After the chaos of the holiday season, the start of a new year can feel like a welcome wiping of the slate. For bigger kids, it signals the return to school – hopefully they face this with excitement rather than dread. For little kids, though, it may not mean a whole lot yet. No time like the present to tell them about it, right?
▪ The North Carolina state parks system turns 100 in 2016, and the celebration starts right away. Friday’s First Day Hikes, as they’re called, range from short strolls to six-mile adventures, and there are 46 to choose from statewide. Details (and fun quirks) vary by park, so visit ncparks.gov/first-day-hikes and see if any strike your fancy.
▪ Kwanzaa celebrations continue Friday at the Durham Armory. The African American Dance Ensemble’s Kwanzaafest 2016 starts at 10:30 a.m., with the children’s village opening at noon and the Kwanzaafest program itself starting at 2 p.m. Visit aadekwanzaafest.wix.com/kwanzaafest for performer information and more detail on this free celebration.
▪ The First in Flight Cat Club kicks off 2016 its own way – with a cat show, naturally. Friday through Sunday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds’ Holshauser Building, the purebred cat organization holds its 18th annual Meowing in the New Year championship and household pet show (just leave your own cat at home, please). Adults pay $5; children 2-12 pay $3;students and seniors pay $4; and those under 2 get in free. Shows are 2-9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Visit firstinflightcatclub.info.
▪ On Tuesday, the pre-k crowd can learn about North Carolina firsts at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh – we’re more than just first in flight, after all. This costs $3 per child, or $1 for museum members, and starts at 10 a.m. Visit NCMOH-programs.com to register.
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