20+ Things to Do in June In and around Raleigh

What’s in store this month: NCMA’s Art in Bloom, roadside stands, evening bike rides, live theater, outdoor music and more.
by WALTER Staff

Visit a Roadside Stand, U-Pick Field or Farmer’s Market

North Carolina is known for its diverse and vibrant range of agriculture. Sweet strawberries in the spring, juicy tomatoes, and corn in the summer, and artisan cheese year-round make up just some of the state’s best homegrown food. And here in Raleigh, our proximity to rural areas makes for ever-growing offerings at roadside farm stands, “u-pick” fields, and farmers’ markets. Whether you want to add a stop on your weekly grocery run or make a day out of picking your own berries, check out this list of places near the Triangle to buy fresh produce from local farmers.

Chow Down at a Food Festival

Don’t feel like cooking? This month, take part in a gastronomic trip around the Triangle to experience unique twists on some of your favorite dishes from North Carolina and beyond. On June 5, Taste of Soul NC (501 Foster Street, Durham, tasteofsoulnc.com) will offer a cookout of seafood, ribs, and burgers from local vendors at Durham Central Park, alongside Jay’s Italian Ice and other sweet drinks to keep cool. On June 12, join The Hop Yard and Lawrence and Perry Barbecue for the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival, featuring classic barbecue sandwiches and ribs alongside fresh, locally sourced IPAs, wines, and bourbons. (1141 Falls River Avenue; thehopyardnc.com). Vegetarian or vegan? Try the Plant-Based Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ event on June 18 to treat yourself to a new twist on a Southern tradition, like Element Gastropub’s plant-based Carolina BBQ Sandwich, tossed in a “hybrid eastern and western” style sauce (312 E. Mason Street, Franklinton; vegevents.com). And don’t miss the Tacos ’N Taps festival on June 26 for a selection of $3 tacos, arepas, and “all you care to taste” tequila from Triangle food trucks (4825 Trinity Road; cary.tacosntaps.com).

Do Some Outdoor Yoga

Stretch out this summer, literally. Join downtown Raleigh yoga studio Blue Lotus as they travel for outdoor classes at various scenic locations. A few options: enjoy relaxing Saturday morning Open Level classes on the lush grounds of the Historic Oakwood Cemetery, or take in some culture while you ommm on the expansive grounds of the North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday, Fridays, and Sundays. Whatever the locale, you’re sure to find a class that will match your flow. All month | See website for times; In-person; $18; various locations; bluelotusnc.com

Watch the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Durham’s annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival draws filmmakers and independent film lovers from across the country. This year’s 24th annual festival is virtual, with films, Q&As, and panels available online from June 2 to 6. Thirty-six films from 21 countries have been selected, including My Name Is Pauli Murray, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, which examines the legacy of the North Carolina lawyer, activist, poet, and priest. “In a year unlike any other, we are grateful to the filmmakers for allowing us to be a part of celebrating their work,” said Sadie Tillery, Full Frame’s artistic director and interim festival director. “It’s hard to imagine an event without being together in downtown Durham, but Full Frame’s essence has always been rooted in the films themselves. Our venue may look different this year, but there is still so much to see and experience in these films that spark our capacity for understanding.” June 2 – 6 | See website for times; Virtual; from $7 per ticket; fullframefest.org

Enjoy Wednesday Night Bike Rides with Crank Arm

Grab your wheels: this weekly 10-mile social biking event starts at Crank Arm Brewing for a leisurely ride around town, suitable for all bike types and skill levels. The ride is accompanied by a sweeper to ensure the safety of participants, and lights are required per state law. A naturally socially distanced activity, the Night Rides are great for a group of friends on summer evenings (especially if you enjoy a pint of beer at Crank Arm afterwards).
Wednesdays | 6:30 p.m.; In-person; free but registration required; 319 W. Davie Street; crankarmbrewing.com

