Things to Do: January / February 2023

1. There’s still time to see the NC Chinese Lantern Festival, returning to Koka Booth Amphitheatre for its eighth year! This year’s event features 40 all-new larger-than-life lanterns on display. In addition to the magic of lights, cultural arts performances will take place every night. 6–10 p.m. through Jan. 8.

NC Chinese Lantern Festival. Photographed by Jonathan Fredin.

2. Celebrate the life, work, and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Town of Cary’s Dreamfest 2023. Events include inspiring tales of the civil rights movement, a storytelling children’s event, an interfaith service, and an opportunity for community service. Jan. 13–16;, search Dreamfest 2023.

Dreamfest 2023

3. The winter months can seem a little bleak, but an evening of laughs with Jim Gaffigan is sure to lift your spirits! A six-time Grammy-nominated comedian, writer, producer, best-selling author, and Emmy-winning performer, Gaffigan brings his Dark Pale Tour to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Friday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan.  28, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Dark Pale Tour

4. Enjoy music for a cause at The Cary Theater’s Backseat Revival Benefit Concert. Backseat Revival is a Raleigh-based alt country/rockabilly duo, and 100% of the net proceeds of this concert will go to support the Police Benevolent Foundation.

5. 12 doughnuts. 5 miles. 1 hour. That’s what you have to look forward to at the 19th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge, a student-run, charity-based race dedicated to supporting the mission of the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. Saturday, Feb. 4, 8 a.m.; NC State Belltower, Raleigh.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

6. Prepare your spring “honey-do” list at the Downtown Raleigh Home Show and find the latest products and services for your home: builders, remodelers, contractors, storage solutions, kitchenware, and much more! Friday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 18–19, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Raleigh Convention Center.

Downtown Raleigh Home Show

7. Don’t miss the Southern Farm Show, the largest annual agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia. Hosted at the NC State Fairgrounds, the show hosts over 400 exhibitors, agricultural meetings, workshops and training, and everything farmers (and aspiring farmers) need to know for the upcoming growing season. Feb. 1–3, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

8. Experience photographer Charles Ruffin’s Prayer Walk for Social Justice 2020 Exhibit showcasing powerful images from Raleigh’s 6/6/20 prayer walk to promote prayer, social justice, and unity. Jan. 5 to Feb. 4, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Page Walker Arts & History Center., search the calendar.

9. Triangle Restaurant Week, a celebration of culinary excellence, is the perfect opportunity for local foodies to visit participating restaurants for special two- and three-course menu options. No reservations or tickets required! Jan. 23–29.

Triangle Restaurant Week

10. Jurassic Quest is roaring into Raleigh, featuring life-size, sky-scraping dinosaur exhibits, walking dinosaur rides, a life-size T-rex skull, real fossils, and more! Friday, Jan. 20, 3–8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Raleigh Convention Center.

Jurassic Quest

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