Ice skating in downtown Raleigh; Photo courtesy of Ipreo Raleigh WinterfestBy Leigh Hines; Photo courtesy of Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest and Carolyn Scott Photography

Grab your family and hit the ice for a fun-filled afternoon of ice skating in downtown Raleigh before the ice “melts away.” You still have time before Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest closes for the season on Feb. 1.

Thousands of visitors have already enjoyed Raleigh’s only outdoor ice rink since it opened in late Nov. 2014 for the season. The Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest ice rink is located in City Plaza, situated on the southern end of the 400 block of Fayetteville St. The cost is $9 per person, and that includes skate rentals. Even if you have your own ice skates, admission will be the same cost. Children and adults are charged the same price to skate.

The Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest offers events and specials throughout the week. Fri. nights offer late-night skating with a DJ on-site. You can also skate late on Sat. nights. To view the full ice rink schedule, see the weekly schedule. Schedules can change quickly due to inclement weather so always check before heading out.

If the weather isn’t perfect, you can still have fun in the area! Within a few blocks, you’ll find Marbles Kids Musuem, lots of BIG dinosaurs at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a look into blockbuster films made in North Carolina at the North Carolina Museum of History. There’s always something good playing at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles, too. Check out the Greater Raleigh Museums section on visitRaleigh.com to plan your agenda before or after ice skating.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

B.Good serves Farm to fork food from local N.C. farmers. By Leigh Hines

B.Good, a farm-to-fork restaurant serving fast food in a casual atmosphere, is the first of its kind in Greater Raleigh and North Carolina.

The concept behind this new restaurant is simple: Real food sourced from local farms.

And by the looks of the line of customers on a Fri. evening, people have been waiting for a place just like this to open in Greater Raleigh.

B.Good at North HillsSteve Woodward, Greater Raleigh’s B.Good owner, and the first person to bring the Boston-based franchise down South, fell in love with the restaurant’s core concept of serving food sourced from local farmers.

There are 17 B.Good locations in the Northeast, and with N.C. being a top farm-producing state, Woodward felt the time was right to open B.Good in Raleigh’s North Hills.

food fresh from farms at B.Good“A lot of people only think of farm-to-fork dining in a high-end environment, and B.Good shows that you can eat real food that is good for you at all price points,” remarked Woodward. “I’m so excited to be in North Hills.”

B.Good keeps its menu simple and farm-fresh. It specializes in burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and Kale and quinoa bowls.

all-natural farm-fresh burgers at B.Good at North Hills ; dining in Raleigh, N.C. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, a map showcases where all the food served is sourced locally.

N.C. farmers who partner with B. Good are pictured on the wall. The all-natural, local, grass-fed beef comes from Harris-Robinette in Pinetops. Milkshakes are made with ice cream sourced from Maple View Farm in Hillsborough. The sweet potatoes for the delicious sweet potato fries are from Burch Farms in Faison. The farmer, whose photo also graces the wall, is the largest sweet potato producer in the state.

Farm fresh dining in Greater Raleigh, casual, fast foodGreater Raleigh brews are also served at B. Good. Selections can be found from Big Boss Brewing Company, White Street Brewing Company and Lonerider Brewing Company.

B.Good burgers are about five ounces and are priced at $6.99. Add a side of farm-fresh fries and a handcrafted natural soft drink, tea or lemonade for an extra $3.79. A kid’s meal with a side and drink is $5.99. A kid’s meal with a side and smoothie/milkshake is $7.99. B.Good also has gluten-free options for diners.

I love this restaurant, and as a parent, it’s nice to know that your kids are being served the best possible foods straight from N.C. farms.

b-good_local-beer-selectionsB.Good serves lunch and dinner daily at Midtown Park in North Hills shopping center at 201 Park at North Hills, #100.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

themostnc.comLincoln Theatre in Raleigh NC“The Raleigh area is home to dozens of various event calendars, but what it was missing was an unbiased, impartial listing of events and concerts relevant to both residents and travelers,” said Dave Rose, co-owner of Deep South Entertainment. “With the launch of [themostnc.com] it is the bridge to bring all of that live music information together in a centralized place.”

In 2014, 15 representatives from area music venues, music festivals/presenters and other businesses in the local live music scene collaborated closely to create a comprehensive Greater Raleigh live music calendar, adapted from visitRaleigh.com. Launched yesterday, themostnc.com is the first comprehensive live music calendar conceptualized and collaborated on directly by Raleigh area live music leaders. So, why the most? Click here to find out.

Here are the top five reasons you should start using themostnc.com now:

1. It’s a first.
We said it above, and will say it again: themostnc.com is the first comprehensive live music calendar conceptualized and collaborated on directly by Raleigh area live music leaders. Being live music fans themselves, 15 live music representatives know what live music fans want, information-wise and graphically, so the website delivers. And being a collaborative effort, it’s unbiased, meaning you’ll always see a wide variety of shows at venues, along with a variety of genres.

2. You’ll never miss a show again.
You might have missed the news about your favorite band playing in Raleigh—you missed a tweet and a Facebook post, or a news article. Bookmark themostnc.com and scan the calendar each month to be in the know at all times.

3. You’ll discover new music.
Greater Raleigh has the most live music venues in N.C., and many of them are listing shows from up-and-coming artists on themostnc.com. You just might find your next favorite band.

4. Hear it from Greater Raleigh bands and insiders.
Learn about the area’s music scene from area residents (insiders, as we like to call them) and bands. themostnc.com will feature spotlight videos, plus links to blog articles on blog.visitraleigh.com about Greater Raleigh’s music scene.

5. 15 area live music representatives agreed: it’s quite pretty.
The website creators at visitRaleigh.com along with the 15 live music representatives wanted the calendar to be quick and easy to read. We all love bells and whistles, but let’s face it: more importantly when we want information, we want it fast and without anything distracting us. The design is clean and clutter-free, without distracting information.

Bookmark themostnc.com and come back to check the calendar whenever you want your music live and alive…in Raleigh.

And, hey, bands: don’t see your event on themostnc.com or visitRaleigh.com (which powers themostnc.com)? Click here to submit.

Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof in Raleigh NCBy Tyler Cox; Photo by Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof

So you like EDM (Electronic Dance Music) but don’t know where to go? Here are a few excellent spots in Raleigh that host weekly or monthly EDM parties, in addition to various other EDM events throughout the month:

Lincoln Theatre
126 E. Cabarrus St. One of the wildest EDM nights occurs monthly at Lincoln Theatre. PULSE: Electronic Dance Party features bass music from North Carolinian electronic music artists. The next rave takes place on Valentine’s Day and is the one-year anniversary of the event.

Mosaic Wine Lounge
517 W. Jones St. Mosaic Wine Lounge brings the party nightly. Renowned hip hop producer and rapper 9th Wonder spins records the first Wed. of each month. BASSLINE Tues. present house, breaks, dubstep and drum and bass. Every fourth Thurs., Mosaic Wine Lounge presents TRANCENDENTAL, an evening devoted entirely to trance.

The Black Flower
517 W. Peace St. Sky Bar’s closure forced the move of “Covert Bass,” one of Raleigh’s largest weekly events. Now known as SUB-ROSA, happening every Tuesday, sponsored by BassBunny Productions and Madhouse Underground Productions, this explosive EDM party found a new weekly home at The Black Flower. Rotating DJs, glow stick battles, shufflin’, fire dancers and fire blowers, hoop dancing–this event has it all. No cover if you’re 21 and up, and bring your dog!

Noir Bar & Lounge
425 Glenwood Ave. A beautiful bar, crystal chandeliers, a killer patio and an appreciate of film noir add extra class to Raleigh’s burgeoning Glenwood South scene.

Solas Restaurant Lounge & Roof
419 Glenwood Ave. Three floors of fun in Glenwood South! The first floor offers an upscale restaurant with a wraparound fountain patio and special event and banquet space. Skip on up to the second-floor Lounge, with its glass-bottom dance floor and specialty cocktails. The Rooftop patio provides a beautiful view of Glenwood South and a raucous dance party. Every Fri. and Sat. night, the Lounge and Rooftop bump with progressive house music.

