January Events 2023: Things to do in Raleigh this Month

Hello 2023! You are most welcome. We hope that everyone is ready for another fantastic year in the Raleigh area. Each year there are more and more fun things to do in Raleigh as this city continues its phenomenal growth.

woman looking at statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Memorial Gardens 
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens 

Each month we curate a list of the top Raleigh events and happenings for you to consider. We also send out a weekly email, with top picks for the week, as well as other important updates and new blog posts.

You can join our free email community by filling in the box below:

January and February are typically much quieter months in Raleigh so you can use these months to focus in on your goals and set good habits. You can also plan your year in advance, with these top festivals and events in Raleigh for 2023.

You can use the table of contents to help you navigate or just keep scrolling and read it all. 

Things to do in Raleigh in January (non-Scheduled events)

In this section you’ll find suggestions on things to do in Raleigh in January that aren’t scheduled or formal events. We may suggest activities that align with the flavor or theme for the month, or any ongoing events.

This month will be more suggestions for the inside as it’s still cold! As it’s so easy to get cabin fever, and the winter blues, make sure you take advantage of those warmer days to enjoy a hike and get some fresh air.

Visit one of Raleigh’s Museums & Art Galleries

model titanic out the front of the James Cameron exhibition
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Use this month of January to explore Raleigh’s great Museums (most are free). Check the museum’s schedules for any special events exhibitions.

  • The Power of Women in Country Music is on at North Carolina Museum of History until Feb 26, 2023
  • James Cameron: Challenging the Deep is on at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences until May 7, 2023
  • Watergate Exposed: Revisiting the National Scandal 50 Years Later is on at North Carolina Museum of History on Jan 17, 2023
  • Artist Reception: November, December, & January Gallery Exhibition at Pullen Arts Center on Saturday, January 21, 2:30-4:30 p.m. The exhibition features work from five artists working in drawing and painting.
  • City Market Artist Collective (CMAC) celebrates its third year presenting the area’s best artist in an exhibition until Jan 29.

Don’t forget all the great art viewing opportunities on First Friday events (see below).

Visit a winter’s Farmers’ Market

fruit and vegetable stalls at the state farmers market raleigh
State Farmers Market

Farmers’ Markets are always a great idea – even in the winter. You can get your fresh, local and seasonal produce for those hearty warming winter meals.

Week 1: Jan 1- 8, 2023

There are still a few holiday events on. If you haven’t already, be sure to experience Illuminate Art Walk, the ice-skating rinks at Red Hat Amphitheater and Fenton, Cary, and the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival.

This week, we’ll be in the Exumas, Bahamas. You can follow on yTravelBlog Instagram

DPAC for TINA, The Tina Turner Musical, Jan 3-8, 2023

  • Where: DPAC, Durham
  • When: Jan 3- 8; Various times
  • Cost: $35+
  • Website:

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is a celebration of resilience and an inspiration of triumph over adversity. It shares the comeback story of a woman who defied the bounds of racism, sexism and ageism to become the global Queen of Rock n’ Roll.

First Friday, Jan 6, 2023

man looking at art on wall
First Friday Art
  • Where: Downtown Raleigh
  • Time: on dusk
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Support Raleigh’s great artisan community on the First Friday of every month. Art galleries and studios are open late with rotating exhibits and artist talks.

Below are some events and experiences for First Friday. We love wandering around the Artspace studios in the City Market area. Check out our guide on how to enjoy First Friday in Raleigh.

This month to help Raleighites with their New Year New You goals, Current Wellness will hold a Dance Fitness Class from 5:30pm-6pm (No registration required), and Umbrella Dry Bar will feature non-alcoholic cocktail called “That Sober Glow,” an immune-boosting, energizing elixir topped with pink bubbles.

  • Sir Walter Coffee has drink specials, games on the patio and DJs for their Coffee House Sessions. 
  • State Of Beer hosts an artisan mini market.
  • Taverna Agora has a Greek night with food, drink, songs and dancing!! Opa!
  • Designed for Joy offers tours of their studio on First Fridays where you can also shop their wonderful brand of leather handbags, jewelry and home décor in the Warehouse District.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Jan 7, 2023

  • Where: Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. 
  • Time: 4pm
  • Cost: $29
  • Website:

A madman has moved in upstairs, and young Christoph and his uncle are on the hunt to find out just what’s going on up there. Explore the world of Ludwig van Beethoven with music from his greatest works – the “Moonlight” Sonata, Für Elise, the Ninth Symphony, and more.

Celebrate Emancipation Day, January 7, 2023

  • Where: City of Raleigh Museum and Pope House Museum
  • Time: 1pm – 3pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Join the City of Raleigh Museum and Pope House Museum in celebrating 160 years of the Emancipation Proclamation. Travel back in time and meet Raleigh’s leading men and learn about them and Raleigh’s history. The Museum will recreate historic speeches from 1870-1900, period music, and other activities that celebrate emancipation.

Sporting Events this Week

  • NC State Men’s Basketball vs Duke: Jan 4; 7pm @ PNC
  • NC State Women’s Basketball vs Boston College: Jan 5; 7pm Reynolds Coliseum
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators: Jan 5; 7pm @ PNC
  • NC State Women’s Basketball vs Virginia: Jan 8; 3pm Reynolds Coliseum

Week 2: Jan 9 – 15, 2023

Stargazing at The Willard Rooftop, Jan 11, 2023

  • Where: The Willard Rooftop Lounge, Glenwood Ave
  • Time: 7-9pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

The Raleigh Astronomy Club will have telescopes and hobby astronomers to help you enjoy the starry skies from the rooftop of The Willard. This time, you’ll have views of Jupiter, Mars, and the constellation of Orion.

