Tag Archives: Things to do in Raleigh

Weekend Picks: May 14th-17th

Once again the calendar is jam-packed with lots of fun events this weekend. Saturday is particularly full making it hard to narrow down my choices, but I do my best below with  a quick rundown of fun things to check out this weekend. If you are looking for music events throughout the summer remember to check out my recently updated post about upcoming spring and summer concert series across the Triangle.  As always, I hope you enjoy some time outside and happy exploring!

Thursday May 14th

Back Porch Concert Series American Tobacco Campus
The legendary Back Porch Music on the Lawn series returns Durham’s American Tobacco Campus May 14-September 10th with 8 free shows. This Thursday enjoy music by John Howie Jr and Rosewood Bluff. Free Picnics and chairs welcome. Music starts at 6pm. Event Details

Friday May 15th

Got to Be NC Festival (Friday-Sunday)
A free family friendly event at the NC State Fairgrounds this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with an agricultural twist. Enjoy carnival games and rides, live music, food, animal and agricultural displays, antique tractors, and more. Festival Info

Blues on the Plaza at Northgate Mall in Durham
Northgate Mall hosts their “Blues on the Plaza” music series each Friday in May.  This Friday’s musical guest is Blues Rocket. They also have at least one food truck scheduled for each event. You can view the full schedule with bands and food truck lineup here: Event Details

Saturday May 16th

Artsplosure (Friday-Sunday)
Artsplosure’s returns to downtown Raleigh this Friday, Saturday and Sunday with art, music and food. Check the event website for all the details of this great event that celebrates excellence in the performing and visual arts and brings artists and the larger community together to improve the quality of life and cultural environment. Event Details

Tour D’Coop Urban Chicken Tour
Raleigh’s city chicken owners invite you into their backyards for a first-hand look at keeping chickens in an urban environment.  This self-guided tour provides the opportunity to see over 20 coops, from tiny urban gardens to sprawling suburban lots. This is your chance to glean creative ideas from neighbors who are incorporating chickens and permaculture garden designs into their home landscapes to create an inspiring urban adventure. Event Details

Gouge Wrestling & Food Trucks at Nickelpoint Brewing – Raleigh
This fun event will feature Gouge Wrestling, Craft beer, and food from local food trucks Manna, Cockadoodlemoo, Bo’s Kitchen, Chick-n-Que. The special evening starts at 5pm at Nickelpoint Brewing in Raleigh’s Five Points area. Event Details

Durham Bulls Star Wars Theme Night
One of the most highly anticipated annual Durham Bulls promotions is the Star Wars Night at DBAP. Fans can take photos and interact with their favorite Star Wars characters while being entertained by in-game features from a galaxy far, far away. During the event, the Bulls will sport full C-3PO themed uniforms, which include jerseys, pants, socks, and hats inspired by the goldenrod protocol droid. The game-worn jerseys will be available in both in-game and online auctions, with all proceeds going to the Autism Society of North Carolina. Event Details

Classic Car Show in Downtown Cary
Classic Car Show along Academy Street in downtown Cary from 9am-2pm on Saturday. There will also be activities for kids like “touch a truck” and food from local food trucks Big Mike’s BBQ, Will & Pop’s and Dusty Donuts. Event Details

Sunday May 17th

Midtown Bluegrass at North Hills
Free Live Bluegrass music this Sunday by The Vicki Vaughn Band at North Hills new Midtown Park. Relax on the grass and enjoy music from 4-7pm. Blankets, lawn chairs and coolers are allowed. However, bringing alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Beer and food will also be available for purchase at the concert. Event Details

Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo
This Sunday Wake Forest will host another big food truck rodeo with over 20 local trucks. The event takes places from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brook Street. There are tons of great local trucks schedule including the ever popular American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba, and the new Cousins Main Lobster. As always for even more food truck events check out The Wandering Sheppard’s Local Food Truck Blog for a full rundown of all the weekend food truck events.

