Museum to Host Family Fun Groundhog Day Celebration Feb. 2
Will there be 6 weeks more of winter or will spring come early this year? Sir Walter Wally, Raleigh's own distinguished groundhog, will make his prediction at the 15th annual Groundhog Day celebration, a free fun family event at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2.
If you've never taken your kids to this special event, you're in for treat. Each year, kids, moms and dads gather on Bicentennial plaza in front of the museum in downtown Raleigh at noon on Groundhog Day to find out if Sir Walter Wally will see his shadow. If he does, we'll have six more weeks of winter. To make the shadow ceremony "official," Sir Wally is usually accompanied by local dignitaries. This year, newly elected Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will join museum educator John Connors, who will be outfitted in top hat and tails, to assist Wally with the forecast. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the museum's auditorium.
Don't forget your camera because you'll have a chance to take a photo with Wally, who happens to be famous. (In case you didn't know, he's regularly featured on The Weather Channel's list of national representatives.) After the shadow ceremony, Wally will move inside to his special station, where you can pose for pictures alongside him.
Besides viewing the shadow ceremony, kids can also learn about the science through Groundhog-themed educational stations that will be set up on the first floor of the museum. There you'll find information about animal hibernation, signs of spring, the history of Groundhog Day and more. Also on the first floor, kids can join in games and activities including the Hog Toss. For kids six and under, the museum will offer special programs about Animals in Winter at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Windows on the World theater on the third floor.
Can't make it to the celebration? Anyone can download a free Groundhog Day Kit from naturalsciences.org, which includes a Weather Watch Activity Guide for grades K-8.
Here's hoping for an early spring-or a snowy winter, so we can finally use our sleds!