The Ultimate Guide to Halloween Events in Raleigh & the Triangle (2023)
Is there a holiday that’s more fun than Halloween? I think not. I thought it was a bit silly until we lived in the USA, went to our first Halloween house party, and experienced the fun of dressing up in costume and partying with friends.
I was shocked at the lengths people went to, not just with their costumes, but decorating their homes with garden cemeteries, spooky light shows, and haunted mazes.
And then our kids came along, and we experienced the joy of trick or treating. You spend your years warning your children to never accept candy from strangers (because that’s how the baddies trap you) and then for one night of the year you encourage them to knock on strange doors and collect bags full.
Halloween is one crazy holiday and this year in Raleigh is shaping up to be spooktacular!
After researching for this guide on Halloween in Raleigh and the Triangle, I’ve realized just how many more things there are to do during Halloween. Thankfully many of these haunted houses and attractions start and finish way before and beyond October 31, 2023
Don’t tire yourself out searching for “Halloween events near” me on your phone, let us save you the time with this Halloween guide!
I’m breaking this guide down into categories including Halloween Festivals and events, Haunted Houses and Farms, Ghost tours, Halloween for kids in Raleigh, and adults only Halloween things to do across Wake County, the Triangle, and up to a 90-minute drive away.
Please leave your suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of this post if we have missed any fun events you know of?
Haunted trolley tour, 2023 halloween boo bash, granville haunt farm drive thru, boo-ze halloween wine walk, halloween festivals & events, raleigh halloween house.
- Where: 504 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh
- When: approximately 1 week before Halloween.
One of the best things to do for Halloween in Raleigh is visit the legendary Halloween House in Historic Oakwood, famous for its elaborate and spooky Halloween decorations including a lawn full of zombies and skeletons.
It’s our Halloween tradition to visit every year and see what is new. We are always wowed at the amount of detail and work that goes into it. This Raleigh Halloween attraction is kid friendly. Our girls love it, but use discretion based upon your child’s age and personality.
NOTE: the decorations at this house usually start to come out approximately one week before Halloween and are added over time. I would wait until a few days before Halloween to see the full display, or even go on Halloween night for the full effect.
Watch our video below of the Raleigh Halloween House from 2021. You can see our Reel of the House for 2022 .
And another video of a Halloween House around the corner in Oakwood on Elm Street.
Carolina Ballet presents Dracula
- Where: Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
- Various Times
What better way to enjoy Halloween than with a performance of Dracula and The Red Death from the Carolina Ballet. This hauntingly theatrical and seductively beautiful interpretation of Mary Shelley’s story is true to the original novel in that the creature longs to be loved by his creator, Victor Frankenstein.
Clayton Harvest Festival
- Where: 310 E Main ST Clayton
- When: Oct 26-29, 2023
Enjoy thrilling Midway Carnival Rides and Games, delicious food from food trucks, and craft beer. Family Night will bring joy to all with a Kid’s Trunk-or-Treat event and a movie night.
- Where: Morehead Planetarium Science Center, Chapel Hill
- Sat Oct 28; 5-6pm Family friendly version
- Sun Oct 19, 6pm – 7pm Adults and teens
Carolina Skies: Scare-olina Skies edition is a Halloween-themed version of Morehead’s classic star show. Come learn about stars, constellations and celestial events through legends from ancient cultures, featuring monsters, mayhem and madness!
Oakwood Cemetery Series: Burning Coal Theater Company
- Where: Oakwood Cemetery
- When: September 29 – 30, 2023 at 6:30 pm and October 1 st , 2023 at 2 pm
- Cost: $20 adults | $10 students
What a fantastic way to get to know the history and haunting tales of Raleigh in its most historic cemetery.
Every October, Burning Coal Theatre partners with the historic Oakwood Cemetery to present a series of short plays based on the lives of people buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, their partners, neighbors, associates and nemeses’. These short plays are written from Triangle playwrights.
Movies on the Lawn: Halloween Double Feature
- Where: Flowers Field, Dorothea Dix Park
- When: October 28 2023 6-11pm
There is so much to love about this ScreamFest in Dorothea Dix Park. Two classics back-to-back: Casper (7pm) followed by US (8:30pm). Come dressed in your favorite costume. There is a parade and prizes starting at 6pm. Food trucks on site and you can BYO.
- Where: Cary Theater, Downtown Cary
- When: October 20,2023, 7pm
- Website: www.thecarytheater.com/zombiepalooza
We were quite surprised by the dedicated turn out for Zombiepalooza when we visited pre-COVID.
The Cary Theater hosts a free event showcasing locally created zombie short films on a huge outdoor screen. Plenty of people dressed in their best zombie gear! This is a FREE family-friendly event.
Raleigh Ghost Tours, 2023
While you can join most of these Raleigh ghost tours at any time of the year, why not add extra sprinkles to your tingles by doing it for Halloween.
Raleigh Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour
- Where: Downtown Raleigh, NC
- When: Fri-Sun, 7:30pm
- Cost: $15 child (8-14) $18 adult
- Website: Tobacco Road Tours
Let’s forget the fake zombies and ghouls, let’s bring Halloween to the REAL life.
The 90-minute family friendly Raleigh Ghost Walk combines local ghost stories, folklore and history from the 1700’s through the 20th century. You’ll visit four different Ghost & Paranormal sites. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time.
Ghosts and Dark History Guided Night Walking Tour
- Where: Downtown Raleigh
- When: Daily 8pm
- Reserve your spot
Prepare to be spooked outside some of the most haunted locations in Raleigh on a ghost walking tour. Journey to eight sites that cast a shadow over the city’s history, including the Heck-Andrews House.
Choose to extend your ghost hunt with the 1.5-hour tour which takes you to four additional locations downtown. Step into history at Isaac Hunter’s Tavern and uncover more terrifying tales of the past.
Self-Guided Ghost Hunt
- When: your own time
- Website: Built story
Here’s a Halloween idea to do yourself at a time that suits you. Purchase the ghost hunt tour and stories via the Built Story app .
Follow the app to explore 20 locations and listen to the haunted stories and legends connected to these notorious haunts and the City of Oaks former citizens. Sites are mostly located in downtown Raleigh and N.C. State University. You will need a car for this Raleigh ghost hunt. Suitable for elementary ages and above.
Haunted History Walking Tour
- Where: Starts Governor’s Mansion 200 Blount St.
- Fri, 7-8:30pm
- Sat, 5-6:30pm
- Sat, Oct 28 Sat, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
- Cost: Pay what you want (suggested donations $15-$20 per adult)
- Book tickets in advance
This 90-minute guided walking tour will take you to four city landmarks where you’ll hear eerie tales and stories of the history and legacy of the Raleigh landmarks.
This is a history tour sharing real haunting tales from past events. You’re not ghost hunting, but that’s not to say you won’t see one! Kid-friendly but does depend on your child’s sensitivity!
Spirits of Wake Forest:
- Where: Downtown Wake Forest
- Thursdays and Fridays – 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Saturdays – 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
Downtown Wake Forest’s buildings and sidewalks have seen well over 100 years of history, and they have some eerie stories to tell. Join WFD, Inc. and FTC’s incredible cast of storytellers to learn about the restless spirits that make up just a small piece of downtown’s haunted history.
