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Weekend Plans: Spring Daze, March for Babies, train rides, more

Thousands will flock to Cary's Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival. Also this weekend .... a March for Babies in Durham, train rides at New Hope Valley Railway and much more.

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Christmas Train arriving at the Bonsal station.
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Your weekend family fun ...

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend Cary's 18th Annual Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday at Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd. The free festival starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. You'll find all kinds of live entertainment, art and a special Children's Village with an interactive area for parents and kids. At 11 a.m. in the Children's Village, the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program will be leading up an event as part of a new public awareness campaign. Newborns to three-year-olds and their parents are invited to be part of a baby bumblebee group photo session. Kids are encouraged to come dressed like bees (and there will be bumblebee antennae headbands available on site) for the professionally shot photo. It will promote the importance of how important it is to "be early" and not wait when there are concerns about an infant or toddler's development. Limited parking is available for Spring Daze so they're encouraging visitors to use a free shuttle bus to get to the event. It leaves from the Town Hall Parking Deck every 15 to 20 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check the website for a lot more information, maps and more.
The annual March for Babies, which raises money for the March of Dimes, is Saturday at Imperial Park, 4309 Emperor Blvd., in Durham. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. And the start time is 10 a.m. This is a great opportunity to support a group that has helped so many babies. Read my earlier post for more information, including details about a couple of the teams.
New Hope Valley Railway's engines will pull out of the station in Bonsal for the first time this season on Sunday. Departures start at 11 a.m. You can check out the railway museum before you hop on the train for an hour-long ride through southwestern Wake County. It's best to get there at least one hour before your desired departure time. And if you go, be prepared. The trains are not air conditioned and there are no bathrooms on the train. Check the website for all the details.
Durham will hold its 2011 Earth Day Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Durham Central Park, 502 Foster St. The streets will be closed around the festival to promote biking, walking and physical activities. There will be a kids zone with hands-on environmental activities such as crafts, science activities and the annual Durham Earth Day Parade. You'll also find live music and more.
The Middle Creek Community Carnival will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Middle Creek High School soccer field, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave., Apex. Admission is $7 for this event, which is raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Kids under 2 are free. The event will include inflatables, an adrenaline rush obstacle course, carnival games, food and more.

There are a couple of opportunities to expose kids to classical musical.

The newly formed Duke Medicine Orchestra, which includes doctors, faculty, staff and students, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baldwin Auditorium on the Duke campus. There will be a reception afterward and kids can talk with symphony players and ask questions. Plus there will be cake!
And the Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle will bring its unique interpretation of classic symphony pieces to Cary on Sunday. It's part of the town's Spring Sertoma Series. The concert is at 3 p.m. at Bond Park's Sertoma Amphitheatre. Admission is free. According to the press release, the Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle is a full orchestra of 60 players who have been prevented from playing music together with others, either through lack of talent or some other factor.
Wake County's Blue Jay Point County Park's annual Songbird Celebration is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The free annual event offers all kinds of information about birds for kids and adults. There are opportunities to learn about birds, bird watching and bird conservation. There are a variety of special programs throughout the day for preschoolers to teens, families and adults only. Register for the programs at the event. Check the website for all the details. Blue Jay Point County Park is in north Raleigh along the shores of Falls Lake. Check back here on Friday for much more about this great park.
Strawberry picking is in full swing. Check our database for details. And Vollmer Farm in Bunn will be offering free hayrides around the farm each Saturday and Sunday from this weekend through May 29. They're 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (they leave on the hour).
Chavis Community Center, 505 MLK Jr. Blvd. in Raleigh, will host a Spring Fest Celebration from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The day includes rides, displays, vendors, food and more.
Marbles Kids Museum will host a Family Field Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The event at the Raleigh museum will include lots of activities including family relays, fair games, water play and more. And at 1 p.m .and 2 p.m. on Sunday, the museum will present selections from Sideways Stories from Wayside School, an upcoming show from the Raleigh Little Theatre. It is based on the bestselling series for elementary kids. I'll have more on the production next week.
Wake Forest's Six Sundays in Spring will kick off Sunday with a performance of Kaptain Dixie's Spud and Suds Band and the Franklin Academy High School Jazz Ensemble. The free series starts at 5 p.m .and is held at Joyner Park, 701 Harris Rd. Great place to take a picnic and relax (no alcohol or unleashed pets). The series continues until June 5.
Melinda Hawkins, mom and owner of Little Inspirations Jewelry, which I featured a few months ago, will be among the vendors at the Wake County Asthma Fair on Saturday. It's from 9 a.m. to noon at the Andrews Conference Center on WakeMed's Raleigh campus, 3024 New Bern Ave. There will be lots of opportunities to learn more about asthma, along with some giveaways and contests. Hawkins and her two daughters both have asthma and she tells me the fair is a great resource for parents who want to learn more about it. Hawkins will be there with her handcrafted awareness jewelry.
Sunday is the last day for Kidzu Children's Museum at its Franklin Street location in Chapel Hill. It will be closed through May and into early June as it makes its move to University Square. The museum is part of a couple of events this weekend, including the Toxic Free Kids Party from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The event is being organized by NC MomsRising and Toxic Free NC. And Kidzu will be at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA, 980 MLK Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill. Check my earlier post for more about Kidzu's move. As always, the museum is free on Sunday.
American Tobacco in Durham is kicking off its series for kids with a special Lego event from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Check my earlier post for details and the other programs that are part of the series.
Carrboro Day is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday in downtown Carrboro. Lots of live music, displays and more.

And if you're in a shopping mood, there are a couple of opportunities.

Little Pros Academy in Morrisville will host a Mother's Day Extravaganza from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the school, 131 Keybridge Dr. There will be a variety of vendors, including Thirty-One, Pampered Chef, Personal Creations, Willowtree and more. There will be snacks and a classroom set up with teachers so kids can play while moms shop.

And Shop for a Cause Craft & Vendor Fair is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Grove Park Chapel, 805 Sherron Rd., Durham. The event raises money for Susie's Family Olympians, a local group that is raising money to participate in the 60-mile Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk in September. Check my earlier post for details on the team and why they're participating. The event will include a variety of vendors along with a play area for kids with face painting, balloon animals, inflatables and more. There will be BBQ plates for sale. Click here for details.