Family-Friendly Festivals: September 2019

40 festivals in the Triangle for family fun
Cal Fest Sparkcon4 Danhacker
Photo courtesy of Dan Hacker
SPARKcon takes place Sept 13-15 in downtown Raleigh.

African-American Cultural Festival

Sept. 1 – Fayetteville Street, downtown Raleigh. 1-10 p.m. Free. Celebrate African-American culture and history with an art gallery walk, vendors, kids activities, food and more.

Raleigh Greek Festival

Sept. 6-8 – Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 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 38th annual Raleigh Greek Festival features folk dancing, live music, authentic cuisine, a marketplace and more.

GeekCraft Expo

Sept. 7-8 – Durham Convention Center, 301 W. Morgan St., Durham. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Advance registration required for free admission; $2/adults at the door. Take the family for handmade, geek-themed crafts. Kids can enjoy gaming, superhero appearances and more.

North Carolina Kid Expo

Sept. 7-8 – Exposition Center at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $10/adult, $5/child. A family four-pack is $25. The expo features local and national companies that have products and services catered to kids and families, hands-on activities, youth performances and more.

Canes 5K

Sept. 8 – PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh. 9:30 a.m. $15-$50/person. The event includes a 5K race around the arena and surrounding areas, 100- and 200-yard kids dashes, inflatables and appearances by Stormy, the Pepsi Storm Squad and current Hurricanes players.

Taste of Soul NC Seafood Edition

Sept. 8 – Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., Durham. 4-8 p.m. Free. Take the family for fresh lobster, shrimp, crab cakes, flounder, catfish, salmon croquets and more. Kids activities, games and a DJ round out the fun.

Grape Day at the State Farmers Market

Sept. 13 – State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Grape Day features fresh North Carolina grapes, desserts and more.


Sept. 13-15 – Raleigh Warehouse District, St., downtown Raleigh. See the website for hours. Free. Celebrate the best in creative expression at this three-day festival that features live entertainment, hands-on activities, food trucks and more.

City of Oaks Pirate Fest

Sept. 14 – Dorothea Dix Park, 2105 Umstead Dr., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Learn more about the history of pirates in North Carolina, play swashbuckling games, make pirate crafts, meet Blackbeard and more. Register online.

Dog Day in the Park

Sept. 14 – Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Families and their four-legged friends enjoy clinics, entertainment, adoption opportunities, as well as local animal businesses.

East Meets West Festival

Sept. 14 – Park West Village, Village Market Place, Morrisville. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate Morrisville, one of Wake County’s most diverse community, with a day of food, culture and music from around the world. Kids can enjoy face painting and a bounce house.

Knightdale Arts and Education Festival

Sept. 14 – Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. This festival focuses S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and features interactive activities, nonprofit organizations and more. A concert takes place from 5:30-9 p.m. and also features food trucks.

Photo courtesy of Schoolhouse of Wonder

Celebrate Schoolhouse of Wonder’s 30th anniversary with S’More Stories: A Live Storytelling Event on Sept. 14 at West Point on the Eno Park in Durham.

S’More Stories: A Live Storytelling Event for Families

Sept. 14 – West Point on the Eno Park, 5101 N. Foxboro St., Durham. 5:30-9 p.m. Free. Celebrate Schoolhouse of Wonder’s 30th anniversary by hearing tales from nationally renowned storyteller Raymond Christian and other local raconteurs. Enjoy outdoor activities, including fire-making, whittling, tomahawk-throwing and more. Wind down with freshly made s’mores around a bonfire. Register online.

Fiestas Patrias en UniRumba

Sept. 15 – Compare Foods Parking Lot, 2000 Avondale Dr., Durham. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Celebrate Latino culture in Durham.

NC Sugar Rush

Sept. 15 – City Market, downtown Raleigh. 1-5 p.m. Free. Raleigh’s All-Dessert Food Rodeo features more than 20 dessert vendors offering something for everyone, including pets.

Hillsborough Hog Day

Sept. 20-21 – River Park, 114 E. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough. 6-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Free. Enjoy local bands, arts and crafts vendors, a car show, kids area, contests, games and a barbecue cook-off contest featuring veteran cooking teams.

Capital City Bikefest

Sept. 20-22 – Various locations in downtown Raleigh. 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. See the website for fees and a complete schedule. Celebrate the motorcycle lifestyle with stunt shows, specialty rides, a car show and more.


Sept. 21 – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Raleigh. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Celebrate the world of bugs and creepy crawlies with exhibits, crafts, games and activities. Interact with entomologists and other scientists, and sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs at Cafe Insecta. From 5-7 p.m., Jones Street, Bicentennial Plaza and Edenton Street will be teeming with activities, bug stations and a street carnival.

