Archives for posts with tag: Downtown Raleigh

Wizard World hall #1By Kristy Stevenson; photos courtesy of Wizard World

The 2015 Wizard World Comic Con is coming to Raleigh! Great news for East Coast fans of pop culture’s movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Read on for 10 reasons to attend this amazing event at the Raleigh Convention Center:

1. Three days of comic con fun, right here in the capital city: Fri., Mar. 13, 3-8pm; Sat., Mar. 14, 10am-7pm; Sun., Mar. 15, 11am-5pm. Spend the weekend with us!

2. Celebrities! From meet and greets and Q&A panels. This year’s lineup features David Tennant (Doctor Who); William Shatner (Star Trek); Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries, LOST); Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf); Liam McIntyre (Spartacus: War of the Damned); WWE® Diva Eva Marie™; John Schneider (Smallville, The Dukes of Hazzard); Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark); Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk); and The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green and Sarah Wayne Callies. Check out the Wizard World Comic Con Raleigh website for the complete and most up-to-date list.

3toSee3. Hard to find, exclusive products and collectibles will be available on the convention floor, as well as new products from trending brands. You can order your own customized lightsaber from Ultra Sabers for your favorite Star Wars: Episode VII enthusiast. And fans looking for unique souvenirs should make the Convention Exclusive booth their first stop!

4. Something for every age and generation. Embrace your inner Creative Genius and bring the whole family.

5. Comic books, comic books and more comic books–and some of the most creative comic artists and writers on the planet.

Comic book fun for all ages6. Visit the Back to the Future DeLorean. Don’t miss your chance to sit in front of the flux capacitor and functional time circuit displays while helping to raise funds and awareness for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

7. Cosplay with costume contests for both adults and kids. Interact and get social with those who love the same pop culture icons you do.

8. Conversations, photo ops and autographs with your favorite celebs, artists and creators, as well as cosplay and fan communities. Watch artists at work.

Watch artists at work!9. Tip: if you want both a photo and autograph, sign up for the photo slot first so the celeb can autograph your pic. Slots can be reserved online with a credit card or with cash at the venue.

10. Freebies: all one-day and three-day general admission attendees will receive a limited edition, exclusive cover variant of The Walking Dead #1 by Dean Haspiel. All VIP attendees will receive two limited edition, exclusive cover variants of The Walking Dead #1–a regular cover and sketch black and white version by Haspiel. The artist will be on-site to sign; autograph fees may apply and quantities are limited. Plus, a zombie sketch for the first 150 kids (16 and under) on Sun., Kids Day, by “Zombie King” Arthur Zuydam.

You don’t want to miss this!

Follow Kristy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her website here: Kristy Stevenson Creative.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh NCBy Kristy Stevenson

There’s no “Shhhh,” or “Don’t touch,” at this museum! Delivering purposeful play in a big way, Marbles Kids Museum is an interactive experience in downtown Raleigh with themed exhibits for kids ages 10 and under. The setup allows children to imagine, discover and learn through daily educational programs, special events and giant-screen IMAX films. Through core initiatives and rotating exhibits, the museum is never the same place twice! Kids are excited to learn through play, and there’s something for the whole family. Here are the nine exhibits your little ones can explore:

Kid Grid
Powerful play at work; this is an energy exhibit where kids are in charge. So energize your electricity smarts and take charge to power a bright future.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh NCAround Town
Exploring a pint-size version of a community–bringing a child’s world down to size–where kids take charge with opportunities to imagine and explore how people work, live and play together. Includes Speed Zone; Let’s Fight Fire; Get Well; Peek-a-boo Bay; On The Farm; My Market; Let’s Eat; Act I; All Aboard!; Pet Vet; Exploration Station; Backstage Studio; Ready, Set, School; and News Around Town.

Check out Around Town’s new fire truck coming Feb. 28th. Visitors may remember that the current truck is one of the last remaining pieces from the museum’s merger with Playspace. Marbles is excited to unveil the new vehicle.

Splash!
Discovering the power and fun of water, both indoors and out, this is overflowing with hands-on experiences and experiments. Includes The Lighthouse; Hideaway Grove; Under the Waves; Science Submarine; The Blue Marble; Castaway Cove Kids Garden; and Power Flower.

