Family Picks

Staff WriterJune 12, 2009 

  • What: Bubble Blitz

    When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Museum of Life and Science, 433 Murray Ave., Durham

    Cost: Free with admission. Admission to the museum is $12.50 for adults, $10.50 for seniors (65 and older) and $9.50 for children ages 3 to 12.

    Details: www.lifeandscience.org or 220-5429

  • Explore downtown Hillsborough at a Family Fun Day on Saturday. The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and others are kicking off this summer's family fun day series with a scavenger hunt and special programs at historic sites and attractions. Future family fun days are scheduled for July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept 12. Go to www.historichillsborough.org or call 732-7741 for details. Pick up a calendar of events and map at the Orange County Visitor Center, 150 E. King St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

    Enjoy live performances as part of the N.C. Museum of Art's Wonderful Wednesdays performances. The series, which started June 10 and continues through July 22, features storytelling, music, puppets and more. The 50-minute shows begin at 1 p.m. If you're a fan of Gustafer Yellowgold, he'll return to the Triangle and perform as part of the series July 8. Gustafer, a character created by songwriter/artist Morgan Taylor, was at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro earlier this year. Tickets are $3 and can sell out. Go to ncartmuseum.org or call 715-5923 for details.

    Hear the Filmore Valley Boys play folk and bluegrass music at the city of Raleigh's Summer in the Park series at Fletcher Park, 820 Clay St., Raleigh. The concert starts at 6 p.m. Sunday and is part of a family-friendly series that runs through Aug. 30. The July 12 concert will feature the popular local kids band Sandbox. For more information about this and other free summer concert series in the area, go to www.triangle mom2mom.com/content/free-summer-music.

There's something about soapy water and a small plastic stick that can entrall nearly every kid.

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham is taking kids' fascination with bubbles to new levels Saturday with Bubble Blitz. The event from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. features everything from science experiments to recipes for fizzy drinks to homemade bubble wands made with recycled items.

Long-time museum goers probably remember the old bubble machine that once was in the space formerly called Small Science. Kids could use a huge wand and pull up a giant bubble around them.

But the bubble machine didn't return when the museum renovated the space aimed at young children and reopened it last year as Play to Learn.

Museum officials knew it was missed, so they decided to design a day around bubbles.

At Bubble Blitz, kids can create art by blowing bubbles, make a fizzy drink using pantry ingredients and check out hands-on bubble experiments.

Dr. Ken Lyle, a Duke University chemistry professor, will conduct some kid-friendly chemical experiments. Museum staff will talk about how insects use bubbles in the water. And the Traveling Teacher Show, a local group, will help kids make their own bubble wands.

Bubble Blitz is part of the museum's Second Saturday Science series.

The museum has been in the news this month after vandals decapitated its beloved brontasaurus. The head was discovered a few days later.

The brontosaurus was part of the museum's old Dinosaur Trail, which opened 1967 and closed in 1996 because of damage sustained during Hurricane Fran. It's not clear whether the brontosaurus can be restored.

But the museum is nearly ready to open a new dinosaur trail in late July. The 2-1/2 acre trail will feature as many as 22 models of dinosaurs and a big pit where kids can look for fossils. Stay tuned for more information.

sarah.lindenfeld@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8939

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