Archives for the month of: January, 2011

This year marks the 16th Human Rights Campaign (HRC) North Carolina Gala, and it’s happening right here in Raleigh.  On February 26th, the Raleigh Convention Center will be home to this annual fund-raising event, bringing together the North Carolina lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community and their allies for an evening full of gaiety and inspiring calls to action.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the HRC, which is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBT equality.  Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will welcome the Gala’s guests, and performer and activist Niki Haris will appear as part of the evening’s entertainment.  This event is a huge celebration of everything the LGBT community has accomplished in the past 10 to 15 years, and you’re invited to be a part of the fun.  Attendees are encouraged to learn more about the Raleigh area as a GLBT getaway.

You can find opportunities to volunteer or become a table captain and find out more about the cause here.  Tickets are discounted for federal club members, major donors and students. This optional black tie/festive attire event is sure to be an evening the community will be talking about long after it has taken place, so buy your tickets now and be a part of something great.

On the final Friday of every month, Cary art galleries and other participating venues unite to host the Cary Art Loop.  Designed to bring together the area’s diverse and growing community through the arts, this fun showcase of local talent is the perfect way to wind down and celebrate.

The Cary Art Loop is great for art lovers, but the fun doesn’t stop there.  In addition to the several participating galleries, the Art Loop also includes restaurants and cafes such as Chatham Street Café, Chatham Hill Winery, Maximillian’s and Coffee and Crepes. You’ll also find fun venues like Galaxy Cinema and Cary Visual Art, Inc., participating in Loop fun.  All of these great venues are open from 6 to 9 p.m. on final Fridays.

As if the Art Loop itself wasn’t enough to fill your Friday with fun, you can check here for a listing of the great events hosted by participants each month.  For maps, details and more, check out the Cary Art Loop site.

Do you love swaying to the chill tunes of the Blues?  Are you looking for something fun and festive to do this February?  Then why not check out the Raleigh Blues Festival, returning to the RBC Center on February 20th.

The Raleigh Blues Festival is a fantastic celebration that delivers the dynamics of music and entertainment with love, happiness and nostalgia – all in the name of the Blues.  Performing artists include Mel Waiters, Shirley Brown, Roy C, Theodis Ealey and Manhattans with Gerald Alston and Blue Lovette.  With all of these accomplished Blues artists on one stage, you’re sure to get a well-rounded, wonderful Blues experience.

Tickets for this event are only $39 to $49 and can be found here. Whether you love the Blues already or are a newbie to the genre, head out to hear this fantastic round-up of artists and have a great time.

When traveling by air, there’s no question that your first impression of a city is based on its airport.  Your experience navigating the terminals and retrieving your luggage can set the precedent for how the rest of your trip will go, whether for the good or the bad.  At Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), they recognize this, and have worked hard over the past few years to build an outstanding terminal that is fully opening in all of its magnificence on January 23, 2011.

When traveling to Raleigh via air, you’re sure to be in for a treat at Terminal 2.  At 920,000 feet, Terminal 2 will have two concourses featuring 36 gates, three ticketing islands each featuring 20 traditional counters, more than 60 electronic kiosks, five baggage carousels, and a security checkpoint that will accommodate up to 10 security checkpoint lanes.  While most airports were built prior to 9/11 security regulations, RDU’s recent construction ensures that you won’t be stuck in a three-hour, bottlenecked security line after your arrival in Greater Raleigh.

As if amazing efficiency and utility aren’t enough, Terminal 2 takes it a step further.  Passengers will enjoy six art installations throughout the building, including Ed Carpenter’s Triplet, a suspended sculpture with triangular components that suggest the Research Triangle Region.  Dining and store options will also expand, elevating your RDU experience just that much more.  The next time you visit the area and fly into Terminal 2, be prepared for an airport experience unlike any other.

On February 14th, love will be in the air as men and women everywhere search for the perfect romantic dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their special someone.  What makes a restaurant romantic, you ask?  Let’s say a cozy ambiance, mouthwatering food and an exceptional drink selection, for starters. Greater Raleigh is home to so many wonderfully romantic restaurants that it was hard to only be able to highlight a few.

For a truly exquisite Valentine’s Day dinner, Heron’s of The Umstead Hotel and Spa has the full package.  Heron’s will feature a special Valentine’s tasting menu with wine pairings in addition to their usual outstanding cuisine. The elegant, dimly lit restaurant compliments the sleek and sultry Umstead hotel itself, where you can enjoy a Valentine’s Day package that includes an overnight stay, paired with hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling wine. This is romance at its finest.

