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Event-filled weekend offers fun entertainment for families

With fund-raising events, kid-friendly plays, musical opportunities, Shalomfest and more on the schedule, there's an activity sure to entertain each member of the family this weekend.

The Kids Night Out program for grades 4 and older is offered 6 – 10 p.m. Friday at South Carolina Children’s Theatre. Parents who need a date night can drop off their children for a supervised evening of drama activities, crafts, snacks and movie. Cost is $30 per child. For details or to register, visit

Disney's “The Lion King Jr." will be presented by Greer Children’s Theatre at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center in Greer. Tickets are $7 for children 6 and younger, $12 for students and $15 for adults. For more details, visit

The two-day-long Pickens Azalea Festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday and ends Saturday night in downtown Pickens. The annual festival is family friendly and includes a children's ride area and free children's creation station. Musical artists will provide entertainment, food vendors will dish up a variety of treats, and arts and craft vendors will be on hand. Plus, azaleas will be available for purchase. For more details, visit

Strides for Autism 2016 will begin at 8 a.m. at Heritage Park in Simpsonville. The event includes a walk, a resource fair and family activities to raise awareness and funds for autism. For more information, call 803-750-6988 or visit

Earth Day is April 22, but families in the Upstate can start celebrating early. Party for the Planet is 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday at Greenville Zoo. The event includes conservation information and activities. Vendors from across the Upstate will be on hand to share information. For details, visit

A Lollipops concert will be performed by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Simpsonville Branch Library and at 11:30 a.m. at the Hughes Main Library. Meant to introduce children to classical music in fun and interactive ways, the free event includes a storybook being read while music is performed. For details, visit

The Children's Museum of the Upstate is bringing back a popular event Saturday. The Musical Petting Zoo will be offered 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Get hands-on with musical instruments with students from Furman University. This is a drop-in event. Visit

"Junie B. Jones: The Musical" will be presented at 10:30 a.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at Greenville Little Theatre. Junie B. Jones has finished kindergarten and moved on to first grade, but things are not the same. With no best friend, new glasses and a really unfortunate lunch room incident, she realizes growing up is a lot harder than she thought. The play is adapted from the "Junie B. Jones" series of books by Barbara Park. Tickets are $12 each. Group discounts are available. Visit for more information.

Hagood Mill Historic Site in Pickens will host "Roots of the Blues" 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday. In addition to live performances by blues musicians, the working grist mill will host a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations, including blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, metal-smithing, bee keeping and leather-working. Admission is free, but parking is $5. The Hagood Mill is located just three miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road. For details, call 864-898-2936.

Shalomfest will be held 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Temple of Israel in Greenville. The family-friendly event includes presentations, food, cultural events, children’s activities and more. The children's area will be located directly in front of the Temple of Israel on the lawn area. Kids can learn about a variety of Jewish holidays, learn to write their names in Hebrew, play a Jewish Quiz Wheel Game and enjoy other arts and crafts. There will also be a variety of Jewish books available for children to read and puzzles to play with in a cozy reading area. In addition, throughout the day, there will be PJ Library Storytime sessions for kids to hear Jewish books and stories. A master schedule is available online. Others events include baby naming, B'nai Mitzvah and Jewish wedding ceremonies. Families can also attend a Passover Seder, cooking demonstrations and an interactive exhibit about Israel. There will also be a variety of bounce houses and face painting for kids to enjoy. For a complete schedule, visit

If you don't mind the drive

The Stone Soup Storytelling Festival will be held through April 17 in Woodruff, and Saturday will feature a special event for children ages 5 – 12 at the Woodruff library. From 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., kids will hear the magical stories of Madeline Pots and Robin Schulte. For a full list of events, visit

The Railroad Historical Center in Greenwood will host a Scout Saturday program specifically for Scout troops. From 2 – 4 p.m., Scouts and their families will receive a guided tour of the center and enjoy activities and crafts. Cost is $5 per Scout and free for leaders and parents. Pre-registration is required. Call 864-229-7093. For details, visit