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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: January 5, 2012

This first weekend in January brings balmy temperatures and lots of family fun to the Triangle, from First Friday events at museums in Raleigh that are free or discounted to a free Day of the Kings parade and celebration in Cary on Saturday. You'll also find opportunities to enjoy live music or head outdoors to enjoy nature with your kids. Unless otherwise noted, look for details on these upcoming programs in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY

Got a mad scientist or inventive artist in your family? Head to the Crazy Toy Lab at Marbles Kids Museum, in Raleigh, on Friday, Jan. 6, from 5-8 p.m., to make something crazy from recycled and rescued toys. Take your old toys for recyling into something new and fun. Marbles will also be offering special First Friday admission savings. Admission will be $10 for a family after 5 p.m.; $6 for a grown-up and a child; or $2 per each additional guest (friend, neighbor.)

The Contemporary Art Museum, in Raleigh, will stay open until 10 p.m. for First Friday fun, and children age 10 and under are admitted free. Admission is $5 for adults. As part of First Friday programming, the cast of the North Carolina Opera will perform live at 7 pm. and 9 p.m. You're also invited to drop by CAM's creation station from 6:30—9 p.m. for a new hands-on project. All materials and instruction supplied by CAM Raleigh are free with admission.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, in Raleigh, will also join in First Friday fun by offering special pricing on its newest exhibit, "Genghis Khan," which tells the life story and legacy of this famous Mongol warrior through artifacts on from the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and private collections. The First Friday rate is $8 for adults, $5 for Children/students/seniors. The museum will stay open until 9 p.m., and it's free to browse  regular exhibits and listen to live music from the museum's "Curator of the Blues," Steve Harvell. You can also catch a free sci-fi movie, "The Mask of Fu Manchu," at 7 p.m. which revolves around a race to discover the tomb of Genghis Khan.

SATURDAY

The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will feature "The Rhythm of the Drum" at 11a.m., 1 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy African culture through storytelling and music. Visit our Daily Calendar for details on admission.

On Saturday from 1-3 p.m., take a free "Bare But Beautiful" hike at West Point on the Eno City Park. Learn to identify trees by bark, twigs, and shape and hear a discussion of historical uses of trees. The park is located at 5101 N. Roxboro Rd. Call (919) 471-1623 for details.

In the mood to browse a farmers' market in Durham? From10 a.m.-noon, head to the Pavilion at Durham Central Park, located at 501 Foster St. Vendors will be offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, cut flowers, potted plants, artisanal cheeses and breads, home-baked pies, honey, handmade chocolates, preserves, local wines, hand-made soaps, pottery, jewelry and artwork of all sorts.

In Cary, the Curiosity Club will feature Searching for Salamanders from 10 a.m.-noon at the Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, The event is designed to foster curiosity about science and nature in kids ages 5-8. Pre-registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for pricing details.

In Cary, the Dia de los Reyes Parade and Gift-Giving Celebration kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bond Park, located at 801 High House Rd. Enjoy holiday foods from Latin countries, traditional songs and a parade. See my previous post for all the details.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., the N.C. Museum of Art, in Raleigh, will offer a free Drop-in Studio for kids of all ages to enjoy hands-on crafts. Visit our Daily Calendar for details.

SUNDAY

At 3 p.m. Sunday, see 14-year-old Lakota John Locklear perform blues music with a slide guitar and harmonica at the N.C. Museum of History, Daniels Auditorium, in Raleigh. The event is free. Visit our Daily Calendar for details.

In Raleigh, beginning readers are invited to read their favorite book to Curry the Dog from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cameron Village Regional Library, in Raleigh.  Pre-registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Ready to head outdoors to help your community? Kids ages 6 and their parents can take part in Volunteer Workdays: Trail Maintenance from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, in Cary. You'll be helping staff mulch trails and make other improvements. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Enjoy long hikes? At 2 p.m. Sunday, join a winter hikes going out from the Eno River State Park Headquarters (Few's Ford Access Area) on Cole Mill Rd. to explore a section of the Eno River Basin. The hikes take place weekly and last about two and a half-hours, covering 3 to 4 miles. Call (919) 620-9099 for details.

Headed to the movies? Be sure to check Jean's Movie Choices for Kids first to see what's appropriate for your tot, tween or teen.

For family exhibits at local museums or more fun things to do with the kids, visit our January Long-Running events listing. For daily fun, from sory times, crafts,  and puppetry to exercise classes, see our Weekly Events and Story Times.









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