Reptile and Amphibian Day

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is holding its annual Reptile & Amphibian Day, and the focus is on Snakes!

If you have the guts, go for the snake feeding at 2p and 4p. Otherwise, visit one of the many info booths with turtles, snakes and other lovely critters. There are local snakes like the copperhead, and international visitors like Gila Monsters and Geckos from Madagascar.

copperhead_sq

Copperhead by P. Wood used under the CC BY_NC_SA license.

Darwin Day (2/16/2013)

A high of 48 and a chance of rain means the weather is perfect for a visit to the museum. The Science Museum is hosting Darwin Day this Saturday, with a variety of presentations and a large number of displays from various area schools and universities. Some if sounds more geared towards adults, but then there is certainly something for the younger generation (Earthworm Race? Caterpillar Experiment?) as well. Plus, at 1:30 and 2:30, there are two Meet the Animals presentations.

Darwin Day, Sat 2/16, 8a-5p, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Charles Darwin in 1881

Charles Darwin 1880 by Elliott & Fry [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Sleigh Rides and Cider at Oak View Park (12/2/2012)

One horse open sleigh!

Let me make a safe prediction by saying this Saturday will not see heavy snow as in the picture above. With temperatures in the sixties and no precipitation, it may even be hard to imagine a winter wonderland at all. But the sleigh in Oak View has wheels (hopefully) and a glass of hot cider is always welcome.

“Sleigh Rides and Cider” at Oak View County Park. Saturday Dec-1, from 5p-7:30p. Free, open to the public, no registration.

I featured this park in a summer post and on Father’s day; a leisurely 0.8mi hike is published at http://goo.gl/maps/JXlt. Go early for the hike – stay for the sleigh ride and cider!

The image is One horse open sleigh! By pmarkham, used under the CC BY-SA license

Monumental Fire Sculpture (11/3/2012)

If the youngens are old enough to last until 10:30p, Cary may have a quite unique event for you: The Firing of a public art installation made from clay. The artist Nina Hole and members of the public have built this piece over the last two weeks. And they weren’t stingy – three tons of clay have been used so far.

Festivities start at 7:30 and culminate around 10pm, when the (still pliable) mass will be fired and unveiled.

BugFest 2012 (9/15/2012)

Every year in September, Centennial Plaza and surrounding areas turn into a crawly, fluttery, buzzing celebration of our dear friends, the insects. Everybody working with insects will be there, from the Franklin County Beekeepers to Alberti’s Flea Circus. Special guest this year: The mantids. (The picture above is from our own Boylan Heights backyard; parying mantis are not uncommon around here.)

The one attraction I haven’t been able to stomach in previous years, but may attempt this year is Cafe Insecta. If you have a funny feeling about what this might be, you’re right. We’re not talking about ladybug shaped cookies or spaghetti “worms”. We’re talking bugs. Real bugs. You eat them. The good news? Prepared by famous Raleigh chefs. Try Cricket Bruschetta, courtesy of Wilmoore Cafe. Or Peanut Bugger Crunch from buku. I dare you!

BugFest is on Saturday from 9am-7pm, and beyond grilled bugs, there are tons of other exciting activities and presentations.

Latch on! (8/4/2012)

Yes, we’re talking about breastfeeding, the most natural way to feed a baby known to man woman. I’m still surprised how breastfeeding continues to be a hot topic, be it because of facebook photos or new laws regarding breastfeeding in the workplace. For the record, breastfeeding (covered or not) is NOT considered indecent exposure in the state of North Carolina, and explicitly allowed in all public places. And you may chuckle over that obvious statement, but reality is that this is not the case in all states!

With August being Breastfeeding Awareness Month, this is the perfect timing for The Big Latch On. This global event brings moms together to breastfeed as a group. Last year, 5687 women were breastfeeding around the world at 10:30 a.m local time. The goal this year is to exceed that!

There are two The Big Latch On events in the Triangle, at Sweetbottom’s Baby Boutique in Cary and at The Family Nest in Morrisville. Breastfeeding mothers and babies are encouraged to arrive by 10.00 a.m. to have time to get settled and start feeding before 10:30 a.m. comes around. More information at http://www.biglatchon.org.

The image is Nick breastfeeding his baby doll by seandreilinger, used under the CC BY-NC-SA license. I think Nick will be an excellent dad one day.

Grand Opening of the Nature Research Center (4/21/2012)

Finishing touch on the Daily Planet Theater of the Nature Research Center

If you’ve been in downtown Raleigh lately, you’ve surely seen the construction of the Nature Research Center. the new wing of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. (Some views Before, During, and After). I had the privilege of participating in a behind-the-scenes-tour (#instawalk) last week with David Kroll (the museum’s Director of Science Communications), and I have to say: If you’re raising kids in Raleigh you will spend a lot of time at this place in coming years. The Nature Research Center is Continue reading

Earth Day 2012 (4/22)

You are here

Sunday, April-22 is Earth Day, a day to celebrate how far environmental consciousness has come since 4/22/1970, and to reflect how far we still have to go. We all know that two-year-old kids are nature-lovers and environmentalists by default, and here are some activities for this Sunday, ranging in hue from a neon-tinted light green to a very somber, earthy, through-and-through dark forest green.

The lighter route may lead you to the IMAX at Marbles, where you can watch “To The Arctic 3D” and after the movie participate in a “family learning lab”. $7-$9.

Not on Sunday, but probably the biggest “earth day event” is the grand opening of the Nature Research Center on Saturday, see separate article.

If you take environmentalism seriously and want to meet others who view it as a religious maxim as well, head out to the Buddhist temple on Tryon Road. The (older?) kids can watch “Dirt! The Movie” and do arts and craft, while the adults can take classes in composting or organic vegetable gardening. Vegetarian food is also available. Make sure you pre-register. Sunday, 4/22 10-3:30.

Picture courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio