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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: March 15, 2012

Family fun spreads across the Triangle this weekend, from a St. Patrick's Day parade, in Raleigh, to the Marry Durham Celebration, in Durham. Creek Week, hosted by Keep Durham Beautiful, offers nature activities, and you'll find more kids outdoors activities at lots of Triangle parks. Enjoy a free family day at the Nasher Museum of Art, in Durham, and a free concert of free afternoon of Scottish music, poetry and dancing at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary.

In celebration of spring's arrival next week, our Spring Guide to the Triangle offers even more ideas for fun outdoors, from egg hunts to consignment sales.   If you're headed to the movies, don't miss Jean's Movie Choices for Kids. Look for details of these upcoming events, and many more, in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY

You'll find a range of activities designed to get kids outdoors on Friday:

* Junior Gardeners, for ages 5-10, will be held at the Pullen Community Center, in Raleigh from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday. Kids will decorate a flower pot, plant a seed and take it home. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and pre-registration.

* The Night Out in Nature program from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, in Cary, offers an old-fashioned camp-style program for kids ages 8-12. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and pre-registration.

* Crowder by Night: Spring Splendor from 7-8:30 p.m. at Crowder District Park, in Apex, offers a hike around the pond to listen for the calls of amphibians. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost and pre-registration.

Kidzu Children's Museum, in Chapel Hill, invites kids ages 5 and younger to.Painting in the Afternoon from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday. Children will learn how to get paint onto paper. For details on cost, see our Daily Calendar.

SATURDAY

The Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off at noon Saturday in downtown Raleigh. The Wearin' 'O the Green Festival in Moore Square, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., will feature Irish organizations, food vendors, children's games and activities. This is the 30th year for the Raleigh parade, in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. Visit http://raleighstpats.org for details.

If you'd like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at breakfast and sneak a little spinach into your little one's diet, head for I-HOP's St. Patrick's Day Green Eggs Combo. The meal, only offered at participating I-HOPs on Saturday, features two eggs scrambled with creamed spinach, two buttermilk pancakes, and a choice of two bacon strips or two pork sausage links. Prices vary by location. Visit www.ihop.com to find your local I-HOP.

Love Durham? Head to the Marry Durham Celebration, which runs from 2:30-5:30 p.m.—with a parade starting at 3 p.m.— in the 700 block of Riggsbee Ave., in Durham, Now in its second year, the celebration of community spirit, last year drew hundreds of people to show their devotion to Durham through a mass wedding, where participants dressed as brides and grooms. Enjoy local entertainment, a kids area, food and more. The family-friendly celebration is designed to promote safe streets, protect natural resources and encourage local shopping and support of the arts and nonprofits. Visit http://marrydurham.com for details.

Treat your kids to a step back in time at the free Blacksmithing Demonstration from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh. See a blacksmith's forge in action and learn how a blacksmith crafted horseshoes, wheels, gears and more.

The Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh, invites kids ages 7 and up to take a tour on Saturday and Sunday to watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal and to hear from costumed interpreters. Reservations are required for the Corn-Grinding Tour. See our Daily Calendar for cost and tour times.

Head to the Cary Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday for "The Seasons." You'll enjoy ballet dancing and live orchestral accompaniment from the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. See our Daily Calendar for details including ticket information.

Find more nature programs on Saturday:

* Nature Explorations: Going Green Hike, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh, will feature a guided hike around the millpond and an opportunity to take part in a treasure hunt for gold coins containing earth-friendly hints

All ages are welcome and the event is free. Pre-registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details.

* Let's Go Looking for Salamaders and Frogs, a family program perfect for all ages, will run from 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday at Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs, in Cary. Equipment will be provided for your use. See our Daily Calendar for details on costs and pre-registration.

On Saturday, Marbles Kids Museum, in downtown Raleigh, babies and kids through age 5 to Sing, Dance, Play from 3:30-4 p.m. See our Daily Calendar for more details, including cost.

SUNDAY

Sunday offers a free Family Day at the Nasher Museum of Art on the Duke University campus, in Durham. From noon-4 p.m., enjoy gallery hunts, hands-on activities and more fun designed for kids ages 3-12 accompanied by an adult. The Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences will perform at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Enjoy a free afternoon of Scottish music, poetry and dancing starting at 4 p.m. at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center, in Cary. Look for the Scottish Ceilidh: Music, Song and Dance of Scotland program in our Daily Calendar for details.

Kidzu Children's Museum, in Chapel Hill, will offer a free drop-in program that features a Spanish-English story time and craft at 4 p.m. Sunday. See our Daily Calendar for details.

ALL WEEKEND

All ages are invited to watch the Cary Cup Table Tennis Championship, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bond Park Community Center, in Cary. See our Daily Calendar for details, including times.

Raleigh Little Theatre will present The Adventures of Nate, a play about a smart kid detective, on  Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The show is based upon the Nate the Great series of books by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. For ticket prices and performance times, visit Raleigh Little Theatre's site.



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