Save the Date: May 21-25th


Photo courtesy WRAL Balloon Festival

Memorial Day Weekend WRAL Balloon Festival ~ May 21-25th
A hot air balloon festival is coming to Raleigh, Zebulon and Wake county Memorial Day Weekend. This weekend long family friendly event includes a “Mass Ascention & Balloon Glow”, Competition Flights, and Tethered Balloon Rides. Spectating at the events is free but balloon rides will involve fees charged by the individual operators. This is the first balloon festival in the area in over 25 years and something I definitely don’t want to miss!  Event Details

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Weekend Picks: May 8-10th

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Abbotts Creek Greenway ~ North Raleigh

Looks like another weekend of great weather is coming our way. In addition to getting outside to enjoy Raleigh’s beautiful greenway this weekend I’ve put together a quick list of other local events that caught my eye. Happy exploring!

Friday May 8th

Blues on the Plaza at Northgate Mall in Durham
Northgate Mall hosts their “Blues on the Plaza” music series each Friday in May.  This Friday’s musical guest is the Jimi King Trio. They also have at least one food truck scheduled for each event. You can view the full schedule with bands and food truck lineup here: http://www.northgatemall.com/mall-events/blues-on-the-plaza/

Art After Hours in Wake Forest
It’s the second Friday, and that means it’s time to head down to downtown Wake Forest for an evening of family entertainment, food, and to see what the local merchants have on offer. The event brings out a good crowd of folks, and the evening cooler temperatures are a nice excuse to get out and around downtown. https://www.facebook.com/aahWF/info

Saturday May 9th

Second Saturday PopUp Market at Sola Coffee in North Raleigh
Just in time for those last Mother’s Day gifts. Sola Coffee is hosting a PopUp Market on Saturday from 9am to 1pm featuring 20+ local artisans selling amazing handcrafted gifts, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, leather, T-Shirts, signs, candles, scarves and other unique finds. https://www.facebook.com/events/1658691151027722/

Belgian Waffology Food Truck at Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham
On Saturday you have two chances to catch one of my favorite food trucks in Durham. From 8:30-11:30am the Belgian Waffle truck will be parked at Cocoa Cinnamon making for a great breakfast option. If you aren’t an early riser catch the truck later in the day from 12-4pm at Bull City Ciderworks. http://belgianwaffology.com/

Sunday May 10th

Oaks & Spokes FrankenBike Block Party in Downtown Raleigh
FrankenBike is a bike parts swap held at Oak City Cycling Project from 1-5pm on Sunday May 10th. Bring all your bike parts that you’d like to sell or trade and get excited to buy, sell and swap! There will be food, music, beer and plenty of bikes, parts of bikes and bike-related fun! https://www.facebook.com/events/1559738290969827/

Six Sunday Concert Series at Joyner Park in Wake Forest
Bring the kids, friends, a picnic, and a blanket! The Six Sundays in Spring concert series is held on consecutive Sundays through the end of May. These free concerts are held at E. Carroll Joyner Park Amphitheater at 701 Harris Rd. in Wake Forest. The music will be starting at 5 pm and ending at 7 pm. This Sunday will feature music by the 18 piece Casablanca Orchestra. You can view the full music schedule here: http://wakeforestarts.org/events/six-sundays/

Strawberry Season is here!

May ushers in North Carolina strawberry season and this weekend there will be plenty of berries to pick up at local area farmers’ markets. A few of my favorite markets are the Durham and Carrboro Farmers’ Market. There are also great markets in Wake Forest and North Hills in Raleigh. If you prefer to pick your own berries check out this list of local berry patches by Carolina Parent.


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Weekend Picks: April 17-19th


Shakori Hills Music Festival ~ Pittsboro, NC

As we enter the third weekend of April outdoor events and festivals are in full swing. There is a lot going on this weekend with everything from an Herb Festival in Wake Forest to a Food Truck Rodeo in Cary. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next weekend when local favorite Brewgaloo returns to downtown Raleigh with tons of local brewers and food trucks on Saturday April 25th!