Five Star
511 W. Hargett St. Consider this one a hidden gem. In addition to their excellent Asian cuisine and chic decor, Five Star hosts local house music collective Full House, mostly on First Fridays.

The Capital VIP Night Club
1505 Capital Blvd., Ste. 21. You can dance the night away to the big hits, but they do have some nights devoted entirely to EDM.

Southland Ballroom
614 N. West St. Generally focusing on live instrument-based music, Southland occasionally pulls one of the better EDM shows.

Click here to see even more nightlife hot spots in Greater Raleigh.

Kids Exchange in Raleigh NCBy Kristy Stevenson; Photos courtesy of the Kids Exchange

So the New Year is here, and although it’s a bit blustery now, spring temperatures will be here before you know it! Are your kids’ closets ready for the transition? Easter dresses, swimming trunks and flip flops are right around the corner. Get what you need without breaking the bank! The Kids Exchange – Raleigh–the Greater Raleigh area’s number one consignment event–will be in full swing, Jan. 19-26, at both the Jim Graham Building and Exposition Center at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Select from spring and summer merchandise at bargain prices. Here are our top 10 reasons to go:

1. “Clean closets and full pockets.” Consignment is a great way for families to make some cash by selling items they no longer need. 3,000 sellers, 700 volunteers and 30,000 shoppers can’t be wrong.

2. Sellers not only get a nice return on their investment, they also get the added bonus of de-cluttering their homes, closets, playrooms and garages.

3. New online building directory (via QR code), helping shoppers search for items and exact locations. If you don’t have a smartphone or QR reader, simply print the color-coded map.

4. Diapers are expensive. But as little ones tend to grow out of sizes quickly, you can often find a variety of heiny huggers from Swaddlers to Pull-Ups.

5. Books, educational toys, puzzles and games to keep your kids busy until the warmth of the sun calls them back outdoors.

Kids Exchange in Raleigh NC6. And speaking of the outdoors, check out the selection of bicycles, sandboxes, basketball hoops, playhouses and other outdoor toys for hours of enjoyment in your own backyard.

7. Swim suits in Jan.! Where else are you going to find a selection of everything from swim diapers to one and two-piece pool attire for your toddler or teen? Then head over to the sporting goods area and check out the pool noodles, floaties and other inflatables.

8. Seeking furniture or storage options for your nursery? They’ve got you covered.

Kids Exchange in Raleigh NC9. Barcoded price tags for fast checkout.

10. Helping your community: at the end of each sale, sellers have the option of picking up unsold items or donating to a worthy cause. Kids Exchange sales around the nation have given millions of dollars to families both locally and around the world.

Kids Exchange – Raleigh is open to the public. Consignor item drop off is Jan. 19-21, volunteers shop Jan. 21, consignors shop Jan. 22 and the public sale runs Jan. 23-25 with 50 percent off most items on Sun.

Follow Kristy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her website here: Kristy Stevenson Creative.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by WRAL benefiting The V FoundationThe Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance recently took to Twitter to count down 2014’s best sports industry moments in Greater Raleigh. There were countless numbers of great options to choose from, even when excluding Raleigh area teams’ regular season contests. Not everything could be included, but here are some of our favorite moments of the year. Did you have a personal favorite? Tweet us @raleighncsports and let us know. Here’s to another year of sports in 2015!

White Street Brewing Company seasonal aleBy Leigh Hines

It may be cold outside, but these Greater Raleigh seasonal brews are sure to keep you warm this winter. Gather with friends at the breweries where these beers are made and celebrate the tastes of the season.

FrostNipper, Aviator Brewing Company
A collection of fall spices. The beer is a bit darker than brown ale. There is a combination of Perle and Willamette hops that provides a contrasting intensity with the fall spices.

Holly Daze Holiday Ale, Bombshell Beer Company
This spiced holiday ale showcases ginger, cinnamon and sweet orange peel on the front. It finishes with subtle chocolate notes from the Carafa2 grain and spice notes from the Pacific Jade hops.

Midnight Brüe, Brüeprint Brewing Company
This seasonal stout will keep you warm with hints of coffee, chocolate and fruit.

