Spring 2020 Family Fun Things To Do in Durham, NC @DurhamNC

I am so happy Spring is just around the corner here in the Triangle! With warmer temps on the horizon in our weekly forecast and daylight savings time happening this past Sunday, I was motivated to get out and have some family fun in Durham, NC. It just takes 30 mins/28 miles to get to Downtown Durham from my home in Raleigh, so I love going there often. But this time, I wanted to play tourist and make a list to share with you some Spring 2020 Family Fun Things To Do in Durham, NC! Planning things to do was easy when I got an email from Discover Durham announcing their new Spring Guide.

The guide included an original lo-fi album, a variety of spring festivals to check out, a listing of lady bosses in the community (just in time for Women’s History Month), and more! Here are the places we checked out in Durham, NC:

Nolia Family + Coffee

We headed to Durham for a full day of fun but before we got started, we went to get the fuel most parents need to get thru the morning: coffee! Nolia is a must when visiting Durham because as per their name, they are all about Family + Coffee. This business is a unique child centric coffee shop where owner/Justin said “kids here are not just tolerated, they are celebrated!” This was evident from the moment we walked in this cute minimalist space. They had a storyteller on one side with kids sitting on the floor and having a great time. Beautiful vibes were everywhere with a feeling of community and inclusion. They have small selections of coffee and tea and some good pastries to boot. You can also shop local and get a candle from Bright Black, a Black, family owned company that uses scent as a medium and candles as a platform to share positive narratives about Blackness. We ordered a delicious apple pastry, a pour over coffee and a kids hot cocoa to go. Everything was good and we will be back!

Name: Nolia: Family + Coffee
Website: www.noliacoffee.com
About Us: Nolia Coffee is Durham’s family-centric, specialty coffee shop.
Social Media: Facebook & Instagram – @noliacoffe

The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Earlier in February, I attended a media mission hosted by Discover Durham, where invited media were introduced to local businesses in Durham and informed about what is new in 2020. While I was there, I spoke with The Carolina Theatre of Durham and learned about their Family Saturday Series. Tickets are just $5 and includes free popcorn and a drink. to catch a show at the historic Carolina Theatre. This show featured Beverly Botsford, Dancing Drums, which showcased an array of percussion instruments and celebrated universal rhythm. Children and families enjoyed this very interactive show. The audience was encouraged to sing, clap along, make their own beat and join her on stage to play the instruments. My daughter got a kick out of seeing her father play the bongos! A good time was had by all.

SobeSavvy Tip: The theatre has a free exhibit on the top level called “Confronting Change” that speaks to it’s racial segregationist past and how it eventually allowed all people of all colors to finally be treated as equal. Make sure you check it out no matter what show you are there to see!

Name: Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc.

Website: www.CarolinaTheatre.org

About Us: Since 1926, the Carolina Theatre has been dedicated to presenting vibrant, thought-provoking film and live performances that contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of downtown Durham and the greater Triangle Region. Our nonprofit has operated the venue for more than 25 years, using both commercial and mission-driven programming to establish the venue as so much more than just a building to its community. From concerts to comedy to cinema and more, the Carolina Theatre remains an important cultural beacon of a growing region.

Social Media: Facebook & Instagram – @carolinatheatredurham; Twitter – @carolinadurham

EAT| Pizzeria Toro

We were ready for lunch after seeing the show at The Carolina Theatre. Since we were parked conveniently across the street in the free parking deck, we decided to walk around and find somewhere to eat. Downtown Durham has so many great places to dine but we decided to try a spot called Pizzeria Toro because it had wood fired pizz on the menu along with a great wine/beer list for us parents! They had a kids cheese pizza and hubby and I went with customizing our pizza by adding proscuitto. If you love thin crust, great quality cheese with a balance of fresh tomato sauce in a family friendly place with a trendy vibe, then go to Pizzeria Toro!

Name: Pizzeria Toro

Website: http://www.pizzeriatoro.com

Social Media: IG/Facebook/Twitter

@pizzeriatoro

Durham Arts Council/Durham Arts Walk

After lunch, we walked off all that delicious pizza by attending Durham Arts Walk/Spring Market, an annual spring festival that celebrates community and its artists. It’s a great event – everything is family friendly but they also had a special kids activity area on the second floor of the Durham Arts Council building. One of the favorite features is the Durham Art Walk Drawing, which features some wonderful prizes, including a family four pack for the Durham Bulls. Here is more about the event details on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/519407152025095/

Name: Durham Arts Council
Website: http://www.durhamarts.org
About Us: As Durham’s local nonprofit arts agency, the Durham Arts Council (DAC) serves artists, arts organizations and the general public. DAC serves the public through continuing education classes, artist programs, large events, and access to the DAC building 7 days a week, including rotating exhibits and special event venues. The arts community is served through grants of cash and space, teaching, performing and public art contracts, exhibit opportunities and technical assistance. As a private nonprofit service agency, the Durham Arts Council is uniquely positioned to partner extensively with other community agencies, including Durham Public Schools, Student U, Granville Education Foundation, Durham Parks and Recreation, Durham Area Designers, Duke University and North Carolina Central University. DAC recently launched a new veterans art program and is about to launch a new artist/arts organization public database. Additionally, DAC continues to lead the Durham SmART public art program in partnership with downtown stakeholders, the City of Durham and Downtown Durham Inc.
Social Media: Facebook & Twitter – @durhamarts; Instagram – @durham_arts

Discover Durham Visitors Center

While downtown, we stopped by the Discover Durham Visitor Center. This bright space has all Durham related info under one roof. They also have an interactive computer wall map, free cell phone charging station and clean bathrooms for visitors! While letting our cell phones recharge, my daughter used a sticky pad to participate in a wall where visitors are encouraged to leave their own personal messages celebrating Women’s History Month. This place is the ultimate resource for any visit to Durham. Sightseeing guides and maps are free for all. Knowledgeable staff are there with suggestions and ideas of how to curate a great day in the bull city. We picked up a free “mural guide” booklet that allowed us to explore many of the murals and enjoy plenty of photo ops.

