Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches

It is that time of the year again. The leaves are turning, the pumpkins are patching and the corn is a-mazing.

I won’t disguise it, I take the simple path and will just refer you to my last year’s article. Both corn mazes are good options that we’ve visited personally. One addition to the list this year is Vollmer farm, where we went a few weeks ago for the Farm Tour. It has a large kids activity area and the usual farm stuff. No corn maze, but a giant jumping pillow and even movies on Saturday night.

Ken’s Korn Maze and Ganyard Farm were covered in last year’s article.

hay maze

Shakori Hills Fall 2013 (Fri-Sun)

Shakori Hills, the twice-yearly music festival started yesterday. With temperatures dropping, it will probably be more a hardcore hippies event, but if your family can brave the chilly 70s, head out and enjoy tent camping, music, tie-tying, singing, drum-circling, short everything needed to help the kids understand what the grandparents did back in the 70s. (Well, maybe not everything.)

Shakori Hills is family-friendly, read their family page for some details. Tickets are $110, kids get in free.

Shakori Hills



Greenway and Carousel

The Festival takes place this weekend, which is my annual opportunity to promote urban hiking. See, if you drive and hour to a park, only to find a half hour paved loop, you might as well stay ITB. Don’t ask me why, but I find loop hikes more appealing that out-and-back. Are you interested in more hikes like this? Please let me know – I’m thinking about writing up a few more, but I’m not sure whether there is any interest.

(If you visit the page about this hike, you can download a pdf with the map.)

You can anywhere in downtown (your house, ideally), and make your way to Boylan Ave, then Walnut Creek Greenway, the Little Rock Greenway, and finally back toward downtown along E Lenoir St.

If I read it correctly, the festival is not scattered along the greenway this year, but concentrated around the beautiful Walnut Creek Wetland Center, perhaps about an hour walk from downtown along the greenway. From the, continue on to Chavis Park, where the 75th anniversary of this underutilized park is celebrated. Free carousel rides all day!

If you don’t think of downtown as a place to hike: go do this one, and let me know! (And if you need tips, contact me upfront!)

festival in motion_resized


sparkconThis weekend is SparkCon, a mixture of all sorts of creative expression, from Programming to Painting to Poetry.

SparkCon is for all ages (but not everything is for every age), and kids have their own Kids Zone at Hargett and Fayetteville as well as a City Design workshop for budding city planners. (Our City, Your Design: Design a City Workshop for Kids).

But SparkCon is a lot of fun to just walk around, watch the street artists, join a drum circle, or enjoy a short pop-up theater performance.

Browse the comprehensive schedule at Thu-Sun 9/12-9/15.

The picture is from a previous SparkCon. I also wrote an article about SparkCon last year.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention


There are theaters, there are puppeteers, and then there is Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Located more on the eclectic fringe of the Triangle’s performing arts scene, and based in Saxapahaw, Paperhand Puppet is nevertheless a stable, long-running operation, and has been producing shows for over a decade now. Like last year, Paperhand is taking their show from the main location in Chapel Hill to the Art Museum here in Raleigh for the last weekend. Starting today, they perform for three nights at 7pm. A pre-show concert starts around 6:20pm.

Paperhand tells fantastic tales with fantastic puppets. This year’s show is called Invisible Earth. In their own words, “The great unfolding mystery of the Invisible Earth is upon us!  Featuring the Dance of Domestication and a cast of goats, chickens, pigs and trilobites.

Tickets are $17 for adults, kids under 6 are free.

The picture is an older photo of a Paperhand Puppet Intervention show by digitalpapercuts, used under the CC-BY license.

Last call for outdoor pools

Chavis Pool is already closed, and Lake Johnson and Ridge Road will do so in a few days. But the good news is that annual maintenance at Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center is over, and despite the hot weather, we can start the winter season, at least from a pool perspective.

Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center with water slide, river, vortex, toddler area, volleyball and basketball

Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center with water slide, river, vortex, toddler area, volleyball and basketball

Back to School Safety Event (Sat 9-12)

Many kids head back to school next week, some of the for the first time. To learn and re-learn all the traffic safety topics, head out to Leesville School where the Back to School Safety Day will be hosted. From Bike Rodeo, to Traffic Safety, to Helmet Fitting, to Air Quality Safety, everything will be there, even food trucks.

August 24, from 9a-12p.
Leesville Road Schools, 8401 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613

Bike Rodeo_22

Photo by USAG Vicenza.