Family-Friendly Festivals in September

40+ festivals in the Triangle for family fun
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Photo courtesy of Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
Tar Heel Downtown takes place Sept. 14 in Chapel Hill.

African American Cultural Festival

Sept. 1-2 – Fayetteville St., downtown Raleigh. All ages. Free. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday. Explore African-American culture and history with an art gallery walk, vendors, kids’ activities, food and more. See website for hours.

Mini BioBlitz

Sept. 6 – Piedmont Wildlife Center, 364 Leigh Farm Rd., Durham. All ages. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Celebrate wildlife and search for reptiles, amphibians and insects. Learn how to identify common backyard plants, make crafts, track a box turtle through the woods and more.

Raleigh Greek Festival

Sept. 7-9 – Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. All ages. 5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. $3/adults, $2/ages 13-18 and seniors. Free for ages 12 and younger. The 37th annual Raleigh Greek Festival features folk dancing, live music, authentic cuisine, a marketplace and more.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Sept. 8 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. All ages. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Dogs and their owners enjoy contests, breed parades, giveaways, games, a mini agility course and more.

Family Day at Duke Homestead

Sept. 8 – Duke Homestead, 2828 Duke Homestead Rd., Durham. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Family Day features inclusive activities for several ability levels. Learn all about life at Duke Homestead in the 1800s and make a craft.

Knightdale Education Festival (K-Fest)

Sept. 8 – Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale. All ages. 1-8 p.m. Free. Explore the elements of STEAM. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) through interactive activities, nonprofit organizations and more.

Trung Thu Moon Festival

Sept. 8 – Renaissance Centre, 405 Brooks St., Wake Forest. All ages. 5:30-10 p.m. $6-$8. Wake Forest celebrates its Vietnamese culture with music, stories, dance, arts and crafts, and more. The event concludes with a children’s lantern parade. Purchase tickets online. (search for “Trung Thu Moon”).

Clayton Harvest & Music Festival

Sept. 12-16 –Main St., downtown Clayton. All ages. See the website for hours. Free. Clayton’s annual music festival showcases live entertainment, food vendors, rides, hands-on activities, local talent performances, a car show and more.

Entrepalooza 2018

Sept. 13 – Talley Student Union at North Carolina State University, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. All ages. 5:30-8 p.m. Free. NCSU’s annual entrepreneurship and innovation festival features creative business ideas from students, alumni and community partners. Reserve tickets online.

Hoppin’ John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddler’s Convention

Sept. 13-15 – Shakori Hills, 1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro. All ages. $18 and up. Enjoy fiddlers, bluegrass music, hayrides and family square dancing.

Photo courtesy of Dan Hacker

SPARKcon 2018 takes place Sept. 13-16 in downtown Raleigh.

SPARKcon 2018

Sept. 13-16 – Fayetteville St., downtown Raleigh. All ages. Free. Celebrate the best in creative expression at this four-day festival that features live entertainment, hands-on activities, food trucks and more.

Hillsborough Hog Day

Sept. 14-15 – River Park, 114 E. Margaret Ln., Hillsborough. All ages. 6-10 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday. Free. Hillsborough’s annual celebration of barbecue features local bands, games, a dessert contest and more.

Tar Heel Downtown

Sept. 14 – Franklin St., downtown Chapel Hill. All ages. 6-9 p.m. Free. Enjoy a pep rally the night before the Tar Heels’ first home football game of the season. The event features an outdoor concert, interactive games for kids, face painting and Rameses, the Tar Heel mascot.

13th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration

Sept. 15 – Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Welcome fall’s arrival with corn-grinding demonstrations, costumed tours of Yates Mill, kids’ scavenger hunt, antique vehicles and storytellers at this annual fall festival. Mill tours charge a $3-$5 fee.


Sept. 15 (rescheduled to Oct. 20) – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Raleigh. All ages. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Experience more than 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities dedicated to bugs and other creepy crawlies. This year's theme is crayfish.

Bygone Daze

Sept. 15 – Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary. All ages. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Step back in time to celebrate the Page Walker Arts & History Center’s 150th year with carriage rides, crafts, games and more. (search for “Bygone Daze”).

CenterFest Arts Festival

Sept. 15-16 – Downtown Durham, 120 Morris St., Durham. All ages. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $5 suggested donation. Durham’s renowned arts festival showcases 145 juried visual artists from across the U.S., 600 performing artists from North Carolina, food vendors and a Creative Kids Zone.

Creedmoor Music Festival

Sept. 15 – Main St., Creedmoor. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Carnival food aficionados and music lovers converge on Main Street to enjoy free kids’ activities, handcrafted merchandise and live music.

Dog Day in the Park

Sept. 15 – Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. All ages. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Take Fido and the rest of the family for animal entertainment, adoption opportunities, vendors and more.

Carnaval Latino

Sept. 16 – Garner Performing Arts Center, Back Lawn, 125 Avery St., Garner. All ages. 1-5 p.m. Free. Celebrate Latino culture with live bands, food trucks, dance performances, face painting, a piñata giveaway, crafts and more.

