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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: June 14, 2012

The Triangle offers lots of free family fun this Father's Day weekend. Head out with Dad to free outdoor concerts; enjoy free ice skating, food and games; or go to a free skateboarding event. Don't miss Stormfest, a free festival about storms and weather designed to appeal to kids while educating them.

Join in the free Juneteenth Celebration of Durham's African-American community with live entertainment, games and crafts. Savor a piece of the huge birthday cake at the free Raleigh Fire Department Centennial Celebration that features a fire truck parade and kids activities.

If Dad is a nature nut , look in our Daily Calendar for outdoors family programs that invite you to go on canoeing trips , explore nature parks and discover the beasts that roam the woods at night You'll also find a variety of free story times for kids of all ages this weekend in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15

Ease into the weekend listening to free outdoor concerts in Durham or Chapel Hill on Friday night. See our Daily Calendar for details.
* At 6 p.m., soak in Adam Hurt's traditional music from the North Carolina Mountains, on the lawn at American Tobacco, at the American Tobacco Historic District, in Durham. The free concert, appropriate for all ages will also feature Stephanie Coleman and Beth Williams Hartness.
* The Fridays on the Front Porch series offers another free concert from 5 to 8 p.m., at The Carolina Inn, in Chapel Hill.
You'll find a listing of more free or low-cost outdoor concerts in our summer round-up.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the Barnes & Noble, in Cary, features Family Fun Night with a free story time. The featured book is The Very Fairy Princess, by Julie Andrews, and kids will also enjoy an activity. See our Daily Calendar for details.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16

StormFest, a free festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh offers an insider's look at weather and natural disasters and emergency response services. Festival activities will take place both inside the museum and outside on Bicentennial Plaza, where you can view emergency response vehicles, news vehicles and a storm-chasing vehicle: Here's a look at the line-up of fun:
* Meet meteorologists from local news stations and ask them questions at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the WRAL 3D Theater.
* Enjoy free showings of Tornado Alley in 3D.
*Hear fun stories about weather gone weird and meet some live animals from the book, "Pink Snow and Other Weird Weather."
* Take your kids to ask questions of experts at the "Weather Why's for Kids" talks in the Nature Research Center Daily Planet Theater.
* Learn about why weather happens, how to predict it, participate in weather experiments with the National Weather Service.
* Get the scoop on preparing for dangerous weather, and discover the resources local governments use for storm response and recovery. For more information on schedules, visit the museum's website.

Head to the Polar Ice House's Cary location at 1410 Buck Jones Rd from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday for free ice skating, free lessons, food and games during the rink's open house. Get the details on the free fun here.

Celebrate Durham's African-American community Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m. at the free Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Durham at the CCB Plaza. The event commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. A noon luncheon before the event is free for children ages 10 to 17. Register at spectacularmag.com. A Unity March begins at 2:30 p.m. and the festival, starts at 3 p.m. Kids look forward to face painting, crafts, games and educational activities.

Join in the Raleigh Fire Department's free centennial celebration at 10 a.m. Saturday, in downtown Raleigh. See a fire truck parade at 10 a.m., followed by fun-filled activities for the whole family. Enjoy antique apparatus pumping exhibitions, firefighter challenges, a bucket brigade for kids, an injury prevention station, a huge birthday cake and more. You'll find details in our Daily Calendar.

In Carrboro, Lunch Money, for the ages 2 to 6 set, performs at 11 a.m. Saturday, at The ArtsCenter. The South Carolina-based trio sings songs about roller coasters, giant cookies, blowing bubbles and cardboard box adventures. See our Daily Calendar for ticket prices.

In Carrboro, Abbey Road Live performs at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cats Cradle. Kids and adults are invited to hear the Beatles tribute band and enjoy singing on stage with the band, dancing, and kid-friendly snacks and drinks. Purchase tickets online. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Marbles Kids Museum, in downtown Raleigh will celebrate Father's Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a special program that lets dads and kids enjoy manly mustaches, tool tinkering and racing relays. See our Daily Calendar for prices.

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 a.m. to noon offering live music, the produce of more than 30 farmers and artisans, and a free special program in the Education Tent. See Farmers Markets Grow in the Triangle to find farmers markets near your home.

Head to these free story times on Saturday. You'll find more details of them in our Daily Calendar.
* In Durham, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., hear a story, sing and make a craft in German at the Durham County Library.
* In Durham, Barnes & Noble will offer a free preschool story time at 11 a.m.
* In Chapel Hill, Flyleaf Books will host a free story time followed by an activity from 10:30 to 11 a.m.
* In Chapel Hill at 10:30 a.m., the Orange County Public Library's Carrboro Branch will offer stories and invite discussion and craft-making for ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers.

FATHER'S DAY, SUNDAY, JUNE 17

In Cary, pack your skateboards and head to the Father's Day Jam from noon to 10 p.m. at Sk8-Cary. The free event for all ages, invites dads and kids to ride together.

In Durham, celebrate Father's Day with a visit to see the works of Alexander Calder, father of the mobile, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Entertain Dad with putting greens in the museum and a cookout menu in the Nasher Museum Café .It's the final weekend for the Calder exhibit, and the museum will be open for extended hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Marbles Kids Museum's Celebrate Father's Day program continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when dads and kids enjoy manly mustaches, tool tinkering and racing relays. See our Daily Calendar for details.

In Apex, on Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m., enjoy nature-related games and refreshments for ages 8 to 12 at Crowder District Park's Daddy and Me Game Day. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and registration.

In Raleigh, take a Father's Day hike from 11 a.m. to noon at the Historic Yates Mill County Park to learn abut nature and explore tools that can be used to investigate it. All ages are invited. See our Daily Calendar for cost and how to register.

In Durham from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, the Durham Community Concert band will perform marches, classical, patriotic and Broadway music in a free concert in American Tobacco Historic District. The concert is part of the series, On the Lawn at American Tobacco.


Visit our Summer Fun Guide to the Triangle to find free movies and more! See our Father's Day Guide for more events in the Triangle and easy crafts.

Where will you celebrate July 4th? Discover which Triangle-area towns are planning parades, fireworks and kids activities in our Independence Day Celebrations roundup.

Could you use a free seaside adventure for four at Beaufort? Visit our Contests page to enter our Family Travel Photo Contest for a chance to win this great family getaway. Our contests page is loaded with great prizes this month, including tickets to the North Carolina Symphony's Summerfest 2012 series, American Dance Festival passes and kids DVDs.



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