9 Ways to Spend Summer Nights in the Triangle
Beat the heat with these ideas for nighttime family fun across the region
PHOTO OF THE DURHAM BULLS COURTESY OF ANDREA CATENARO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
North Carolina's unforgiving humidity keeps lots of kids — and their parents — indoors during peak sun hours, so by nightfall they are raring to get outside for some fun. You're in luck, because we've compiled eight ways to spend the cooler evening hours in the Triangle with your family. Check it out!
1. Take the Kids Out to a Ballgame
What better way to spend a summer evening than watching one of the Triangle’s professional baseball teams? Check out the Durham Bulls, Holly Springs Salamanders and Carolina Mudcats for some wholesome, all-American fun.
Photo courtesy of the Holly Springs Salamanders
2. Experience the Thrill of a Night Climb
TreeRunner Raleigh Adventure Park, located at 12804 Norwood Rd., is kicking off its 2019 Special Event Campaign with its first Night Climb Friday, June 7, 7-11 p.m. The park and trails will be set aglow using LED lighting, black lights and personal glow attire. Night Climbs occur on a weekly basis and are a great way to beat the summer heat. Tickets sell out quickly, so reserve your tickets in advance. Climbing, zip lining, and glow attire are included. Participants will enjoy the affair from the trees and forest paths. Check the schedule and reserve tickets at treerunnerraleigh.com.
3. See Stars With an Expert
Morehead Planetarium hosts free skywatching sessions every month (weather permitting). Dates vary and sessions typically take place from 9 to 11 p.m. Skywatching sessions for this summer take place June 10 and 24, July 8 and Aug. 12. Educators from the planetarium and members of the Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society bring telescopes and guide you through fun observations of stars, planets, moons, nebulae and other celestial objects — maybe even meteors! Locations range from Dorothea Dix Park to the Durham Hotel.
You can also join a Statewide Star Party May 31, 8:30-11 p.m., where you can See the stars and planets through telescopes compliments of the Raleigh Astronomy Club, learn about the constellations, get answers to your astronomy questions and more.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLEXXANDER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
4. Watch a Movie the Old-Fashioned Way
According to the New York Film Academy, the first drive-in movies started around 1910, peaking in the 1950s. During the ‘70s, people downsized their cars during the oil crisis in order to save money on the inflated cost of gas, making it uncomfortable to watch movies at the drive-in. In 2017, there were only about 300 drive-in movies. Here in the Triangle, towns throughout the area host outdoor movies in parks, on town greens, at museums and in a variety of other locations. Check out our roundup to find the closest one to you.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART
5. Tap Your Toes to Live Music
From Apex to Raleigh, and towns just a short drive from the Triangle, Triangle residents can enjoy live music under the stars nearly every week of summer. Whether you like beach, rock or country music, the options are plentiful. Check out our roundup to see locations and schedules.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH HILLS
6. Join a Drum Circle and Hoop Jam at Pullen Park
Every Wednesday through October, join in on the fun — and free — Drum for the Hoop Jam next to the Pullen Park carousel in Raleigh, 6:30-8:30 p.m. During this weekly event, you'll also see hula hoopers, jugglers, and participants doing acrobatics and yoga. Bring an instrument, if you'd like, or just go to listen to and watch the fun. A limited number of chairs and instruments will be provided, but bring your own if you have them.
Photo courtesy of Shlomit Koslowe/Shutterstock.com
7. Explore the Raleigh Night Market
This expression of creativity kicked off in March and extends through November. Shop the Raleigh Night Market for locally made goods under the beautiful lights and cobblestone streets of City Market while you enjoy live music and entertainment, and delicious foods and drinks. Remaining dates for 2019 include June 23, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Oct. 10 and Nov. 14.
8. Take an Art Walk
Triangle towns offer the perfect opportunity for families to see a variety of art one evening a month, when galleries stay open later than usual. While other areas have started to offer similar versions, two well-established art walks in the Triangle are First Friday Raleigh and 2nd Friday Art Walk in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
9. End the Night With a Frozen Treat
There's nothing better than ice cream — or frozen custard or yogurt — on a hot summer night. Take the kids to one of these sweet Triangle treat shops.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SZEFEI-SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
You might also like these ideas: Cool Summer Fun Out of the Hot Sun.
For Adults Only
The Museum of Life and Science in Durham not only knows what kids like to do for fun — they've figured it out for parents, too. The museum's after hours Tinkering & Drinkering Summer Camp sessions on June 13 and July 25 give adults a chance to return to their childhood summer camp days. Activiites include making friendship bracelets, archery, climbing wall activities, making s'mores, and more — all while enjoying adult beverages and food truck fare (food truck purchases are separate from admission). Admission is $30 for the general public and $25 for members.