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8 Fun Things You Will Love and Need to Do in Raleigh, NC

View of Downtown Raleigh, NC

Are you moving to Raleigh? Are you a local looking for fun things to do in Raleigh, NC this weekend? This city is a perfect mix of city vibes and that down-to-earth Southern spirit. People create and uplift so much of a city’s culture, and there are lots of things to discover and explore in a city like Raleigh. Don’t miss out on the fresh, diverse way of life that Raleigh has to offer! There are always things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC, and there are things to do in Raleigh for adults. Whether you are living here or just visiting, here are the eight things you need to do while you are in Raleigh, NC.

1. Visit a local art museum in Raleigh, NC

Are you someone who enjoys looking at art around a city, indoors or outdoors? Outdoor art is often representative of a city’s distinct style, and it plays an important part in curating a city’s identity and footprint in the world. Raleigh offers a variety of art at its museums and galleries.

North Carolina Museum of Art

With galleries, education studios, and special exhibitions, this museum celebrates art in a myriad of creative ways. It explores art indoors and outdoors, making it interactive and accessible for all audiences. Not only does this museum have art; it also has a restaurant, coffee bar, and features concerts and films. Outside, it showcases the largest museum art park in the country, Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park. This park would be a great place to take your family. In addition to its trails, this outdoor park has art installations and a live music venue. Housing the Southeast’s largest collection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, this museum is a must-visit.

Contemporary Art Museum

Located in the Warehouse District in downtown Raleigh, Contemporary Art Museum is a non-collecting multimedia art gallery. Its mission is to seek contemporary artists and showcase works that are current, relatable, and representative of what is going on in the art world on a local level. Constantly changing its exhibits, its curation is focused on uplifting today’s artists and the works they create.

2. Get some fresh air at the parks and gardens

Do you love being outside in nature? If you do, some more fun things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC include visiting Raleigh’s parks and gardens. If you are a park-goer, you should hit up Pullen Park, Historic Yates Mill County Park, or Lake Crabtree County Park.

Pullen Park is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks and is a fantastic way to spend the day with the kids and family. It offers a carousel, miniature train, pedal boats, tennis courts, art center, performing arts venue, and baseball fields. Within the 174 acres of Historic Yates Mill County Park, there is a wildlife refuge and an environmental research center — complete with hiking trails, a pond, and a gristmill. Admission to this park is free, but the tour of the gristmill is not. Last but not least, Lake Crabtree County Park is the ideal spot for hikers, kayakers, and mountain bikers with its nature trails and boat rentals. It also has playgrounds, picnic areas, and a fishing pier for those who just want a spot by Lake Crabtree to relax with friends or family.

Are you someone who loves beautiful and rare plants? If so, you will love Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden. Preserving botanic diversity, Juniper Level Botanic Garden houses over 27,000 kinds of rare and exotic plants, local perennials, and odd, uncommon specimens of trees and shrubs. Moreover, Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden is a historic garden blooming with 60 different kinds of roses from late May until fall.

Take a stroll through these charming gardens, and be amazed by their life and beauty.

3. Fun things for adults to do in Raleigh, NC

Looking for fun things to do in Raleigh, NC this weekend? Are you looking to check out some bars or breweries? If so, you’re in luck! Raleigh has great cocktail and craft beer selections at its bars and breweries. Want to make an adventure out of it? Whether you are in a group or by yourself, here are some ideas to make it fun for everyone.

Raleigh Beer Trail

Join the Raleigh Beer Trail. There are over 25 local breweries to visit in Wake County.

To participate, you will need a Raleigh Beer Trail Passport, which you can download online. The passport also has information on all the participating breweries in the area. When you get to a brewery, show them your passport to get a stamp on its corresponding square. The more breweries you visit, the more prizes you can get.

You get a prize for every five breweries you visit, up to fifteen of them. If you visit fifteen, you are truly a champ! You get a Raleigh Beer Trail T-shirt with the other two prizes.

Don’t forget: you have to be 21 years old to participate and to receive those prizes. You don’t need to purchase a beer at every brewery, and you definitely don’t have to be a beer connoisseur. Learn about different types of beers on those free tours, and have fun hopping between breweries.

Raleigh Beer Garden

Create your own Raleigh beer trail or bar crawl! One of the places you should definitely go for some good beer is Raleigh Beer Garden. In downtown Raleigh, it has the world’s largest draft beer selection, which changes often, with outdoor space and a rooftop garden. If you get hungry, this beer garden also has handcrafted pizzas, charcuterie plates, burgers, sandwiches, and more.

The Green Light

End your bar crawl at The Green Light! Voted as one of the country’s best speakeasies by Architectural Digest, The Green Light is a bar that is unconventional in the best way. Open until 2 a.m., this bar is located in Downtown Raleigh, in a secret room behind a hidden door. Settled in a 1922 building, it has character, with its entrance hidden behind a bookcase in the Architect Bar. With its dim lights and unique setup, this cozy spot serves up a fantastic lineup of specialty cocktails and craft beers.

4. Hit up a local market or food hall

If you have the time, you should visit some of the city’s markets, which have more fun things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC! Some fantastic markets that you will have to drop by are the Raleigh Flea Market and the State Farmer’s Market. Your kids will love the food and quirky items!

