From romance to tea parties to engaging with history, February offers cultural opportunities for all.
by Kara Adams and Addie Ladner
Honor Black History Month at Halle Cultural Arts Center’s Exhibition
Visit Apex’s Halle Cultural Arts Center to see the artwork of local Black creatives Charlton Cole on display all month long. Born and raised in Jamaica, Cole has always been inspired by the beauty of his surroundings and the colors of nature, an appreciation that shines through in his impressionist landscape paintings. At the end of the month, Halle will culminate the exhibit with a reception where guests will get to meet Cole in person and ask him questions about his work.
All Month; free; 237 N. Salem Street, Apex; thehalle.org
Head to the Gregg for crossed kalunga by the stars & other acts of resistance
This exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design explores transformative circumstances, memory, and ancestry. It features contemporary pieces from sculpture to portraiture from seven artists with roots across the globe: Athlone Clarke, Marielle Plaisir, Esmerelda Mila, Rex Miller, José Bedia, Renée Stout, and André Leon Gray. Each showcases how art can tell the story of a journey across the “kalunga,” which in the Kikongo language of the Congo-Angola Basin means “threshold between worlds,” or the Atlantic Ocean, particularly in relation to the Middle Passage.
All month; free; 1903 Hillsborough Street; gregg.arts.ncsu.edu
Drive out to Siler City for Celebrity Dairy’s Open Barn Days
Round up your friends and family and take a trip to Siler City for Celebrity Dairy’s open barn days. A Triangle family favorite event that’s back in person this year. Roam the grounds, cozy up in the atrium, and enjoy the main draw tour interacting with over a hundred kid goats, even witnessing some of their first breaths! Kids (human kids that is) will especially love the rope swing. Bring cash for a gourmet lunch after you’ve worked up an appetite. In past years, it’s been warming dishes like vegetarian chili, cornbread, and lentil stew, all topped with their specialty goat cheese. Then try their homemade gelato for dessert.
Weekends; from $150; 144 Celebrity Dairy Way, Siler City; celebritydairy.com
Explore the Slopes on a Ski Weekend in Western North Carolina
Perfect for beginners, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a great place to pack up and head to for a wintery weekend getaway. Grab a lift ticket and some rental gear to head up the mountain for views of the magical Blue Ridge Mountains, or stay down in the lodge with a book, some hot cocoa, and all of the snacks you could need. Be sure to check out the town of Boone nearby, with its picture perfect King Street and the beautiful campus of Appalachian State University.
All month; from $39; 940 Ski Mountain Road, Blowing Rock; appskimtn.com
Watch Black Orpheus
Grab your popcorn and head to the North Carolina Museum of Art for a matinee screening of the 1959 Greek mythology retelling, Black Orpheus. Set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, the classic story of Orpheus and Eurydice takes on a whole new meaning and feel in this Academy Award winning film.
Feb. 2 | 2 – 4 p.m.; $5; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org
See Carolina Ballet’s Romeo &Juliet
One of the most well-known (and tragic) love stories of all time will be told through song and dance this month at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Carolina Ballet will present Romeo & Juliet with thrilling sword fights, swelling musical numbers, and awe-inspiring ballet, along with all the heartbreak you’ve come to expect from Shakespeare’s original story. See it in-person or opt for the live-streamed performance available on Feb. 4.
Feb 3 – 20; From $27; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com
Supper the Frankie Lemon School through the TWFE
Join Raleigh native and culinary all-star Ashley Christensen for this year’s Triangle Wine & Food Experience, a benefit event for Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center. This year, TWFE offers a mix of in-person and virtual options. “This event is about celebrating wine, food, and friendship — but at its heart it’s about supporting the children and families of Frankie Lemmon,” says executive director Marsha Hargette. Local restaurants including Angus Barn, Margaux’s Restaurant, and Second Empire will feature special menus, and on the more intimate side, a number of small dinners will feature award-winning chefs (like Chris Shepherd and Sarah Grueneberg) paired with celebrity food personalities inside hosts’ homes. In addition to the dinners, there are live in-person and online auctions for wine, food experiences, vacation homes, and more.
