Memorial Weekend Family Fun: Free Concerts, Story Times, Fiesta


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For weekend activities for June 1-3, read our roundup: Weekend Fun: Free Concerts, Movies, Story times, Fishing Fun.

The Memorial Day weekend offers lots of free family activities across the Triangle, from live performances to an outdoor fiesta and a historic reenactment. You'll also find free story times for children and a free family day with activities at a local museum. If you want to stick close to home, see why mud in your backyard could provide healthy fun for your kids at no expense.

Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these upcoming events, and others, in our Daily Calendar.

THURSDAY

Kick the weekend off a little early at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with a free beach music concert by Shaggie Maggie in at the corner of Academy and Chatham Streets, in downtown Cary. It's a beach music street party that will get you ready for summer.

FRIDAY

Head to Hillsborough on Friday for "Last Fridays," a warm weather fiesta that presents a free performance on the historic Old Courthouse lawn and children's activities. This Friday, North Carolina singer-songwriter Greg Humphreys will be the featured artist, and Maura Garcia will be leading kids activities by teaching inspirational movement with a choreographed mask dance. The dance event is open to children and adults of all ages. Last Fridays is organized by the Hillsborough Arts Council and runs from April through September. As you walk through the fiesta, you'll also find more musicians, food and art vendors, an art walk and a bake-off contest from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Brochures with a map of the Last Fridays Art Walk are available at any of the participating venues or at www.lastfridaysartwalk.org.

On Friday at 7 p.m., take a blanket or chair and watch the movie, Crazy Stupid Love (PG13), as part of the Movies by Moonlight series on the lawn at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, in Cary. You can bring in a picnic. Gate times are 7 p.m. and the movie will start at dusk. Admission is $3 for adults; kids 12 and under are admitted for free. Proceeds benefit the WakeMed Children's Hospital. Tickets can be purchased at Amphitheatre Box Office. For details, visit www.boothamphitheatre.com.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, enjoy Family Fun Night at the Barnes & Noble, in Cary. Pirates will be helping kick off Barnes & Noble's summer reading program for kids in grades 1-6. The event is free and no registration is required.

In Chapel Hill, Fridays on the Front Porch runs from 5-8 p.m. Friday at The Carolina Inn. Relax outdoors with the family listening to live music for free. Purchase advance food tickets online. See our Daily Calendar for Details.

SATURDAY

In Durham from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Bennett Place State Historic Site will present a free program to remember and honor American soldiers through time. History re-enactors will bring to life some of the first soldiers from the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and War of 1812. Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers, Rough Riders from the Spanish American War, and soldiers of World Wars I and II, and Vietnam, will be represented. Visit http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/bennett.htm for details.

On Saturday, The N.C Symphony opens Summerfest, its summer-long outdoor concert series at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre, with Play with the Pros, when citizen musicians will join with the symphony musicians for select works. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the music start at 7:30 p.m. Picnic baskets are allowed; bring a little extra bread for the geese. For details and ticket prices, visit http://boothamphitheatre.com/events/summerfest-opening-night/.

Kids are invited to Beautiful Butterflies, a program from 9 to 11 a.m. at Lake Crabtree, in Morrisville. Learn the difference between a butterfly and a moth, where caterpillars come from and about metamorphosis on a hike around the Old Beech Nature Trail. Meet at the Waterwise Garden. See our Daily Calendar for cost and how to register.

Free Saturday fun includes events at Triangle-area farmers markets!  In downtown Hillsborough on Saturday, the Eno River Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to noon and will feature free make-and-take crafts for kids. In Cary, the Western Wake Farmers Market will run from 8 am. to noon offering live music, the produce of more than 30 farmers and artisans, and a special program in the Education Tent.

In Hillsborough, enjoy family yoga at Hillsborough Yoga & Healing Arts from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. The class is for ages 2 and up with family. Children are admitted free when accompanied by parent. See our Daily Calendar for details.

