1. Play with snakes
Snakes play an important role in certain ecosystems. Join a Hammocks Beach park ranger on Jan. 22 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the visitor center, 1572 Hammocks Beach Road in Swansboro, to learn about the mystery and myths people have used to describe these slithering creatures. Participants will explore about the different species that inhabit coastal North Carolina and get tips on how to determine if a snake is venomous. For more information, call 910-326-4881.
2. Celebrate Xander’s return
The new movies opening this Friday include “XXX: Return of Xander Cage,” the latest in the big action franchise, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller “Split” about three girls who have been kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities; and “The Founder” the true story of the man who turned two brothers’ fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest fast-food restaurants in the world.
3. Attend Cars & Coffee
Enthusiasts and their cars are invited to Cars & Coffee, hosted by Beauty and the Beast on Jan. 21. The gathering will be held at 2043 Lejeune Blvd. in Jacksonville from 8 a.m. to noon and includes free raffles.
4. Get cheesy
According to the International Dairy Federation, there are more than 400 different types of cheese. So go out and try a new variety by visiting your local cheese shop on Friday to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day. You could pick up a cheesemaking kit from a specialty food store and try making your own mozzarella or ricotta.
5. Be kind
Talk to your kids about kindness this weekend as No Name-Calling Weeks comes to a close. Inspired by the popular young adult novel “The Misfits” by author James Howe, the week puts a spotlight on name-calling and bullying in schools everywhere and has grown into one of the largest bullying-prevention initiatives in the country. Find out more at glsen.org/nonamecallingweek.
6. Pick a winner
The battle for the title of “Best Clam Chowder” takes place among local chefs in Beaufort. Participants enjoy a tasting-sized portion of each of the four chowders and then vote for their favorite. In addition to clam chowder, the event will host a cornbread taste-off. Proceeds help support the operations of the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, located at 315 Front St. in Beaufort. For more information, call 252-728-7317 or visit NCMaritimeMuseums.com.
7. Hug someone
Saturday is National Hugging Day, a holiday designed to connect people. Hug your family and friends, or send an e-hug. Some places are holding events for this day, so check around and see if your town is doing something.
8. Boat safely
Get a free Vessel Safety Check on Jan. 21 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to ensure you are prepared if something goes wrong while you’re out on the water. The free vessel safety check is performed at your boat — whether in a slip, at the launch ramp or in your driveway, at a convenient time for you. Visit Swansboroaux.com to register. Someone will contact you within 24 hours to set up a time and place convenient to both inspector and boat owners. For more information, call 515-982-9543.
9. Gear up for the big game
The Super Bowl participants will emerge this weekend. On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons play at 3:05 p.m. EST on Fox, and the Pittsburgh Steelers face the New England Patriots at 6:40 p.m. EST on CBS. The winners get a trip to the Super Bowl, which is on Feb. 5.