Are you looking for fun things to do in Raleigh this weekend? This weekly update, hand crafted by us, will help you plan for memorable moments with your friends, family, or even just by yourself.
We update this post every Tuesday to share the weekly events in Raleigh this weekend and until the following Monday. We try to cover a wide range of interests and will include suggestions on things to do that aren’t event based, like visiting a museum, or taking a hike!
Our weekly list offers a variety of options, including events, festivals, concerts, activities for both kids and adults, sports and seasonal events. We have something for everyone!
And if the event is good enough, we’ll share fun activities in the surrounding areas of the Triangle, including Durham, Chapel Hill and our close municipalities like Cary and Wake Forest.
Fun Events in Raleigh this weekend
Alright! Thanksgiving is over, now it’s time to get into the Christmas Holiday spirit. We drove through the Holt Road Christmas Lights yesterday, which were very impressive. You can read our guide to Christmas light displays in Raleigh.
We’ll help you prepare for the season with this Holidays in Raleigh guide – things may book out quickly so don’t delay!
We also have a LOT of incredible giveaways coming over the next few weeks and our massive 12 Days of Christmas giveaways kicking off on December 1st. There will be over $3K worth of prizes so click here to join our email community, so you don’t miss out!
We do our best to check information for each event is current. But please do your due diligence before visiting each event to check it’s not sold out, been cancelled, details changed, and of course, always check current prices! Check below for more ideas.
- GIVING TUESDAY: We have ideas on how to support the Raleigh community on Giving Tuesday. (But do it all year long!)
- A Motown Christmas is a powerful family-oriented show combining Motown’s greatest hits with everyone’s favorite holiday classics. Nov 28, 2023, Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts 7:30pm $34+ Tickets
- Home Free: Home for the Holidays Tour Nov 29, 2023, Martin Marietta Center. 8pm $20+
- Jon Lovitz, one of the best-known comedians for the last thirty-five years will be playing Raleigh Improv Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2-23 $35-$85
- Nov 30: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders, PNC Arena
- Better Days Live Music Series: Robby Peoples and J Candeed with Clay Conner Nov 30 at Hartwell House FREE but $5 donation suggested. , 5:00pm-8:00pm
- Illuminate Art Walk kicks off this weekend on December 1st, 2023, until January 5, 2024. Parts of the Fayetteville Street and Glenwood South districts transform with large-scale, interactive and light-based art pieces that are unique and family friendly.
- NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup Finals, Dec 1 will be the semi-final games between Florida State vs Clemson and BYU vs Stanford Those winners will play each other on Dec 4 for the Championship game 6pm $25+ Tickets
- First Friday is back downtown this Fri Dec 1st – combine it with Illuminate Art Walk and some sip and Holiday shop. Here’s our guide to First Friday.
- Another legendary Holiday event in Raleigh is the musical comedy, Cinderella at the Raleigh Little Theater. Dec 1- 17, 2023 $29+ Tickets
- Lighting of Wake Forest is on Friday, Dec. 1 and will have Santa arrive in a fire truck.
- Wendell Wonderland on Dec 1 will have a visit from Santa Claus, trolley rides through town, live music, hot chocolate, food trucks, a craft market and more.
- Dec 2: Canes Vs Buffalo Sabres, PNC Arena, 7pm
- The North Carolina Symphony and the North Carolina Master Chorale perform Handel’s Messiah at Martin Marietta on Dec 1 & 2, 2023 $30+ Tickets
- The “A Gift to Cary Celebration” on Dec 2, 2023, will be a full day of programming and events that will invoke all the wonder of the winter season and will live performances, Cary’s official tree lighting ceremony (6pm), unique photo opportunities, a skating rink, Santa’s workshop, which will offer a wide range of creative activities, and many more surprises. Check out the new Downtown Cary Park in our reel (it’s incredible)
- The 3rd annual Holiday Makrs Fest will be on Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh from 11am-6pm on December 2nd, 2023!
- The Holiday Market at NCMA with a selection of local artists in the plaza and live music. Browse the galleries, enjoy the museum park, and shop local! December 02, 2023, 11:00am-3:00pm
- Apex Rotary Christmas Parade on Dec 2nd.
- Cary Ballet Company Nutcracker at Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts Dec 2 various times. Tickets
- THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER (Dec 2, 2023) takes audiences on a journey that celebrates love, community, and the magic of the holiday season.
- Joel Lane Christmas Open House, Dec 2, 2023. Walk through the historic Joel Lane house – the oldest house in Raleigh – and talk to costumed re-enactors and volunteers. There will be kids’ crafts like tin punching, candle dipping, and doll making, FREE.
- Celebrate the 31st annual Boylan Heights ArtWalk, a holiday event we love! Walk around one of our favorite Raleigh neighborhoods perusing local artisan stalls set up in the streets and front yards. Sunday, December 03, 2023, 12:00pm-5:00pm
- Fuquay-Varina Christmas Parade is on Dec 3.
- Handmade Hanukkah Market, Dec 3, 2023, at Temple Beth Or 11am-3pm Jewish artisans will be selling their work including jewelry, baked goods, pottery, textiles, woodwork and more.