See the work of Chris Hondros at the Gregg Museum

Starting on June 3, the Thomas E. Cabaniss Gallery at the Gregg Museum will welcome an exhibit featuring conflict photography by Chris Hondros, a North Carolina State University alumnus killed in 2011 while working in Libya. Hondros was an English major and grew up in Fayetteville, the son of Greek and German WWII refugees. “It seems little wonder that attempting to understand war and its human elements would hold a special fascination for him,” said Roger Manley, director and curator at the Gregg Museum. Many of the photos on display at this exhibition will be images that Hondros, before his death, arranged for Getty Images to donate to the Gregg Museum, including works from Kosovo, Kashmir, Libya, Liberia, Angola, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Hondros won dozens of awards for his work, including top honors from World Press Photo in Amsterdam, which has appeared on the covers of Newsweek and The Economist, as well as the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. If you want to learn more before or after seeing the photos, watch the Netflix documentary Hondros, directed by Greg Campbell, which follows his life and career. Starting June 3 | 10 a.m – 5 p.m.; Free; 903 Hillsborough Street; gregg.arts.ncsu.edu

Go for a Swim

It’s that time of year when we’ve got sunny afternoons poolside on the mind. Here’s a list of local pools to check into this summer from the archives.

Head to NCMA’s Art in Bloom

Drawing crowds of art and plant lovers from all over the state, Art in Bloom provides stunning floral interpretations of your favorite pieces from the North Carolina Museum of Art. This year, the event is spread over two weekends, including talks and workshops with the floral designers. Learn more about how the florists come up with their creations and click here to sign up for WALTER’s exclusive behind-the-scenes video event. June 3 – 6 & 10 – 13;; In-person; from $18 per ticket; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org

Try a New Strip Mall Restaurant

From cheap tacos to fine French and Italian cuisine to authentic Ethiopian, check out this list of strip mall joints that dish up food in both unexpected and convenient locations. 

Hear Students Share their Work through Writers Share

Join the United Arts Council on June 4 for a First Friday event highlighting works by our area’s young voices. The council’s annual Writers Share showcases student writers from Wake County Public Schools who participated in residencies through the Artists in Schools program, which funds professional artists and writers to teach in schools. Together with their instructors, students will read a piece of work they wrote during the residency. “I look forward to our annual Writers Share all year, for I believe this event captures the essence of our Artists in Schools programs in several meaningful ways,” said Julia Mastropaolo, arts education coordinator at United Arts. “The transfer of knowledge, an awakening of the senses, a spark of inspiration, and finally the demonstration of understanding. Whether sweet or serious, each writing sample is powerful in its own unique way. Celebrating the creative process that brings each piece to life is incredibly gratifying for all involved.” June 4 | 6 p.m.; Virtual; free; unitedarts.org

Head to the Beats and Eats Music Festival

Any opportunity to experience live music should be taken full advantage of this summer — and this festival just so happens to benefit a great cause. The Beats and Eats Music Festival will feature three different bands and three different caterers over three days and will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that helps to provide housing for families when a child in the family is receiving medical treatment for a serious condition away from home. Friday night will feature the bluegrass band Love and Valor with classic North Carolina barbeque from Annie Bell’s Catering. SOULJAM will headline Saturday night at the Southern Village in Chapel Hill with bartacos inventive, flavorful street tacos. Sunday is all things mimosas and jazz music, with the jazz band Peter Lamb and the Wolves providing a soothing end to the weekend. June 4 – 6 | See website for times and locations; In-person; see website for pricing; https://chapelboro.com/events/souljam-rmh-beats-eats-music-festival

Head to Shakori for GrassRoots Live!

