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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: November 17, 2011

Get ready for a weekend of old-fashioned family fun in the Triangle. Enjoy a holiday parade that heralds the arrival of Santa. Celebrate the reopening of Pullen Park, complete with its restored antique carousel. Step back in time to learn about a Mongol warrior and see a mummy as the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences unveils its newest offering "Genghis Khan: The Exhibition." And head to the free American Indian Heritage Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History to enjoy performances and hands-on workshops and crafts.

Nature lovers of all ages will find lots of weekend activities in our Daily Calendar. And if you're looking to help families in the Triangle, don't miss the Junior League of Durham and Orange counties' holiday market. Headed to the movies? Check Jean's Movie Choices for Kids to see what's appropriate for your child and worth watching. Unless otherwise listed, you'll find details of these events in our Daily Calendar.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, take the kids to the WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade, in downtown Raleigh.  "American Idol" winner and Garner native Scotty McCreery will be the grand marshal at the event, which is the largest Christmas parade between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Enjoy the floats, marchers, bands and entertainers, and watch for a special visit from Santa at the end of the parade.

From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, the N.C. Museum of History will host the 16th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, in downtown Raleigh. Watch artists, dancers, and performers; participate in hands-on workshops and craft activities; and learn more about North Carolina's American Indian population—the largest of any state east of the Mississippi River. It's all happening at the museum and outside on Bicentennial Plaza.

On Saturday, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh will open an interactive exhibit that tells the story of Genghis Khan, the famous Mongol warlord who conquered half the known world of the early 13th century. "Genghis Khan: The Exhibition" will run through Jan. 16, 2012, offering a look at the life of a leader who helped further written language, artistic and religious freedom, and open trade along the Silk Road. The exhibit tells his story through the largest collection assembled of the treasures of the Empire of Genghis Khan, from the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and private collections. These treasures range from jewelry and ornaments to musical instruments to sophisticated weaponry made famous by Khan and his warriors. You'll find a mummified Mongolian princess from the time of Genghis Khan — along with her wood coffin, fine silk robes, pearl earrings and many other tomb treasures. For details on ticket prices, visit the museum's site.

In Cary, the Cary Arts Center hosts an open house on Saturday, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., when your family can enjoy an instrument petting zoo, a concert by the Triangle Youth String Orchestra and sneak previews of upcoming performances.

Also Saturday in Raleigh, Pullen Park reopens with a grand opening ceremony starting at 2 p.m. The 124-year-old park's amusement center was closed to the public since December 2009 for renovations that include a new carousel house, welcome center, train station, concessions building and restroom. The carousel's animals were also restored. Mayor Charles Meeker and other dignitaries will speak during a ceremony on the main stage, followed by a ribbon cutting. Enjoy live entertainment at the park throughout the day. Pullen Place, the new café at Pullen Park, will be serving fresh local food.

In Chapel Hill, Kidzu Children's Museum will host a grand opening weekend at its new location at 123 West Franklin. The museum will be open Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1-5 p.m. Enjoy free admission on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties will host a holiday market featuring 50 vendors at the Durham Marriott Convention Center, at 201 Foster Street, in Durham. Proceeds support the Junior League's local volunteer efforts to improve the lives of the children in Durham and Orange counties. Tickets are $5 each for general shopping, which takes place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Thinking of heading to a Carolina Hurricanes game? Here's a deal for you:  As part of the team's annual canned food drive this month, fans donating at least two canned food goods through Nov. 23 will receive a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) ticket voucher to a Carolina Hurricanes home game. Donations for the Canned Food Drive can be turned in at the Time Warner Cable Box Office at the RBC Center until game time on Nov. 23. Fans donating food items will receive a BOGO voucher for tickets to the Hurricanes' Nov. 23 home game against the Montreal Canadiens. Tickets are limited to eight per person and are subject to standard game-week prices.

On Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 pm., the Durham Art Walk Holiday Market will take place in downtown Durham. You'll find a gathering of artists, arts and crafts, live music and more fun for all ages. Look for details in our Daily Calendar.



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