20 Things to Do in February 2023 In and Around Raleigh

Stay cozy this month with candlelit concerts, out-of-the-box art classes and new ways to interact with nature.
by Addie Ladner

Don’t let February‘s winter blues get to you! There’s plenty to do this time of year in Raleigh. Winter food and craft markets offer a chance to infuse your home and table with new energy. There are creative ways to get outside, like taking a morning to make art inside Historic Oakwood Cemetery or enlisting the kids to search for a Yeti at the JC Raulston Arboretum. And, of course, there are performances of every sort to enjoy inside, from a thought-provoking play at Burning Coal Theatre to a candle-lit performance of classical takes on pop songs at The Merrimon-Wynne House. Plus, Valentine’s Day keeps this month extra sweet! Consider these events for February 2023.

Shop the Winter Market at North Hills

Sweet potatoes, winter berries and collards, oh my! Believe it or not, the cold winter months of North Carolina have quite a lot to offer, produce-wise. Spend your Saturday scouring the Midtown Farmers Market for fixings for cozy February meals. Fairport Farms will be selling broccoli and radishes, meat purveyor WILDERS will have its signature Wagyu beef and Apex Seafood & Market will have an assortment of North Carolina seafood like amber- jack, halibut and shrimp. “It’s the true local farmer and local artisans’ winter market. We are a producers-only market, and everything is produced within a 100-mile radius of Raleigh,” says Jeff Newsome of Peggy Rose’s Jellies, a regular vendor and manager of the Winter Market. Longtime vendor Linda Maggio of S&L Farms, which sells eggs, chicken and soups, loves being able to connect with customers this time of year. “It’s more intimate, you have more time talking with people and you get to know people very well,” Maggio says. “We have a great community of people here who are dedicated to having high-quality sustainable food.” 
All month | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Free; 4191 Main at North Hills Street; midtownfarmers.com

See Mlima’s Tale at Burning Coal

This month at Burning Coal Theatre, see a thought-provoking drama (and a New York Times critic pick) that follows the tusks of a poached elephant, Mlima, as they travel the Ivory Highway, a road in Cameroon infamously used by traffickers, onto a cargo ship and eventually to China. In this story written by Lynn Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, the soul of Mlima travels with its tusks, prompting the question of why they are worth more than its life. “It is both beautiful and sad and often very funny, but in the end, we are left with no doubt about what we need to do to stop this violence against elephants, and by extension, against all of the world’s natural resources,” says Burning Coal Theatre artistic director Jerome Davis. “Mlima wants us to know we have only one home. And if we destroy it, we will all be left to travel Mlima’s path.” 
Feb. 2 -12; From $20; 224 Polk Street; burningcoal.org

Go on a Yeti Scavenger Hunt at the Arboretum

Warning: a Yeti is hiding in the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. Bring your kids on a self-guided scavenger hunt to find the 4-foot tall monster (don’t worry, he’s made of plywood) while observing all winter has to show off in the garden, including camellias, flowering quince, fragrant wintersweet, crocus and vibur- num. Children’s program coordinator Elizabeth Overcash says this is a great way to get kids outside in nature this time of year, when there’s still plenty of plant life to be seen. “It’s good silly fun. It’s intended to be a way to explore the Arboretum without having to follow a map or solve a clue,” says Overcash. “We hope that it gets you to explore a new spot in the gardens and maybe see something you haven’t discovered before!” Come rain, snow or sun during the arboretum’s open hours, because the Yeti enjoys all sorts of winter weather, she says. 
Feb. 1 – 6 | Free; 4415 Beryl Road; jcra.ncsu.edu

Enjoy Worldly Tunes at Boxyard RTP

Want to liven up your weekday lunch break? Take it to RTP. Boxyard is hosting Hear & There, a lunch series on Wednesdays with global musicians on its BeatBox stage. First up is Também, a group including pianist Ingrid Knight and Uruguayan drummer Gastón Reggio, which is known for performing Brazilian music infused with elements of jazz and classical stylings. Might we suggest Lawrence BBQ for lunch? Its menu is ever-rotating, but you can always count on some solid mac and cheese, fried Brussels sprouts and a juicy brisket sandwich. 
Wednesdays | 12 – 2 p.m. Free to listen; 900 Park Offices Drive, Research Triangle Park; boxyard.rtp.org

Paint and Draw Outside at Historic Oakwood Cemetery

Paint or draw in the open air at Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood Cemetery with a class led by the cemetery’s program coordinator — an artist herself — Brianna McCormick. Though it may surprise some, McCormick says, the cemetery is a wonderful place to paint. “Oakwood Cemetery is full of life,” McCormick says. “More than a burial ground, it’s like a sculpture garden, arboretum, urban wildlife sanctuary and park in one.” The classes are held the first Thursday of each month, rain or shine, and are open to artists of all ages and skill levels. Participants meet at the cemetery office at 9 a.m. and then walk together to a chosen location. Bring your preferred art supplies, water and a chair or blanket. During the class, McCormick will lead discussions on various vantage points in Raleigh, the diverse plant life of the cemetery, history and art. “I love that we traipse across the grounds, art supplies in hand, to the cemetery’s myriad vistas and protected locations,” says McCormick. No experience is necessary, she says: “We have people who are just starting their painting journey making work alongside experienced painters.” 
Feb. 2 | 9 a.m.; Free; 701 Oakwood Avenue; historicoakwoodcemetery.org