The popular Kids Garden will be undergoing a transformation; look for new fruits and vegetables soon.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh NCIdeaWorks
Dream, Design, Do! Your child’s imagination takes center stage as kids design, create and build structures, vehicles, simple machines and everyday products. Includes Go Zone; Super Structures; Work Bench; Studio Style; and Toddler Tools.

Art Loft
Encouraging free expression and creativity through painting, drawing, sculpting and exploring different types of artwork. Includes Exploring Fine Art Techniques; and Displaying Your Work.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh NCBB&T Toddlers Hollow
A special place where little ones under the age of three are invited to discover the magic of the woods and explore at their own pace. A great place to practice crawling, walking and balancing on the meandering bridge; uncovering a pixie hideaway; or dressing up as a favorite forest critter.

Moneypalooza
Bringing to life the importance of establishing healthy money habits through innovative and high-energy activities. Kids play with smart ways to spend and save while having a wealth of fun learning to earn. Includes Pay Day; Banker Ben & Betty’s Money Movers; and Freddie Frugal’s Spending Smarts.

Power2Play
Providing play environments that promote physical activity and healthy choices for kids and families. Includes Center Ice; Workout Zone; Little Leaguers; Healthy Kitchen; Tumble ‘n Twirl; and Center Court.

STEMosphere
Hands-on play with colorful learning about science, technology, engineering and math. Includes brain teasers, science challenges, puzzles, math games and more.

Family fun (it’s our go-to spot on particularly hot or inclement weather days), and makes a great field trip or birthday party!

Follow Kristy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her website here: Kristy Stevenson Creative.

The World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibition in Raleigh NCBy Leigh Hines

There’s something BIG in town, and you don’t want to miss it. I took the kids to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences recently to see The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, a new exhibition about the super-sized sauropods, the most colossal animals to walk the earth.

I’m not well-educated on dinosaurs at all. In fact, most of my knowledge comes from the public television show, Dinosaur Train. I knew dinosaurs were big, but man, that sauropod is BIG. Some sauropods reached lengths of 130 feet. This is a fun, educational exhibit that the whole family can enjoy. It’s not scary for little children at all, but I do think elementary-aged children would enjoy this exhibit the most. I have a five-year-old daughter, and she almost wanted to run through the exhibit quickly, however, the museum does an excellent job of keeping younger children engaged through interactive play areas. It’s fun to see if you can fit in the gigantic dinosaur footprint.

I personally got a big kick out of seeing how many greens the sauropods ate daily.

They weren’t kidding when they said BIG. Talk about an enormous salad bar.

The BIG highlight of the exhibition is the detailed model of a 60-foot-long Mamenchisaurus. You actually see this fellow breathe and watch him digest food. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs takes visitors beyond the bones and into the bodies of these titans, shedding light on how heart rate, respiration, metabolism and reproduction are linked to size.

Your future paleontologists (your kids!) will enjoy digging in the exhibition’s fossil pit before heading into the gift store where they can take home their own baby dinosaur (the soft and cuddly kind).

This is a ticketed-admission exhibition in the museum. Get $4 off adult tickets here! Tickets are free for museum members.

The World’s Largest Dinosaurs will run through Apr. 12. In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum is holding a special lecture series through Mar.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

 

Ice skating in downtown Raleigh; Photo courtesy of Ipreo Raleigh WinterfestBy Leigh Hines; Photo courtesy of Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest and Carolyn Scott Photography

Grab your family and hit the ice for a fun-filled afternoon of ice skating in downtown Raleigh before the ice “melts away.” You still have time before Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest closes for the season on Feb. 1.

Thousands of visitors have already enjoyed Raleigh’s only outdoor ice rink since it opened in late Nov. 2014 for the season. The Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest ice rink is located in City Plaza, situated on the southern end of the 400 block of Fayetteville St. The cost is $9 per person, and that includes skate rentals. Even if you have your own ice skates, admission will be the same cost. Children and adults are charged the same price to skate.

The Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest offers events and specials throughout the week. Fri. nights offer late-night skating with a DJ on-site. You can also skate late on Sat. nights. To view the full ice rink schedule, see the weekly schedule. Schedules can change quickly due to inclement weather so always check before heading out.

If the weather isn’t perfect, you can still have fun in the area! Within a few blocks, you’ll find Marbles Kids Musuem, lots of BIG dinosaurs at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a look into blockbuster films made in North Carolina at the North Carolina Museum of History. There’s always something good playing at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles, too. Check out the Greater Raleigh Museums section on visitRaleigh.com to plan your agenda before or after ice skating.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof in Raleigh NCBy Tyler Cox; Photo by Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof

So you like EDM (Electronic Dance Music) but don’t know where to go? Here are a few excellent spots in Raleigh that host weekly or monthly EDM parties, in addition to various other EDM events throughout the month:

Lincoln Theatre
126 E. Cabarrus St. One of the wildest EDM nights occurs monthly at Lincoln Theatre. PULSE: Electronic Dance Party features bass music from North Carolinian electronic music artists. The next rave takes place on Valentine’s Day and is the one-year anniversary of the event.

Mosaic Wine Lounge
517 W. Jones St. Mosaic Wine Lounge brings the party nightly. Renowned hip hop producer and rapper 9th Wonder spins records the first Wed. of each month. BASSLINE Tues. present house, breaks, dubstep and drum and bass. Every fourth Thurs., Mosaic Wine Lounge presents TRANCENDENTAL, an evening devoted entirely to trance.

The Black Flower
517 W. Peace St. Sky Bar’s closure forced the move of “Covert Bass,” one of Raleigh’s largest weekly events. Now known as SUB-ROSA, happening every Tuesday, sponsored by BassBunny Productions and Madhouse Underground Productions, this explosive EDM party found a new weekly home at The Black Flower. Rotating DJs, glow stick battles, shufflin’, fire dancers and fire blowers, hoop dancing–this event has it all. No cover if you’re 21 and up, and bring your dog!

Noir Bar & Lounge
425 Glenwood Ave. A beautiful bar, crystal chandeliers, a killer patio and an appreciate of film noir add extra class to Raleigh’s burgeoning Glenwood South scene.

Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof
419 Glenwood Ave. Three floors of fun in Glenwood South! The first floor offers an upscale restaurant with a wraparound fountain patio and special event and banquet space. Skip on up to the second-floor Lounge, with its glass-bottom dance floor and specialty cocktails. The Rooftop patio provides a beautiful view of Glenwood South and a raucous dance party. Every Fri. and Sat. night, the Lounge and Rooftop bump with progressive house music.

Five Star
511 W. Hargett St. Consider this one a hidden gem. In addition to their excellent Asian cuisine and chic decor, Five Star hosts local house music collective Full House, mostly on First Fridays.

The Capital VIP Night Club
1505 Capital Blvd., Ste. 21. You can dance the night away to the big hits, but they do have some nights devoted entirely to EDM.

Southland Ballroom
614 N. West St. Generally focusing on live instrument-based music, Southland occasionally pulls one of the better EDM shows.

Click here to see even more nightlife hot spots in Greater Raleigh.

Photo by Bryan ReganBy Mary Brooks; Photo by Bryan Regan (@bryanregan on Instagram)

The World’s Largest Dinosaurs

Make your next vacation epic. Through the beginning of 2015, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences continues to go big with The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, a new exhibition about the super-sized sauropods, the most colossal animals to walk the earth. You must go big too. Start the new year off in a grand way with a trip to the exhibition, other Greater Raleigh museums and historic attractions, big-flavor dining and a cozy hotel stay.

