Flying Solo


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More than a million children will fly alone this year, with the majority flying during the summer. Most children travel to visit noncustodial parents, relatives or to attend residential camps. Nearly 100,000 unaccompanied minors traveled with U.S. Airways in 2007, and Northwest Airlines transported 146,000 children last year. Flying alone is both exciting and scary, but with some preparation and advice, it can be a great experience. Here’s what you should know to prepare your child (and yourself) for her first solo flight. Airline policies In general, children younger than 5 are not allowed to travel unaccompanied. Children ages 5 to 7 may fly alone, but only on nonstop flights with the exception of Delta, which allows connections. Youth ages 8 to 14 can take connecting flights on the same airline. To make sure kids arrive safely, airlines offer an unaccompanied minor program. The service is required for children younger than 15, but it can be requested for young adults ages 15 to 17 on most airlines. Preparing for the trip If possible, take your child to the airport before her first time flying alone. Information is the key to helping her feel confident. Show her the security checkpoint, explain what will happen and point out uniformed personnel from the airline she’s booked on. Watch planes take off and land. Also go over common concerns she might have while in the air. For example, when is it okay to leave your seat and go to the bathroom? Where is the motion sickness bag? What is turbulence? Get your child excited about the journey. Give an older child a camera and a list of items to find and photograph for a photo safari. Or have him describe the details of his trip in a fun, colorful journal. Be upbeat and positive, and make it seem like an adventure. What to pack Create an information packet for your child that includes all flight information, contact information for yourself and the person picking up your child, and emergency numbers in case you can’t be reached. “Make sure they have plenty to occupy them, and make them hit the bathroom before the flight,” recommends Kia Slade, a Raleigh mom whose daughter, Lindsay, first flew solo to visit her grandparents when she was 7. Pack a carry-on with snacks, quiet toys, books and crayons. Give your child a small amount of cash so he can purchase some food at the airport or during the flight. “We recommend that the child have a cell phone with them while traveling, just in case,” says Darcy Grimes, manager of travel marketing for AAA Carolinas. “We have had children who were not met on their connection, and we were able to walk them through the connecting process this way via phone.” Prepare for the unexpected The recent deluge of flight cancellations has many parents wondering what happens when a child is stranded alone. If the departing flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline will help you make arrangements for a later flight, and you will need to remain with your child until takeoff. If a delay or cancellation occurs en route, airline personnel will stay with your child while they book another flight. “We have staff who provide continuous supervision,” says Michelle Aguayo-Shannon, media relations manager for Northwest Airlines. “During this time, we're in contact with the parent or guardian at the destination regarding changes in flight plans, and we consult with them prior to making any arrangements.” In rare cases, such as in a major snowstorm, a child may need to stay overnight. Most airlines will assign an airline employee of the same sex to supervise your child at a hotel, while a few airlines will turn your child over to the local welfare agency for the night. To avoid overnight issues, try to book the first flight of the day to provide plenty of time to arrange a same-day alternative flight if necessary. At the airport All airlines require you to fill out an unaccompanied minor form at check-in with your contact information and the contact information for the person picking up your child. Airlines only will release your child to this individual, who needs to arrive at least 30 minutes early, show proper identification and sign a release form. “Parents may request security passes from the airline counter so they may accompany the child through security to the gate and wait with them until boarding/take off,” Grimes says. “The same is true when picking up.” Once you reach the gate and the plane is ready, “the gate agent specially delivers the child to the lead flight attendant,” says U.S. Airways representative Michelle Mohr. “The lead attendant lets the rest of the flight attendant team know there is an unaccompanied minor and where the child is seated. When the child arrives [at the destination], she’s escorted by the flight attendants to the gate agent.” Your child will get to board first. “The extra time allows our flight attendants to personally speak with the child to discuss safety and other features of the plane,” says Kelly Cripe, a public relations specialist for Continental. You’ll need to wait at the gate until the plane departs. While it might be hard to part with your child before her first flight, don’t worry too much, says former Southwest flight attendant Andrea Leckie, whose son has flown alone since he was 7. “It's important for parents to remember that 99 percent of the time, as soon as their child is seated on the plane, the tears seem to disappear,” she says. “I found that the kids really enjoyed their grown-up experience of flying alone. They loved being able to select their very own beverage from the soft drink menu!” Kyla Steinkraus flew for the first time when she was 15 — alone. She is the founder of the family travel Web site www.ToddlerTravelGuide.com. What You’ll Pay Here are one-way unaccompanied-minor fees for five popular airlines servicing the Raleigh-Durham International Airport: Continental Nonstop: $75 Connecting: $100 Delta All flights: $100 American Airlines All flights: $75 Northwest Nonstop: $50 Connecting: $100 U.S. Airways All flights: $50
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March 2019

