Triangle Weekend: 6 Fun Family Outings

Courtesy of Melissa Dowland/North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

This weekend offers a range of family fun whether you’re into creatures that crawl the Earth, entities that move in the heavens or the latest method for mapping buried history. Learn about frog and amphibians, go on Easter egg hunts on land and in water, shop for local crafts, watch the Raleigh St. Patrick's Day parade or simply gaze at the stars enlightened by those who know about astronomy. If you head to an outdoor event, be sure to call ahead in the event of rainy weather.

1. Get up close and personal with freaky frogs when the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh hosts its 22nd annual Reptile & Amphibian Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, March 12. Come face to face with reptiles and amphibians — alive and dead — from North Carolina and around the world. Go to hear from dozens of guest exhibitors and herpetology experts, and learn about topics ranging from frog conservation to pet frog vet care. Kids can enjoy making take-home frog crafts, perusing the Pollywog Playspace (with activities “perfect for young tadpoles”) and meeting children’s book author Bob Palmatier.

Courtesy Karen Swain/North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

2. Egg hunts are scheduled for this weekend, including the Town of Zebulon’s March 12 event, listed in our roundup of egg hunts. Durham Parks and Recreation invites kids to make a splash while hunting for eggs at its Spring Egg Dive for children ages 12 and younger Saturday, March 12,  at Campus Hills Pool (2000 S. Alston Ave.), 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. An adult will need to enter the water with children 9 years old and younger. Life jackets will be provided. The cost ranges from $5-$11. For more information call 919-560-4355.

Courtesy Durham Parks and Recreation

3. The State Farmers Market in Raleigh will host a Spring Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, March 11-13, featuring the work of dozens of local crafters and artisans. Browse a selection of candles, crocheted baby blankets, handmade jewelry, ornamental garden accessories, pottery, quilted items, soaps, woodcarvings and other specialty items. Vendors will be in the covered farmers building, crafters shed and inside the Market Shoppes. You’ll also find fresh produce such as apples, cucumbers, greens, kale, tunnel-grown strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes for sale. The State Farmers Market is located at 1201 Agriculture St. at exit 297 off Interstate 40.

4. Take a free informal tour of the constellations with Morehead Planetarium Science Center educators at Ebenezer Beach at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, 7-9 p.m., Saturday, March 12, Enjoy telescopic views of beautiful objects, including planets, nebulae, star clusters and the moon.  Check the weather on the day of the event. If it's cloudy, the event will be canceled. Check the "News" listing at the home page of or call guest relations at 919-962-1236 on the day of the sky-watching session to be sure weather conditions allow for the event. The event is hosted by the Morehead Planetarium staff.

Courtesy of N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources


5. Discover how remote sensing — a new frontier in archaeological research — is being used to locate and map North Carolina’s buried history. A variety of experts will present “Exploring North Carolina’s Archaeological Heritage Through Remote Sensing and Geophysics,” 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Admission is free for this program offered by the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology and the U.S. Forest Service.

6. Enjoy the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in downtown Raleigh, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12. An Irish festival takes place after the parade and showcases kids entertainment, live music, and dance groups.

Courtesy Jo Moore/Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival

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