1. Good fences, good neighbors: It’s OK to look during the Wake County Parade of Homes.
Check out new homes and communities throughout the county on the final weekend of the annual tour. Homebuilders show off the best they have to offer and are judged on criteria such as workmanship, floor plans and curb appeal. Design your personal tour online, then head out to pick up some ideas for your own home. Free, noon to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday, paradeofhomeswake.com.
2. Southern comfort: Revisit “Steel Magnolias” and its tales of friendship and trust.
The North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre brings the world of Truvy’s hair salon to the stage. The play is the story of six women and their lives together, in good times and when tragedy strikes. You’ve seen the movie, now check out the original show. $12-$15, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Monday, 7713-51 Lead Mine Road, nract.org/upcoming-productions/steel-magnolias.
3. Brew it forward: Find out who will triumph in a battle of the homebrewers.
Lonerider hosts this annual contest for beermaking amateurs with dreams of making it big. The entries already are in; all you have to do is show up and enjoy an afternoon at the brewery. Judging begins at 2 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 7 p.m. The winner’s recipe will be brewed and sold by Lonerider, with the profits split between charities and the winner’s pocket. Free, 2 p.m. Saturday, The Hideout, 8816 Gulf Ct. #100, loneridershowdown.com.
4. A walk in the park: Enjoy the crisp fall weather on a day trip to Umstead.
Activities abound this weekend. Take a Happy Birds Hike, learn about farm-to-park history or discover the animals who call the park home. The bird identification hike kicks off at 8 a.m., but sleepyheads can wait until 2 p.m. for the history talk or 4 p.m. for the animals. Free, Saturday, Visitor Center Auditorium, 8801 Glenwood Ave., 919-571-4170 for information and registration.
5. Deep-fried fun: The N.C. State Fair starts Thursday. Need we say more?
Whether you can’t get enough of games on the Midway, love learning about N.C. agriculture or want to watch fireworks night after night, the State Fair has got you covered. Come for the racing pigs, stay for the funnel cake. $9 adults/$4 children ages 6-12, Thursday-Oct. 26, ncstatefair.org.