Fun Things to Do This Weekend (Dec. 9-11)


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Enjoy the holiday open house at the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh.

Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Festivities at state historic sites in Raleigh and Durham welcome visitors to celebrate holidays past and present this weekend. The Cary, Durham and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro parades also offer joyful ways to usher in the holidays with your children.

State Capitol Holiday Open House FREE

Head to the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh to enjoy music in the rotunda, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10. Also, the Capitol will host Santa and children’s storytellings, 2-4 p.m., Dec. 10. Through Dec. 10, you may also donate money or new clothes for children (birth through age 12) to the State Capitol Angel Tree Clothing Drive to benefit the Salvation Army of Wake County. (Note: The governor's tree-lighting tradition at the State Capitol and other festivities kick off Thursday, Dec. 8.

PHOTO of the North Carolina Executive Mansion COURTESY OF the North Carolina DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

North Carolina Executive Mansion Holiday Open House FREE

Tour the North Carolina Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh Friday, Dec. 9-Sunday Dec. 11 to enjoy live holiday music and view the home decked out with Christmas trees, greenery, floral arrangements and decorations. Visit this link for the schedule. (Note: The Holiday Open House begins on Thursday, Dec. 8.)

Photo of the North Carolina Executive Mansion courtesy of the north carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Civil War Christmas by Candlelight Tour at Bennett Place

Take a tour by candlelight around the farm at this state historic site in Durham, 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, to watch as re-enactors show how soldiers and civilians attempted to celebrate the holidays during the Civil War. Enjoy free hot apple cider and cookies at the visitor center. Tours will take place every 15 minutes. Tour tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for ages 5-16 and free for kids under age 5. 

​PHOTO COURTESY OF the NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

Christmas in the Piedmont at Bennett Place FREE

Head to Bennett Place, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and take your kids to learn how Christmas was celebrated in the Piedmont Carolinas during the Civil War. Watch living historians decorate the farm in a typical modest way and view cooking in the kitchen house. Kids can enjoy games and see examples of presents in the main house. Soldiers will be camped on site and Santa will visit. The visitor center will feature free hot apple cider and cookies. 

​Photo courtesy of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Mordecai Holiday Open House in Raleigh FREE

Celebrate the season at the free open house, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11. Admission is free. Lantern tours run 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 10 through the house and grounds, and tickets cost $5 per person. Order tickets here (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

West Point on the Eno Park Christmas Open House FREE

Enjoy music, holiday crafts and more at the park’s annual open house, 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5101 N. Roxboro Rd. in Durham. Enjoy refreshments, historic holiday decorations, festive music and holiday crafts from yesteryear. No need to register. For more information, call 919-471-1623 and select option 2. 

Photo courtesy of City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department

Cary Christmas Parade FREE

The Cary Christmas Parade kicks 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in downtown Cary and features bands, mascots and participants from local schools businesses, community groups and churches. View the parade route here.

Durham Holiday Parade FREE

Watch the parade of hometown bands, drill teams, schools, community groups make its way through downtown Durham. The parade starts at the Health Department (Main Street Dillard streets) at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and ends near Duke University East Campus (Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard). 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade FREE

Watch the parade kick off in front of Morehead Planetarium on E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and progress through Chapel Hill on Franklin Street. The parade should end around noon at the Carrboro Town Hall. Watch for themed floats, marching bands, elves, reindeer, candy canes and Santa Claus riding his sleigh.

Saint Nicolas and Carols with the Choral Society of Durham

Head to Duke University Chapel in Durham to hear the Choral Society of Durham present "Britten's Saint Nicolas and Carols" with the Durham Children's Choir at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $22 (adult age 30 and older), $10 (adult under 30) and $5 (student of any ages) and are available at the door and from Duke University Box Office by calling 919-684-4444). For more information, call the Choral Society office at 919-560-2733.

Photo of Choral Society of Durham courtesy of Marc Banka

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About this Blog

News, Fun, Deals

Parenting news, opinions, family fun, free offers

About This Blog

Karen Shore lives in Holly Springs with her husband and two sons. By day, she works at the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce and by night, she's a cook, chauffeur, tutor, secretary and amateur therapist for her family. She will blog about family fun in the Triangle — including freebies and news that matters to local parents. Check back here Mondays and Thursdays for her weekday and weekend fun blog posts. 

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Calendar

January 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

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Dress in your princess best and enjoy magical activities and delightful treats with a princess. Registration required online; limited availability. Choose from either the 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m....

