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Weekend Activities: Free Concerts, History & Nature Fun for Kids!

September 6, 2012 1:03 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks

This weekend offers a host of family fun, from First Friday events to free concerts and celebrations of nature, history and food! Head to Colonial Kids Day, the Harvest and Hornworm Festival or enjoy grand opening festivities of a new area at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Invite grandma or grandpa out Sunday for LEGO play on their very own Grandparents Day.

Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY

It's First Friday in downtown Raleigh, a monthly arts celebration when galleries, museums and other venues stay open late to welcome browsers. Head to Marbles Kids Museum for First Friday fun from 5 to 8 p.m. to create and taste back-to-school snacks, and make your own reusable lunch sack to carry all of your favorite goodies. Learn more on Marbles website.

Also Friday, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, will host its first Teen Science Café, a free event at 6 p.m. Meet at the Daily Planet Café in the museum's new wing to hear from Nature Research Center director "Canopy" Meg Lowman, a pioneer of tree-top exploration and conservation. She'll discuss the state of Earth's rainforests, how teens can help conserve them and methods scientists use to delve into their secrets. Gain an overview of the forest canopy and visit one of the new wing's "Investigate Labs" to see insects that wage war on trees. Both the museum and the new Nature Research Center will stay open from 5 to 9 p.m. for First Friday.

In the mood for a movie? Catch the Family Flick: "The Lorax" at 8 p.m. Friday at Lake Benson Park, in Garner. You're invited to take food and beverages for the free movie, but families wishing to camp in the park after the movie must register online or by phone. There is a $10 per family fee for camping. See our Daily Calendar for details.

In Chapel Hill, enjoy a free concert, compliments of the Fridays on the Front Porch series from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday at The Carolina Inn.

In Raleigh, the Saint Raphael Fair—which features games, rides, face painting, food and entertainment—will run Friday and Saturday at Saint Raphael Catholic Church, in Raleigh. The fair is free. See our Daily Calendar for fair times.

SATURDAY

Take the kids for a trip back in time at Colonial Kids Day, a free event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Burwell School Historic Site, in Hillsborough. Activities will include colonial games, costume corner, a book nook, butter churning, quill writing, and colonial quilt making. Enjoy an old-fashioned lemonade party from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and a colonial fashion show from 2:30 to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Burwell School Historic Site, the Orange County Historical Museum and the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough.

In Durham, find more ways to journey back to the past at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site's free Harvest and Hornworm Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Take the family for historical demonstrations, a hornworm race, MoonPie eating contest, live music, craft vendors and more.

More fun for history buffs ... The State Capitol Historic Site Tour will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the State Capitol Building, in downtown Raleigh, offering kids ages 10 and up accompanied by an adult a chance to get a unique look at the building. Explore the attic, with its original crank system to lower the chandeliers, and a special room inside the Rotunda dome. See our Daily Calendar for details, including cost.

In Raleigh, head to the North Carolina Museum of History to watch the classic film Gone with the Wind, then visit the museum's newest exhibit, "Real to Reel: The Making of Gone with the Wind," from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit tells how a book turned into a movie that garnered 10 Academy Awards and showcases authentic memorabilia — costumes, screen tests, scene props, a script and more. Admission to the exhibit and movie are free, and weekend parking is free.

In Morrisville from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, it's Potato Day at Western Wake Farmers' Market, which means more free fun! Discover the world of potatoes through recipes, tastings and more. Kids can take part in a potato toss as well as potato sack races. Wondering where the closest farmers market is to your house? See our resource listing Farmers Markets Grow in the Triangle.

In Durham, visit Sarah P. Duke Gardens for the grand opening celebration of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden both Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m. Stroll through the new garden area, hear from food experts and enjoy stories, live music, and samples of garden produce.  Kids will be invited to make a seed bomb, create a vegetable print and learn about bees, chickens, composting and sustainable gardening. The event is free, but parking fees apply after 1 p.m. Learn more here.

SUNDAY

Grandparents Day is this Sunday, and Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill is inviting you to celebrate from 1 to 5 p.m. with LEGO DUPLO play. The special event features a "Read, Build, Play! Traveling Program where "LEGO Playmasters" will run games, activities, and an interactive story time (geared to kids ages 2 to 6). Create your own designs with LEGO DUPLO bricks and get hands-on help from experts. In celebration of Grandparents Day during this event Kidzu will be giving away One Free Grandparent Membership, and One Ackland "Behind the Scenes" Workshop Admission. This event and Sunday admission is free. No registration is required.

Or at 7 p.m. Sunday, head to Pops in the City, a free classical music concert that celebrates the 80th season of the North Carolina Symphony at the Raleigh Amphitheater, in Raleigh. Learn more here.

Thinking about a Getaway this Weekend?

If you love flowers, head to Asheville, where the North Carolina Arboretum will host the 26th Annual Show of the Carolinas Dahlia Society this weekend. The show will be open to the public from 1 until 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday showcasing hundreds of dahlias in every shape, size, and color. Exhibitors from four states, including commercial and amateur growers from North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama will participate. The show is free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal motor vehicle). For more information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit ncarboretum.org.

The Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre will hold its after-season musical concert Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Wilson Outdoor Theatre at Snow Camp, N.C.  Tickets are $10, with children under 11 free when accompanied by a paying adult.  Proceeds from the concert will help improve the theatre, grounds and historic site. In case of rain, the show will be held in the Shoffner Building on the Historic Site.   For more information, call (800) 726-5115.

