Things to Do in Raleigh, N.C: April 2023
Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 4pm by visitRaleigh
Every two weeks, we send out a newsletter that includes the best of the best upcoming events. If you sign up for our E-magazine, you'll get those, plus all the best new content (our favorite date ideas, for example, or 10 ways to plan a perfect weekend getaway in the Raleigh area).
Hello, spring! We're nearly a quarter of the way through 2023, 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!
Exhibition: Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design
April 1-Aug. 6
Creating pieces for films including "Black Panther," "Malcolm X," "Selma" and "Do the Right Thing," Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter has defined generations through her work in film and TV. In this highly anticipated exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art, more than 60 of Carter’s original garments will be on display.
Casks on Fools
This by-the-glass cask festival at Crank Arm Brewing—celebrating a decade of great beer in 2023—is one of the can't-miss celebrations of spring, offering unique cask-conditioned ales from more than 20 Tar Heel State breweries.
Tacos 'N Taps
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.
Back for another much-anticipated weekend and curated by platinum-selling rapper and N.C. native, J. Cole, the 2023 version of Dreamville will be a two-day, multi-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 Drake, Usher, Burna Boy, Summer Walker, Lil Durk and many more.
Tickets sold out quickly, however there is now an official verified ticket exchange program for safe last-minute buying and selling.
Theatre Raleigh presents Jersey Boys
With phenomenal music, memorable characters and great storytelling, Jersey Boys follows the fascinating evolution of four blue-collar kids who became one of the greatest successes in pop music history.
Burning Coal Theatre presents The Cherry Orchard
Directed by Randolph Curtis Brand, The Cherry Orchard is a century-old tale of workers versus landlords and socio-economic divide that has one family caught in the middle (and audiences will laugh and cry as it all comes tumbling down).
First Friday Market & Movie Night
Games, food trucks, a vendor market and more will be paired with a showing of "The Lego Movie" at Moore Square in downtown Raleigh.
North Carolina Football Club and North Carolina Courage take to the pitch
Two professional soccer teams kick off new seasons in Cary at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park this month.
North Carolina Football Club launches into a new USL League One season with home matches against Lexington (April 1), Charlotte (April 8) and Chattanooga (April 21).
And the North Carolina Courage, playing their seventh season in Cary this year, will defend home turf in April as they take on Washington (April 15)—they'll play a heavy home schedule next month, so stay tuned!
Mid-Town Square Spring Festival
April 8 Rescheduled to May 13 due to inclement weather
Held at Bond Brothers Beer Company in Cary, this free-admission festival features food trucks, local artists, live music and, of course, Bond Brothers' award-winning brews (new releases and special casks included!). Kids and leashed dogs are welcome at the brewery, but heads up—this event will draw a big crowd!
League of Legends LCS Spring Finals
Riot Games' League of Legends—the world's most popular esport and the basis for the Emmy-winning animated television show "Arcane"—will bring the Spring Finals event to Raleigh's PNC Arena for a two-day championship event hosted in front of a big crowd (some tickets are still available!).
Mt. Joy, Ella Mai, The Wailin' Jennys and more rocking live music
Spring concert season is in full swing! We're saving the dates for these shows (and many more).
- jxdn, April 1
- Aaron Hamm and The Big River Band, April 1
- Church of the Cosmic Skull, April 3
- Ambrosia & Friends, April 8
- Mellow Swells, April 8
- Silverstein, April 9
- Carcass, April 11
- Sidecar Social Club, April 12
- Pressing Strings, April 13
- Dawn Landes & Friends, April 14
- Mt. Joy, April 14
- Aly & AJ, April 14
- Wilder Woods, April 14
- Friday Night on White: Magic Pipers, April 14
- Onyx, April 17
- Ella Mai, April 18
- Peter Lamb & The Wolves, April 19
- Ryan Monroe & Josh Roberts, April 20
- Live @ Lake Raleigh: Hank, Pattie & The Current, April 20
- Los Dos Carnales, April 21
- Lil Wayne, April 21
- Danielle Nicole with Brandon Miller Band, April 21
- The Wailin' Jennys, April 22
- The Band of Heathens, April 23
- Dillon Fence, April 28
- Of Good Nature and Wheeland Brothers, April 28
- Hayley Kiyoko, April 29
- Ruben Studdard & Clay Aiken, April 29
Carolina Mudcats swing into a new season
April 11-16 vs. Salem Red Sox; April 25-30 vs. Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Swinging into a brand new season, the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate Carolina Mudcats are back in action at Five County Stadium in Zebulon with two home series this month. Be on the lookout for Bark in the Taco Tuesdays (bring your dog to the game!), Thirsty Thursdays (half-priced beers and sodas), Friday Night Fireworks (post-game fireworks each Fri. night) and Souvenir Saturdays (unique giveaways) all season long.
