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Family Picks: On the hunt for Pokémon and Santa Claus

Kids can learn about the real animals that inspired Pokemon creatures at a hike at Blue Jay Point Park on Saturday.
Kids can learn about the real animals that inspired Pokemon creatures at a hike at Blue Jay Point Park on Saturday. AP

It’s not even December, yet one of my kids is already so excited about Christmas she can hardly stand it. So appropriately, a pre-Thanksgiving Santa appears in Raleigh this weekend. There are also museum exhibits and a chili cook-off, and even a Pokémon-inspired hike.

▪ The Tinker Works exhibit at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham continues this weekend. Since the start of the month, the Contraptions and Keva galleries have been converted into a hands-on tinkering space. Creative materials ranging from circuits and fiber arts to larger building supplies are stocked so that kids can roll up their sleeves and make stuff. All ages are welcome, but it’s best suited for kids 7 and older. The exhibit runs until Nov. 20. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Museum admission: $11-$16 (kids 2 & under free). Visit lifeandscience.org.

▪ It’s Christmas in (early) November! North Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center jump-starts the holiday season Saturday with Santa Claus, holiday songs, magic, s’mores and indoor snow. This happens 5-8 p.m. and it’s free. Visit triangletowncenter.com.

▪ Most Pokémon creatures are inspired by real animals. If your kids play Pokémon Go, Blue Jay Point County Park’s Pokémon Nature Connections program this Saturday is a perfect connection of entertainment and real life. Hike and hit a dozen Pokéstops at this Falls Lake park while learning about real creatures’ defense strategies. Preregistration is required and the program costs $1 per person. The hike starts at 2 p.m. Visit wakegov.com/parks/bluejay to find the events calendar.

▪ The Triangle Chili Challenge takes place Sunday. There will be food, music, and arts and crafts vendors lining the streets of downtown Cary from noon to 4 p.m. Visit tinyurl.com/nsrpxso.

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