Out & About in Wake County: January / February 2024

1. Spend a day with your furry friends at WakeMed Soccer Park Jan. 6 for Mutts & Marshmallows, where several race course maps will be offered for you and your pup. Everyone who finishes their race will win a medal and a big mug of hot chocolate. You can also participate in a virtual race. Registration is required, and all proceeds go to support Wake County SPCA. muttsandmarshmallows.com

2. There’s still time to see the NC Chinese Lantern Festival! This year’s event features 40 all-new larger-than-life lanterns on display and cultural arts performances scheduled every night on the main stage through Jan. 14. boothamphitheatre.com/chinese-lantern-festival

3. Ready for three days of anime, animation, and cosplay? Don’t miss Animate!Raleigh, presented by GalaxyCon, on Jan. 5–7 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Participate in Q&As, video and tabletop gaming, costume contests, cosplay wrestling, and much more. galaxycon.com/pages/animate-raleigh

4. The ultimate test of food and fitness returns to Raleigh on February 3. The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a nationally publicized charity race that requires participants to run 2.5 miles, eat 12 doughnuts as quickly as possible, and then run another 2.5 miles. All proceeds are donated to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital to support patients and their families. Costumes encouraged! krispykremechallenge.com

5. The magic of The Rink continues through Jan. 15! Enjoy the thrill of ice skating with views of the Raleigh skyline, as well as private igloo lounges (new this year!), fire pits, hot beverages and snacks, and cozy outdoor lounge furniture. redhatamphitheater.com/the-rink

6. Iconic Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is live in concert at PNC Arena for Valentine’s Day! Grab your sweetie and don’t miss his first-ever performance in Raleigh, featuring selections from his uplifting solo album Believe, as well as a selection of arias, his beloved crossover hits, and famed love songs. pncarena.com/events/detail/bocelli

7. The North Carolina Opera presents The Barber of Seville on Feb. 2 and 4 at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts. Audiences will love this plot fraught with bribery, mischievous deception, and disguise, all in the name of love. ncopera.org/2023-2024-season/the-barber-of-seville/

8. Fresh ideas await at this year’s Downtown Raleigh Home Show, scheduled for Feb. 16–18. Find the latest products and services for your home: builders, remodelers, contractors, storage solutions, kitchenware, and much more! raleighspringshow.com

9. Raleigh turns into Bourbon Street at the Mardi Gras Bar Crawl on Saturday, Feb. 10! Participants receive free beads, a masquerade mask, more beads, zero cover charges, discounted food and drink at participating bars, more beads…you get the idea! Find your tickets on eventbrite.com.

10. Carolina Ballet’s Rhapsody in Blue captures the exhilarating, romantic pulse of George Gershwin’s iconic music. The program will also include two new works by Principal Guest Choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Resident Choreographer Amy Hall Garner. Feb. 1–18, Fletcher Opera Theater. carolinaballet.com/rhapsody-in-blue

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