Ghostly Legends at the Old Hotel
- Where: Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary
- When: Sat Oct 28, 2023 6:30pm & 8:30pm
- Cost: $18.65
- Tickets : Age 12 and up
Ghostly legends and haunted tales with a bit of mystery are brought to you through a medium’s special connection with the world beyond. Feel the presence of the past at Cary’s old hotel with the help of Cary Players.
- Where: Mordecai Historic Park
- When: Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28; 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
- Website : Recommended 6+
Raleigh’s ghostly residents are eager to greet you onboard the Raleigh historic trolley. Discover history, mystery and lore with your ghost host on the Haunted Trolley, if you dare, for a special late-night tour of downtown Raleigh’s most haunted places.
Kid-Friendly Halloween Experiences in Raleigh for 2023
While some of the other Triangle Halloween experiences we’ve mentioned may be for kids (depending on age and personality), you can be assured that the below suggestions are family-friendly Halloween events for all ages, but probably more geared to younger kids.
Kooky Spooky, Marbles Kids Museum
- Where: Marbles Kids Museum
- When: Oct, 27, 2023, 6-8:30pm
- Cost: $18 for members / $20 for non-members
Fans of Marbles Kids Museum will love having a spooktacular Halloween after dark with a Monster Mash Dance Party, a Mad Scientist lab and more. Come in costume!
Track or Treat Halloween Express Train Ride
- Where: New Hope Valley Railway / North Carolina Railway Museum (NCRM)
- When: Oct 14, 21,
What kid wouldn’t want to ride on a train with scenes of flying witches, smoking cauldrons, Count Dracula and other friendly creatures. You can also search for 13 hidden mummies along the train tracks.
The vintage New Hope Valley Railway travels along 4 miles of historic woods from Bonsal to New Hill and back. The journey takes about an hour, and you can bring food and drink. Train lovers will also enjoy the model railroads and artifacts located onsite at the open-air North Carolina Railway Museum.
The Great Pumpkin Carve
- Where : Downtown Cary
- When: Saty Oct 28, 2-8pm
- Cost: Pumpkin!
Pick out the perfect pumpkin at the patch and carve it or try out one of their new water-marbling pumpkins. There’ll also be hourly story time from the Downtown Wake County Library, fun art activities, and more. Stay for family-friendly Halloween specials shown outdoors, including “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”
Pumpkin Flotilla, Bond Lake, Cary
- Where: Bond Lake, Cary
- Time: Oct 27, 2023 4-7 pm
- Cost: Free
- Website: https://www.townofcary.org
Each October, pumpkins set sail across picturesque Bond Park Lake at twilight accompanied by local music, snacks, and Halloween activities!
Floats are limited and first come first served. If you want to show off your carved pumpkin, drop it off at the Bond Park boathouse in the days leading up to the event. If you miss the flotilla evening, the pumpkins are typically left on the lake and they relight them for the next couple of nights.
- Where: Pullen Park
- When: Sat Oct 7, 2023; 3-6pm
Bring old clothes, some props, and the family to build your own scarecrow. Twie, straw and a structure will be provided, and there will be fall stories and activities.
Gabi’s Ghostly Gala
- Where: Whitaker and Atlantic 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road #STE 111 Raleigh, NC 27604
- When: Friday, October 13 2023 | 7p.m. – 10.p.m.
- Cost: $50 – $150
A fun night of dancing, music, food, drinks, and a silent auction. All money raised will go to grow the team at Gabi’s, who employs people with special abilities. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine included with the ticket. Masquerade mask and costumes optional-there will be a costume contest.
Halloween Spooktacular – NC Symphony
- Where: Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts
- When: Friday, October 28, 2023 | 1 & 4 pm
Happy Halloween! Enjoy frightful fun from the movies, including music from E.T., Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and more! Plus a costume contest!
Spellbound at Mordecai
- When: Sat, October 28, 202310am-3pm
Encounter mysterious creatures and amazing magicians, have your fortune told, create spooky crafts, and decorate a pumpkin to take home for All Hallow’s Eve. Don’t forget your costumes!
- Where: E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road
- When: Thurs, Oct 26, 2023 4:30pm-7pm
The Halloween Boo Bash presented by Capital Chevrolet is a free, family-oriented festival for children ages 12 and younger.
This year’s festivities will include balloon animals, inflatable slides, and a variety of other ghostly games and activities. Small pumpkins will be available to the first 300 children. Costumes are optional, but best costumes may be featured on the Town website and social media pages.
Haunted Homes, Farms + Hair Raising Attractions, 2023
Some of the most popular things to do for Halloween is to scare yourself witless at any of the elaborate haunted houses and fear farms throughout Wake County and our neighboring counties.
You’d be dead wrong if you didn’t think these were worth the drive! I’ve chosen hair raising attractions that won’t take you much longer than an hour to get to.
Edward’s Battle Haunted House
- Where: 9401 S. Mere Street, Raleigh
- When: Not yet announced
- Cost: Donation
Edward’s Battle Haunted House was created by a Raleigh family for their son who was battling cancer. The walk through Haunted House is filled with ghosts, goblins, vampires and other ghouls.
Donations are accepted and benefit Give Kids the World and there is a special Blood Drive connection on Oct 29. Starve the vampires!
Phillips Farm Haunted Farm
- Where: 6701 Good Hope Church Road, Cary, NC
- When: Friday 9/29 – Oct 29 Various times
- Cost: $25 cash ($27 CC) per person
- Not recommended for 12 and under
Not only does Philips Farm in Cary have one of the biggest and most popular Fall farm experiences in Wake County, they also take it to another level at night with their Haunted Farm.
The four scary attractions include live actors, flashing lights, sudden scares, dark spaces and sound effects. You’ll be daring to live through
- The Field of Lost Souls
- The Rebellion Trail
- Big Top Terror
- The Gore House
Clayton Fear Factory
- Where: 1620 Loop Road, Clayton
- When: Oct 6 – 31, 2023; 7pm..-10p.m.
- Cost: $25
- Website: https://claytonfearfarm.com/
The most legendary Halloween attraction in Johnston County is the Clayton Fear Farm. Get ready to run, crawl, get through tight spaces in complete darkness.
Creatures of the night haunt the Slaughterhouse, Farmhouse, Fear Forest, Haunted Hayride, Fear Farm Academy and Black Hole attractions. Online ticket purchase required.
This haunted Halloween scream park is on the Boyette Family farm in Clayton, just a 30-minute drive from downtown Raleigh .
We loved their Fall Farm experience, which is sadly no longer running. Here are other 17 pumpkin patches and corn mazes near Raleigh to experience in the Fall.
Darkside Haunted Estates
- Where: 11959 NC-222, Middlesex, NC 27557 (40 mins – 1 hour)
- When: every Friday & Saturday from September 22nd through November 4th, as well as Halloween night 10/31, from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm
- Cost: $22+
From the ¼ mile haunted walking trail to the Mayhem Hayride through the backwoods, this Screamfest is filled with dynamic special effects in every haunted attraction at Darkside Haunted Estates.
Newest attractions include the Insane Asylum, JoJo’s Clown Town, the Slaughterhouse, the BUNDIE Hotel, the S. S. Sea Hag and RottenKorr Cemetery!
Haunted Forest Panic Point
- Where: 2808 Cedar Creek Rd, Youngsville, NC 27596 (about an hour)
- When: Sep 16 – Nov 4 Open on Halloween night
- Cost: $20 – $75 (prices change for different nights and experiences)
Are you ready for North Carolina’s most haunted house? That’s what the ratings say anyway. And Kalyra and I went last year with one of her friends. It was loads of fun and got a few screams out of me!