While the popular biannual Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance in Pittsboro is postponed until October, you can still enjoy a small dose of peace, love, and good tunes through their series of weekly, pod-based concerts. On Fridays and Saturdays through GrassRoots Live! at Shakori Hills, catch American folk band The Wood Brothers on the 4th, folk sisters Rising Appalachia on the 5th, or five-piece Donna the Buffalo on the 11th or 12th. If you don’t want to go in person, enjoy a high-definition stream of the show for up to 48 hours after the event.
June 4, 5, 11, & 12 | 7 p.m.; In-person or virtual; from $160 per six-person pod, $15 to stream; Shakori Hills Community Arts Center, 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Pittsboro; shakorihillsgrassroots.org 

See Always a Bridesmaid

A Jones Hope Wooten comedy, Always a Bridesmaid tells the story of four friends who, more than thirty years later, are determined to keep the promise they made on the night of their senior prom: to be in each other’s weddings. You can see this hysterical comedy live at Theatre in the Park on June 4, 5, or 6 with COVID-19 precautions in order, or stream it from home anytime between June 11 and 20. June 4 – 6 and 11 – 20; In-person and virtual; $22 for in-person tickets; $20 for streaming; 107 Pullen Road; theatreinthepark.com

Tune in to Fireside Collective with Graham Sharp

Celebrate the return of live music with two North Carolina groups this month. PineCone will welcome Fireside Collective with Graham Sharp to the Duke Energy Center as part of its Down Home Concerts series. Drawing on folk, blues, funk, and a variety of bluegrass sounds, Fireside Collective emerged from Asheville five years ago. Since then, the group has released its debut album Elements, won the 2016 Band Contest at MerleFest, earned an International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year nomination, and toured across the country. On June 10, they’ll be joined by Graham Sharp, who has spent the last 20 years with Steep Canyon Rangers writing songs and playing banjo. Over the past year he’s recorded and released his debut solo album, Truer Picture. Not ready to watch in person? The event will also be streamed live. June 10 | 7:30 p.m. Virtual or in-person; from $16 per ticket; 2 E. South Street; pinecone.org.

Head to CAM for the Empowering Women Exhibit

Visit CAM Raleigh to see Perseverance, Pride, Power, part of photographer Alun Be’s Empowering Women series. Originally created for the United Nations in 2015, the series highlights the strength of women in Senegal by highlighting their personal stories of perseverance, pride, and resilience. Each woman shown chose how to present her own experience, providing an inspiring history from the ground up. The exhibition includes women like Madame Sarr of Kaolack, known for developing West Africa’s most protein-rich, grain-based nutritional flour; Madame Kane of Dakar, an activist and schoolteacher who helped break the “supporting role” idea of women in politics; and Madame Ndaw of Kaolack, the head of a mutual insurance company with more than 5,000 members that also teaches women how to gain autonomy and financial stability. Saturday and Sundays | 12 – 5 p.m.; In-person; free; 409 W. Martin Street; camraleigh.org

Get Outside with the help of these NC Books

The Triangle area is full of great adventures for those of us who love to be outside. Pick up a few of these guides to hike, bike, float, skate, and fish your way through our beautiful surroundings!

Watch the Symphony’s Carnival of the Animals

Introduce your little ones to the joys of the orchestra with Camille Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals, part of the North Carolina Symphony’s Young People’s Concert Streaming Matinee Series. Each of the fourteen movements in the piece depicts a different animal, from a lion to a swan, and short poems about the animals narrated by Yolanda Rabun accompany each movement. While aimed towards young children, it’s a great experience for all ages. “The Carnival of the Animals is the perfect way to introduce children to the orchestra,” said Meredith Laing, director of communications at the NC Symphony. “The music is funny at some times and strikingly beautiful at others, and is sure to spark the imagination.” June 5 | 3 p.m; Virtual; $21; ncsymphony.org

Take a Decamp Detour on Your Way to the Beach or Mountains

What’s a summer in North Carolina without a week cooling off in your favorite swimming hole in the Blue Ridge Mountains or building sand castles along the coast? Save room in your cooler and stop at one of these spots to stock up on things like chicken salad and pimento cheese or just need a mid-drive meal. We’ve also got some pretty rad vacation rentals both East and West to check out, and small towns to explore as well in both the mountains and the coast.

