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Weekend Fun: Free Festivals, Concert, Kids Nature Activities

October 4, 2012 1:42 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks

Get ready to enjoy a glorious fall weekend filled with family fun, starting with Raleigh's monthly free First Friday evening escapes. In Durham, the Triangle Land Conservancy's celebrates the opening of its Horton Grove Nature Preserve with music, hikes and tours, crafts, games, food trucks and picnicking on the lawn. In and around the Triangle, many farms, parks and other venues are welcoming kids to pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes and Halloween haunts. See our roundup of age-appropriate Halloween fun, from "not-so-scary" events to the just "plain scary."

You'll also find lots of free family-friendly festivals this weekend, including Heritage Day, which celebrates Wake County's agricultural and rural history with live music, heritage crafts and re-enactors in Raleigh. In Durham, Fox 50 Family Fest offers family games and activities, live animals, vendors, prize drawings and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Wool E. Bull, Lucky E. Duck. "Durham On The Move" will present a free "Youth Diversity Carnivaaal and Parade" in downtown Durham. In Cary, look for visual and performing artists at the Celebration of Children in the Arts as well as make-and-take crafts. In Chapel Hill, the Festifall Arts Festival, another free event features local artists, live music and local cuisine. And you could enjoy a free family concert, "Broadway Under the Stars," as well as free face-painting, jugglers, and magicians at the Red Hat Amphitheater, in Raleigh. For more fun, read on. Unless otherwise noted, you'll find more details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar:

This weekend, the Horton Grove Nature Preserve, a 708-acre preserve adjacent to Historic Stagville, in Durham, will hold grand opening events on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, take the kids for a hike at 3:30 p.m. or stargazing with Morehead Planetarium at 8 p.m. On Saturday, you'll find a wide range of nature activities and other fun for children of all ages. For example, kids ages 3 and under are invited to go dressed as their favorite butterfly, bee or bug to search the lawn for prizes. Another event for all ages reveals which creatures live on a native prairie and features live animals and activities. See the Triangle Land Conservancy's link here for a full schedule of events.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit Historic Oak View County Park to celebrate Heritage Day, a free event. Enjoy live music, animals, cane pole fishing, antique cars, carriage rides, heritage crafts, antique tractors, re-enactors and more. The Capital Quilters Guild will display quilts and hold a quilt auction at 2 p.m. For details, see our Daily Calendar.

On Saturday, enjoy a free family concert when the Red Hat Amphitheater, in Raleigh hosts Broadway Under the Stars, presented by PNC. Doors open at 2 p.m. Hear local groups performing popular Broadway songs, and take the kids for free face-painting, jugglers, and magicians. The lineup includes North Carolina's own Red Clay Ramblers, the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, Peace University Musical Theater, Performance Edge, and Raleigh Little Theater. No ticket is required for the event.

In Cary, head to a Celebration of Children in the Arts, a free festival, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Cary Ballet Conservatory. Watch local visual and performing artists and let the kids take part in activities that include gourd and face painting and make-and-take crafts.

On Saturday, "Durham On The Move," will feature a free "Youth Diversity Carnivaaal and Parade" from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in downtown Durham. The parade runs from 11 a.m. to noon, starting at the intersection of North Corcoran and West Main streets. You'll see young bikers, walking clubs, the tooth fairy, McGruff, youth groups, a fire truck, electric cars, floats, and step-and-dance teams, all on parade. The Carnivaaal takes place at 923 Franklin St. beside the Golden Belt Historic District. Activities include book bag drawings, Zumba, kids yoga, a children's activity table, face painting, inflatable bouncers, and more. Vendors will be selling fresh produce and offering free information on issues ranging from fair housing and CPR to crime prevention. Enjoy entertainment from youth groups, mimes, dance groups, and line dancing. Local vendors will be selling food, art and coffee.

Also in Cary, the free Downtown Game Day runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Performance Green, at the corner of Academy and Chatham streets. The event features outdoor family fun, including table tennis, Frisbee Golf, corn hold and more.

Fairmont United Methodist Church's bazaar runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church, located at 2501 Clark Ave. Take the family for breakfast, a barbecue lunch, homemade crafts, seasonal decorations and a silent auction. You can buy new and used items, including children's books and toys.

In Carrboro, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Hank Anderson Park. The Town of Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department is hosting the free event for young riders of all ages as part of a nationwide celebration supported by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. A bicycle, helmet and closed-toe shoes are required, and gloves and a water bottle are recommended.

Celebrate Nickelodeon's 9th annual Worldwide Day of Play from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Marbles Kids Museum, in Raleigh. Join in zany games and old-school recess fun. Nick will "go dark" on air for the whole day to help kids get up and get active. Look for a hula hoopla, a giant volleyball, rocket launches and all sorts of silliness throughout the day. See our Daily Calendar for details, including cots.

In downtown Chapel Hill, Festifall Arts Festival, a free event featuring local artists, live music and local cuisine, runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. You'll have a chance to try out an instrument with the N.C. Symphony, hear young musical stars on the Emerging Artists Stage, and view inflatable sculptures.

In Durham, the Fox 50 Family Fest, also free, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday on the American Tobacco Campus. Head there for games and activities, live animals, vendors, prize drawings and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Wool E. Bull, Lucky E. Duck, Stormy and more.

Is there a building in Raleigh that captures your child's imagination? This Place Matters! Children's Art Contest Open Studio runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Arts Together, in Raleigh inviting young children and teens to create works of art centered around their favorite old building in Raleigh. Their work will be entered in a contest sponsored by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission. Contest winners will be announced Nov. 1. It's a free contest.

Visit our Things to Do page, Family Fun page and Fall Fun Guide to the Triangle and Beyond! for more upcoming events.