Creedmoor Music Festival

Sept. 21 – Main Street, Creedmoor. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Family fun for all ages includes more than 100 delicious food and craft vendors, kids activities, live demonstrations, and all genres of music from local and regional bands.

CenterFest Arts Festival

Sept. 21-22 – 120 Morris St., downtown Durham. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday with extended entertainment from 6-11 p.m.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $5 suggested donation. This annual arts festival located in Durham’s historic city center showcases 145 juried visual artists from across the U.S. and 600 performing artists from North Carolina. Food, continuous music and entertainment on five stages, and kids activities round out the event.

Fall Harvest Celebration at Yates Mill

Sept. 21 – Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Enjoy storytellers, a scavenger hunt for all ages, craft demonstrations, antique vehicle and tool displays, and food vendors. Tour Historic Yates Mill, Wake County’s last operable water-powered gristmill, where costumed interpreters lead half-hour tours and conduct corn-grinding demonstrations. Tours are $5/adult, $3 ages 7-16. Children ages 6 years old and younger are Free.

Good Neighbor Day

Sept. 21 – E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Rd., Wake Forest. 1-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate diversity in Wake Forest with live performances, traditional cuisine and family entertainment.

Groove in the Garden

Sept. 21 – Raleigh Little Theatre’s Rose Garden and Stephenson Amphitheatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh. 2-8 p.m. $15/person advance tickets, $20/person at the door. Free for ages 5 and younger. Groove to the music from live bands and enjoy a vendor village, kids zone and food trucks.

North Carolina Jerk Fest 

Sept. 21 – West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro St., Durham. 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Free. Take the family for Caribbean food, live music, a kids zone, bounce house, face painter and more.

7th Annual Mama Afrika Festival

Sept. 22 – Knightdale Station Park, 810 First Ave., Knightdale. 1-7 p.m. Free. This cultural expo features live entertainment, a kids zone, food vendors, games and more.

Grand Opening Celebration: David R. Kahn Community Campus

Sept. 22 – David R. Kahn Community Campus, 12804 Norwood Rd., Raleigh. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Free. Take the family for a balloon artists, face painting, carnival games, obstacle courses, arts and crafts and a magician to celebrate the grand opening of the David R. Kahn Community Campus in Raleigh. Register online.

Pittsboro Pepper Festival

Sept. 22 – Downtown Pittsboro. 3-6 p.m. $5-$25/person. Delicious pepper-themed dishes take center stage at this annual event that features local artisans, farmers, kids activities and more.

Apple Day

Sept. 26 – State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Celebrate all things apple at the State Farmers Market.

Benson Mule Days

Sept. 26-29 – Downtown Benson, 500 S. Market St., Benson. See website for fees. Take the family for rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers and bluegrass shows.

Wide Open Bluegrass Festival

Sept. 27-28 – Downtown Raleigh. See website for hours. Free-$60. This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried arts market area, and more.

Dragon Boat Festival

Sept. 28 – Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5/person advance tickets; $8/person at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger. Enjoy live performances, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, dragon boat racing and more. Taste ethnic foods and delicacies created by local chefs.

Farmers Fall Festival

Sept. 28 – Downtown Cary. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Welcome the fall harvest season with local produce, kids activities, a scavenger hunt and a pie-eating contest. Free.

International Food Festival

Sept. 28 – J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, Cyprus and Third Streets, Wendell. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Sample traditional cuisine from a dozen countries, and enjoy live entertainment, games and inflatables.

Kids Together Walk, Run and Roll for Inclusiveness

Sept. 28 – Kids Together Playground, 111 Thurston Dr., Cary. 10 a.m.-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. and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, games, raffle and a decorating station. All ages and abilities welcome. Register online.

Mumkin Fest

Sept. 28 – Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale. All ages. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Mums and pumpkins are celebrated at this festival featuring live music and food trucks.


Sept. 28 – Lafayette Village, 8450 Honeycutt Rd., Raleigh. Noon-5 p.m. Free. This German-inspired festival features live music and food, as well as the popular wiener dog races throughout the day.

Storytelling Festival

Sept. 28 – Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Hear stories from professional storytellers in this event presented in partnership with Wake County Public Libraries.

Youngsville Fall Festival

Sept. 28 – 125 U.S. 1-A, Youngsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Welcome fall’s arrival with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.

Carrboro Music Festival

Sept. 29 – Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro. 2-10 p.m. Free. Take the family for live music, crafts and food.

Categories: Festivals, Seasonal Fun