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September 22nd - September 28th 2011

by Pam & Michael Davison

Can you believe that October is only a few days away? Fall is in full swing here in the Triangle with an awesome assortment of fun events this weekend. Most towns are still hosting farmers markets, too. If you are looking for the perfect pumpkin or an incredible array of fall fruits and vegetables, stop by the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh. It is really fun to check out the gigantic pumpkins and be amazed by all the colors and shapes pumpkins come from smooth and orange to bumpy and white. Celebrating another fall crop, Thursday is Apple Day at the State Farmers market.

Welcome to all you new subscribers we met at BugFest last weekend. I hope these weekly newsletters help make every weekend with your family fabulous!
Take a Child Outside Week
Take A Child Outside Week, a national initiative spearheaded by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences kicks off Saturday, September 24 and runs through Friday, September 30. Designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from exploring the natural world, the week encourages children and adults to spend time together outdoors. Although has almost 60 events this week, 20 are specifically aimed at kids and families for Take a Child Outside Week. On the Take A Child Outside web site (, adults are encouraged to make a pledge to take a child outside during the week and chart their location on a digital map. Currently, all 50 US states and four foreign countries actively participate in Take A Child Outside Week.

Involvement in Take a Child outside Week transcends local, county and state parks throughout the Triangle. Three events kick off the week. Blue Jay County Park invites you to bring your preschooler to Creepy Crawlies Saturday morning and the whole family to A World of Webs Saturday afternoon. Sertoma Arts Center invites you to a Family Sunset Walk around the park.
Nature Discovery at Lake Crabtree County Park on Sunday will include a scavenger hunt as well as birdwatching equipment & fishing gear to borrow.
Monday afternoon, your family can learn about the principals of archaeology in a Time in a Bottle Archaeology Program. Participants will create their own excavation site using a plastic bottle and become an archaeologist by digging for clues.
Tuesday afternoon, Durant Nature Park invites preschoolers to learn about the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and where they all go in the fall. Explore the Wonderful Wetlands at Crowder District Park and why they are so important.
Wednesday night you can Learn to Fish at Lake Crabtree County Park or play some Disc Golf at Harris Lake County Park.
Thursday morning, your little ones can learn to appreciate the Lowly Worm.
Friday rounds out the week with lots of fun. Prairie Ridge Ecostation for Wildlife Learning welcomes you to explore their habitats and take a guided walk. After dark, you can take a Night Hike at Lake Crabtree County Park or enjoy some Evening Splendor on the American Tobacco Trail.
Most of these events are free, but a few do have a small fee. Many do require pre-registration so click through for all the details.

Festivals Galore!

The Storytelling Festival is one of ParkGeek's favorite events this weekend! The festival is a wonderful event with entertainment for every age. Bring a blanket or chairs and your imagination as Historic Oak View Park partners with the Wake County Library to assemble a broad range of storytellers from near and far. There are several story spots around the park, including one specifically for young children, that the storytellers rotate through in order to give you the opportunity to hear as many different stories as you wish. The variety of stories varies as much as the storytellers. Along with historical stories, folk tales and tall tales, there are also musical stories, ghost stories, and interactive stories. Come hear tales of the south, the mountains, Africa, or Native America.