There are five haunted attractions and 38 unique scenes at the Haunted Forest Panic Point. The featured attraction is the half-mile “Haunted Forest” Trail with over 30 haunters hounding your every step. (wear sturdy shoes, you’ll be on an uneven trail)
You’ll have a good two hours wandering through woods with murderers, spiders and aliens, and getting chased by bootleggers and insane creatures.
Not for children under 8 and then only daredevils with an adult for ages 9-12. Everything is designed to scare the crap out of you so be warned. There will also be bonfires, food and music.
This is their lucky 13th season. You will have to go on Friday Oct, 13 – I dare you!
- Where: 4534 US-15, Oxford, NC 27565 (about an hour from Raleigh)
- When: Oct 6- 31, 2023 Every Friday and Saturday, Sunset to various
- Cost: $10+ depending on how passengers
- Website: https://www.granvillehauntfarm.com/tickets.html
Here is a unique Halloween experience about an hour from Raleigh. The Granville Haunt Farm Drive-Thru is an expedition through your favorite scary movies.
Drive through their giant movie screen and watch your favorite horror movie monsters come to life in their natural habitat. This unique haunt experience is fun for all ages.
Adults Only Halloween Fun 2023
Check out breweries and bars near you for their fun Halloween party events. There will be many happening across the month of October.
Official Halloween Bar Crawl in Raleigh
- Where: Glenwood Ave
- When: Oct 21; 27, 28,
- E vent Registration
Bring your best costume to this Halloween Bar Crawl party in Downtown Raleigh.
Ticket includes cover-free, full access to all of the top-rated venues in Raleigh while dancing to the hottest local DJs, enjoying discounted themed food specials at 5+ venues with 100’s of people, and following an easy-to-navigate digital bar list.
2023 Raleigh Zombie Walk
- Where: Moore Sqare, Raleigh
- When: October 21, 2023; 7pm
- Facebook page
Zombies Unit for a mile long trek in downtown Raleigh terrifying its residents. Dress up and drag, limp or shamble through the city in character as the undead.
Night of the Living Dead Prom
- Where: Boxcar Bar + Arcade
- When: Friday, October 13th 9pm – 3am
Dress to impress in your deadliest prom attire and join Boxcar’s “Night of the Living Dead Prom” Party!
Dance all night to the sounds of DJ Handsome Robb, sip on ghoulish cocktails and spooky-inspired spirits. Score 4 free game tokens at the door for dressing in theme!
- Where: Village District
- When: Friday, Oct 13, 2023; 6-8pm
Come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume for shopping, trunk-or-treating, scary good deals, a DJ and wine!
Comment: What Halloween attraction are you most looking forward to? What Halloween event in Raleigh or nearby did we miss? Share below and why you love it.
OTHER POSTS FOR FALL IN RALEIGH
- 17 Pumpkin Patches and corn mazes near Raleigh
- 27 of the Best Fall festivals and events in Raleigh
- A guide to the NC State Fair
- Things to do in Raleigh in the Fall
- Where to see the Fall Foliage in Raleigh
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Spooky Sites in Downtown Raleigh
Spooky sites in downtown raleigh .
Guest blog by Ernest Dollar, City of Raleigh Museum
Since its founding in 1792, Raleigh has grown into a major bustling tech center of the United States. As the North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh is home to great universities, history, art and culture, and more. But like any city, exploring its dark corners and shady past reveal how Raleigh grew from a backwater town into a major city. Here are a few of those seedy places in Downtown Raleigh.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Death & Taxes (@deathandtaxesnc) on Jan 1, 2020 at 5:00am PST
Death and Taxes
As the name suggests, death has a strong connection to the Death and Taxes building, now a contemporary restaurant from chefs Ashley Christensen and Lauren Ivey. Constructed in 1907, the building first served as a coffin shop opening just in time to handle the influx of victims from the Spanish flu epidemic that raged through the city for the next five years. It then evolved into an undertaking and mortuary company, a bank, and eventually, a great place to grab dinner. Guests have claimed to have heard strange voices and footsteps in the building and in one case, a young girl reported having a full conversation with a man that no one else could see.
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Mordecai Historic Park
Mordecai Park was once the site of the largest plantation in Wake County and includes the Mordecai House, a chapel, office, barn, and more. Built in 1785, the Mordecai House is the oldest home in Downtown Raleigh on its original location and is one of the crown jewels of Raleigh. Its long history may be the cause for many unexplained happenings, which attract Triangle ghost hunters every October. Some say that the parlor piano can occasionally be heard playing while no one is around while others have witnessed a gray mist hovering near the piano. The cause of these spooky events is said to be the ghost of Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, a descendent of Moses Mordecai, who lived in the house from 1858-1937.
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Not necessarily “spooky” per se, but, the next time you eat at Morgan Street Food Hall, think about sitting in the center of Raleigh’s turn-of-the-century red light district. Believe it or not, Morgan Street would have been lined with brothels, liquor houses, and other houses of ill repute complete with a long list of tragic stories back in the 1800’s.
Ernest Dollar is a Triangle native who has a passion for teaching history to the public. He is the Executive Director of both the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum on Fayetteville Street and the Pope House Museum on S. Wilmington Street.
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Ghost Tour in Raleigh, N.C
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Raleigh, N.C., has a long and storied history, and tales of haunted mansions, graveyards and old state buildings have flourished for decades. There are guided tours, such as those offered by Tobacco Road Tours , that will take you to the sites of some of the more notable ghost stories around town. You can always venture out on your own, if you dare, to see for yourself*.
Mordecai House, a two-story mansion located at Mordecai Historic Park , was built in 1785 by Joel Lane and was named for Moses Mordecai, who married Lane’s daughter, Margaret. Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, a descendant of Margaret and Moses, lived there during the 19th century. She enjoyed socializing, playing piano and showing off her magnificent house. The oldest house in Raleigh still on its original foundation, the mansion is nationally renowned for its paranormal activity. Visitors and workers have reported seeing a woman wearing a long black skirt, white blouse and a black tie moving quietly through the hallways. It has been rumored that she can sometimes be seen standing on the balcony if you pass by late at night. In recent years, visitors have recounted hearing a piano playing.
Andrew Johnson Birthplace
Adjacent to the Mordecai Mansion is the ancestral home of the 17th U.S. president, Andrew Johnson , who took office following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The small house has only three windows–one beside the front door, one above and a tiny second-floor window on the side. Several realtors who have managed the property, as well as local neighbors, have reported seeing a lighted candle being held by an invisible hand in the first-floor window by the front door. Some have also said they have seen the candle reappear in the little window in the middle of the second floor, so quickly that there is no way a person could go up the stairs that fast to light another candle. The candle is then extinguished, as if with a snuffer.
Historic Oakwood Cemetery
In the northwest corner of the beautiful and Historic Oakwood Cemetery (pictured in header) lays a rather notable angel statue known as the “Guardian of Oakwood.” The stone angel can be seen from the fence on Watauga St. According to legend and locals, at midnight every Halloween, the angel’s head spins around 12 times then stops. There are some who claim that the angel appears to completely turn around, depending on your vantage point, as if to keep an eye on those watching her. It has also been reported that those visiting the cemetery at night could actually see her carved stone eyes following their movement.
