Weekend Tips: Cool Places for Free or Inexpensive Fun

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With more hot weather expected for this weekend, I’ve rounded up fun ways to stay cool while having free or inexpensive fun around the Triangle.

  • Head out for ice skating. If the temperatures rise above 95 degrees, all Polar Ice House will offer a “Buy One, Get One Free deal. Details on that deal here.
  • Go bowling. See summer deals here.
  • See a family-friendly exhibit at a museum. You’ll find lots ofindoor choices in this roundup of exhibits.   Ourspotlight on new Triangle attractions offers a look at the Nature Science Center, a new wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, as well as a cooling, new outdoor exhibit, Into the Mist, at the Museum of Life and Science, in Durham.
  • Catch a theatrical performance. Clayton Youth Theater is presenting “Hairspray” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Clayton Theater. See our Daily Calendar for details on this show and others.
  • Take a free cool retreat that lets you see nature, from tiny frogs to deer up close: Walk, ride or hike on the Capital Area Greenway Trail.Watch the Summer Olympics with your kids-opening ceremonies start Friday-and try these ideas for generating even more Olympic-themed fun in your living room.

Unless otherwise noted, find details of the following events in our Daily Calendar.

On Friday starting at 6:30 p.m., downtown Hillsborough will host Last Fridays, a free monthly art event, featuring a free concert on the old courthouse lawn, workshops for kids, artists, food vendors, musicians and artisans, a pie-eating contest and more.

On Saturday, head to Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh, to look for birds and other wildlife, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The program, A Seasonable Summer Hike, is free and appropriate for all ages. Visit our Daily Calendar to see how to register.

In Hillsborough, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., catch Zumbatomics, a high-energy fitness party for children ages 4 to12 featuring hip hop, reggae and cumbia music at Hillsborough Yoga & Healing Arts. The cost is $7.

Marbles Kids Museum, in downtown Raleigh, is hosting a Family Science Olympiad from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Create and launch rockets, build a wind-capturing device, work to protect an egg from a two-story fall, and more. The cost is $5 for ages 1 to 11 and $5 for adults.

The North Carolina.Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is offering free weekend family-friendly tours at 10: 30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Join a museum guide for a lively discussion and activities in the galleries. Meet at the West Building Information Desk.

Also at the North Carolina Museum of Art check out Family Fun Saturday: Big Brush, Little Brush at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. The program, for kids ages 5 to 11 with family, teaches language of painting through a gallery tour and studio workshop. The cost is $3 members and $5 nonmembers. See our Daily Calendar for details on registration.

You’ll also find two events featuring the Alloy Orchestra on Saturday at The North Carolina Museum of Art:
* Alloy Orchestra’s Not for Kids Only will perform at 2 p.m. with a series of shorts, including classic Buster Keaton and a variety of animated films. The costs is $12 and up for adults, $6 for ages 3 to12, and its’ free for ages 2 and under
* The Alloy Orchestra will accompany the silent film classic “The Phantom of the Opera” at 9 p.m. The cost is $18 and up for adults, $9 for ages 7 to12 and it’s free for ages 6 and under.

In Durham, the Children’s Matinee Series: Mark Morris Dance Group performs at 1 p.m. at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Take the family for dance works that defy the boundaries between modern and ballet and enjoy an outdoor kids’ party after the show. The cost is $18 to $51.

You can also take your kids to a variety of free story times on Saturday:

  • Baby Story time at Cameron Village Regional Library, in Raleigh, runs from 10:15 to 10:35 a.m.
  • Family Story time at Cameron Village Regional Library runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Family Story time at East Regional Library, in Knightdale, starts at 10:30 a.m.
  • Preschool Story time at Barnes & Noble, in Durham, starts at 11 a.m.
  • Story time at Orange County Public Library’s Carrboro Branch starts at 10:30 a.m.

Some story times also feature crafts or music and are designed for a specific age group, so see our Daily Calendar for details.

Categories: Activities, At Home, Baby, Baby Health, BT Activities, Early Education, Education, Family Fun, Food + Fun, Home, New Parent, Preschool Activities, Preschoolers, School Kids, Seasonal, Seasonal Fun, SK Activities, Summer, Things To Do, Tweens and Teens