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Weekend Plans: State Fair, pumpkin patches, improv for kids, much more!

It's a big weekend for family fun with the State Fair opening Thursday, pumpkin patches in full swing and much more. Your weekend family fun!

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Transactors Improv: For Families
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
The N.C. State Fair is here! Check my post this week with all kinds of tips and ideas if you’re going with kids. WRAL.com also has a State Fair blog with lots of great information. The fair in Raleigh opens Thursday afternoon and continues until next weekend.
It’s high season for pumpkin patches and haunted houses too. Check our database for all kinds of Halloween and fall fun. Couple of things to point out: In Durham, the Museum of Life and Science’s Pumpkin Patch Express is running for the second weekend. And I’ll have a post about Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville on Friday too.
And, of course, there’s more fun to keep you and the kids occupied. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas.

Here’s your weekend family fun!

Transactors Improv Company will offer up some family-friendly improv during its Transactors for Families: Halloweeneen Eve at 7 p.m., Friday, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Best for kids in elementary through middle school and their families, the theme is Halloween and general spookiness. Everything is made up on the spot and the content is appropriate for kids. Transactors, a long-time favorite on the local improv scene, started out as a children’s theater and has performed in schools across the southeast. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 the day of.
The Streets at Southpoint in Durham will celebrate local schools with special events from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, in the center court and food court. Schools from around the Triangle will showcase their best in an effort to raise money and awareness for their school.
The N.C. Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill will host a reception with author/illustrator Bob Palmatier from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Palmatier writes and illustrates children’s books. He’ll have an exhibit of paintings from his Endangered North American Turtle Series on display through Oct. 29 at the garden. The display includes notes with each painting that identifies and discusses the plants pictured, making it a great opportunity to talk about native plants and habitats with your kids. No need to register for this free event. It also provides families one more reason to head over to this beautiful place.
We have three sales that feature items for kids in Apex, Cary and Chapel Hill. Check my earlier post for details.
Blue Jay Point County Park, which sits north of Raleigh on Falls Lake, will celebrate the opening of its new natural play area from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Learn more about this new trend in children’s play while your kids have fun playing in “sandy hollow” or hopping on the “stump jump.” There will be cookies and face painting, along with a story walk and woodland bingo. This is best for ages 8 and under with parent. It’s free. No registration is required. The new play area sits near the park’s traditional playground. Just follow the signs. Natural play areas focus on pieces that are made using natural materials, including stumps that kids can jump between or a teeter totter made of logs, that allow for free and creative play.
Saturday is Chemistry Day at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.,m., Saturday, the downtown Raleigh museum will offer chemistry-related exhibits, displays, special presentations and experiments. The event is for all ages, but is particularly designed to inform aspiring young scientists about careers in chemistry and local opportunities to get involved with others who share their interests. The focus this year is the science of building machines at a subatomic level. It’s free.
Cary’s Applause! Youth Theatre will present Liza and the Riddling Cave, an award-winning Appalachian adventure that teaches tolerance and acceptance, and celebrates individuality and the magic created by families. In the story, Liza, who uses sign language to communicate, channels her extraordinary talent for solving riddles to locate her missing father. The performance runs Friday to Sunday at various times at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave.. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $8 for students and seniors. For the first time, the group will offer a special Saturday matinee with additional accessibility options, including audio description for the visually impaired, workshops for the audience to learn sign language used in the play and understand what happens behind the scenes of a production, and an opportunity to ask questions after the show. As always, there will be assisted listening devices for the hearing impaired too.

We have festivals, benefits, walks and runs:

In downtown Fuquay-Varina, Fall for the Arts is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday. The free festival includes live music, an artist and crafters market, a picker’s circle, museum tours, a bounce house, a vintage Volkswagon cruise-in and special activities for kids and adults.
The Cooke Street Carnival near downtown Raleigh is 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday. You’ll find food, music, artists, vendors, games and activities for kids at this free event.
The first Global Fare street festival is set for Raleigh’s Glenwood South area between West Jones and Tucker streets from noon to 6 p.m. The family-friendly event highlights a variety of ethnic cuisines, boutiques and music venues on Glenwood South. There will be an Iron Chef restaurant competition, international street performances, a Cabbage Patch children’s venue and more.
The Triangle Run Walk for Autism is Saturday morning in Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. Online registration is closed, but there are still opportunities to sign up, including on site Saturday morning. The event includes a 5K, one-mile run or walk and a dash for kids.
In Durham, the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoes Walk is Saturday morning at the Woodcroft Shopping Center. The event includes a one-mile family fun walk around the Woodcroft neighborhood, along with prizes for the best red shoes, a raffle, inflatables and more. Donations benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Durham directly.
The third annual Kids Rock Benefit for Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool is 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday. The schedule features Flying Hippo, The Atomic Rhythm All-Stars, John Saylor and Tim Smith, along with special activities for kids. Find it all at the Forest Theatre on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are $7.
The fifth annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, at Briar Chapel Community Park. The event celebrates the food and drinks made from the Piedmont’s sustainable farmers, chefs, brewers and artisans. Kids 12 and under are admitted free.

And we’re not done yet:

Nab some bargains at the Friends of the Durham Library’s fall book sale at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. Paperbacks begin at 50 cents and hardbacks at $1. You’ll also find audiobooks, CDs and DVDs. Some items are in “gift-giving” condition. It’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday (for the $7 bag sale).
The Waterlilies will play Broad Street Cafe in Durham at 4:30 p.m., Sunday. The free concert is part of the cafe’s great kids series.
The North Durham Public Library Chess Club will present a Chess Expo at Barnes and Noble in Brier Creek in north Raleigh from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. The event includes free chess lessons, an expert playing 10 players at once, quick play and mini tournaments and information about local and national clubs and organizations.

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