Rock Out to American Aquarium at Lincoln Theatre

Local country rock band American Aquarium is back in Raleigh for its annual three-show “Road Trip to Raleigh” at downtown’s Lincoln Theatre. It’s the band’s last United States gig before heading overseas to start their European tour. Expect to hear tunes from their latest album, Chicamacomico, frontman B.J. Barham’s tribute to family life during the pandemic. Nashville-based rock musician Katie Pruitt and country- meets-punk group Lucero will also join them on stage. It’s currently sold out, but keep an eye out for tickets at resale!
Feb. 2 – 4 | 8 p.m. 126 E. Cabarrus Street; lincolntheatre.com

Enjoy First Saturday Birding

Did you know that in Raleigh there are more than 100 species of birds? Search for goldfinches, wrens, sparrows and woodpeckers at Brumley North Nature Preserve for a First Saturday Bird Watch led by the Wake Audubon Society and the Triangle Land Conservancy. Named one of the best places for birding in North Carolina by the TLC, Brumley offers an easy trail with lots of spots to stop. Don’t want to rise early for this one? Take note of the birds near your own home from Feb. 17 to 20 as part of the global Great Backyard Bird Count (birdcount.org), an annual tradition in February where engaged citizens can help contribute to the research and protection of our feathered friends. 
Feb. 4 | 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Free but registration required; Brumley North Parking Lot, 3620 Old State Highway 10, Durham; triangleland.org

Shop a European-Style Sidewalk Sale at Lafayette Village

Shop the end-of-season sales from the merchants of Lafayette Village along the cobblestone sidewalks of this European-inspired shopping district. Alongside goods from Savory Spice, Olive Wagon, artisan jewelry shop Paisley Boutique and clothing shop Koket, enjoy live music and enter to win prizes from merchants. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all the shopping, grab a bite from Sushi One or Farina Italian Restaurant.
Feb. 2 – 5 | Free to attend; 8450 Honeycutt Road; lafayettevillageraleigh.com

Dine with Revive the Supper Club

Saif Rahman, the chef of Vidrio, is headlining this month’s Reviving the Supper Club series. The
dinner will benefit the nonprofit Ripe for Revival’s Mobile Market program, which works to combat hunger in Eastern North Carolina. One part virtual cooking class, one part fundraiser — with a delicious meal to enjoy at the end — this is the third installation of the series. A ticket includes access to the event and a robust meal kit with instructions and locally sourced ingredients, delivered to your home. Not around on Feb. 7? Feel free to purchase a ticket and a recording of the cooking class will be emailed to you later. This episode’s menu includes a pan-seared Joyce Farms Heritage Poulet Rouge Chicken, curried sweet potato sauce and Carolina Gold rice, along with a vibrant Bengali tomato salad. There also will be 30 tickets available to dine at Vidrio (500 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 100) to watch the class and enjoy the same amazing meal, without preparing it yourself. 
Feb. 7 | 6:30 p.m. $99; virtual; ripeforrevival.com

See Carolina Ballet’s Greig Piano Concerto

Watch the dancers of The Carolina Ballet perform to the sounds of Norwegian pianist and composer Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. Completed in 1868 when he was just 24 years old, it’s Grieg’s most popular work. “Although we live in a completely different time and place, Grieg’s music shows us that there is still a romantic in all of us,” says Carolina Ballet founder Robert Weiss.
Feb. 2 – 19 | From $27; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com

Shop the Market at NCMA

A collaboration between Triangle Pop Up and the North Carolina Museum of Art, this market offers a curated selection of local artisans at the West Building, the perfect compliment to strolling its galleries for a few hours. Then pop in the new NCMA Café by Catering Works to try their lunch menu before perusing the galleries again. 
Feb. 4 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m; Free admission; 2110 Blue Ridge Road, ncartmuseum.org

Head to Siler City for Open Barn Weekends

Bring your animal-loving friends and family on a Siler City adventure for Celebrity Dairy’s Open Barn Days, during which the dairy farm opens its grounds for a family-friendly excuse to get out of the city and into the country. Roam the grounds, cozy up in the atrium, and enjoy the main draw: interacting with over 100 kid goats, some of whom will have have just been born! Children will especially love the extra-long rope swing outside the barns. Bring cash for a gourmet farm-fresh lunch after you’ve worked up an appetite. In past years, Siler City has offered warming dishes like vegetarian chili, cornbread and lentil stew, each topped with the dairy’s specialty goat cheese. Try their homemade gelato for dessert. 
Free to attend; 144 Celebrity Dairy Way, Siler City; celebritydairy.com

