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April 12th - April 18th 2012

by Pam & Michael Davison

There is lots to do this weekend from several free concerts to volunteer opportunities at a couple of area parks. The State Fairgrounds is all about gardening as well as the JC Raulston Abroretum with their annual Bridhouse Competition.

One of this weekend's biggest events is UNC Family Fun Day at Kenan Stadium on Saturday. The free family event will feature a street festival, autograph opportunities with the UNC Players, festival foods and events, and the Spring Football Game. Click through for the complete schedule of events.


Kick off the Weekend

Explore the night sky, planets, stars and more at Up, Up and Away Astronomy at Historic Yates Mill Park Thursday night. Start by enjoying a presentation then view the night sky through their telescope.

The North Carolina Museum of History is partnering with N.C. State University's Khayrallah Program to present a Documentary Premiere Thursday evening. The one-hour film chronicles the story of Lebanese immigration to North Carolina from 1890 to today.
Friday evening at Bass Lake Park will feature a fun evening of Family Bingo. The monthly event has become very popular so get there early to secure a seat for the fun.
Over a decade old, the 2nd Friday ArtWalk in Downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro invites you to enjoy the opportunity to see a large variety of artwork during a single evening while socializong with fellow art lovers.
Art After Dark and a Downtown Cruise In combine with the En Plein Air Paint-Off in Downtown Fuquay-Varina. The area's most talented painters will compete, En Plein Air (in the open air). A four-hour contest of skills will challenge each artist to create an original oil or acrylic masterpiece of Fuquay-Varina Downtown's historic landscape.
In conjunction with the NC Science Festival, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences is offering a one hour Raleigh Rockin' Walkin' Tour. You will look at the three major rock types that make up the architecture of downtown Raleigh and also delve into some North Carolina history.
The North Carolina Museum of Art invites you to explore the Power of the Female Spirit through the ceremony surrounding the Sande Society mask in Sierre Leone.
The State Fairgrounds kicks off most of their events Friday night and continues them through the weekend. For those of you starting to work in your gardens, there will be both an Azalea Sale and a Geranium Sale. The Spring Edition of the Southern Ideal Home Show will feature three buildings filled with hundreds of exhibitors to answer questions, help with your next building or remodeling project, decorating or landscaping your home. The Raleigh Boat Show & Sale is for those of you looking for some watery down time. And the Raleigh Invitational Horse Show is an American Saddle Bred and Morgan horse show.
Culture, Music & Movies

The Annual Birdhouse Competition returns to the JC Raulston Arboretum this weekend. Come check out all the entries and take a Guided Arboretum Tour on Sunday afternoon.

The North Carolina Museum of History is excited about TeenFest, an annual event for teens and their families focusing on building healthy communities. Also on Saturday, you can play some Spy Games and go on a spy hunt through the Civil War section of The Story of North Carolina and make a cipher wheel to take home. Come back Sunday for a free concert by pianist-composer, Alejandro Santoyo.
It's the battle of the bots. Join the league of robot enthusiasts who build and battle their bots for fun and excitement at the Museum of Life & Science. See some exciting demos and learn more about current and future innovations in the robotics field at the Robot Rumble.
The Holly Springs Community Band will offer a free concert Saturday evening at the Holly Springs Cultural Center.
The Durham Symphony Orchestra will perform a Pops in the Park Concert on Sunday afternoon at Cameron Park.
Mables joins in on the NC Science Festival with fun special events from Friday through April 29th. Click through for the schedule of all the special activities. This week is also Target $2 Tuesday Night at Marbles Kids Museum. Bring the whole family for a night of play for just $2 per person.
Historic Yates Mill County Park is offering Mill Heritage & Local History Tours both Saturday and Sunday.

More Fun at the Parks

Bark Around the Park at Millbrook Exchange Park on Saturday gets bigger every year and includes sponsor and vendor exhibits and sales, contests, giveaways, discounted micro-chip & rabies clinics, agility demonstrations, adoption opportunities, and much more!

Join volunteers around the globe and help clean the world's waterways. Teams will pick up trash along the shore of Lake Crabtree and its connecting creeks during Saturday's Big Sweep of Lake Crabtree and assist staff with trail maintenance at the Volunteer Workday at Hemlock Bluffs.
Bring the whole family over to Harris Lake County Park on Saturday afternoon for some Family Orienteering. They'll provide basic compass and orienteering instruction to get you started on the fun of finding your way with a compass and map to guide you.
Celebrate National Kite Flying Month by flying a kite! Come fill the skies with colorful kites at Carrboro"s Annual Kite Fly on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, the Sarah P. Duke Garden welcomes you for some Spring Family Fun. Each week they will have activity stations that focus on science or craft projects, often including something to make and take home.
The fun continues Monday at William B. Umstead State Park. Our Fine Feathered Friends will incorporate a reading of the Dr. Seuss favorite and a craft project. Come back to Umstead Park on Wednesday for Canoeing Skills I.
Join them over at Lake Crabtree County Park Wednesday night for an evening of fishing and fun during Crabtree Casters. Bring your own fishing pole or borrow one of theirs through the Tackle Loaner Program.


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