Feb. 3 – 5; Prices and locations vary; trianglewinefood.org
Hear American Aquarium at Lincoln Theatre
Head to downtown’s Lincoln Theatre for American Aquarium’s three-day concert series “Roadtrip to Raleigh,” featuring openers Aaron Lee Tasjan, Old 97’s and Margo Cilker, and Zach Bryan. Led by songwriter and frontman BJ Barham, American Aquarium has been steadily cranking out alt-country rock albums and hits like Losing Side of Twenty-Five and The Luckier You Get ever since they were founded in Raleigh in 2006.
Feb. 3 – 5 | 8 p.m.; From $39.50; 126 E. Cabarrus Street; lincolntheatre.com
Watch Theatre in the Park’s Greater Tuna
Theatre in the Park kicks off its new season with a two-man comedy show about the fictional small town of Tuna, Texas. Ira David Wood IV and David Henderson star as all 20 characters in the show, from aunties to dogs. This zany production promises nonstop laughs and a promising start to the 2022 season in Pullen Park.
Feb. 4 – 20 ; from $20; 107 Pullen Road; theatreinthepark.com
Run the Krispy Kreme Challenge
Since its inception in 2004, the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge has become a rite of passage for North Carolina State University students as well as a wildly successful local fundraiser for UNC Children’s Hospital. Starting at the Memorial Belltower, participants will race to the Krispy Kreme on Person Street (a 2.5-mile trek), where they will attempt to eat a dozen glazed doughnuts (and keep them down) before running back to campus within the hour timeframe. For those not interested in challenging their gastrointestinal powers, participants can also register as No Doughnut Runners or Casual Runners, who aren’t expected to eat a full dozen.
Feb. 5 | 12 – 7 p.m.; $50; 2011 Hillsborough Street; krispykremechallenge.com
Have the little ones don their finest princess gowns and head over to Marbles Kids Museum for a magical afternoon tea experience. In addition to enchanted wands, glittering tiaras, sweet treats, and a little bit of fairy dust, the Princess Tea will include themed crafts and activities.
Feb. 5 – 6; from $20; 201 E. Hargett Street; marbleskidsmuseum.org
Enjoy a Virtual Double Chocolate Date with La Farm
It’s a date! Zoom with esteemed local French baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery and Triangle-based wine importer Queen of Wines in preparation for Valentine’s Day for a virtual Chocolate & Wine Double Date. For two interactive hours, guests will learn to prepare chocolate mousse and molten chocolate lava cake. The recipes, ingredients, tools needed to make the desserts, and a bottle of sparkling wine will be available for pickup ahead of time at La Farm so you can cook and sip right alongside your hosts.
Feb. 8 | 8 p.m.; $150; virtual; lafarmbakery.com
Head to the Performing Arts Center for The fABBA Show: A Tribute to ABBA
Become the dancing queen you’ve always wanted to be during this concert packed with all the ‘70s flair, go-go boots, and unmatchable energy of ABBA in their prime. Londoner Marie-Claire Follett and her husband, Andy Marshall, are joined by a California-based cast for this group of tribute shows that’s traveling across the East Coast. Expect to boogie along to all your favorite disco hits and more at the Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center, where The fABBA Show will leave you saying thank you for the music.
Feb. 8 | 7:30 p.m.; from $35; 2 E. South Street; ticketmaster.com
Hear the Symphony’s Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown
Get ready to dance all night long to all your favorite Motown tunes from artists like Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. This performance from the North Carolina Symphony and special guests will feature all the classic songs you know and love, from ”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to ”I’m Coming Out.”
Feb. 10 – 12 | See website for times; from $40; 2 E. South Street; ncsymphony.org
Invigorate and Calm your Body at CAM with Soul Yoga
Grab your yoga mat and head to CAM Raleigh for a “hip yet soulful” class designed to fit all skill levels. Hosted by Raleigh-based Soul Yoga, the hour promises to share a new form of yoga with more energy and movement, complete with a DJ spinning tunes from the likes of Johnny Hathaway, Lion Babe, and John Legend. As you stretch out in the galleries, take in CAM’s ongoing exhibits and learn to promote a connection between your mind and soul through deep breathing poses and a relaxing but revitalizing flow.
