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November 23rd - November 30th 2011

by Pam & Michael Davison

Happy Thanksgiving! If you are staying in town and are looking to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine before or after your Turkey feast, there are plenty of wonderful parks in the area. Do be aware that several local county and city parks (the ones with gates) will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Neighborhood playgrounds, greenways and state parks are a great destination to run off some energy or extra calories. Pullen Park will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but if you haven't seen the re-opened park yet, check it out sometime this Holiday weekend.

Holiday Events

Help Marbles Kids Museum feed hungry families by Stuffing their Turkey on Wednesday! Receive one free museum guest pass for every 4 cans of food donated.

Come back to Marbles Friday through Sunday and Celebrate Thanksgiving the Marbles way. Trot like a turkey, paint with pine cones and team up for football flicking fun. On Friday, you can even decorate your own mini-float for the Marbles Day Parade.
This Friday kicks off some fun holiday events in the Wilmington area if you are looking for a great day trip. The Battleship North Carolina will be lit up each night and visible from downtown Wilmington.
Everyone is invited to come to downtown Wilmington Friday night for the annual Downtown Holiday Tree Lighting. Prior to the lighting of the tree, carolers will stroll the streets to spread holiday cheer. The Roger Davis Jazz Band will also be on hand to perform duets and Riverfront Park vendors will be selling arts and crafts. Santa will arrive shortly after the lighting and will be available for children to visit.
Beginning Friday, the Boardwalk oceanfront landscaped coves will come alive with merriment and decorations along Carolina Beach for Christmas by the Sea. Festive activities including Santa's Workshop, a fire pit, a live nativity, and hot cocoa will be held every Saturday through December 31.
The light up ceremony on Friday at Carolina Beach Park officially begins the month long Island of Lights Festival. Families can walk one mile around the lake to view the beautiful lighted displays.
Head over to the Museum of Life and Science this weekend to experience the Wonderland Express. This handcrafted exhibition made of natural materials is sure to immerse you in a magical world. Watch as model trains journey through a snowy Carolina, traversing mountains, crossing bridges and disappearing through tunnels. Bells ring and whistles blow as trains chug along the Blue Ridge Parkway and journey to popular landmarks such as Kitty Hawk, the State Capitol Building and Jennette's Pier. With more than 340 feet of track winding in and out of hills and valleys, this 2,200-square-foot, indoor holiday exhibition is sure to delight all ages.
Fun at the Fairgrounds

The State Fairgrounds is hosting some fun events this weekend. If you are ready to jump into Christmas, you won't want to miss the Christmas Carousel Holiday Festival. A complete holiday experience for the entire family. Featuring live holiday music, Santa, and cooking demonstrations. To start or finish your holiday shopping, there will also be original artwork and crafts, Christmas decorations, prints, pottery, candle making, jewelry and more for sale by artisans.


Also the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fine Crafts Show takes place this weekend and gives the public the opportunity to see and purchase a diverse selection of jury-selected, one-of-a-kind fine crafts.
If you are not quite ready for reindeer yet, maybe you will enjoy the Cat Show. The event sponsored by the Tarheel Triangle Cat Fanciers will feature an all- breed championship and a household pet show.
Lastly, for all you horse enthusiasts, you will want to check out the Turkey Circuit Quarter Horse Show.
All of the events this weekend at the fairgrounds, except the horse show, do have an admission fee, so make sure to click through for information on prices and available discounts.
Hike Off the Turkey at a Park

Historic Yates Mill Pond is another awesome destination if you have visitors from out of town. As the only remaining grist mill in Wake County, it is a fascinating experience for young and old. This weekend, they will be running the wheel and offering Mill Heritage Tours.

Join a Ranger at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Saturday for a nice leisurely history hike of the Old Oak Trail. The hike will focus on the past before the existence of the lake. The trail is fairly flat with gentle rolling hills and perfect for the whole family.
Historic Preservation Society of Durham volunteers invite you to take a Durham Architecture & the Urban Landscape Walking Tour through downtown Saturday morning. The Tour will highlight the many architectural styles popular in the 20th century.
Join a Park Ranger at William B. Umstead State Park Sunday afternoon to learn how to read a map and use a compass. You will even get the opportunity to test your Basic Land Navigation skills on a field exercise.
Join a park ranger Monday morning at Eno River State Park for a History Hike to some of the many historically important places in the park.
Art and Movies this Weekend

Art in the Evening is back this Friday night with live music by Peter Lamb and the Wolves. In conjunction with the exhibition Rembrandt in America, step into the Master's world with a Gallery Discussion on masterpieces from the Museum's 17th-century Dutch and Flemish collection.

The Holly Springs Cultural Center will kick off the Holiday season with a screening of The Search for Santa Paws.
The Pullen Arts Center Participants Show continues through December 15th showcasing the Center's artist participants, patrons and instructors featuring artists from multiple disciplines including jewelry, pottery, printmaking, painting, drawing, glass, mixed media, weaving, and encaustics.


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