16 Fun Things to Do This Weekend (Sept 16-18)

Free Festivals Offer Kids Activities


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Photo courtesy of SPARKcon

Take your pick of fun events this weekend (Sept. 16-18), from a celebration of bugs to festivities that showcase art and design. Festivals invite folks to step back in time and to soak in the music, food and culture of places near and far.

1. SPARKcon, a free annual festival of creativity, art and design, Sept. 15-18 in downtown Raleigh, features dance, fashion, film, music, fine arts, theater, kids’ activities, exhibits and more. 

2. Bugfest, a free annual festival, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh reveals the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy more than 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities, live bands and sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. 

Photo courtesy of Wral.com

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3. CenterFest Arts Festival, Sept. 17-18 in downtown Durham, is a fine arts celebration that, this year, features the work of more than 145 juried visual artists for visitors to browse and shop. View six stages of music, dance and entertainment; enjoy locally-sourced foods and international cuisine; and explore a Kids Zone with hands-on arts activities and entertainment. The suggested donation is $5. Admission is free for ages 12 and younger. 

4. The free Dragon Boat Festival, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, harkens back to a 2,300-year-old Chinese legend that inspired dragon boat racing. The Cary celebration features dragon boat racing on Symphony Lake, cultural performances, international food and activities. 

5. Tar Heel Downtown, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in downtown Chapel Hill, invites Carolina football fans to celebrate before the season’s first kickoff. Enjoy a live concert with Big Fat Gap and Marching Tar Heels performances. Take your kids to enjoy activities and face painting, and to meet the Tar Heel mascot, Rameses.

6. The Fall Harvest Celebration, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 at Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh, offers a free, fun-filled step back in time. Enjoy games, old-time toys and races, live performances, community displays, hand-craft demonstrations, make-and-take crafts, antique vehicle and tool displays, food vendors and more. 

7. The historic Duke Homestead in Durham invites kids and their families to “What’s Growing in the Garden,” free history-themed activities and crafts, 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 17.

8. The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, 1-5 p.m., Sept. 17-18, is an annual tour to organic produce farms offered this year by car, bus or bicycle. Go on your own self-guided tour to see baby barn animals, taste artisan goat cheese, enjoy farm-fresh foods and take home goods like pasture-raised meats, freshly laid eggs, gourmet mushrooms, cut flowers and sustainably grown vegetables.

Photo COURTESY OF Holly Henderson Bourne

9. Oktoberfest at Lafayette Village, noon-5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at Lafayette Village in Raleigh is a free German-inspired festival featuring food, live music from the Polka Plus Band, Weiner (Dachshund) dog races to benefit a local pet rescue and more. 

10. The Mama Afrika Festival, 1-8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18 in Durham, features live performances, a fashion show, face painting, a kids zone, food, workshops and more. Tickets are $20 and $35 (VIP admission). 

Photo courtesy of Mama Afrika Festival

11. Enjoy a free outdoor concert, 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16 at Northgate Mall, through Northgate Mall’s Music on the Plaza series in Durham. Listen to trumpeter, arranger and composer Al Strong and friends performing jazz with mixtures of rock, rhythm and blues, and world music to celebrate the nonprofit's Art of Cool's 5th year. 

12. Carnaval Latino, 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, in Garner is a free celebration of Latino culture, featuring live music, children's craft booths, face painting and a piñata giveaway. Savor Latin foods from local food trucks and browse the work of local artists and businesses. 

13. Carolina Parent and the Museum of Life and Science — an interactive science park in Durham — invite you and your kids to explore the “Curiosity Trail” on the museum’s 84-acre campus through Sept. 30. The trail offers a way to see the museum from new perspectives as you search for clues and solve puzzles, and you could win prizes. The "Curiosity Trail is free with when you buy admission to the museum.

ADAM KISSICK PHOTOGRAPHY, MUSEUM OF LIFE AND SCIENCE

 

14. The Durham Arts Council’s “Third Friday” in Durham welcomes all to head out to explore art galleries and listen to live music, 6-11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16. 

15. The Antique Road Extravaganza at Carillon Assisted Living in Durham benefits Keep Durham Beautiful, 1-4 pm, Saturday, Sept. 17, and offers a chance for the public to get items evaluated by antique appraisers on site. Enjoy old-time refreshments while learning about Keep Durham Beautiful programs. Advanced tickets are $10 per item to be evaluated and $25 at the door. Limit of two tickets per person. 

16. Creedmore Music Festival, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. features live music, food and craft vendors and kids activities. The festival is on main street in Creedmore and is free. 

Calling Pokemon Fans for a Zoo Day Trip

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, is extending its hours to host a Pokemon Go Evening Safari Saturday, Sept. 17, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a $5 admission fee beginning at 4 p.m. Proceeds go to support the North Carolina Zoo's conservation efforts to preserve wild animals and wild places from extinction. The zoo features more than 30 accessible PokeStops and eight gyms. Zoo staff will place Lures at PokeStops throughout the event. Enjoy live animal ambassador encounters and a chance to win prizes.  Food and gift venues will be open and transportation will be available around the park.

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About this Blog

News, Fun, Deals

Parenting news, opinions, family fun, free offers

About This Blog

Karen Lewis Taylor is a freelance writer and editor and lifelong resident of the Triangle. A former English teacher and student publication advisor, she has written for numerous local and regional publications. Karen will blog about family fun in the Triangle — including freebies and news that matters to local parents. Check our home page on Thursdays to see her weekend family fun planner post. Karen lives in Apex with her husband and two daughters. 

