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!
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.
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.)
“To make” is probably one of the broadest terms in language, but Maker Faire does it all justice. Make your own combat robot? Crochet your own superhero mask? Build your own bass guitar? Fly to Outer Space, launching from the NC Fairgrounds? All that and more can be seen at the Maker Faire. MakerFaire is a mashup of robotics, hacking, crafts, knitters, steampunks and Stormtroopers. And my kids. you wonder? There are many kids in attendance, and a good number of exhibits are suitable for little ones. They may not yet appreciate the intricacies of a steampunk trebuchet, but they will like the Chaos machine (a marble run that is larger than their room), the combat robots, and much more.
Do you feel like the State Fair is a “must-see” for your kids, but do you loathe the crazy crowds? Try the Got to Be NC Festival instead.
Less crowded, less crazy, more family-friendly, more exciting. You still get all the main State Fair ingredients (rides, tractor pulls, lawn mower racing, farm animals, fried food), but in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The event kicks off Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday. Admission and parking is free.
Whether you want to learn about the thermodynamics of a steam engine, or understand the mechanics of the Walschaerts valve gear, New Hope Valley Railway is the place to be this Sunday. Of course, you can just ignore the science, and ride the choo choo for pure enjoyment.
The Gregg Museum, located on the second floor of the NSCU Talley Student Center opened an excellen exhibition last week, featuring “Mad Science, Fringe Architecture and Visionary Engineering“. Some quirky sculptures and many excellent 2D pieces that cross over the boundaries of drafting and illustrating are impressive, both for the seasoned engineer and the budding apprentice. References to Tesla underscore the geek cred (this is NCSU after all), but the show is just as interesting from an artistic perspective.
Bear in mind, this is a big boy/big girl museum, full of objects that look very inviting to touch and play with; but you can’t, so holding hands recommended. Make sure to turn on the only kinetic sculpture you’re allowed to interact with. It is in the foyer next to the receptionist, and my son fondly named the piece “chicken bonkety-bonk”. You’ll see why when you go…