Enjoy Spring Getaways at Museums and Historic Sites
Is your family on a tight budget this spring? The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is offering wonderful escapes that are free or inexpensive and combine fun with learning. The getaways take place at the state's historic sites and museums and are broken into three regions: Eastern, Piedmont and Western North Carolina.
The Aycock Birthplace, in Fremont, N.C., for instance, is offering free Living History Wednesdays on April 4 and 18. The program let you see what chores were really like with butter or lye soap making, corn grinding, and candle making in the tradition of the 1870s. They run from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on both days.
The N.C. Transportation Museum, in Spencer, N.C, is also offering a series of fun train rides. Take a look:
On April 3-5, Spring Fever Train Rides Special train rides will be offered during the spring vacation surrounding the Easter holiday. Trains will run at 11 a.m., 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Train rides are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and active military and $6 for children 3-12. The price includes museum admission. Ages 2 and under are free.
On April 6, take the Easter Bunny Express. The Easter Bunny will ride alongside children and their parents, while handing out candy for the kids. Kids can also get temporary tattoos and make a craft to take home! Tickets are $12/person ages 3 and up (includes train ride and museum admission). Kids 2 and under are free.
On April 7, enjoy a ride on the Easter Bunny Express, an Easter Egg Hunt and hop aboard the Double-Heading Steam Caboose Train! The Easter egg hunt happens at 12:30 p.m. for kids 10 and under. In addition to the Easter Bunny Express train rides, the event will also feature the Lehigh Valley Steam Locomotive #126 AND the Flagg Coal #75 pulling the Caboose Train - a double head of steam! Ride either train with your $12 Easter Bunny Express ticket or ride both for $18/person.
On April 10-13, Spring Fever Train Rides Special train rides will be offered during the Spring vacation surrounding the Easter holiday. Trains will run at 11 a.m., 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Train rides are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and active military and $6 for children 3-12. Price includes museum admission. Ages 2 and under are free.
If you have a little pirate in the family, you might venture down to the Museum of the Cape Fear, in Fayetteville, N.C., from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. April 10-14, for Pirate Week Fun. In conjunction with a small exhibit of artifacts from the shipwreck of Blackbeard's flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, the museum will host a free week of activities, including making a pirate hat or flag to keep, a costume contest, scavenger hunt, trivia contest, and a "Where's Blackbeard" figure to find. See this link for details.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in Raleigh, will also be opening its Nature Research Center, which an opening ceremony that runs 24 hours, from 5 p.m. April 20, through 5 p.m. April 21. Take the kids to explore all three of the center's investigative labs, do hands-on research and help scientists collect data in the Citizen Science Center. Learn more in this article.
The North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is hosting a free Spring Family Festival starting at 3 p.m. April 22. The program includes a celebration of the work of children's book author/illustrator Ashley Bryan, as well as music making, art workshops, singing and dancing.
Feeling lucky? Take the family to see if you can strike it rich by discovering gold nuggets at Reed Gold Mine, in Midland, N.C. through October. You can also view exhibits, tour underground gold mines and see a rock crushing demonstration at the stamp mill. Panning tickets are $2, tours are free.
This week you can also find Easter Egg hunts at Triangle-area towns.
In April, you can also enjoy outdoor music festivals, many of which cater to families by presenting a variety of activities and performances for the younger set.