26 Family-Friendly Festivals and Fairs in May
Celebrate Artsplosure's 37th anniversary May 19-21 in downtown Raleigh.
Photo courtesy of Artsplosure
May 4 – Raleigh Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Strawberries, games, ice cream and more take center stage at the Raleigh Farmers Market.
May 4-7 – Shakori Hills, 1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro. See website for fees and hours. Take the family for live music, craft and food vendors, storytelling, face painting, a climbing wall and more. Children 12 and younger not admitted without an adult.
May 6 – Downtown Apex. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Arts and crafts, food, music and kids entertainment highlight the Town of Apex’s annual spring festival.
May 6 – Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Dr., Durham. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Man’s best friend is celebrated with dog-related activities, competitions, pet-friendly vendors and food trucks.
May 6 – Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro. 1-5 p.m. Free. Celebrate the unique qualities that make Carrboro special. Enjoy stories and photos, poetry readings, music and dancing, interactive field games, crafts, family activities and more.
May 6 – Carrboro Elementary School, 400 Shelton St., Carrboro. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Tale the family for games, a silent auction, bounce houses, an archery competition, face painting and more.
May 6 – WakeMed Andrews Conference Center, 3024 New Bern Ave., Raleigh. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. Enjoy prize drawings and educational sessions provided by physicians from 10 a.m.-noon in English and Spanish, as well as spirometry tests and device training. Kids can take part in educational games and teddy bear physical examinations.
May 6 – The Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Learn how to start an herb garden by touring Anne B. Kratzer Educational Garden, including a close-up look at the historic 1850 Page smokehouse. Enjoy vendors, crafts, live music and butterfly releases at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. All ages.
May 6 – Downtown Smithfield. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. The Ham & Yam Festival offers craft and food vendors, country ham and sweet potatoes, and local bands and dance groups performing on three stages. A barbecue cook-off, rubber duck race, 5K and the popular “What’s That Yam Thing?” contest round out the fun.
May 6 – Wake Forest Town Hall, Brooks Street Parking Lot. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Kids ages 5-14 benefit from free bicycle inspections and learn safe riding techniques in an obstacle course. A signed waiver is required. Adult participants can learn the ABCs of bicycling, preparing a bike to be road ready, as well as proper bike clothing, safety tips and techniques. Take a helmet.
May 6 – Old North Durham Park, 310 W. Geer St., Durham. Noon-4 p.m. Free. Enjoy all things strawberry at this annual festival. Proceeds benefit Central Park School for Children.
May 6 – Downtown Wake Forest. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Wake Forest comes alive with artisan booths, multiple entertainment venues, food trucks, live music and children’s activities.
May 6-7 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Holshouser Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., May 6; and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m., May 7. $5/person per day. Free for ages 12 and younger. Spend the day with holistic and intuitive healing experts, craft artisans, natural and sustainable products, an eco village, live music, food and more. Kids can enjoy an interactive area with outdoor activities, storytelling and a healing space.
May 7 – Laurel Hills Community Center, 3808 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m. $10-$25. Outdoor activities and performances, a bouncy village, face painting and an exhibition by the Governor Morehead School Goal Ball Team highlight this festival designed to bring sighted and visually impaired children together. Proceeds fund eyeglasses, therapy equipment and Braille learning tools, and support The Exploration Learning Center, which offers preschool, camps and classes for visually impaired children in the Triangle. Hosted by the Bryce Martin Foundation.
May 13 – Morrisville Town Hall Campus, Town Hall Dr., Morrisville. 4-9 p.m. Free. Celebrate the arrival of spring with live entertainment, carnival-style games, live performances, inflatables, craft vendors, food trucks and more.
May 13 – Town Hall Campus, 316 N. Academy St., Cary. Noon-6:30 p.m. Free. Latino culture is showcased through music, dance and visual arts. Craft vendors, authentic cuisine and kids’ activities round out the fun.
May 13 – Bass Lake Park, 900 Bass Lake Rd., Holly Springs. 1-4 p.m. Free. Enjoy carnival games, crafts, live animals and live music. Meet tortoises and other reptiles. Talk to biologists and wildlife rehabilitators.
May 19-21 – Downtown Raleigh. See website for hours. Free. Celebrate Artsplosure’s 37th anniversary with exhibitors, interactive installations, live performances, a student art exhibition and more.
May 19-21 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. Gate admission and parking are free; see website for carnival wristband fees and hours. The Triangle’s annual agricultural festival showcases animals, homegrown food, family entertainment, music, antique farm equipment, carnival rides and more.
May 20 – Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Celebrate the birthdays of the park’s goats with cake, ice cream, children’s activities and games.
May 20 – Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Dr., Durham. Noon-8 p.m. Free. A Durham for 47 years, this family-oriented event is a celebration of African and African-American history, culture, arts and traditions.
May 20 – USA Baseball National Training Complex, 7445 Green Hope School Rd., Cary. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Spend the day at West Cary’s own festival featuring an arts and crafts village, a KidZone and a food truck rodeo. Enter a horseshoe contest or a pie-eating contest.
May 20 – Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Learn about the longleaf pine’s history and ecosystem with more than 35 agencies and organizations. Enjoy hands-on educational exhibits, live animals, fun games, crafts and wagon rides to the longleaf forest. All ages.
May 20 – Various locations in Raleigh, Cary and Apex. $10-20. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tour local chicken coops, beehives and gardens. Enjoy food trucks, live music and animal demonstrations at select coop locations. Purchase tickets online.
May 20 – Downtown Park and S. Academy St., Cary. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. See the cars of yesteryear along with modern hot rods and exotic cars. Children can touch, climb on and ask operators about their favorite vehicles and heavy machinery.
May 27 – New Hope Valley Railway, 3900 Bonsal Rd., New Hill. 7 p.m. $12/adult, $10/child. Take the family for a ride in an open train car and enjoy ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, kids’ activities, music and more. Purchase tickets online.