November Events 2022: What’s happening in Raleigh this month?

Just when you thought things would begin quietening down in Raleigh after the busy September/October Fall months closing out the warm weather, November arrives and begins the Holiday Season!

family posing for camera on rocks on the blue ridge parkway boone
Our Thanksgiving Boone getaway last year

I am both excited and overwhelmed by all the fun events happening this month, most with some kind of Christmas or Holiday season vibe.

Not only do we have Thanksgiving this month, but the FIFA World Cup Football begins on Nov 20 and finishing Dec 18th, which we are tremendously excited for. Check out our posts on best sports bars in Raleigh on where to watch it. You’ll find us at the London Bridge pub!

We do have a separate post on Christmas events in Raleigh which we will be updating over the next couple of days.

Have an event you want to submit? Check our submission guidelines and options here. 

Join our email community below so you don’t miss an update and to get access to our free printable Holiday bucket list. It will help you keep on track for planning an awesome festive season in Raleigh.

Ongoing Exhibits:

The Power of Women in Country Music

family posing with country singer Lauren Alaina
Meeting Lauren Alaina backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
  • Where: North Carolina Museum of History
  • When: Oct 28 – Feb 26, 2023
  • Cost: Free for members | $16 general public | $10 aged 6-17
  • Website:

The Power of Women in Country Music, coming to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh from the GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles, highlights the past, present, and future of country music’s greatest female trailblazers. This empowering exhibition will be amplified with a special concert series, author series, family events and activities, and much more!

Exhibit: James Cameron: Challenging the Deep

  • Where: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
  • When: October 15, 2022 – May 7, 2023
  • Cost: $16; senior (65+)/student (13+)/military, with ID, $14; children ages 3-12, $12; museum members and children two and under, free
  • Website:

The exhibition traces explorer and filmmaker James Cameron’s passion for deep-ocean science, technology and exploration, including his record-breaking dive to the bottom of the ocean in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the submersible he co-designed and co-engineered.

WEEK 1: November 1 – 6, 2022

Don’t forget ice hockey season is back on. The Carolina Hurricanes play their home games at PNC Arena. We will be attending the game on Friday 4th against Buffalo.

ACC Women’s Soccer Championship Semifinals + Finals, Nov 3 & 6, 2022

people playing soccer at wakemed soccer park
WakeMed Soccer Park
  • Where: WakeMed Soccer Park
  • Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 | under 18 free
  • Website:

We don’t know what teams are in the playoffs yet, but it’s looking good for UNC. This is a great opportunity to close out the season and support our local college soccer teams! We really enjoy the experience.

UPDATE: We went to the semi-final. See Reel below! We’ll be there on Sunday for the final too. Go UNC!!

See our guide to the WakeMed Soccer Park

6th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration, Nov 4, 2022

day of the dead figurine in garden
  • Where: City of Raleigh Museum
  • Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

This family-friendly Día De Los Muertos event will feature the Annual Day of the Dead Altar; live music and dancing; crafts and face painting; Day of the Dead bread samples; and traditional hot chocolate.

North Carolina International Festival, Nov 5-6, 2022

  • Where: NC State Fairgrounds Expo Building
  • Time: Sat, 10am-10pm; Sun, 11am – 6pm
  • Website: Purchase your tickets here
  • Cost: $5-$6

Let’s celebrate holidays around the world with cultural performances, an international Dance competition, a holiday market and delicious food and drinks. Over 30 cultures represented!

Fall Arts Fair, Nov 5, 2022

  • Where: Fred Fletcher Park
  • Time: 10 a.m – 5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

 The fair will feature over 50 local artist vendors, live music, food trucks, and hands-on arts activities and demonstrations led by Pullen and Sertoma Arts Center teaching artists.

City of Oaks Marathon, Nov 6, 2022

  • Where: Downtown Raleigh
  • Cost: Depends on how long you run
  • Website:

Lace up Runners! Raleigh’s Hometown Race is returning for the 16th Annual City of Oaks Marathon. It’s a beautiful run through the college campuses, downtown, and the beautiful greenway trails and ends with a post run party celebration. I’ll skip the run part and meet you there with my pom poms! You can run various lengths starting with a 5K.

Week 2: November 7 – 13, 2022

Moonlight in the Garden, Nov 10 – 19, 2022

  • Where: JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University
  • Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Members, $20; Nonmembers, $30; Children, $5
  • Tickets: – they sell out fast!

What better way to see one of Raleigh’s best gardens than illuminated at night with magical art and light installations. With this event you can stroll through the garden, listen to a live band, grab a bite to eat from a food truck, roast a marshmallow or two at the fire pits, and sip a cup of hot apple cider.

