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Weekend Plans: Spring festivals, Mexican music, a Frog Fest, more

I'm starting to sound like a broken record when I say ... lots to do this weekend.

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Taking a moment to smell the flowers
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

I'm starting to sound like a broken record when I say ... lots to do this weekend.

First things - there are a handful of Easter events, including the first appearance of the Easter Bunny at The Streets at Southpoint. Check our database for details. And strawberry season is nearly here! In fact it may be here at your local patch (though most farms are gearing up for the season in a couple of weeks). So check our list and make your plans!
Saturday is Earth Action Day at Southern Community Park in Chapel Hill. From noon to 5 p.m., the free event includes a variety of activities for kids along with efforts to encourage, educate and celebrate sustainable living practices. For the kids, a GPS scavenger hunt will be centered on public art installations throughout the park. It's designed for children and their parents/adults. Kids can use either a handheld GPS guide or a map. The library will be there with books and crafts. And Piedmont Wildlife Center will show kids how to handle animals properly. You'll also see plenty of demonstrations, lots of art and more.
Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh will hold its Spring Extravaganza from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Prairie Ridge is the environmental field station for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. The free event includes a spring scavenger hunt with maps and clues to find signs of spring; a kite flying festival where you're invited to bring your own kite or make one to take home; and a 10:30 a.m. storytime in the outdoor amphitheater. There also will be an 11:30 a.m. parade of roaming gnomes and prairie fairies. You can decorate yourself for that at the ecostation's outdoor classroom. Trails are natural so it's best for off-road strollers if you're going to bring one.
Project Enlightenment at 501 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh, will celebrate more than 40 years of service with Project Safari from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. You'll find safari-themed crafts by the Scrap Exchange, face painting, music, and more all culminating in a children's parade at 11:30 a.m. Bring your bikes, trikes and wagons for that. A suggested donation for the event is $5 per family. See my earlier post for details.
The ArtsCenter in Carrboro will host Sones de Mexico Ensemble at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Grammy-nominated group is made up of six musicians, who play 70 different acoustic instruments and demonstrate different dances throughout their performances. The group also is working in local schools this week in Orange, Durham and Chatham counties. The morning show is geared toward families and will feature music from the group's album Fiesta Mexicana, along with dancing and folklore from different regions in Mexico. Tickets for the morning show are $7 for all seats. Kids 2 and under are admitted free. Tickets for the evening performance are $12 in advance and $14 at the door.
Born to be Wild 3D opens at the Wachovia IMAX Theatre at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh on Friday (which is an early release day for many of us in Wake County schools). The G-rated, 40-minute movie is narrated by Morgan Freeman and follows the lives of young orphaned elephants and orangutans. Marbles also has teamed up with the N.C. Zoo to offer some special programs at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday at the theater.
The N.C. Museum of Art keeps up its busy schedule of family activities with 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. shows Saturday featuring Hansel and Gretel from the N.C. Theatre for Young People. Tickets are $3. And there are drop-in crafts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (no ticket required for those). The museum also will have weekend family tours for kids ages 5 to 10 and their adults at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Crowder District Park in Apex holds its 12th Annual Frog Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (note the time change from previous years). You'll find all kinds of frog-related fun with games, crafts, entertainment and exhibits. Lots going on so check the website for details and a full schedule.
Tracey Gurley of Tracey Gurley Bath and Body will be at the Raleigh Moravian Church's Spring Fling on Ridge Road in Raleigh. It's from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. You'll find Tracey's all natural products, along with other crafts, flowers and more. Tracey was featured in our Made by Mom Gift Guide over the holidays.
Shrek: The Musical continues at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Sunday. Tickets start at $24.
There are consignment sales in Clayton and Goldsboro. See my earlier post for details.
And we have a couple of grand openings this weekend. Uptown Kids Consignment Store at Falls River Town Center in north Raeigh is expanding to include more clothes, including maternity clothes. Special activities are planned Saturday. And Bull City Craft, 2501 University Dr., in Durham also is opening with simple crafts for kids and other activities on Saturday.
You can make and take your own scrap doll during the informal Make It, Take It: Scrap Doll at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. It's from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Kids can make a simple doll from fabric scraps.
In Durham, the Art Walk is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Durham Centre Plaza, 300 W. Morgan St. Lots of art, music and more.
The N.C. Renaissance Faire continues this weekend at Poplar Creek Village, 7633 Poole Rd., in Knightdale. You'll see brave knights, beautiful princesses and of course the queen, along with jousting and lots of vendors selling their wares. The faire runs this Saturday and Sunday and next weekend. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for kids ages 5 to 12 and seniors 65 and up.
Viva Raleigh Festival is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m,. Saturday at Spring Forest Road Park, 4203 Spring Forest Rd., in north Raleigh. The event is free and open to the public. The goal is to connect members of the Hispanic-Latino community with agencies and services to help improve their quality of life. There will be entertainment for kids, including face painting, crafts, games, a bounce house and more. Thanks to Carolyn Zahnow, author of Save The Teens, which is about her son's suicide, for telling me about this one. She plans to be there.
There are just a couple more weeks left of the special exhibit Animal Grossology at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. It closes April 24. And from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, the museum is offering an incentive. The first 200 people to volunteer to have somebody swab their belly buttons to find out what's growing in there will receive $2 off admission to the exhibit. All you have to do is lift your shirt, let a member of the museum's team swab your belly button and you'll get the photographic results (in color!) of what's in there.
Plenty happening at Duke Gardens in Durham this time of year in addition to all the gorgeous blooms. The Nature Ranger Cart is open from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays with free activities for kids. The gardens also offers a Friday morning program for kids ages 3 to 5 starting Friday called Nature for Sprouts. It's $6 per class and incorporates stories, movement, music, outdoor exploration and creative projects. It's from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. And there is a nature story time from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday for kids ages 3 to 8. That's $3 per child. This week's book is "Who's Garden is It." Kids will plant seeds to take home. Pre-registration is required for the Nature for Sprouts and storytime. Call 668-1707 to register. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were three spots left in the Nature for Sprouts program and 10 in the storytime. Click here for details about all of the gardens' children's programming.
Asbury Preschool will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. It's at 6612 Creedmoor Rd. in Raleigh. Tickets are $5 each and available at the door. It is raising money to provide financial assistance for kids who could not otherwise afford preschool. Call 919-846-4773 for details.
The Nasher Museum of Art in Durham will hold one of its regular free family days from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There will be gallery hunts. Kids can make musical instruments from recycled materials, design hanging word art and create postcards. Music Explorium will host live drum circles throughout the afternoon. Activities are designed for kids ages 3 to 12, but all ages are welcome.

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