North Carolina Executive Mansion
The North Carolina Executive Mansion has had its share of ghostly activity. In the early 1970s, Governor Bob Scott replaced a bed that had belonged to a previous governor, Governor Daniel Fowle, dating back to 1891. Governor Scott replaced the large, carved antique bed with a modern king-sized bed. After moving the new bed into place, Governor Scott reported being awakened by loud banging on the other side of a wall where the old headboard had been. Historians informed him that Governor Fowle had died in the antique bed that he had moved. The banging continued for years, but the source was never identified. After Governor Scott left office, Governor Fowle’s bed was returned to its original location. The banging abruptly ceased, and has not returned since.
Dating to 1799 and located on E. Morgan St., the White-Holman House , also known as Whitehall, is an original late Georgian/early Federal-style dwelling that was built for secretary of state William White. Residents and visitors have both recounted incidents of hearing the distinctive sound and rhythm of a “peg-legged ghost” walking up and down the back staircase of the house.
North Carolina State Capitol
Built in 1840, North Carolina’s State Capitol building is one of the best preserved of all our nation's state capitols. The three-story Greek Revival structure, with granite halls and period-type furnishings, looks much like it did 160 years ago. Although the state's representatives have conducted their business in another building since 1961, it is suspected that some of the Capitol’s former inhabitants still putter around the old building. A night watchman, over a period of 15 years, often heard noises including screaming, doors slamming, books hitting the floor in the third-story library, breaking glass, the jingling of keys and footsteps on the stone floors. He also witnessed the manually-operated elevator go up and down by itself. In 1981, a building curator working late at night reported hearing sounds coming from the committee room off the senate chamber. He investigated, encountering an apparition in the doorway, which quickly dissolved.
Other ghostly inhabitations have been noted at Haywood Hall House and Gardens , City Cemetery and Moore Square , where a slate of gruesome acts are said to have occurred after the park was dedicated in the 1790s.
*As always, no trespassing onto private or restricted properties as marked or after official hours, and always be respectful of historic landmarks and properties.
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10+ Ways to Have a Raleigh Halloween
Embrace fall and all its thrills with these local ideas to celebrate the spookiest season. by Addie Ladner
From crafting your own City of Oaks-inspired costumes to braving thrilling shows, there are no shortage of ways to have a spooktacular October. Take a field trip to the intriguing town of Littleton, North Carolina or fill your schedule here in Raleigh with corn maze adventures, thrilling performing arts shows, haunted spots and culture.
Check Out a Haunted Spot Around Town
Haunted mansions, graveyards, and trails — oh my! Some of these so-called haunted spots around Raleigh might not surprise you, but did you know that even frequently visited government buildings like the North Carolina State Capitol and the Executive Mansion are rumored to be cursed? Learn why.
Get Spooky Thrills in a Haunted Forest
For 13 years, the Haunted Forest at Panic Point has been a favorite thriller, especially for the teen set. With six different trails to choose from — including the original Haunted Forest, Killers in the Corn, Howling Hayride and Carny Crypt — guests will be spooked by costumed actors and spooky scenes. Organizers warn that the trail is too scary for most kids under 12, and children 8 and under are not permitted at all. Open all October through the first week of November, it’s about 20 minutes outside of town in Youngsville. From $30, advance tickets recommended; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 6:45-10 p.m.; 2808 Cedar Creek Road, Youngsville; raleighhauntedhouse.com
Stock Up on Pumpkins at Shepherd’s Way Farm
Whether you like a classic orange carving pumpkin, subtly colored heirloom gourds or flat-topped pumpkins for stacking, Shepherd’s Way Farm has a pumpkin for you. Based in Laurel Springs, this seventh-generation farm has been providing pumpkins to the Triangle since 2008, a longtime fixture in North Hills and, in recent years, The Village District. “We bring the farm to Raleigh,” says farmer Tim Moses. Shepherd’s Way now grows more than 80 different varieties of the gourd. “Growing pumpkins started as a rotational crop on our Christmas tree farm, but has grown into a labor of love for us. We have made many memo- ries over the years providing pumpkins and seasonal decorations to our friends, family and customers,” says Moses. All month | 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; free to visit; 1010 St. Albans Drive or 13044 Norwood Road; shepherdswayfarmsnc.com
Make a Raleigh-inspired Costume
Stumped on how to dress on October 31? Take inspiration from some of these famous dishes around town. Or take it a step further and consider creating a costume out of one of these Raleigh landmarks.
Visit a Corn Maze… or a Haunted Farm
Get all the fall photo opps with the little kids picking pumpkins, taking hay rides, navigating a corn maze or nuzzling goats in the petting zoo at Phillips Farm in Cary, a family farm that’s been in operation for more than 100 years.. But one your kids have gotten older and are ready for some truly frightening thrills, bring them at night, when it transforms into a Haunted Farm with a Field of Lost Souls, Gore House, Rebellion Trail and Big Top Terror (recommended for ages 12 and up). Want more ideas for fall-farm fun? Check out this list from our archives of pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hay rides.
All month, Thursdays through Sundays (Haunted Farm Friday and Saturday nights only) | various times; from $25; 6270 Good Hope Church Road, cary; phillipsfarmsofcary.com
Experience Carolina Ballet’s Frankentsein
Catch Carolina Ballet’s production of Frankenstein this month, choreographed by Artistic Director Zalman Raffael and with live music. The hauntingly beautiful interpretation of Mary Shelley’s story is true to the original novel in that the Creature longs to be loved by his creator, Victor Frankenstein. Instead, he is found repulsive by those who see his shocking appearance. What unfolds next is for the audience to find out. Experience it at Fletcher Opera Theater
Oct. 12 -29 | various times; from 45; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com
Take a Field Trip to the Cryptozoology Museum
An hour outside of Raleigh, the Cryptozoology Museum explores unproven stories, ghosts and other phenomena. Littleton is a tiny town in Halifax County, with a population of only 674. In our October issue, photographer Joshua Steadman discovered the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum , by accident. “It was an interesting building; unassuming and odd,” he says. The cinder-block building was rectangular, with “stuff painted on the outside: A UFO. Bigfoot. And a Mars Attacks! sign, just like the movie poster,” Steadman remembers. Learn more about the experience here before taking your own field trip.
Brave Raleigh Little Theatre’s Misery
Reality becomes alarming when romance novelist Paul Sheldon wakes up in an unfamiliar home. Diehard fan Annie Wilkes has rescued him from a car accident — but things take a frightening turn when Sheldon realizes he’s being held captive. Based on the gripping novel by Stephen King, this production by Raleigh Little Theatre will have you at the edge of your seat.
Oct. 20 – 29 | various times; from $29; 301 Pogue Street; raleighlittletheatre.org
Watch Floating Jack-O-Lanterns at the Pumpkin Flotilla in Cary
Each October in Cary’s Bond Lake Park, jack-o-lanterns set sail across at dark, creating a whimsical, water-borne display. Come to view the spectacle or bring your own carved pumpkin to float. (Pumpkins must weigh around 8 pounds and be about the size of a basketball; bases are provided.) Before the flotilla, enjoy live music and food trucks while you wait for the sun to set. Then find a spot on the edge of the lake to watch the evening’s big show. Oct. 27 | 4 – 7 p.m.; free; 801 High House Road, Cary; carync.gov.org
Listen to the North Carolina Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular
Enjoy suspenseful and fun music from iconic films like E.T., Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and a costume contest at his spooky night of instrumentals from the North Carolina Symphony for the entire tamily.
