Offline: The best things to do in Durham this September

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

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September is a month of mixed feelings-we've got to kiss summer goodbye, but that means we also get to head straight for fall! Is that pumpkin spice we smell?

Cheer On the Bulls

Bull City essentials: top notch sports with a dash of personality. Enjoy a few hours of American entertainment in the heart of Durham courtesy of the Durham Bulls.

Whether you played ball as a kid or not, there's something evocatively nostalgic about a hometown baseball game. From the smells and noises to the traditions and entertainment, baseball has that little bit of magic that just can't be replicated by other live entertainment experiences-and the Bulls offer the best in the area!

Anchoring the renovated American Tobacco Campus in downtown, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park brings in thousands of energetic fans every season to watch the home team battle. Due to the inimitable location, it's accessible to parking, great restaurants, and great bars. There's also nothing ""minor league"" about the Bulls stadium, except that it will only set you back a few bucks to get your nose in the action. The price of a major league ticket will get you the best seats in the house in Durham.

The entertainment itself is A+ for the whole family. Besides the on-field action, the Bulls are always thinking of inventive new ways to keep you entertained during the 7th inning stretch and in-between innings, with themed game-nights, summer fireworks, dog days and great eats at all times. If you can, try to grab a picture with Wool E. Bull, one of the best minor league mascots in the country. But that's not all-as of 2015, DBAP has a concessions stand with Rise's delicious donuts and a Bulls' very own brewery-the Durham Bulls Beer Co.-overlooking the entire park. It's gonna be a great summer. (Photo via @bgoodraleigh_nc)

Get Bulltown Bluesy in the Park

Bull Durham Blues Festival returns to Durham for a weekend's worth of local tunes and crooners, reminding us all that NC's really where it's at when it comes to fine music.

Get in touch with your local roots by indulging in a weekend of Piedmont-style blues. New to the area? No time like the present to really get to know it! The fact that NC has a bustling music scene comes as no surprise to us, but the 28th Annual Bull Durham Blues Festival will shed a whole new light on what you knew, or thought you knew, about blues.

On Saturday the Hayti Center, a beautiful church repurposed into a social, cultural and artistic hub located in the area formally known as "Black Wall Street", opens its stage for a VIP, featuring guitarist and harmonica player Grady Champion, vocalist Jean Carne, drummer and band leader Norman Connors and saxophonist Kim Waters. Note, Saturday isn't free! Ticket prices range from $40 to $50, but all seats in the house guarantee you a killer view of the venue's unique interior and of the band.

On Sunday all performances, including Grady Champion, Jason Damico and Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen, will take place en plen air in Durham Central Park for FREE! Grab your lawn chair, snag a bite and chill under the sun with some great local talent. (Photo via @nayojones)

Celebrate Caribbean Culture at Jerk Fest

At this festival, the only thing hotter than the jerk chicken coming off of the grills is the Caribbean sounds coming from the stage. Come for the 5K and stay for all-day, festival fun!

CaribSplash is coming at you with a day of Caribbean culture, food and music. Groove to tunes by Jamrock band, Dub addis and Syychronic Sound while you watch chefs from around the country battle for ultimate bragging rights in the Jerk cook off! Oh, and you'll want to bring the kids along for the bouncy houses and face-painters.

Feeling competitive? The Jerk Fest is your answer. Kick off the day with the Jerk Fest 5K run (or walk!) then settle in for one feisty domino tournament. If you didn't get enough good eats at the Caribbean food court, maybe you'll want to give the Jerk wing-eating contest a try.

Entrance to the event is free, but there is a fee for 5K registration. Get the latest on the festival by checking out their Facebook page. (Photo via @Mr.910)

Celebrate Local at the Move Loot B'Day Bash

Local vendors and entrepreneurs gather together to celebrate the first year anniversary of Move Loot. Expect cute gifts, good vibes and an unforgettable time! "Move Loot, a hip little used furniture business in Raleigh & Durham, turns 1! They're gonna do it big for their birthday and invite all their best friends: Edge of Urge, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Sangha Teahouse, The Makery and Big Spoon Roasters, plus local artists and artisans will come under one roof for the best dang birthday bash! Come on over to Motorco for a night of local entrepreneur lovin', hang out with the community and take home something rad from the party. With vendors like these, you won't be disappointed!

Location: Motorco Music Hall, Durham. Attendance is free. (Photo via @moveloot)

Celebrate Local Art at CenterFest

Every year in downtown Durham, 24,000 people, 140 visual artists and over 70 performing acts converge over a two day period. If you love art, music, competition, food or beer, you don't wanna miss it!

