Triangle Offers Low-Cost or Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series


Published:

Illustration courtesy of teacept/Shutterstock.com

Keep the kids entertained and your wallet fat this summer with free or low-cost live outdoor concerts throughout the Triangle area. Here is what summer 2016 has in store. Check websites for updates, as scheduling changes may occur.

Jump to:

Apex • Bynum • Carrboro • Cary • Chapel Hill • Clayton • Durham • Fuquay-Varina • 
Garner • Hillsborough • Mebane • Morrisville • Raleigh • Saxapahaw • Wake Forest 

APEX

Apex Music & Movies in the Park Series
2600 Evans Rd.
919-249-1120
Held at the spacious Nature Park Amphitheatre, the evening will offer family friendly concerts and movies. Load up the kids, the lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner and show up early for good seats. Concerts start at dusk and are scheduled for select Saturdays, May 21 – Sept. 24. No pets or alcohol. 

Toasts and Tunes Concert Series
8624 Castleberry Rd.
919-387-5760
Free concerts for all ages held at Cloer Family Vineyards on select Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. These are outdoor concerts, and wine will be sold by the glass and bottle (no outside alcohol permitted). Feel free to bring lawn chairs and picnics. 

BYNUM

Summer Music Series
950 Bynum Rd. 
Tickets are not needed but a $5-8 donation is requested and a hat is passed for performers. Bynum Front Porch invites folks to bring chairs and sit under an open sky to enjoy fine music, food from local vendors and one another's company on summer evenings from May to September. Please leave pets and alcohol at home. Music plays from 7 to 9 p.m. and shows span genres from gospel, folk, blues, rockabilly and bluegrass. 

CARRBORO​

After Hours: Early Summer
101 E. Weaver St. 
919-929-0010
Beat the heat Thursday evenings with free music May 19-June 30, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on the Weaver Street Market lawn. Bring a picnic or chairs. 

Jazz & More Brunch
101 E. Weaver St. 
919-929-0010
This free outdoor jazz series takes place on Sundays, May 15 – Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., on the Weaver Street Market lawn. Take chairs and blankets. Purchase a la carte brunch items in the store.  

CARY

Live at Lunch
135 W. Chatham St. 
919-469-4061
Bring your lunch or stop by one of Downtown Cary's restaurants and then join in for some mid-day music by local performers. Picnic tables provided. Thursdays in May from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Ivey-Ellington House. 

HobNob Jazz Series
8003 Regency Pkwy 
919-462-2025
Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Wednesday nights in May to early June. All shows are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Picnics and pets on leashes are allowed; alcohol is not. 

summerfest-web.jpg
 

2016 Rex UNC Healthcare Summerfest Series
8003 Regency Pkwy 
919-462-2025
The North Carolina Symphony's popular summer outdoor concerts return for another season at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre May 28 through July 9. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., but you can bring a picnic as early as 5:30 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free on the lawn. Above photo courtesy of North Carolina Symphony.

PineCone: Artify (The Arts in the Parks)
919-664-8333
PineCone collaborates with the Town of Cary to offer free concerts in venues including the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park, Cary Arts Center and Koka Booth Amphitheater. This year’s dates are May 14, June 11, June 24, July 9 and Aug. 13. 

Sertoma Series
801 High House Road
919-469-4061
Enjoy free outdoor concerts May-August at varying times. All shows are held at the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park. Come early for a seat, or pack your own chairs. This year’s dates are May 14, June 11, June 17, July 9 and Aug. 13.   

Starlight Concert Series
119 Ambassador Loop
919-460-4963
Enjoy free concerts at 7 p.m. on select Fridays, May-July, at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden. Food and lawn chairs are permitted. Please leave pets and alcoholic beverages at home.

waverly-place-wine-down-wednesdays-web-2.jpg

Wind Down Wednesdays at Waverly Place
575 New Waverly Pl.
919-678-0878
Don't miss free concerts and family entertainment on the promenade every Wednesday night June 1 through July 27, 6-9 p.m. Lawn chairs and ‘people-friendly’ dogs are welcome. Coolers are not permitted. Above photo courtesy of PopulateProductions.com.

