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Weekend Plans: State Fair, a Handmade Parade, more fall fun

It's a big 11 days of family fun with the State Fair starting Thursday. And there's lots more going on too.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
So it's a big 11 days of family fun with the State Fair starting up Thursday in Raleigh and running through Oct. 24. If you're going, check my earlier State Fair post for tips if you're taking kids. And stay up to date with WRAL's State Fair page too. If you'll be there on Oct. 21 between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., come by and see me at the WRAL booth!

And here's what else is going on:

Lots of fall and Halloween fun on our Halloween and fall fun database.
But of note this weekend: Marbles Kids Museum's Family Fun Night Spooktacular from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday will feature a free after hours event for kids with special needs and their families. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and there will be lots of special activities including a free viewing of the IMAX film "Animalopolis."
And there are the twilight Halloween Tours at the Conservators' Center in Mebane. Registration is required for the evening tours of the nonprofit that preserves threatened species and includes wolves, lions and tigers. Two tours are offered: a 5:30 p.m. child-friendly tour best for kids 6 and up and a 6 p.m. tour for people 12 and up. The 90-minute to two-hour tours provide a unique opportunity to see the animals when they are at their most active. Tour guides will "reverse trick-or-treat" by giving animals some special treats. Portions of the center will be decorated for Halloween. And people are welcome to bring a picnic dinner. The tours are Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. This sounds like a fun and educational twist on Halloween, especially for older kids. Tickets are $25 per person for the general public. Check the website for details and how to register.
Triangle Home Movie Day is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the N.C. State Archives, 109 E. Jones St., in downtown Raleigh. You can bring your own home movies for experts to look at. They'll tell you how best to preserve the films. The event also will feature screenings of some home movies and a Home Movie Day Bingo.
Durham's Unity in the Community Day is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at N.C. Central's Leroy T. Walker Complex at 1801 Fayetteville St. The event marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month and includes free activities such as adaptive sports, entertainment, food, information booths and resources for people with disabilities and more.
Cary Diwali, now in its 10th year, opens at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre and ends with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. The event is free (parking is $5). Diwali is the festival of lights and the event celebrates the various cultures of India. You'll find live music, performances and a cultural bazaar, along with some kids activities (though you'll need to register for those when you get there).
Quail Ridge Books and Music on Wade Avenue in Raleigh will feature a couple stars in the children's book world. At 3 p.m. Saturday, author Kate DiCamillo will visit with her book "Bink & Gollie." You might recognizes DiCamillo from her book "Because of Winn Dixie." Best for kids 5 and up. And at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, will be back with the new "Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique." Feel free to dress up Fancy Nancy style for that one. Best for kids 4 and up.
Saturday is another free day to check out the Nasher Museum of Art. The free admission from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday is part of WXDU's 5th Annual Record Fair. The annual fair is held at the Nasher in celebration of its exhibit "The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl. The fair attracts record and CD dealers from North Carolina and throughout the Southeast. I'm thinking this would be a great outing for some teens out there.
The 2nd Look Boutique in Apex runs Thursday through Saturday and is offering some prizes for people who participate in its Charity Days. Check my earlier post for details. Plus it's one of the few remaining sales this season.
Kids Together Playground in Cary will host its Fall Folliage Walk from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. Little & Little Landscape Architects will lead a guided tour of the trees, shrubs and flowers at the park, followed by an art activity using plant materials collected during the tour. It's free. Refreshments served.
A big event in Hillsborough ... the third annual Hillsborough Handmade Parade starts at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, parades up Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough and ends at the Historic Burwell School. Anyone with a costume or carrying a giant puppet can participate but you need to register. Check the website for details.
The Museum of Life and Science in Durham will be showcasing the "cars of the future" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The X-Prize Cars event will feature the winners of the Progressive X-Prize competition. The futuristic cars can travel more than 100 mph.
Figure skating continues as part of the 2011 South Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships at the Polar Ice House in Wake Forest's The Factory. The event features some of the best skaters in figure skating and is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating. It is one of the last steps to qualify for nationals, which takes place in January. This weekend's events feature the top skaters. It runs Saturday to Tuesday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids ages 6 to 12.
You might remember from my earlier post that Hay Day at the Hills will take over Laurel Hills Park on Edwards Mill Road from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in north Raleigh. The event with inflatables, live entertainment and hayrides, raises money for the planned Sassafras All Children's Playground at Laurel Hills. Admission is free, but some activities will require a ticket purchase.
And the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday as part of Cary's Fall Sertoma Series at Bond Park, 801 High House Rd. The free concert features high school musicians playing both big band and small combo numbers.
And an update: Nintendo and the American Heart Association are teaming up for an invitation-only, free event for men and women ages 18 and up. The event will focus on heart health and include some Wii play, along with healthy snacks and lunch, a panel discussion with heart association affiliated doctors and a goody bag. It is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Raleigh. Space is limited. If you're interested, send an email to allthingsfadra@gmail.com for details.

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