16 Fun Things to Do This Weekend (Sept 16-18)

Free Festivals Offer Kids Activities
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Photo courtesy of SPARKcon

Take your pick of fun events this weekend (Sept. 16-18), from a celebration of bugs to festivities that showcase art and design. Festivals invite folks to step back in time and to soak in the music, food and culture of places near and far.

1. SPARKcon, a free annual festival of creativity, art and design, Sept. 15-18 in downtown Raleigh, features dance, fashion, film, music, fine arts, theater, kids’ activities, exhibits and more. 

2. Bugfest, a free annual festival, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh reveals the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy more than 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities, live bands and sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. 

Photo courtesy of Wral.com


3. CenterFest Arts Festival, Sept. 17-18 in downtown Durham, is a fine arts celebration that, this year, features the work of more than 145 juried visual artists for visitors to browse and shop. View six stages of music, dance and entertainment; enjoy locally-sourced foods and international cuisine; and explore a Kids Zone with hands-on arts activities and entertainment. The suggested donation is $5. Admission is free for ages 12 and younger. 

4. The free Dragon Boat Festival, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, harkens back to a 2,300-year-old Chinese legend that inspired dragon boat racing. The Cary celebration features dragon boat racing on Symphony Lake, cultural performances, international food and activities. 

5. Tar Heel Downtown, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in downtown Chapel Hill, invites Carolina football fans to celebrate before the season’s first kickoff. Enjoy a live concert with Big Fat Gap and Marching Tar Heels performances. Take your kids to enjoy activities and face painting, and to meet the Tar Heel mascot, Rameses.

6. The Fall Harvest Celebration, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 at Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh, offers a free, fun-filled step back in time. Enjoy games, old-time toys and races, live performances, community displays, hand-craft demonstrations, make-and-take crafts, antique vehicle and tool displays, food vendors and more. 

7. The historic Duke Homestead in Durham invites kids and their families to “What’s Growing in the Garden,” free history-themed activities and crafts, 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 17.

8. The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, 1-5 p.m., Sept. 17-18, is an annual tour to organic produce farms offered this year by car, bus or bicycle. Go on your own self-guided tour to see baby barn animals, taste artisan goat cheese, enjoy farm-fresh foods and take home goods like pasture-raised meats, freshly laid eggs, gourmet mushrooms, cut flowers and sustainably grown vegetables.

Photo COURTESY OF Holly Henderson Bourne

9. Oktoberfest at Lafayette Village, noon-5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at Lafayette Village in Raleigh is a free German-inspired festival featuring food, live music from the Polka Plus Band, Weiner (Dachshund) dog races to benefit a local pet rescue and more. 

10. The Mama Afrika Festival, 1-8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18 in Durham, features live performances, a fashion show, face painting, a kids zone, food, workshops and more. Tickets are $20 and $35 (VIP admission). 

Photo courtesy of Mama Afrika Festival

11. Enjoy a free outdoor concert, 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16 at Northgate Mall, through Northgate Mall’s Music on the Plaza series in Durham. Listen to trumpeter, arranger and composer Al Strong and friends performing jazz with mixtures of rock, rhythm and blues, and world music to celebrate the nonprofit's Art of Cool's 5th year. 

12. Carnaval Latino, 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, in Garner is a free celebration of Latino culture, featuring live music, children's craft booths, face painting and a piñata giveaway. Savor Latin foods from local food trucks and browse the work of local artists and businesses. 

13. Carolina Parent and the Museum of Life and Science — an interactive science park in Durham — invite you and your kids to explore the “Curiosity Trail” on the museum’s 84-acre campus through Sept. 30. The trail offers a way to see the museum from new perspectives as you search for clues and solve puzzles, and you could win prizes. The "Curiosity Trail is free with when you buy admission to the museum.



14. The Durham Arts Council’s “Third Friday” in Durham welcomes all to head out to explore art galleries and listen to live music, 6-11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16. 

15. The Antique Road Extravaganza at Carillon Assisted Living in Durham benefits Keep Durham Beautiful, 1-4 pm, Saturday, Sept. 17, and offers a chance for the public to get items evaluated by antique appraisers on site. Enjoy old-time refreshments while learning about Keep Durham Beautiful programs. Advanced tickets are $10 per item to be evaluated and $25 at the door. Limit of two tickets per person. 

16. Creedmore Music Festival, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. features live music, food and craft vendors and kids activities. The festival is on main street in Creedmore and is free. 

Calling Pokemon Fans for a Zoo Day Trip

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, is extending its hours to host a Pokemon Go Evening Safari Saturday, Sept. 17, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a $5 admission fee beginning at 4 p.m. Proceeds go to support the North Carolina Zoo's conservation efforts to preserve wild animals and wild places from extinction. The zoo features more than 30 accessible PokeStops and eight gyms. Zoo staff will place Lures at PokeStops throughout the event. Enjoy live animal ambassador encounters and a chance to win prizes.  Food and gift venues will be open and transportation will be available around the park.

Categories: Cultural, Festivals, Free Deals, New, Fun, Deals, Outdoors, Seasonal Fun, Things To Do