Feb. 12 & 26 | 9 – 11 a.m.; $15; 409 W. Martin Street; camraleigh.org
Hear Voices from the NC Master Chorale for Romance in the Air
Hear voices from the North Carolina Master Chorale perform love songs from pop’s leading ladies, including Etta James, Cher, Adele, Diana Ross, and Lady Gaga. This jazzy Valentine’s performance at Transfer Co. Food Hall will be performed by a 16-voice chamber choir accompanied by drums, piano, and bass.
Feb. 12 | 2 & 4:30 p.m.; $25; 500 E. Davie Street; ncmasterchorale.square.site
Have an Italian Valentine’s Day Dinner at Mulino
What’s more romantic than sharing a long meal of fresh pasta, wine, and dessert, Lady and the Tramp style, with someone you love? Grab your lover (or just a friend) and head to Mulino for an indulgent four-course wine dinner featuring dishes like scallops with parmigiana truffle fonduta, braised beef over polenta, and classic tiramisu. The fixed-price menu includes one bottle of premium red or white wine and two welcome beverages. Call ahead or make a reservation on their website to select your time. Here’s other Valentine’s Day ideas around town or at home.
Feb. 14 | See website for times; $125 per person; 309 N. Dawson Street; mulinoraleigh.com
Take a Prized Possession to the History Museum for Conservation Assistance
Have an antique watch, weathered book, or yellowing letter from a loved one? The Conservation Branch of the North Carolina Museum of History is offering a complimentary 30-minute assessment of your prized relic, and tips on how to care for it. Be sure to check their website for items they can’t evaluate, such as objects with live ammunition or evidence of pest infestation.
Feb. 18 | See website for times; free; 5 E. Edenton Street; Call 919-814-6965 to set up an appointment, ncmuseumofhistory.org
Drive out to the Fearrington Folk Art Show
Head to Pittsboro for one of the most celebrated displays of American quirk and craftsmanship in the region, the Fearrington Folk Art Show, where you can take in unique pieces made by regional and national artists. Shop handmade decor and art such as Crystal King’s animal figurines, Mark May’s robots made from recycled materials, and Hamidou Sissoko’s sculptures made from scrap metal, wiring, and gears.
Feb. 19 – 20 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; $5; 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro; fearrington.com
See the Tony Award Winning Hadestown at DPAC
Dress is your best theater attire for a night on Broadway — in Durham. Winner of 8 Tony Awards, Hadestown is a musical rooted in the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. A night at the theater is a perfect date or outing with friends, and you will not want to miss this critically-acclaimed show that we are lucky to have in the Triangle for one week only. Get your tickets while you can!
Feb. 22 – 27 | See website for times; from $35; 123 Vivian Street, Durham; dpacnc.com
Honor African American Health Care Professionals in Smithfield
In celebration of Black History Month, the Johnston County Heritage Commission’s Black History Committee is hosting an event at the Reginald Ennis Pavilion in Smithfield in honor of African American health care professionals. One of the honored guests is Mrs. Lucille Raiford Jones, one of Johnston Memorial Hospital’s first Black nurses when it opened in 1951.
Feb. 24 | 6:30 p.m.; Free; 1110 Massey Street, Smithfield; johnstoncountync.org
Head to NCMA for Container/Contained
The North Carolina Museum of Art presents the work of Durham architect Phil Freelon, who passed away in 2019, in “Container/Contained: Phil Freelon Design Strategies for Telling African American Stories.” The exhibition follows four decades of his work and a multitude of projects, including the designs for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and Durham County Human Services Complex. With a focus on architecture that highlights African American identity and community, “Container/Contained” takes a deep dive into the relationship between architecture and storytelling.
Feb. 26 – May 15; See website for times; free; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org
Celebrate Mardi Gras Season in Raleigh
Mardi Gras season spans the entire month of February this year, so make sure to take advantage of all Raleigh has to offer in honor of Carnival! Before Fat Tuesday comes around, take home a King Cake from La Farm or Union Special, or head out for some traditional Creole dishes from The Big Easy and St. Roch in Raleigh. Don’t forget to get your traditional beads at Raleigh’s Mardi Gras Bar Crawl on February 19th, or stream one of the many New Orleans parades from the comfort of your own home.