This weekend: ‘Bubble Soccer’?

Yup, Bubble Soccer: get the scoop in Wilmington on Saturday. Or get the low-down on the newest park in the N.C. State Park system (Carvers Creek, near Spring Lake), or discover a 5K that sums up why we run 5Ks.

People, in bubbles, playing soccer: Bubble Soccer
People, in bubbles, playing soccer: Bubble Soccer

Coast

Everyone, we’re convinced, has at least one thing that will motivate them to move — it’s just a matter of discovering it. Some get hooked on the endorphin rush of running. Others prefer the slower, more scenic rewards of a hike. While still others like more … esoteric pursuits.

Like Bubble Soccer.

Bubble Soccer, as we’ve recently learned thanks to the folks at What’s On Wilmington, involves encasing oneself in a big plastic bubble (picture a team of blueberried Violet Beauregardes)  and playing full-contact soccer —

You think we’re making this up, don’t you?

See for yourself on Saturday when the Port City Bubbleheads (not making them up, either) host Bubble Soccer Demo Day & Launch Party at the Easton Soccer Fields in Wilmington. Your chance to get your bubble on for winter and spring league play. Or just to bounce off a bunch of other people.

Logistics: Bubble Soccer Demo Day & Launch Party, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2-4 p.m., Eaton Soccer Fields, Wilmington. Free. Note from organizers: “Due to the size of our bubbles participants must be 14 or older!” More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 60 (perfect Bubble Soccer weather).

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Looking ahead: Run for Ray Trail Run, Brunswick Nature Park in Winnabow, Feb. 20 (gives you time to train). Routes on pine-straw trail of 3, 9 and 18 miles. Proceeds benefit the Ray Underhill Foundation. More info here.

Piedmont

Carvers Creek State Park
Carvers Creek State Park

Check out North Carolina’s newest state park and go behind the curtain, all  in one hike! That hike, at Carvers Creek State Park in Spring Lake, would be Saturday morning’s “3 Mile History Hike,” during which, the park reports, “we will be entering areas that are normally off limits to the public.” See the park and the park behind the park. Despite the event title, the hike may even be more than 3 miles.

Logistics: Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m., Carvers Creek State Park, Spring Lake. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 58.

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Looking ahead: Race 13.1 Durham, half marathon, 10k and 5k, Dec. 12. More info here.

Mountains

WP.MountainsWhat makes a 5K a 5K? A good course helps, reliable timing, too. But what really makes a race is the ambience: pulsing music, enthusiastic volunteers, stuff along the way to distract your attention from that PR pace you’re trying to set.

That’s why we like Saturday night’s Night of Light 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk in downtown Morganton. The course is through a downtown lit for the season, carolers will be caroling along the way and there will be homemade treats, hot chocolate, apple cider and more. And, it’s at night (the 5K starts at 6 p.m.)

Logistics: Saturday, Dec. 5, 5-9 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 200 N. King St., Morganton. $20-$25. On-site registration begins at 4:30 p.m. More info here.

Saturday evening forecast: Clear skies, 6 p.m. temperature of 46.

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Looking ahead: Start planning your New Year’s Day activities by checking out the list of First Day hikes at your local North Carolina State Park, here.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of coastal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

NCCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).

Mountains

Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.

Todd’s Calendar

Piedmont

Charlotte

Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Triad

GoTriad.com
Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Triangle

Triangle.com
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Statewide

Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

U.S. National Wildlife Refuges
Rundown, by month, of regular activities at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges in North Carolina.

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