CHAPEL HILL

Courtesy of The Carolina Inn
 

Carolina Inn's Fridays on the Front Porch
211 Pittsboro St.
919-933-2001
Enjoy free live music every through October 7, 5-8 p.m. Food, beer and wine will be offered. A variety of food trucks are returning this season. Above picture courtesy of The Carolina Inn.

Live and Local! Music and Art Series
140 W. Franklin St. 
919-968-2784
At the Plaza in Downtown Chapel Hill, free concerts on select Thursdays and Fridays through June 3. Most concerts begin at 6 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. 

Meadowmont Music Series
301 Old Barn Lane 
919-636-0598
Featuring big name bands each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with free parking. Bring your friends and family and have a picnic or enjoy dinner from food trucks. 2016 dates: April 16, May 21 and Sept. 10. 

Music in the Meadow
1342 Briar Chapel Pkwy
888-249-9429
Free concert series open to the public at Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel. With food trucks, sweets and beer. 

A Southern Summer 2016
620 Market St.
919-933-4422
Enjoy free Sunday concerts on the Southern Village Green at 6 p.m., April 10 – June 26. New select Thursday concert dates at 7 p.m. added this year. 

CLAYTON

Clayton Town Square Concerts Series
110 W. Main St.
919-553-5002
Free concert events every month from May through September. Traditionally the concerts were held on Thursdays, but this year the CDDA is mixing it up - trying out Fridays and Saturdays too! Bring a blanket and enjoy the local vendors. Square opens at 5:30 p.m. 

DURHAM

Back Porch Music on the Lawn at American Tobacco Concert Series
318 Blackwell St., Durham 
Enjoy free concerts, 6-9 p.m., on the American Tobacco Amphitheater select Thursdays May 12-Sept. 8. Picnics and coolers are welcome-no glass. American Tobacco’s restaurants will be open, and beer and wine are available for purchase. All concerts are a joint production of the American Tobacco Campus and NC Public Radio WUNC-FM 91.5.

Blues on the Plaza
1058 W. Club Blvd.
919-286-4400
Enjoy free live music featuring local Durham and surrounding area Blues bands at Northgate Mall. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the music Friday nights from 6:30-9 p.m., April 29-May 27.

Duke Performances 2016: Music in the Gardens
420 Anderson St.
919-660-3356
Listen to regional indie rock and folk groups in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on select Wednesdays June 1-July 27. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Chairs and picnics are allowed. Tickets are $10, $5 for Duke employees and students and free for children 12 and under. 

The Streets at Southpoint's Music on Main
8030 Renaissance Pkwy
919-572-8808
Listen to free concerts featuring adult contemporary, beach and light jazz music at Cinema Circle (across from South Point Cinemas) Saturdays April 23-Sept. 3, 6-9 p.m. Performers entertain the crowd in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Warehouse Blues Concert Series
501 Foster St.
919-794-8194
Free family-friendly concerts Friday evenings, July 8-29 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Durham Central Park. Bring lawn chairs, have a picnic and enjoy the blues! Coolers are allowed, but alcohol is not permitted. 

FUQUAY-VARINA

​Follow Me to Fuquay-Varina (FM2FV) Concert Series
102 N. Main St.
Free monthly concerts on Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Centennial Square. 

GARNER

Downtown Sounds
125 Avery St.
Listen to free live music Sunday, June 5 , 4:00-8:00 p.m., on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. Bring chairs or blankets, but coolers and pets are not permitted. Family-friendly food and beverages available for purchase.

HILLSBOROUGH

Jazz Brunch
228 S. Churton St.
919-245-5050
Free “Jazz and More” music on the Weaver Street Hillsborough patio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays, May 22 – July 31. 

Last Fridays
120 E. Union St. 
Free monthly concert series from April through September, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Located on the old courthouse lawn and features art, food, music and fun for the whole family. 

