20+ things to do in June in and around Raleigh

Summer is here! Enjoy the warm weather at outdoor concerts, stargazing events, open-air markets, Juneteenth celebrations and more.
by Addie Ladner and Kara Adams

Hit the Local Markets

Relish in North Carolina’s summer bounty — heirloom tomatoes, crispy sweet corn, juicy peaches, fragrant basil — with a trip to one of our farmers markets across the Triangle. The North Carolina State Farmers Market (1201 Agriculture Street; ncagr.gov) is an easy go-to, but consider venturing elsewhere to turn your produce stop into a time to explore. On Saturday mornings, North Hills Commons offers the Midtown Farmers’ Market (4160 Main Street at North Hills; midtownfarmers.com), or spend your Sunday afternoons listening to live music while you shop at the Moore Square Market (226 E. Martin Street; downtownraleigh.org). On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Durham Farmers Market (501 Foster Street, Durham; durhamfarmersmarket.com) is open for business at the pavilion at Durham Central Park, and on Saturday mornings the South Durham Farmers Market (5410 NC-55, Durham; southdurhamfarmersmarket.com) can fulfill your fruit and veggie needs. 
All month; see linked websites for more info.

See the Photo Exhibit Across the Threshold of India at the Gregg

“Kolam and rangoli diagrams are magical and mysterious,” says Martha Strawn, who photographed the Indian ritual for an exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design. Often made using rice flour and displayed in public places or on the facades of buildings, these complex, colorful drawings mark important life moments like the passion of a loved one, a union or a birth.
All month | Free; 1903 Hillsborough Street; gregg.arts.ncsu.edu 

See The Magical Realism of Henryk Fantazos in Durham

See the whimsical copperplate engravings of Polish-born artist Henryk Fantazos at Horse & Buggy Press Gallery. Fantazos, who is now based in Hillsborough, found inspiration in the natural beauty of the West Virginia farmlands, where he spent many years of his adolescence. His unique combination of Eastern European and Southern gothic style shines through in both his metal engravings and three paintings on display, most notably his newest painting, Nenufarium, which took him over a decade to complete.
All month | Free; 118 W. Parrish Street, Durham; horseandbuggypress.com 

Hear Symphony’s Summerfest 2022

Koka Booth Amphitheater is hosting a series of 10 concerts under the stars as a part of their annual UNC Health Summerfest celebration of music, including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Movie Music Classics, Havana Nights, Juneteenth Celebration and The Music of Queen. Choose your performance or opt in for a full or partial Lawn Flex Pass, which guarantees lawn seats at all the shows so you can decide last-minute if it’s a Summerfest kind of night. Don’t forget to pack a picnic basket and a blanket for a chance to win the weekly prize for best picnic spread!
All month | From $33; Koka Booth Amphitheater, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary; ncsymphony.org

Don’t miss Saturdays in Saxapahaw

Drive out to the farm village of Saxapahaw and experience the town’s weekly Saturday event in the amphitheater. Walk through their farmers market brimming with local produce, fresh bread, artisan ice cream and crafts, or listen to the sounds of live music from acts like North Carolina-based indie band Dissimilar South and country group John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff. Don’t forget to take a walk along the Haw River before or after your visit.
Saturdays | 5 – 8 p.m.; free; 1735 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw; saxapahawnc.com

Head to Fletcher Park on Sundays for Music

End your weekend on a lovely note (literally) with the City of Raleigh’s summer concert series. The weekly concerts take place at either Pullen Park or Fred Fletcher Park, and guests are invited to pack a picnic and a blanket to enjoy the music during summer’s longer days. June’s lineup brings Triangle Taiko, a local nonprofit that celebrates traditional Japanese drumming, and the Raleigh Jazz Orchestra.
Sundays | 6 p.m.; free; raleighnc.gov 

Head to Cocktail Hour at The Parlor

The Boylan Heights mansion Heights House Hotel will host Italian-inspired cocktail hours in its lounge and is open for non-hotel guests to enjoy starting in June

Take the Kids to the Women’s U.S. Open

The 77th Women’s U.S. Open presented by ProMedica will be held at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club for the fourth time. It’s a rare opportunity to see some of the best golf pros in the world in action, only an hour from Raleigh. Multiple ticket options allow you to plan for a day or weekend visit, and children 18 and under receive complimentary admission with a ticketed adult to enjoy scavenger hunts, autograph-signing opportunities and an up-close view of the tournament itself.  
June 2 – 5 | From $20; Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, 1005 Midland Road, Southern Pines; usga.org

See Photographer Baxter Miller’s DAYDREAMS

Charlotte Russell Contemporary is showing a solo exhibition of photographs that play with the themes of color, memory and dreaming by local artist and creative director Baxter Miller. The exhibit features vignettes of coastal North Carolina through the lens of a life affected by attention-
deficit disorder. The opening reception will be held on June 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
June 3-30 | Free; 2012 A Fairview Road; charlotterussellcontemporary.com 