Visit our Things to Do page for more fun.



This weekend offers a host of family fun, from First Friday events to free concerts and celebrations of nature, history and food! Head to Colonial Kids Day, the Harvest and Hornworm Festival or enjoy grand opening festivities of a new area at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Invite grandma or grandpa out Sunday for LEGO play on their very own Grandparents Day.

Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar.

FRIDAY

It's First Friday in downtown Raleigh, a monthly arts celebration when galleries, museums and other venues stay open late to welcome browsers. Head to Marbles Kids Museum for First Friday fun from 5 to 8 p.m. to create and taste back-to-school snacks, and make your own reusable lunch sack to carry all of your favorite goodies. Learn more on Marbles website.

Also Friday, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, will host its first Teen Science Café, a free event at 6 p.m. Meet at the Daily Planet Café in the museum's new wing to hear from Nature Research Center director "Canopy" Meg Lowman, a pioneer of tree-top exploration and conservation. She'll discuss the state of Earth's rainforests, how teens can help conserve them and methods scientists use to delve into their secrets. Gain an overview of the forest canopy and visit one of the new wing's "Investigate Labs" to see insects that wage war on trees. Both the museum and the new Nature Research Center will stay open from 5 to 9 p.m. for First Friday.

In the mood for a movie? Catch the Family Flick: "The Lorax" at 8 p.m. Friday at Lake Benson Park, in Garner. You're invited to take food and beverages for the free movie, but families wishing to camp in the park after the movie must register online or by phone. There is a $10 per family fee for camping. See our Daily Calendar for details.

In Chapel Hill, enjoy a free concert, compliments of the Fridays on the Front Porch series from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday at The Carolina Inn.

In Raleigh, the Saint Raphael Fair—which features games, rides, face painting, food and entertainment—will run Friday and Saturday at Saint Raphael Catholic Church, in Raleigh. The fair is free. See our Daily Calendar for fair times.

SATURDAY

Take the kids for a trip back in time at Colonial Kids Day, a free event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Burwell School Historic Site, in Hillsborough. Activities will include colonial games, costume corner, a book nook, butter churning, quill writing, and colonial quilt making. Enjoy an old-fashioned lemonade party from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and a colonial fashion show from 2:30 to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Burwell School Historic Site, the Orange County Historical Museum and the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough.

In Durham, find more ways to journey back to the past at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site's free Harvest and Hornworm Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Take the family for historical demonstrations, a hornworm race, MoonPie eating contest, live music, craft vendors and more.

More fun for history buffs ... The State Capitol Historic Site Tour will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the State Capitol Building, in downtown Raleigh, offering kids ages 10 and up accompanied by an adult a chance to get a unique look at the building. Explore the attic, with its original crank system to lower the chandeliers, and a special room inside the Rotunda dome. See our Daily Calendar for details, including cost.

In Raleigh, head to the North Carolina Museum of History to watch the classic film Gone with the Wind, then visit the museum's newest exhibit, "Real to Reel: The Making of Gone with the Wind," from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit tells how a book turned into a movie that garnered 10 Academy Awards and showcases authentic memorabilia — costumes, screen tests, scene props, a script and more. Admission to the exhibit and movie are free, and weekend parking is free.

In Morrisville from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, it's Potato Day at Western Wake Farmers' Market, which means more free fun! Discover the world of potatoes through recipes, tastings and more. Kids can take part in a potato toss as well as potato sack races. Wondering where the closest farmers market is to your house? See our resource listing Farmers Markets Grow in the Triangle.

In Durham, visit Sarah P. Duke Gardens for the grand opening celebration of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden both Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m. Stroll through the new garden area, hear from food experts and enjoy stories, live music, and samples of garden produce.  Kids will be invited to make a seed bomb, create a vegetable print and learn about bees, chickens, composting and sustainable gardening. The event is free, but parking fees apply after 1 p.m. Learn more here.

SUNDAY

Grandparents Day is this Sunday, and Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill is inviting you to celebrate from 1 to 5 p.m. with LEGO DUPLO play. The special event features a "Read, Build, Play! Traveling Program where "LEGO Playmasters" will run games, activities, and an interactive story time (geared to kids ages 2 to 6). Create your own designs with LEGO DUPLO bricks and get hands-on help from experts. In celebration of Grandparents Day during this event Kidzu will be giving away One Free Grandparent Membership, and One Ackland "Behind the Scenes" Workshop Admission. This event and Sunday admission is free. No registration is required.

Or at 7 p.m. Sunday, head to Pops in the City, a free classical music concert that celebrates the 80th season of the North Carolina Symphony at the Raleigh Amphitheater, in Raleigh. Learn more here.

Thinking about a Getaway this Weekend?

If you love flowers, head to Asheville, where the North Carolina Arboretum will host the 26th Annual Show of the Carolinas Dahlia Society this weekend. The show will be open to the public from 1 until 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday showcasing hundreds of dahlias in every shape, size, and color. Exhibitors from four states, including commercial and amateur growers from North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama will participate. The show is free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal motor vehicle). For more information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit ncarboretum.org.

The Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre will hold its after-season musical concert Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Wilson Outdoor Theatre at Snow Camp, N.C.  Tickets are $10, with children under 11 free when accompanied by a paying adult.  Proceeds from the concert will help improve the theatre, grounds and historic site. In case of rain, the show will be held in the Shoffner Building on the Historic Site.   For more information, call (800) 726-5115.

Visit our Things to Do page for more fun.


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