Eat your way through Fat Tuesday, curl up with a good book, hit the museums and more.
by Addie Ladner
A North Carolina Winter has set in and brought cold wet days here in the Triangle. All the more to take this list of things to do in Raleigh to heart — full of ideas to not just truck through February but relish it. Make a big batch of soup to share, bundle up and explore Chatham County or a restaurant for a meal fireside, safely head indoors to check out a new art exhibit and more this month.
Learn about these important landmarks in honor of Black History Month
February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time that reminds us of the rich and troubled history of African American people in the South. Here in Raleigh, there are a few spots that bring the point home, from a sculpture that marks a bygone freedman’s village to ongoing preservation projects at parks and historical sites. Consider visiting these locations as an entry point to start your own reflection, then continue your journey with an in-person or virtual visit to North Carolina’s History Museum, the City of Raleigh Museum or the digital collections of the N.C. State Archives to learn more.
Listen to the North Carolina Symphony
Streaming from Meymandi Concert Hall, hear the symphony’s Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, one of the most popular classical works in history. Or later in the evening, hear our local musicians explore virtuoso masterpieces like Mozart’s Oboe Quartet and hidden gems for strings, woodwinds, and percussion from Kodály, and more for the Musicians’ Choice series.
Friday February 5 12:00p.m (Four Seasons). 8:00 p.m (Musicians’ Choice), $22; streaming; ncsymphony.org
Attend a virtual baking class
Home bakers, rejoice! You can now bake virtually with Master Baker Lionel Vatinet from his home kitchen starting on February 6. For this first of the series learn how to make rustic tarts, profiteroles, and crepes from a true Frenchman. Pick up all you need to participate at Vatinet’s flagship Preston Corners La Farm location and roll your sleeves up for this gastronomic trip to France right in your own home.
February 6; 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; virtual; $100 (price includes ingredients and toolbox)
Celebrate Mardi Gras!
Mardis Gras is underway, and you have until Fat Tuesday (February 16) to indulge yourself. This year, curate your own New Orleans-inspired soiree. At St. Roch (223 W. Wilmington St.; strochraleigh.com) chef Sunny Gerhart will offer a “Chez Vous Kit” with all you need to celebrate at home, including boudin, andouille and a Hurricane cocktail kit. Lucette Grace (235 S. Salisbury St.; lucettegrace.com) and La Farm Bakery (4248 NW Cary Parkway, Cary; lafarmbakery.com) has King Cakes (preorder recommended), and The Big Easy (222 Fayetteville St.; bigeasync.com) will elevate its French Quarter dine-in experience with beads, Abita beer, Gambino’s iconic King Cake, live music and more. For a complete list of where to get King Cake, gumbo and more head here.
Go to a trivia night, virtually
Join host Lee Jones is every Monday for trivia, food and prizes at BBQ joint Southern Charred on Glenwood South. Use your phone or tablet for a safer alternative than sharing pens and paper. Devour a dish of pulled pork mac and cheese or poached pear salad as you answer all sorts of random questions pertaining to anything from history to pop culture to sports and more.
Mondays; 7 p.m; 510 Glenwood Avenue #101 or virtual; southerncharred.com
Support a good cause at the Triangle Food & Wine Experience
From February 2 – 9, join our state’s premier wine event, the Triangle Wine & Food Experience, benefiting the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center. The event will be virtual this year but the good food and wine won’t be any different. Bring the party home with a Celebration Kit ($100) filled with a bottle of sparkling wine, cheese & charcuterie plate and accouterments from AC Events, as well as other snacks from Union Special Bread. Add wine, beer or a cocktail kit to go with it and participate in a virtual auction.
February 2-9; virtual, starting at $100; trianglewinefood.org
Enjoy the Carolina Ballet from home
The Carolina Ballet will be streaming their performance of Zalman Raffael’s Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 live from Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the start of the month. The performance will also include Robert Weiss’ Adagio and Meditation and George Balanchine’s Agon, and will feature artists-in-residence Amar Ramasar, Alexa Maxwell and Megan LeCrone from New York City Ballet.
February 3,4,7 Go here for more information on tickets.
Go to wine & cheese happy hour at Bottles & Cans
Join Bottles & Cans in Cary for a wine & cheese happy hour on February 3 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The event will feature 8 different cheeses accompanied by La Farm bakery breads and four glass wine flights, as well as instructions, tips and tasting with Lauren Stevens, founder of Joy Worthy Co. and former wine tasting consultant.
February 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m; tickets are $29 and must be purchased in advance online or in store; 9954 Chapel Hill Road, Cary
Do some yard work
Just because it’s winter and many plants are dormant doesn’t mean your garden doesn’t need some TLC! Now is a good time to prep for spring which, will be here before you know it. Plus, it’s already time to start certain vegetables and seeds. So pick a mild day, layer up your clothing, bring a mug of your favorite hot beverage, and enjoy the peace and fresh air of the garden. Here’s what you can work on.
Watch a Burning Coal Theatre production, virtually
Join Burning Coal Theatre Company as they present plays by African American playwright Dael Orlandersmith now through Valentine’s Day. The company will be featuring two rotating plays, Forever and Until the Flood. Forever is a semi-autobiographical work that traces the tempestuous relationship between a young girl and her ex-dancer mother in East Harlem, and Flood is a play comprised of interviews conducted with residents of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the Michael Brown killing.
Forever: February 5, 11, and 13 at 7:00 p.m., February 7 at 2:00 p.m.; Reserve tickets in advance;. Until the Flood: February 4, 6 and 12 at 7:00 p.m., February 14 at 2:00 p.m.; Reserve tickets in advance; burningcoal.org
Enjoy a warm restaurant meal outside
Not ready yet to dine indoors at a restaurant, but don’t want to freeze while eating outside? We’ve rounded up more than 20 restaurants and bars that offer fireside seating, offering customers socially distanced dining that feels safe and warm right here.
