Offline: The best things to do in Raleigh this September

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Wednesday, September 2, 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?

Shake Your Hips to the Jams at Hopscotch

The time for Hopscotch Music Festival is upon us again! Featuring 3 days of national and regional acts spanning every genre you can think of, this festival has a lil' something for every listener. Hopscotch Music Festival is setting up shop in Raleigh for its 5th edition September 10-12, and it's bringing new tricks this year. Featuring more than 140 bands over 3 days in downtown Raleigh, Hopscotch was recently called "America's (Secretly) Best Festival." C'mon Raleighites, you can't miss the secretly best festival when it's hosted in your own backyard!

Over the three days, shows will be -from a large outdoor main stage in Raleigh City Plaza to intimate clubs (13 walkable venues total) and cover almost every genre imaginable-rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental and everything between. In addition to nationally known names like TV on the Radio, Tycho and Godspeed You!Black Emperor, Hopscotch is bringing you the best in-state performers, as 40% of the line-up hails from NC. Check out their website for the full schedule. (Photo via @hopscotchfest)

Float or Paddle Down the Deep River

Just 40 minutes down the road, Endor Paddle Company is prepared to meet all your boating needs. Whether you're looking for a lazy float or an exciting ride through rapids, they have a trip for you! Located just outside of Sanford, Endor Paddle Company is here to help you escape city life and help you paddle our problems away. Go for an adrenaline rush with kayaking or rafting, or take things easy with a lazy river style floating. Adventures take place on the Deep River and the Haw River (for the more experienced boater). Peruse Endor Paddle's site and pick out a tour that fits your wants and needs!

Location: Endor Paddle, Sanford. (Photo via @heatherlagarde)

Create a Better World at the 9/11 Day of Service

Join hundreds of other Raleighites in honoring the memory of those lost on September 11. Choose a volunteer opportunity and then join the evening commemoration at Red Hat Amphitheater. Lots of folks remember where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001. The tragedies of that day live on in our memories. But now we have a chance to honor those lost by doing something positive for others. Join fellow Triangle-ites in volunteering during this year's 9/11 Day of Service. Sign up to volunteer at any time of the day and opportunities abound-from Habitat builds to social media ambassadors you can find something to suit your talents.

Wrap up the experience at 6 p.m. with live music, speakers and food alongside hundreds of other do-gooders at the 9/11 Day of Service Evening Commemoration in Red Hat Amphitheater. There's no cost to participate, but if you bring some non-perishable food donations to ""fill the truck"" for the Urban Ministries of Wake County's food pantry, you'll get extra do-gooder points. Activities include: writing letters to troops, packaging literacy kits, making blankets for the homeless and more. Please RSVP from this link so the organizers know how many to expect! (Photo via @bgoodraleigh_nc)

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)

Watch Ornate Puppetry In the Museum Park

These aren't your old-fashioned sock puppets! Paperhand Puppet Intervention is performing an intricate puppet and shadow performance to original live tunes in the gorgeous NC Museum of Art Park.

Each year when summer draws near, the NCMA amphitheater plays host to a summer-long music festival that features some of the world's finest singer-songwriters and outstanding musical ensembles from around the world. Throughout the series, thousands will grab a seat on the beautiful stone or in the surrounding woods, soak in the setting sun, and enjoy the sounds wafting from the nation's largest museum venue. From June until September, you'll find a variety of well curated acts, and occasionally, NCMA will show a movie afterwards that complements the show.

Tickets are normally less than $30 and can be found online through the Museum Box Office at (919) 715-5923, or in person during regular hours. Doors open 90 minutes before the show starts, get there early to secure a good seat! (Photo via @samtadams)

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)

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!

Pair Craft Beer & Music at Beericana

With over 50 breweries, hours of live music, and a ton of incredible people, Beericana is festival that you can't miss. Kickoff your fall with a couple of friends, brews, and some great memories! Music and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly-you're bound to find one where you find the other. Beericana expertly blends are two favorite things into a tasty, alcohol-based music mash-up. It's an experience so magical, it's hard to find the words to describe it!

This craft beer and music festival is filled to the brim with over 50 participating breweries that include many that you probably already love and a ton more that you've yet to try. You'll be up to your eyes in great music, too. All those tasty brews have been paired with equally fun jams from Empire Strikes Brass, Uncle Lucius and Dark Water Rising.

