Hello, spring! We're nearly a quarter of the way through 2024, and winter weather has been kicked to the curb for good. Sunshine, longer days, major concerts, food festivals, outdoor exploration and more are here to stay—cheers to that. Here's what we're doing in April in the Raleigh area!

 

PPA Tour: North Carolina Cup

April 1-7
Pickleball fans, assemble! The first ever North Carolina Cup—part of the Professional Pickleball Association's 2024 tour schedule—brings some of the world's best players to Cary Tennis Park this week for non-stop action. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by caryncgov (@caryncgov)

 

Carolina Hurricanes playoff push

A hugely important month of action is ahead for the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes on the ice at PNC Arena. They'll finish the regular season with three home games in April in an attempt to secure one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The biggest—and loudest—crowds of the year are expected to show up big at these games:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Carolina Hurricanes (@canes)

 

Exhibit: To Take Shape and Meaning at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Through July 28
Featuring works from 75 Indigenous artists from more than 50 tribes across the U.S., To Take Shape and Meaning: Form and Design in Contemporary American Indian Art brings together a wide range of Indigenous world views, ideas, experiences and traditions. More than 90 works of art are on display, including jewelry, cars, ceramics, weaving, fashion ensembles and more.

Note that this is a ticketed exhibit, but the following community days are free and open to the public: April 20, May 18 and June 8. 

 

Movies under moonlight

Who's up for a movie under the stars? Pack your blankets and chairs for these two blockbuster evenings:

 

Short track racing at Wake County Speedway

The racing is full speed ahead at Wake County Speedway, where the NASCAR-sanctioned, quarter-mile track's tight corners play home to Friday night rock 'em-sock 'em, door-bangin' stock car action on an almost weekly basis into September (and where racing legends have been made for more than 60 years now!).

 

April Foods Day

April 5
Nothing but delicious delights and fun festivities as this food truck rodeo in downtown GarnerBonus: A summer food truck rodeo will be held July 19, and a "Trick or Eat" rodeo will take place Oct. 12

 

Final Four: NCAA Basketball Watch Parties

WOLF! Both the women's and men's basketball teams from North Carolina State University have made the Final Four of their respective NCAA Basketball Tournaments. 

The women will play on Fri., April 5 at 7pm. The men will play on Sat., April 6 at 6:09pm. You can expect a number of watch parties to be held with forthcoming details, but a few popular spots to watch these games (that will likely require arriving very early or reserving your spot ahead of time): Players Retreat, Woody's at City Market, My Way Tavern, Sports & Social, Carolina Ale House, Tobacco Road Sports Cafe & Brewery

Almost everywhere will have the game on, though, and we'll update here with any large, public viewing party details.

 

Pop-up Markets

Browse handmade items, discover small businesses, enjoy live music and more at these upcoming market events:

 

Tacos 'N Taps

April 6
This all-you-can-taste beer and tequila festival takes you south of the border for foodie fun—tacos, margaritas, 80-plus beers, mariachi bands, piñata punching, contests and other surprises await at Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

 

Dreamville Music Festival

April 6-7
Back for another much-anticipated weekend and curated by platinum-selling rapper and N.C. native, J. Cole, the 2024 version of Dreamville will be a two-day, two-stage festival at downtown Raleigh's Dorothea Dix Park with a one-of-a-kind celebration of local culture, food and art. This year's lineup includes J. Cole himself plus Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty, Schoolboy Q, SZA and other superstar acts.

Heads up: There are a very limited number of tickets remaining!

 

Theatre Raleigh presents Tick, Tick...Boom!

April 10-21
This autobiographical rock musical by Jonathan Larson—the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of Rent—is the story of a composer and the sacrifices made to achieve his big break in theater.

Related: Theatre Raleigh will host an immersive show, Gatsby's Prohibition Party, April 24-28.

 

North Carolina Football Club and North Carolina Courage take to the pitch

Two professional soccer teams have new seasons underway in Cary at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park this month. 

North Carolina Football Club, defending champions of USL League One, have home battles with Birmingham Legion FC (April 14) and New Mexico United (April 20).

And the North Carolina Courage, playing their eighth season in Cary this year, will defend home turf in April as they take on Portland (April 13) and Seattle (April 27).

 

AJR, Dustin Lynch, Hozier and more rocking live music

Spring concert season is in full swing! We're saving the dates for these shows (and many more). 

 

Carolina Mudcats swing into a new season

April 9-14 vs. Down East; April 23-28 vs. Salem; April 30-May 5 vs. Columbia
Swinging into a brand new season, the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate Carolina Mudcats are back in action at Five County Stadium in Zebulon with three home series this month. Be on the lookout for Bark in the Taco Tuesdays ($2 tacos), Dog Day Wednesdays ($2 hot dogs plus bring your pooch to the park), $3 Thursdays (discounted concessions), Friday Night Fireworks (post-game fireworks each Friday night) and Souvenir Saturdays (unique giveaways) all season long.

