This week, several events celebrate a common quality to explorers and creative types: the willingness to step out of ones comfort zone and risk learning something new. Whether exploring a rain forest labyrinth, hearing childrens stories in another language, playing in a rock band or hiking in the woods at night, new experiences can inspire curiosity in the young; as parents, its part of our job to encourage this.
• Stay up late Friday at Hemlock Bluffs in Carys Night Out in Nature. From 6-9 p.m. kids will roast marshmallows at campfires and take night hikes. For kids unfamiliar with how the sounds and feel of a forest change with nightfall, this could be fun and enlightening. For those nervous about the dark, pack a flashlight. Recommended for ages 8-12. Residents pay $19, and its $24 for others. Call 919-387-5980 for more information.
• On Saturday, part of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences transforms into a jungle maze for the Rainforest Adventure special exhibit. A path leads through it, from the emergent and canopy layers down to the understory and forest floor, and kids are quizzed about the ecosystem throughout; in this living labyrinth, incorrect answers lead to dead ends. Also at the exhibits Saturday grand opening, there will be presentations on biodiversity and conservation. Exhibit admission is $5-$7 or free for museum members. naturalsciences.org
• Quail Ridge Books Saturday morning storytime focuses on German tales, and the stories and songs will be in that language. If you want to expose your children to how people speak around the world and maybe even stimulate interest in learning another language this is an excellent opportunity to explore a language pretty closely related to English. Storytime starts at 10:30 a.m. and is free. quailridgebooks.com
• ArtScene 2014 hands the North Carolina Museum of Art over to teenagers on Saturday. There will be arts of all kind from screen printing and photography to writing and graffiti and several local bands that just happen to be high school-aged will perform. One neat thing about the Spring Teen Event is that teens will explore things they may still care about in their twenties and beyond perhaps playing in bands with their friends or writing expressive poetry at an event organized by their peers in the museums Teen Arts Council. The free event runs from 1-4 p.m. ncartmuseum.org.
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