The Scene: A look at some post-Thanksgiving kid-friendly activities

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A miniature Christmas village is among the displays at the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society's annual Holiday Train Expo, which kicks off Friday. Courtesy photos.
A miniature Christmas village is among the displays at the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society’s annual Holiday Train Expo, which kicks off Friday. Courtesy photos.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and friends and family have gathered together for a grand meal.

But after you’ve eaten your fill of turkey and stuffing today, your thoughts may turn to what to do to with the kids over the long holiday weekend.

Never fear–we’ve got some suggestions for a few family-friendly after-Thanksgiving activities sure to keep the youngsters busy and the grown-ups entertained.

Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 U.S. 17 North, comes alive with twinkling lights Friday and Saturday during its Victorian-themed candlelight tours through the Manor House to celebrate the group’s preservation efforts.

Each of the eight rooms of the Manor House will be decorated by theme and color with natural flora and greenery inspired by the original family’s history–from Colonial through Victorian eras-with a few contemporary accents to represent the family’s four centuries in coastal North Carolina.

Tours run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Advanced tickets are required for this special event. Tickets are $12 ($6 for students and $10 for seniors). Tours limited to 15 guests. Call (910) 686-9518 for reservations.

On Friday, Cape Fear Model Railroad Society’s tenth annual Holiday Train Expo kicks off Friday at The Salt Shaker building, 705 S. Kerr Ave., next to Goodwill.

The event features an enchanted wonderland of trains in seven exhibits, including an all-new Polar Express with recreated scenes from the movie, a Christmas village and an interactive play layout.

New this year is a how-to layout, under construction, that reveals the secrets of model railroad development. There are also some working accessories, including rare antiques, visitors can operate and raffles to win train sets.

Local blues musician Randy McQuay plays a free live show at Flytrap Brewing Friday.
Local blues musician Randy McQuay plays a free live show at Flytrap Brewing Friday.

The expo runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays now until Christmas. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children ages 2-12 (ages 2 and under are free). Active duty military and first responders get in free with identification.

And the Wilmington Railroad Museum’s Christmas Train and Light Spectacular offers a festive walk-through display of more than 20,000 lights and specially decorated layouts, complete with holiday music.

Santa will be on hand amid the museum’s festive decorations and there’ll be plenty of hot cocoa to enjoy.

The event is open at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 27. Tickets are $5 (free for children under 2). The museum is located at 505 Nutt St. in downtown Wilmington.

After you’ve tired out the little ones, get ready for some adults-only activities–from rockin’ concerts to Christmas plays, and lots more in between.

You’ll find these items–and many others–on The Scene, our free community events calendar.

Music

Flytrap Brewing presents a free live show from local blues man Randy McQuay at 8 p.m. Friday. Pepe’s Taco Truck will serve up Mexican street food from 7 to 11. On Saturday, folk musician Big Al Hall goes on at 8, and Catch the Food Truck will serve local street food from 7 to 9.

Wilmington musician Kim Dicso will rock Bombers Bev Co. for the first time on Friday. Dicso performs covers and original tunes from 9 to 11 p.m. Admission is free.

Tesoro brings its gypsy-infused jazz to The Juggling Gypsy this weekend.
Tesoro brings its gypsy-infused jazz to The Juggling Gypsy this weekend.

Raleigh-based gypsy jazz duo Tesoro plays The Juggling Gypsy at 9 p.m. Friday. Admission is by donation.

Burnt Mill Creek Wine and Billiards Bar hosts a free pig pickin’ from 7 to 11:30 p.m. in honor of Small Business Saturday. L Shape Lot Duo will perform.

Taste the Olive holds its weekly live jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, featuring the music of Benny Hill and bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Bellinis.

Theater/Comedy

TheatreNOW dinner theater’s “A Trailer Park Christmas” runs at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m. The holiday-themed comedy follows the residents of Whispering Pines Trailer Park and their open-latch Christmas gathering. Tickets are $22-$40.

Comedian Ester Steinberg brings her stand-up to Dead Crow Comedy Room this weekend. Steinberg can be seen on the Oxygen reality series, “Funny Girls,” where she is mentored by comedians Bill Burr and Margaret Cho. She will perform at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 the day of the show.

Panache Theatrical Productions presents “Santaland Diaries” at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Red Barn Studio Theatre. Written by David Sedaris and adapted by Joe Mantello, the play tells the story of a disgruntled elf named Crumpet and his misadventures working at the Macy’s holiday attraction. Tickets are $15.

Art

Salty Dog Yoga and Good Hops Brewing present the “cOMmunity Conscious Market,” a gathering of local yogis, artists and entrepreneurs who support conscious consumerism and giving back, on Saturday at Good Hops Brewing in Carolina Beach. From 11 a.m. to noon, a donation-based all-levels yoga class will be held to benefit Village Yoga. Then from noon to 3, an artisan market will open up, with each vendor donating a percentage of sales to a non-profit of his or her choice. Vittles Food Truck will make a stop, Good Hops will have brews on tap and there will be live music. Beginning at noon, the first 40 people at the market will be entered to win a basket filled with goodies from each of the vendors, including massages, malas, hula hoop lessons and local art. Admission is free.

Dance

The Juggling Gypsy’s monthly belly dancing showcase returns at 9:30 p.m. Satuday. This month’s event features the Barefoot Gypsies, “the largest assemblage of belly dancers ever.” Admission is $10.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.