25 Things to Do in August in Raleigh and Beyond

Events, hikes, markets and more—here’s what to do in the Raleigh area throughout the month of August.
by Cady Smith, Emily Clemente and Katherine Poole

All month long…

Float this idea: Frog Hollow Outdoors offers a variety of paddling trips, guide services and programs for individuals and groups to enjoy the many lakes and rivers in the Triangle area. They have implemented reduced group sizes and other COVID-19 procedures to ensure a safe and fun experience. Sign up online for a variety of paddling trips including: Self Guided Neuse River Trip, Paddle Under the Stars, Kids Kayak Class and Family Night Paddle.

Photo credit: Duke University

Stream Music in Your Gardens by Duke Univerisity in your home with a free, pre-recorded online concert. Listen to performances every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. from musicians like Rissi Palmer, H.C. McEntire and Joe Troop.

On Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m., stroll through Moore Square Market downtown for fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and desserts and more. The Market has added new safety precautions including pre-order options from six restaurants and shops each week.

Watch local entertainers such as Melvin Gray, Jr., Gerard Williams and Lydia Kinton share music, comedic routines and artistic performances from their homes through Theatre Raleigh’s YouTube series hosted by producing artistic director Lauren Kennedy Brady.

Two new exhibits are slated to open in August at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Leonardo Drew: Making Chaos Legible features the contemporary artist’s diverse body of work. Drew uses materials such as wood, cotton, canvas, paper and steel to create gravity-defying sculptures that explode in their spaces. Be sure to visit his outdoor sculpture, City in the Grass—an abstract cityscape and a colorful flying carpet—in the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park Ellipse Lawn. Also scheduled to open is Good as Gold, Fashioning Senegalese Women, the first major exhibition of gold jewelry from Senegal. The exhibit presents the history of Senegal’s gold and the unique ways Senegalese women use it in fashion and ornamentation.

Photo credit: Raleigh City Farm

Find locally grown produce from Raleigh City Farm, an urban farm in downtown Raleigh on Blount Street, at the Farmstand each Wednesday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. Their summer harvest includes blueberries, tomatoes, corn and summer bouquets.

Strike a pose and Get Fit at Dix—Yoga in the Park. Enjoy the tranquil setting of Dorothea Dix Park every Wednesday evening as instructor Dana Lindquist leads a group—all fitness levels are welcome— through a series of poses to increase strength and flexibility. Come the first and third Wednesday for Gentle Flow Yoga or the second and fourth for Yin Yoga (meditative, deep stretch). Register in advance online and don’t forget to bring a yoga mat, towel, water bottle and all the oms.

Local Raleigh artist Lyudmila Tomova’s art exhibition Apotheosis opens August 14 at 6 p.m. presented by the Halle Cultural Art Center. Try to spot some of her 40 pieces that are displayed throughout the town of Apex all month long.

August 3-7: Sign your children up for NASA: Journey into Outer Space, a virtual summer camp hosted by Mad Science of the Triangle. Your kids can become an astronaut in training, explore Earth and beyond and participate in other fun space-related activities.

August 4: Follow along with the team of interns at N.C. State University’s J.C. Raulston Arboretum as they give a virtual tour of their top picks among the facility’s collection via Zoom. Event runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on August 4.

August 6: Watch performers from the Raleigh Little Theatre compete to raise the most money and be crowned Diva of the Year for their annual fundraising performance Divas! Event takes place on August 6 at 7:30 p.m. via Facebook Live.

August 7: Visit First Friday Raleigh’s events and exhibitions downtown hosted by Downtown Raleigh Alliance like the Spring Florals on Canvas art installation by artist Nicole Kennedy. Or go on a scavenger hunt for murals around Raleigh’s Moore Square District from 12 to 8 p.m. to support local small businesses.

August 7-9: Join the LGBT Center of Raleigh for the first ever virtual Out! Raleigh Pride via Facebook Live and Zoom. Tune in to conversations on LGBTQ+ history, dance parties and musical performances by special guests like SunQueen Kelcey.

Photo credit: NCModernist

August 8 & 22: Visit an unoccupied Modernist house at a trickle of the normal rate of a house tour with NCModernist on August 8 and August 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

August 11: Your rising 4th – 6th grader will learn about habitats and animals in their own backyard with Investigate Your Backyard on August 11. Instructors from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will teach kids how to explore wildlife of the North Carolina Piedmont with Adventure Kits, which include materials for everything from dissecting a cocoon to exploring the hive-making habits of honeybees.

August 15-29: Here comes the sun. Hill Ridge Farms is hosting its first-ever Sunflower Festival August 15 – 29. Head over to the farm to cel- ebrate with food trucks, local artists, craft vendors and sunny selfie opportunities.

August 17-30: August 18th marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Burning Coal Theatre Company has partnered with The League of Women Voters of Wake County to present a collection of 14 plays written by accomplished women playwrights that will be released one at a time virtually. The 19th Amendment Project runs from August 17-30.

August 18-28: North State Bank’s traditional Summer Salute fundraiser for Transitions LifeCare— a hospice and pallative care facility in Wake County—is going virtual in 2020. Now through August 17, purchase a Summer Fun Raffle ticket. The winner will be selected August 18 and has a choice of prizes that include an E-Z-Go Golf Cart and diamond earrings. Tickets can be purchased here or at a North State Bank location. After the drawing, join in the fun of bidding in the Summer Salute Online Auction featuring an array of items to entice and excite.

August 21: Sample beers from local North Carolina brewers with this virtual brewery crawl, titled Natural Selections, hosted by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences on August 21. Help raise money for the nonprofit Friends of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and participate in interactive games, science demonstrations and a D.I.Y. activity.

August 25: In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Wake County’s League of Women Voters is hosting a Women’s Equality Day event to commemorate the women’s right to vote and showcase female leadership in North Carolina on August 25. Listen to talks from LWV-Wake President Dianna Wynn, First Lady Kristin Cooper, N.C. Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls and LWV-Wake Development Director Cheryl Tung.

August 26: Our summit for women leadership has gone virtual this year! Sign up for the free WINnovation pre-event workshop on August 26 here, then join us in September for online networking and inspiring talks by local female leaders! This year’s panel includes female leaders Mavis Gragg, Judith Cone, Kristie Nystedt and Shana Tucker.

August 29: Head out to Angier to hear four country and bluegrass bands at The Country Yard Party, created by Paige King Johnson. Bring a cooler and enjoy the music either from your own socially-distant 12×12 plot or from your own 20×20 tailgate space.

And this month, why not try…

Taking a drive to the historic Glencoe Mill Village and hike a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in honor of August’s two monthly observances, Family Fun Month and American Adventure Month.

Cook Royale’s Jeff Seizer’s pizza and pile it with summer vegetables from the N.C. State Farmers Market before the season ends.

…or learn to finally cook seafood with some of Ricky Moore’s tips and recipes.

Take a look at a virtual art exhibit titled Design by Time at N.C. State University’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design.