You'll find 10: 30 a.m. story times at the Orange County Public Library's Carrboro Branch, in Chapel Hill, and at East Regional Library in Knightdale. See our Daily Calendar for details.

SUNDAY

Enjoy a free Family Day from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Ackland Art Museum, in Chapel Hill. Take the kids for hands-on activities, scavenger hunts in the galleries and more fun. See our Daily Calendar for details.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Triangle Wind Ensemble will present An American Celebration, a vocal ensemble of popular and patriotic selections to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. See our Daily Calendar for ticket prices.

MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY

Marbles Kids Museum will feature a Memorial Day Flare program with fun activities on Monday. Fire up your Memorial Day with a 21-soda geyser salute and patriotic pinwheels. Check out all things bubbly during Bubble Blast (10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m.) and enjoy solar activities throughout the day. The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interested in more story times on Monday? See our Daily Calendar for details.
* The Chapel Hill Public Library is offering a story time from 10:30 to 11 a.m. for kids ages 3 to 6 years featuring stories, songs and activities. It's free.
* Quail Ridge Books and Music, in Raleigh, will have a free story time at 10 am for ages 3 to 5 years.

You'll also find kids yoga in Wake Forest, Moms and Tots Yoga in Hillsborough, and postnatal yoga in Chapel Hill. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Also Monday, take your preschooler to an art class or craft class. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Planning Your Summer Getaway?

Browse our digital Carolina Family Travel Guide to discover some of the best places for outdoor fun with your children, including:

  • Family programs at state parks in North and South Carolina
  • N.C. mountain getaways for families with suggested activities
  • Lighthouses of the Carolinas to tour or visit.
  • Five of the top roller coasters in the Southeast
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Calendar

December 2019

Wear your favorite holiday attire and dine with Santa Claus. Enjoy a delicious brunch, stories and crafts, and take pictures with the jolly man from the North Pole. 

Cost: $10/child. Free for ages 2 and younger

Where:
Joyner Park Community Center
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing llpolkhouse2@gmail.com.

Cost: $22/attendee, $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

See dancers and a guitarist from Flamenco Carolina perform a Spanish style of music and dance.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Website »

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Ebeneezer Scrooge was visited by three spirits, but what about the next Christmas? With heartwarming excitement, discover how the Cratchit family has fared in the year that has passed since old...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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The Durham Medical Orchestra performs with special guest Joseph Alessi, principal trombone, New York Philharmonic.

Cost: Free

Where:
Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University
1336 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

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As a Christmas gift to our community and surrounding area, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church delivers the true Christmas story in a stirring virtual “walk” through Bethlehem to the stable...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
12605 Capital Blvd
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Sponsor: Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 919-556-7777
Contact Name: Meghan Reynolds
Website »

More information

Fun for the entire family, enjoy this wonderful, witty retelling of a classic fairy-tale. With a score consisting of well-known pop songs, follow Snow White and her Seven Dwarves as they try to...

Cost: $10-$60/person

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-996-8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
Website »

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The choir presents its 49th performance on Handel's "Messiah."

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Website »

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The first day of winter is right around the corner! Help us welcome the season by making a snow globe to take home. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult...

Cost: For all ages (adult accompaniment required for all children); FREE. Registration

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Children will enjoy this wonderful book written by John Denver reminding us not to forget about the wildlife this holiday season. We will make a craft then take a walk to look for our wildlife...

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
Website »

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Join RTOOT as it performs the music of great Italian composers as well as beloved Christmas classics. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $9/adult, $3 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

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Dan the Animal Man brings some of his animals from his vast collection to entertain all ages. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Website »

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Help find candy canes hidden in Bond Park before the Grinch turns them green. Ages 6-12. Registration required online. Choose course #127871. 

Cost: $10/child

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC
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Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. 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

Get into the holiday spirit by decorating cooking, making a craft and enjoying a holiday children's show.