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Calendar

June 2017

Bee populations are in decline in North America. Learn how to attract pollinators to your very own pollinator hotel. Discover why pollinator hotels are important and how to create pollinator...

Cost: $30 (Tuition + Materials)

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: The Scrap Exchange
Telephone: 191-921-31278
Contact Name: Anna Graves
Website »

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Watch a brief slideshow and explore the inner workings of the mill. All ages. Online registration encouraged.

Cost: $5/adult, $3 ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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he Durham Bulls host a Touch A Truck event in conjunction with local public safety agencies. The event will precede the team’s game that evening at 5:05 p.m. Blackwell Street,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Children with disabilities discover what's happening in nature on a stroll through Hemlock Bluffs. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #104850.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Take the family for a drop-in creative workshop for kids ages 5-10. Free with admission.

Cost: Free with admission. Free for ages 15 and younger

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
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Learn how to help your baby excel in motor development. This class focuses on standing/walking and offers a variety of ways to help your baby master motor development. Register online.

Cost: $15

Where:
Baby + Co
226 Ashville Ave.
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Ages 5-12 learn about healthy fruits and vegetables, kitchen and food safety, and enjoy a healthy snack. Meet in the bakery side of the cafe. Email sherry.thrasher@wholefoods.com to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods North Raleigh
8710 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Telephone: 919-354-0350
Contact Name: Sherry Thrasher

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Ages 3-6 enjoy fun games and drills. Call to RSVP.  

Cost: $5/child

Where:
Fitness4Life
6701 Glenwood Ave.
Suite 103
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Sponsor: Fitness4Life
Telephone: 919-787-2250
Contact Name: George Whitten
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Learn about rocks and soil by digging in the dirt. Find hidden rock treasures, make a mud painting, and plant a seed to take home and grow. Dress to get dirty. Ages 3-5 with an accompanying adult....

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
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Join others for an easy-paced walk along the greenway accompanied by a naturalist. Registration encouraged. Choose course #203541.

Cost: Free

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Listen to nature-themed books and enjoy hands-on explorations in the garden. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Register online.

Cost: $3/child

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Sponsor: North Carolia Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3370
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
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Ages 6-8 investigate the habitats and behaviors of some of the mammals that call the nature preserve “home.”  Dressed for outdoor fun.  Register online....

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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Safe Kids North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Insurance demonstrate how quickly temperatures rise in parked vehicles. The event will also showcase new technologies that help parents...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wake County Public Health Center
10 Sunnybrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Parents of children ages 3-18 months learn how to prepare quick and easy meals for their little one, learn about weaning and when to transition into the next nutritional step....

Cost: Free

Where:
Guidepost Montessori at Spruce Tree
12600 Spruce Tree Way
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: Guidepost Montessori at Spruce Tree
Telephone: (919) 825-1771
Contact Name: Holly Vincitorio
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Attend a private pop-up event with Songs for Seeds at SnickerDoodles. Enjoy a concert plus 30-minutes of private use of play space for all attendees. Ages infant-6. Call to...

Cost: $15 per child and $10 for each additional sibling

Where:
SnickerDoodles
3721 Lynn Road, #112
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Sponsor: songs for seeds
Telephone: 984.219.2022
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Learn about beetles with a craft, games, stories and a guided walk through the wetland. Ages 2-6. Register online. Choose course #203552. 

Cost: $3

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

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A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Hear the Grammy-winning band based in the North Carolina mountains take to the stage with the North Carolina Symphony.  Purchase tickets online. Kids 12 and younger admitted free on...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC
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Join bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​ Meet at the Waterwise Garden.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Enjoy storytime with a community farm member, a book swap via Little Free Library, and free play in a natural playground.   

Cost: Free

Where:
The Community Farm at Camp Chestnut Ridge
2902 Mount Willing Rd.
Efland, NC  27243
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Contact Name: Sandy Straw
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Summerfest Celebration features an autograph session, inflatables, games, free giveaways, guest speakers from the Hurricanes, appearances by Stormy and the Pepsi Storm Squad, discounted...

Cost: Free

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Celebrate the wonderful world of exotic animals and reptiles. Enjoy live specimens, presentations, raffles, vendors and much more. Purchase tickets online.  

Cost: $12 ages 13 and older, $5 ages 5-12.

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds, Kerr Scott Building
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Website »

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The 38th Annual Festival for the Eno features over 65 music performances, a juried craft show, interactive arts, environmental and backyard farming demonstrations, a wide variety of local food...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
West Point on the Eno
5101 N Roxboro Road
Durham, NC  27712
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Website »

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In this new book from acclaimed author Ryan T. Higgins, all Rupert the Mouse wants is to star in a beautiful, wordless picture book. He has plenty of ideas about what makes a great book, but his...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble Cary
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Telephone: 919-467-3866
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American Dance Festival favorite Pilobolus returns. "On the Nature of Things" explores the birth of desire and its intertwined connection to shame and revenge....

Cost: $16/person

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian Street
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: American Dance Festival
Telephone: 919-684-6402
Contact Name: Mollie O'Reilly
Website »

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Explore the historic nature of Leigh Farm Park with a friendly guide. Venture inside the historic farmhouse while being captivated by tales about life at Leigh Farm throughout the years.

Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Durham Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 919-560-1116
Contact Name: Natalya Buckel
Website »

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Hear the music of U2 performed by the North Carolina Symphony. Purchase tickets online. Kids 12 and younger admitted free on the lawn. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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