- The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, Dec 3, 2023, RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Comedy Queens of Christmas brings another year of fabulous spectacle, whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and annual favorites.
Ongoing Holiday Events
- A new Christmas Event in the Triangle for 2023 is the Wool E’s Winter Wonderland, hosted by WRAL and the Durham Bulls. The ballpark will be covered with 13,000 lights along 4 miles. Through December 31. $11+ Tickets.
- North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, Nov 17 -Jan 14. This is the year we finally get to see these magical light displays at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary – one of the hottest events of the Holiday / winter season. The festival has hundreds of larger-than-life lanterns on display creating an incredible, colorful adventure for you to walk through.
- Ice Skating at the Rink in Red Hat starts on Nov 18 – Jan 15 It’s a lovely ambiance with the Christmas music and chill out areas surrounding the rink with comfy chairs, fire pits, games and beverages. There are themed nights, special events, and igloos for rent! $15 includes skate rental $6 for non-skaters. Get tickets here. Santa will also be there in his special igloo until Dec19.
- Enjoy Skate the Square in Fenton. We love it and feel it has a magical Christmas vibe, similar to how Christmas in New York feels. November 5, 2023 @ 8:00 am – February 5, 2024 @ 5:00 pm $17 includes rental.
- The Dessertery, Nov 17 – Dec 23, 2023, loosen your belts; it’s time for the all you can eat Holiday themed dessert bar at the Kennedy Theater in Downtown Raleigh. $15 (ages 2-6) $28 (Ages 7+) You can read our review post from last year’s Dessertery.
There are lots of weekly events now opening up so be sure to check the ongoing events section next as we add in more each week!
Ongoing Weekly Events in Raleigh in Nov
- Historic Raleigh Trolley Tours are held every Saturday until December. Tours start at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
- Tour the Joel Lane House Weds- Fri weekly; 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1pm & Sat 1 pm, 2 pm, & 3 pm.$4-$8 Explore the beginnings of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, and the United States—from the colonial era, through the Revolutionary War, into the first years of a new nation at the oldest house in Raleigh
- Yoga in the Park is at Dorothea Dix every Monday at 6pm until Nov 6. It’s free but register in advance!
- Beer and Banjos is a free bluegrass music showcase, every Tuesday at 6:30pm at the Raleigh Times upstairs bar! Acts change each week.
- Open Mic at Goodnights every Wednesday at 7:30pm It’s your time to funny shine!
- Open Mics at Gizmo Brewery is on every Sunday from 3-6pm. Sit outside in the sun and enjoy the local talent on the outdoor stage with a cold brew.
- Art of the Brick: An Exhibition of LEGO® Art, the collection features work by artist Nathan Sawaya, which include over 90+ sculptures made from millions of LEGO® bricks. $19.90 Ongoing through November.
- That Station Artists Notes are held each Thursday, at The Corner at Centennial Campus, 5-7pm Each week they feature an artist on stage to not only play music, but also share what went into creating their songs. Food and beverage trucks onsite.
- Wednesday Wine and Weeds at Raleigh City Farm is one of my favorite volunteering opportunities in Raleigh. Get your hands dirty in our Pollinator and Food Gardens while sipping wine and other tasty beverages compliments of Sweet Peas Urban Gardens!
- If you like walking tours, this Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls walking tour may be a hit for couples who love to get their SPOOK on. Uncover the lurking ghosts and spirits of Raleigh on a guided paranormal walking tour. Stand as close as you dare to the Heck-Andrews House and listen to chilling tales of this city’s dark history.
- Raleigh Ghost Walk is at Dorothea Dix Park every Sunday evening at 8pm. From stories of lingering spirits haunting the grounds of North Carolina’s oldest insane asylum, to the charred bodies of orphans stuck in a fire, to reports of a vanishing body hanging from one of NC State’s best known landmarks. $10
- Midtown Farmers’ Market at North Hills is on every Saturday in The Commons starting at 10am. See a guide to North Hill’s here.
- Raleigh Drum Circle and Hoop Jam is on every Wednesday at Pullen Park
- Holly Springs Farmers Market are on every Saturday 9:00-Noon at the Holly Springs Cultural Center
- Cary Downtown Farmer’s Market is on Saturdays, 9am – 12pm at 200 E Chatham Street
- Downtown Rolesville Market is on Saturdays 9am – 1:30pm along Main St.
Have an event you want to submit? Here are our guidelines for event submission.
If you find this helpful, please share with your friends. You can subscribe to our free email community and get a free PDF download of our top festivals and events for 2023 (great for planning your epic year) and our christmas bucket list! All email members get this weekly update sent every Tuesday/Wednesday! Let us bring the good news to you!
But wait! We’ve got more ideas to help you plan your Raleigh weekend. If you can’t find things to do today in Raleigh, here are some more suggestions on things to do plus activities relevant for all year round.
Don’t forget to support local businesses during your Holiday Shopping! Here are a few ideas.
