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Weekend plans: Teen opera, First Friday, Elmo, more

Lots to do this weekend starting with a bevy of activities in downtown Raleigh for First Friday.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Here's your weekend family fun ...

It's the first Friday of June so there's lots going on in downtown Raleigh. This is the second month that Marbles Kids Museum is staying open until 8 p.m. for First Friday, the monthly event that showcases galleries, restaurants and museums downtown. The kids can play late at Marbles and maybe catch "Shrek Forever After 3D" on the IMAX screen. The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences stays open until 9 p.m. and features its usual B movie and live music, perhaps a fun activity for middle schoolers and up. This Friday, it's the 1960s flick "The Amazing Transparent Man" at 7 p.m. Both the N.C. Museum of History and Raleigh City Museum stay open until 9 p.m. as well. Bead store Ornamentea in City Market offers a free craft.
Older kids (and I'm guessing some of us moms) also might enjoy checking out the new downtown Raleigh amphitheater's grand opening Friday, which features a free concert starting at 5:20 p.m. that's capped by The Connells at 9:55 p.m. And from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a Family Carnival and Dinner at First Presbyterian Church on Hargett Street. The event raises money for the church's child development center's scholarship fund. There will be food, inflatables, a raffle and more. (And, for full disclosure, this is my daughter's former daycare).
Elmo's Green Thumb, the major Sesame Street Live! show, runs at the RBC Center from Thursday to Sunday. Tickets start at $12.
The African-American Cultural Celebration is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. The ninth annual event, which was rescheduled from January because of the snow, features all kinds of live performances, crafts and more.
Bookmarked! A Celebration of Reading With Children wraps up with a special reading featuring author Judith Viorst, who you might know from her popular book "Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" at 10 a.m. Saturday at Quail Ridge Books on Wade Avenue in Raleigh. Click here for details.
Local singers from Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools will present "One False Move," a one-act opera that deals with peer pressure and bullying among girls in school. The 36-minute opera is followed by a discussion with school counselors. It runs Friday through Sunday at Elizabeth Kenan Theatre on the Carolina campus. Tickets are $10 to $15.
Cary's Annual Dog Days is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Field No. 4 at Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd. You'll see a free Skyhoundz Dog Disc Competition, the Cary Teen Council will hold a dog wash and Cary's animal control will offer a rabies vaccine and microchipping clinic. Pet vendors and adoption agencies will be on hand.
Hundreds will gather at Durham's Burch Avenue Park, 816 Burch Avenue, Saturday to build a brand new playground in one day thanks to the national nonprofit KaBOOM!, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Duke University and the city of Durham. A dedication ceremony to open the playground is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. This will happen rain or shine. And volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, contact Annette Smith at 919-560-4355 or Annette.Smith@durhamnc.gov. Volunteers must be at least 16.
It's the season for free outdoor concerts. Cary's Summer Sertoma Series starts up with a concert by the Triangle Brass Band at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sertoma Amphitheatre at Bond Park. And Raleigh's 2010 Fletcher Concert Series starts up at 6 p.m. Sunday featuring the melodic folk, country and rock stylings of Milagro Saints. The concerts are held at Fletcher Park, 820 Clay St., near downtown Raleigh. (And mark your calendars for Aug. 1 when kids band Sandbox will play).
The great Kids Together Playground at 111 Thurston Dr. in Cary will celebrate its 10th anniversary from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The old-fashioned birthday party will include free crafts, a kids parade and refreshments.
New Hope Valley Railway offers rides again starting at 11 a.m. Sunday. The railway opens up monthly for its hour-long rides, activities and other events in Bonsal in southwestern Wake County. Be sure to check the railway's website for all the information you'll need before you head out there.

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