Open every weekend, the Raleigh Flea Market hosts more than 500 vendors selling antiques, handcrafted goods, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and more. If you are interested in purchasing some unique, handmade items, this is the place to be. You won’t want to miss it! Also, the State Farmers’ Market in Raleigh is overflowing with fresh produce, flowers, fruits, meats, and specialty items. Swing by and pick up some fresh, locally grown fruits that are in season. The State Farmers’ Market has something for everybody, from 9 a.m. ’til 5 p.m. every day.

Speaking of food, Morgan Street Food Hall recently opened in the Warehouse District. Trendy and inventive, it is a food and vendor hall with about 20 different stalls serving a diverse range of food from local eateries, restaurants, and retailers. If you are hungry, this is the place to go!

5. Drop by the state fair and festivals

Do you love the food, exhibits, and performances at fairs and festivals? More things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC include wandering through the fun at the fairs and festivals.

North Carolina has a state fair that takes place in Raleigh in October. It is the largest state event showcasing livestock shows, arts and culture, and agricultural exhibits. Also, there are plenty of entertaining activities, including musical performances and amusement rides and games. It is a state tradition that brings many people to Raleigh every year, and it might be just as fun for you, too.

In the spring, summer, and fall, Raleigh hosts a variety of festivals. These major festivals elevate Raleigh’s culture and are centered around things like local food, beer, arts and crafts, and music. Summertime means it is time for Raleigh’s International Food Festival and the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival just outside of Raleigh. Fall means the return of Triangle Oktoberfest. Keep an eye out for these seasonal festivals!

6. Explore the trails

Do you like to hike or bike? Are you a morning runner? If any of that sounds like you, you will love the Art to Heart Trail, Neuse River Greenway Trail, and Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Beginning at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Art to Heart Trail is a path linking the museum to the heart of downtown Raleigh. With boardwalk areas and suspension bridges, the Neuse River Greenway Trail is a paved greenway open to joggers, walkers, runners, and cyclists. As a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, this trail has scenic views of the Neuse River. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail has been dubbed North Carolina’s hiking trail. Connecting the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, it is the state’s longest hiking trail. The trails are a huge part of what Raleigh and its culture have to offer with the stunning views and driven community.

7. Stay active in NC

Stay active: the fun kind, of course. If you are looking for some creative, interesting ways to stay active with friends, then the Triangle Rock Club and Drive Shack are places you must try out.

Triangle Rock Club

Lead and top-rope climbing, bouldering, fitness, and yoga: this place has it all. As a trailblazing indoor climbing and fitness center, Triangle Rock Club has climbing camps, training hundreds of climbers every month. With 100 climbing lanes and walls spanning 55 feet, you can do group visits and host birthday parties there. They also offer yoga and Pilates classes, different types of fitness classes, programs for kids, and more. Moreover, there is also an adult ropes league, where you can compete with a team of friends against other teams on the walls weekly. There is something for everyone here, no matter what level you are at.

Drive Shack

A three-story driving range with 96 private bays, a rooftop terrace, full bars, a chef-curated menu, Drive Shack is an interactive golf complex. Between I-440 and NC-54, it is a social entertainment venue combining golf and gaming technology through reality and virtual reality. Like Triangle Rock Club, Drive Shack also hosts social leagues, as well as boozy brunches, live music, and seasonal events. No matter whether you are a passionate golfer or a beginner, you are guaranteed to have fun practicing your swing and hitting virtual targets.

8. Fun things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC, especially during the weekend. You can go to Triangle Rock Club, spend an afternoon at Pullen Park, and bike the Art to Heart Trail. Since the Art to Heart Trail begins at the North Carolina Museum of Art, it would also be a great idea to visit the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park while you are there.

While these are all great ideas for things to do outdoors, there are plenty to do indoors, too! Here are some options for things to do with kids in Raleigh, NC.

Marbles Kids Museum

Designed to encourage discovery and imagination, Marbles Kids Museum believes kids learn and grow through play. Focusing on creating entertaining and educational moments, the museum incorporates hands-on exhibits, themed programs, and inspiring movies into its experience. This would be a fantastic way to help your kids connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other in a healthy way.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

A top attraction in Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast US. As the state’s most visited museum, it offers natural history exhibits, classes, and fun events that are devoted to science. This is also another engaging experience for kids as they learn about the world around them through programs and exhibits about natural habitats, geology, and more.

Go Ape in NC

At Go Ape, you can zip and swing through the trees. For ages 10 and up, Go Ape’s treetop adventure course includes zip lines, Tarzan swings, and obstacles as high as 50 feet in the trees, taking two to three hours to complete. Open March through November every year, this course is a fun, interactive experience for groups of families and friends. If you have younger kids ages four to seven, there are other courses that you can take them to at TreeRunner Adventure Park. Located in North Raleigh, the seven courses there also feature zip lines and Tarzan swings, as well as suspended bridges and over 70 obstacles. There is an adventure for someone at every age in Raleigh.

This city has a lot to offer on many levels with a diverse culture that is always expanding with more fun things to do in Raleigh, NC. You will love it here in Raleigh with its art, trails, parks, museums, and more. If you are moving to Raleigh, start your new adventure off right with a team of movers making your moving day smoother. We’ve got you at UniMovers.

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