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Though North Carolina is beautiful year-round, our favorite time of year is the fall. As the trees begin to show signs of change and the weather dips slightly we begin making our autumn plans and looking forward to some of our favorite events. Here is what we have planned for October:

“Come Together for the Coast” benefit dinner: Though the Triangle was spared the worst of Hurricane Florence, so many of our friends and neighbors weren’t as fortunate. To help in their aid, Executive Chef Steven Greene and Pastry Chef Jonathan Fisher will be joining the Triangle’s top chefs for a special benefit dinner to assist those affected, including Ashley Christensen, Scott Crawford, Vansana Nolintha, Vivian Howard, Matt Kelly, Cheetie Kumar, and more. In conjunction with The Sunday Supper, the dinner will take place at The Dillon on October 7th and feature signature dishes from each chef, top shelf spirits, music from BJ Barham of American Aquarium, and a live auction to round out the evening. Net proceeds will be contributed to the North Carolina Community Foundation, tickets are available here.

Ken’s Corn Maze: One of our favorite fall activities is a visit to Ken’s Corn Maze in Garner, NC when 6-acres of cornfield becomes two and a half miles of twists and turns. This labyrinth of corn is perfect for kids and adults and takes a little over an hour and a half to complete, with color codes and hints to help you find your way out. There are also hay rides, concessions, a hay maze, pumpkin patch and more. Additional details and directions can be found here.

N.C. State Fair: The words October and The State Fair are synonymous to all of us who grew up in the Triangle. Though the rides, the exhibits, and the games are fun, the food is worth the trip alone. This year our friends at La Farm Bakery are bringing Candied Bacon S’mores, which is at the top of our list to try, along with anything deep fried. Don’t forget the fireworks display each night at 9:45, with the best seats being on the Ferris Wheel or the State Fair Flyer. Returning to town October 11th through 21st, full schedule and ticket information can be found here.

Dracula, the ballet: The Carolina Ballet brings Dracula back to the stage just in time for Halloween. An artistic rendition of the classic gothic tale, the story follows Count Dracula’s voyage to England and his subsequent battle with Van Helsing, Harker, and Mina to prevent the spread of his vampirical curse. With original scores and live music from a chamber ensemble, this production is both theatrical and elegant, and includes Robert Weiss’ version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. Performances begin on October 11th, with showings each Thursday through Sunday until October 28th. Tickets and more information can be found here.

Sparkcon: Spanning over 15 blocks, the creativity festival SPARKcon takes over downtown Raleigh Thursday, October 18th through Sunday, October 21st. Dance, fashion, music, film, and food, this over the top festival is truly unique. There are fire dancers and artists, ribbon acrobatics and comedy acts, poetry performances and a bazaar filled with local goods and artisans all of which is worth exploring. Additional details for this free festival can be found by visiting their website here.

A Walk in the Dark: Curious about the true story of North Carolina? What better way to discover it than through a lantern-lit tour at The North Carolina History Museum. Follow the pirates, pilots, and pioneers through twists and turns in an immersive live theater experience. Shows are 45 minutes long and available Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th. More details are available here.

Looking for more? Speak with our Concierge team or visit our friends at VisitRaleigh for more great events in our area.

 

September brings the beginning changes of the season and with it some of our favorite Raleigh festivals. Here are a few highlights worth exploring around town this month:

African American Cultural Festival: Starting September off right, the annual African American Cultural Festival will be held Saturday, September 1st and Sunday September 2nd. We love watching the stilt performers, musicians, and dancers make their way through City Plaza. Fayetteville street is lined with artisans, foods and interactive learning spaces as we celebrate the folk and cultural traditions of the African American community. Perfect for families, the festival begins at 12pm on Saturday, more details can be found here.

Hopscotch Music Festival: Named one of the “best and most eclectic music festivals in America,” by Spin magazine, the annual Hopscotch Music Festivals takes over downtown Raleigh September 6th through 8th. This experimental festival features well known acts such as The Flaming Lips and Boulevards along with lesser known musicians from genres including rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, and more. The everyman music festival, tickets are available here or enjoy the day party on Saturday beginning at noon along Fayetteville Street complimentary.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention: Part of the 2018 Summer Concert Series at the NC Museum of Art, the Paperhand Puppet Intervention presents In the Heart of the Fire Friday, September 7th through Sunday, September 9th. A wonderous show with larger than life puppets, stilt dancers, and original live music, this performance is an incredible spectacle to behold. Blankets and picnics are encouraged, though food vendors will be present. Friday evening will also feature “Iris after Dark” with wine specials and small plates in the museum’s restaurant. More information and ticket details are available here.