When you’re here, explore the area’s selection of 80-plus historic attractions and see the past come alive through in-depth exhibits, costumed docents or hands-on workshops. Film buffs won’t be able to get enough of the North Carolina Museum of History’s Starring North Carolina! exhibition, featuring costumes and props from Iron Man 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue Velvet and more. Can’t miss: Kick-off Black History Month early by celebrating the heritage and culture of the 14th Annual African American Cultural Celebration (1/31) at the North Carolina Museum of History. This special festival boasts many outstanding presenters who include musicians, storytellers, writers, dancers, chefs and craftspeople from across our state :: All Lifelong Learner events

Basketball Season Hype and Headlights and Tailpipes

2015 brings the hype of basketball season as Greater Raleigh’s minor-league basketball team Cary Invasion takes to the court against the All-American Ballers (1/3), Neuse River BBall Club (1/10) and Stealth All Stars (1/17). Four collegiate men’s teams also host big games this month. The William Peace University Pacers play Connecticut College (1/1) and Methodist (1/21); Raleigh rivals Saint Augustine’s University Falcons and Shaw University Bears play (1/24); and the North Carolina State University Wolfpack plays Duke University (1/11) and UNC-Chapel Hill (1/14). Can’t miss: Hear the roars of engines and go through the gears at Ray Price Harley-Davidson’s New Rider Boot Camp (1/3). Learn about everything from headlights to tailpipes, how to tell a Sportster from a softail motorcycle and which bike is perfect for you :: All Adrenaline Junkie events

The Art of Entertainment

Discover the vibrant colors of classical Chinese dance, feel the joy as ethnic and folk dance fill the stage with energy and take an extraordinary journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom at Shen Yun 2015 (1/27-28) at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Let the stunning animated backdrops captivate you and exquisite costumes transport you to another world while experiencing the new sound of an orchestra that combines East and West like no other. Can’t miss: The Garner Performing Arts Center presents Capathia Jenkins: Broadway Voices (1/31). Jenkins will perform numbers from Broadway productions that she’s been featured in such as Newsies and The Civil War and the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell :: All Creative Genius events

Culinary Excellence

Take part in the week-long celebration of culinary excellence that is 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week (1/26-2/1). Participating restaurants from across Greater Raleigh will partake by offering special three-course menu options of some of their best dishes with fixed pricing. It’s the perfect opportunity to taste a sampling of Raleigh area cuisines. Can’t miss: Beer Sunday (1/25) at Crank Arm Brewing in downtown Raleigh kicks off 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week with live music, flights, samples and more :: All Foodie events

All That Jazz

Escape the brisk winter air and relax inside with some jazz this Jan. Listen as the North Carolina Symphony pays tribute to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald with Louis and Ella, All That Jazz (1/16-17) at the Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy the Jim Ferris Trio (1/10) at Irregardless Café and nightly jazz favorites at C. Grace (Tues.-Sat.). If it’s the blues that calls your name, check out Jason Damico and the New Blue at Rock Harbor Grill (1/10) in Apex. Can’t miss: Country performances at City Limits Saloon featuring Big Smo (1/2), Easton Corbin (1/3) and the Big Cahoot featuring Yarn (1/17). Also, see Southern rock classic group, The Marshall Tucker Band (1/21), at The Ritz :: All Music Maniac events

A Winter Season Centerpiece

Cap off your Greater Raleigh experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier event features a signature outdoor skating rink.

Click through to see all Greater Raleigh events in January 2015.

The Nutcracker in Raleigh NCBy Ryan Smith; Photography by Chris Walt

The holiday season in Greater Raleigh is full of family-friendly events at which you and your kids can make everlasting memories. Here are five holi-date ideas to experience with your kids this weekend:

1. Ice skate under the stars in downtown Raleigh at Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest and grab a drinking chocolate or hot cider at Bittersweet.

2. Explore and learn at The World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

3. For an evening excursion, head to the town of Wendell for Wendell Wonderland/the Lake Myra Christmas Lights where a huge light display is synchronized with Christmas and patriotic music.

4. Nothing says it’s the holiday season like Carolina Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Combining the beauty of classical ballet with a little Las Vegas magic, this holiday tradition has become an annual favorite throughout the region.

5. Bigger is better when it comes to screen size. The Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles is the largest 3D screen in the state measuring 70-feet wide and amplifying the jaw-dropping visuals of movies like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3D and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D.

Click here to see all events going on this weekend.

IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh2014 marked another banner year for sports tourism in Greater Raleigh. People traveled from all over the world to participate and spectate at many of the terrific sporting events held in the Raleigh area, including Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the USA Baseball-Irish Classic, NCAA Men’s College Cup, CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series, the SAS Championship and many, many more.