Oct. 28 | 1 & 4 p.m.; from $32; 2 E. South Street; ncsymphony.org
Craft an Upcycled Costume with Artspace
Create your very own costume using second hand items and upcycled materials. Get assistance from seasoned Artspace instructors who will guide you in creating a costume come alive! Artspace will provide materials to support your ideas, but participants are welcome to bring along any old garments or unique items that can be modified and altered for the purposes of your costume. Participants may arrive with a few ideas in mind or take the time to brainstorm during class. No prior experience is needed, all skill levels are welcome. This workshop is ages +14. Attendees under the age of 16 must register and attend with a parent/guardian. Oct. 28 | 1 – 5 p.m.; $40; 201 East Davie Street; artspacenc.org
Honor the Dead at DÍa De Oakwood
In 2012, restaurateur Angela Salamanca started the Day of the Dead 5k , a race that honors the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos and benefits the Brentwood Boy & Girls Club. The race will take place on Oct. 28, with costumed runners heading up Wilmington Street, through the Historic Oakwood Cemetery (visit wakebgc.org/dod for more info). This year, Salamanca will expand one element of the event, the ofrenda, an altar to honor lost loved ones, in Oakwood Cemetery. Artist Peter Marin will create an installation that expands the ofrenda to mimic the layout of the pyramids of Teotihuacán in Mexico, with two main ofrendas and five small ofrendas in the field near the entrance of the cemetery. It will be accessible all week to make offerings, with programming including an inaugural ceremony on Oct 27th, a screening of Coco on Oct. 29 and a Catrina parade on Día de Muertos, Nov. 2., each with music and food trucks. “We’re creating a place for the community to celebrate, grieve and come together to remember our loved ones,” says Salamanca.” Oct. 28 – Nov. 4 | various times; free; 701 Oakwood Avenue; historicoakwoodcemetery.org
Take the Kids to Spellbound Square at Mordecai
Magic, mischief, and mayhem abound at Spellbound at Mordecai. Encounter mysterious creatures and amazing magicians, have your fortune told, create spooky crafts, and decorate a pumpkin to take home for All Hallow’s Eve. Wear your best Halloween finery to enter the costume contest and parade. Shop for enchanting handmade items and treats from our vendors, enjoy family-friendly stage performances, and experience Mordecai Park under the spell of Halloween.
Oct. 28 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; free; 1 Mimosa Street; paperandstarsstudio.com
Take a Walk in the Dark
Just beyond the reaches of city lights, certain local natural areas offer great views of the moon and stars — and stay open late through the fall, which make them great spots to wander while you tell a spooky story or two.. “The night is an enchanting time to be out, and the Triangle has some surprisingly good spots for savoring the night sky. Some require a short hike (headlamp required) and some you can enjoy from the hood of your car,” writers Joe Miller. Here are five of his favorites .
This article was originally published on October 13, 2023 on waltermagazine.com
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Haunted Houses, Spook Walks & Other Halloween Attractions in Raleigh
Woods of Terror
Located in Greensboro 336-643-3558-->
Haunted Forest at Panic Point
Located in Youngsville (919) 578-8478-->
One Ticket for 5 Main Attractions 36 Unique Scenes. Our Scare Park offers 5 unique Haunted Attractions: Haunted Forest, Dark Trail, Hayride, Killers in the Corn & The Menacing Maze. While waiting for your heart rate to normalize between frights, you can hang by the fire, dance, eat, drink, or win Read More
Located in Archdale 336-431-1700-->
Get ready for the most spine-tingling and thrilling experience of your life as Kersey Valley Spookywoods returns for its 39th season, and this time, they're introducing a host of terrifyingly fresh elements with their all-new ICONS! As the autumn leaves fall and the chill of Halloween approaches, Read More
Granville Haunt Farm
Located in Oxford 919-339-4452-->
Our Drive-Through Drive-In returns! Drive through our giant movie screen and watch your favorite horror movies come to life on the other side, all while staying safe in your vehicle the entire time! Read More
Hollerin Haunts Hayride
Located in Clinton 910-818-2240-->
Number #1 Haunted Hayride in NC plus Zombie Paintball and a 5 acre haunted Corn Maze. Come visit us this year! Haunted Hayride: The hayride will last around 30 minutes with the tractor going through and passing several buildings alone the way!. Zombie Paintball: The Zombie paintball will consist Read More
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Categories: Haunted Houses | Haunted Hay Rides | Haunted Mazes / Haunted Corn Mazes | Haunted Trails | Pumpkin Patches | Halloween Festivals & Parades | Scream Parks | Hay Rides (Kid Friendly) | Safe Trick or Treating
Categories: Haunted Houses | Pumpkin Patches | Hay Rides (Kid Friendly) | Mazes / Corn Mazes (Kid Friendly)
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Triangle on the Cheap
Live well in the Triangle on a budget. Find fun, free things to do in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC
13+ things to do on Friday the 13th in the Triangle
Friday the 13th doesn’t come around often. It does happen at least once every year, and sometimes more than once. In 2023, it happens twice: January and October. If you miss celebrating Friday the 13th in October you’ll have to wait almost a year for the next one, in September of 2024.
There are a several origin stories that suggest why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky, but it’s not all bad. Here are 13 things to do in the Triangle to celebrate Friday the 13th!
Then, keep reading for the big list of everything on our calendar for Friday, October 13th, 2023.
13 Things to do on Friday the 13th in the Triangle
Night of the living dead prom.
Boxcar Bar and Arcade, 330 W Davie Street, Raleigh, is hosting Night of the Living Dead Prom. “Dress to impress in your deadliest prom attire.” Dance all night and sip on ghoulish cocktails. Get 4 game tokens at the door for dressing in theme.
Go on a haunted tour
Tobacco Road Tour’s Raleigh Haunted Footsteps Tour takes place on October 13th. Follow the link to register. It costs $18 per adult. In addition, Raleigh Walking Tours is offering a “pay what you want” Haunted History Tour. Spirits of Wake Forest is also taking place on October 13th.
Watch skeletons sing
Deadford Manor , an animatronic singing skeleton show in front of a Raleigh home, is holding its opening night on October 13. P&C Holiday Lights Halloween Haunt in Chapel Hill will also light up.
Go on a BOO-ze Halloween Wine Walk
BOO-ze Halloween Wine Walk takes place in Village District in Raleigh. Put on your costume and trick or treat from the merchants for free. If you want the wine samples, you’ll need a $25 ticket.
Get a lucky deal on doughnuts
Krispy Kreme has a Friday the 13th deal! On Friday the 13th, buy any dozen doughnuts at regular price at a participating Krispy Kreme shop and get a dozen Original Glazed for just 13¢! There’s a limited edition Scooby-Doo collection available.
Go to the Devil’s Tramping Ground
View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Old North State Podcast (@oldnorthstatepod)
Devil’s Tramping Ground is a weird little spot in Bear Creek, North Carolina, in Chatham County. They say that nothing has grown in the 40-foot ring for a hundred years, due to the devil’s habit of pacing at night, planning his next act of evil. Want to find it? Just plug Devil’s Tramping Ground, Devil’s Tramping Ground Road, Bear Creek, NC into your GPS. Good luck.
