The Daddy Weekly Legacy

It is now a year since the last issue of the Daddy Weekly occurred. To my surprise and delight, I’m still getting a lot of visitors to the website – many of them just a regular mom or dad thinking about how to bring some joy to their kids and themselves.

While the Daddy Weekly has ceased publication in a weekly format, I still carry the thought to invest some time and make it useful for a few more years – many of the topics and events featured happen every year (like the Christmas Parade) or are permanent features (like Marbles).

For now, please feel free to use the site as is – and if it happened in 2013, there is good chance it will also take place in 2015 and beyond at around the same time.

If you have specific question, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’m still around at

The Daddy Weekly bids farewell…

The time has come to say goodbye – at least a little bit. It has been a little over two years since I came up with the idea of writing a newsletter and starting a website about “Things to do with Kids in Raleigh”. 90 Newsletters and 200 Articles later, covering just about any of the regularly reoccurring events, the time may have come to give some other interests more space. It has been a great and fun experience building this project and looking back on what it has become.
From a just small handful of friends from Boylan Heights and Country Day in early 2012, the list of email subscribers has grown and expanded steadily. I remember the excitement when the first person I didn’t know subscribed, and it is now rare that I recognize new subscribers; just a fellow mom or dad (or a grandparent) who is curious and wants to do something special with their kids this coming weekend This is very exciting to watch. The website sees thousands of visitors, even from faraway countries (which still surprises me given the local interest). People started asking me about it (“oh you’re the one who does that!”) and send emails about how their experience at events was. Short, a lot of joy and good vibes all around.
So it is certainly with sadness that I come to the conclusion to dial it back; but it happened more and more frequently that the Thursday evening all-nighters became a chore, and I think this would eventually show in the quality of the writing and the articles as well.

Which brings me to the most important part: A massive THANK YOU to all of you. First to all the email subscribers, website visitors, and twitter followers; you were the motivation that kept me going and gave me that sense of urgency to keep hitting that “Publish” button every week. Then to my wonderful wife who always supported me and and let me sneak away to go write the Daddy Weekly every Thursday night. Also to all those who gave feedback, pointed out events, and reminded me of upcoming happenings. And lastly, to this wonderful city and surrounding area with its abundance of fun things to do for all ages.

So with that: Happy weekend, Farewell, and all the Best for 2014!

LEGO® KidsFest 2014

After a two-year hiatus, Lego® KidsFest is returning to Raleigh, and will fill the convention center with joy, laugther and millions of lego bricks. This touring show has visited Raleigh once before, in 2012 when my son was still firmly in the Duplo age (see image below).

legofest2012He is now approaching Small Lego age, and it is time to return to this cool event. No doubt about it; in the end this is a Lego promotion, but it is a lot of fun to attend, and while there are Lego sets for sale, there is no pressure to actually do so. (Your kids may have a different opinion, though.)

From memory, this is what stood out: First, the large Creation Nation is a giant outline of the US, which will be filled by small Lego creations from attendees. (I had fun with that myself while my little helper took a nap. Won’t happen this time.) The monochromatic builds (entire areas with just white or orange or whatever Legos) were also pretty cool. Then there are full-size models of Spiderman and the likes. A Lego-Pinewood Derby. And also various areas for the different Lego product lines like Lego City or Lego Technic.

Note that when you buy tickets, it is for a specific half-day: Saturday/Sunday, morning or evening. After the morning session, the exhibition closes briefly to be ready for the afternoon crowd again. All sessions are the same, and they usually do sell out.

Details and tickets (not cheap at $20/child and $22/adult) are available on the Raleigh KidsFest website. Note: This is still 10 weeks away, but it will sell out, at least some of the sessions.20101205-0790LKFHC10_creatiCreation Nation: Florida seen in a Lego world. (Photo Courtesy of LEGO® KidsFest.)

Tour de Toys 2013

If you’re brave enough to take on the cold weather and threatening rain, join the Tour de Toys bike “race” this Saturday morning. The race is family-friendly and in past years, kids in trailer, trailer-bikes and on their own bikes have participated. There is a 12-mi course for the ambitious and a shorter 6-mile ride for the leisurely minded. Two free beers (not for the kids) are included; your entry into the race is not a monetary fee, but a donation of a new toy worth $15 or more.

The race starts at 10am at Natty Greene’s, curves through downtown and ends again at Natty Greene’s for a post-race party.

