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Weekend Plans Thanksgiving Edition: Shopping, ballet, holiday lights and more

If you don't plan to hit the malls this weekend, there's still plenty to do. Your weekend family fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Best Pumpkin Pie
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Happy Thanksgiving!

For many of you, shopping is on the agenda this weekend. Be sure to check in with Faye Prosser, WRAL's Smart Shopper, and WRAL's Black Friday deals page to learn about all of the deals and shopping tips before you head out to the stores.

If you don't plan to hit the malls, here are some other ideas for family fun activities this weekend:

Work up an appetite at the Gobbler's Run in Wake Forest on Thanksgiving. The 5K through downtown Wake Forest raises money for the Boys & Girls Club. It starts at 8 a.m. and is open to runners and walkers of all ages. Pets and strollers are welcome.
The Carolina Ballet opened Pinocchio, this season's first Family Series performance, on Wednesday. It runs through Sunday. The family-friendly ballet at Raleigh's Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts features the classic story of the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy. Best for kids ages 4 and up and their families. Tickets start at $20.
The N.C. Symphony will feature Holiday Pops with the Broadway Tenors on Friday and Saturday, including a 3 p.m. performance Saturday. The concert features wintertime favorities and some show tunes. Tickets start around $30 for the concert at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh.
Paperhand Puppet Intervention will present "Love and Robots! A Puppet Rock Opera in zeros and ones" Friday through Sunday at the Burning Coal Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Performances include a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. The performance features the amazing, award-winning puppets from Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a local favorite. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and seniors and $10 for kids ages 4 to 14.
Two of the region's major light shows open Friday. Santa's Holiday Light Show takes over 401 Par Golf in south Raleigh and is new this year. Read my earlier post for details. And Lights on the Neuse, which includes a 30-minute hayride through a "lights extravaganza," a 3D Christmas house, a candy store and a visit with Santa, opens in Clayton. Meadow Lights in Johnston County and Lake Myra Christmas in Raleigh opened last weekend.
Holiday Springs and Sprockets: Art that Moves by Steve Gerberich returns to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. The exhibit features five large mechanical themed sculptures including Santa's flying reindeer. The newest addition is a 17-foot holiday train made of barrels and oil burners. The exhibit opened Tuesday and runs to Jan. 2. Free with admission to the museum.
Ornamentea at 509 N. West St. near downtown Raleigh holds its 5th annual Elf Workshop. Kids can make gifts for mom, dad, siblings, teachers and friends. All projects cost $2 and will be wrapped and ready to give. Drop in any time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Each gift takes about 20 minutes to make.

Join us for our 5th Annual Elf Workshop where little ones can make gifts for Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, teachers and neighbors. All projects are top secret, cost $2 each and will be wrapped and ready to give! Ornamentea Elves will be assisting in the fun, so drop in anytime Friday, November 26 from 10a - 2p. Each gift takes about 20 minutes to make.

If you're up for a drive or you live in Fayetteville (and I know some of you do), A Dickens Holiday takes over downtown Fayetteville from 1 p.m.  to 9 p.m. Friday. There will be horse drawn carriages up and down Hay Street, visits with Santa (or as they say Father Christmas), costumed carolers and musicians, a gingerbread competition and much more. Gather in front of the Arts Council for a candlelight procession to the Market House, followed  by fireworks. The event's website even gives you tips on dressing up Dickens style.
Work off all that turkey at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Marbles' Family Fit series will feature Zumba, the popular fitness dance activity. Free with admission.
Chapel Hill's downtown tree lighting ceremony is at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church. There will be caroling, free pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more. The church is at 100 S. Columbia St. at the corner of Columbia and Franklin streets. Parking is free downtown on Sundays.
There are three events at the N.C. State Fairgrounds off Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. The Christmas Carousel Holiday Festival with holiday music, Santa, cooking demonstrations, craffts and lots of items for sale, runs Friday through Sunday. The 41st annual Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fine Crafts Show also is Friday through Sunday. And the Tarheel Triangle Cat Fanciers' "Paws for Thanks," an all-breed championship and household pet cat show is Saturday. For more information on all of these events, click here and then scroll down the page to find them. Also of note, the regular Raleigh Flea Market at the Fairgrounds will be open Friday through Sunday this weekend. It's open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
I suspect that this will be a big weekend for some of the state museum's special exhibits as we all look for ways to entertain out-of-town guests. There's the George Washington exhibit at the history museum, Animal Grossology at the natural sciences museum and five new exhibitions, including the Norman Rockwell and children's book illustrations exhibits, at the art museum. The art museum wil have some special music at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Saturday. The free performance features musician David Giuseppe playing songs from North Carolina and American traditions.
And WRAL is forecasting a cool, but sunny weekend. I love visiting parks this time of year. Check out reviews of more than 20 parks in the region. And check back on Friday for a review of Duke Park.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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