Dine at Taverna Agora for Greek Night

Can’t book that dream trip to Mykonos? Experience succulent lamb shanks, crispy salads and Greek wine served in copper wine glasses on the terrace rooftop of Taverna Agora. The experiential dinner will include belly dancing, traditional bouzouki music and more. Try one of the Taverna Classics such as moussaka, a roasted eggplant and ground beef dish, or pastitcio, a traditional baked pasta, and make sure to leave room for a heaping helping of baklava.
June 3 | 8 – 11 p.m.; 326 Hillsborough Street; tavernaagora.com

See The Sweet Delilah Swim Club

Head to Pullen Park for a performance of The Sweet Delilah Swim Club, a humorous play directed by Theatre in the Park’s Nancy Rich that follows five former college swimmers on their annual August trip to the “Sweet Delilah” beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Grab your choice of wine, beer or a few snacks at the concession stand in the lobby to enjoy as you watch the characters come to life and reconnect in a touching tribute to female friendship.
June 3 – 19 | 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; $29; 107 Pullen Road; theatreinthepark.com 

Sunshine Lavender Farm | Photograph by S.P. Murray

Head tot the Country for June Bloom Days

Sunshine Lavender Farm in Northern Orange County is hosting open farm days when their signature crop is at its peak. Enjoy a lavender-themed picnic, relax at yoga classes on the farm, shop seasonal produce from Cooper-Lasley Farm’s pop-up stand, make a glass-blown hummingbird feeder or try a flight of lavender mead from Honeygirl Meadery. Be sure to check out the new Lavender Love Shop & Farm Market for a gift inspired by the fragrant herb.
June 4 & 11 | From $10; 4104 Millstone Road, Hurdle Mills; sunshinelavenderfarm.co

Attend the Fenton Grand Opening

Cary’s newest mixed-use shopping space is opening, and they’re celebrating with a two-day extravaganza. Day one will include morning fitness classes with Athleta and Club Pilates in Fenton Square, face painting, a Town of Cary fire truck and an evening movie screening with popcorn followed by hot air balloon rides and a laser light show. Day two will feature penalty kicks and selfies with players from the North Carolina FC and North Carolina Courage with proceeds benefiting Read & Feed of Wake County, putt-putt activities, a DJ and vintage car viewings. Make sure to grab a bite from some of Fenton’s newly opened restaurants like M Sushi, Dram & Draught or Honeysuckle Gelato to round out the festivities.
June 4 & 5 | Free; 855 Cary Towne Boulevard, Cary; fentonnc.com  

Book a Nearby Nature Escape

Sometimes we all need a weekend in the woods to disconnect from the busyness of the Triangle or a comfortable space to get our creative juices flowing. For just that reason, we have rounded up 10 Airbnbs that will give you a change of scenery indoors and out. Go ahead and save them for your next trip with old friends, an upcoming couples’ getaway, or a well-deserved solo adventure.

Eat your Way through the International Food Festival

Downtown Raleigh will get a global makeover when the International Food Festival heads to Fayetteville Street. Expect food trucks with locally made cuisine from more than 30 countries, including Sweden, Jamaica and Lebanon, along with beer and wine vendors.
June 4 | 12 – 10 p.m.; free; 443 Fayetteville Street; Search “Raleigh International Food Festival” on Facebook

Enjoy Dance Gumbo

If you aren’t sure what kind of dance fitness is best for you, sign up for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s “Dance Gumbo” group exercise class held in the Museum Park. These invigorating classes incorporate a mixture of Zumba, pop, Latin and hip-hop dance moves into a single aerobic workout. The monthly group class, hosted by Byron Jennings, is a fun introduction to multiple styles of dance at once and is open to dancers of all skill levels.
June 12 | 5 – 6 p.m.; free; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org

See a Movie Outside

This summer, numerous parks and parking lots around the Triangle will be lighting up the night sky with screenings of new releases like Top Gun: Maverick, animated family favorites including Encantoand The Mitchells vs The Machines, and romance flicks like Love and Basketball. With a litany of outdoor movie series at local institutions such as the North Carolina Museum of Art, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, and Dorothea Dix Park, spend more time in the outside in the evenings this summer by seeing films in the open air. 

Stargaze from The Durham

Reach for the stars on The Roof at The Durham, a rooftop patio and bar hosting an all-ages stargazing event in partnership with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. The Roof opens at 5 p.m., and adults can sip on specialty cocktails such as The Durham, a cognac and dark rum concoction, while all ages can grab a snack before a set by DJ Mic Check from 8 to 10 p.m., immediately followed by telescopic stargazing of the night sky.
June 13 | 8 – 11 p.m.; free admission; 315 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham; thedurham.com 

Hear the Dynamic Duo Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Head to Raleigh’s Koka Booth Amphitheater to see Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and bluegrass queen Alison Krauss, who haven’t played together in Raleigh since 2008. They’ll be performing songs off their most recent collaborative album, Raising the Roof, which was released last fall, nearly 15 years after their first joint album, Raising Sand.
June 14 | 7:30 p.m.; from $59.50; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary; boothamphitheatre.com

Shop the Raleigh Night Market

Enjoy a cooler summer evening at downtown’s Raleigh Night Market, where more than 100 local bakers, craftsmen and collectors gather to sell their unique goods and wares. Grab a bite from one of the many food trucks on premise, and check out live performances and games designed to keep everyone in the family entertained. End the night with a pint at the Night Market’s German-inspired beer garden.
June 16 | 5 – 9 p.m.; free; 200 S. Blount Street; downtownraleigh.org

Take advantage of Outdoor Concerts

Welcome the warm weather and soak up some extra rays of sunshine with your favorite bands and concert series across the Triangle. 