It will be very cold with possible rain – dress accordingly. We’re planning to go with kids and all if the weather is not too crazy. See you there?

Tour de Toys, Saturday 10am, Natty Greene’s. Sign-up today online or tomorrow (if there are any spots left) in person.

Umbrella required – Hands optional (Photo by Franck Vervial, licensed un der CC BY-NC-ND)

FutureVet at Marbles

Saturday afternoon will be cold and rainy for sure, and Marbles has a cute event for all those who want to become a Veterinarian – aptly named FutureVet. Offered in collaboration with Banfield Vet Hospital and led by a veterinarian, kids find out about being a vet, meet a therapy dog, and even get a certificate. This is from 2-3p, and included in regular Marbles admission.

vet school 2

A vet at work (during the Vet School Open House)

American Indian Heritage Celebration

The NC Museum of History honors the American Natives of North Carolina with the annual celebration of American Indian Heritage. Did you know for example that Miss NC 2013 is an American Native? That NC has the largest Indian population of any state in the East? Or that there are eight recognized tribes in our state? Learn these and more facts, and have some direct encounters with the music, dances and cooking – if you’re lucky you might even run into Miss North Carolina Johna Edmonds. The event is taking place in the NC Museum of History and on the Bicentennial Plaza right outside the museum, and lasts from 11am to 4pm.

Christmas Parade

Correct, it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but we’re having the Christmas Parade. On its traditional route down Hillsborough and then Fayetteville Street, the Christmas Parade can be relied upon to warm hearts and freeze toes.

Some people arrive early and brave the cold and drizzly weather, while other come later and only admire the tallest balloons floating over the heads of people standing in front of them.

The parade is from 10:00-12:00, and is taking place for the 69th time. (And if you don’t like rain – the parade is also broadcast live on WRAL.)

Touch a Truck in Cary

Bright Horizons Centers in the Triangle is hosting Touch-a-Truck day at their location in Cary (800 Weston Parkway, Cary, North Carolina 27513). It is $5 per child, and benefits the Bright Horizons foundation. Their Bright Spaces program provides homeless families and families in crisis a place to play and serves thousands of homeless children nationwide every month. (Just picture yourself for a moment, homeless, with children…)

So anyway, a worthy cause, and also a Touch-a-Truck day that is a bit closer than the other one I’m aware of and have written about, in Chapel Hill.

Note the limited time, from 10a-12p on Saturday morning. It does not say on the event page how many exhibits there will be, but they promise “a wide range of trucks and vehicles for kids and adults of all ages to explore”. Go, have a look, and touch a truck!

Touch a Truck!

Hansel and Gretel by RaleighACT Children’s Theater

The classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel will be performed by the RaleighACT children’s theater TONIGHT at 7p and tomorrow at 10:30am. RaleighACT is a “small but growing” theater for children, with different classes for different age groups. (4-6, 6-11, 9-13.) Hansel and Gretel will be performed by the 6-11 year olds.

I think I wrote in a previous post that such events bring back fond memories of my involvement with children’s theater in a previous life, and hope that perhaps my little ones will catch the theater bug one day. (And for now, I enjoy being a spectator.)

If you’re thinking about sending your kids to theater classes, this play can give you insight into what to expect, and you kids the chance to see whether they might enjoy standing on stage.

Hansel und Gretel by RaleighACT Fri 11/15 at 7pm, Sat 11/16 at 10:30am. $10 at the door or $6 by calling ahead (919-605-9946). Performance take place at Journey Church on 3500 Spring Forest Road (Raleigh).

Thanks to R. who sent me the information about this and who’s kids are in the play, I’m always glad to get leads for interesting events!


Image from the 2012 program, (c) RaleighACT

Halloween 2013: Haunted New Hope Valley Train

If you can still get tickets (but many train rides were sold out at the time of this writing), the Haunted Train at New Hope Valley Railroad looks really cool.

In addition to riding the train (and seeing some spooky installations along the way), you can visit an old witch and have your future told, or a mad scientist blowing smoke-filled bubbles. (I hope in a kids-appropriate way, and not the way we did it when we were young!)

There will be spooky photo ops and even a take-home gift for visitor. As of this writing, tickets were only available for the 2:45p train and the (scarier) 7:45p train.

Haunted Steam Locomotive (c) New Hope valley Railroad

Haunted Steam Locomotive (c) New Hope valley Railroad