Learn more about Devil’s Tramping Ground on this episode of The Old North State Podcast.
Play with a black cat at a cat cafe
Visit one of the Triangle’s cat cafés and play with a black cat. Maybe you’ll get lucky and meet your new roommate and best friend! Cat Tales Cat Café is 431 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. And Purr Cup Café is at 210 Prospect Avenue, Raleigh.
Get a tattoo
Many tattoo shops around the country offer low-priced flash tattoos on Friday the 13th. A flash tattoo is already drawn, on a flash sheet, so you can see in advance what you’re getting.
Follow your favorite tattoo shop on Instagram for announcements.
Visit Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill
The Carolina Inn was built in 1924, and is thought to be the home of many ghosts, including that of Dr. Williams Jacocks, who lived in Room 252 in his last years. According to University of North Carolina’s page on this ghost , guests report being locked out of the room and have had other paranormal experiences, including the smell of freshly cut flowers or feeling their bodies become cold. If you’d like a chance to meet the fun-loving ghost, though, book room 256, because room 252 was split into four in 1990.
Find a haunted doll at an Antique Shop
Peruse our list of over a hundred thrift stores, antique and vintage shops in the Triangle . We are certain that you’ll find a creepy, old haunted doll at at least one of them. If you don’t find a haunted doll you’re not trying hard enough.
Visit Mordecai Historic Park
The Mordecai House was built in 1785, making it older than Raleigh. So your chance of encountering a ghost is pretty high here. The most well-known ghost is that of Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, who sometimes plays the piano in the downstairs drawing room. 1 Mimosa Street, Raleigh.
Visit the 7th most haunted cemetery in North Carolina
Only in Your State ranks Historic Oakwood Cemetery as the 7th most haunted cemetery in North Carolina. Maybe it’s worth a Friday the 13th visit? 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh.
Peer at a castle in Chapel Hill
Gimghoul Castle, in Battle Park in Chapel Hill, serves as the headquarters of the Order of Gimghoul, a secret student society at UNC Chapel Hill. The castle was completed in 1926.
Visit the cemetery at Dorothea Dix Park
It’s not ranked in the “most haunted cemeteries in North Carolina” list, but it’s probably at least a little bit haunted, especially because of its association with the old Dorothy Dix Hospital for the mentally ill. 759-777 Dawkins Road, Raleigh.
Eat at a haunted restaurant
Death and Taxes is thought to be one of the most haunted restaurants in Raleigh. In its past lives, the building, built in 1907, served as a coffin shop, a mortuary and a bank. As far as hauntings, footsteps and voices have been heard by guests. If you don’t encounter any ghosts, you can at least get a great meal from chefs Ashley Christenson and Lauren Ivey. 105 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh.
Watch Friday the 13th Part IV
Alamo Drafthouse is screening Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives on October 13th, 2023, at 10:30 p.m. 2116-D New Bern Avenue, Raleigh.
Check out the rest of our Friday the 13th calendar
Friday, october 13, 2023, north carolina state fair.
All Day | $5.00-13.00 | NC State Fairgrounds
Faculty Friday at Brookside Bodega: 15% off food with school ID
All Day | Discounted | Brookside Bodega, Raleigh
Krispy Kreme on Friday the 13th: Dozen Doughnuts for 13¢ when you buy a dozen
All Day | $0.13 | Krispy Kreme — Multiple locations
Sculpture in the Garden (free with $5 suggested donation)
9:00 am to 5:00 am | FREE | North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill
Free Zumba Class
10:00 am to 11:00 am | FREE | Parkside Town Commons, Cary
Carve Pumpkins With Goats
10:00 am to 8:00 pm | $13.50 | Spring Haven Farm, Chapel Hill
Tasting at Ten: Free tasting at Counter Culture Coffee each week
10:00 am | FREE | Counter Culture Coffee Headquarters and Training Center, Durham
Fridays at the Farm at Old Mill Farm -- live music, family fun (price is per car)
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $20.00 | Old Mill Farm, Durham
Hargraves Fall Carnival
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Hargraves Community Center, Chapel Hill
Fridays on the Front Porch -- live music and food trucks
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill
Fright Night with Durham Parks and Recreation
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Edison Johnson Recreation Center (Durham)
Boo & Brew Ghost Tour in Downtown Sanford
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Libations 139, Sanford
Friday Night Live: Allie Capo
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Boxyard RTP
Saxapahaw Oktoberfest -- harvest market, bands, kids' activities, more..
5:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | The Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw
BOO-ze Halloween Wine Walk in Village District (non-wine part of evening is free)
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | $0-25.00 | Village District, Raleigh
Hell Yes Ma'am Jams with Special Guest
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Raleigh Brewing, Arboretum, Cary
Zebulon Rock the Block Concert: Love Tribe
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | West Horton Street, Zebulon
Friday Family Flicks: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3
6:00 pm | FREE | Garner Recreation Center
P&C Holiday Lights Halloween Haunt
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | P&C Holiday Lights, Chapel Hill
Weekly dance with Raleigh International Folk Dancers
6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | $3.00 | Glen Eden Pilot Park, Raleigh
Spirits of Wake Forest: ghost walks in Downtown Wake Forest
6:30 pm | $15.00 | Wake Forest Town Hall
Deadford Manor -- animatronic singing skeleton show in a Raleigh front yard
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | Deadford Manor, Raleigh
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Bombshell Beer Company, Holly Springs
Granville Haunt Farm: Drive-Through Haunted Trail
7:00 pm | $10.00 | Granville Haunt Farm
Haunted History Tour with Raleigh Walking Tours (pay what you want)
7:00 pm | FREE | Governor’s Mansion, Raleigh
MOSAIC Fall Music Series: Cat 5
7:00 pm | FREE | Philip H. Kohn MOSAIC Family Commons, Pittsboro
Outdoor Movie at Buffaloe Road Athletic Park: The Sandlot
7:15 pm | FREE | Buffaloe Road Athletic Park, Raleigh
Open Mic Stand-Up Comedy with Ashley and Ebony
8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Durty Bull Brewing Company, Durham
8:00 pm | $15.00 | Wake Forest Town Hall
NC Mario Kart Friday Night Races -- Friday the 13th Edition
8:00 pm | $10.00 | Bad Machines, Durham
Karaoke in Bullvaria
9:00 pm | FREE | Flying Bull Beer Company, Durham
Friday Night Feva Dance Party
9:00 pm | FREE | The Haymaker, Raleigh
9:00 pm | FREE | Boxcar Bar and Arcade, Raleigh
Katherine Respess says
August 13, 2021 at 6:44 am
Bath is the oldest town in NC, not Hillsborough.
Jody Mace says
August 13, 2021 at 8:31 am
Thank you! Corrected.
10 best Raleigh attractions
1. explore pullen park, when pullen had alligators and bears: remnants of the old zoo at pullen park, 2. seek treasures in the north carolina museum of natural sciences, 10 incredible places to visit in north carolina this year, 3. uncover the historic yates mill county park, 4. admire exhibits at the north carolina museum of art, the people's collection: art in the triangle, 5. walk through nature at william b. umstead state park, check out these scenic hiking trails in central north carolina, hidden in plain sight: remnants of raleigh's historic streetcar system, 6. go wild at frankie's of raleigh, 7. visit marbles kids museum, marbles kids museum opens 'ready set vet' exhibit, 8. discover jc raulston arboretum, take the kids: jc raulston arboretum, raleigh's flower trail: your guide to the best blooms and springtime trails, 9. take in downtown raleigh, 10. experience cam raleigh, raleigh from above: hidden messages and history only visible from above, experience the best raleigh attractions, more on this.