Saturday will be Dog Days in the Park at Womble Park. For even more dogs, the State Fairgrounds will be hosting AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day.
Maripolooza at Regency Park Saturday is a fundraiser for the Mariposa School for Children with Autism. The family-friendly event will feature performances by local musical and performing arts groups, great food, tons of children's activities, a silent auction and various local vendors.
Marbles Kids Museum celebrates a Worldwide Day of Play with zany games and old-school recess fun. In partnership with LEGO KidsFest, coming to Raleigh on October 7-9, Marbles also invites you to their LEGO Builders' Challenge Workshops.
Head to Historic Varina Saturday to take in the Downtown Bounty. There will be music, vendors, merchant specials and an assortment of family fun. The event will incorporate a Brunswick Stew Cook-Off for grown ups and a Lemonade Stand Showcase for kids.
Bikefest is back in Downtown Raleigh this weekend. The event will feature a wide variety of entertainment and last year brought over 85,000 bikers downtown.
The Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education invites you to join them for National Hunting and Fishing Day. This is a family-oriented event, with fun and educational hands-on programs for everyone to enjoy. Activities will include fishing, fly fishing, archery, outdoor survival, fly tying and outdoor cooking demonstrations.
The Southern Ideal Home Show is the Triangle's biggest home and garden event. It features three buildings at the State Fairgrounds filled with hundreds of exhibitors to answer questions, help with your next building or remodeling project, decorating or landscaping your home.
This weekend, the State Fairgrounds will also host a Quarter Horse Show, the North State Toy & Hobby Show and a Carolina Aquarium Auction.
More Fun Activities at the Parks

This weekend, there are plenty of outdoor activities in addition to those specifically aimed at the Take a Child Outside Week. Is it Hibernation, Brumation or Aestivation? Join the Naturalist at Eno River State Park for a talk about how animals prepare for winter in different ways.

Right around the corner, West Point on the Eno invites you to come on a Critter Crawl to learn about the aquatic critters that live in the Neuse River Saturday morning and a Fall Forage Hike to search for fall herbs, nuts, berries, and fruit in the forest Saturday afternoon.
Come, learn about Occoneechee Mountain's geologic wonders and explore the pyrophyllite quarry with a real geologist on a Geology Hike. Or join the Occoneechee Ranger for a 1 1/2 mile hike to learn the Red Oaks from the White Oaks during Just Oaks, Folks.
This weekend, there are a few opportunities to give back to area parks. Join the staff of Bass Lake for the annual Big Sweep. Raleigh Parks and Recreation invite you to the Walnut Creek Wetland Clean Up at Walnut Creek Wetland Center.
Take an End of Summer Canoe Hike at Lake Crabtree County Park on Saturday. If you would rather stay on dry ground, come on out to watch the Triangle Model Yacht Club run their races.
Are you an amateur writer who enjoys writing suspense filled stories? You are invited to submit an entry for the first ever Spooky Stories on the Neuse Contest. Stories are due by October 5th and the presentations will be October 14th.
Come on out to Raven Rock State Park to learn all about Box Turtle Science and what makes box turtles different from our other turtles.
Historic Preservation Society of Durham volunteers lead a 45 minute tour through downtown highlighting the many architectural styles popular in the 20th century on an Architecture & the Urban Landscape Walking Tour.
On Sunday, come hunt for seeds of both the smallest plants and the biggest trees at the JC Raulston Arboretum for the program: Natural Wrappers: From Tiny Seeds to Giant Trees.
Join a Park Ranger at William B. Umstead State Park for a look at the Food Web Sunday afternoon.
You will visit several areas around Falls Lake Sunday afternoon looking for and catching Monarch butterflies during a Monarch Tagging Field Trip.
Music & Movies for Everyone

Over 160 acts at 25 different locations! The Carrboro Music Festival will feature all kinds of music, all around town and all for free!

The North Carolina Museum of Art kicks off the weekend with Art in the Evening and the 1985 movie Brazil.
The classic country & rock sounds of the Carla Wilson Band will heat up the night at the Holly Springs Cultural Center for an outdoor concert Friday night.
Dedicated to the pure joy of sharing the Caribbean entertainment and culture the Cary Caribbean Festival on Saturday at the Herbert Young Community Center will feature Caribbean cuisine, great music, and superb entertainment.
The Isaac Hunter Battle of the Bands will feature some local bands from across the Triangle and food from local restaurants and food trucks at Moore Square. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club.
The featured family movie at the Holly Springs Cultural Center Saturday Morning is Disney's Phineas and Ferb.



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