Sparkcon: Spanning over 15 blocks, the creativity festival SPARKcon takes over downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 13th through Sunday, September 16th. Dance, fashion, music, film, and food, this over the top festival is truly unique. There are fire dancers and artists, ribbon acrobatics and comedy acts, poetry performances and a bazaar filled with local goods and artisans all of which is worth exploring. Additional details for this free festival can be found by visiting their website here.

Bugfest: What do butterflies, beetles, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, cicadas, and crayfish all have in common? They are not only all arthropods, but they can be found at this year’s Bugfest! Held on Saturday, September 15th at the NC Museum of Natural Science, this free festival gives you a chance to interact with scientists and discover more about the fascinating world of bugs. This festival will feature over 100 exhibits, crafts, games, a beekeeping workshop, and nocturnal insect activities along with a creepy-crawly café adventure where you can taste a few of your favorite bugs. Details and directions are available here.

Wide Open Bluegrass: The World of Bluegrass week comes to a close with the annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th. The street festival includes 5 stages along with a dance tent, art, BBQ championships and food, as well as shopping vendors all down Fayetteville street while the evening stage events feature headlining acts like Ricky Skaggs, Chatham County Line, and the Flatt Lonesome. The street festival is free with tickets for the main stage events available here.

There is always something to do in Raleigh! For more suggestions or information speak with our friends at VisitRaleigh or contact our Concierge team at 919-447-4030.

Summer is slowly coming to a close, and as you make your final plans to enjoy what is left, here are a few fun ways to make the most of them in August:

City of Raleigh Museum: Raleigh is considering the Smithsonian of the South, and for good reason. We have so many incredible museums to visit, most with complimentary access to the permanent collections, and each with unique and interesting exhibits that come through. The newest one we can’t wait to see is “The Underground: Raleigh’s Music Scene 1976 – 1985” at the City of Raleigh Museum. This exhibit features incredible photography from the forgotten music venue that rested underneath Cameron Village and saw acts such as Bowie, R.E.M, the Ramones, Bette Midler, the Go-Gos, Duke Ellington, and more. This photography exhibit will be on display through December and admission is free. Information can be found here.

Raleigh Restaurant Week: Raleigh has had an influx of amazing restaurants over the last few years, and what better way to try them than during Raleigh’s Restaurant Week beginning Monday, August 13th through Sunday, August 19th. A few of our favorites are Caffe Luna, Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue (which as a Raleigh native, I can vouch for as the best), Linus and Peppers, and MOFU. Full list of restaurants and options available here.

Raleigh Beer Trail: Raleigh isn’t just known for its great museums and food scene, but for its breweries as well! With over 25 to choose from, VisitRaleigh has put together a “passport” with information on them to help you create your own crawl and document your experience. We recommend making sure you stop by Brewery Bhavana, Bond Brothers, Trophy, and Neuse River, though you can’t go wrong at any. More information is available here.

Jurassic Quest: If you loved Jurassic Park, then welcome to Jurassic Quest. The Largest exhibition of life-size, moving, museum-quality dinosaurs in North America, this event takes place August 24th through 26th at the Raleigh Convention Center. Whether scaly, feathered or fur, these true to life dinosaurs are known to interact with visitors through their roars, movements, and nibbles. You can also dig for fossils, ride a TRex, or create your own paper dinosaur. More details and ticket information are available here.

Lazy Daze Festival: If dinosaurs aren’t of interest to you, how about a lazy day instead? The Town of Cary will host their 42nd Annual Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts festival on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th. With plenty of artists, crafts, foods, and entertainment, this is a great way to enjoy those final lazy days of summer. More information can be found here.

Looking for more? Visit our friends at VisitRaleigh or speak with a member of our Concierge Team at 919-447-4030.

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