Category Archives: Things to do in Apex

Things to Do in Raleigh, N.C.: October 2018

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!

N.C. State Fair

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!

SAS Championship

Oct. 12-14
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.

The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art Exhibition

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.

Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

Oct. 14
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 2018

Oct. 18-21
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).

BugFest

Oct. 20
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!

33rd International Festival of Raleigh

Oct. 26-28
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.

Apex Music Festival

Oct. 27
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.

FallFest at Dix Park

Oct. 27
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!

 by visitRaleigh

 

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2017 Holiday Events: Santa Visits, Christmas Tree Lightings, Sleigh Rides, Parades, Festivals

APEX

The Halle Cultural Arts Center presents two holiday productions in December. See Infinity Ballet perform “Nutcracker Dances” Dec. 1-3, and two musicals in one with “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol” and “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical” Dec. 8-10. Visit etix.com for show times and to purchase tickets.

CARY

See 20 light displays illuminated by thousands of LED lights at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary Nov. 24-Jan. 14. The hours are 6-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The festival also features cultural performances and artisans. Purchase tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-17, online at boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary.

The 2017 Cary Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Cary Jaycees, is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. See the website for the parade route. caryjaycees.org/cary-jaycees-christmas-parade.

Cary Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker Suite” Dec. 15-17 at the Cary Arts Center. Purchase tickets, $21-$25, at etix.com/ticket/v/8087/cary-arts-center.

Cary’s Menorah Lighting is Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center. The town’s Kwanzaa Celebration is Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. townofcary.org.

DURHAM

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 9-10 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” takes place Dec. 13-14 at 7 p.m. at Carolina Theatre in Durham and features world-class Russian dancers, nesting dolls and giant puppets. Purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com.

Christmas in the Piedmont During the Civil War at Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham celebrates the season Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with living historians who demonstrate cooking and gift-wrapping in the 19th century. Santa visits with families during the event. Candlelit tours of the site take place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are required for the tours and are $3 for adults and $2 for ages 5-16. 919-383-4345. bennettplacehistoricsite.com.

RALEIGH

 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” lands at Fletcher Theater for performances Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Purchase tickets, $15 and up, at ticketmaster.com.

Theatre in the Park presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 1-10. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. Theatre in the Park’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is Dec. 6-10 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and Dec. 14-17 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Raleigh Little Theatre presents its holiday sugarplum, “Cinderella,” Dec. 1-17. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. raleighlittletheatre.org.

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE’S “CINDERELLA” CHARMS AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES DEC. 1-17. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE SANTIAGO

Mordecai Historic Park’s Holiday Open House in Raleigh welcomes families Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Dec. 10, 1-4 p.m. Tour the home as it would have been decorated for Christmas during colonial days through the World War II era. Admission is free. Take one of the lantern tours, which run 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, through the house and grounds to watch vignettes of the Mordecai family, soldiers and enslaved people during the Civil War. Purchase tickets, $5 per person, at reclink.raleighnc.gov (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

Raleigh Ringers’ Holiday Concerts Dec. 9-10 at Meymandi Concert Hall showcase unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music arranged just for handbells. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. ticketmaster.com.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s holiday spectacle, “Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” is Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. ticketmaster.com.

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 15-24 at Raleigh Memorial auditorium. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

The renowned Raleigh Boychoir presents “Carols of Christmas” Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Purchase tickets, $8-$18, at raleighboychoir.org.

First Night Raleigh takes place Dec. 31, 2 p.m.-midnight, in downtown Raleigh. Enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities prior to the Acorn Drop at midnight. A First Night button, $10, is required for entry. firstnightraleigh.com.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTSPLOSURE/FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH

OTHER TRIANGLE TOWNS

Visit Lights on the Neuse in Clayton, a 1-mile, tractor-pulled Christmas hayride through a magical extravaganza of holiday lights on select nights in November and December. The event also offers a sweet shop and visit with Santa. See the website for hours and to purchase tickets. lightsontheneuse.com.

Hop aboard an open train car with all the trimmings when New Hope Valley Railway in New Hill hosts its annual Holiday Santa Trains. Santa Claus and his elf visit with each child and pose for photos. Trains run Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10, departing at 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visit the website for prices and to purchase tickets. triangletrain.com.

RIDE THE RAILS WITH NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY IN DECEMBER. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY

The Pittsboro Christmas Parade is Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and features seasonal floats, tractors, vintage vehicles, Santa and more. pittsboronc.gov.

Smithfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the corner of Third and Market streets. Enjoy hot chocolate, live entertainment and an appearance from Santa. The annual Smithfield Christmas Parade is Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. on Market Street. smithfield-nc.com.

The Lighting of Wake Forest  The town’s holiday parade, featuring high school marching bands, more than 100 colorful floats and Santa, takes place Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in downtown Wake Forest. wakeforestnc.gov.