See the Documentary Talking Black in America – Roots

Celebrate African American resilience at a film screening at North Carolina State University’s D.H. Hill Jr. Library. Talking Black in America – Roots is one component of a five-part Emmy-winning documentary series that looks at the stories and culture of people and societies from West Africa and across the African diaspora. A project born from The Language and Life Project at North Carolina State University, it was filmed in the Bahamas, the United States and Ghana. 
Feb. 7 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.; Free; D. H. Hill Jr. Library Auditorium, 2 Broughton Drive; lib.ncsu.edu/events

Sing Along to NC Theatre’s Dreamgirls

“When quizzing musical theater lovers about their all-time favorite show, many will exclaim Dreamgirls without pause,” says North Carolina Theatre producing artistic director Eric Woodall. See this Tony-award winning musical — which went on to be an Oscar-winning film — this month at the Duke Performing Arts Center. Set during the time of The Supremes and The Temptations, Dreamgirls explores friendship, talent and the behind-the-scenes realities that come with fame in the music industry. The cast includes local performers, Broadway actors and even performers who have appeared on NBC’s The Voice. “We have gathered these unbelievably talented local and visiting performers to make our unique version of Dreamgirls right here in Raleigh,” says Woodall. 
Feb. 7 – 12 | From $34; 2 E. South Street; nctheatre.com

Have a Lovely, Local Valentine’s Day

From thoughtful gifts from local shops, to both exquisite and entertaining dinners, to romantic tunes and more, here’s a list of more than 15 ideas for a lovely Valentine’s Day in Raleigh this year.

Hear Romantic Songs by Candlelight at Merrimon-Wynne

The Merrimon-Wynne House is hosting the traveling event Candlelight for a Valentine’s Day-themed evening of music in The Carriage House. Performed by a string quartet, the show includes classical covers of iconic love songs including “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and scores from Romeo and Juliet. “The Candlelight concert is a truly serene experience,” says Lindsey Simmons with Merrimon-Wynne. Signature cocktails, wine, beer and candy are available for purchase before and during the hour- long concert. 
Feb 9 & 14 | 6:30 & 9 p.m.$45; 500 N. Blount Street; merrimonwynne.com

Head to Yoga in the Chapel at Dix

Bring your yoga mat, water and towel to Dix Park to connect and recenter with local yoga instructor Carrington Razook Jackson. Jackson, who teaches regularly at Blue Lotus Yoga studio and Midtown Yoga, is known for her out-of-the-box, large-scale classes. For this chilly month, Jackson will teach inside The Chapel, an airy Mid-century designed building on the park’s campus. Part of a monthly yoga series, this vinyasa-based yoga session is open-level and will focus on breath, stillness and gentle movements. 
Free; 1030 Richardson Drive; dixpark.org

Enjoy an Abstract Art Class

Artspace abstract artist Adriana Ameigh works in all sorts of mediums — including clay, paint, beads, wood — and she wants to share her talents with others. She’s opening up her studio in February as part of her new monthly series where guests will create a work of art guided by her signature colorful geometrical style.This month’s participants will dabble in mixed media and acrylic paints. Art materials and light refreshments will be provided. Expect a small group for great conversation. 
Feb. 12 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. $150; 201 E. Davie Street; ameighart.com

Hear Sierra Hull & Justin Moses

Bluegrass couple Sierra Hull and Justin Moses are bringing their instrumental synergy and vocal chemistry to Raleigh by way of PineCone’s Down Home Concert series. Vocalist and mandolin player Hull has graced the stages of the Grand Ole Opry, the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Moses, who plays a range of instruments including the guitar, banjo and fiddle, has shared the stage with notable musicians like Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks and Emmylou Harris. The two married in 2017 and have been traveling the world as a duo ever since — and now they’ll grace the stage at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. “Sierra is one of the best mandolin players in the world right now and her husband Justin is easily one of the most versatile musicians in bluegrass,” says Tray Wellington with PineCone. “They sing so well together, are great people and fun to be around. It’s a rare chance to see them in such an intimate setting.”
Feb. 24 | 7:30 – 10 p.m.; From $19; 2 E. South Street; pinecone.org

Attend a Book Release and Author Reception

The North Carolina Museum of Art will be hosting a book release and author reception for SAVED: Objects of the Dead. As the first publication by Artsuite, the Raleigh-based gallery platform founded by Marjorie Hodges and Allen Thomas in 2020, SAVED features images of cherished items that belonged to late loved ones — from a teacup to a pinecone to a camera — taken by North Carolina photographer Jody Servon. Each photograph is paired with a prose poem by Lorene Delany-Ullman. SAVED features essays by Cora Fisher, Sonya Clark, Alex Espinoza and other notable writers on the subjects of grief. Thomas and Hodges hope that SAVED can be an inspiration for readers who have lost loved ones. 

Feb. 11 | 2 – 4 p.m.; free; 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh; ncartmuseum.org

This article was originally published on January 18, 2023 on waltermagazine.com