Friday April 17th

Wake Forest Herbfest (Friday-Sunday)
This annual event returns to Festival Park in downtown Wake Forest April 17-18-19 and April 24-25-26. Organic Herbs, Heirloom tomatoes and vegetables; Two consecutive weekends. The Herbfest is a great local source to help start your garden and it a fun way to spend the afternoon in downtown Wake Forest. http://www.herbfest.net/

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival (Thursday-Sunday)
A music lovers’ paradise, Shakori Hills is a family-friendly celebration of Music, dance, art, & education. 4, days, 4 stages, & over 60 bands in beautiful Chatham County. Make sure you stop by the Coffee Barn for some Larry’s Beans Coffee! http://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/

Saturday April 18th

Cuegrass Festival Downtown Raleigh
The 7th Annual Cuegrass Festival returns to the Warehouse district in downtown Raleigh on Saturday April 18th 12-6pm. In past years a nice crowd has gathered along Davie street outside The Pit BBQ for the jam-packed day of great ‘cue, local brews and toe-tappin’ bluegrass music! It only costs $5 at the gate to enter (food & beer additional). http://www.cuegrass.com/

Counter Culture 20th Anniversary Party in Durham
Counter Culture is a local coffee roaster based out of Durham. This Saturday they are throwing a party to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. The celebration will be held in Durham Central Park from 3-7pm with live music, lots of great coffee, tasty food from some of their local partners, and fun stuff for kids.  https://www.facebook.com/events/874555325950088/

Sunday April 19th

Chatham Street “Chowdown” Food Truck Rodeo in Cary
This will be the 2nd official “Food Truck Chowdown” hosted by the town of Cary. The fun goes down this Sunday from 12-4:30pm on W. Chatham Street in downtown Cary between Academy Street and Harrison Avenue. 17 local trucks are scheduled to feed the hungry crowd. While your there I recommend walking over to the new Pharmacy Craft Beer Bottle Shop. https://www.facebook.com/pharmbottlebev


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Weekend Picks: April 3rd-5th


This weekend is going to be absolutely beautiful! Here are some fun things to do this to get outside and enjoy the incredible weather. Remember, in addition to these fun events most of the local farmers’ markets start their regular hours this weekend. My two favorite local markets are the Durham Farmers’ Market and the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. Happy Exploring!

Friday April 3rd

Live Music at Gizmo Brew Works
April is NC Beer Month and there is no better way to celebrate than to visit a local brewery and catch some live music over a few beers. On Friday from 7-10pm enjoy Erin Mason perform soulful country and folk-pop and grab dinner from BO’s kitchen (Korean Street Food) food truck. https://www.facebook.com/GizmoBrewWorks

First Friday in Downtown Raleigh
First Friday is a free self-guided tour of downtown’s cutting edge cultural hot spots. Local art galleries, art studios, alternative art venues, and museums stay open late the first Friday of every month to welcome thousands of art-seeking enthusiasts downtown. I recommend stopping by Brushstroke Studio which will feature photos by Felicia Perry. The Baguettaboutit Food Truck will be parked at the studio and free beer from Nickelpoint Brewery will be available. 6-9pm. Other places to visit are the market that takes over Hargett Street in front of Raleigh Times and Brew Coffee Bar at Seaboard Station which will feature live music.

Saturday April 4th

Slingshot Coffee Weekend Coffee Service
Slingshot Coffee will be serving pour over coffee and their cold brew coffee at their headquarters in downtown Raleigh this weekend. Join them this spring & summer  Saturdays and Sundays from 8a-2p for chill vibes on the patio, delicious drinks and tasty treats. https://www.facebook.com/SlingshotCoffeeCompany/

Cedar Creek Gallery Glass & Potter Festival
The glass and potter festival at Cedar Creek in Creedmoor runs Friday-Sunday. Includes demos, workshops, local vendors and daily food trucks. http://www.cedarcreekgallery.com/47thSpringFestival2015

Beer Olympics at Raleigh Brewing Company
Six local breweries compete in events including feats of knowledge and strength. Food trucks onsite as well. https://www.facebook.com/events/1404305033212330/

Deep River Brewing Company 2nd Anniversary Saturday:
Deep River turns 2! Celebration featuring 15+ employee made casks on tap starting at 2pm. For $15 you get a custom sampling glass and unlimited samples of the casks. The first 100 customers of the day get a free anniversary glass with purchase, Jared Place hits the outdoor stage 2-5pm, E-Train & the Rusted Rails takes the outdoor stage from 6-9p, CJ’s Street Food and MacUrRoni will be there all day serving asian fusion tacos and mac n cheese! https://www.facebook.com/events/416160961877734/

Sunday April 5th

Pittsboro First Sunday
Pittsboro’s First Sunday is an artisan market featuring handmade crafts, music, and food every first Sunday of the month from March through December. Sunday 12-4 p.m. in Pittsboro’s historic downtown.

