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February 9th - February 15th 2012

by Pam & Michael Davison

Do you have some fun plans for Valentines Day? There are a few Valentines Day events this weekend along with of activities related to Black History Month and the return of Darwin Day.

Celebrate Black History Month

The MLK, Jr. Dreamfest Dream of History continues this Saturday at the Paige Walker Arts & History Center. Join Le'Grant Taylor to view his art and his story.

The Holly Springs Cultural Center will be celebrating Black History Month with a Film Festival. Starting Thursday with The Help, they will also be showing Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Blind Side. All the movies are free so click through for the dates and times.

Throughout the month of February at the North Carolina Museum of History you can explore the lives and accomplishments of African American North Carolinians from the antebellum period to the Civil Rights era through a History Tour. Sunday afternoon, come enjoy a classic Piedmont blues concert by Boo Hanks.
Darwin Day & More Fun at the Museums

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is excited to bring back Darwin Day for the third year. It will be a fun filled afternoon focused on evolution and the famed naturalist Charles Darwin. Come visit ParkGeek and check out all the family friendly exhibits on evolution, adaptation and natural selection. Find the ParkGeek booth and learn how to fold our origami butterflies!


On the second Friday night of each month the streets of downtown Wake Forest come alive with food, merchants and music for Art After Hours.
The North Carolina Museum of Art will kick off the weekend Friday night with Art in the Evening. Along with live music by Ed Stephenson with Inos Flamenca, you are invited to Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, 30-minute gallery conversations that focus on themes of love, passion, and beauty in art and the 1964 film La Peau Douce.
View the 2012 Mill as Muse exhibition at Historic Yates Mill County Park Saturday afternoon and meet some of the artists. Before the winners are announced, a special presentation will highlight local artist Anne Marshall Runyon. The artwork will be on display all weekend in the visitors center.
Tuesday kicks off a Playdate with an Artist at Marbles Kids Museum. Local mixed-media artist Michelle Davis Petelinz will be creating unique pieces of art with your kids. Click through for the times for each age group.
Valentines Day

Enjoy a Valentine Trolley tour of downtown Raleigh Sunday with a romantic twist. Riders will learn about Raleigh's most notorious love stories, tales of lost love, and duels.


DJ Don spins your favorite music memories from the 50's and 60's for a community wide Old Fashioned Sock Hop at the Holly Springs Community Center. The grown ups only event will make for a great Valentine's Day date night.
Ride the Be Mine, R-LINE bus (look for the bus with the pink heart) in Downtown Raleigh between 5 pm and 7:30 pm on Tuesday and get a FREE Valentine's Day cupcake or cookie.
Bring the whole family to a Valentine's Day Tea Party at Historic Yates Mill! Enjoy some healthy treats (made with Yates Mill's own cornmeal), master proper Victorian etiquette, and make valentines for your secret admirer on Monday afternoon.
Looking for a fun date night this weekend? Wake County New Vehicle Dealer Association presents the 25th Annual International Auto Expo. More than 160,000 SF show new production models and concept cars representing more than a half-dozen car, truck and sports utility vehicle manufacturers will be on display. If you do bring the family, there will also be some family fun with Scooby-Doo & the Gieco geco, NC National Guard, Governor's Safety Vehicle, Sherrif & Highway Patrol Cars, and a #24 Jeff Gordan Race Car Display.

More to do at the Parks

Have you watched the Eagle Cam at Jordan Lake State Park yet? Park Rangers will be out at the Bald Eagle Observation Deck both Saturday and Sunday to help you get a peak at the two new babies who hatched on January 11th and 12th.


Take a trip back into history with a tour of the historic Piper-Cox House. The early 1800's home in Eno River State Park will be open for tours. Come to the Park Saturday morning for some Birdwatching.
A nature instructor at Lake Johnson Park will point out wildlife and other things discovered along the trail on a Family Nature Walk Saturday afternoon.
The Sertoma Arts Center will be the starting point for a Family Nature Hike on Saturday afternoon, also. They do require advanced registration so click through for the information.
Join with Friends of Hemlock Bluffs and REI on Sunday to assist staff with Trail Maintenance and improvements to aid in recreation and conservation efforts at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.
Join local expert John Gerwin at the Walnut Creek Wetland Center to learn how to observe, appreciate and identify Wetland Birds common to our area on Saturday morning.
There are different kinds of Brush Piles you can make to provide shelter for wildlife in your own backyard. You'll get to make a few different kinds at Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve to help birds, mice and rabbits on Saturday.
While there is still a crisp nip to the evening air, enjoy a Community Campfire at Duke Park Friday night.
There will be two special park events next Wednesday. Walnut Creek Wetland Center is hosting a class on Nature Journaling and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences will present a Lifelong Hike at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. Both events have admission fees.







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