Fun for all Ages at the Festival for the Eno: Live Music, Crafts & Critters, Eno River Fun, & the Historic Eno River Mill

The Festival for the Eno River is one of our FAVORITE festivals; we look forward to it every year! This year (2012) the Festival for the Eno takes place on Wednesday, July 4th, and Sat. & Sun., July 7th and 8th. Click here for Festival for the Eno dates/times.

Here are just a few of the things we LOVE about the Festival for the Eno:

(1) Great LIVE music on four stages throughout the Eno River Park,

(2) River splashing fun in the Eno River! We have enjoyed splashing, wading and even body surfing (some years) in the Eno River. Kids-in-the-know come to the Festival wearing “water shoes” and their bathing suits under their clothing. We used to bring towels but now we are more minimalist – drip dry is FAST in the Carolina sun!

(3) Searching for River Critters with nets provided by the Festival Staff – and then LETTING THEM GO back to their Eno River home.

(4) Great Festival Food! Prior years’ food vendors have included Crepes (yum!), soft ice cream from a classic, retro ice-cream-cone-shaped booth, hand-squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes and every kind of tantalizing Festival food, including vegetarian fare.

(5) Visiting Eno River critters at the EEK! Exhibit. Say Hello to salamanders, snakes, frogs, cray fish and more creatures who are indigenous to the Eno River.

(6) Making clay creations at picnic tables in the shade, or throwing a clay pot on a pottery wheel with an expert teacher (free activity). Take a number when you arrive, and the kids can make clay creations at the picnic table while waiting for their turn at the pottery wheel(s). You may want to bring a shoe box to with you to the Festival in order to keep your clay creations safe. You can leave your clay sculptures along the fence in the clay/pottery area and pick them up right before you leave the Festival.

(7) Visiting the historic WORKING Eno River Mill – watch wheat and corn being ground into flour inside the Mill and go outside the Mill and watch the river’s natural power turn the river mill. You can purchase freshly ground wheat flour and corn meal inside the Mill.

(8) Cooling off in the Mist Tent – ahhh! – cool mist! Lots of fun for the kids.

(9) Watching the sculpting/creation-in-progress of the amazing giant annual SAND SCULPTURE. Kids can play in the sand and make their own creations while you enjoy the live music on the main stage.

(10) Visiting the Handcraft Booths featuring art and handwork by local artists/artisans.

(11) The best of local musical talent along with world-class musical groups. One of our favorites from past years is the FANTASTIC Scottish group, Albannach. One year we listened to the music of Albannach while our 6-year old son was creating an entire regiment of Revolutionary war era soldiers in clay (along with a miniature George Washington) at the clay sculpting tables. (I was busy creating a sculpture of Jamesie, Albannach’s lead singer.) We couldn’t SEE Albannach at the time (because we were sitting at the clay tables in the woods), but we could HEAR Albannach live while we sculpted with clay. (We have had the good fortune to see Albannach perform live many times at Renaissance & Celtic Festivals.) (See a clip of Albannach at the Festival for the Eno 2009 (Youtube)). The music and musical variety at the Festival for the Eno is excellent every year!

(12) Playing in the grass or relaxing in the shade. The Festival for the Eno is set in an expansive River park setting with lots of shady tree areas.

The Eno River Festival never feels crowded to us; just relaxing, easy-going, and laid-back, with lots of shady areas, and lots of fun for all ages!

Scenes from the Festival for the Eno 2008 (Youtube)

See Photo Gallery of photos of the Festival for the Eno by local photographer James Hill

Visit the Festival for the Eno website

Single Stream Recycling in Chapel Hill / Orange County NC starting 1st Week in July, 2012

REMINDER – The Orange County Solid Waste Management Department is reminding residents that in the first week of July, 2012, all Chapel Hill / Orange County NC recycling items can be mixed all together in your curbside recycling bin (“Single Stream Recycling”), including:

* Plastic Bottles and Jugs (leave caps on and flatten),
* Glass Bottles and Jars,
* Metal Cans, Aluminum foil, Empty Aerosol Cans
and All Mixed Paper, including Phone Books, Newspapers and Inserts, Catalogs and * Glossy Magazines
* Corrugated Cardboard (Clean, dry cardboard. Empty and flatten. Place between, in or under bins in 3′ x 3′ pieces, 10 piece limit unless it fits in your bin.)
* No plastic bags and no garbage.

– Have bins to the curb by 7 am on your recycling day and bring them in when empty.
– Leave caps on; flatten plastic bottles, replace caps, then recycle.
– Place materials in approved recycling containers only. No recycling in trash cans, plastic bags or cardboard boxes.
– Severe weather may cause delays or cancellations. Check or join their listserv for updates.

Other recycling:
* Recycle electronics at all Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers and the Orange County landfill.
*Recycle non-bottle #2, 4 and 5 plastics such as tubs, cups, buckets and toys at Solid Waste Convenience centers.
* Bring hazardous household waste such as paint, pesticides, fluorescent lights to the HHW collection facility Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm & Sat 7:30 am – 12pm at the Orange County Landfill, 1514 Eubanks Rd., Chapel Hill.

