Celebrate Earth Day 2017 With These Family-Friendly Events

Photo courtesy of City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department
Celebrate Earth Day at the Durham Earth Day Festival, which includes a participants’ parade, and other great local events focused on science and nature.

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, and the Triangle area is celebrating in lots of family-friendly ways. Enjoy these events that will keep the fun of Earth Day going straight into the month of May — and visit your municipality’s website for additional events being sponsored by their parks and recreation, environmental services and other departments.

State of the Sciences: Live! at NCSU’s Hunt Library FREE

Join North Carolina State University’s College of Sciences for a fun event featuring activities for science lovers of all ages, including hands-on demonstrations, story time, fun and informative talks, tours of the library and its technological capabilities, and more. The event, part of the North Carolina Science Festival, takes place 6-9 p.m., Friday, April 21, at NCSU’s Hunt Library. It's free and open to the public, but registration is required.

photo courtesy of north carolina State University

Planet Tour and Outdoor Star Party with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences FREE

Celebrate Earth Day with a tour of our planet, beginning with views of Earth inspired by images taken by Apollo 8 astronauts, and learn the many ways scientists use satellite instruments and computer models to monitor global change. The presentation will be led by Carter Emmart, director of astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History, and climate scientist Benjamin Cook of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. This event begins at 7 p.m., Friday, April 21, in the SECU Daily Planet Theater at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. Following the presentation, drive over to the Museum’s outdoor facility, Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh, for a guided look at the stars at the Statewide Star Party, 8:30-11:30 p.m. Both events are free and part of the North Carolina Science Festival.

Art courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Brumley Forest Nature Preserve Grand Opening FREE

Help Triangle Land Conservancy celebrate the opening of its seventh public nature preserve. The grand opening celebration includes guided hikes, mountain biking tutorials, nature activities for kids and adults, artistic demonstrations, food trucks, local beer and more. The fun runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at Brumley Forest Nature Preserve in western Orange County. Free.

“BEarthDay” Celebration at Raleigh City Farm FREE

Raleigh City Farm, a one-acre urban farm in downtown Raleigh, hosts its 5th Annual “BEarthDay” Celebration with two special events. A free, family-friendly morning bazaar will feature farm tours, kids’ activities, entertainment, local vendors and more, 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 22, at the farm. In addition, a ticketed fundraiser takes place 6-10 p.m. that evening and will feature local band Milagro Saints with special guests Caroline Mamoulides and Steve Howell of the band Pinto, as well as additional food and beverages provided by event partners and sponsors. Tickets to the evening portion ($25) may be purchased online.  

UNC Science Expo in Chapel Hill FREE

The University of North Carolina Science Expo marks Earth Day with hands-on experiments, demonstrations, laboratory tours, entertainment, food trucks and more. This North Carolina Science Festival event showcases science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and is a partnership between Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the University of North Carolina and the Town of Chapel Hill. The event takes place 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 22, in downtown Chapel Hill along Cameron Avenue. Free.

photo courtesy of UNC Science Expo

Twilight Trek at Dix Park in Raleigh FREE

Celebrate Earth Day at Raleigh’s newest park, the 308-acre Dorothea Dix Park, with a guided evening hike led by a wildlife educator. The hike starts at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 22, and will last approximately 50 minutes, focusing on the park’s history, landscapes and habitats. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

Durham Earth Day Festival FREE

Enjoy a day filled with an eclectic mix of music, food, hands-on environmental education activities and much more. Browse and shop for local goods, crafts and art, explore the Family Fun Zone and participate in the parade at the end of the day. The festival runs noon-5 p.m., Sunday, April 23, at Durham Central Park. Free.

Photo courtesy of City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department

Spring Daze Festival at Cary’s Bond Park FREE

Celebrate 24 years of Spring Daze in Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Cary’s 310-acre urban park. Nestled under the shady canopy of Bond Park, Spring Daze features more than 170 North Carolina artists, entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration. The event takes place 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, April 29, at Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary. Admission is free.

BioBlitz Species Count With Piedmont Wildlife Center FREE

Participate in Piedmont Wildlife Center’s epic nature scavenger hunt, in which expert naturalists and volunteers search for as many species as possible in less than 24 hours. Learn all about who and what lives in your backyard, meet some native wildlife ambassadors, become a scientist in the great outdoors, play in the creek and more! This event takes place 6-10 p.m., Friday, May 19, and 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at Leigh Farm Park in Durham. Free.

photo courtesy of piedmont wildlife center


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