Lightning bugs, fireflies, Lampyridae . . . whatever you call them, these bioluminescent bugs are a welcome sight in the Southern summer night. If the weather’s right, take your kids somewhere this weekend where they can simply sit and watch them blink their lights on and off. It may be your own back yard or it may involve a little driving, but it’ll be worth it.
▪ Take a sunset canoe trip at Lake Crabtree in Morrisville, where you may just see lightning bugs over the water. The paddle runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, and each canoe holds a maximum of two adults and one child (kids must be 5 or older). The cost is $5 per person or $10 per canoe. Visit wakegov.com/parks/lakecrabtree or call 919-460-3355 to register.
▪ Friday also offers an evening hike at Raleigh’s Yates Mill Park. Bring kids 8 and older along to an 8 to 9 p.m. trek, during which a park naturalist will teach how to identify the night sounds made by various woodland creatures. This costs $5 per family, so register at wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill or by calling 919-856-6675.
▪ Marbles Kids Museum’s Family Science Olympiad runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Launch rockets, test your lung capacity, build a marshmallow catapult, or participate in all kinds of fun science at this downtown Raleigh educational play space. Museum admission is $5, though kids under 1 get in free. Visit marbleskidsmuseum.org.
▪ Robert Beatty, author of middle-grade mystery thriller “Serafina and the Black Cloak,” appears Saturday at Cary’s Barnes and Noble for a signing and Q&A session. The author set the book in Asheville, where he lives, in the late 19th century, where he does not live. Beatty will be at the store between 2 and 4 p.m. Visit the author site at robert-beatty.com or call Barnes and Noble at 919-467-3866.
Send Family Picks suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org