Take a covered wagon hayride through the holiday lights, and enjoy bonfires, a jumping pillow, train rides and music at Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights in Youngsville Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $10 for ages 2 and older Sun., Mon., Tues and Thurs.; $12 for ages 2 and older Fri.-Sat.; and $8 on Wed. hillridgefarms.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to see fireworks and celebrate the 4th of July in the Triangle

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

Nearly every town in the Triangle will have a Fourth of July celebration either over the weekend or next week. From Raleigh’s big downtown celebration – The ‘Works – to Durham fireworks at the Bulls game and Cary’s celebration with the N.C. Symphony, here’s your guide to fireworks, festivals and parades across Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston and Chatham counties.

July 4

Apex – The annual Olde Fashioned Fourth of July runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a Parade of Wheels at noon, which children 12 and under can take part in. Other activities include inflatables, karaoke and face painting. Pets are not allowed. Info: apexnc.org/532/Olde-Fashioned-Fourth-of-July.

Benson ––Benson’s July 4th Celebration takes place at Benson Singing Grove (400 E. Main St.) 5:30-9:30 p.m. There will be food, games, entertainment, live music, a raffle and fireworks. Info: 919-894-5117.

Brier Creek – The Show Us Your Stripes Block Party will take place 7 to 9 p.m. at the Brier Creek Commons Clock Tower Plaza, featuring games, bounce houses and face painting. Fireworks will start after dark. Info: shopbriercreekcommons.com/events.

Carrboro – The activities will commence at 9:30 a.m. on Weaver Street Market Lawn. A parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall will start at 10:50 a.m. There will be live music, a costume contest, inflatables, sack races, a water-balloon toss and bingo for seniors. Info: carrbororec.org/DocumentCenter/View/2750.

Cary – From 3 to 10 p.m., the town will have its celebration in Koka Booth Amphitheatre. There will be watermelon eating contests, a Ferris wheel, a scavenger hunt and music by the N.C. Symphony and the Cary Town Band. Fireworks will start after the symphony’s 7:30 p.m. performance. The event is free, save for some of the amusement rides and pub tables. Pets, hula hoops and weapons are prohibited. Info: boothamphitheatre.com.

Chapel Hill – Fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium on UNC’s campus. Gates open at 7 p.m. and other festivities include a watermelon eating contest, face painting, stiltwalkers and food trucks. The suggested donation to help offset costs is $1 for an individual and $5 for a family. No outside food or drink is allowed. Info: bit.ly/2seqxfb.

Cleveland – Celebrate Cleveland starts at 9 a.m. at 9046 Cleveland Road (JCC Cleveland Campus).

Clayton – Catch food vendors, raffles, basketball competitions, cornhole and inflatables at Municipal Park (325 McCullers Drive) starting at 4 p.m. Fireworks will start after dark. Live music, inflatables and rides will continue after the fireworks. Info: bit.ly/2tbFC5n.

Durham – Durham’s Independence Day Celebration, sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation and the Durham Bulls, includes baseball, fireworks, food and fun. Fireworks happen after the game, and tickets to the game are strongly encouraged, as the gates will open during the 7th inning for general admission based on availability. Tailgating, alcohol in parking decks and watching from parking decks are prohibited. Areas where the game can be viewed outside the ballpark are Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, the grassy area behind Diamond 3, Ponysaurus and Burt’s Bees, outside of the North Deck. Info: durhamnc.gov/1008/Independence-Day-Celebration.

Additionally, the Children’s Independence Day Parade at Durham Central Park starts at 9:30 a.m. (prep), followed by fire truck tours and free popsicles. Info: bit.ly/2tN4ga6.

Kenly – The celebration starts at 8 p.m. at Kenly 95 Petro (923 Johnston Parkway). Info: 919-284-2116.

Knightdale – The band Chairman of the Board will headline the celebration, and there will be food trucks. The event begins at 5 p.m., with shuttles to the Knightdale Station Park beginning at 4. Fireworks start at 9:15 in Knightdale Station Park. Info: knightdalestation.com.

Pine Level – The celebration runs 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Sam Godwin Recreation Park (U.S. 70-A). Info: 919-965-2284.

Raleigh – The ‘Works will have festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Fayetteville Street and at Red Head Amphitheater. Fireworks will start around 9:30. Contests include patriotic pooch, watermelon seed spitting, ice cream eating and a hot dog eating. There will be a beer garden and live music including The Connells and DJ Dousro. Info: raleighconvention.com/works.

Selma – The 14th Annual All-American Festival takes place at Historic Selma Union Depot (500 Railroad St.) 5-10 p.m. Info: 919-975-1411.

Zebulon – There will be fireworks after the Carolina Mudcats game at Five County Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the game starting at 7. A ticket is required for the game and fireworks. Tickets start at $10. Info: carolinamudcats.com.

July 5

Holly Springs – From 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, there will be patriotic festivities including fireworks at 9:15, face painting, live music and inflatables. Friendly pets on leashes are welcome. Bringing fireworks, including sparklers, is prohibited. Info: hollyspringsnc.us/358/July-5th.