Even when I was a kid, Valentine’s Day never felt like a holiday for romantic love, but like a celebration of friendship and family. Accordingly, it didn’t seem like a relevant holiday again until I had kids of my own. It’s fun to watch my girls make construction paper valentines for their friends, their grandparents, and – naturally – their mother and me, and I’m glad it falls on a Sunday this year.
▪ Count birds at Cary’s Kids Together Playground, which is accessible to kids of all physical and mental abilities, Saturday morning 10-11 a.m. Refreshments afterward. This is part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, which lasts from Feb. 12-15. For more information on Kids Together, visit kidstogethercary.org. To learn more about Great Backyard Bird Count, visit gbbc.birdcount.org.
▪ On Saturday, which is the day after Charles Darwin would have turned 207, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh celebrates Darwin Day. Kid-friendly elements include exhibits on insect diversity featuring live bugs and Fish Face Frenzy, where children can design and color their own fish – and learn about adaptations such as jaw and face shape. The free event takes place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit naturalsciences.org for information.
▪ Granted, you can see the glow of Chapel Hill from Jordan Lake, but it’s still far enough from city lights for the stars to be visible. Saturday between 7 and 9 p.m., Morehead Planetarium hosts a monthly skywatching session at Jordan Lake’s Ebenezer Church Recreation Area – weather permitting, of course. The focus this time around is the moon and Jupiter. Telescopes will be provided at these informal, family-friendly sessions. Visit moreheadplanetarium.org, and check the Planetarium’s social media feeds or call 919-962-1236 for cancellation notices before heading out.
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▪ Or make a valentine for nature – a nesting ball or a bird feeder, perhaps? Sunday, between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., do exactly that at Crowder District Park. Preregistration is required and this costs $5 per family. Visit wakegov.com/parks/crowder.
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