The Orange County Landfill will CLOSE June 20, 2013; the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department encourages everyone to RECYCLE all you can.

See the CHillKids / Chapel Hill Kids Guide to Chapel Hill / Orange County NC Recycling for more recycling info/ local Chapel Hill recycling center information.

Orange County Solid Waste Management Department: (919) 968-2788 or visit



Kids Eat Free in Chapel Hill, NC

There are lots of great Kids Eat Free options throughout the week in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. (Most of the Kids Eat Free deals require one grown-up meal per free kids’ meal.)

** CALL RESTAURANTS for updated info, as Kids Eat Free offers can change

Favorite Every Day VALUE restaurant featuring excellent, mostly ORGANIC, fresh salad bar:

Jason’s Deli
Free Ice Cream for kids and grownups, every day.
(Jason’s doesn’t offer free kids’ meals at the time of this post, however the
regular price kids’ meals include drinks and are a great value every day, and
the ice cream is free every day.)
5408 New Hope Commons Dr., Durham, NC 27707
(919) 493-3350

Carolina Brewery – Downtown Chapel Hill
Kids Eat Free on Mondays
460 West Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-1800

Carolina Brewery’s Pittsboro Restaurant
Kids Eat Free on Mondays
120 Lowes Drive, Suite 100, Pittsboro, NC (continue on 15-501 past Fearrington
towards Pittsboro)
(919) 545-2330

Dicky’s Barbecue Pit
Kids Eat Free on Sundays – (Also, Free Ice Cream every day)
5318 New Hope Commons Dr., Durham 27707

Dickey’s also has NC locations in Cary, Raleigh, and Sanford

Two-for-One Pizzas on TUESDAYS

Firehouse Subs – Meadowmont Village Circle, Chapel Hill
Looking for a great place to take the kids tonight? Head over to Chapel Hill Firehouse Subs where kids 12 and under can eat FREE on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays from 4–9 pm.  Purchase an adult meal and get one FREE kids meal (includes a sub or sandwich, drink, cookies and a Fireman’s hat! Offer is valid only at participating locations). Yum!
603 Meadowmont Village Circle, Chapel Hill, NC 27330

Firehouse Subs – New Hope Commons, Durham, NC
Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays
5319 New Hope Commons Extension Suite 104

Moe’s Southwest Grill
Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays
Patterson Place
5332 McFarland Drive, Durham, NC 27707
(919) 493-6637

Moe’s also has additional locations, including Durham (Renaissance near Southpoint Mall)

Torero’s (Mexican)
Kids eat Free Monday – Thursday (One child per adult, not valid with any other discount offers or coupons, unless specified.) *Call your closest/favorite Torero’s Mexican Restaurant for Kids Eat Free days at other Toreror’s locations.

Cole Park Plaza Torero’s (Chapel Hill)
11520 US 15-501, Suite 211, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Torero’s in DURHAM, NC (OakCreek Village
Shopping Center at Garrett Rd. and 15-501)

4600 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard (15-501),(near Target) Durham, NC 27707
See Torero’s website for more local Torero’s locations: Cary, Durham (800 W Main St), Goldsboro, Raleigh, Roxboro, NC

Click here for  MANY MORE family-friendly restaurant options in the Chapel Hill Family-Friendly Dining Guide

Chapel Hill Public Library Summer Family Movie Matinee – FUN Free Friday Movies

Hmmm … what to do with the kids on a Summer Friday afternoon? How about a FREE family movie at the Chapel Hill Public Library?

The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library are sponsoring a Family Summer Matinee Free Movie program on Fridays at 2 pm (in the University Mall Summer Program Space). Catch a movie you missed during the year or watch a family favorite and enjoy a cool break from the hot Carolina Summer sun! University Mall is located at 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

June 15, 2012: Disney’s The Muppets (PG, 90 min.)

June 22, 2012: Lady & the Tramp (G, 75 min.)

June 29, 2012: Hugo (PG, 127 min.)

July 6, 2012: Puss in Boots (PG, 90 min)

July 13, 2012: The Adventures of Tintin (PG, 107 min.)

July 20, 2012: Dolphin Tale (PG, 119 min.)

July 27, 2012: Treasure Buddies (G, 93 min.)

August 3, 2012: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG, 94 min.)

August 17, 2012: Happy Feet 2 (PG, 100 min.)

The North Carolina Aquariums: Treasure Troves of Fun!

North Carolina Aquarium Live Dive program photo by Scott Taylor for NC Aquariums
Scott Taylor photo for NC Aquariums

The North Carolina Aquariums are a treasure trove of fun for all ages! We have visited all three of the North Carolina Aquariums many times; our kids never tire of visits to the NC aquariums.  The NC Aquariums always seem new and exciting no matter how many times we have visited before.

The three North Carolina Aquariums are located conveniently at popular North Carolina beach locations along the North Carolina Coast: (1) Roanoke Island (near Manteo at the Outer Banks), (2) Pine Knoll Shores (near Atlantic Beach on the Crystal Coast), and (3) Fort Fisher (near Wilmington and Kure Beach).  The North Carolina Aquariums are state-supported public education facilities (operated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources).

Continue reading The North Carolina Aquariums: Treasure Troves of Fun!