Spend your weekend discovering art in the streets of Downtown Durham for the 41st annual CenterFest. Organized by the Durham Arts Council, this Bull City tradition brings together local artists, vendors, artisans, performers and everything in between for a weekend-long arts extravaganza. Roam every nook and cranny of Downtown and you're bound to find some truly amazing stuff, not to mention plenty of items you can take home and turn into the perfect gift. From clay sculptures to drawings, wood cutting, jewelry, glass blowing and dancing, anything at CenterFest is fair game-just be creative! Go ahead and bring the whole family 'cause kids have plenty of hands-on activities to stay entertained. And no event is complete without delicious locally-sourced snacks and international cuisine. And best part yet? It's all completely free to attend, though a $5 donation is highly encouraged in support of the Bull City Art Scene. (Photo via @leighannewhite)

Rev Your Motors at Bull City Rumble

Take to the streets for NC's biggest and globally-acclaimed vintage motorcycle rally. Bull City Rumble adds a world-renowned rally and the timeless aesthetic of vintage motor vehicles to your Labor Day plans. Starting with a party at the Green Room on Friday, the rumble moves to downtown on Saturday, with a motorcycle breakfast at Parker & Otis at 11a, a bike show in Brightleaf at 1p where you can admire all these retro hunks of metal, and a retro-style burlesque show and after party at Social at 5p.

Got a bike you wanna show off? Register here for $20. Wanna just chill and look at some super cool bikes? That's free! (Photo via @shakeyourshitmachine)

Serendipitously Find Old Treasures and New Designs

Whether you're looking for a gift or searching for yourself, you're sure to find something fun and funky from vintage vendors and new designers at this monthly art market. The Durham Patchwork Market is back for the spring. What's new? You'll now catch the market on the the first Saturday of the month and you'll find 'em at Fullsteam!

>Check out this video of the awesome makers participating in the market!

We've got some good news Durham dwellers! They may call themselves "mini" but they seem pretty mighty to us because this market has all your bases covered: ceramics, jewelry, candles, leather bags, headwear, vintage finds, new designs and more. Check their Facebook to learn more about who will be there and to scope out what goods you'll be walking away with.

The mini-market is the perfect opportunity to scoop up original gifts for friends, family or yourself-we certainly have a feeling we'll be leaving with a lil' somthin' for ourselves. Treat yo'self! (Photo via @juniperbaymetals)

Adults Only: Get Educated on Beer Science

Museum After Hours presents Science of Beer, where beer savants and science geeks come together and have a grand ole' time. Beer is fine and dandy, but beer science is where the real fun's at! Come to the Museum of Life and Science for a night dedicated to all things beer! Beer tastings, workshops, hands-on experiments and local craft brewers await you-but only if you're over 21!

Grab your tickets here -members for $30, everyone else for $35, and VIP treatment is $100 (more drinking samples and food for you!). Each ticket will get you a commemorative After Hours tasting glass. And don't forget the food trucks! Pie Pushers, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli will all be on-site. (Photo via @m.es_trill_a)

Run Proud at the Pride 5K

Lace up your sneaks and don your finest rainbowed running gear for this 5K pride run (or walk!) around Duke's East Campus. The 31st annual NC Pride festival is kicking off with a little bit of exercise. Sprinters, walkers and race cheerleaders out there-you are all welcome! Meet at the corner of Main Street and University Drive, and then enjoy a jog around the beautiful Duke University campus.

Don't forget to stick around-the run is just a warm up for the NC Pride Parade! (Photo via @terrikohler)

Get Down at Labor Day Music Fest

Rock Quarry Park opens its fields for a Labor Day music bash you won't soon forget. Bring out your lawn chairs, your tents, and get comfy-it's a bout to get groovy. Rock Quarry Park is turning up for Labor Day with a whole day's worth of performances by Jus Once Band, a local R&B ensemble, Dej Loaf, female singer and rapper from Detroit, and Lloyd, critically acclaimed crooner and rapper best known for laid-back tunes like I Want You. Get your early bird tickets for $30 here and get ready to sway your way into September. (Photo via @gloriavgorham)

Labor Day Weekend Food Truck Rodeo

Enjoy live entertainment, view arts and crafts, and chow down at over 40 food trucks! Come hungry to Durham Central Park's Food Truck Extravaganza, you'll surely leave happy! "Durham Central Park's Food Truck Rodeos feature live entertainment and over 40 local food trucks. Plus, this is the Triangle's original food truck rodeo (i.e. the one that started this vehicular cuisine craze). Tasty trucks that have come in the past include: American Meltdown, MaMa Dukes, Pie Pushers, Porchetta, Fosters, Chez Moi Bakery and OnlyBurger. You can always count on being able to get a cold glass of locally brewed beer at the rodeo, and you're allowed to bring (wo)man's best friend-provided that your dog is on a fixed leash.

A lot of food trucks accept credit cards, but you might want to bring some cash just in case, as well. We also recommend that you bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on while you eat-unless you enjoy standing up while you munch, of course.

Get Proud at the NC Pride Parade

Durham plays host to over 10k supporters and celebrators for NC's largest pride parade. Outfit recommendations: the more colorful, the better! "Pride has a long history in Durham, starting with North Carolina's first Pride parade in 1981. Now the gathering has morphed into the largest pride event in the three-state area, including South Carolina and Tennessee!

