Archives for category: Lifelong Learner

Deck the halls with boughs of holly! The halls of the State Capitol building, that is. The halls, the rooms and the grounds of Raleigh’s State Capitol will be beautifully decorated and open to the public during the building’s annual Open House, from Dec. 9th to 12th.

Holiday cheer will fill the capitol as local groups perform traditional and contemporary holiday music in the rotunda throughout the weekend. Civil War buffs will enjoy a special treat on Saturday, when re-enactors from the 6th North Carolina State Troops will set up camp and conduct Civil War-era military drills.

The Christmas encampment will serve as a fun way to compare the holiday during the early war period with the latter period of the war, when many things had become scarce.  There will be fun hands-on activities to enjoy, such as candle dipping and making Civil War-era Christmas ornaments just like they used to.

The State Capitol Open House is truly one of the best times to explore the historically rich building, with the added bonus of live entertainment. Even better, the event is free and requires no advance reservation, although it’s wise to arrive at least one hour before it closes. Check out the hours for this event and learn more about the Capitol building here.

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are a wonderful time to take a trip to Greater Raleigh, where you can explore local holiday traditions, take care of gift shopping and find holiday cheer mixed with southern charm. The 2011-12 holiday season is sure to be unforgettable, with shopping extravaganzas, historic tours, special concerts, theatrical performances and so much more.

If you’re an Adrenaline Junkie, lace up your skates and head out to the AT&T Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink, or grab your running shoes for the annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Creative Geniuses won’t be able to get enough of the dozens of holiday performances and concerts during November and December, and Lifelong Learners will have a blast on the many historic holiday tours and exhibits the area has to offer.

Fashionistas can shop like crazy at one of the shopping events in the area, or plan your own shopping day among the county’s 11 major shopping areas. Foodies, beware!  You’ll find so many holiday dinners and events that you’ll be happily bursting at the seams when you return home. Free Spirits and everyone in between can enjoy parades, plus lightings of the Menorah, the Kinara and the spruce tree.

Is your head spinning? Explore all of the fun holiday events Greater Raleigh has to offer on’s holiday website. Plus, find great holiday deals on accommodations, travel and shopping.  ‘Tis the season to visit Raleigh!

You’re out and about exploring Greater Raleigh, but when you go to check your visitors guide for more exciting things to do, you realize you’ve left it somewhere. Or, you want to plan your last-minute visit to Greater Raleigh from home but don’t have a copy of the guide you’ve heard helps you personalize your trip. These are two different dilemmas but with one great solution. Greater Raleigh’s Official Visitors Guide is now available to flip through online.

No matter where you are, you now have access to 76 pages of the best area information, restaurants, things to do, and so much more right at your fingertips (as long as you have internet access!). The What’s Your Destination I.D. guide is much more than your average guide, with personalized itineraries based on what you enjoy most. Whether you’re a Lifelong Learner looking for the best museums in the area, a Creative Genius tracking down all of the most unique galleries, or an Adrenaline Junkie looking for your next big rush, you’ll find detailed, personalized suggestions for what to do next.

Pull up the guide any time you want to share with family and friends, making planning your next getaway from far away a breeze. This guide is a wonderfully organized highlight of the thousands of options you’ll find on, all tailored to meet your needs and to keep planning as simple as possible. The next time you need access to all the fun Greater Raleigh has in store for you, just visit the Official Visitors Guide online.

When planning your exploration of Greater Raleigh historic sites, you may not think to include the very places that tell us about the people of our past, cemeteries. Brimming with artful monuments, pristinely preserved cobblestone walkways and tombstone engravings that say much more than what is simply written, the resting grounds of our history’s leaders and influencers are definitely worth visiting.

City Cemetery was originally established in 1798 and divided into four parts that represent the segregation of the times: two one-acre plots for citizens, one for visitors and one for African Americans (most of whom were then slaves). Among those buried here are the father of 17th President Andrew Johnson, Jacob Johnson (d. 1812); clergyman and educator William McPheeters; and Colonel William Polk. A map of 35 other resting places of note in City Cemetery is also available.

Mount Hope Cemetery, founded in 1872, is a city-owned, historically African-American cemetery that is one of the first in its kind in North Carolina. Approximately 1,500 monuments sprawl along 34.5 acres of pastoral, well-landscaped hills, although internment records show more than 7,000 individuals are buried here.  Those buried at Mount Hope include Rt. Rev. Henry Beard Delany, one of two African-American bishops of the Episcopal Church at the time of his death and Colonel James H. Young, a commander of a regiment during the Spanish-American War. Mount Hope contains dozens of other notable burial plots and monuments as well.

These two examples provide just a glimpse of the history that can be discovered in Raleigh cemeteries. Go on a cemetery walking tour or put together your own itinerary using’s information on local historic sites and cemeteries.

The only thing better than a great vacation is a great vacation customized for your personality, preferences, tastes and unique interests! Greater Raleigh can be your very own personalized destination; all you have to do is figure out your destination I.D.

Greater Raleigh has seven visitor personalities that you could fall into. Are you a Fashionista who loves to shop ‘til you drop? A Creative Genius who can’t get enough art? An Adrenaline Junkie who lives for sports and recreation? Or maybe even a Free Spirit, who embraces the eclectic and unique? How about a Lifelong Learner, Foodie or Music Maniac? Find descriptions of all seven personalities here and decide which best suits you.

