It’s officially fall! Enjoy this crisp, cool weather with cozy meals, a pop-up skating rink, crafts to make or buy and theater to enjoy with friends and family.
by Addie Ladner
By November in Raleigh, fall is full-on — and even with that Carolina sun, there are a few truly chilly days. Fortunately, the City of Oaks offers lots of opportunities enjoy this fleeting season. Share a warm, delicious meal with friends at Fearrington House or Mulino, or generate some body heat skating at THE RINK at Red Hat. Grab the kids for a very pink theatrical performance — or your best girlfriends to shed some tears over a classic Southern story. Get a head-start the holidays by making a gift or visiting local crafters to find something truly unique… or through one of our favorite traditions, our extra-early Christmas Parade. Read on for more things to do in Raleigh this November.
Celebrate 40 Years of Fearrington House Restaurant with a Special Menu
Fearrington Village was first opened by world-traveling couple Jenny and R.B. Fitch in the 1960s. This month it’s celebrating the 40th birthday of the Fearrington House Restaurant with a special seven-course, wine-paired menu by Chef Paul Gagne. Enjoy dishes that blend classic Southern ingredients with French flair, like a Foie Gras Mousse with Apple Butter or Prosciutto-Wrapped Veal with Thumbelina’s Carrot Duxelle and Haw River Mushrooms. Use the special dinner menu as an excuse to make a day trip out so you can spend time walking through the gardens, perusing the titles at McIntyre’s Books or shopping at local boutiques.
All month | $175; 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro; fearrington.com
Experience James Cameron: Challenging the Deep
Famous for directing blockbusters like The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron is also an environmentalist and deep-sea diver — he’s even made a record-setting dive to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean. The traveling exhibition Challenging the Deep at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences shares his explorations. Get up close with artifacts and specimens Cameron has collected over the years, like a jar of crustaceans collected from the Mariana Trench. Learn about the underwater technologies used on his expeditions and enjoy mesmerizing imagery from his travels. And don’t worry, Titanic fans: There will also be props and costumes from the film, including the iconic Heart of the Ocean “diamond.”
All month | From $16; 11 W. Jones Street; naturalsciences.org
Step Inside an Ancient Egyptian Tent
Step inside the Gregg Museum of Art & Design this month to be transported to Egypt of the early 20th century. The centerpiece of its Egyptian Tent exhibit is a rare, colorfully appliquéd Egyptian tour tent available for public viewing for the first time. Standing around 12 feet tall and 13. feet wide, it’s displayed on a platform. so visitors can step inside to get an. up-close view of the ornate detailing of pharaohs and hieroglyphics on its interior panels. It is the only known example of an Egyptian “street tent” of this era with alternating Islamic and Pharaonic images on the interior — a mashup of faith symbols made to please tourists to the country when Western interest was at its peak. Also in the exhibition are a number of other appliquéd tent panels and a rotating projection of images that show what a visitor to Cairo would have encountered at the time.
Free admission; 1903 Hillsborough Street; gregg.arts.ncsu.edu
Hear Bands at Broookside
Spice up your weekday with live music on the patio while devouring tangy chicken wings and a hearty beer at recently opened eatery Brookside Bodega. Acoustic jazz musician Sheila Casalett and Durham-based group String Break are among the local acts on the lineup in November. Free to listen; 1000 Tuesdays | 5 – 8 p.m.; Brookside Drive, Suite 119; brooksidebodega.com
See NC Theatre’s Steel Magnolias
Over 30-plus years, Steel Magnolias has become a classic Southern play — and there’s no better way to enjoy it than as interpreted by a Southern institution like North Carolina Theatre and its Raleigh-born director Lauren Kennedy. Following the lives of four women who regularly gather at a beauty parlor in a fictional Louisiana parish, Steel Magnolias is a universal, deeply human exploration of resilience, sisterhood and love that will have you laughing through your tears. “It’s also a comedy that delivers hilarious wit alongside true wisdom from a bouquet of characters and storylines you will find both familiar and refreshing,” says Elizabeth Doran, president and CEO of NC Theatre.
Nov. 4 – 13 | See website From $24; 2 E. South Street; nctheatre.com
Head to the Fall Arts Fair at Fred Fletcher
Shop directly from more than 50 local artisans at the Fall Arts Fair at Fred Fletcher Park, where creations like John Pelosi’s wood works, Peter Borsay’s vibrant prints, Suijin Li Snyder’s delicate jewelry and Laurie McNair’s ceramics will be on display. Hosted by the Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers, the fair will also include guitarist Wayne Schindler and the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute among the musical entertainment of the day. Poetry Fox will be there waxing verse for anyone who needs words to ponder, plus there will be craft activities for kids and art demonstrations. Plan to have a meal there: food trucks will be on site, including Roasted and Toasted (smoothies, coffee, waffles) and Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck (try the mini chicken dumplings tossed in chili oil).
Nov. 5 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Free admission; 820 Clay Street; raleighnc.gov
Take the Kids to See Pinkalicious the Musical
New York City-based Vital Theatre Company is making its Garner debut with Pinkalicious the Musical, an entertaining and educational spectacle for audiences of all ages. Based on the children’s book, the plot revolves around the sweets-loving Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes — until she wakes up pink from head to toe. “The GPAC is thrilled to offer quality programming that will engage the young people of our community,” says Garner’s arts and culture superintendent Amy Pridgen. “We’ve made sure to keep ticket prices as low as possible so that everyone can enjoy it.” $5 for children, $10 for adults;
Nov. 5 | 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.; 742 W. Garner Road, Garner; garnerperformingartscenter.com
Join WALTER for At Home with Frances Mayes
Settle in with a glass of wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres for a conversation with Frances Mayes, the New York Times best-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, among others. Mayes’ latest book, A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home, explores her connections to the homes she’s lived in over the years, as well as significant locales from her travels. Presented by WALTER magazine and Fink’s Jewelers, it’s an event that will transport you to Italy, Nicaragua, Mexico — and even around the Carolinas.
