Bored? Go to These Events at NC State or Downtown Raleigh

One thing you’ve gotta love about living in Raleigh: There’s always something to do! If you love hanging out at the trendiest art galleries, watching the best movies (for free!), attending concerts with the biggest bands on the radio, and keeping up with adrenaline-pumping sports, you won’t want to miss these events happening this year at NC State University, just a stone’s throw from campus, and right down the road in Downtown Raleigh.

Recurring Events

UAB Films

Dates: Thursdays & Saturdays
Location: Witherspoon Student Center
Cost: Free movie & popcorn

Grab some friends, get some popcorn, and find a seat. The Campus Cinema plays plenty of great movies from new releases to ’90s classics. Just a few recent picks include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Doctor Strange, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Monsters University.


First Fridays

Dates: Every first Friday of the month @ 6pm-9pm
Location: Downtown Raleigh
Cost: Free

If you’ve been dying to explore Downtown Raleigh but haven’t had the chance (or cash) to do so, you’re going to love First Fridays! Take a self-guided tour of the coolest art galleries, check out Raleigh’s iconic museums, and stop by some of the local businesses downtown; a lot of them stay open late for First Fridays.


Raleigh State Farmers’ Market

Dates: Mondays-Saturdays @ 5am-6pm, Sundays @ 8am-6pm
Location: 1201 Agriculture Street, Raleigh
Cost: Free

Nope, this isn’t the campus farmers’ market. This is the state of North Carolina farmers’ market — you know, the one off Lake Wheeler Road by Centennial Campus. This place is awesome. You can find just about any fruit or veggie that’s in season plus local honey, pastries and cheese in the Market Shoppes, and cool sculptures from the Market Imports.


Campus Farmers’ Market

Dates: Every Wednesday @ 11am-3pm
Location: The Brickyard
Cost: Free

This is the campus farmers’ market! On Wednesday afternoons, you’ll be able to buy all kinds of goodies right on campus, including German pastries, handmade jewelry and soaps, local honey, and fruits and veggies.


Trivia Nights Near NC State

Dates: Tuesdays-Thursdays
Locations: Pick one below!

Cost: Free admission

If you can’t get enough of trivia, there are plenty of places near campus where you can put your knowledge to the test (and win some cool prizes, too). Pick a local bar from the list below to find some fun trivia nights near NC State University. (Get some practice in with NC State-themed quizzes here!)


September 2017 Events

Yoga in the Garden

Date: September 21st @ 6pm
Location: Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Cost: Free

Fresh out of grand opening weekend, the Gregg (now located on Hillsborough Street across from the Belltower) is hosting yoga classes in the formal outdoor garden. Bring your yoga mat and prepare to sink into ultimate relaxation.


October 2017 Events

Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

Date: October 8th @ 12pm-6pm
Location: Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh
Cost: Free admission

Food truck connoisseurs and pun appreciators, this is an event you don’t want to miss. A half-mile of Fayetteville Street will shut down to cars and open to more than 50 of the best mobile restaurants in the region, including Baguettaboutit, Lumpy’s Ice Cream, Gnam Gnam Gelato, The 13th Taco, American Meltdown, and Wandering Moose.



North Carolina State Fair

Date: October 12th-22nd
Location: North Carolina State Fairgrounds
Cost: $10 at the entrance*

Nothing says North Carolina quite like the State Fair. Fried foods, carnival rides, street performers, hundreds of local vendors, local bands, and contests and exhibits of all kinds are just some of the things you don’t want to miss!

We love the State Fair, so we’ve written about it several times already. Here’s a recap of the 2016 State Fair and how to get the most out of your trip.


Homecoming Concert 2017

Date: October 27th @ 7:30pm
Location: Reynolds Coliseum 
Cost: $15 for students

Pause your binge-watch of Stranger Things season 2 and get pumped up for the upcoming homecoming game at this talked-about concert. This year, 2Chainz will be performing at the Homecoming Concert in Reynolds Coliseum!


December 2017 Events

First Night Raleigh

Date: December 31st @ 2pm-12am
Location: Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh
Cost: Passes are $14 + tax on the day of

The Big Apple drops a glass ball for New Year’s, but the City of Oaks drops a giant acorn (yep, the same one that’s in Moore Square Park). Raleigh’s New Year’s Eve celebration kicks off with tons of daytime activities, offers an early drop for the early-to-bed folks, and shoots off plenty of fireworks at midnight to ring in the new year.


January 2018 Events

Ice Raleigh

Date: TBD — We’ll let you know when!
Location: City Plaza in Downtown Raleigh
Cost: $10 includes skate rental*

Who doesn’t love ice skating outdoors? While it doesn’t get cold enough here for ponds to freeze over, the Ice Raleigh outdoor ice skating rink is the next best thing during our “mild” winter weather.


Winter Welcome Week

Date: TBD — We’ll let you know when!
Location: NC State
Cost: Free

Winter Welcome Week is back! In 2015, the first-ever Winter Welcome Week had a lot of great stuff: a commuter student welcome party, movies at the campus cinema, and even a ski trip to Virginia. This year’s Winter Welcome Week is going to be even better.


February 2018 Events

Krispy Kreme Challenge

Date: TBD — We’ll let you know when!
Location: NC State & Downtown Raleigh
Cost: $20-$40 depending on signup date*

Raleigh locals have looked forward to the Krispy Kreme Challenge since its inception in 2004. The challenge: Race (in costume) from the Belltower to the Krispy Kreme at Peace Street and Person Street, scarf down a dozen donuts, and race all the way back without puking, all for a good cause. The Krispy Kreme Challenge is not only a student tradition, it’s a charity race that supports the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.


Want Something Else to Do?

If you’re bored of Raleigh, there are plenty of attractions close by. Read about free things to do here.