Cost: Free

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

The Wake Forest Abilities Choir will present an evening of holiday music under the direction of director.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Celebrate pecans at the State Farmers Market.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Website »

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Join us to learn about how Habitat for Humanity helps build houses, hear a Christmas tale and then build a graham cracker house of your own. Call to, 919-245-2532. Best for ages 4 and up with a...

Cost: free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

Is there a man in the moon, and is the moon made of cheese? Sip on some hot cocoa and listen to some of the stories people have told about the moon and find out if there is truth to them. Then...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone, and adult accompanime

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Discover family traditions from North Carolina and around the globe. Create art, enjoy free access to Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism, and have a special visit with Santa.

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art East Building and Museum Plaza
Raleigh, NC


Website »

More information

Bundle up and enjoy an evening around the campfire learning about creatures of the night and listen to Native American tales about some of our favorite nocturnal animals. Roast marshmallows and go...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Kids ages 5-12 enjoy indoor activities while parents enjoy a night out. Register online. 

Cost: $30/resident, $45/nonresident

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Wear white clothing and play games, tumble and dance. Enjoy pizza, drinks and more. Ages 5-10. Registration required online. Choose course #127487.

Cost: $18/child; $28 for two children per family

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
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Website »

More information

Friday, December 13, 6:00pm, at both the Millbrook and Wake Forest Campuses. Put on your Christmas jammies, grab a blanket and come out for a  festive night to watch the classic animated...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossroads Fellowship
2721 E Millbrook Road
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Sponsor: Crossroads Fellowship
Telephone: 919-981-0222
Contact Name: Lorraine Entwisle
Website »

More information

Have some fun and make something great at the Clay studio (and parents can sneak away and grab a bite or do some shopping at Northgate Mall). Each kid will complete and paint a piece of pottery...

Cost: $18 per child per workshop

Where:
1058 West Club Blvd
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Telephone: 919-560-2726
Contact Name: Lauren Tannenbaum
Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Sing along with the band as they perform holiday favorites of Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice and more. 

Cost: Free

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

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Celebrate the love and joy that this season brings by creating art inspired by a Christmas tree. Register online. Choose course #126761.

Cost: $32/resident, $42/nonresident

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

Give rugby a try. Take part in tag rugby pick-up games every Saturday morning at Baileywick Road Park, near the Second Shelter.  No experience necessary. All ages. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
Website »

More information

Our Reindeer Romp is open to the entire community and our Girls on the Run families. So join us! Celebrate as nearly 1,000 girls reach their end-of-season goals – the finish line is only the...

Cost: $30 - $35

Where:
Koka Booth Amphitheater
8003 Regency Pkwy
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Sponsor: Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Telephone: 919-401-6307
Contact Name: Jamie Botta
Website »

More information

Ages 5-12 make a picture frame for the holidays. Snack provided. Register online. 

Cost: $30/resident, $45/nonresident

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. 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

Travel with us to Puerto Rico with books, games and arts and crafts!  Join the staff of ISLA (Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition) for a fun filled hour! Best for ages 3 and up with a...

Cost: Free Gratis

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

One ticket admits the entire family to decorate a special gingerbread house. Supplies provided. Workshops available at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Allergy-free workshop available at 11 a.m....

Cost: $40

Where:
Family Preschool
4907 Garrett Rd
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Family Preschool
Telephone: 919-402-1500
Contact Name: Sue Henson
Website »

More information

Family Wildlife Series: Holiday Habitat Helpers Saturday, December 14, 2-3 Attract winter wildlife to your backyard by providing or improving their habitat.  Create simple outdoor decorations...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us as we watch for meteors during the Gemenids Meteor Shower. Local astronomers will help us observe these shooting stars and other phenomena in the night sky. As a bonus we may see or hear...

Cost: Free

Where:
American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Favorite Christmas songs are presented in authentic Nashville country style with dazzling guitars and fiddles along with soaring harmonies. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $25/person

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

See the choir perform beloved Christmas songs with guest vocal group AVANTE. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

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