Family fun ahead at this Raleigh arboretum
5 fun things to do in raleigh, nc this weekend - great activities for you and the whole family, don't miss it, list: local mlk day events, day of service projects, 2023 wral voters' choice awards go-to guide, 'dad i can read': father-son duo turns reading into an adventure with new book, patrick mahomes leads chiefs to 26-7 playoff win over miami in near-record low temps, dj horne's career-high 27 lead nc state past louisville, 89-83, rj davis scores 22 points, no. 7 north carolina routs syracuse 103-67, kyle filipowski scores 30 points to help no. 11 duke top georgia tech 84-79, raleigh native crowned miss america's teen.
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The Ultimate List of Things to Do in Raleigh North Carolina
Top 10 Things to Do While in Raleigh NC
Are you looking to satisfy the need for adventure with a visit to Raleigh NC?
A town packed with exciting events and activities that will keep your tour of North Carolina memorable.
Named after Sir Walter Raleigh , North Carolina’s Raleigh is an attractive and very livable city. Both visual and performing arts play a major role here.
A visit to Raleigh will expose you to art museums and theaters which are among its most popular tourist attractions.
Below we will look at top 10 things to do in Raleigh NC.
1. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
View the dioramas of various wildlife and artifacts pertaining to nature at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Are you a lover of exhibition and arts?
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will offer you an experience of a lifetime. Being one of Raleigh’s most popular attraction, the museum will teach you about North Carolina through exhibits like “Coastal North Carolina”.
You will be able to see everything from whale skeletons to seahorse bioramas and the “Living Conservatory”.
The museum is free, its cafe features a menu of tasty foods and it has plenty exhibits that interest many visitors. Visit their website for more information.
2. Pullen Park
Pullen Park is a Fun Park with space for recreational enjoyment.
Are you looking for a great place to take young children for outdoor adventures?
Pullen Park is your ideal place. The paddle boats and carousel make it the best park in Raleigh. The carousel is one of the oldest working in the country and adds a lot of character to the park. This cost $1 each.
Additionally, there are different activities to keep children’s engaged with fun. Extensive playgrounds and carousels always offer something for everyone and all age groups. Visit their website to access more information about the park.
3. North Carolina State Capitol
Get a glimpse of the North Carolina State Capitol, which is the center of activity for the North Carolina state government.
The North Carolina State Capitol, which was completed in 1840, is the center of activity for North Carolina state government. It also contains a host of important sceneries such as the Greek architecture.
Most visitors strongly suggest arriving in time for the State Capitol tour, saying that the tour offers loads of interesting details about the building and North Carolina’s history.
In December, the Capitol hosts a handful of festive holiday events, from tree lighting to an open house. You can get more info by visiting this site their website .
4. North Carolina Museum of Art
Have a Look at the North Carolina Museum of Art which is a lovely sculpture garden!
Are you a lover of art?
The North Carolina Museum of Art’s will amaze you with its shining white displays, which hang with works of art as W. Andrew’s “Winter 1946” and “The Holy Family with St. Anne” by Peter Paul Rubens and Workshop.
In any case, most visitors likewise profoundly applaud the historical center’s turning displays, the dazzling model garden and the fascinating visits and occasions.
The exhibition hall’s eatery, Iris, is additionally a cunning spot too with its floor to roof windows and wall sculpture. Visit their website for more information about this magnificent museum.
5. North Carolina Museum of History
Get a glimpse of the history of North Carolina only at the North Carolina Museumof History.
Are you a lover of history?
The North Carolina Museum of History is precisely what its name recommends an exhibition hall about North Carolina’s history.
Guests will discover everything from two full estimate noteworthy houses to an existence measure reproduction of the Wright siblings’ plane, the “ Wright Flyer .”
Other displays concentrate on topics like games or the Civil War, and there are a large group of transitory shows that turn through the exhibition hall. Visit their website for more subtle elements on this historical center of history.
6. William B. Umstead State Park
Walk, Bike and Hike at the William B. Umstead State Park.
Sandwiched between Cary, Raleigh and Durham is the William B. Umstead State Park.
In this park, visitors can bike, walk and hike. Additionally, visitors can hire a canoe at a small fee. Most visitors love its calm atmosphere and highly recommend it for any form of outdoor adventure. Visit their website to get more information on this park.
7. Joel Lane Museum House
Visit the “Birthplace of North Carolina’s capital city, which is a magnificent house that dates back to the 17th Century.
Do you want to understand the roots of Raleigh town?
Joel Lane Museum House is the place to visit. The locals call the Joel Lane Museum House, the birthplace of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina . Plantation owner Joel Lane built this house in 1769 in, for that time, a rural area of North Carolina.
It has been restored as a historic site that takes visitors back to the 17th Century. The House is owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina.
You can get more information by visiting their website .
8. JC Raulston Arboretum
Visit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a garden with plants ideal for landscaping.
Do you intend to learn more plants and landscaping?
Strolling through the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University will be a delight for all your senses. Whether you are enjoying the shade in the Asian Valley or breathing in the sweet of aroma of annual and perennial blooms in the Color Trails garden, you will wish to have more time to explore.
Visit their website to gather more on the Arboretum.
9. Mordecai Historic Park
Visit the Oldest House in Raleigh at Mordecai Historic Park!
Having been built up in 1785, Mordecai Historic Park has been the site of the greatest estate in Wake County . The recreation center lives on 3.2 sections of land in the focal point of downtown Raleigh.
The Mordecai House is a praised town point of interest and is broadly known as the origin of America’s seventeenth President Andrew Johnson. It is today the most seasoned house in Raleigh as yet remaining in its unique area.
One of its mainstream attractions is the nineteenth century kitchen plant that has been steadfastly reproduced in view of letters and diaries left by Ellen Mordecai.
Visit their website to accumulate more data about this stunning park.
10. A Raleigh’s Brewery Scene
Delve into the Brewery scene in Raleigh NC!
Do you view yourself as a beer connoisseur, or are you a person who appreciates local brands?
Raleigh, offers neighborhood brew joints committed to the art, making it simple to remain consistent with your best brew tastes in North Carolina.
Need to perceive how your favorite brew is made?
A significant number of the range distilleries recorded beneath offer free visits when guests can take in the contrasts between lagers and allowing you to talk with the brewmasters.
- Aviator Brewing Company
- Raleigh Brews Cruise
- BigBoss Brewing Company
- Compass Rose Brewery
- Lonerider Brewing Company
Where Should You Experience a taste of Raleigh’s flourishing beer scene?
As seen above, Raleigh is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, friendly people and now, for its beer! Experience a taste of Raleigh’s flourishing beer scene with an exclusive tour of the local craft breweries .
Raleigh Brews Cruise has positioned itself to offer behind the scenes tours that will allow you to have a glimpse at the art, science and passion inside every glass of great beer, all while enjoying generous samples of unique Raleigh brews . Call us at 919-986-2929 or book an appointment .
Things to Do in Raleigh, NC - Raleigh Attractions
Things to do in raleigh.
