Plan your own celebration

It's just a few days away–the 24-hour opening of the new wing at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, starting at 5pm on Friday, April 20 and continuing until 5pm on Saturday, April 21. If you haven't made your plans yet for opening weekend, here are a few suggestions for how you can have your own celebration around the museum opening.

Pull together a buddy or gal pal weekend

If there are friends or family you have been meaning to see, the museum opening can be a great centerpiece for a buddy or gal pal weekend. To make it even sweeter, take advantage of "Raleigh's New World" hotel deals which feature big discounts, extra freebies and even "green" bonuses. To learn more, click here.

Pack the itinerary full

Start with the museum opening, then use the "Raleigh's New World" attraction deals to build a full weekend itinerary. Try the Tobacco Road Tour, "24 Incredible Things to Know," grab a couple of discount passes at Triangle Rock Club or score some tickets to the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles. For attraction deal details, click here.

Discounts at museum restaurants

Whatever you do, make sure you mention New World at either the Acro Café or Daily Planet Café at the museum to get 24% off your check.

An evening out

Plan an evening out on Friday night, starting with dinner at Mura in North Hills, Flemings, Dickey's, the Irregardless Café or Market Restaurant (using a New World deal), then head to the museum for the opening. Or come downtown on Saturday afternoon to the museum, then go out for dinner on Saturday night at any of these fine eateries. For restaurant deal details, click here.

The wee hours and breakfast

If you are really adventurous, plan to come to the museum in the wee hours of the morning. Then go out for a special Saturday morning Raleigh-style breakfast at Big Ed's, maybe Carolina Café or one of your favorite breakfast spots.

However you do it, plan to be part of the celebration. It's possibly the biggest party Raleigh has seen in years!