Video JC Raulston Arboretum

See how beautiful these Raleigh gardens are on a normal day!

BBQ Blues & Brews Festival, Nov 12, 2022

  • Where: Fuquay-Varina
  • Time: noon-4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

What a fun way to explore Fuquay-Varina’s historic downtown. Sample BBQ, enjoy live blues music and locally craft brew. It’s a family-friendly event.

TEDx Raleigh 2022, Nov 13, 2022

  • Where: Sheraton Hotel Raleigh
  • Time: 1-6pm
  • Cost: $80
  • Website:

Time to hear innovating new ideas and inspiration from those in our community. There’ll be 10 speakers, with 10 ideas, presented in 10 minutes on the theme of Bridging the Divide.

ACC Men’s Soccer Championship Finals, Nov 13 2022

  • Where: WakeMed Soccer Park
  • Time: Noon
  • Cost: $10 | Under 18 free
  • Website:

We celebrated the women’s finals, now time to support the Men’s soccer championship with the finals played in Cary! Let’s hope we have a local college team in it!

Week 3: November 14 – 20, 2022

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, Nov 18, 2022-Jan 8,2023

lit up dragon at the Chinese Lantern Festival
Image courtesy of visitraleigh.com
  • Where: Koka Booth Amphitheatre
  • Time: Mon.-Sun., 6-10pm; performances: 7pm, 8pm and 9pm, nightly
  • Cost: Start at $11
  • Website: BoothAmpitheartre.com

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival has exploded in popularity over recent years. So plan well and buy your tickets in advance. The festival has hundreds of larger-than-life lanterns on display creating an incredible, colorful adventure for you to walk through during the holiday season. 

More than 15,000 LED lights make up 20 distinct displays, including a 200-foot-long, 21-foot-tall mythical creature that sits on Symphony Lake. Hopefully this is the year we finally attend!

Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration, Nov 18

family sitting in front of the Christmas tree at duke energy center
The Tree!
  • Where: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Time: 5:30-8pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

A great way to kick-off the holiday season is the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Raleigh at the Duke Energy Center. 

The tree will be surrounded by the Triangle Pop-Up holiday market and a stage with live performances. You can do some Christmas shopping, have photos with Santa, and dance to a few Christmas tunes. 

Portions of this event will be televised live on ABC-11. Check your local municipality for their annual tree lighting celebration as well. North Hills and Cary have popular ones. (you can of course visit them all!)

Raleigh Christmas Parade, Nov 19, 2022

Ladies in costumes in a parade
  • Where: Hillsborough to Fayetteville St Downtown
  • Time: 9:30am
  • Cost: Free
  • WebsiteGRMA.org

We were quite impressed with Raleigh’s Christmas Parade last year. It’s incredible to see the extent people go to to present their businesses or creative ideas on dozens of floats that include marching bands, twirlers, elaborately costumed Mexican dancers, cowboys and cowgirls riding through, hotted up cars, vintage cars, and of course, Mr and Mrs Claus. 

It is the largest Christmas Parade between Washington, DC and Atlanta and has been a much loved community event since it began in 1939.

The parade covers 1.4 miles beginning at Hillsborough Street at the intersection of St. Mary’s Street and ending at the bottom of Fayetteville St. 

Santa and Mrs Claus on sleigh flat waving to crowds at the Raleigh Christmas Parade

If you live in one of the smaller Wake County communities, check to see what your municipality is offering by way of Christmas parades. We know Cary and Apex both have a fun filled Christmas parade event. 

If you don’t want to deal with the cold and crowds (60,000+), you can watch from home starting at 9:30 AM by tuning in to channel 11, or online at ABC11.com

Video of Raleigh Christmas Parade 2021

27th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, Nov 19, 2022

Time to honor our Indigenous Peoples. This annual event has been held in honor of American Indian Heritage Month in North Carolina for over 25 years.

The festival includes multiple demonstrations, presentations, and performances highlight the traditional and contemporary artistic, scientific, historic, and cultural contributions of American Indians in North Carolina for over 14,000 years. 

Ice skating at THE RINK at Red Hat, Nov 19 – Dec 18

man holding beer with view of the  Raleigh Ice skating Rink

Where: Red Hat Amphitheater
Time: Various
Cost: $11 includes skate rental | $6 for non-skaters
Website: 

The Winter Wonderland returns to downtown Raleigh with The Rink for the second year in a row. The rink is quite small, so time your session to beat the crowds. It’s a lovely ambiance with the Christmas music and chill out areas surrounding the rink with comfy chairs, fire pits, games and beverages.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event, North Hills, Nov 19, 2022

  • Where: Common Area of North Hills
  • Time: 4-7 p.m. | Santa 6 p.m.
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website:

This year’s Tree Lighting event will feature a live Christmas band, kids crafts and activities, food trucks, a vendor village and live music with The Jason Adamo Band. The 41 foot Christmas Tree is lit amidst a joyous chorus of “Santa Clause Is Coming to Town.”

