Arts & Culture

Family Picks: ‘Velveteen Rabbit,’ Dr. Seuss and double dino fun

Michael McKenna in Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
Michael McKenna in Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of “The Velveteen Rabbit.” DAVID WATTS

Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs. My youngest is about to turn 3, and she loves dinosaurs. So what better to do this weekend than indulge her curiosity with a museum visit? One of the beauties of the Triangle is that whatever your kids love – art, music, science, theater, books, sports – the richness of our local cultural, scientific and literary scenes has them covered. So even if your kids don’t love dinosaurs, you can still find something this weekend to make their little eyes shine with wonder.

▪ “Discover the Dinosaurs,” a traveling exhibit featuring “Jurassic Park”-like animatronic dinosaurs, comes to the N.C. State Fairgrounds’ Graham Building this weekend. The creatures are set up in dioramas representing their possible habitats; some move, some are softer and closer to toddler size, and some can even be ridden. This self-guided exhibit is open noon-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets run $16-$27; with children age 2 and younger getting in free. Visit for more information.

▪ On the more scientific side, the N.C. Museum of Natural Science’s “World’s Largest Dinosaurs” exhibit is ongoing through April 12. Friday, as it does every First Friday, the museum stays open until 9 p.m. and even shows guilty pleasure sci-fi and horror B-movies (this week, “Curse of the Swamp Creature” at 7 p.m.), making it easier for working parents to take their kids to this excellent museum. Museum admission is free, though the special dinosaur exhibit costs $8-$14, with kids under 3 getting in free. Learn more at

▪ With a cast aged 11-86, Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of “The Velveteen Rabbit” unites multiple generations that have grown up on this 93-year-old tale of the power of love. “The Velveteen Rabbit” opens Friday at the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre and runs through March 22. Tickets are $14; kids 12 and under pay $10. Visit for showtimes.

▪ Saturday, the Read Across Durham finale takes place at the Children’s Nook in Durham’s Northgate Mall. A science program sponsored by Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium opens the event at 1 p.m., followed by a Dr. Seuss story time at 2 (with songs, a game and crafts) and an African dance performance at 3. The whole shebang runs from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and is free. Visit for details.

Send Family Picks suggestions to