Nov. 9 | 6 – 9 p.m.; From $65; 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 111; waltermagazine.com/francesmayes
Shop Interesting Art at Cedar Creek Gallery’ Holiday Open House
Shop regionally made art, stocking. stuffers and hand-crafted ornaments at Cedar Creek Gallery’s Holiday Open House in Creedmoor, a hub for regional and national artists. Santa will be on-site for photo opps and wish lists. Should the temperature be low enough, Jennifer Dolan, Cedar Creek’s gallery manager, says the fireplace will be roaring. “And we have a wrap your own gift station set up near the fireplace, which people love,” Dolan says. A big draw are the unconventional Christmas trees and ornaments Cedar Creek brings in for the holidays, all handmade from materials like glass, metal and clay.
November 12 – 13 | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Free admission; 1150 Fleming Road, Creedmoor; cedarcreekgallery.com
Practice Gratitude and Fall Candle Making with Usu Co.
Learn how to make a hand-poured candle — perfect for gifting this time of year! — with local candle maker Stacy Ahua of Usu Co. inside the North Carolina Museum of Art. Themed “Finding Gratitude,” the event includes the candle workshop, sips and small bites, an after-hours tour of the museum gallery and private shopping at the Museum Store. “This is more than just making a candle,” says Ahua. “It’s a chance to design a scent and make memories that are unique and special, while getting an up close seat to how the worlds of fragrance and art come together.”
Nov. 13 | 4 – 6 p.m.; From $55; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; usucompany.com
Experience A Taste of France at Vidrio
The grand finale of Vidrio’s “Taste Tour of the Mediterranean” monthly dinner series is an opportunity to eat your way through France during an exclusive multicourse dining experience. Hosted by the 2021 NCRLA Chef of the Year, Saif Rahman, the meal will showcase the rustic cooking he’s known for, using top-notch yet simple ingredients and cooking techniques. Guests can expect to savor dishes inspired by the classic culture and produce found in local French markets. Vidrio’s in-house sommelier will expertly pair four French wines throughout the meal.
Nov. 16 | 6:30 p.m. $200 per person; 500 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 100; vidrioraleigh.com
See Carolina Ballet Interpret Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
In the early 1820s, Ludwig van Beethoven composed his last masterpiece, Symphony No. 9, his ‘choral’ symphony, with more than an hour of powerful scores topped off with vocalists singing Ode to Joy. Carolina Ballet will bring the iconic music to life at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts with choreography by troupe founder Robert Weiss and music by a chamber orchestra and the North Carolina Master Chorale.
November 17 – 20 | From $37; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com
Have a (Butter) Ball at Mulino
Want an easy and fun way to give back around Thanksgiving? Purchase a ticket to Italian restaurant Mulino’s annual Turkey Ball, a tradition started in 2018. At this fundraising event, wine will be flowing alongside Italian-inspired eats, with proceeds benefiting the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Last year the ball raised $6,000 for charity and helped 200 turkeys grace folks’ holiday tables in Wake County.
Nov. 17 | 6 – 9 p.m. $45; 309 N. Dawson Street; mulinoraleigh.com
Learn About Culture at the American Indian Heritage Celebration
Experience the culture of our state’s native peoples at the annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the North Carolina Museum of History. With a virtual education day on Friday and in-person festival on Saturday, demonstrators from around the state will discuss the themes, symbols and artistry that contribute to American Indian culture and tradition. The festival will include hands-on activities like beadwork demonstrations and a sweet sorghum syrup tasting, as well as drumming and dancing presentations, and will take place both inside the museum and outside on the Bicentennial Plaza.
Nov. 18 – 19 | See website Free; 5 E. Edenton Street; ncmuseumofhistory.org
Skate Around Downtown at THE RINK at Red Hat
Red Hat Amphitheater is trading its amps for ice skates: It’s paving over the pit in front of the stage with ice to create THE RINK at Red Hat, which will be open weekdays and weekends through the winter so folks can glide outdoors while enjoying the skyline. Surrounding the ice, there’s room to thaw out on a roomy turf lounge area, complete with comfy chairs, fire pits, games, snacks and beverages (for both kids and adults). Ice skates and skate mates are available for rent.
Starting Nov. 19; From $6; 500 S. McDowell Street; redhatamphitheater.com
Watch the Raleigh Christmas Parade
What better way to kick off the holiday season than to make a pot of hot chocolate, bundle up the kids and grab your portable chairs to watch the 78th annual Raleigh Christmas Parade? Past years have included cameos from giant balloons of Kermit the Frog and Shrek, marching bands, dozens of dancers, twirlers and more. Use the parade — which is presented in partnership with Shop Local Raleigh — as an excuse to make a day of it downtown and support a nearby small business. Pop into DECO, Read with Me or Father & Son Antiques to get a head start on holiday shopping, or get downtown early to grab a coffee and breakfast from Morning Times or Jubala. If you prefer to stay in your sweatpants in the comfort of your home, ABC11 will be streaming the entire thing. Just don’t miss the chance to see Santa!
Nov. 19 | 9:30 p.m.; Free; downtown Raleigh; grma.org/christmas-parade
A version of this article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of WALTER magazine.