Parking will fill up fast so come early or take the complimentary shuttle running from Rosewater to the Main District continuously from 3:30pm to 7:30pm to help transport guests.

TOP TIP: If you go early and shop in North Hills from noon to 4 p.m. and spend $150, you’ll receive a free $25 North Hills Gift Card (one per person, while supplies last).

The Dessertery, Nov 19 – Dec 23, 2022

  • Where: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Time: Various
  • Cost: $15 (ages 2-6) $25 (Ages 7+)
  • Website:

This new Holiday experience in Raleigh is a family friendly holiday themed dessert café. which features elaborate holiday decor, all you can eat sweets and hot cocoa, plus live entertainment (on select nights)!

Magic and Mischief: A Wizard’s Market, Nov 19, 2022

girl and witch holding wands up to window Universal Orlando
Getting our Witch on at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Where: Fred Fletcher Park
  • Time: 1-6pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: 

Dress in your house colors and shop for enchanting homemade items, enjoy family-friendly performances, encounter mysterious characters and fantastic beasts, create magical crafts, and practice spells with professors from a certain famous wizarding academy.

WRAL Nights Of Lights, Late Nov 25 – Dec 24, 2022

Night of Lights, Dix Park
Image by DixPark.org
  • Where: Dorothea Dix Park
  • Time: Various time slots
  • Cost: $20+
  • Website:

Dorothea Dix provides the perfect backdrop for this magical holiday light show. Drive along a 1.3 mile route through through five themed lands of “holiday spirit” to see art installations, illuminated trees, and festival light displays. Don’t forget to look at the views of the Raleigh skyline as well. 

And if you don’t want to drive, they have evenings where you can walk or bike the route. Be ready to purchase your tickets in advance. It’s a popular event. 

Week 4: November 21 – 30, 2022 (thanksgiving week)

a cabin in the boone mountains
Our cabin in Boone last year

Eat Turkey. Drink Wine. Maybe some Beer. Watch Football. Spend time with loved ones.

Is that all your focusing on during this Thanksgiving week? Are you brave enough to travel during what is the busiest travel week of the year – for flights anyway.

Be sure to read our Holiday travel tips and you can see our lovely Thanksgiving getaway to Boone last year for some of your own ideas!

North Carolina Symphony: The Polar Express, Nov 23 & 25, 2022

girl with Polar Express golden ticket
The Polar Express experience in Bryson City
  • Where: Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center
  • Time: 4pm (23rd) 5pm (25th)
  • Cost: $29
  • Website:

How can you celebrate Christmas with a Polar Express experience. Baritone Scott MacLeod a chorus of children join the Symphony to bring this magical holiday tale to life at this festive family concert. Paintings from the book The Polar Express will appear on a giant screen above the stage.

READ MORE: What’s the Polar Express in Bryson City, NC like?

Dirty Dancing in Concert, Nov 25, 2022

woman holding cardboard cutout of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swazey
Nobody puts Baby in the corner!
  • Where:  Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Time: 8pm
  • Cost: $40+
  • Website:

Gen Xers, tell me you didn’t watch Dirty Dancing at least 10 times! Here is a new way to relive the magic of this 80s classic. Enjoy the digitally remastered hit film like never before on a full-size cinema screen, with a live band and singers performing the film’s iconic songs.

I’m such a fan, I even attended the annual Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure, North Carolina and had a blast!

Soccer Fan Fest, Nov 25, 2022

family posing in front of trophies
  • Where: Moore Square
  • Time: 11am-4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:

Time to celebrate soccer’s influence across the globe – it truly is the World’s Sport!

 Get in the game and play Knockerball, human foosball, Teqball and giant soccer! Hone your technique at the soccer skills clinic. Enjoy arts and crafts, international food trucks and a beer garden!

There will be a live viewing of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matchup, USA vs England, at 2pm on a giant LED screen. We’ll probably be at London Bridge for this screening, but may pop in for a bit (they’re right next to each other!)

Here are 8 places in the Triangle you can watch the FIFA World Cup Soccer

Hotels in Downtown Raleigh

overview of a hotel building
Residence Inn

If you visit Raleigh from out of town for any November 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:

What events in Raleigh do you have planned for November? Leave a comment if we’ve missed something you know of!

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