Jan. 18-20: Squirrel Appreciation, Celebrating MLK Jr., Finally Friday, Nature Play Day and Renaissance Music

Fun ways to spend the weekend with your kids
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Photo courtesy of Lars Hallstrom/Shutterstock.com
Hear a concert of Renaissance music played on traditional instruments this weekend in Durham.

This weekend in the Triangle, learn all about squirrels at a program on the American Tobacco Trail in Apex, watch the movie “Mars Attacks!” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, enjoy some open play at Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh, honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and listen to Renaissance music performed live at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham.

Nuts About Squirrels FREE 

In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day, which happens later this week, learn about our familiar furry friends at a program on the American Tobacco Trail. From 11 a.m.-noon on Jan. 18, find out about the five different types of squirrels that live in North Carolina, learn how to spot squirrel nests and nibble on a squirrel-favorite snack: sunflower seeds. This activity is suitable for all ages, and preregistration is required for all participants. Meet at the New Hill Trailhead parking area in Apex.

photo courtesy of gina harmeyer

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life

MLK Jr. Events | Throughout January

Honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at several events in the Triangle. Don’t miss author Willa Brigham as she shares inspirational stories with kids ages 4-10 about key leaders in the Civil Rights movement Jan. 19, 10-11:30 a.m., as part of the MLK Dreamfest Celebration: Remembering Leaders of the Dream at the Cary Arts Center. Also, Book Harvest’s Big Dream Book Drive takes place Jan. 21, 1-4 p.m., at Durham Central Park, and honors King’s vision that all children have the chance to realize their full potential through literacy. Family activities, live music and food trucks round out the fun. Admission is free for all events.

Photo courtesy of Uncle Leo/Shutterstock.com

Finally Friday: “Mars Attacks!”

Enjoy a screening of the quirky 1996 movie “Mars Attacks!” Jan. 18 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. From 5:30-7 p.m., visit themed science stations like “Aliens Invade!,” “Sound Science,” “Space Games,” “The Hidden Martian” and more. The movie starts at 7 p.m. and is rated PG-13, so consider this when determining suitability for children. After the movie, hear funny commentary and trivia from the A/V Geeks’ Kip Elsheimer, and separate fact from fiction with museum’s assistant head of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab, Patrick Treuthardt. Tickets are $2 for museum members and $5 for nonmembers. Dinner, popcorn and local beer will be available for purchase.

photo courtesy of the north carolina museum of natural sciences

Nature Play Day FREE

Come out and play Jan. 19 at the Nature PlaySpace at Prairie Ridge Ecostation. The space will be stocked with supplies and materials, and a play facilitator will be present to help kids play their own way. This informal, drop-in event happens every Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon. The Nature PlaySpace was designed especially for kids ages 7 and younger, but all ages are welcome. No preregistration is necessary. If inclement weather is a concern, call 919-707-8888 and choose option 5 for information about a possible cancellation.

photo courtesy of prairie ridge ecostation 

Mallarmé Chamber Players Family Concert – Renaissance Instrument Faire FREE

Join Charles and Sarah Wines, Renaissance musicians, in a program introducing early instruments Jan. 20, 1-2 p.m., at Kirby Horton Hall at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. From shawms to recorders and even an early bagpipe, you will fully experience sound and music from the 13th and 14th centuries. This fun, informative and interactive program is appropriate for anyone ages 5 and older. Parking fees of $2 per hour apply.

photo courtesy of the Mallarmé chamber players


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