Visit a new art exhibit in Durham
In the spirit of renewal and growth going into 2021, the 5 Points Gallery in Downtown Durham is hosting their “Rejuvenation” exhibition: a multi-media gallery featuring the work of 10 Triangle-based artists focused on themes of rejuvenation, strength, and resilience. Every weekend,
February 12-13; 3-7 p.m., 109 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham; free, search “rejuvenation” on downtowndurham.com
Discover a new local antique shop on Instagram
Missing the thrill of the hunt? Fear not: these locally-run social media accounts let you score vintage home accessories, furniture and more from your phone.
And at under an hour from Raleigh, it’s worth it to take a day to explore Pittsboro and Chatham County for their warmth, creativity and scenic drives. Here are a few spots to check out in and around Pittsboro from BBQ to B&B’s to folk art and more.
Go on a Trickle Tour with NC Modernist
One February 13, tour the attractive new condos in downtown Raleigh Designed by Raleigh Architecture, Craig Kerins and Robby Johnston. What’s a trickle tour? It’s where Modernist fans visit a new or newly remodeled – unoccupied – Modernist house at a trickle of the normal rate, reducing the number of people. By using timed admission, there will be only 6 people inside at any given time, at most. Plus there’s greater flexibility in selecting a tour time and ticket price. Participants must wear masks while onsite and maintain a minimum six-foot distance with event staff and other participants.
Cryotherapy company iCRYO is opening their first location in North Carolina right here in Raleigh. This facility will be the first of its kind in the area, offering whole-body cryotherapy, localized cryotherapy, cryotherapy facials, iV infusion and more. Matthew Pepe, owner of the Raleigh location and a resident of the area for four years, says he’s excited to bring iCRYO into the Raleigh community. Join them for their grand opening on February 13, or on February 11 or 12 for one of their VIP days.
Grand opening February 13, or on February 11 or 12 for VIP days; 200 Park at North Hills Street Suite 150 Raleigh, NC 27609; icryo.com
Celebrate Valentines Day
From setting an extra special table at home inspired by a favorite restaurant, to reading a North Carolina inspired love story to learning about some unique love stories based in Raleigh, we’ve got five plus ideas for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day right here.
Take the MST 40 Hike Challenge
If you’re looking to get outdoors, take the Friends of the Mountain-to-Sea Trail 40 hike challenge. Featuring all 40 hikes in the groups new guide, Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-To-Sea Trail, these hikes will take you through many of the most special spots on the 1175-mile trail as it crosses through towns, parks and historic sites. Finish them all by 2023 and get a special patch featuring the challenge logo.
For more information, visit mountainstoseatrail.org/challenges/40-hike-challenge/
Become a Dinner Detective
America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Crabtree. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. The criminal is lurking somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it. Each admission includes a fantastic meal (on this year’s menu are things like antipasto, chicken marsala or salmon and more) mystery entertainment, wait staff gratuity, prize package for Top Sleuth, and much more. Cash bar and ATM available throughout the event.
February 6, 13, 14; 6:00 p.m-9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Crabtree, dinnerdetective.com
Make a big batch of these chef-inspired soups
Shorter, slower days and starkly cooler temperatures make it the perfect time to try these comfort-food recipes from Triangle chefs and foodies. Winter is the season to huddle together at the table and reconnect over comfort food, so we tapped the archives for ten nourishing soup recipes shared by Raleigh area chefs and food writers alike. Each one showcases herbs, spices, lesser-known vegetables and professional techniques to create something satisfying simple. Might we suggest making big batches of them to freeze and pull out on snow days?
Learn about North Carolina’s unique wine history
In Robeson County, where the grapes grow sweet, Lumbee-owned Locklear Winery and Vineyard thrive with a deep history.
See Yolanda Rabun in concert, virtually
While we eagerly await a chance to return in-person to our favorite concert venues, let award-winning singer Yolanda Rabun’s virtual concert transport you from the comfort of your home to atmospheres of jazz cafes and music halls with her enticing vocals and seamless blending of genres like jazz, blues, pop, and gospel.
February 20, 7:30 p.m; virtual; free, live-streamed from the Town of Cary’s Facebook page
Join WALTER at WINi!
Inspiring a new generation of women leaders: join us virtually for our fourth annual WINi summit on February 21 to celebrate young women, diversity and innovation. Hear five female leaders in our community share their career journeys — from overcoming obstacles and pushing boundaries to achieving their goals. Presented by Bank of America with support from Diamonds Direct, learn more about this event and meet our panelists here.
Learn How To Make Macramé Plant Hangers
Join Joy Worthy Co. + Bella Ruth Co. to make a DIY macramé plant hanger just in time for Spring. Owner of Bella Ruth Co., Kat McDaniel, will teach you how to create a unique Macramé plant hanger using recycled macramé cords, a terracotta pot and succulents. Social distancing will be enforced and masks are required.
February 25th at 6:30 p.m.; Tickets are $55, with supplies and snacks included, and can be purchased here; Loading Dock Raleigh, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road #115
See the Golden Mummies at NCMA
Now through July 11, see the Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibit from the Manchester Museum here at the North Carolina Museum of Art — its debut appearance at an American art museum. Featuring eight gilded mummies and more than 100 related objects including papyri, jewelry and ceramics, “we’re able to explore concepts around humanity, divinity, and ideals of eternal beauty,” says museum director Valerie Hillings.
Reserve a timed ticket before visiting. See website for hours; from $14 per ticket; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd.; ncartmuseum.org