Fun Things to Do in the Triangle Over Thanksgiving
Make memories at museums and parks, on trails and at special events this week
You have lots of options to make fun family memories this week in the Triangle.
Photo courtesy of Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com
Enjoy the Triangle with your family and friends during Thanksgiving week. Check out these ideas for family fun, and don’t forget to call ahead to ensure that venues are open.
1. Burn off those Thanksgiving dinner calories in a Turkey Trot. These short walk-run races, featuring Kids Dashes, Fun Runs, 5K, 8Ks and more, are fun for the whole family no matter what shape you’re in — some are even stroller and pet-friendly. Check out this list of local options.
photo courtesy of jim Kenney
2. Take in a light show. Many of these dazzling holiday light displays across the Triangle and the state begin this week.
photo courtesy of BETH SHUGG
3. See the North Carolina Symphony’s special event concert “Cirque de Noel” in Meymandi Concert Hall Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.; Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. In this circus-meets-the-symphony performance, you'll see flying aerialists, jaw-dropping jugglers, and more with spectacular holiday music performed by the North Carolina Symphony. Come early to meet Santa in the lobby. Bring “Soup-to-Go” to these performances to support Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s BackPack Buddies and the Symphony will give you a coupon to save $20 on one of their January concerts. Purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Symphony
4. Take part in Historic Yates Mill County Park’s Thankfulness Project Wednesday, Nov. 27, and Friday–Sunday, Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Taking place in the park’s Finley Center, you and your kids can participate in this collaborative community art project celebrating what you’re thankful for, play a game of “Roll a Turkey” and take home your own pine cone turkey craft. No preregistration is necessary for this free activity.
photo courtesy of historic yates mill county park
5. Find the Chainsaw Art Fallen Tree in William B. Umstead State Park. A few years ago, a giant red oak tree fell across the Graylyn multi-use trail in the park. Rather than see the tree's life come to an end, park ranger Jessica Phillips hired a pair of chainsaw artists, Jerry Reid and Randy Boni from Smoky Mountain Art in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to transform the century-old tree into a work of art in November 2017. Once at the tree, a fun game you can play with your kids by asking them to count all of the animals on the tree (we counted 14). You can also identify the animals by name.
If you're looking for more treks, you're bound to have fun at any of these kid-friendly hiking spots around the Triangle. Ready to get moving? From choosing baby’s first trail to motivating hesitant hikers and keeping kids safe, here’s what you need to know at every stage.
photo courtesy of lauren isaacs
6. Enjoy the stage version of the television classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Shows run from Nov. 29-Dec. 24. Purchase tickets, $26 and up, at ticketmaster.com. Kids younger than 12 months do not require a ticket.
photo courtesy of robert orazi
7. Visit the North Carolina Museum of Art and explore the work of two of the world’s most revered artists — Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera — in an exhibition of their masterpieces. Plus, see oil paintings from Avett Brothers band member Scott Avett in his first solo museum exhibition. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection will open on Sat., Oct. 26, 2019, and run through Sun., Jan. 19, 2020. This exhibit will be ticketed in conjunction with Scott Avett: INVISIBLE, which will run through Sun., Feb. 2, 2020.
photo courtesy of the nc museum of art
8. Learn about our state’s past at the North Carolina Museum of History and check out their newest exhibit "Toy Boom! Toys from the 1950s and '60s." You'll see toys from the 1950s and 1960s come to life and curated into unique environments, including TV westerns, space age, zany toys, creative toys, dolls, action figures and more. From an Easy Bake Oven to Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots, this exhibit examines how toys most beloved by Baby Boomers reflected the energy, ambition, and abundance of a prosperous era, all while channeling the uncertainties of the period. View a larger-than-life Twister board, a giant Lite-Brite wall, an Etch A Sketch station, working Hot Wheels racing tracks (complete with inversion loops), a “Name that Tune” game featuring TV Westerns, and digital Christmas catalog stations where visitors can digitally flip through pages to look at vintage toys. Free. It’s open all week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving Day.
photo courtesy of lauren BELL isaacs
9. Give back to your community in the way that you choose. The Triangle’s growing population creates a variety of needs for which volunteers are in high demand. Here are 15 local volunteering opportunities families can participate in together, or children or teens can individually take advantage of.
COURTESY OF SECOND CHANCE
Participants at the Second Chance Adoptions Christmas wrapping event.
10. Start your holiday shopping early by visiting these Triangle-area craft fairs happening this weekend.
Christmas Carousel Holiday Gift Market
Nov. 29-30, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $9/adult, $5 ages 6-12. Free for ages 5 and younger. Jim Graham Building, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. christmascarousel.com.
Patchwork Holiday Market at Durham Armory
Nov. 30-Dec. 1, noon-5 p.m. Durham Armory, 220 Foster St., Durham. juniperbaymetals.com/events/2016/12/11/patchwork-holiday-market-at-durham-armory.
The Bazaar Craft and Art Market
Dec. 1, noon-5 p.m. See website for location in Carrboro. thebazaar.us.
pHOTO COURTESY OF FRANTIC00/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
11. Cut your own tree at a North Carolina Christmas Tree Farm. Bundle up in warm clothes, head off into the woods, and debate the merits of several trees before selecting The One. If you want to experience the old-fashioned holiday tradition of finding and cutting your own tree, you have plenty of choices. More than 100 growers in North Carolina invite visitors to "choose and cut" their own trees. Here's what's available in the Triangle and beyond. If you choose a farm from one of those sites, please call before you go.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIELLE MACINNES/SHUTTERSTOCK
12. Take a ride on a Santa or Holiday train ride. From open-air train rides to see dazzling light displays to plush Polar Express inspired rides, you'll find a train ride to fit your family and budget.
PHOTO FROM THE HUBB'S FARM NC FACEBOOK PAGE
13. Santa Claus has come to town! Take your little ones to share their holiday wish lists and to have their annual Santa photos taken at malls in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Garner.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Bell Isaacs