9 Ways to Spend Summer Nights in the Triangle

Beat the heat with these ideas for nighttime family fun across the region


Published:

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.

 

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Calendar

December 2019

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Website »

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Create artwork inspired by the Christmas tree. Ages 6-10. Register online. Choose course #126771.

Cost: $31/resident, $40/nonresident

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

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Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

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Geocaching is a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden "caches." We will learn how to use traditional GPS units and the Geocaching App (by Groundspeak), then hike...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Holiday Gift Making for Friends They're back! Come learn how to sew the perfect sized scrunchie - an excellent holiday gift for friends. Choose from a variety of fabrics, colors, and...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
The Studio School of Durham
1201 W Woodcroft Pkwy
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
Telephone: 984-377-4502
Contact Name: Danielle Sunde
Website »

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Favorite Christmas songs are presented in authentic Nashville country style with dazzling guitars and fiddles along with soaring harmonies. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $25/person

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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The ensemble performs favorite holiday tunes as well as the soundtrack to "The Snowman" as it is shown on a large screen. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Favorite Christmas songs are presented in authentic Nashville country style with dazzling guitars and fiddles along with soaring harmonies. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $25/person

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

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Ages 15 and older enjoy a night of dancing, refreshments, a winter wonderland photo booth and more. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Website »

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Winter is a great time to explore nature at the park! Join a naturalist to learn how to identify tracks, explore conifers, and drink pine needle tea. Then observe snow and ice through hands-on...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Family members join teams to shoot foul shots for a chance to win a holiday ham. See website for age divisions and times. No registration necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Community Center
73 Hunter St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Telephone: 919-249-3402
Website »

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Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy a showing of "Home Alone." Register online. Choose course #128732.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Please join Admissions, Division Directors and our Head of School as they talk about Duke School’s unique program, specifically for students entering 5th-8th grade for the 2020-21 school year....

Cost: $0

Where:
Duke School
3716 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Duke School
Telephone: 919-416-9420
Contact Name: Logan Blaylock

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See Happy Dan perform magic, comedy and more.

Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Assist with our habitat box monitoring. Tasks will vary depending on what needs attention and may include: cleaning or repairing habitat boxes or installing new ones, monitoring our current boxes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Enjoy a family-friendly movie and a slice or two of pizza. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5/person. $2 for ages 2 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Website »

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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #127199.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Bring your kids to the park for a day of crafting and nature while you take advantage of a few more hours of holiday shopping.  The crafts your child creates will make great keepsakes or gifts for...

Cost: $16 per child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Ages 11-17 create old-fashioned taffy and hard candy using ingredients like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate. Register online. Choose course #127044.

Cost: $18/resident, $23/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. 

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. 

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Traditional dance caller Connie Carringer teaches fun dances for the whole family: squares, circles, Appalachian and more accompanied by old-time, string band music performed by local musicians. No...

Cost: $2/person or $5/family

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

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No Christmas season is complete without your family experiencing The Raleigh Boychoir’s shining “Carols of Christmas.” This year we are excited to invite community members to sing...

Cost: $10 Students, $15 Seniors, $20 Adults.

Where:
Edenton Street United Methodist
228 W Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Raleigh Boychoir
Telephone: (919)881-9259
Contact Name: Erin O'Hara
Website »

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Give rugby a try. Take part in tag rugby pick-up games every Saturday morning at Baileywick Road Park, near the Second Shelter.  No experience necessary. All ages. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
Website »

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Ages 5 and older move through yoga poses set to holiday music, decorate a special treat and drink hot chocolate. Registration required online. Choose course #127393. 

Cost: $19/child

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
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Website »

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Ages 4-12 enjoy free arts and crafts. Registration not required. Children must have adult accompaniment. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

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One ticket admits the entire family to decorate a special gingerbread house. Supplies provided. Workshops available at 2 p.m. Allergy-free workshop available at 11 a.m. Registration required...

Cost: $40

Where:
Family Preschool
4907 Garrett Rd
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Family Preschool
Telephone: 919-402-1500
Contact Name: Sue Henson
Website »

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Harris Lake will welcome a special holiday visitor this December! Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join us for a cup of hot cocoa and a ride on our wagon along the back roads of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing llpolkhouse2@gmail.com.

Cost: $22/attendee, $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

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Discover what's happening in nature as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #127675.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Take part in this annual walk to celebrate the winter solstice. Take a handmade lantern (white lanterns/lights only, handmade is requested, no fire allowed). Participants will gather at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough
, NC  27278


Website »

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