Engineers Day at Museum of Life and Science (Sat 10-4)

Saturday is Engineers Day at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Some of the programs are geared towards kids 10+, but the many engineering-related exhibits are suitable for all ages. Plus, if interests for engineering should wane, there is always plenty more to explore at this marvelous museum, like the butterfly house or the cool outdoors playground.

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Tucker Lake

The City Pools are too small but the beach is too far? How about going half-way, and have a little beach and a lot more water at Tucker Lake. Yes, the place you all know from driving to the beach and have always said, “I wonder what that is like?”

After finally checking out Tucker Lake over the long weekend for the first time, I can now “speak authoritatively” about it: While it is probably not the poshest destination in the area, it is definitely not trashy or dirty, but by and large a safe, clean, family-friendly destination. The place is well-kept and operated, and on a comparable level for amenities and cleanliness as an average beach on the coast.

There is a small concessions are for chips, hot dogs, and ice cream, but ideally you bring a picnic or something to grill; there are countless grills and picnic tables scattered throughout a shaded 4 acre area, and there is probably about 1/2 mile of sandy lake shore. The water depth is very gradual and suited for all levels of experience, if you observe your limits. There are several life guards, but the area is quite large; I would compare it again to a ocean beach with lifeguards; they are there, they watch, but you still need to keep a very close watch on your kids, especially around the numerous slides, rope swings, and other play elements. There is also an impressive water slide which we didn’t try this time.

Since last year, Tucker Lake features also a wakeboard park with a large cable system. (You get pulled by a cable like a ski lift, not by a boat. Don’t sneer at it until you try it – it is how I learned to wakeboard back in the day.) This is of course more for older kids and adults, but I think it brings some welcome funds to the place that should lift up the entire operation. At any rate, if you’ve been to Tucker Lake years ago, you should give it another try; it came under new management in 2012, and seems to be doing well.

Location: Roughly at I95&I64, address: 3025 Allens Crossroads Rd Benson NC, 27504
Hours: Daily 9-6 during the summer, weekends in the fall and closed in winter.
What to bring: Coal and stuff to grill, umbrellas, lawn chairs, small coolers, water toy. But no pets, glass or alcohol.

Tucker Lake

Wipeout at Logan’s (Sat 11-4)

Nooo! -kidding by Hammonton Photography, used under the CC BY-NC license

Logan’s Trading Company, the downtown garden store, is hosting another edition of its Wipeout event; come dressed to get wet (kids with bathing suit under their clothes), have fun splashing and take advantage of their summer clearance sale.

Logan’s is in the Seaboard Station area north of downtown, at 707 Semart Drive. Wipeout is from 11-4 on Saturday.

SWANA Garbage Truck Rodeo (6/20/13, 8:30-4)

You think Food Truck Rodeos are all the rage? Wait until you see the Garbage Truck Rodeo! An annual event held at the state level and with national finals, the “SWANA Road-e-o” tests the skills of garbage truck drivers and mechanics. If you live in a neighborhood where the trash is picked up in back alleys, you are familiar with their skill to navigate big trucks through tight spaces.

My son has always been particularly fond of garbage trucks, and this event will not only feature trucks driving obstacle courses, there are garbage trucks that can looked at, touched, and climbed into. (The driver seat only, of course.)

The event takes place at the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services facility; this brand new facility is worth a trip in itself, being the first LEED certified plant of this type, with many environmental improvements. (I’m not sure if this weekend it can be toured inside, though.)

The facility is at 630 Beacon Lake Drive, which is off 64 out towards Knightdale. (Follow your GPS and don’t turn at the first Beacon Lake Drive crossing, since this road is split in two disconnected parts.)

Address: 630 Beacon Lake Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610
Times: The event takes place Friday and Saturday, from 8:30 – 4:00

Here a video from a similar event in another state:

Update: Photo below from digger party and impromptu show and tell at the garbage truck rodeo

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Festival Ritmo Latin

The Latin Rhythm Festival has rhythm, music, bands, and dancing, but also all the other ingredients for a good festival like food, vendors, artists, and stuff to do for the kids.

The event was rescheduled due to rain and is now planned for this Saturday.

Here a video of one of the bands, Orquesta K’che. (Skip to about 1min in.)

Maker Faire – Creativity in all its Diversity

The great thing about Maker Faire is that is bring together a wide, wide range of creative expression. Here three shots that try to capture that diversity.

Stormtrooper vs. Quadcopter
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Spinner and Giant Robots
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3D Printer and Recycled Glass Art
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First impressions from Maker Fair NC

Here some first impressions from Maker Faire NC.
Open today until 6pm – much more stuff than last year, so come on out!

Felted electronics = Feltronics
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spoonflower-powered make and sew kit
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Awesome self-designed tank differential gear made in Lego
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