Two Free Summer Outings Beckon Kids in Raleigh

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Photo courtesy of Many Godbehear/

Who doesn’t love a real mystery? And when the puzzle involves a historic map, lost colonists and clues — as is unfolding in our state — it’s fascinating to the young and old. If your children are on break from school, take them to learn first-hand about the investigation into the fate of Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists during a free program at the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.

Follow the Trail of the Lost Colony
During the program, “History à la Carte: Site X — New Clues in the Search for Our Lost Colony,” noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, archaeologist Edward “Clay” Swindell with the First Colony Foundation will reveal the latest clues regarding the disappearance of the colonists who first came ashore to what is now North Carolina in 1587. Englishman John White who brought them to the New World to found a permanent English colony, found no trace of them when he returned in 1590. Fast forward to 2012, when researchers at the British Museum discover that La Virginea Pars — a watercolor map that White began drawing in 1585 — has hidden markings showing an inland Renaissance-style fort at the head of the Albemarle Sound. This finding has led to speculation that colonists could have resettled in this area, or “Site X,” after abandoning the coast.

The British Museum’s examination of patches on this 16th-century map by John White revealed hidden markings that show an inland fort where colonists could have resettled after abandoning the coast. Image © Trustees of the British Museum

During the July 13 program, Swindell will discuss investigations into “Site X” in Bertie County, where the First Colony Foundation began archaeological fieldwork to determine if Elizabethans were present in that area. Researchers with the organization believe they may have uncovered archaeological evidence of Roanoke colonists’ presence there, including findings of Surrey-Hampshire Border ware, as well as sherds of a North Devon plain baluster jar.

Swindell will also talk about new archaeological discoveries in Manteo, where archaeologists at the First Colony Foundation believe that several pottery fragments from an apothecary jar recently unearthed relate to the Elizabethan presence on Roanoke Island.

If you go, you can pack a lunch or order one by noon, Monday, July 11. Register or purchase a lunch at this link. Beverages are provided.

Solve the Mystery of Where’s Waldo?
If your kids are younger, they might enjoy a more modern day hunt for Waldo, the children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs. Waldo first appeared in the late 1980s, drawn by the hand of Martin Handford, who would place him in crowd scenes and invite us to find him. Throught July 31, for the fourth year he’s back in Raleigh, visiting 22 local businesses as part of an effort to promote local business and the Shop Local Raleigh movement.

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If your children are interested in playing along, head to pick up a “Find Waldo Local in Raleigh!” passport at Quail Ridge Books & Music with the names of all the participating sites. You can then get the passport stamped at participating sites or signed for each Waldo you and your kids spot. The first 100 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at 12 or more sites can take their passports back to Quail Ridge Books to claim an “I Found Waldo” sticker and $1 off a Waldo book coupon. Also, collecting store stamps or signatures at 10 or more businesses puts you in the running for a grand prize drawing on Aug. 6. The top prize is a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books, and other prizes include local treats and gift certificates to local businesses. Learn more.


Check out “Pioneer Night,” 6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 21, at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Research Center for a chance to disconnect from the Internet and learn survival skills. Learn more.

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