Here’s what the year in sports tourism looked like through our lens. Click any photo to scroll through all images at a larger size. All photos taken by staff at the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. Follow GRSA on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the know.

The Nutcracker in Raleigh NCBy Leigh Hines; Photography by Chris Walt

There’s no doubt that Carolina Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker is a Raleigh holiday classic. The stunning ballet, which we highlighted earlier this month, will be performed at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, Dec. 19-28, for its 13th year. Click for tickets.

With the curtain about to open in Raleigh, we compiled 10 amazing facts about the production:

1. The Nutcracker was the first ballet Carolina Ballet creative director Robert Weiss ever saw (when he was five years old), which led him to pursue a career in ballet. He performed every male role in New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker (except the role of Drosselmeyer) as a student and then as dancer in the company

2. It took more than 12 yards of net or tulle to make a single tutu skirt for the production–the net is specially manufactured for tutus and comes from England.

3. There are 333 stage lights in this production.

4. The Nutcracker, the Rat King, 10 mouse heads and Calico Cat’s head were built by Robert Alsop in England who also built many of the Star Wars costumes.

5. The Mother Ginger costume weighs about 100 pounds and takes a pulley to get dancer Davy Nethercutt into it.

6. There are 126 individual roles in the show.

7. There are more than 100 yards of various fabrics and more than 200 yards of horsehair braid in the petticoats for the Lead Mother and Party Guests roles.

8. The fastest costume change in the show is for Clara, who has just 30 seconds to change out of her party dress and into her nightgown before the battle scene.

9. There are 51 buttons on each soldier costume (hand sewn on the costumes). There are 20 soldiers in the show, so there are 1,020 buttons on these costumes total.

10. There are 126 dancers in each performance, which means 252 ballet shoes are used each performance.

The Nutcracker in Raleigh NCFollow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Videri chocolate confections in downtown Raleigh NCBy Leigh Hines

Raleigh’s sweet chocolate secret is out.

Raleigh residents, like me, have known that downtown Raleigh’s Videri Chocolate Factory makes some of the best chocolate in the nation. The factory carefully curates its cocoa beans throughout Central and South America using fair-trade practices. It sources only the best organic cocoa beans, cocoa butter and organic sugar.

There is nothing artificial about Videri chocolate.

You can eat each bar, rich in antioxidants, and know you’re eating chocolate with whole, organic and fair-trade ingredients.

Videri Chocolate Factory in Downtown Raleigh, NCIt’s been a sweet year for Videri.

In 2014, Videri earned the coveted Good Food Award for its first single-origin chocolate bar 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde. GQ magazine included the same bar among “The 50 Best Things To Eat Right Now: Chocolate to Die For” its Nov. issue.

Videri offers guests a true bean-to-bar experience. There is a fascinating self-guided tour that takes you through the chocolate making process. The trendy Warehouse District that Videri calls home is a thriving creative hot spot, and with a coffee bar inside Videri, you won’t want to leave.

Videri chocolate mocha in downtown Raleigh NCVideri’s confections make perfect holiday gifts.

This winter, Raspberry, Orange-Buttercream, Coffee and Pear-Mint. Lemon and Lavender vegan confections will be available through Valentine’s Day. Videri is also offering its first-ever 16-piece Valentine’s box in 2015, including French Martini and other seasonal flavors ($40). Six-piece boxes of any combination of truffles are available for $16.99 and individual confections are $2.50 each.

Videri Flagship Four in Raleigh NCVideri’s popular Peppermint Bars ($9.99) are a holiday season staple for the chocolate factory as well as its Flagship Four Gift Box–featuring 50% Dark Milk, 70% Classic Dark, Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorn Bars (four bars/$19.99)–and the S’mores Pack ($21.00).

My personal favorites are Sea Salt and the 70% Classic Dark. Who am I kidding? I’ll take one of everything, please.

Visitors are welcome at Videri Chocolate in downtown Raleigh NCVideri Chocolate Factory is located at 327 W. Davie St., Sweet 100.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

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