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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: June 7, 2012

Triangle families and children have their pick of free fun this weekend, from Second Saturdays events that celebrate N.C. sports and history to visits from Curious George and Cat in the Hat. Enjoy free concerts, craft activities, story times and kids nature programs. And don't miss out on TriangleMommies' yard sale. Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

Safe Kids Orange County will host a free summer Safety Fair on Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. at the YMCA Pool at Meadowmont, located at 301 Old Barn Lane, in Chapel Hill, to encourage families to be safe this summer. Browse informational booths that cover topics from water and fire safety, to sports, poison prevention, passenger safety, biking, hot cars, playgrounds and more. Complete a "Passport to Safety" to earn entry to the YMCA pool for an afternoon of recreational swimming compliments of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro YMCA. Visit this UNC website for details.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Meet the Cat in the Hat for story time at Family Fun Night at the Barnes & Noble, in Cary. The event is free and no registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details.

From 5 to 8 p.m., relax outdoors with your family at a free concert, at The Carolina Inn, in Chapel Hill, compliments of the Fridays on the Front Porch series. Purchase advance food tickets online. Get details in our Daily Calendar and find more free outdoor concerts in our roundup here.

The Northern Wake Relay for Life begins at 7 p.m. Friday and ends at 9 a.m. Saturday at Richland Creek Community Church, in Wake Forest. The relay raises funds to fight cancer and features a kids walk at 8:30 p.m., food, games and activities for the family. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids walk. Register online. See our Daily Calendar for details.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9

Head to the North Carolina State Capitol, in downtown Raleigh, for a free Second Saturdays event, Capital City Homefront Day on Saturday. Enjoy living history activities and watch re-enactors recreate Raleigh's Civil War homefront in the summer of 1863. See the N.C. Historic Sites website for times:

Also Saturday in downtown Raleigh, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., another Second Saturday event, Celebrate North Carolina Sports, offers activities for all ages at the North Carolina Museum of History. The free event features jump rope demonstrations by the Bouncing Bulldogs and Cheer Extreme athletes. Try a basketball shooting challenge, talk to athletes, see famous NASCAR stock cars, create a trading card and take part in more fun.

In Durham, the Herb, Garden and Craft Festival, another free Second Saturday program, run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Duke Homestead. Enjoy a wide variety of herb and craft vendors, 19th-century children's games, live music, craft demonstrations and more.

TriangleMommies, a free social networking site for moms in the Triangle, will hold its annual yard sale on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. Moms from all over the Triangle will display their inexpensive wares for sale at Fifth Third Bank, 5500 Six Forks Rd, in Raleigh, and you'll find a range of items, from children's toys to clothes, furniture, housewares, collectibles and books. Take cash and a truck to haul away all of your goodies!

The beloved book character Curious George will be visiting the Northgate Mall in Durham, on Saturday. Catch any of his three free shows at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Center Court with music, dancing and entertainment. Or see where else you can find him at the mall in this blog.

In Carrboro, the Craft Market, will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Southern Rail on Main Street. You'll find craft demos, a kids craft project table, shopping and live music. It's a free event. See Carrboro Craft Market Offers Handmade Items for details.

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.

In Apex, from 3 to 4 p.m., take part in a free family program for all ages on The American Tobacco Trail. Learn about the trail's history and its future. Meet at the New Hill Parking Lot. Registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details.

In Fuquay-Varina, a free Potato Dig kicks off at 10 a.m. at The Garden Hut for ages 12 and under accompanied by a parent. Dig up a potato and take it home for dinner. Registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details, including registration, which is required.

Saturdays are a great time for engaging little ones in reading through free story times and you'll find details of these Saturday events in our Daily Calendar:
* In Knightdale, a free family story time at East Regional Library starts at 10:30 a.m. and includes music.
* In Durham, the Barnes & Noble is offering a free story time for the preschool crowd starting at 11 a.m.
* In Chapel Hill at 10:30 a.m., the Orange County Public Library's Carrboro Branch will host a free story time followed by discussion and craft-making for children ages 1-5 and their caregivers.

The Kid's Nature Photography Workshop at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus is a free opportunity for children to learn  camera techniques and practice taking pictures in the garden. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and you'll need to take a camera. See our Daily Calendar for details.

SUNDAY, JUNE 10

Soak in the Music of the Carolinas: GrassStreet, a free live concert of bluegrass music at the North Carolina Museum of History's Daniels Auditorium, from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, in downtown Raleigh. The concert is perfect for all ages.

See the Paperhand Puppet Intervention perform "The Big Tent Cabaret Road Show," followed by a participatory parade on Sunday at the Doris Duke Center, in Durham. The event for all ages starts at 1 p.m. See our Daily Calendar for more information, including ticket prices.

In Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Art will feature Storytelling in the Galleries at 10:30 a.m. The free program offers family-friendly tours and activities in the galleries. Meet at East Building Information Desk. See our Daily Calendar for details


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, kids DVDs and family.



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