Weekend Fun: Free 2nd Saturday Events, French Festival

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This weekend offers lots of free family fun around the Triangle, from 2nd Saturdays events featuring food, art, history, live music and crafts, to a celebration of liberty at the Bastille Day French festival.

Get the details on how you can moo-ve on a free Chick-fil-a meal and take advantage of a buy-one, get-one free deal to swim or ice skate offered through Hillsborough’s Family Fun Days. And don’t forget to check our Daily Calendar for even more fun.

Do you have an inner cow waiting to escape? Let it out on Cow Appreciation Day®, July 13, 2012, at a Chick-fil-A restaurant, and you can get a free meal. On July 13, black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be all the rage at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation in celebration of Cow Appreciation Day. Chick-fil-A will award breakfast, lunch or dinner to any customer who arrives at any of its restaurants fully dressed as a cow.

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has a fabulous line-up of fun planned for this Saturday as part of its 2nd Saturday events, which offer free admission. Step back in time through living history events and enjoy food, art, music and crafts. Take a look at your choices for Saturday, July 14:

  • 2nd Saturdays: Textiles and Tarheels.” A collection of various artisans demonstrate the impact of the textile industry in the Tarheel State. See weaving demonstrations in the Bennett Kitchen, and watch authentic fabric dyeing demonstrations. Living history activities (military and civilian) throughout the weekend offer demonstrations of 19th-century hand-sewing techniques and soldier displays and presentations, including musket firing demonstrations.10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bennett Place State Historic Site, 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham. Free admission, activities. (919) 383-4345. www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/bennett.htm.

  • “2nd Saturdays: The African American Experience in North Carolina during the Civil War.” Living historians will shed light on the African-American experience in North Carolina during the Civil War in this program “From Slaves to Soldiers.” Discussions and demonstrations will include topics related to slavery, emancipation, the United States Colored Troops and the Reconstruction era. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks. Free admission, activities. (910) 594-0789. www.nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/bentonvi.htm.

  • “2nd Saturdays: Pork, Pickles and Peanuts — Tastes of North Carolina.” Food and art are the themes of the day! This festival will include a barbecue cook-off and juried competition for homemade pies. Enjoy historical cooking demonstrations as well as art and craft vendors. more information. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Duke Homestead State Historic Site, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham. Free admission, activities. (919) 477-5498. www.nchistoricsites.org/duke/duke.htm.

  • “2nd Saturdays: Jubilee Music Festival.” This free program celebrates African American influences on music with musical performances, crafts and games. Artists will include Boo Hanks and John D. Holman. Enjoy traditional West African drumming, plus bluegrass and blues! 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Historic Stagville, 5828 Old Oxford Hwy., Durham. Free admission, activities. (919) 620-0120. www.nchistoricsites.org/stagville/stagville.htm.

  • “2nd Saturdays: Family Fun Saturdays.” Enjoy 30-minute tours of gallery and studio workshops for families with children ages 5–11, starting at West Building Information Desk. Registration recommended. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh. Activity fee $3 members, $5 nonmembers. Free museum admission. (919) 839-6262. http://ncartmuseum.org/.

  • “2nd Saturdays: Makin’ Bowls.”  Watch woodworker Louis Sachs as he turns beautiful bowls on a lathe. In the “Make it, Take it: Wood Wonder” drop-in program from 1-3 p.m., kids can make a simple craft from wood and talk with Sachs about is craft. 1-3 p.m. N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. Free admission, activities. (919) 807-7900. http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/.

In Hillsborough, Family Fun Days, returns on Saturday. It’s a special summer series held on the second Saturday of the month, compliments of The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, its hospitality partners, and the Orange County Main Library. Visitors of all ages are invited to join in a variety of activities and explore sites and attractions.  This Saturday, you’ll find guided tours, children’s activities, artisan demonstrations, a farmers market, shopping, and dining. For details on what’s happening as well as free and buy-one get-one free offers, visit Family Fun Days Return to Hillsborough.

Saturday, July 14, is also Bastille Day, a national celebration for the French, and here in the Triangle, you’re invited to join in a free family fun festival at the open air Lafayette Village shopping center, in north Raleigh. The Bastille Day French festival kicks off at noon and runs until 10 p.m., Saturday, featuring live French music, dancing, stilt acrobat performances and kids activities, including the French game of “boules de pétanque,” crafts and face painting. For a full round-up, see my earlier post.

If you’re thinking of heading out of town for fun with the kids, consider The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort this Saturday, where you can see the museum’s newest exhibit, “Whales and Whaling.” The exhibit is the first phase of a major exhibition on North Carolina’s commercial fisheries.  Photographs, information and artifacts tell the story of North Carolina’s unique style of whaling. The crowning feature – a 33.5-foot sperm whale skeleton – helps to teach visitors about the species of whales that are found off the coast today. As part of its 2nd Saturdays fun, you’ll also find free, family-friendly games and activities with a whale theme and a showcase of local artists and crafters this Saturday. For details, visit the museum’s website.

Find more activities, including story times, crafts and nature programs for children, in our Daily Calendar.

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