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Our curated list of the best things to do the weekend of September 3rd - September 7th. You've worked hard this week-go have a little fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy
There may be no better cheap summer experience in all of Raleigh. Recline under the stars with friends, family, or your SO while you enjoy a movie in the expansive and beautiful NCMA campus. Each year when summer draws near, thousands flock to the NCMA lawn to grab a seat, soak in the setting sun, and enjoy one of the best outdoor movie series in the state. From June until September, you'll find a variety of well curated flicks featuring recent Oscar winners, family favorites, and timeless classics. Though the crowds get large, the lawn itself provides and intimate vibe, and with a sizable projections screen for viewing, it's easy to get a seat towards the back. Occasionally, NCMA will bring in a band to complement the genre of the movie. Coolers and picnics are welcome, though alcoholic beverages must be purchased from the vendors themselves. We suggest coming early to avoid the crowds, and get a good seat. Once you've claimed your turf, take a brief stroll through the outdoor park. Movies are $5 and begin just after dark, at 9 pm through mid-August, 8:30 thereafter. Gates open 90 minutes before showtime and tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. (Photo via @andreavillanes)
Carolina Railhawks v Atlanta Silverbacks
Bring your pup to the game for Pups at the Pitch! Proceeds will benefit Second Chance Pet Adoptions. Soccer's more than the obligatory sport we're all shuttled through as kids! Now that we're all grown up, ftbol matches go hand-in-hand with a beer and some friends, just like its misnomer'd American counterpart (except with less time-outs and more vuvuzelas).
The Railhawks represent the Carolina's in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and carry a winning tradition, even against big-name teams like the LA Galaxy, and the MLS' FC Dallas! All home games take place at Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary, the regular host of the NCAA Final Four Division I soccer tournament. Even better, they play almost weekly during the spring, summer and fall months, so really you have no excuse not to go. Games are lively, fast-paced, and you'll even be able to perform your best TV sports announcer impression: ""GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL!" Check the full season schedule for more games!
Check Out First Friday
Experience art in all of its forms during First Friday in downtown Raleigh. From fire dancers to fine art First Friday promises to impress and entertain. First Friday is a free self-guided tour of downtown's cutting edge cultural hot spots. Local art galleries, art studios, alternative art venues, and museums stay open late the first Friday of every month to welcome thousands of art-seeking enthusiasts downtown. Visit the galleries and listen to live music. Delight in a divine culinary experience and take advantage of the First Friday specials offered by participating restaurants. Look for the First Friday Flags to easily locate participating venues and most importantly, have fun!
Check out the scheduled events and exhibits here. There's a lot to see, but CAM Raleigh is always a good bet and December's edition has some special holiday twists. Check out the Holiday Cheer & Local Gear market at HQ Raleigh if you're still looking for gifts!
The Saturday Market at Rebus Works
Stroll on over to the Saturday Market at Rebus Works to shop farm fresh produce, food truck delights and local crafts. The Saturday Market at Rebus Works occurs every Saturday morning behind the shop. This mini farmer's market features rotating local farmers, brewers, artisans, dog biscuit bakers and food trucks, as well as a few steady staples such as the LoMo Market. (Photo via @jaxelise)
Get Some Handmade Goodness at the Makers Market
Hit the Makers Market on the first Saturday of the month outside Benelux Coffee. Browse sweet handmade goods, feel the breeze and sip on something sweet from Benelux-sounds like a Saturday well spent. The Raleigh Makers Market is a monthly gathering highlighting amazing artisans, uniquely handcrafted goods and talented musicians. They'll be showin' off their smiling faces (and sweet handmade goods) every first Saturday of the month. Stop by, shop local, listen to some music, grab a coffee and meet the makers! (Photo via @carolinaquill)
Chicago - The Band & Earth, Wind and Fire
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, a 77-acre amphitheatre, offers fresh air and fabulous acoustics while hosting everyone from country all-stars to Wiz Khalifa. Since 1991, this venue has brought some of the biggest and baddest names in the music biz to Raleigh. The lawn is incredible-lay down a blanket, lounge and listen to the excellent sounds of this amphitheater space. Pre-show picnicking is encouraged, and there are tons of drinks and yummy snacks for sale inside.
Rain or shine, the show always goes on at Walnut Creek! They only schedule performances in the warmer months, though, so don't miss your chance to check out their awesome line-up this year. Tickets are available online! (Photo via @aclimbingvine)
Celebrate African American Culture in Downtown
The African American Festival returns to Downtown Raleigh for a cultural and educational weekend packed with performing arts, crafts and food. The annual African American Festival of Wake County takes over City Plaza once again. This free, family-friendly festival features a wide variety of visual artists, musicians, storytellers, vendors and food all hailing from African and African American communities in our area. If a weekend of fun, culture, education and great food sounds like a good time to you, then you know where to go! (Photo via @maedmonston)
Grub at the Raleigh Seafood Festival
Round up the family and head to the Raleigh Seafood Festival in Pullen Park. The event brings together all-you-can-eat Blue Crabs and family friendly entertainment. The Raleigh Seafood Festival is a two day event that joins local food vendors, live local bands, arts & crafts exhibits, park amusements and a great outdoor setting. If you're worried about missing out on the signature "All You Can Eat" Blue Crabs eating sessions, don't because you can get in on the action both days!
Grab your pass to Blue Crab feasting here. A portion of the proceeds from this festival will benefit Raleigh City Parks. Note: the festival runs Saturday & Sunday 11a-7p, but each crab eating session lasts two hours. (Photo via @chambredesucre)
Craft Beer & Comedy at The Hive
Comedians hit the stage every first Sunday of the month at Busy Bee. If you don't have faith in their funniness, craft beer and cocktails are sure to make everything more humorous. With craft beverages and comedy, you can't really go wrong hitting the Hive on the first Sunday night of each month. The event allows local funny people (they think they're funny, you can be the judge) to sign up and perform their stand up in front of a crowd. Sounds like the perfect way to wind down your weekend. Sign ups start an hour before the performance starts-check the schedule for exact times! (Photo via @k2they)
Flow for Free with Arrichion and Athleta
There's nothing better than free fitness! Flow for free with Arrichion's free vinyasa yoga class at Athleta. We'll battle the crowds at the mall if it means free yoga! Your Sunday morning just got better! Arrichion and Athleta are co-hosting a free vinyasa yoga class at their Crabtree Valley Mall store. Show up with a mat and get ready to sweat. The class is free and open to the public. (Photo via @katethegrr8)
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The best things to do in Raleigh this weekend, Sept. 3-7