So come on out in the sun and join a bazillion supporters, vendors and community groups in a city-wide extravaganza of conferences, parties, music, marching and celebrating! If you don't know where to start, just jump into the parade (1pm-5pm, meeting at the entrance of Duke's East Campus) and bring your biggest smile-trust us, the happiness is infectious! (Photo via @casshagan)

Dance and Drink with BCBB for Octoberfest

Have yourself a thoroughly Durham Octoberfest celebration with burgers, live music, street dancin' and, you guessed it, beer! Celebrate Octoberfest in September with great brews and great beer! Bull City Burger and Brewery is throwing its very own German-style street party, with live music, dancing, a kids area, burgers, brats (duh!) and a special Tierstadt Octoberfest Lager. You'll have to pay for the beer and food, but the live music and festivities are free! Oh, and any bucks you use to buy brats, burgers, or beer will benefit Habitat for Humanity in Durham. (Photo via @bullcityburger)

Ball Out with Bros Vilgalys

Help the Bros at your fav Durham distillery upgrade their space from 'concrete box of booze' to a swank pad you actually want to spend time in. "The bros behind Brothers Vilgalys Spirits are launching a Kickstarter campaign to help spruce up their space. They're going for less of a concrete box feel and heading in a more plush, good vibes direction. What's the best way to kickoff a Kickstarter? A party, duh. Come out to play some games, snack and drink some damn good drank!

Please register using the registration link on Eventbrite. (Photo via @ashleyjanemc)

Sip in Style on Labor Day

Alley Twenty Six wants to give you the fanciest Labor Day ever-with live music, cocktails, and a mele of local eats that'll make you swoon. Alley Twenty Six wants you to get swanky this Labor Day. Come down to this stylish cocktail joint and drink signature bevs while indulging in phenomenal local cuisine. Not only is it the closing of a (much needed) three-day weekend, but Chef Bill Smith of Crooks Corner (Carrboro) will also be releasing his coveted Crabs & Oysters book, which calls for a celebration with reds, whites and micheladas and eats by chefs from all around (Dashi, Mateo, Vin Rouge, Scratch, SaltBox and Watt's among the highlights!). Find your tickets here -$75 will secure you all drinks and a copy of Smith's book. A live jazz trio will serenade every sip you take and provide all the good vibes needed for a phenomenal time. (Photo via @animinimal_ist)

Live It Up at Lemurpalooza

Picnics and lemurs-can't think of a better pairing! Add a little philanthropy and you've got yourself the greatest day ever! Who doesn't love lemurs? If you've yet to trek your way into the Duke Forest to visit Durham's most beloved little tropical critters, this is your time! And if you're a regular, you won't wanna miss this either. Lemurpalooza brings together foodtrucks, philanthropy, and fuzzy friends all in one place. Bring a blanket and lounge on the lawn for a picnic-you can either nosh on NOSH burgers (veggie too!) and other food truck fare, or you can bring your own snacks-and then stroll around the center to meet these crazy creatures. Usually the Center is guided-tour-only, but on Lemurpalooza you can take your own time while checking out the lemurs, which is really sweet if your packin' kids! Top it all off with live music from Too Much Fun and call this the best day ever. Tickets are $50 per car and all proceeds go toward keeping the DLC alive and the lemurs in good health and happy spirits. Hanging out with furry friends and giving a helping hand? Now that's a reason to smile! (Photo via @khwelser)

Kickoff Oktoberfest Month at Motorco

Labor Day isn't too early to start celebrating Oktoberfest-it's just a great time to celebrate! New music with an industrial setting? Hell yeah. Get a beer or a dark & stormy in hand and rock on, homie. Motorco's stage is always featuring up-and-coming, local and wild-n-random shows from all genres and backgrounds. Here's the place you're most likely to find your newest musical obsession-but you can also watch other kinds of performances, like story slams, dance performances, group TV show viewings, and burlesque theater!

About Motorco:

Motorco is a staple in the Durham scene, and for good reason-we see it as the Renaissance man of Durham venues. It's do-it-all attitude makes it a go-to spot if you're looking for good food, good drink or a good time. Parts & Labor covers the eat portion of this mix. They serve a delicious mix of items inspired by global street food. They also serve a small, but solid selection of local and craft beers, as well as cocktails.

Motorco Music Hall covers the entertainment-and they really cover it. They host concerts, TV viewing parties (for series like The Walking Dead), themed throw downs, handmade markets, comedy shows, film festivals and more. (Photo via @katie_mccaskill)

Get Down at the Great Big Dtown Oktoberfest

Every year Motorco brings a bit of Bavaria to Durham with brats, beer, music, dancing, and a mini-parade. Don your lederhosen and bring out das boot!

(Photo via @pattychase919)


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