Cost: $15/member, $20/nonmember

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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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
Website »

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Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

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Experience the excitement of the NFC and AFC Championship games with 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist Torry Holt and former NFL star Terrence Holt at this one-of-a-kind fundraiser to...

Cost: $25-$150

Where:
William Neal Reynolds Coliseum
2411 Dunn Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Website »

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Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Women's Voices Chorus Winter concert, Song of the Universal, expores themes of war, the wish for peace, and the redemptive powers of nature, love and mercy.  Music will include works by...

Cost: $17/adult, $7/student

Where:
University United Methodist Church
150 E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC  27714
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Sponsor: Women's Voices Chorus
Telephone: 919-307-6860
Contact Name: Publicity Chair
Website »

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Make a craft and enjoy tea with Belle. Ages 3-5. Register online. Choose course #110646.

Cost: $16/resident, $28/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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Learn to make appetizers. Ages 11-14. Register online. Choose course #110048.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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Take part in Open Studio Explorations, which are open-ended experiences in which children can use the materials in the studio to create at their own pace. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Our PlayHouse Preschool
3501 Hwy. 54 West
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Telephone: (919)967-2700
Contact Name: Elizabeth Lenn
Website »

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Children delight in discoveries of shapes, colors and textures in nature. Ages 1 and older with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

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Learn to prepare a meal inspired from Japan. Register online. Choose course #109615.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

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Children delight in discoveries of shapes, colors and textures in nature. Ages 1 and older with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Parents and their children ages 18 months to 4 years enjoy storytime, craft and snack. Contact Sarah Rapp to RSVP. srapp@saintraphael.org or 919-865-5725

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Sarah Rapp
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-4 years enjoy storytime, craft and snack. RSVP by emailing Sarah Rapp at srapp@saintraphael.org or calling 919-865-5725

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Sarah Rapp
Website »

More information

Kids ages 11 and older test their knowledge of New Year's traditions, music, movies and more. Register online. Choose course #111618.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
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Website »

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Parents learn strategies for helping raise a child when a sibling has special needs. Register online. Choose course #11159.

Cost: $11/resident, $15/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
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Website »

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See Agatha Christie's stage version of her best-selling mystery novel. The story tells of ten strangers mysteriously brought together for a holiday on a deserted island, each hiding a murderous...

Cost: See the website for fees.

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC
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Website »

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Learn how to help your baby excel in motor development and master tummy time. Tummy time is a foundational skill for developing strong babies, and this class is appropriate for newborns and beyond....

Cost: $30

Where:
Baby + Company
226 Ashville Ave
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Telephone: 773-495-8117
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

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Read "Dragons Love Tacos" by Adam Rubin and make tacos for dragons. Register online. Choose course #109611.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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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
Website »

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Youth ages 9-13 find out how not to be fooled by Fool’s Gold. Learn how geologists test minerals by using properties like hardness, streak, color, luster, and acid reactivity, then...

Cost: $6

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

See Agatha Christie's stage version of her best-selling mystery novel. The story tells of ten strangers mysteriously brought together for a holiday on a deserted island, each hiding a murderous...

Cost: See the website for fees.

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Take part in fun, hands-on science experiments, which include chemistry, physics, materials and an engineering experiment. See website for ages and times. Register online. 

Cost: $55/child

Where:
SMILE Camp
6301 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: SMILE Camp
Telephone: 919-538-5278
Contact Name: Sheila Marsh
Website »

More information

Learn to make cupcakes with a winter wonderland theme. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #111457.

Cost: $26/resident, $34/nonresident

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
123 Middle Creek Dr.
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Website »

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Take 3-5 gently used books for a discount or purchase a book to donate for a discount. Read A. Roo and other guest readers will be present.

Cost: Free

Where:
Read With Me Book Shop
111 E. Hargett St., #110
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn to identify common winter birds by sight and sound. Visit a bird-feeding station for up-close encounters, learn how to be a citizen scientist, and take home a feeder and identification...

Cost: $8/member, $10/nonmember

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3770
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
Website »

More information

Enjoy all things LEGO at this festival that features creative displays and more. Organized by the North Carolina LEGO Users Group.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
250 E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to navigate the college search and application process, prepare for college entrance exams, and more. Ages 12 and older with parent. Register online. Choose course #109354.

Cost: $5/resident, $6/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Gather your recyclables or use some at the preserve and enjoy relay challenges. Take part in engineering feats like bridge building and egg drops using recyclables. Hot chocolate...

Cost: $4/person

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

See Agatha Christie's stage version of her best-selling mystery novel. The story tells of ten strangers mysteriously brought together for a holiday on a deserted island, each hiding a murderous...

Cost: See the website for fees.

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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