Weekend Family Fun Offers Festivals, Nature Programs, Free Shows

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This weekend, family-friendly festivals invite Triangle families to celebrate the Chinese New Year and explore African-American contributions to North Carolina through food, song and dance. Kids can catch free performances or head outdoors for nature programs that take a look at a range of creatures from possums to salamanders and coyotes.

If you're thinking of a winter getaway close to home, see our newest resources for where to Where to Ski, Snowboard and Tube Within a Short Drive of the Triangle.

Ready to celebrate the year of the Dragon? Head to the N.C. State Fairgrounds, in Raleigh, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, to enjoy the Chinese New Year Festival. For the 8th year in a row, the Triangle Area Chinese American Society (TACAS) is presenting the carnival-style festival, which showcases the Triangle's best Chinese cultural talents, including kid's activities, performances, fashion, merchandise, and food. Visit http://www.nctacas.org/ for details.

Also on Saturday in Raleigh, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the N.C. Museum of History will host the free 11th Annual African-American Cultural Celebration. More than 75 presenters — well-known musicians, award-winning authors, storytellers, dancers, playwrights, re-enactors and others — will highlight the contributions of African Americans to North Carolina. The celebration is presented in partnership with the N.C. African American Heritage Commission. For more details, visit www.ncmuseumofhistory.org

If your kids love pirates, don't miss a free interactive show from 3-3:45 p.m. Saturday by performers of Raleigh Little Theatre's Storytellers to Go at the Cameron Village Regional Library, in Raleigh. The show, "A Rollicking Tale of Blackbeard, Pirate of the Carolina Coast," explores Blackbeard and his quest to find a treasures and features puppets, a sea chantey, pirate dance and more. The performance is recommended for ages 5 and up. If you miss this Saturday's performance, you can also catch a free show at these locations later on this month.

On Sunday from noon- 4 p.m., take the kids to the Nasher Museum of Art, in Durham, for a free family day. Explore the museum, enjoy gallery hunts and hands-on activities. The local children's theater group Rags to Riches will perform at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Activities are designed for kids ages 3-12 accompanied by adults, but all ages are welcome. Admission is free.

Got a nature nut in your family, see our Daily Calendar for a range of programs for kids in parks across the Triangle. You might also want to join with bird watchers of all ages across North America for the 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 17-20

Headed to the movies? Be sure to check Jean's Movie Choices for Kids first to see what's appropriate for your tot, tween or teen.

If you're going to be dining out, see which Triangle restaurants let kids eat free or for 99 cents in our just updated Family Dining Deals Directory.

Categories: Activities, BT Activities, Family Fun, School Kids, Seasonal, SK Activities, Things To Do, Tweens and Teens, Winter Holidays