We'll be drinkin' and dancin' right there with you-rain or shine! Snag a ticket ($45 general, $75 VIP, or $15 for the good souls who volunteer as designated drivers) here.

Location: Sugg Farm Park, Holly Springs. (Photo via @cardiaccanekp)

Sprint to the Finish at the Oak City Mile

Come run (or watch) Raleighites dash down Hillsborough for the Oak City Mile. This race will likely only happen in America, a country fixated with the mile, but what a great distance it is! Raleigh has a tradition of hosting a 1-mile Sunday afternoon race held Downtown in September and this year it's alive and well with a new name and new course. Oak City Mile includes a Men's Competitive Mile Race (2p) followed by a Women's Competitive Mile Race (2:20p). Spectators are welcome-and you can bet that's where we'll be! We'll also be chillin' at State of Beer for the post-race social.

Note: You can pick up your registration at Runologie, but the race actually takes place near the railroad bridge on Hillsborough Street between the Edenton St. and Glenwood Ave. The Oak City Mile will be part of the Triangle Race Series. (Photo via @runologie)

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)

Acoustic event with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Richard Linklater's film Slacker

The NCMA presents its first Film: Acoustic event in partnership with the Modern School of Film. The special guest is singer-songwriter Ben Gibbard, the lead singer and guitarist for the indie-rock band Death Cab for Cutie, presenting Richard Linklater's film Slacker. After the screening Gibbard will talk about how the movie has inspired his artistic career and perform a few of his songs on acoustic guitar. "Each year when summer draws near, the NCMA amphitheater plays host to a summer-long music festival that features some of the world's finest singer-songwriters and outstanding musical ensembles from around the world. Throughout the series, thousands will grab a seat on the beautiful stone or in the surrounding woods, soak in the setting sun, and enjoy the sounds wafting from the nation's largest museum venue. From June until September, you'll find a variety of well curated acts, and occasionally, NCMA will show a movie afterwards that complements the show.

Tickets are normally less than $30 and can be found online through the Museum Box Office at (919) 715-5923, or in person during regular hours. Doors open 90 minutes before the show starts, get there early to secure a good seat!

Death Cab for Cutie with Twin Shadow

Red Hat brings top notch performers to a conveniently located outdoor amphitheater brimming with energy, local beer and good eats. Red Hat opened its doors in the summer of 2010, and since it's become a beacon for live entertainment in the Southeast. Located right on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh, it's just steps from a hub of bars, clubs, galleries and restaurants. The venue holds about 5,500 in a mix of lawn seating and traditional seating.

What's a good summer concert without a good beer? Not as fun. Thankfully, Red Hat stocks local brews from Lonerider and Carolina Brewery, as well as food from Empire Eats.

Ignite Raleigh with Local Artists at SPARKcon

This not-so-typical arts festival showcases local talent and lets you get in on the fun, too. You don't need to have an artist's eye to appreciate all that SPARKcon has to offer. Artists of all types (and we mean ALL types) will take over downtown Raleigh September 17-20 for the 10th edition of SPARKcon. The weekend long festival is sponsored by the non-profit, creativity incubator Visual Art Exchange, and will showcase hundreds of talented local creatives via exhibits, interactive events (for kids and adults), performances and more. Expect a wider range of creative disciplines than your typical arts festival, with sections such as geekSPARK, circusSPARK and tastySPARK.

Oh, and you don't have to stay on the sidelines-there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get in on the action (think digital scavenger hunts and chalking the streets). There will also be a bazaar where you can browse and shop for local brands, foods and fashions. Check SPARKcon's website for specifics about events, vendors, volunteering and more."

Location: Downtown Raleigh. (Photo via @jcbond92)

Expose Your Personality at CAM's BYOC Party

Exposure Time is a party full of photography and portraits. BYOC (camera, or smartphone) and CAM will do the rest! CAM is ready for you to ham it up at their annual Exposure Time event. It's a three day affair, but Friday stands out as the party with the most punch. Come celebrate the art of photography with local photographers, tons of props and your own camera (or smartphone). That's right, an evening of playing dress-up and all you have to do is provide the photo snapping device (and buy a ticket)! Capital Club 16 will be providing the eats, lucettegrace is bringing the sweets and Nick Neptune will be bringing the beats.

