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Weekend plans: Megalodon, Valentine's events and more

No big plans this weekend other than chocolate and lots of it? Check out these weekend family activities from a bird count to a design festival to improv for and by kids.

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Megalodon exhibit at N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

No big plans this weekend other than chocolate and lots of it? Check out these weekend family activities.

See a giant shark at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences as part of its new exhibit "Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived," which opens Feb. 13. The exhibit showcases fossil and modern shark specimens along with some full-scale models. Also you can walk through a giant shark jaw and I know some kids who can get behind that. The exhibit runs through May 9. Don't forget about the shark illustration contest for kids, which gets you one free ticket just for entering. And check back here next week for more on Megalodon.
Count the birds at Kids Together Playground from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 13. Meet at the shelter for bird walks, identify birds by species and record what you see. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and part of the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Design, tinker, create and invent at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. The all-day Design It festival includes spin art, a take-apart station, Contraptions workshops and a KEVA building challenge. It's free with museum admission.
Draw in the galleries of the Ackland Art Museum. The Chapel Hill museum offers a couple of events. Drawing in the Galleries runs from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 13. Bring paper and dry media (like crayons or pencils) and get to work. All levels are welcome and it's free. Another event - Drawing for Kids - is scheduled for the same time for kids ages 9 to 12. Registration is required and there's a $5 fee for non-members. Call 919-962-0479 for details.
Make and take some valentines based on Victorian examples from the N.C. Museum of History's collection. This is a free drop-in program.
Catch the magic at one of two shows of The Spencers - Theatre of Illusion, part of the Holly Springs Cultural Center's Super Saturday Family Series. Showtimes are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Tickets are $8 a piece; $20 for a family of three; $25 for a family of four; $30 for a family of five; and $35 for a family of six.
Laugh at Cary Youth Theatre's 6th Improv Comedy Night at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury O'Dell Place. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The free performance features local teens performing improv comedy through funny, fast-paced skits and games based on audience suggestions (think Who's Line is it Anyway). It's part of the theater's drama workshop series, which teaches specific theater skills to teens. Each class ends in a performance designed to showcase skills learned in class.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with a couple events at Marbles Kids Museum. From 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 13, Home Depot staffers will help kids make a Valentine's trinket box. First come, first served. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Mallarme Chamber Players will turn musical instruments into characters of two well-loved fairy tales, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Emperor's New Clothes. And at 2 p.m. Feb. 14, Big Bang Boom, the local power pop trio that performs music for kids and parents, will perform.
Help Haiti during a Valentine's Day extravaganza at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The event is from 1 to 4 p.m Feb. 14. All proceeds will benefit Hearts with Haiti, an independent nonprofit group in Raleigh that supports three children's homes in Haiti. There's improv, portrait painting, jewelry making, line dancing and more for adults. Chidren's activities include fun with collage, mixed media and clay, as well as making valentines. Admission for all activities is $10 per person, $15 for two, $25 per family. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

And on the horizon ...

Get your tickets for Cinderella at the Carolina Ballet. The ballet runs from Feb. 18 to March 7.
And Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey runs from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28 at the RBC Center.

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