Benson Mule Days

Sept. 20-23 – Downtown Benson, 500 S. Market St., Benson. All ages. See the website for hours and fees. Benson’s celebrated festival features rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts vendors, carnival rides, street performers and bluegrass shows.

Capital City Bikefest

Sept. 21-23 – Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St, Raleigh. All ages. See the website for the schedule. $10 for ages 13 and older. Free for ages 12 and younger. Celebrate the motorcycle lifestyle with stunt shows, specialty rides, a pre-1972 car show and more.

16th International Food and Music Festival

Sept. 22 – J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, Cyprus and Third Streets, Wendell. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Enjoy authentic foods from a dozen countries, live entertainment, games and inflatables.

City of Oaks Pirate Fest

Sept. 22 – North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. All ages 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Learn more about the history of pirates in North Carolina, play swashbuckling games, make pirate crafts and meet Blackbeard himself. Reserve tickets online.

Dragon Boat Festival

Sept. 22 – Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. All ages. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $5 advance ticket, $8 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger. See a variety of dragon boats and enjoy cultural displays, games and stage performances.

Groove in the Garden

Sept. 22 – Raleigh Little Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh. All ages. 2:15 p.m.; gates open at 1:30 p.m. $10 advance tickets, $15 at the door. Enjoy live music in the Stephenson Amphitheater and Rose Garden. Kids can play games and make crafts in the Kids Zone.

Project Palooza

Sept. 22 – Project Enlightenment, 501 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh. All ages. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Games, crafts, fire trucks, police dogs, face painting and more highlight this event to benefit Project Enlightenment in Wake County.

Take a Child Outside Week Kickoff Celebration

Sept. 23 – Bond Park, 801 High House Rd., Cary. All ages. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Experience a full day of outdoor activities and nature adventures to kick off Take a Child Outside Week. (search for “Child Outside Week”).

Apple Day at the State Farmers Market

Sept. 27 – State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. All ages. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Apple Day features fresh North Carolina apples, an apple dessert and more.

Mumkin Fest

Sept. 28 – Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale. All ages. 6-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Free. Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring live music, food trucks, inflatables and hayrides.

East Meets West Festival

Sept. 29 – Park West Village, Village Market Place, Morrisville. All ages. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate Morrisville, Wake County’s most diverse community, with a day of food, culture and music from around the world.

Harvest Festival

Sept. 29 – St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, 225 Bashford Rd., Raleigh. All ages. 2-8 p.m. Free. Take the family for authentic cuisine, stage performances, music, a live auction and kids games.

Photo courtesy of Dulce Levitz

Hippie Tribe Fest takes place Sept. 29 in Holly Springs.

Hippie Tribe Fest

Sept. 29 – Sugg Farm Park at Bass Lake, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. All ages. Noon-7 p.m. $5 advance tickets, $10 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger. Get into a groovy mood at this event that showcases musical artists, bohemian craft vendors, kids’ activities, face painting, food trucks and more. Purchase tickets online.

Horses for Hope Fall Hay Day

Sept. 29 – Horses for Hope, 2909 Banks Rd., Raleigh. All ages. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. Activity wristbands for games and one hayride are $10; other activities charge a $1-$20 fee. Fall Hay Day features pony rides, horsemanship demonstrations, a petting area, hayrides, games, food trucks and an appearance by Woody and Jesse from “Toy Story.”

Kids Together Walk, Run and Roll for Inclusiveness

Sept. 29 – Kids Together Playground, 111 Thurston Dr., Cary. All ages. 10-11:30 a.m. $15/family, $5/individual. Take part in a 1.4-mile walk for inclusiveness. Registration and activities begin at 10 a.m.; the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments, games and more round out the fun.

Orange County Localfest

Sept. 29 – Blackwood Farm Park, 4215 N.C. Hwy. 86, Hillsborough. All ages. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Celebrate Orange County’s heritage and culture with local food, music, cooking demonstrations and artisans.

Storytelling Festival

Sept. 29 – Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Hear stories from professional storytellers and enjoy activity tents, live music and food vendors.

Wake Forest Dance Festival

Sept. 29 – E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Rd., Wake Forest. All ages. 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free. See professional dancers, as well as locally rising performers from the Wake Forest community, showcase their talents in this annual event.

Youngsville Fall Festival

Sept. 29 – 125 U.S. 1-A, Youngsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Usher in the fall season with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.

Caniac Carnival

Sept. 30 – PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh. 12:15-3 p.m. Free. Caniac fun for the whole family features inflatable rides, interactive games and booths, a kid’s zone, appearances by Stormy and the Pepsi Storm Squad, live music and more.

Carrboro Music Festival

Sept. 30 – Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro. All ages. 1-7 p.m. Free. Carrboro’s signature music festival showcases Triangle-area performers.

Jewish Cultural Festival

Sept. 30 – Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury O’Dell Place, Cary. All ages. 1-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate Sukkot, Judaism’s harvest holiday, with Jewish foods, traditional dancing, a tour of the community garden and more.


Categories: Cultural, Festivals, Outdoors, Seasonal Fun, Things To Do