Carolina Winter Porter, Carolina Brewing Company
This winter porter is a black ale brewed in the style of a robust American porter. It’s a balance of roasted malt flavor from black and chocolate malts combined with hop bitterness and citrus-like hop aroma from Cascade hops.

The Miller’s Toll Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Raleigh Brewing Company
This winter beer brewed with roasted coffee, chocolate and highlights of rich caramel is on tap at the brewery through Mar.

White Street Stout, White Street Brewing Company
This winter seasonal from Wake Forest is brewed with notes of mocha to the U.K. export style: opaque and hearty, but not overpowering.

Red Nose Winter Ale, Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing
The brewery starts with a classic American red ale and adds fresh ginger, orange peel and cinnamon. Like the winter season, it’s festive, warm-hearted, companionable and meant to be shared with your favorite folks.

Click through for a list of Greater Raleigh breweries, a Greater Raleigh Beer Trail map and more.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Photo by Bryan ReganBy Mary Brooks; Photo by Bryan Regan (@bryanregan on Instagram)

The World’s Largest Dinosaurs

Make your next vacation epic. Through the beginning of 2015, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences continues to go big with The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, a new exhibition about the super-sized sauropods, the most colossal animals to walk the earth. You must go big too. Start the new year off in a grand way with a trip to the exhibition, other Greater Raleigh museums and historic attractions, big-flavor dining and a cozy hotel stay.

When you’re here, explore the area’s selection of 80-plus historic attractions and see the past come alive through in-depth exhibits, costumed docents or hands-on workshops. Film buffs won’t be able to get enough of the North Carolina Museum of History’s Starring North Carolina! exhibition, featuring costumes and props from Iron Man 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue Velvet and more. Can’t miss: Kick-off Black History Month early by celebrating the heritage and culture of the 14th Annual African American Cultural Celebration (1/31) at the North Carolina Museum of History. This special festival boasts many outstanding presenters who include musicians, storytellers, writers, dancers, chefs and craftspeople from across our state :: All Lifelong Learner events

Basketball Season Hype and Headlights and Tailpipes

2015 brings the hype of basketball season as Greater Raleigh’s minor-league basketball team Cary Invasion takes to the court against the All-American Ballers (1/3), Neuse River BBall Club (1/10) and Stealth All Stars (1/17). Four collegiate men’s teams also host big games this month. The William Peace University Pacers play Connecticut College (1/1) and Methodist (1/21); Raleigh rivals Saint Augustine’s University Falcons and Shaw University Bears play (1/24); and the North Carolina State University Wolfpack plays Duke University (1/11) and UNC-Chapel Hill (1/14). Can’t miss: Hear the roars of engines and go through the gears at Ray Price Harley-Davidson’s New Rider Boot Camp (1/3). Learn about everything from headlights to tailpipes, how to tell a Sportster from a softail motorcycle and which bike is perfect for you :: All Adrenaline Junkie events

The Art of Entertainment

Discover the vibrant colors of classical Chinese dance, feel the joy as ethnic and folk dance fill the stage with energy and take an extraordinary journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom at Shen Yun 2015 (1/27-28) at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Let the stunning animated backdrops captivate you and exquisite costumes transport you to another world while experiencing the new sound of an orchestra that combines East and West like no other. Can’t miss: The Garner Performing Arts Center presents Capathia Jenkins: Broadway Voices (1/31). Jenkins will perform numbers from Broadway productions that she’s been featured in such as Newsies and The Civil War and the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell :: All Creative Genius events

Culinary Excellence

Take part in the week-long celebration of culinary excellence that is 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week (1/26-2/1). Participating restaurants from across Greater Raleigh will partake by offering special three-course menu options of some of their best dishes with fixed pricing. It’s the perfect opportunity to taste a sampling of Raleigh area cuisines. Can’t miss: Beer Sunday (1/25) at Crank Arm Brewing in downtown Raleigh kicks off 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week with live music, flights, samples and more :: All Foodie events

