This weekend is bursting with holiday events in every corner of the Triangle.
In downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza, Winterfest kicks off Saturday with a celebration that lasts all afternoon and evening.
The downtown ice skating rink, which is becoming an annual tradition, opens at 2 p.m. Saturday for its first skating session of the year, but that’s only one of many events.
From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be live music and dance performances on the stage. A kids’ area will feature a carousel, a 40-foot Ferris wheel, bounce houses and carriage rides. Plus, kids can take free rides on a sledding hill covered in manmade snow.
Santa will be on hand to hear Christmas wishes, and more than 40 vendors will sell food, crafts and gifts.
At 7 p.m., Mayor Nancy McFarlane will supervise the annual tree lighting. And at 5:30 and 7:30, there will be showings of “Polar Express” on a 42-foot outdoor movie screen.
For more information, go to www.godowntownraleigh.com/raleighwinterfest/index.htm
• In Durham, you can celebrate the arrival of the Christmas season at the Holiday Fun Fest, Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Durham Central Park at 502 Foster St.
There will be games, food, music, a petting zoo, train rides and chances to visit with Santa. Kids can also make cards for soldiers and, from 1:30 to 3:30 they can make s’mores over a campfire. Adults and children can participate in an obstacle course.
• In Cary, the Ole Time Winter Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. All around downtown Cary there will be arts and crafts, performances and food vendors. This might be a good way to keep the kids entertained while you do a bit of shopping.
• If you want to teach your children about Christmas in Colonial times, try the Joel Lane Museum House in downtown Raleigh. At a free open house 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, you can tour the historic home, once owned by a Revolutionary War soldier and one of Raleigh’s founding fathers. You can also get a feel for how Christmas was celebrated in Lane’s day.
There will be costumed tour guides, Colonial-style decorations and live music. For kids, there will be Colonial games and crafts.
• Lastly, if you are in the mood for a Christmas parade, you have lots of choices this weekend. Parades will be held Saturday in:
Apex, 5 p.m., Salem Street
Garner, 2 p.m., Main Street
Hillsborough, 10 a.m., Corbin Street to Margaret Lane
Knightdale, 2 p.m., downtown
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