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.

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

spoonflower-powered make and sew kit

Awesome self-designed tank differential gear made in Lego

Grand Re-Opening of Around Town at Marbles (Sat 6/1/13)

The “Around Town” exhibit at Marbles has been closed for a few weeks because it was being updated and remodeled. (“Around Town” is the large exhibit when you come in, with the bus, the grocery store, the ambulance, the stage, and of course the train table.)


Most things are reportedly still there, and a new farm-themed topic has been added, to introduce kids to NC livestock and crops. I’m glad to see that the new train table is actually bigger, I was a bit worried it would have to make place for something else. (“Don’t mess with Thomess!”) I think we were actually there the last day that it was open, and it would only be appropriate to go back on the first day it re-opens.

Beyond the new exhibits, I also spotted a beautiful new mural by Denise Hughes, which is in my eyes one of the nicest aspects of Marbles. (I also like her recent work in the recently opened toddler room.)

Caribbean Instrument Petting Zoo (5/25 2p)

This Saturday, the Cameron Village will turn into a zoo of sorts, but no animals will be there; no, the “petting zoo” will be filled with exotic instruments from various Caribbean islands and from Nigeria. Members of the Raleigh/Durham Afro-Caribbean Association will show the instruments and provide opportunities to explore them up close.

Antique Car Show at Oak View Park (Sat 5/4)

Oak View is one of our favorite parks, often for is relative tranquil setting. But this Saturday, it will be buzzing and humming and roaring with the sounds of dozens of antique engines. The local chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America willl have its Spring Meet there, and the public is invited.

I haven’t been to this park when it is crowded, but it might be a good idea to park at the Olivia Rainey library, and take the short walk through the park. (Use 4016 Carya Drive in your GPS, or take the first left after turning onto Carya Drive, followed by a second left into the parking lot.)

This is an all-day affair, from 9am-4pm. One thing not to be missed is the Ford Model T quick assembly, which the club will perform at 11:30a and 2:30p. An entire Ford Model T will be assembled from a pile of parts to driving condition in a matter of minutes.

The Wienermobile is coming!

Have you also secretly dreamed about what your kids will be when they graduate college? Lawyer, ballet dancer, nuclear engineer? You probably realized by now that they’ll do what they will, but how becoming a brand advocate for Oscar Mayer and drive cross country in a giant hot dog? This dream comes true for 12 marketing or PR college grads every year, who get selected by Oscar Meyer to do just that. Check out their and visit two of them this Saturday when they are in the area.

9am-12pm, Walmart near Brier Creek (Hwy 70& I-540, specifically 10050 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh NC)
1pm-4pm, Walmart in Morrisville (Hwy 54& I-540, specifically 1001 Shiloh Glenn Dr., Morrisville)


Hot Dog! by Bill on Capitol Hill

Kids Exchange (Feb 2013)

Kids Exchange: is a massive parallel consignment sale for children’s clothes, toys and equipment (strollers, high chairs, etc.) Here some practical tips:

How many Elmo eyeballs in this picture? (from KidsExchange 1/2012)
  • Check their guidelines and hours. 30,000 buyers in one giant room. You don’t want to be there at peak hours, and you want to understand the system. Consider your first visit a trial run.
  • Bring a stroller or radio flyer cart. Without the kids. (They have shopping carts, but often run out.)
  • Almost everything gets automatically marked down 50% on Sunday. Plan accordingly.
  • Have a plan of what you need, or it can be overwhelming. First time we went (while expecting our first one), all we bought was a bag with 17 baby socks for a $1 total. Can’t go wrong with that! Everything else was too overwhelming. (See next point.)
  • Don’t go looking for “a stroller”. There are hundreds of them for sale there. You can do research, decide that you probably want a Britax B-Ready, and pick from the 25 available one that matches your idea of price and condition.
  • If you sell stuff (or volunteer) you get to buy early on Thursday when only sellers are permitted.

Finally, don’t think this is just for families with budget constraints. Yes, it is typically cheap (but check carefully), but I also value the huge selection when compared to baby stores and the ease of shopping; twice a year everything in a location. And as a parent, you should have no problem putting up with the head-spinning craziness of it all.

Finally, if you do go and are impressed by the massiveness of the event: Yes, it is the largest consignment event in the nation, and they have now started franchising the concept. But Raleigh is – you guessed it – number one!

Friday 9-6, Saturday/Sunday 9-5. NC State Fairgrounds.