The Cary Kennel Club, Alamance Kennel Club, Durham Kennel Club, Raleigh Kennel Club and Fayetteville Kennel Club join forces to bring dog lovers a variety of dog competitions, obedience and rally...

Cost: $5/person

Where:
North Carolina Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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The Vernal Equinox signals the beginning of Spring. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Enjoy the museum's annual celebration of flowers. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13/members and $18/nonmembers. Free for ages 6 and younger

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Telephone: 919-839-6262
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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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The Raleigh Boychoir will reach new heights as our choristers and community present Dr. Tim Sharp’s “High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.” Welcoming area boys to perform in...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Baptist Church
99 N Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Raleigh Boychoir
Telephone: 919-881-9259
Contact Name: Erin O'Hara
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Join park staff on an easy hike to look for early wildflowers, blooming trees and singing birds. Learn how to identify some common spring species and enjoy the park as it comes to life!​...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Excite your neurons and discover brain science. Enjoy lab tours, a kids' corner, games and much more. Free and open to the public. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Duke University
308 Research Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
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Ziggy is a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he...

Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
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Ages 6-9 years create a fairy house in the woods for a mouse, bug, toad or other woodland fairy. Natural materials provided, which participants can use to build the fairy house of their dreams...

Cost: $4

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
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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Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist...

Cost: $25 and up

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist...

Cost: $25 and up

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
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Enjoy a fun-filled family- and dog-friendly event that starts at Carrboro Town Commons and winds through diverse neighborhoods and the UNC campus. The route measures about 4 miles but can be...

Cost: Free; optional t-shirt purchase/donation

Where:
Carrboro Town Commons
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Sponsor: Interfaith Council for Social Services/Church World Service
Telephone: 919-942-6571
Contact Name: Mae McClendon
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Dan Breeding brings his beloved animals to Carrboro. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Enjoy two Grimm's fairytales as told by youth musicians, actors, and artists with original music by R. Michael Daugherty. Presented by Philharmonic Assoc. Chamber Ensembles. Purchase...

Cost: $8/person

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Using cutting edge lighting technology, Lightwire Theater brings the beloved story to life in a blaze of color. The result is an unforgettable theatrical experience blending electroluminescent...

Cost: $12/person. Free for ages 3 and younger.

Where:
Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Union
2610 Cates Ave.
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Ziggy is a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he...

Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
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Ziggy is a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he...

Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

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Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist...

Cost: $25 and up

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Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
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Cost: Free

Where:
Millbrook Baptist Preschool
1519 East Millbrook Road
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Millbrook Baptist Preschool
Telephone: 919-876-4030
Contact Name: Suzanne Holleman
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Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization.

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Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Ages 5-13. Homeschool Yoga is a one-hour class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness. Weave in art and journaling before or after...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Ages 5-13 enjoy a one-hour yoga class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness, encourage the development of communication and social...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

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Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
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Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization and more.

Cost: $15/child, use your package/membership.

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Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt Carmel Church Rd
chapel hill, NC  27517
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Discover Historic Yates Mill—a place of business, community, and exciting local history! Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of water...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Kids 6 & under are free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Dance 2 Get Fit is a high energy, calorie blasting dance fitness workout. Each dance routine is fun and exciting, yet easy to follow. The dance moves will target your hips, thighs and strengthen...

Cost: $5 per class

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Road
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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See Captain Jim perform magic and deliver a few words of wisdom. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Meet other families in your community in a recreation setting. The play room will be reserved for parents and their young children. Sports and recreation equipment will be available...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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Discover the joy of cooking with storybook characters. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online. Choose course #120082.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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This after-school class for kids in grades 3-5 offers fun learning yoga poses and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress. Grades 3-5. 

Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Parents learn help children with special needs build skills to encourage independence and confidence. Register online. Choose course #121426.

Cost: $11/resident, $15/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
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Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy a night of bingo, food and fun. Wear green clothing. Drinks and light snacks provided. Register online. Choose course #121060.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
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Dance 2 Get Fit is a high energy, calorie blasting dance fitness workout. Each dance routine is fun and exciting, yet easy to follow. The dance moves will target your hips, thighs and strengthen...

Cost: $5 per class

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Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Road
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
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Families with rising kindergartners or little ones hoping to get into early entry to stop by our informational fair for free kindergarten screenings and fun educational activities for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wynns Family Psychology
130 Preston Executive Dr
Cary, NC  27513
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Sponsor: Wynns Family Psychology
Telephone: 919-467-7777
Contact Name: Kristen Wynns
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Read and Feed is an after-school literacy program that provides meals, tutoring and books to children from low-income families in Wake County. The Feed the Reader Breakfast is the...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Umstead Hotel
100 Woodland Pond Dr.
Cary, NC  27513
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Ages 15 and older with disabilities enjoy dancing, music, games and refreshments. Wear spring attire. Register online. 

Cost: $3

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Enjoy popcorn with a family-friendly movie while being comfy in your pajamas. Refreshments provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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Enjoy fun, games, friendship and more every Friday.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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This class is a chance for adventurous women to get together for a fun-filled workshop where we explore the basics of aerial silks. No need for a background in aerial yoga, this is a workshop...

Cost: $25

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
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Go on a night hike with a park naturalist to test your sensory skills after dark. We’ll hike past the pond's edge and through forests, wetlands, and fields to discover what happens in these...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Go behind the scenes at the veterinary school, get up close and personal with animals, and meet the faculty, staff and students who make our institution one of a kind. Animal lovers of all sizes...

Cost: Free; no registration required

Where:
NC State College of Veterinary Medicine
1060 William Moore Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Sponsor: NC Stqte College of Veterinary Medicine
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Cost: Free

Where:
Ninth Street
Durham, NC  27705

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Widow's Son Lodge #4, is hosting an annual free community health fair. Area health care provider and services are organized in one larger location to offer free screenings, information, one on...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church
1515 Cross Link Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Widow's Son Lodge #4
Telephone: 252-367-7111
Contact Name: James Purington
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Discover the fascinating world of pond critters by scooping in the pond to observe who lives there up close. View some of the tiniest critters under a microscope. All ages with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), kids ages 6 & under: free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
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Larger-than-life puppets and the North Carolina Symphony bring the animal kingdom to life for a performance of Saint-Saëns’ magnificent music. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Raleigh Little Theatre
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Talented dance students present "Swan Lake Act II". Purchase tickets online for either the 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. show.

Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

Where:
Fletcher Opera Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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See talented dance students perform their spring repertoire in "Swan Lake Act II". Purchase tickets online for either the 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. performance.

Cost: $15 advance tickets, $18 at the door

Where:
Fletcher Opera Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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Larger-than-life puppets and the North Carolina Symphony bring the animal kingdom to life for a performance of Saint-Saëns’ magnificent music. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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The Triangle Rock Paper Scissors Showdown is a bracket-style competition of the age-old game we all know and love. Teams of 4 will compete head-to-head to decide whether throwing a risky rock,...

Cost: $100/team of 4 ($25 per person), VIP: $400/team of 4 ($100 per person)

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Big Boss Brewing Company
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Sponsor: Learning Together
Telephone: 919-856-7453
Contact Name: Colleen McDevitt
Website »

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Talented dance students present "Swan Lake Act II". Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

Where:
Fletcher Opera Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

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