Exposure time continues on Saturday and Sunday with a Artist's Talk at 11a on 9/19 and Portrait Sittings all day Sunday (11a-6p). Prepare for everything from traditional to wildly untraditional portraits of you, your fam, friends, pets or coworkers. Grab a ticket here (all proceeds benefit CAM Raleigh exhibitions and programs).

Location: CAM Raleigh. (Photo via @capital_club_16)

Binge on Cocktails & Mayo with Piedmont Picnic Project

In honor of their one year anniversary, Piedmont Picnic Project is teaming up with Raleigh City Farm to bring you Family Reunion, an afternoon of mayo and cocktails (but NO mayo cocktails)! "How do you celebrate your one year? Why not throw the exact same event you threw to kick things off, but do it better? That's what Piedmont Picnic Project has planned. A year ago, they started things off with Cocktails & Mayonnaise and they're doing it again, but they're doing it bigger and better this time with a Wild Cocktail Bar with DIY Mix-Ins and a Favorite Mayo Dish Cook-Off. Come mix and mingle with your neighbors and grub on some mighty fine mayo fixins.

If you think you have a mayo dish with the mostest and want to compete entry is $10 (with all entry fees benefiting Raleigh City Farm) and the categories are mayo-based salad, mayo-based dessert and deviled eggs. Prizes are sure to be awesome! (Photo via @piedmontpicnicproject)

Go On an Oktoberfest Jog with ng

Calling all lads and lasses for this 8K charity jaunt around downtown! Free beers are awarded at the finish line and yes, lederhosen are strongly encouraged. The nOg Run Club and Bond Brother's Beer Co. are bringing back the Oktoberfest Run Green 8K. This race is all about eco-friendly fun and good ol' Irish cheer. Bring your fitness buds to help you get to the finish line! If you need a little more encouragement, don't worry-each runner can get pumped about live music and a free beer in Moore Square after the 8k.

Just for registering you'll be entered into a sweet raffle to win prizes like free entry into other NC road races and snazzy, new sneaks. The best part? All of the proceeds will help support our local community.

Location: Tr na ng Irish Pub, Raleigh. (Photo via

Creep Your Way Around BugFest

If it's creepy and crawly, chances are it's at this all-day affair at the Museum of Natural Science. The theme for 2015 is your favorite summer songster-the cicada! Jones Street, The Plaza, Edenton Street and four museum floors will be hopping with buggy fun. Displays have been put together by insect experts and six-legged specialists. We suggest cheerleading for a bit at the arthropod olympics.

Plates will be piled high with bug-filled dishes at Caf Insecta. What looks like an ordinary plate is actually culinary critters prepared by fantastic local eateries! Eek!

Stick around after the cicadas have started chirping (about 5 PM) to attend BugFest's Evening Insectival. There will be a fun line-up of nocturnal activities out on Bicentennial Plaza featuring live bands, street performers and good eats. Oh, and buzz on over cause admission is free :)

Eat, Drink & Dance at Farmstock

Head to Farmstock to eat, drink and be merry with local brewers, chefs and artists in support the local sustainable food system. Farmstock is a farm party at heart, but it's conveniently taking place in the confines of DTR at Raleigh City Farm. Get ready for an evening of good food, drink and music for a cause. Feast on veggie gumbo made by Chef Scott Crawford of Standard Foods or a Seafood Gumbo made with Locals Seafood. Beer is comin' atcha courtesy of Trophy Brewing, New Belgium and Southern Pines and if you scoop a VIP ticket you'll get unlimited drinks.

Local musicians will be bringing some down home flair with three acts: (Not) The Last Barn Dance, A Farm Opry and Lil' Baby Farm Aid. Grab a GA ticket for $25 or a VIP for $50.

Location: 800 N Blount St., Raleigh. (Photo via @newbelgium_rdu)

Boogie to Hillsborough Street Bluegrass

Tap your feet all over Hillsborough Street to the sounds of the best banjo-pluckin' and fiddle-playin' bands around. If your idea of music is acoustic, occasionally involves accordions, and heavy on the mandolin-this one is for you. Seven hours of continuous bluegrass will be bumpin' for your listening pleasure. With over ten bands on the line-up, stick around to hear faves like Lonesome River Band and The Church Sisters.

Raleighites can bop from Compiegne Park to Logan Court to Chamberlain Street for an afternoon of bluegrass vibes paired with local brews and food truck goodness. Bring the kiddos for some kid zone adventures, then check out the classic car collections or craft vendors with that special someone. (Photo via @liveitupraleigh)


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