When you think of nightlife, art probably isn’t something that first comes to mind. In Greater Raleigh, art and performing arts can be enjoyed in lieu of an evening out at a bar or lounge, and with just as much fun.

The North Carolina Museum of Art usually closes at 5 p.m., but on Fridays you can experience the NCMA after dark during Art in the Evening. During this weekly event, the museum lobby is transformed into a lounge where you can relax with a glass of wine and enjoy small plates with friends. In between drinks you can wander the galleries and take in the art from a different perspective.

Another wonderful evening event for the arts is the Starlight Concert Series, a series of free concerts held on select Friday nights during the summer. On July 15th, Craicdown will perform acoustic roots music with high-energy, rock-inspired flare. The band draws from Celtic cultures, Brazilian choros and the swing music of Paris-American roots. Head out to Cary’s Page-Walker Arts and History Center for Craicdown, or choose another concert from the Starlight Series.

On July 9th, you can enjoy an evening with Dark Star Orchestra at Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Dark Star Orchestra interprets and plays Grateful Dead classics in the same way that orchestras usually interpret and play music of classical composers. Tickets are only $20-$25 and can be purchased here.

To find more evening art events, take a look at the visitRaleigh.com events calendar.