacas and the updated farmyard on Friday.

The Raleigh Youth Council, along with others groups, will hold a mock crash event from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at the Saint Monica Teen Center at Tarboro Road Community Center, 15 N. Tarboro St., Raleigh. It's free and you can just show up. For details, call 919-807-5410 or email teens@raleighnc.gov. The event will feature a fake crash with emergency responders who demonstrate what could happen if teens make bad decisions behind the wheel. Teens will learn about safe driving practices and the dangers that come with distracted driving from both law enforcement officers and their peers.

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