Weekend Fun: Free 'Canes Fun Fest, Scoops For Troops, Kids Activities


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This weekend offers a range of free family fun, from the Carolina Hurricane's annual Summer Fun Fest to Scoops for Troops, an ice cream social and family day honoring the military. If you're looking for cool indoor entertainment, you could head to a family-friendly play, catch a kindie rocker performance, enjoy story times or attend events catering to Star War fans, kids who love remote control cars or those who dabble in clay.

The Carolina Hurricanes will host their annual Summer Fun Fest on Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. Parking, and admission are free. Park and enter on the east side of the arena. This year, Summer Fun Fest will move inside PNC Arena with activities spread across the arena floor and the first level. While the ice will not be down, fans will be able to take pictures on the Hurricanes' bench, in the penalty box, with the Olympia ice resurfacers and more. In addition, the team's championship banners and the retired jerseys of Ron Francis, Glen Wesley and Rod Brind'Amour will be lowered from the rafters so fans can take their pictures with them.

As part of Summer Fun Fest, fans can enjoy live music from DJ George, more than 20 interactive inflatables and games, giveaways, appearances by Stormy and the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad, discounted concessions, street hockey and hockey games and extended hours for The Eye. Fans also are invited to take part in a School Supply Charity Drive during the event to benefit the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs. Supplies can be brought to the Kids 'N Community Foundation kiosk inside the East Priority Lounge during the event. Items can include pencils, pens, notebook paper, spiral notebooks and crayons. Fans who choose to bring an item will be entered to win a 2011-12 team-signed replica jersey.

Also on Friday night, you'll find two nature events Children's Owl Hike with S'mores at Irvin Nature Preserve, in Chapel Hill, and Crowder by Night: Owl Prowl, in Apex. Check our Daily Calendar for details on registration, pricing and more.

SATURDAY

The Town of Cary, will host Scoops for Troops, a free ice cream social and family day to honor all active military and veterans on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Cary. The event will be held at the Downtown Performance Green, located on the corner of Academy Street and Kildaire Farm Road. The event features a military Ice Cream Eating Contest, games on the lawn, kids activities, including crafts, music and entertainment on stage, military vehicles and displays. Miss North Carolina Teen USA and Chewy the USO Ambassadog will make appearances. You're invited to take expired coupons and non-perishable items for donation to troops overseas and their families. The event is cosponsored by the USO of North Carolina. For details, visit the Town of Cary's site.

Does clay speak to you? It's feel good to knead cool clay on a hot day. At 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh  will host Family Fun Saturday: Hey, It's Clay!, when kids ages 5 to 11 with family members are invited to learn the language of clay through a gallery tour and studio workshop.The cost is $3 members, $5 nonmembers. See our Daily Calendar for details, including how to register.

For more cool indoor fun for your kids of all ages, head to a free story time on Saturday. You'll find them at Cameron Village Regional Library, in Raleigh; East Regional Library, in Knightdale, the Durham County Library (where story time will be in German), in Durham; Orange County Public Library's Carrboro Branch, in Chapel Hill; and Barnes & Noble, in Durham. See our Daily Calendar for details, including schedules.

In addition, Cameron Village Regional Library, in Raleigh, is featuring a free Star Wars Celebration, appropriate for all ages, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Celebrate all things Star Wars with games, crafts and more fun. See our Daily Calendar for details.

If remote control cars are more your thing, head to the free Ho-b Max Car Drift Racing Event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Northgate Mall, Durham. Visitors age 10 and up can sign up for 5-minute rides with remote control drift cars from noon to 3:30 p.m.  From 3:30-4 p.m., Ho-b Max customers who bring their own drift car can race against Ho b Max employees. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Fans of kindie music have their choice of two performances this Saturday:

  • Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players perform at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Art, in Raleigh. Visit our Daily Calendar for ticket prices.
  • Recess Monkey will sing about outer space, superheroes and the circus at 11 a.m. Saturday at The ArtsCenter, in Carrboro. See our Daily Calendar for details on ticket prices.
You can also catch a number of plays this weekend, including "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" at Raleigh Little Theatre, in Raleigh; "Oliver" at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, in Raleigh; and "Urinetown" at the Paul Green Theatre, in Chapel Hill. The North Carolina Museum of History is also featuring two interesting exhibits, Al Norte al Norte: Latino Life in North Carolina and "At the Speed of a Girl — Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting."

Head to the Historic Yates Mill County Park, on Saturday and Sunday in Raleigh, to step back in time with 19th century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Visit the park's site for details.

SUNDAY

The Ackland Art Museum, in Chapel Hill, will host Family Day starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, when kids ages 4 to 8 and their family are invited to join in hands-on activities and scavenger hunts in the galleries. The event is free and no registration is required. Visit our Daily Calendar for details.

Also, the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh is hosting free family-friendly tours at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.  Join a museum guide for a lively discussion and activities in the galleries. Meet at the West Building Information Desk. See our Daily Calendar for details.

From noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, you can also catch "Our State Dog: North Carolina's Plott Hound," a free traveling exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History which explores the history and evolution of the Plott hound. A legendary hunting dog, the Plott hount is  the only dog breed known to have originated in North Carolina.

From 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the Junior Naturalist: Super Skinks and Snakes program at Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, in Cary, is designed to help children ages 5 to 8 gain an understanding of local nature. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and registration.

Browse our Summer Fun Guide for more activities, including summer movies deals for families and outdoor theater offerings.

Oh Baby! Our 2012-2013 Online Baby & Toddler Fair is now live! Discover services, businesses and products in the Triangle that cater to new and prospective parents.

Visit our contests page for a chance to win A Kindle Fire!
Carolina Parent is celebrating the warm weather season of lazy days, vacation getaways, new friends and discoveries with our My Summer Stories campaign – and you could win a Kindle Fire. Find out more here.



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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
View map »


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
View map »


Website »

More information

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
View map »


Website »

More information

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 »

More information

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
View map »


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 »

More information

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

More information

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 »

More information

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
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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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 »

More information

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
View map »


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
View map »


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
View map »


Website »

More information

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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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