 

Peak City Pig Fest

April 12-13
Live music, a beer garden, a barbecue competition (sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society) and more make for one of Apex's tastiest events of the year.

 

Cary Pimento Cheese Festival

April 13
This tasty, free-to-attend event held at Downtown Cary Park this year puts one of the South's best delicacies front and center: pimento cheese! Food trucks, local vendors, live music, trivia, the annual pimento cheese sculpting contest and more will round out a full day's schedule for this event. 

 

NC Eat & Play's Spring Hootenany and Foodie Fest

April 13
Bites, beverages and bundles of fun for everyone at Haven Farm in Knightdale as part of this Southern-style, family-friendly throw-down named for and featuring one of the state's biggest social media influencers.

 

Harlem Globetrotters

April 17
Witness basketball artistry, ball-handling wizardry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment when the Harlem Globetrotters roll into town to put on a show at PNC Arena.

 

21Marbles: PARTYology

April 19
Sip, create and play your way to become a certified PARTYologist at this favorite Marbles Kids Museum fundraiser event (for adults 21 and up!). Enjoy laser tag, human foosball, take home crafts, a science-inspired drink, pizza and other games and refreshments.

 

Village District 75th Anniversary Celebration

April 20
A full day of fun—live music, beer garden, food, giveaways, photo booths, balloon artists, face painting and more—in celebration of shopping haven Village District's 75th anniversary.

 

14th Annual North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival

April 20
What could be finer than a jam-packed day of drool-worthy barbecue from The Pit, plenty of local brews and toe-tappin' bluegrass music on Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh? This kid- and pet-friendly event promises good tunes and good times (plus the event organizer, Empire Eats, donates 100% of the proceeds from the event to local children's causes). 

 

North Carolina Opera presents Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West

April 21
The gold rush is on and the rules are off in this wild west, one-night-only opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Minnie’s saloon is the one place in town where the lawless gold seekers settle down and put their differences aside—but all that changes when a stranger rides into town and steals Minnie’s heart.

 

Brewgaloo

April 26-27
N.C.'s largest craft beer festival—featuring 110 breweries, 40 food trucks and drawing 40,000 people—Brewgaloo takes over downtown Raleigh for two days each April. The festival, which has free admission on Saturday (so bring plenty of friends!), allows you to purchase either beer samples or full pints from breweries located across the state. The Friday night block party is a ticketed event that allows you unlimited three-ounce samples of limited release brews.

 

Historic Oakwood 35th Annual Garden Tour

April 27-28
This self-guided walking tour—approximately 1.5 miles in total—gives visitors a chance to see one of Raleigh's most beautiful neighborhoods at a gorgeous time of year, with docents on hand to welcome you and tell you about some of the most spectacular gardens in the area. Iced tea will be served at select locations, attendees will receive a goodie bag of treats from local businesses and garden hats are encouraged, of course!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stephanie Loy (@ncsteph77)

 

Carolina Ballet presents Rachmanioff's Piano Concerto No. 2

April 25-28
The penultimate production of Carolina Ballet's 2023-2024 season, the company will present Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, along with George Balanchine's Four Temperaments as well as Signs by guest choreographer Gianna Reisen.

 

HerbFest

April 26-28 and May 3-5
Those who love to cook will love HerbFest! Stroll through downtown Wake Forest's charming White St. and shop organic, non-GMO herbs and vegetables, plus heirloom tomatoes and peppers and beautiful perennials native to the area.

 

Dueling Dinosaurs Grand Opening

Permanent exhibition opening April 27
An exhibit 67 million years in the making, Dueling Dinosaurs—an exhibit containing what are thought to be the most complete skeletons ever discovered of a Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex—is among the most important paleontological discoveries of our lifetime. These historic fossils have taken up residency at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where a new lab has been built to put them on display.

Being unveiled April 27 this DinoLab will allow the public to watch as scientists work to uncover long-buried secrets within.

Note that beginning April 28, a free, timed ticketing system will be in place.

 

Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival

April 27
Featuring more than 170 local artists, Cary's Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival (celebrating their 31st year in 2024) fills the streets with art-paintings, jewelry, sculptures and more—plus food vendors, children's activities and all-day live music.

 

Raulston Blooms!

April 27
A beautiful time of year for one of the biggest annual events at JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University, Raulston Blooms includes an exceptional plant sale, garden talks, demonstrations, food trucks, ice cream and more.

 

Connecting explorers with guides: People-First Tourism

A new way to travel—discover a curated collection of tours, hands-on workshops and experiences led by local experts in the Raleigh area (the April calendar is filled with new events!).

 

 

Header photo of Dreamville Festival by Garrett Poulos

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