MEBANE

Clay Street After Work/Musical Chairs
Every third Friday from May to August, 7-9 p.m. on Clay Street. Come early to shop and dine! 

MORRISVILLE

LIVE in The District Music Series
3400 Village Market Place
919-467-8880
Join the fun each Thursday night, April 14-June 2 from 6-8:30 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket in a brand new outdoor venue in front of Stone Theatre – Park West 14. Free, live music!

RALEIGH

Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
3801 Rock Quarry Road
919-719-5500
As of April 28, the venue is now known as Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. Several upcoming Live Nation shows scheduled throughout the summer. Stay tuned to COASTAL24.com/MusicPark for updates on membership perks. 

Courtesy of North Hills

Midtown Beach Music Series
919-833-5263
Enjoy free music performed by popular beach bands at North Hills on Thursdays, April 21-Aug. 11, 6-9 p.m. Best parking located in either the CapTrust Tower or the newly completed Bank of America Tower. Above picture courtesy of North Hills.

North Carolina Museum of Art Summer Concerts
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
919-715-5923
Since 1997 the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park has welcomed America's finest singer-songwriters and critically acclaimed musical ensembles from around the world. Tickets are $35 for reserved seating and $24 for general admission. Select dates May 1-Sept. 11. 

Oak City 7 and Pickin’ in the Plaza
400 Fayetteville St.
Summer concert series located in City Plaza (on Fayetteville Street) in downtown Raleigh. Admission is free to the public and the events take place from 5-10:30 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning the Thursday after Memorial Day and ending the Thursday before Labor Day.

SAXAPAHAW

​Saturdays in Saxapahaw
Enjoy free outdoor concerts on Saturdays May 7-Aug. 27, 6-8 p.m., on the Hay Wagon Stage at the Saxapahaw Rivermill Farmers Market. No dogs allowed. 

WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest ARTS Six Sundays Concerts
701 Harris Rd.
Free concerts on Sundays from April 24 through May 29 at 5 p.m. at E. Carroll Joyner Park Amphitheater. Food and refreshments will be available. ]

 

Originally compiled by Carolyn Caggia, May 21, 2014. 
Updated by Megan Finke, May 10, 2016.

 

 

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February 2017

Take a magical journey through China's divine culture. Classical dance, music and storytelling highlight this live show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $70-$150

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC
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Enjoy a nature-themed fairy tale and build a fairy home. Ages 2-10. Register online. Choose course #200057.

Cost: $3/child

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Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Chase away the winter blues with a hike through the winter garden. After the walk, warm up inside with a book and winter craft. Meet at the visitor center. Ages 3-12. Register online.

Cost: $5/child

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JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
4415 Beryl Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
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Hear the old-time folk band based in Raleigh that plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and other instruments, including the saw. Free tickets for the concert are distributed while they last beginning at...

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Ages 3-5 enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Teens in grades 6-10 read, create and take on challenges.  March is the month of movie release parties, including "Logan" and "The Beauty and the Beast." Build circuits and...

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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You will be looking out your window when something wonderful comes your way. You will want to keep him. You and your alien will strike up a fabulous friendship and all will go well. Until bedtime....

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Camp S.W.A.G. (Students With Ambitions & Goals) will be hosting a series of free Girls' Group Mentoring Seminars open to all middle and high school girls 13-19 years of age. Register...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Regional Library
4000 Louis Stephens Dr.
Cary, NC  27519
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Sponsor: Camp S.W.A.G. (Students With Ambitions & Goals)
Telephone: 919-443-5866
Contact Name: Sherry Pulcher
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Celebrate Mardi Gras with a parade at 7 p.m., followed by live entertainment at area venues. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
CCB Plaza
201 Corcoran St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Durham Mardi Gras
Contact Name: Kathy Violette
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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Preschoolers enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Explore colonial life for kids and their families during the Revolutionary War. Ages 6-9. Register online.

Cost: $1/member, $3/nonmember

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Telephone: 919-807-7988
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Join others for an easy paced hike around the greenway. Ages 3 and younger; older siblings, strollers and leashed pets welcome. Register online. Choose course #199060.