- North Hills Gift Guide
- Where to shop local in Downtown Raleigh
- 8 Record Stores in Raleigh
- Don’t forget our Christmas Giveaway Partners – they have great Christmas gifts!
enjoy These gardens for a stroll or Picnic
Spring is an sensory explosion! Time to soak up those colors and smells at the following Triangle gardens and parks
- Sarah P Duke Gardens in Durham are stunning! Don’t miss the tulip garden.
- JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State
- The Raleigh Rose garden
- Here are five more lovely gardens in Raleigh
- Dorothea Dix Park has lots of spots for picnics … views included
Want to go for a hike?
Any day is a good day for a hike, especially in Spring! Below are a few of our favorite trails in Raleigh. All of these are great for kids too:
- FOR LAKE VIEWS: The easy 3-mile paved loop around Lake Johnson
- FOR A FOREST IMMERSION: Loblolly Trail, Umstead State Park
- FOR UNIQUENESS: Hemlock Bluffs in Cary
- ART, NATURE & CITY: Enjoy this ultimate combo on the 6-mile one way Art to Heart bike trail
- FOR VIBRANT FALL COLORS: Company Mill Trail in Umstead State Park
Rain in the forecast? Try these indoor activities
Don’t despair, if there is rain in the air, there’s plenty of activities in Raleigh this weekend you can do indoors:
- RALEIGH’S BEST ATTRACTION: We think the free NC Museum of Art is Raleigh’s best foot forward. If the sun peaks out head to their fantastic sculpture park for some outdoor fun!
- NC’S MOST POPULAR MUSEUM: The free North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is perfect for a rainy day for all ages. Learn more about the world we live in through fun exhibitions and interactive displays.
- FOR SPORTS LOVERS: The NC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates excellence in athletics and commemorates and memorializes exceptional accomplishments in sports. It’s located on the third floor of the NC Museum of History. Here is a list of our favorite sports bars in Raleigh, if you want to catch a game with other sports lovers on the weekend!
- FOR KIDS: You can’t go past Marbles Kids Museum for younger kids. Defy Gravity, Urban Air, and are two fun indoor amusement zones. You also can’t go past the movies, and bowling (check out King’s in North Hills) Here’s a full list of things to do with kids in Raleigh and a list of things to do in Raleigh with teens.
Looking for places to eat in Raleigh this weekend?
- BRUNCH. It’s the weekend, of course you want a long lingering brunch with peeps you love. Check out these memorable Raleigh brunch spots. We recently experienced the new brunch at Gringo a Go Go and highly recommend.
- BREAKFAST: If you want to be more traditional, here are some of our favorite breakfast places in Raleigh.
- Looking for a date night restaurant? We love Crawford & Son, Second Empire Tavern, Las Ramblas. See more date ideas here.
- LUNCH: Here’s where you can find some of the best sandwiches in Raleigh
- MORNING COFFEES have never tasted so good at these Raleigh coffee shops the locals love! Don’t miss our very favorite Fount Coffee & Kitchen.
- DRINKS: Want a view with that cocktail? Try these rooftop bars with a view. We love these Wine Bars in the Raleigh area and here are some breweries in Raleigh.
- BURGERS: We love Burger Village on Glenwood Ave for their gourmet, exotic grass-fed burgers and organic food!
Feel like a day trip?
Who wouldn’t? Vacations don’t always have to involve a plane trip and overnight stay. They can be refreshing adventures just a short car ride away. If you’re looking for getaways from Raleigh this weekend, consider these:
- JOHNSTON COUNTY: At only 20-40 minutes’ drive away, you’ll find a unique cultural escape in Johnston County. It’s not all farmland fun. There are vineyards, fantastic restaurants, and classy whiskey bars. Check out our date day experience in Joco and fun day out with kids, and a day in Pine Level and Princeton. And don’t miss our 15 fun day trips from Raleigh.
- SMALL CITY BREAK: Full of art, culture, food, and local experiences, Durham is always a fun day trip from Raleigh. Here are some ideas on things to do in Durham. We also love the Pinehurst area!
What about a Cozy Winter Getaway
You may be tempted to hide away inside all winter, but a trip away can do the world of good!
Check out our:
- Winter vacation to the Crystal Coast
- Things to do in Manteo on Roanoke Island
- Amazing things to do in North Carolina for Christmas
- Things to do in Boone, North Carolina
- 48 hours in Downtown Asheville
- 10 exciting family winter vacation ideas
- Escape the cold to the Exuma Islands!
Visiting Raleigh this weekend for an Event?
If you’re visit Raleigh from out of town for any weekly events, here are our recommendations for accommodation in downtown Raleigh.
- Residence inn Downtown Raleigh – fantastic location and big suites
- StateView Hotel – hidden away in a forest on NC State’s Campus
- Check out 10 of our short-term rental favorites
If you are visiting from out of town and have a few extra days, here are some itinerary guides to help you plan out your days exploring Raleigh:
There you have it, all the cool things to do in Raleigh NC this weekend. Leave us a comment below if you have any events this weekend in Raleigh we should know about?
Tell us what you’re doing this weekend in Raleigh? Anything we missed or can include next week for you!