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Weekend Plans: MLK Day marches, events, plus a rodeo, more

It's another long holiday weekend with kids off from school and many off from work for Martin Luther King Day on Monday. So this week, Monday is part of the weekend.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

It's another long holiday weekend with kids off from school and many off from work for Martin Luther King Day on Monday. So I'm including Monday as part of the weekend.

Your weekend family fun ...

It's the last week for the George Washington exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. And the museum is extending its normal operating hours this weekend to give visitors more time to take a look. The museum will remain open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and until 7 p.m. Sunday. The museum also will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, when it is normally closed. The exhibit is free for ages 18 and under. It's $10 for ages 19 and up and $8 for senior citizens, active military personnel and students with an ID. I took my five-year-old to see the exhibit over Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed it. You get an up close look at his fake teeth and see some life-size versions of what Washington looked like at different periods in his life. There are some interactive displays and videos that kids will enjoy. I recommend it. The exhibit will be at the museum through Jan. 21.
As Beth told us on Wednesday, a group of local moms groups is organizing an event to mark Martin Luther King Day on Monday at the newly expanded A Sea of Learning store in Northgate Mall in Durham. Starting at 11 a.m. Monday, the event includes an English/Spanish story time, crafts and a birthday cake to celebrate King's life and legacy in a way that kids can understand. Participants are asked to bring a boxed cake mix, canned icing, candles, vegetable oil or disposable pans to donate for birthday bags for families served by the Durham Urban Ministries food pantry. Check back on Friday for more about A Sea of Learning.
In Raleigh, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial March will go from the State Capitol to the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts from 11 a.m. to noon Monday. A free ecumenical service at the Progress Energy Center will follow with music and more.
The ninth annual Durham Martin Luther King Day Parade starts at noon Saturday and follows Fayetteville Street between W.G. Pearson Elementary School and N.C. Central.
Cary will be marking Martin Luther King Jr.'s life with a variety of events during its 2011 Dreamfest Celebration. It all kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center with a community expo, children's activities and a free concert by Sweet Potato Pie. At 6 p.m. Sunday, local religious and secular leaders will host a remembrance service open to the public at the Herbert C. Young Community Center. And Cary will host two volunteer events as well. Registration for one of those projects is closed. But, at last check, you can still sign up to help with a mulch project at North Cary Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Jan. 17. Contact the town's spruce program at 919-469-4301 or spruce@townofcary.org to register.
Marbles Kids Museum also will be open on Monday (when it's normally closed) and mark the day. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., kids can participate in special activities to celebrate MLK Day. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. they can help stuff backpacks full of food for low income families as part of the Interfaith Food Shuttle's Backpack Buddies program. It's free with admission, which is $5 per person. (And a reminder: The IMAX theater at Marbles is closed for upgrades through early February).
And as I've written before, the United Way of the Greater Triangle will be hosting a day of service on Monday with lots of opportunities to volunteer and help out. 
N.C. Parent Consultants will host one of its Parent on the Go coffee forums from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at its offices at 4904 Waters Edge Dr., Suite 151. The focus is on consequences vs. punishment. Be sure to shoot them an email if you plan to go. Check the website for details and contact information.
"Exit Cuckoo (Nanny in Motherland)" continues at Kenan Theatre in Chapel Hill through Sunday. PlayMakers presents the award-winning solo show based on the experiences of a former nanny. Best for ages 12 and up (but sounds like probably really geared toward moms and other adults).
There are just a few tickets left for the Conservators' Center's second Tree Toss on Saturday. Watch a lion, tiger or wolf wrestle with a leftover Christmas tree. The scent of pine, I'm told, makes them go wild. Tickets must be purchased in advance. They cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 are not permitted at this event. And for their safety, children and their guardians must stay together as part of an escorted group. Check the website for more about the center, which is near Mebane, and to buy tickets.
The World's Toughest Rodeo, featuring top professional cowboys, hits the RBC Center on Friday. Thanks to WRAL-TV and Fox 50, kids 12 and under will get half prize tickets on regular priced $18 and $35 seats. They must be accompanied by an adult ticket. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. I'm told there will be pony rides for ticket holders from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. the night of the show.
Carrboro's Family Fun Sunday series will feature Capital Jazz Fest Challenge winner Marcus Anderson, a multi-talented saxophonist, flutist and singer form Durham. Tickets are $3 per person for the event from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Carrboro's Century Center.
The Lion King continues at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The shows with the most tickets available are Jan. 12-13; Jan. 19-20; the evening show on Jan. 26; and Jan. 27.
And last, but not least, for all you J. Crew lovers out there. J. Crew has a temporary store at University Mall in Chapel Hill through Jan. 23. Adults and kids clothes. I hear from a great Chapel Hill mom blog that there are some amazing deals.