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December 22nd 2011- January 4th 2012

by Pam & Michael Davison

We hope you and your family are enjoying all that the Holiday season has to offer and that you have had a great year. There are several fun and entertaining events to participate in to end 2011. Saturday will be filled with celebrations and entertainment as we bring in the new year with First Night Raleigh.
There are still a few events before Christmas. Laser Holidays at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro is showing daily through Saturday with a special Friday night presentation.
Thursday evening you can take in a Christmas Sunset at Occoneechee Mountain.
Art in the Evening is back at the North Carolina Museum of Art on both the 23rd with live music by The Hey Brothers and the 30th with Peter Lamb and the Wolves. On the 30th, you can also enjoy a lively, in-depth exploration of Jan Miense Molenaer's The Dentist with a Museum docent.
First Night Raleigh

If you want to bring in the New Year with a blast, Downtown Raleigh is where you will want to be! First Night Raleigh actually includes two celebrations. The Children's Celebration will be held from 2:00pm - 6:00pm at the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and on the Bicentennial Plaza. The Children's Celebration culminates with a People's Procession and an Early Countdown at 7:00pm. First Night Raleigh's evening entertainment offers something for everyone and culminates with a concert by The Pimps of Joytime and a midnight countdown highlighted by the famous Raleigh Acorn Drop and Fireworks! Both celebrations feature a wide variety of entertainment from theater, comedy, music, dance performances and interactive activities. This year there will even be a 90-foot Ferris wheel right in Downtown. Click through for the schedule of events and performers as well as information about admission buttons.

Ring in the "Noon" Year with kids at Marbles at 12:00 noon. Guests wearing a First Night Raleigh button receive buy-one-get-one-free museum admission vouchers and a free small popcorn with the purchase of an IMAX movie ticket.
Kids are also invited to the Raleigh City Museum Saturday afternoon for a Birthday Party! Come help the museum celebrate Raleigh's 119th Birthday. Come back later when the Raleigh City Museum hosts musician David DiGiuseppe as part of First Night Raleigh.
New Years Fun Around the Triangle

Each year on January 1st, the Eno River Association sponsors a fun-filled afternoon of guided hikes, refreshments and merriment. This year, the New Year's Day Hike will offer two hike options, a 4-5 mile hike and a shorter, 2 mile route. There will be something for everyone, so come one, come all and enjoy New Year's Day at the Eno!

William B. Umstead State Park is hosting a First Day Hike. Learn about New Year"s traditions from all over the world on this easy one-hour hike.
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area invites you to join them for the First Hike of the year with them. Hikers will see large hollow oaks, two ponds, fencerows and clues of the farms that used to fill the area.
They will be Meowing in the New Year over at the NC State Fairgrounds at the Cat Show. Come see big cats, small cats and everything in between from around the world competing.
The Downtown Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink is still open. Enjoy an afternoon of skating.
Little River Regional Park invites you to join them early on the 31st for a Christmas Bird Count.

More Fun!

The Holly Springs Cultural Center plans to keep the Holiday Spirit alive with a Holiday Film Festival December 28th through 30th. They will be showing The Polar Express on the 28th,The Muppet Christmas Carol on the 29th and Santa Buddies on the 30th.

Come on out to Jordan Lake State Recreation and see what Winter Birds and Waterfowl are making Jordan Lake their home. The program will run both the 26th & 27th.
Join a park ranger at the Jordan Lake Bald Eagle Observation Deck for talks on eagles, waterfowl and the lake on both the 28th & 30th.
Head on over to the Hunt Horse Complex at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds to enjoy the Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. The annual Hunter Jumper Horse show starts on the 28th and runs through the 31st.
With a 164-acre campus, two buildings, an amphitheater, a park, and several gardens, the North Carolina Museum of Art would love to take you on a Meet Your Museum Tour. The guided tours will be offered at various times on the 30th through the 1st so click through for times. The Museum will also offer a Family Tour of the Dutch Collection on the 31st.
On January 4th, Eno River State Park invites you to join them for a History Hike to some of the many historically important places at Eno River State Park. Venture back in time and discover some interesting and useful places around the Eno, as well as the groups of people that lived in the area.







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