North Carolina Opera presents Gershwin's Porgy & Bess
April 14 and 16
Nearly a century-old story from American composer George Gershwin (and sometimes referred to as the "Great America Opera"), Porgy & Bess portrays the lives of African American residents of Catfish Row—a fictional neighborhood in Charleston—and their struggles with poverty, love and addiction.
Peak City Pig Fest
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.
Short track racing at Wake County Speedway
April 14, Advance Auto Parts 160; April 21, Zaxby's-FV 160
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!).
13th Annual North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival
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?
2nd Annual Forest Fest
A morning full of entertainment in downtown Wake Forest, with food trucks, walking tours, the Wake Forest Farmers Market, an art market and more taking place for the second annual Forest Fest.
Historic Oakwood 34th Annual Garden Tour
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!
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.
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.
North Carolina Theatre presents The Color Purple
This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of an epic story of the gift of courage that friendship can summon (plus features a joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues music).
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:
- vs. New York Islanders, April 2
- vs. Ottawa, April 4
- vs. Detroit, April 11
Carolina Ballet presents Orpheus & Eurydice
The penultimate production of Carolina Ballet's 25th anniversary season in Raleigh, the company will present five performances of this world premiere ballet that features new sets, costumes and live music paired with a legendary Greek love story.
April 28-30 and May 5-7
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.
N.C. Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival
This sixth annual event at Lafayette Village gets bigger and better every year. Taste local and regional chocolates and cheeses paired with a variety of wines from across the world (including some local favorites). Sit, sample and listen to live music, shop local vendors and take home a souvenir wine glass at the end of the day.
Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival
Featuring more than 170 local artists, Cary's Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival (celebrating their 30th year in 2023) fills the streets with art-paintings, jewelry, sculptures and more—plus food vendors, children's activities and all-day live music.
Expect food trucks, live music, a beer garden, kids' activities and a car show at this outdoor festival celebrating springtime in Holly Springs.
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!).
- Start Your Garden! - Summer Garden Seeding Workshop, April 6
- Cookies and Crochet! - Crochet Workshop and Dessert Sampling, April 13
- An Abundance of Succulents - Plant Grab and Garden Workshop, April 13
- People-First Poetry - Local Artist Showcase at CAM Raleigh, April 14
- Borrowing Something Sweet - Honey Tasting & Hive Tour, April 15
- Stop and Taste the Flowers - Herbal Tea Tasting and Workshop, April 20
- Rug Tufting Workshop at The Burrow Market, April 23
- Foray into Forging - Blacksmithing Workshop at ShopSpace, April 25
- Brush the Skyline - Watercolor and Brews Workshop, April 27
Looking ahead: May events in Raleigh, N.C.
- North Carolina Symphony presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, May 4-6
- Meet in the Street Festival, May 6
- Fest in the West, May 6
- 42nd Annual Apex PeakFest, May 6
- Lizzo, May 10
- Longleaf Film Festival, May 12-13
- Pitbull, May 12-13
- Carolina Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty, May 18-21
- Got to Be NC Festival, May 19-21
- Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival, May 20-21
- NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship, May 26 and 28
- Animazement, May 26-28
- NC Sugar Rush, May 28
Header photo of Dreamville Festival by Garrett Poulos
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