Once you know your destination I.D., you’re ready to check out the customized itinerary, attractions and must-see stops for your personality in this tailored visitors guide! You’ll also find a website packed full of Greater Raleigh things to do that will interest you most.

These customized suggestions and planning resources will make you feel like a VIP, just for being you. Greater Raleigh welcomes any personality with open arms, and has so much to do, so much to see that’s unique under each I.D.! Start planning your next trip now.

All of you history buffs and Lifelong Learners out there may know a lot about the Civil War, but do you know about Greater Raleigh’s involvement in the war? As North Carolinians and Americans all over commemorate the sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of the American Civil War, it is the perfect time to take a look back.

Watch this three-minute video that  provides an overview of the Raleigh area’s Civil War heritage, including highlights of the state’s Ordinance of Secession to the war’s final surrender negotiated by Generals Johnston and Sherman while Sherman was headquartered in Raleigh’s Governor’s Palace.

If you prefer to read your history, then check out this overview of Greater Raleigh and the Civil War, and then get out and about to see for yourself! There are 25 historic Civil War sites in the Raleigh area that you can visit for an up-close and personal learning experience. You can use this interactive map as a resource to guide your exploration.

What are some of your favorite historic sites in Greater Raleigh? Which Civil War sites are you most interested in visiting, or which ones do you wish could have been preserved exactly as they looked in 1865?

On November 5th, more than 14,000 years of North Carolina’s history will unfold through a wonderful permanent exhibit in the North Carolina Museum of History. This fascinating exhibit is the second installment of The Story of North Carolina, which debuted in April, and it is the largest the museum has ever hosted.

The Story of North Carolina traces life in North Carolina from its earliest inhabitants all the way to modern-day life. There will be artifacts, multimedia presentations, dioramas, and hands-on components to enjoy, in addition to two historic homes and other environmental recreations that show you what life used to be like in the Tar Heel state.

Special attention will be paid to the most important aspect of North Carolina’s history, the well-known and everyday citizens who helped shape the state into what it is today. While Part One of the exhibit focused on American Indian life through early 1800s settlers’ farm life, Part Two will focus on the antebellum era, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the two World Wars and the Civil Rights Movement.

This exhibit is free to the public, and there will be a Celebrate N.C. History Festival on November 5th for the opening day celebration. Come out to enjoy the new exhibit, along with award-winning musicians, storytellers, dancers, craftspeople and re-enactors as they capture the diversity of the state. For more information, visit this site.

For the first time in its 40-year history, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) will be hosting its annual conference in Raleigh. The NAAEE is teaming up with the Green Living Project for this special event in order to showcase short films highlighting sustainability from recent global and domestic expeditions.

The Green Living Project film showcase aims to educate, inspire, and entertain individuals on the importance and benefits of sustainable living. The short films will showcase cutting-edge efforts in sustainable tourism, adventure travel, wildlife conservation, sustainable food, community development, and more. Most importantly, you’ll find out how you can begin to live a sustainable life.

Films this year include the adventure of travelers in Oaxaca, Mexico; how agriculture is made sustainable in the highlands of Guatemala; and exciting wildlife conservation work with the endangered black howler monkeys in Belize.

Tickets for this Oct. 15th event are $12, and a portion of every ticket goes to a film project of the audience’s choice. There will be a special Education Exchange networking session for educators, who get in free to the event with an RSVP to Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn the latest efforts in sustainable living, and learn how you can get involved.

Greater Raleigh is proud to be a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicities, and even more proud to host dozens of cultural festivals throughout each year in support of this diversity. No culture seems to be left uncelebrated within Wake County’s lines. On September 18th, La Fiesta del Pueblo will showcase the beautiful cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, adding even more local flavor to the mix.

La Fiesta del Pueblo celebrates family, culture and the community through showcases of popular music and artists, art exhibits, traditional dance performances, folk musicians, and delicious cuisine. Come prepared to bite into mouthwatering papusas, paletas, churros, empanadas, and much more. Crafts by local artists will be on display for your enjoyment or purchase.

This is a very family-friendly event, so bring along the kids and let them explore in the children’s area. Here, they’ll find crafts, balloons, face-painting, inflatable rides, clowns and puppets to entertain and engage them in this wonderful cultural celebration. Bring the whole family and all of your friends without having to reach for your wallet; this festival has free admission.

Find La Fiesta in Moore Square Park between noon and 8 p.m. to celebrate the Latino community and learn more about just one of the many cultures that call Raleigh home.

Whether you’re an expert on Greek culture or your only understanding of it comes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’re in for a real treat. The 30th Annual Greek Festival is taking place in the Exposition Center of the N.C. State Fairgrounds Sept. 16-18, and it’s going to be a great time.

Hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Raleigh, this festival is guaranteed to be as authentic as they come. For the completely affordable admission price of $3, you’ll get to taste handmade Greek food made from recipes that have been passed down for generations, listen to live Greek tunes, and watch traditional folk dance performances. The Church family has pulled from the artistic, historic and cultural richness of their Greek heritage to share it openly with you and your family or friends.

If the whole family is coming along, seniors and teens are admitted for only $2, and children under 13 are absolutely free. Proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. This is a great, low-cost opportunity to explore authentic Greek culture and, not to mention, eat some really tasty baklava.


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