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Weekend Picks: March 27-29th

Go Ape Canopy Tour in North Raleigh

Go Ape Canopy Tour in North Raleigh
(Photo courtesy Go Ape)

This weekend looks to be a little cooler, but it should be dry and sunny and there are still plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the day. I’m maintaining an updated list of upcoming spring events here for April & May. In the meantime here are a few quick picks of things to check out the weekend. Happy exploring!

Friday March 27th

Final Friday Clothing Swap at Gather in Cary
In anticipation of warmer weather and lighter layers, Gather is hosting a clothing swap. The American Meltdown food truck will be serving up food and they’ll have wine, treats and music to groove to. Bring your clothes, your friends and lets swap! See you there! 6-9pm. Admission is free with the donation of clothing or $5 at the door.

Live Music at Sola Coffee w/ the Andy Hawks Trio
Live jazz music, great food, coffee, and beer. Great opportunity to listen to live music in North Raleigh. Music starts 7:30pm. No Cover. http://www.solacoffee.com/

Saturday March 28th

Go Ape Tree Canopy Tour Grand Opening in Raleigh
Grand Opening of Go Ape Tree Canopy Tour. It’s a course made up of numerous rope ladders, 42 exciting crossings along with 2 Tarzan swings and 5 zip lines.. The ribbon cutting ceremony is at 9:30. Live music from 11 -3 and the D’Burritos truck will be selling tasty food. Contests and giveaways! Blue Jay Point Park in 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road in Raleigh. https://www.facebook.com/goapebluejaypoint

Tour De Brew – Raleigh
6 breweries, 3 bike rides, live music, family-friendly activities. All for the cause of clean water in Africa! More details and registration at www.tourdebrew.org.

Lego Convention
The name says it all. Huge Lego event at the Convention Center in downtown Raleigh. Saturday and Sunday 10:30am-4pm. Ticketed event. http://www.brickuniverse.org/

Dino Egg Hunt at Museum of Life & Science in Durham
Kids can look for five different dino eggs around the museum’s outdoor campus.  Take photos with their resident dino and dig up some real fossils. The Museum’s Dinosaur Trail will be full of activity, adventure and prehistoric dinosaur excitement. Ticketed Event. http://lifeandscience.org/calendar/event-details/?id=2560

Live Music at Sola Coffee with The Harmaleighs
The Harmaleighs are a folk duo that calls Nashville, Tennessee home. They found a mutual love for folk/Americana and started creating music together. Music starts at 7:30pm. No cover.  https://www.facebook.com/TheHarmaleighs

Sunday March 29th

Cardinal Direction Beerfest
Steel String Brewery of Carrboro and Beer Study in Chapel Hill join forces to host a  Beerfest on Sunday featuring 12 North Carolina breweries showcasing their Saisons and other fine beers. Ticketed event.  https://www.facebook.com/events/330037867197154/

Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo
This Sunday with about 15 trucks 12-4pm at The Renaissance Center located at 405 S Brooks St. in historic downtown Wake Forest. Check out The Wandering Sheppard’s Food Truck Blog for a comprehensive look at this weekend’s food truck events. https://www.facebook.com/wakeforestfoodtruckrodeo

The Onyx Club Boys at Honeysuckle Tea house in Chapel Hill
Gypsy Jazz music at the AMAZING Honeysuckle Tea House in rural Chapel Hill. This unique tea house is situated on a large plot rural plot surrounded by gardens and provides and open air environment to enjoy tea & coffee drinks and listen to music. Check out their website for pics. It really is a hidden gem. Music on Sunday is 4-6pm. https://www.honeysuckleteahouse.com/

Looking Ahead & Other News

Burger Bach in Durham Now Open
A New Zealand inspired pub featuring an extensive burger menu just opened ion Ninth Street in Durham. Check out this great preview by Bites of Bull City for more information and pictures of the restaurant.

518 West in Downtown Raleigh to close in April
The 518 West Italian Cafe in downtown Raleigh has announced they are closing the restaurant on April 5th. You can read more about their announcement over at the News & Observer.

NC Beer Month Coming in April
A month full on NC beer events. For a full schedule of activities visit http://www.ncbeermonth.com/

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