It’s so long to summer, hello to fall! We’ll miss these warm-weather months—baseball games, summer festivals, outdoor concerts and such. But we’re ready to embrace a new season and the new experiences that come with it in the Raleigh area—hockey games, cultural festivals, holiday shopping, pumpkin pies, lots of ways to experience the arts and (last but not least!) the N.C. State Fair!
Carolina Hurricanes—back in action!
Seven home games in Oct.
Is it October yet? That’s what hockey fans have been asking for a few months since the Stanley Cup Finals ended in June. Yes, it’s Halloween month, and that means the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes return to the ice at PNC Arena to kick off their 21st season in Raleigh. The Canes (as everyone locally calls them) will play seven home games in Oct., with the puck dropping for the first time against the Islanders (10/4) on opening night. They’ll also take on the Rangers (10/7), Canucks (10/9), Avalanche (10/20), Sharks (10/26), Islanders again (10/28) and Bruins (10/30). Single-game tickets have gone on sale, so join the #Redvolution by wearing red, white and black and cheering on the Canes!
Oct. 12-21 (note: updated opening day due to Hurricane Michael)
For many, the return of the N.C. State Fair (10/12-21) marks the true beginning of fall. Sunny days turn into cool and clear nights where smells of cotton candy fill the air, blinking lights from Ferris wheels and roller coasters light up the skies and jackets and sweatshirts become a necessity. The largest annual event in N.C., with 1,000,000+ visitors, this is the chance to search out thrilling rides, take in more than 100 free concerts from local artists plus devour the most over-the-top food concoctions you can imagine—think chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, doughnuts and tons of other gooey goodness. We wouldn’t miss it!
See some of golf’s best, including legendary pro Colin Montgomerie who will return to defend his 2017 title, at the SAS Championship, a PGA Tour Championships event. Held annually at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, the event is widely recognized as one of the most important events of the year. The tournament will once again play host to ‘Wildcard Weekend’—the last full-field event before the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.
Oct. 13, 2018-Jan. 20, 2019
An exhibition of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art from renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who revolutionized ways to see ordinary things, brings together a significant group of O’Keeffe’s works (featuring enormous flowers, luscious color and desert landscapes) as the centerpiece of an exploration of her continued force as a touchstone for contemporary art. This exhibit is ticketed in conjunction with Candida Höfer in Mexico.
Attention, foodies! The final Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo of the year is this month. More than a half-mile of food trucks, spanning 11 city blocks, are bringing wood-fired pizzas, buttery lobster rolls, over-the-top ice cream concoctions, drool-worthy barbecue sandwiches and way, way more for thousands of hungry rodeo-goers to chow down on. Free admission, seating for 1,000-plus people and plenty of Instagram opportunities are just some of the elements that make this a can’t-miss foodie event.
SPARKcon, the totally-weird, totally-awesome creativity festival that takes over downtown Raleigh each year, is truly a grassroots event. The “for the people, by the people” approach uses an open-source planning process that allows more than 2,000 artists to be involved each year. Dance, fashion, music, film, food—if you can name it, you can find an event for it at the festival that spans nearly 15 city blocks. The festival has taken big steps to make it even more accessible for individuals with disabilities, including independent wayfinding navigation with BlindSquare, sensory-friendly packs, a SPARKcon Access Guide (available at the info tent and on the cubes at every intersection) and more (get details here).
Experience more than 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities at BugFest, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences‘ annual event that lets you interact with entomologists and other scientists while learning about the fascinating world of bugs. Featuring the ever-popular Café Insecta, where the brave can sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. The best part? The event is totally free for the expected 35,000 attendees. This year’s theme: crayfish and other crustaceans!
The Raleigh Convention Center will host the 33rd International Festival of Raleigh, where more than 50 ethnic groups will be represented! The festival includes everything from international food and stage performances to fashion shows and beer and coffee tastings.
Now in its eighth year, the Apex Music Festival attracts thousands of fans to historic downtown Apex to enjoy live music, street vendors, food trucks, beer and wine and an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Two outdoor stages and one indoor theater will host a variety of acts from local, regional and national performers from many musical genres—rock, folk, R&B, bluegrass, country and more. The ticketed event, which is best suited for adults, has a full music lineup you can check out here.
The inaugural FallFest at Dix Park—a family-focused atmosphere with food, drinks, kids and adult activities and live entertainment—will include live music from the Milagro Saints and Counterclockwise String Band, a fun zone with inflatable rides and games, pony rides, face painting, a pumpkin patch and decorating area, hayrides, craft vendors and more fall activities. Food trucks with food, beer, ice cream and more will be on hand, but you can also bring your own small cooler or picnic basket. Dogs (on a leash) are welcome, too!