Tours in and around Raleigh
Tours & Sightseeing
Top Attractions in Raleigh
1. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
2. North Carolina Museum of Art
3. Pullen Park
4. North Carolina Museum of History
5. Marbles Kids Museum
6. State Farmers Market
7. PNC Arena
8. Umstead State Park
9. JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
10. Mordecai Historic Park
11. Historic Yates Mill County Park
12. Neuse River Trail
What travelers are saying
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
- North Carolina Museum of Art
- Pullen Park
- Marbles Kids Museum
- North Carolina Museum of History
- Neuse River Trail
- JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
- Umstead State Park
- Historic Yates Mill County Park
Raleigh Attractions Information
8+ Fantastic Fun Things to Do in Raleigh With Kids
W hen my son and I were invited on a press trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, I was so interested in experiencing the various family-friendly attractions in the area. Although I’d been to North Carolina in the past for a very short visit, I really hadn’t experienced everything that they have to offer, especially for families. There are so many things to do in Raleigh with kids – you could easily spend multiple days there.
During this recent trip, my son and I were only there for a weekend visit, but we were so impressed with all of the fantastic Raleigh kids’ activities. Here are some things to do with kids in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Disclosure: We attended this Raleigh with kids press trip at no cost. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A click-through or purchase through one of these links may result in a small commission paid to us.
Things to Do in Raleigh NC With Kids
North carolina museum of natural sciences.
Located right in downtown Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a fabulous and completely free museum (fees do apply for some special exhibits and movies). It’s open from Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm.
Two buildings comprise the museum – the Nature Exploration Center and the Nature Research Center. With so much to see, you could easily spend the day here.
We started our visit with lunch at the Daily Planet Cafe, which is located in the newer building (the Nature Research Center). This is not your average museum cafe, however! It features delicious, fresh, and local cuisine. There’s also the newer Acro Cafe.
After lunch, we explored the Nature Research Center. This 80,000 square foot building offers kids the opportunity to do some hands-on exploration.
My son especially loved learning about animals in the naturalist center, which houses preserved specimens, fossils, furs, and so much more. In my opinion, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is one of the top things to do in Raleigh with kids. It’s impressive that it’s free!
After checking out that building, we headed to the adjacent Nature Exploration Center, which is connected via a pedestrian bridge. This building features more traditional museum exhibits, including a living conservatory filled with butterflies. I’d absolutely recommend saving at least a half day for a visit.
Getting Outdoors on Jordan Lake
When the weather is nice, I always like spending some time outdoors during our family vacations. Jordan Lake, the third-largest lake in North Carolina, is a reservoir that was created as part of a flood control project.
It’s a nice, quiet place to explore because there are nine different access points over the 14,000-acre, undeveloped reservoir. Instead of seeing big houses and developments along the shore, there are a few public areas and loads of trees and green space.
We took a quick pontoon boat ride from Triangle Boat Tours , which was the perfect way to see the shore. We even saw a bald eagle in the trees, as well as a cormorant and a blue heron. Families can choose to rent the boats (with a captain), as part of their family vacation. It’s a nice way to explore nature during a vacation that includes several indoor spots.
Marbles Kids Museum
Although we didn’t check out the Marbles Kids Museum during our trip to Raleigh, it’s a great option for younger kids. This children’s museum (best for kids under the age of 10) is just $9 per person, making it an affordable vacation option. Purchase your timed tickets in advance online.
The North Carolina Museum of Art
On our last day, we stopped at the North Carolina Museum of Art, another free Raleigh museum that is great for children. It features a number of both traveling and permanent exhibits, as well as a beautiful outdoor park that connects art and nature.
The North Carolina Museum of Art offers a number of programs for families in Raleigh. During our visit, we borrowed a park pack, which is complementary to use and is filled with activity guides and other fun items that help kids explore the park. My son loved using the included materials to find the various artwork located throughout the park.
In addition to the park pack, there are other activities and events for families, including weekend family tours, Saturday workshops (pre-registration required), and pop-up art activities.
During our Raleigh family vacation, my son was most excited to check out Go Ape!, a treetop ropes course with zip lines that is located at Blue Jay Point County Park. Go Ape! offers two separate courses – a regular course and a junior course. My son, who is just under 4 feet 7 inches, was just a bit too short for the regular course, so we did the junior course instead.
The junior course, which doesn’t feel too small at all, offers two zip lines and three loops with twenty different obstacles. My son completed the course the first time, and when we headed back for the second time, he was given a challenge – to do the course backward. It’s definitely fun for younger kids (under age 10), and as an adult, I didn’t think it was boring or too easy at all.
The regular course runs about three hours and features five different sections, including 42 crossings. Part of our group did that course and said it was fun but also challenging.
If you do visit Go Ape!, remember to bring hair ties to hold back your hair, and wear closed-toed and closed-heel shoes.
Pullen Park is the first public park in North Carolina and is the 5th oldest operating amusement park in the US. It’s located adjacent to the North Carolina State campus and includes several kiddie rides, including a carousel, train, and kiddie boats.
Families will find lots of space for kids to run around and play on various play structures and playground equipment. In addition, there are covered picnic areas that can be rented, as well as paddle boats.
Tickets for the three rides are just $2 per ticket. While we were there, we saw so many little kids enjoying rides on the train, carousel, and kiddie boats.
Videri Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka fans will love a trip to this fun chocolate factory. We visited in the evening after the chocolate-making was finished, but it was still a fun trip. In addition to a chocolate counter (where you can sample some of the specialties), there’s also a counter where you can order chocolate drinks.
I was especially happy to see that the facility is nut free. I’d recommend visiting during the day when you can see the chocolate being made.
North Carolina Museum of History
This free museum is home to several other exhibits, including the Story of North Carolina. The museum is free to the public, although there may be a fee for special exhibits (the one we saw was free). No reservations are required.
What are the Free Things to Do in Raleigh With Kids?
During our trip, I was so impressed with all of the free things to do in Raleigh with kids. If you are on a budget, it’s a great place to visit for an affordable family vacation.
Some free things to do include the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Just keep in mind that there may be an extra fee for special exhibits and/or movies.
Where to Eat in Raleigh With Kids
Dining at the pit in raleigh.
An already short trip coupled with a delayed flight meant that we only had one dinner in Raleigh. Luckily, it was a great one! We dined at the Pit , an upscale BBQ restaurant that is located just a short walk from the hotel we stayed in (and across the street from the Videri Chocolate Factory).
The Pit serves authentic North Carolina BBQ, and diners can choose either a traditional Eastern or Western North Carolina sauce. I tried both the Carolina-style ribs (which they are famous for) and the Chopped BBQ, and both were delicious. They also have fantastic sides and absolutely delicious desserts.
Breakfast at Big Ed’s
We loved breakfast at Big Ed’s, which is known for its huge hotcakes. My son only managed to eat a small percentage of the one he ordered, but he said that it was delicious. I opted for the farm fresh country breakfast, which included eggs, meat, seasoned rice, and a huge biscuit. It was so good – one of the best breakfasts that I’ve had.
Where to Stay With Kids in Raleigh for Your Family Vacation
We stayed at the Sheraton Raleigh, which was the perfect spot for a weekend Raleigh family vacation. It’s located within walking distance of the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Videri Chocolate Factory. It also offers an indoor pool. You can see reviews of other Raleigh hotels here .
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