The top 13 things to do in Raleigh this weekend, Sept. 17-20

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Thursday, September 17, 2015
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Our curated list of the best things to do the weekend of September 17th - September 20th. You've worked hard this week-go have a little fun.

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)

Treat Yourself to Chocolate and Hot Jams at Videri's Third Thursday

Videri Chocolate Factory is inviting you to their place every third Thursday for music, chocolate and surprise collaborations. Maybe you'll even get to meet Willy Wonka. If you're a chocolate lover then you're probably already familiar with the chocolate creations from Raleigh's own Videri Chocolate Factory. Now in addition to tasty treats, they're bringing you Third Thursdays, a sweet monthly event series. One Thursday a month, they're bringing local music and acts, new chocolate tastings and unique pairings together for a tasty time.

Check their Facebook for specific event details each month. (Photo via @orlandoparkerjr)

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)

Do the Time Warp at Rialto's Rocky Horror

If you're not easily spooked and like a little underwear running to accompany an evening at the theater, head to the Rialto for one of our fave cult classics. Originally produced in the 70s, Rocky Horror Picture show, a musical-comedy-horror film, has been intriguing moviegoers for decades. With a zany blend of science fiction and bizarre dialogues, it is good the first or the fortieth time you see it, and nothing sets the stage for this story better than Raleigh's oldest theater.

The show occurs every 1st, 3rd and 5th Friday of the month and kicks off at midnight, but don't worry-you'll stay awake as audience members are encouraged to participate. Just make sure you're following the basic rules. The guys at the Rialto also suggest showing up at 11:30 with your $6 CASH ready to go. Don't be surprised to see some whacky clothes and perhaps even an underwear run. Happy Rocky Horror, everybody!. (Photo via @eyannagruver)

Sunrise Yoga in the Cemetery

6:30am on a Friday isn't as scary when there's free yoga and coffee waiting-or maybe it is if it's goin' down in a cemetery? Happy & Hale is sending us into fall with one last sunrise yoga class! Happy & Hale is feelin' this fall weather so their sending off their Sunrise Yoga series with one last class in Historic Oakwood Cemetery. Pack up your mat and join local yogi Carrington Jackson at 6:30a for a totally unique class in the cemetery. Light bites and coffee will be provided by ivivva raleigh.

Use the entrance at Oakwood and Linden! (Photo via @yogimonroe)

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)

Laugh Out Loud at Dangling Loafer

We know you need a good laugh more often than once a month, but it's hard to pass up a cheap show. The Dangling Loafers perform stand up comedy once a month at Kings Barcade. On the third Friday of every month, the Dangling Loafers put on a stand-up show at the Kings Barcade-and it'll probably be the highlight of your month if you enjoy a good chuckle. You'll laugh a lot, and you'll definitely laugh hard (i.e. be careful when taking a sip of your drink during the middle of a joke, you might spray it everywhere while laughing). They bring in at least one featured comedian every month, along with some of the top notch local comedians! The show runs from 8-9:30 pm, so don't be late!

By the way, this is great date idea for settling those first date jitters and for people who are already coupled up and just want to wind down with some comic relief after a tough week!

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

Summer Movies in the Nation's Largest Museum Park

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)

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 :)

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)

Celebrate Summer's Harvest at Pop Up Supper Club

Celebrate NC's late summer's harvest with Supper Club in the Park, an intimate dinner prepped by two Raleigh chefs with wine pairings, dessert and the proceeds benefiting Raleigh City Farm. If you love dinner club for the good eats and camaraderie, but dread the dishes, Supper Club in the Park is what you've been waiting for. They do the cooking (and the dishes) and you do the eating, drinking and socializing. Chefs Brent Hopkins (Empire Eats) and Kim Hunter (Kimbap) are teaming up to prepare a meal made from veggies harvested from Raleigh City Farm and seafood from Locals Seafood. Raleigh Wine Shop will provide the wine pairings to heighten the meal even more. Oh, and this will all be presented in the lovely Nash Square!

The menu: field greens, radish, smoked green beans, hickory grove cheese, green goddess; snapper crudo, togarashi, melon, pickled pepper, yuzu vinaigrette, spicy radish microgreens; crispy pigs head fritter, charred peppers, pea shoots, pickled mustard seeds, smoked creme fraiche; puffed rice crispy treat, miso marshmallows, sesame ice cream, chocolate. Tickets are a little spendy at $80 a pop, but remember, you're doing to the eating and drinking and someone else is doing the dishes!

Location: Nash Square, Raleigh. (Photo via @foxtailandmoss)

Join the Sunday Ramble in Midtown Park

Head over to Midtown Park for sweet Sundays filled with bluegrass, BBQ and beer. Midtown Park in North Hills is wooing Raleighites with a sweet Sunday bluegrass series featuring some of the area's best pickers, plus BBQ, beer and a kids component too! For maximum comfort, bring your lawn chairs, blankets and coolers (but no outside alcohol) to lounge on the lawn.

Location: 4011 Cardinal Grove Blvd, Raleigh. (Photo via @midtownevents)


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