What, no plans for the weekend? You do now

Chase a kite at the coast, follow fall color in the Piedmont, ride a unicycle in the mountains … North Carolina gives you all kinds of options this weekend.


One of the best workouts going is a day at the beach: Chasing kids into the water, getting chased out of the water by a rogue (waist-high) wave, building sand castle fortresses (upper body workout). Something about the beach just says “Move!”

Now, when the water temperature drops to an attention-getting 67 degrees, we tend to forget about an active day at the beach. This weekend, though, there’s an alluring ocean substitute: the 24th Annual Carolina Kite Fest at Atlantic Beach. Check out the awe-inspiring collection of massive and festive kites from around the globe, bring your own and fly it tree branch- and powerline-free. It runs both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Plus, there’s a 6 p.m. “Night fly” on Saturday. Plus: “Special guests to be announced.” More info here.

If you’re in Wilmington Saturday and are in more of a spectating mood, check out the Beach2Battleship Triathlon. Deemed by Triathlete Magazine as one of the top five iron distance triathlons in the world (there’s also a 1/2FE distance), the event should provide some good day-long spectating — and give you a sense of whether you might be ironperson material. More info here.


With fall color cascading into the Piedmont, we’d be remiss not to suggest you check it out. You could visit your local State Park for an eyeful or you could tag along on Saturday morning’s Fall Foliage Walk at North Cabarrus Park in Concord. Explore the park with a ranger who can explain the color you’re seeing (which trees are responsible for which colors) and why you’re seeing it (why there’s color in the first place). Starts at 10 a.m. and there’s a $2 fee.

To register, go here, for more information on the park (including directions) go here.


In the category of things we don’t understand but are weirdly attracted to: unicylcing. Especially unicycling on a mountain bike trail. Which is what they’ll be celebrating this weekend at the 5th Annual Asheville Mountain Unicycle Festival, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Various rides are scheduled — at Sycamore Cove, the North Slope Loop and DuPont State Forest — and there’s a dinner and awards ceremony Saturday evening. And if you aren’t accomplished as a mountain unicyclist, the Web site advises, “Please don’t be intimidated, especially if you are new to the sport.” Then again, “Please know your limits as a rider.”

Still scratching your head? Perhaps these videos will explain (or they may raise more questions). More info about the festival here.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.


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 costal 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.

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).


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



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.


Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

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


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.


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.

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