Even a cursory glance at Google Maps reveals that the Triangle is littered with lakes and ponds. Pick one, zoom in a little and more detail emerges. Shallow coves and lakeside hardwood forests provide reliable wildlife habitats even within heavily populated areas. Maybe this weekend weather permitting is a good time to zoom in all the way. If you have access to a canoe or can rent one, why not try that? Its one of the quietest ways to get on the water and, therefore, one of the least likely to spook wildlife.
For example, just southwest of Apex, Harris Lake Park offers afternoon guided canoe trips from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Its worth noting, depending on the size of your family, that the park canoes fit three people each. The event runs $5 per family, plus $10 to rent a canoe (though you can also bring your own). Registration is required, so call 919-387-4342.
More family fun:
• Raleighs First Friday is typically an adult affair, though CAM Raleighs free show Friday is based on teen artwork. The 6-10 p.m. exhibit may be best for elementary school kids and older, both for the late hour and the potential for crowds. It does promise an admittedly rare hip, grown-up event that kids may also find interesting. Visit CAMRaleigh.org.
• For a quieter Friday evening, Yates Mill Park offers easy stargazing well, planet-gazing for kids 6 and older. Starting at 7:45 p.m., the hour-long Massive Saturn, Speedy Mercury program hinges on both planets current visibility right after sunset. Participants will also learn how to spot Saturns rings with binoculars. Families pay $5, individuals pay $3. Registration is required. Call 919-856-6675.
• In Apex, Peak Fest takes over Salem Street downtown 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. There will be dance and music on four stages (including a kids stage) and a BMX stunt exhibition neighboring the play area, not to mention vendors along the blocked-off street. See apexpeakfest.com.
• Opening Sunday, the Sacred Motherhood exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art features depictions of mothers spanning from ancient Egypt to modern times, and from the divine (the Virgin Mary, Isis) to the everyday. Its the timelessness of motherhood thats explored which may lead to interesting and worthwhile dialogues with your children. Visit ncartmuseum.org for more details on this free exhibit.
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