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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: October 6, 2011

Ready for wild and wacky family fun? You'll find lots of events—some are free— around the Triangle this weekend. Experience the ultimate LEGO weekend in Raleigh at LEGO KidsFest in Raleigh. (And while you're there, visit Carolina Parent's booth for more fun!) Love pumpkins and swimming? DPR is inviting you to bob in a pool to find your favorite pumpkin at its Pumpkin Splash in Durham.

Head to the Cary Eid Festival. Enjoy free concerts, a church bazaar with crafts and food or a school-sponsored yard sale of kids stuff. The Triangle Walk/Run for Autism will also offer kids' fun. The Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope, which raises money for the research and treatment of mental illness, will feature a festival with food, music and prizes. And you'll find First Friday events in Raleigh this weekend. Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these events—and more— in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY

Kick off the weekend by heading to downtown Raleigh, when venues stay open late on First Fridays, welcoming browsers to galleries, museums and shops.  At the Museum of Natural Sciences, catch a free sci-fi movie Robot Monster at 7 p.m. The museum stays open from 5 to 9 pm on the First Friday of every month so you can enjoy exhibits and live music, this month featuring Museum Curator of the Blues Steve Harvell. Even Exchange Dance Theater will offer a free Dance Seen performance from 7-8:30 p.m., featuring Blank Slate Dance, in the historic Tucker Carriage House, located at 114 St. Mary's St.

Enjoy theater? The Cary Players will perform "Once Upon a Mattress," a rollicking spin on royal courtship, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Cary Arts Center, in Cary. Check our Daily Calendar for details on ticket prices.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the American Girl Club is meeting at the Barnes & Noble located at 760 S.E. Maynard Rd., in Cary. Kids will be discussing two new American Girls, Cecile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner.

The LEGO KidsFest will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Raleigh Convention Center, in Raleigh, featuring dozens of LEGO models and sculptures, race ramps, games, construction zones and more. You'll find all the details in Experience the Ultimate LEGO Weekend in Raleigh. Come visit the staff of Carolina Parent at our booth to see how you could win a $100 gift card to a local LEGO store and get your kid's photo taken with his or her awesome LEGO creation!

Also Friday from 6-9 p.m., check out Night Out in Nature: October Nights at the Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, in Cary, for an old-fashioned, camp-style experience and a chance to make new friends. Call (919) 387-5980 to preregister your child ages 8-12 and to find out about the fee.

Ready for a night out? Pump It Up of Raleigh, is offering a Parents' Date Night Out from  6-10 p.m. on Friday. Kids ages 4-12 enjoy a bouncing and sliding extravaganza while you have a night out. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and how to preregister.

SATURDAY

On Saturday, from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Campus Hills Pool, located at 2000 S. Alston Avenue, in Durham, will host a Pumpkin Splash.  You're invited to bob in the pool to find your favorite pumpkin, then dry the pumpkin off on the pool deck and choose from a variety of arts and crafts supplies to decorate it. All swim levels are welcome, and life vests will be provided. This is a family event. Parents are required to enter the water with children 9 years old or younger.  For more information call 919-560-4444.

Nothing beats a free concert at the park! Head to the Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park in Cary, at 1 p.m. Saturday for Cary Brass at Bond. Enjoy the pure sounds of brass instruments. Pack a blanket and picnic lunch for an afternoon of your kids will remember.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, the 5th Annual Cary Eid Festival kicks off with live music, dance from around the world,  kids activities, a vendor bazaar, ethnic food and more. It's happening at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, in Cary. Tickets cost $5 for a general admission; ages 12 and under are admitted free; and there's free admission for all before noon.

Another free event, Come Play with Me Weekend, on Saturday, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1900 Cameron St., at Cameron Village, in Raleigh, offer unique kids fun. Tour custom-built playhouses and enjoy family activities and live music by the kids band Sandbox.

If you like handmade crafts, head to the Fairmont United Methodist Church Bazaar from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, at 2501 Clark Ave., in Raleigh. You'll also find a silent auction, ham and sausage biscuits for breakfast and barbecue and soup for lunch.

If you need children's clothing, toys, books, baby gear or kids furniture, head to the Follow the Child Montessori School yard sale at 1215 Ridge Rd., in Raleigh, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday.

Logan's Trading, located at 707 Semart Dr., in Raleigh, will feature Harvest Day from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy kids activities, hay rides, face painting and more.

Take your child to a free drop-in program at the N.C. Museum of History, in downtown Raleigh, from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. The Make It, Take It: Cherokee Creatures program invites kids to see how many animals they can find in one of the museum's exhibits and to color a creature of their own.

The Triangle Walk/Run for Autism, kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday at Moore Square, downtown Raleigh. This fund-raiser features a 5K race, non-competitive 5K run, recreational 1-mile fun run, a Carolina Hurricanes' kids dash, entertainment and a kids play area.

SUNDAY

Enjoy early American music, jazz and ragtime when Blind Boy Chocolate and The Milk Sheiks perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History's Daniels Auditorium, in downtown Raleigh.

Need some great photos of your child? The Great Shoot Out, a benefit for Kidzu Children's Museum, will be held 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday at the N.C. Botanical Gardens, at 100 Old Mason Farm Rd., in Chapel Hill. It's a photo session that also features kid-friendly activities and entertainment. Reservations are required.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, the Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope kicks off at The Angus Barn, in Raleigh. The event features a 5K run or 1-mile walk to raise money for the research and treatment of mental illness. After the walk, enjoy a celebratory festival featuring food, music and prizes. Details on where to register online are in our Daily Calendar.

MORE FUN . . .

See Our Fall Fun Guide to Explore Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Farms, Halloween Fun in the Triangle! Meet goblins in the park, take a hay ride, join a Halloween Parade. Fall in full of fun happenings in the Triangle.

Thinking about heading to the movies or curling up on the couch to watch a favorite flick with the kids? See Jean's Movie Choices for Kids to find out what's worth watching and appropriate for your tot, tween or teen.

Looking for activities any day of the week? Visit our Weekly Events listing for October, where you'll find story times, crafts, support groups, exercise classes, puppetry, magic & more





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