See Burning Coal Theatre’s Summer Second Stage Series

Burning Coal Theatre is presenting two shows this month, both virtually and in-person, as part of their Second Stage series. From Zimbabwe-born playwright Zodwa Nyoni, Nine Lives tells the journey of a young gay African man seeking asylum in the United Kingdom and living out of a suitcase. Girls and Boys by Dennis Kelly premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre in February 2018 and transferred later that year to the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York. This one-woman show tells the harrowing tale of a young businesswoman, wife, and mother who seems to have it all — but can she keep it? “Both of these shows are one-person performances by phenomenal local actors,” said Nathalie Ray, development director at Burning Coal Theatre. “It’s a great opportunity to see them really explore their craft.” June 10 – 26 | 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. on Sundays; In-person and virtual; $10; Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk Street; burningcoal.org/secondstage/

Take in Taylor White’s Pursuit of Happiness

North Carolina muralist Taylor White will be kicking off her first self-funded, self-initiated, and self-produced solo exhibition, Pursuit of Happiness, in partnership with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Running from June 11 to August 28, the exhibition will be hosted in the former Art of Style space downtown and is an effort to promote revitalization of downtown since the pandemic. A contrast to the larger-than-life, powerful murals White’s done before, this show will be “something new entirely,” she says. “Pursuit of Happiness is a collection of paintings incubated over the course of the last year, in which foundations were shaken, plans were changed, and emotions were at an all-time high. The work responds to the events of 2020, and explores what it means to be a human being in a shifting context.” Starting June 11 | Various times; The exhibit is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays, and Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment. In-person; free; 19 W. Hargett Street; taylorwhite.art

Watch Cirque de la Symphony

Streaming live from Meymandi Concert Hall, Cirque de la Symphonie is returning to the North Carolina Symphony with an all-new program. The production is designed to bring the magic of the circus to the music hall, and features acrobats, aerial flyers, contortionists, and strongmen performing meticulously crafted choreography to orchestral favorites. This is a can’t-miss streaming event for the whole family. June 12 | 8 p.m.; Virtual; $21; ncsymphony.org

See Evita

With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Evita tells the story of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of president Juan Perón, from her early life, rise to power, charity work, and death. One of Webber’s most-loved scores, the show features songs like Don’t Cry for Me Argentina; Another Suitcase, Another Hall; and Buenos Aires. “This show is a classic and it’s one of those shows that you really just have to see at least once in your life,” said Nathalie Ray, development director at Burning Coal Theatre. “And the way we’re presenting it outdoors at Dorothea Dix Park makes it even more of a must-see.” June 17 – 20 & 24 – 27 | 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. on Sundays; $15; Dorothea Dix Park, 1030 Richardson Drive; burningcoal.org/evita/

Listen to Southern Culture and the Skids New Record

Through nearly four decades of existence, Chapel Hill’s Southern Culture on the Skids have been road warriors, keeping a relentless touring regimen. The pandemic however, found the Chapel Hill rock and acoustic band home bond in NC making a new record. Read about it here.

Honor Juneteenth in Raleigh

Celebrate Juneteenth the traditional way at the Raleigh Juneteenth Festival, hosted by multipurpose community group Faithful Servants LLC. This free community event is for the whole family and comes with fun, education, and fellowship. Traditional Juneteenth foods will be served, such as red hot dogs, watermelon, red Kool-aid, and strawberry lemonade, which represent the blood shed during slavery. There will also be a live DJ, educational vendors, carnival-style games, and a pop-up Black Wall Street featuring local Black-owned businesses. “The festival is modeled after traditional Juneteenth celebrations held in Texas, where it’s been recognized as a holiday for decades,” said Mela Michelle, owner of Faithful Servants LLC. “Everyone should come out to learn and experience Juneteenth in a traditional sense as well as mix, mingle, and support local individuals in the community. This event will be amazing and you don’t want to miss it!”June 19 | 2 – 8 p.m.; In-person; free but registration required; 2235 Garner Road; search Eventbrite for “Raleigh Juneteenth Festival”