The Willard will offer celestial-inspired cocktail specials for you to enjoy while you take in the skies.

2023 MLK Dreamfest: Reimagining The Dream For Today’s Generation, Jan 14, 2023

  • Where: Cary Arts Center
  • Time: 5pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

In celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. holiday weekend, the Town of Cary puts on a series of events and programs to honor his legacy, focus on the issue of civil rights, and provide an opportunity for community service.

The main event is the Dreamfest with Dr Harry L White Jnr as the featured speaker as well as dance and theater performances. Before the pandemic, our daughter participated in a theater production for the Dreamfest!

Sporting Events this Week

  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils: Jan 10; 7pm @ PNC
  • NC State Men’s Basketball vs Miami Jan 14; 7pm @ PNC
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburg Penguins: Jan 14; 7pm @ PNC
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Vancouver Canucks: Jan 15; 5pm @ PNC

Week 3: Jan 16 – 22, 2023

marble statue of Dr Martin Luther King in WAshington DC
Dr Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington DC

MLK Day Concert: IMPACT Series II: Chamber Music Treasures- Music by Black Composers, Jan 16, 2023

  • Where: Church of the Nativity, Raleigh
  • Time: 7:30pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

Faculty and students from the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute will be celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King by performing music of Black composers at a free concert.

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Legacy, Jan 16, 2023

playground with views of raleigh skyline in the background
John Chavis Memorial Park, Raleigh
  • Where: John Chavis Memorial Park, 505 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Raleigh
  • Time:  12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Celebrate Dr. King’s life through service, children’s activities, and more and the beautiful John Chavis Memorial Park in south Raleigh.

Jurassic Quest, Jan 20 – 22, 2023

  • Where: Raleigh Convention Center, Downtown Raleigh
  • Time: Fri., 3-8pm; Sat., 9am-8pm; Sun., 9am-7pm
  • Cost: $19-22
  • Website:

This one’s for the dinosaur lovers! The largest, most popular dinosaur event in Raleigh has life size animatronic dinosaurs – including a 50ft long Megalodon- a live interactive Raptor show, dinosaur rides, fossil digs and more.

Aretha: A Tribute with the North Carolina Symphony, Jan 20-21, 2023

  • Where:  Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts
  • Time: Fri., 8pm; Sat., 3pm and 8pm
  • Cost: $25+
  • Website:

Don’t miss this high-energy, glittering tribute to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, with iconic Billboard-charting hits from “Respect” and “Think” to “A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Amazing Grace,” and many more—featuring Broadway powerhouse Capathia Jenkins.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, Jan 21 & 22, 2023

  • Where:   Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts
  • Time: Sat., 2pm and 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm
  • Cost: $90+
  • Website:

Experience a lost culture through the incredible art of classical Chinese dance, and see legends come to life. Shen Yun makes this possible by pushing the boundaries of the performing arts, with a unique blend of stunning costuming, high-tech backdrops, and an orchestra like no other.

22nd Annual African American Cultural Celebration, Jan 28

  • Where: North Carolina Museum Of History
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

The annual African American Cultural Celebration serves as the statewide kickoff to Black History Month in North Carolina. This year’s theme is Pathways to Freedom, which will highlight the contributions of African Americans to North Carolina History and culture. There’ll be a procession, performances dances, drama, cultural exhibitions, classes, hands-on activities and a lot more!

Sporting Events this Week

  • NC State Women’s Basketball vs Miami Jan 19; 6pm @ Reynold’s Coliseum
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Minnesota Wild: Jan 19; 7pm @ PNC

Week 4: Jan 23 – 31, 2023

We’ll be in New York City this week for a travel industry event with our global travel website, ytravelblog.com. We’ll be staying on a few extra days with the girls to explore more of one of our favorite cities.

Astronomy Days: Humans in Space: Past, Present, and Future!

  • Where: North Carolina Museum of Natural Science
  • Time: Jan 28 & 29; 10:00am–5:00pm
  • Cost:
  • Website

Astronomy Days is an indoor/outdoor festival located in and around the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. You can explore the universe with hands-on crafts, presentations, telescopes and a real-life astronaut.

Free Friday at Mordecai Historic Park, Jan 27. 2023

an old house
Mordecai Historic House
  • Where: Mordecai Historic Park
  • Time: 10am-4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

The Mordecai House is the oldest house in Raleigh in its original location. Tours start every 30 minutes and include the Mordecai House, Andrew Johnson’s birthplace, St. Mark’s Chapel, and the Allen Kitchen.

Sporting Events this Week

  • NC State Men’s Basketball vs Notre Dame Jan 24; 7pm @ PNC
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs San Jose Sharks: Jan 27; 7pm @ PNC
  • NC State Women’s Basketball vs Notre Dame Jan 29; 3pm @ PNC
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins: Jan 29; 5pm @ PNC
  • NHL Carolina Hurricanes vs Los Angeles Kings: Jan 29; 7pm @ PNC

Hotels in Downtown Raleigh

overview of a hotel building
Residence Inn

If you’re visiting Raleigh from out of town for any January events, here are our recommendations for accommodation in Downtown Raleigh.

If you are visiting from out of town and have a few extra days, here are some guides to help you plan out your days exploring Raleigh:

If you found this post on January events helpful, please consider sharing it. You can use the below images to save to Pinterest.

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What do you have planned for January 2023 in Raleigh or beyond?

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