Inspired by the Tuscan hills of Florence, Posta Tuscan Grille is a downtown Raleigh gem that boasts Tuscan elegance and seamless service. They feature an extensive wine list and a tantalizing menu of Italian dishes. Here, you can dine intimately over candlelight, while taking in the downtown scene. To top it all off, Posta is attached to the Marriott Raleigh City Center, where you can spend the rest of the evening with a wonderful downtown view.

Search this comprehensive list of other dining options in Greater Raleigh to find the perfect romantic meal for you and your special someone.  Also, check out these Valentine’s Day and romance-themed deals, to see how you can turn a romantic dinner into a romantic getaway.

Calling all runners and walkers!  You won’t want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind chance to get involved in Raleigh’s National Hockey League All-Star 5K, presented by visitRaleigh and hosted by your very own Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL.

On Saturday, Jan. 29th, participants of all abilities are invited to loop around the RBC Center as part of the NHL’s 2011 All-Star Weekend. Whether you’re a runner or a walker, competitive or casual, a kid or an adult, this 5K is a great way to have a nice, healthy morning while benefiting the Carolina Hurricanes Kids N’ Community Foundation.

Sound like fun to you?  Then register for the NHL All-Star 5K, find your warmest running gear and head out to the RBC Center at 9 a.m. for a Saturday morning that will be just as fun as it will be refreshing.

Are you craving a good belly laugh? If so, then Mel Brooks’ The Producers is definitely for you. Winner of a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards, this outrageously hilarious stage adaptation was  one of the biggest hits to ever land on Broadway.

This production is by the North Carolina Theatre and lasts from Feb. 12th through the 20th at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.  This ridiculous spectacle follows two would-be producers as they attempt to make a fortune by producing a sure-fire bomb.  You’ll be rolling with laughter as you watch Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom sing and dance their way through the greatest showbiz scam that there ever was.

The Producers is just in time for Valentine’s Day, so get your special someone the great gift of tickets to this hilarious show. You can receive $35 tickets in the mezzanine with discount code “ULLA” or save up to $10 per ticket with discount ticket “MAXANDLEO”.  For more information, visit this site.

If you haven’t participated in one of the amazing Triangle Restaurant Weeks in the past few years, then January 24th to the 30th is your next chance to see what it’s all about. For one week, dozens of Greater Raleigh restaurants will participate in the area’s greatest culinary celebration by offering three-course, prix fixe meals for only $15 at lunch and $20 to $30 at dinner.  Does it get much better than that?

Choose from popular restaurants such as 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Ruth’s Chris, Solas, Lucky 32 and more than 75 others throughout the week.  You can return to your favorite restaurant and enjoy the bargain price again, or you can take the opportunity to try something new without worrying about price.

Triangle Restaurant Week is also a wonderful time to take a food tour with Taste Carolina Gourmet Foot Tours, and share your feedback about the restaurants you try at My Restaurant Guru.  Visit the Triangle Restaurant Week site to view a comprehensive list of the Greater Raleigh restaurants participating.  Now, grab your fork and knife and prepare to celebrate delicious local cuisine at savory prices.

Marbles Kids Museum is one of the best places to entertain, engage and educate your children when you’re also looking for something fun to do in the area.  The museum is always bubbling with children’s excitement as they jump from exhibit to exhibit, and as a parent, you can also bring them to special events happening when you’re in town.

Starting on Jan. 22nd, Marbles will host a Family Fit Series.  This family fit event will allow karate kids to join Bushido Karate Shotokan and learn simple karate moves that will leave them feeling good and full of confidence.  The following day, it’s Gadgets & Gizmos night, which is in partnership with The Engineering Place, a K-12 outreach program at NC State University’s College of Engineering.

If your kid is into ballet, then bring her for Hooray for Ballet on Jan. 29th.  You’ll get to join The Carolina Ballet in special activities around The Ugly Ducking production, Step Up to the Barre, Curtain Call and so much more. This is also a great opportunity to purchase discount tickets to Carolina Ballet’s Family Series, too!

The next time you’re in the area and looking for something fun to do with the kids, visit the Marbles Kids Museum events calendar and see what’s going on during your stay.

For three days at the end of January, all of the excitement of the NHL is coming to Raleigh for the NHL All-Star Game and NHL All-Star Wide Open events. Huge names such as Crosby, Kane, Ovechkin, Sedin and Richards will go head to head in the NHL All-Star Game in the Hurricanes’ very own RBC Center.

From Jan. 28th through the 30th, hockey fans will have the opportunity to watch awesome hockey, meet NHL celebrities, attend Fan Fair events, walk through the Wide Open events on Fayetteville Street and so much more.  As if all of the hockey fun isn’t enough, musical entertainment will also be provided by 3 Doors Down, and multiple other live performances will take place throughout the weekend.

If you love hockey and having a good time, then this special three-day event was made for you and yours.  For more information, visit this site.

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