Get ready to enjoy a glorious fall weekend filled with family fun, starting with Raleigh's monthly free First Friday evening escapes. In Durham, the Triangle Land Conservancy's celebrates the opening of its Horton Grove Nature Preserve with music, hikes and tours, crafts, games, food trucks and picnicking on the lawn. In and around the Triangle, many farms, parks and other venues are welcoming kids to pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes and Halloween haunts. See our roundup of age-appropriate Halloween fun, from "not-so-scary" events to the just "plain scary."

You'll also find lots of free family-friendly festivals this weekend, including Heritage Day, which celebrates Wake County's agricultural and rural history with live music, heritage crafts and re-enactors in Raleigh. In Durham, Fox 50 Family Fest offers family games and activities, live animals, vendors, prize drawings and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Wool E. Bull, Lucky E. Duck. "Durham On The Move" will present a free "Youth Diversity Carnivaaal and Parade" in downtown Durham. In Cary, look for visual and performing artists at the Celebration of Children in the Arts as well as make-and-take crafts. In Chapel Hill, the Festifall Arts Festival, another free event features local artists, live music and local cuisine. And you could enjoy a free family concert, "Broadway Under the Stars," as well as free face-painting, jugglers, and magicians at the Red Hat Amphitheater, in Raleigh. For more fun, read on. Unless otherwise noted, you'll find more details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar:

This weekend, the Horton Grove Nature Preserve, a 708-acre preserve adjacent to Historic Stagville, in Durham, will hold grand opening events on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, take the kids for a hike at 3:30 p.m. or stargazing with Morehead Planetarium at 8 p.m. On Saturday, you'll find a wide range of nature activities and other fun for children of all ages. For example, kids ages 3 and under are invited to go dressed as their favorite butterfly, bee or bug to search the lawn for prizes. Another event for all ages reveals which creatures live on a native prairie and features live animals and activities. See the Triangle Land Conservancy's link here for a full schedule of events.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit Historic Oak View County Park to celebrate Heritage Day, a free event. Enjoy live music, animals, cane pole fishing, antique cars, carriage rides, heritage crafts, antique tractors, re-enactors and more. The Capital Quilters Guild will display quilts and hold a quilt auction at 2 p.m. For details, see our Daily Calendar.

On Saturday, enjoy a free family concert when the Red Hat Amphitheater, in Raleigh hosts Broadway Under the Stars, presented by PNC. Doors open at 2 p.m. Hear local groups performing popular Broadway songs, and take the kids for free face-painting, jugglers, and magicians. The lineup includes North Carolina's own Red Clay Ramblers, the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, Peace University Musical Theater, Performance Edge, and Raleigh Little Theater. No ticket is required for the event.

In Cary, head to a Celebration of Children in the Arts, a free festival, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Cary Ballet Conservatory. Watch local visual and performing artists and let the kids take part in activities that include gourd and face painting and make-and-take crafts.

On Saturday, "Durham On The Move," will feature a free "Youth Diversity Carnivaaal and Parade" from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in downtown Durham. The parade runs from 11 a.m. to noon, starting at the intersection of North Corcoran and West Main streets. You'll see young bikers, walking clubs, the tooth fairy, McGruff, youth groups, a fire truck, electric cars, floats, and step-and-dance teams, all on parade. The Carnivaaal takes place at 923 Franklin St. beside the Golden Belt Historic District. Activities include book bag drawings, Zumba, kids yoga, a children's activity table, face painting, inflatable bouncers, and more. Vendors will be selling fresh produce and offering free information on issues ranging from fair housing and CPR to crime prevention. Enjoy entertainment from youth groups, mimes, dance groups, and line dancing. Local vendors will be selling food, art and coffee.

Also in Cary, the free Downtown Game Day runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Performance Green, at the corner of Academy and Chatham streets. The event features outdoor family fun, including table tennis, Frisbee Golf, corn hold and more.

Fairmont United Methodist Church's bazaar runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church, located at 2501 Clark Ave. Take the family for breakfast, a barbecue lunch, homemade crafts, seasonal decorations and a silent auction. You can buy new and used items, including children's books and toys.

In Carrboro, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Hank Anderson Park. The Town of Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department is hosting the free event for young riders of all ages as part of a nationwide celebration supported by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. A bicycle, helmet and closed-toe shoes are required, and gloves and a water bottle are recommended.

Celebrate Nickelodeon's 9th annual Worldwide Day of Play from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Marbles Kids Museum, in Raleigh. Join in zany games and old-school recess fun. Nick will "go dark" on air for the whole day to help kids get up and get active. Look for a hula hoopla, a giant volleyball, rocket launches and all sorts of silliness throughout the day. See our Daily Calendar for details, including cots.

In downtown Chapel Hill, Festifall Arts Festival, a free event featuring local artists, live music and local cuisine, runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. You'll have a chance to try out an instrument with the N.C. Symphony, hear young musical stars on the Emerging Artists Stage, and view inflatable sculptures.

In Durham, the Fox 50 Family Fest, also free, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday on the American Tobacco Campus. Head there for games and activities, live animals, vendors, prize drawings and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Wool E. Bull, Lucky E. Duck, Stormy and more.

Is there a building in Raleigh that captures your child's imagination? This Place Matters! Children's Art Contest Open Studio runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Arts Together, in Raleigh inviting young children and teens to create works of art centered around their favorite old building in Raleigh. Their work will be entered in a contest sponsored by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission. Contest winners will be announced Nov. 1. It's a free contest.

Visit our Things to Do page, Family Fun page and Fall Fun Guide to the Triangle and Beyond! for more upcoming events.


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