Cost: Free

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Center
950 Peterson Street
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Discover nature with a story, followed by outdoor, hands-on nature exploration and a craft. Meet at the Beech Shelter. Ages 2–5. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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The library's Teen Leadership Corps hosts an opportunity for kids of all ages to come build something special with Lego and Duplo bricks, and play games to improve reading and math skills.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Create a barrel necklace. Ages 12 and older. Registration required.

Cost: $22.50 plus $8 materials fee

Where:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris St.
Durham , NC  27701
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Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2726
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Adam Savage, co-host of the hit TV show "Mythbusters," and Michael Stevens, creator of award-winning YouTube Channel “Vsauce,” can’t wait to unleash their collective...

Cost: $39.50 and up

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Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Learn what choices folks made in North Carolina before and during the Revolutionary War. Ages 10-13. Register online.

Cost: $1/member, $3/nonmember

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N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Join others on an easy-paced hike around the park to explore what's happening in nature. Ages 5 and younger. Register online. Choose course #200087

Cost: Free

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Registration required.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Enjoy a craft, activity and a guided walk along the greenway. Ages 2-6.  Register online. Choose course #199101.

Cost: $3

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Center
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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More information

Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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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
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Enjoy auditioned choral students from Durham Public Schools performing a wide variety of music. The show includes both choral and choreographed numbers. This is the 37th year of this musical...

Cost: $12-$35

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durha, NC  27701
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Dig In to community, healthy food access and learning. The 8th Annual Dig In informs adults about how to start and maintain community, school and child care gardens, along with local trends in...

Cost: $15 early bird registration; $25 regular rate

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC
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Sponsor: Advocates for Health in Action (AHA)
Telephone: 919-210-0310
Contact Name: Michele McKinley
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Join bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​ Meet at the Waterwise Garden.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Kids learn how to make a beaded wind chime  Best suited for ages 3 and older  (though some of the little ones might need a little more parental assistance). Register online. This class...

Cost: free

Where:
Garden Supply Company
1421 Old Apex Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Sponsor: Garden Supply Company
Telephone: 919-460-7747
Contact Name: Gretchen
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Enjoy demonstrations, youth safety preparedness activities, solar cooking and more. Register online.  

Cost: Free

Where:
St. Paul AME Church
402 W. Edenton St
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Youth Exploration Services, PreparednessMojo Media & Triangle Tribune
Telephone: 919-832-2709
Contact Name: Flo Avery
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Make your own candle.

Cost: Free. Suggested donation of $1/person.

Where:
Historic Stagville
5828 Old Oxford Hwy
Durham, NC  27712
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Sponsor: Historic Stagville
Telephone: 919-620-0120
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Families enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Explore the history of pigs in North Carolina and cast your vote for what you think is the best kind of pork barbecue. All ages with adult. Registration required.

Cost: $5/family

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Enjoy the story about hardworking trucks that get ready to say goodnight.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Durham Bulls fans can take batting practice on the field, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the DBAP and photo opportunities with Wool E. Bull, purchase single-game tickets at the ballpark and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
409 Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Learn about what lives in a vernal pool. Peek into the ponds with dip nets, meet live critters, and learn about the wonders and mysteries of life in this environment. Ages 6 and older with adult....

Cost: $8/member, $10/nonmember

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Sponsor: North Carolia Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3370
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
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Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Take part in a fun family-friendly scavenger hunt to look for things found around the preserve in winter. Warm up inside after the hunt with a cup of hot cocoa and a craft. Ages 5 and older with...

Cost: $6/child

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Learn about the interesting life cycle of these elusive amphibians, see some up close, then head out to search the temporary wetlands along the trail for eggs, larvae and adults.  Register...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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Seven delightful stories come to life in a music revue performed by Theatreworks USA. Books featured in the show include "Teacher from the Black Lagoon," "Dogzilla,"...

Cost: $12/person

Where:
Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
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Sponsor: NC State LIVE
Telephone: 919-515-1100
Contact Name: Mark Tulbert
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