What a winter we’ve had – and how sweet it is to have finally made it to Memorial Day Weekend, the de facto start of summer. But you don’t need to brave beach traffic to have a good weekend (though we won’t stop you). Locally, this weekend and next week, sustainable artists are teaching their techniques, reading programs are starting, people are designing new playgrounds, and excellent area musicians are playing free shows.
• All weekend at Durham’s Museum of Life and Science, the “Build It! Bamboo” event offers a fun, hands-on learning experience for the whole family. Friday and Saturday, you can meet bamboo artist Will Hooker, who will demonstrate his techniques with the sustainable plant. Kids with an interest in both crafts and gardening ought to be fascinated by his lessons. Hooker will be on-site from noon to 3 p.m. both days, and preregistration is not required. Museum admission is $10-$14, and kids 2 and younger get in free. Visit lifeandscience.org for more information.
• This weekend, the Cary Barnes & Noble starts its summer reading program. Participating first- through sixth-graders who read eight books will get one free. To learn more, drop by the bookstore at 11 a.m. Saturday, when there will also be a book-oriented scavenger hunt. Or call the bookstore at 919-467-3866.
• Carrboro folk duo Mandolin Orange plays Durham’s American Tobacco Campus on Thursday as part of WUNC’s Back Porch Music series. This kind of event is a treat for both adults and kids, though; the songwriting and harmonies are top-notch, while gentle and pleasing enough to appeal to the entire family. The free show starts at 6 p.m. – even the time is perfect for kids! For more information, visit americantobaccocampus.com.
• Given Durham’s recent accolades and placement on Top 10 lists for restaurants, bars and music venues, it’s easy to say downtown has become quite the playground for adults. But what about kids? Durham Central Park, an organization that maintains and develops a city-owned plot by that name, started a Kickstarter campaign May 1 to raise $25,000 toward developing “Mount Merrill,” a kid-friendly climbing zone and playground named for a deceased friend of the park. The organization has a week left to raise this money, so those who wish to contribute can visit kickstarter.com and search for “Build Mt. Merrill.”
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