Celebrate Juneteenth Joy at NCMA

Head to the North Carolina Museum of Art for a celebration of freedom and gospel music with award-winning performers Kelontae Gavin, Le’Andria Johnson, Kierra Sheard, Hezekiah Walker and Fred Hammond. A food truck will be on site to provide meals and beverages for the family-oriented concert. The celebrations continue the next day with a DJ set and dance party before a film screening of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul.
June 17 & 18 | Events from $10; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org 

Attend American Dance Festival’s Made in NC

See a completely new dance repertoire from North Carolina talent commissioned by the American Dance Festival. The show will begin with Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, instructor and Carnatic vocalist Ramya Sundaresan Kapadia inside the Reynolds Industries Theater, where Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs will present a darkly humorous ensemble piece, interdisciplinary movement artist Justin Tornow will show a collaborative work and hip-hop and street dancer Jose Velasquez will perform. 

June 21 | 6:45 p.m.; From $20, 125 Science Drive, Durham; americandancefestival.org

Visit Raleigh Times to hear Joe Troop & Larry Bellorín

Every Tuesday, the Raleigh Times hosts local acoustic acts as a part of their Beer & Banjos music series highlighting genres like bluegrass, folk, Americana and more. Grab a craft beer and a tasty bar snack before kicking back and hearing the musical duo Joe Troop & Larry Bellorín live (learn more about the two on page 26). Bellorín, a master of the Llanera music of his home country Venezuela, combines his musical and instrumental talents with the Appalachian pickings of Grammy-nominated bluegrass musician Troop.
June 21 | 7:30 p.m.; free; 14 E. Hargett Street; raleightimesbar.com

Try a new cured meat or Italian sandwich at Alimentari

Josh DeCarolis, Ross Flynn and Andrew Hannon combine a cafe, deli and butchery in their Transfer Co. Food Hall outpost Alimentari that packs a ton of summer-perfect fare like cured meats, local cheese, pasta salads, focaccia and more.

Give Back (or Plan to)

North Carolina ranks 10th-hungriest in the country, with more than 1 million people who struggle to get enough to eat. “Over the last few months with supply chain issues, pandemic fatigue and rising gas prices, the need has been even greater,” says Kara Guido Siek, food sourcing specialist at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Here’s how to help. Can’t fit community service in this summer? Mark your calendars to join the Women’s Giving Network’s in August for their ‘Wrappy Hour’ In Durham where you’ll help package diapers that will be delivered to families across NC, including military families with the NC Diaper Bank. Beverages and snacks will be provided. Click here to sign up.

Head to Durham for That Music Fest

Join 20 artists and bands on the field at Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a two-day festival celebrating North Carolina’s unique music scene. Hear from bands with local roots including The Mountain Goats and American Aquarium, hometown heroes Chatham County Line, folk-rock outfit Delta Rae and country artist Rissi Palmer on three separate stages. Make sure to pack a folding beach chair for field seating, or opt in for reserved seating behind the foul ball net.  Chris Edge of That Station, co-producer of the event along with Deep South Entertainment says, “I myself have never seen Mipso live, I can’t wait to see the American Aquarium on a massive stage and so excited to see Kate Rhudy live. Even if you only know a handful of bands, you’ll probably discover a few that you didn’t realize you’d like. We’ve got a great lineup.”
June 24 & 25 | From $45; 409 Blackwell Street, Durham; thatstation.net

Hear James Taylor at PNC

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy-award winner James Taylor is headed to PNC Arena for a stop on his U.S. summer tour. With a career spanning over 50 years, from 1970’s Sweet Baby James to a 2020 collection of covers, singer/songwriter Taylor has proved himself evergreen. Don’t miss your chance to hear his many classic hits, especially “Carolina in My Mind,” which was inspired by his childhood home of Chapel Hill.
June 25 | 8 p.m.; from $55; 1400 Edwards Mill Road; pncarena.com 

Start Your Summer Reading

Raleigh and Durham authors have been busy writing new work! In the mix: a collection of essays and recipes that celebrate North Carolina food; personal reflections on celebrity, race, and family; and great fiction for kids of all ages. Hit up a local bookstore like Quail Ridge Books, So & So Books or Read with Me to grab one of these seven new books from Triangle authors for summer 2022 to support local with your vacation reading.