All That Jazz

Escape the brisk winter air and relax inside with some jazz this Jan. Listen as the North Carolina Symphony pays tribute to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald with Louis and Ella, All That Jazz (1/16-17) at the Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy the Jim Ferris Trio (1/10) at Irregardless Café and nightly jazz favorites at C. Grace (Tues.-Sat.). If it’s the blues that calls your name, check out Jason Damico and the New Blue at Rock Harbor Grill (1/10) in Apex. Can’t miss: Country performances at City Limits Saloon featuring Big Smo (1/2), Easton Corbin (1/3) and the Big Cahoot featuring Yarn (1/17). Also, see Southern rock classic group, The Marshall Tucker Band (1/21), at The Ritz :: All Music Maniac events

A Winter Season Centerpiece

Cap off your Greater Raleigh experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier event features a signature outdoor skating rink.

Click through to see all Greater Raleigh events in January 2015.

The Nutcracker in Raleigh NCBy Ryan Smith; Photography by Chris Walt

The holiday season in Greater Raleigh is full of family-friendly events at which you and your kids can make everlasting memories. Here are five holi-date ideas to experience with your kids this weekend:

1. Ice skate under the stars in downtown Raleigh at Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest and grab a drinking chocolate or hot cider at Bittersweet.

2. Explore and learn at The World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

3. For an evening excursion, head to the town of Wendell for Wendell Wonderland/the Lake Myra Christmas Lights where a huge light display is synchronized with Christmas and patriotic music.

4. Nothing says it’s the holiday season like Carolina Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Combining the beauty of classical ballet with a little Las Vegas magic, this holiday tradition has become an annual favorite throughout the region.

5. Bigger is better when it comes to screen size. The Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles is the largest 3D screen in the state measuring 70-feet wide and amplifying the jaw-dropping visuals of movies like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3D and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D.

Click here to see all events going on this weekend.

Holiday lights in Greater Raleigh NCBy Kristy Stevenson

During the holiday season, the Raleigh area is aglow with displays of Christmas lights, blow-ups and other seasonal presentations. Here are some of the best places for December pageantry:

Happyland Christmas Lights
5505 Huntingwood Dr., Raleigh. These lights twinkle in memory of Rick Moore (1986-2004), who in his short life always wanted “more lights.” Drive by Mon.-Thurs., 6:30-10pm; Fri.-Sun., 6-10:30pm. On Christmas Eve the lights will run sundown-10:30pm with the manger lit throughout the night. Free.

Piper Lights
5725 Fixit Shop Rd., Wake Forest. Drive through a display that connects yards and crosses a pond (creating beautiful reflections). Ride the train and visit the candy store for hot chocolate, popcorn and old-fashioned candy treats. You might even see Santa! Sun.-Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10:30pm. Admission is free; donations accepted.

Wendell Wonderland’s Lake Myra Christmas Lights
10 S. Cyress St., Wendell. The Town of Wendell has a spectacular light show set to music. This year’s display features 400,000 lights computer synchronized to “dance” in time to the music. The display is created by the Williams family of Wendell, who painstaking design and assemble the glowing event each year. Visitors neither walk nor ride through the exhibit–it’s more like going to the movies. You’ll park (or stand) and watch the show from the viewing area in front of the display. Each show is 30-90 minutes in length. Sun.-Thurs., 6-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-11pm. Admission is free; donations accepted.

Magical Winter Lights Show
Park West Village; Intersections of Chapel Hill Rd., Cary Pkwy., and Morrisville Pkwy., Morrisville. PaintScaping brings the walls of the Park West 14 Cinemas to life with 3D projection mapping and animation set to holiday music. Nightly, 6-8pm. Story time with Santa is 5:30-8:30pm, Fri.-Sun.. Plus, falling snow, train rides every night and carolers on the weekend. Free.

Neighborhoods
Some neighborhoods are known for their cumulative effort and fantastic holiday spirit–Raleigh subdivisions like Bedford, Black Horse Run and Stonehenge; the historic district of Wake Forest; and Planter’s Walk in Knightdale, for example. Check out this map of many the hot spots in the area created by Wake Forest Commissioner Jim Thompson and shared via social media.

Holiday Lights in Greater Raleigh NCWhat are some of your area favorites?

Follow Kristy on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or visit her website here: Kristy Stevenson Creative.

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