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Weekend Plans: NHL All-Star festivities, marine mammals, Thomas on stage, more

There's a lot going on in downtown Raleigh this weekend and I'm not just talking about the NHL All-Star Game festivities. Your weekend family fun.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

There's a lot going on in downtown Raleigh this weekend and I'm not just talking about the NHL All-Star Game. But we'll start with that ...

The NHL All-Star Game and all of its related festivities are this Friday through Sunday across downtown (and of course at the RBC Center where the game will actually be played on Sunday). If you don't have tickets to the game, most of the happenings will be in downtown Raleigh and include sledding, ice skating, free concerts and the NHL Fan Fair (which requires tickets). Check my earlier post for more details on some things that families and kids, especially, will enjoy.
And this just in, all 14 of the Triangle-area Moe's Southwest Grills will be selling Joey Junior burritos for just 99 cents in honor of the NHL game. It's Friday only, limit one 99 cent Joey Junior per customer per visit. And the Polar Ice House will be holding a "Shoot-to-Win" contest on Saturday at the Raleigh Winterfest downtown ice rink. A lucky person could take home $15,000 if they score an 80-foot shot.
Also downtown, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences hosts Marine Mammal Day on Saturday. The free event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. focuses on whales, dolphins and seals and the challenges that they face in today's world. You'll find some hands-on activities, lots of information and presentations. The speakers all will be kid-friendly, I'm told, but some will be more appealing to younger kids than others. If that includes your crew, those speakers would be Steve Gerkin from the N.C. Zoo at 11:30 a.m.; a discussion about right whales by Ann Pabst and Bill McLellan from UNC-Wilmington at 11 a.m.; and Susan Barco's talk on Stumpy, a right whale, at 10 a.m. (though I'm told there will probably be a couple of - tasteful - dead whale pictures). Check the website for a full schedule.
And across Bicentennial Plaza from the natural sciences museum, the N.C. Museum of History's 10th Annual African American Cultural Celebration is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The free family event features more than 75 presenters from musicians and storytellers to playwrights and re-enactors who will bring to life the state's diverse African American heritage and culture. Crafts include tobacco tying, a scavenger hunt and an opportunity to make a necklace from a cowrie shell. And this sounds interesting ... a hair-braiding workshop led by Diana Mitchell, author of "The Hair Braider’s Secret Reference Manual." Check the website for a full schedule and more details.
And don't forget that Thomas the Tank Engine rolls into Raleigh Friday and Saturday for Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts. Showtimes are 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $17. And yes, our discount code for the Saturday shows will work through the end of the show. Click here for details on the code and how to get your discount.
Roger Day, a two-time Parents Choice Award winner, visits The ArtsCenter in Carrboro for a morning of uplifting family music. Day's show "Dream Big!" includes songs about using your mind and muscle, body and brain, to do things you dream about. The show is 11 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door for youth and $9 in advance, $10 at the door for adults. Kids 2 and under are free. Best for preschoolers to fifth graders and their families.
The 20th annual Wake County public schools cheerleading competition is Saturday at Southeast Raleigh High School. The competition will feature 18 middle schools and 16 high schools. It all begins at 9 a.m. Admission is $5.
An update: The Triangle's largest Chinese New Year Celebration is at the N.C. State Fairgrounds on Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., you'll find performances, food, exhibits and crafts all to celebrate the year of the rabbit. Admission is $5 for ages 7 and over in advance (you can buy them online) or $8 at the door. Free admission for kids 6 and under.
Marbles Kids Museum will host Hooray for Ballet, a partnership with the Carolina Ballet, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The activities are free with admission to Marbles, which is $5 per person. There will be some special activities and crafts, along with a chance to buy discounted tickets to the Carolina Ballet's Families Series. The ballet will present The Ugly Duckling next month.
And a reminder: This is the last weekend for the Norman Rockwell exhibit and Fins and Feathers exhibit, which features children's book illustrations, at the N.C. Museum of Art. Click here for details.

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