SobeSavvy Tip: Find 5 murals and return with your cell phone photo proof to get a prize (a beer glass celebrating Durham being 150 years old)! How awesome is that?!

Name: Discover Durham

Address: 212 W Main St #101, Durham NC 27701

Website: https://www.discoverdurham.com/

Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/IG @DurhamNC

Jeddah’s Tea

When you leave the Discover Durham Visitor’s Center you must make your way to Jeddah’s Tea, a cozy black female-owned tea house that has quickly earned a special place in Durham. Cool, laid back vibes were present and they have a massive selections of local teas as well as teas from around the world. I ordered a Matcha Latte while hubby went for some hot chocolate. My daughter opted to have ice cream from The Parlour, which is just a couple of doors up from Jeddah’s Tea, so it was a win win for all. We were all just so happy to support local and I love their motto: Tea to the people, for the people

Name: Jeddah’s Tea

Website: https://jeddahstea.com

Social: Facebook/IG @jeddahstea

Durham Bulls Athletic Park

The Durham Bulls are one of the sport jewels of the triangle. Arguably the most iconic AAA baseball clubs in the nation located right here in the bull city. Saturday they held their annual Fan Fest at the stadium. We strolled the grounds, met the mascots, and sampled some ballpark gourmet food. Some attendees even were allowed on the field to take actual batting practice. The field looked great and will be ready for opening day on April 9th this year. I look forward to returning for a game or two this summer!

Name: Durham Bulls Baseball Club
Website: http://www.durhambulls.com
About Us: The Durham Bulls, Triple-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to
showcase giveaways, merchandise, specialty jersey designs and more as we approach
the 2020 season. The Durham Bulls open the 2020 season at home on Thursday, April 9 against the Charlotte Knights.
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter – @durhambulls

EAT|BORICUA SOUL

Located adjacent to the Durham Bulls stadium, Boricua Soul has their first brick and mortar incarnation of their popular food truck that folks here in the triangle have loved for years. This family owned casual eatery combines the essence of the South with the flavor of Puerto Rico. We ordered some empanadas, a side of mac n cheese and their sopa de pollo. Served in a little metal pot, the soup presentation alone won me over! My daughter and husband really commented on how great the empanada crust tasted as well as the fillings. This was the perfect place to go nearby to our final stop that day in Durham.

Name: Boricua Soul
Website: http://www.boricuasoulnc.com
About Us: Boricua Soul merges favorites from both Puerto Rico and the South to create new and exciting dishes. Our Durham-grown food truck is excited to expand to the American Tobacco Campus.
Social Media: Instagram & Twitter – @boricuasoulnc; Facebook – @boricuasoul

Museum of Life + Science

This past Sunday, we headed to the Museum of Life + Science for a special event to commemorate International Women’s Day. It was called “Girl Powered Science: Inspiring The Next Generation of Scientists“. This event had multiple science tables where girls {and boys too} could participate in actual science experiments {cloud making anyone ?} and equally important speak with actual working female scientists, lab assistants and researchers. My daughter learned about DNA, weather formations and even more than she already knew about the pioneering women of the NASA space program. Almost every table was it’s own interactive project. I loved that I was exposing her to all the career opportunities and choices that formerly were not open to women.

We also explored more of the museum, including the cafe and even took a train ride around the grounds which was loads of fun for everyone. My daughter is an animal lover so she especially loved The Farmyard and seeing the butterflies in the Magic Wing Conservatory. There is always something new to see and do here, so a repeat visit is in our future!

Name: Museum of Life and Science
Website: http://www.lifeandscience.org
About Us: Located just north of downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. Other popular attractions include over 60 species of live animals, Hideaway Woods, Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek
Railway, and Into the Mist.
Social Media: Facebook & Twitter – @lifeandscience; Instagram – @museumoflifeandscience

Durham,NC aka Bull City is rich in culture, and has plenty of things to do for everyone. If you are planning a visit here soon, I hope these Spring 2020 recommendations are helpful. Have you been to Durham,NC before? Do you have any family fun recommendations for our next visit? Please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Getting a selfie with the Durham Bull statue aka Major the Bull..is a must when visiting Durham aka Bull City!

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Looking for some hot stuff? Check out SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical @dpac @DonnaSummerBway #DonnaSummertheMusical #Durham

Opening Night Review | SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical | Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party opens at DPAC on February 25th and runs through March 1st | SobeSavvy.com

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A must-see ELECTRIFYING TRIBUTE to a music diva who defined an era, broke barriers and inspired a generation! Leslie H., @SobeSavvy| SobeSavvy.com

The 1970’s gave the world a new music genre called Disco. This music gets a bad rap due to more than a few awful bands and singers. A few stand out. One singer came along in the late 70’s and instantly became ‘The Queen Of Disco”. Her name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer.

Production Photos courtesy of DPAC

See her story come to life in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which opens at DPAC on February 25th through March 1, 2020. This production began a Broadway run in 2018. It received critical audience acclaim and the demand for Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party allowed for a North American Tour to begin on September 20, 2019.

The musical tells the story of the young girl from Boston with gospel roots who broke through all sorts of barriers to become the ultimate icon of disco and beyond! The score features over 20 of her classic hits to sing along to including “Hot Stuff”, “MacArthur Park” and “Bad Girls” to name a few. Her voice of a generation ended up being a voice for the ages and this musical does a great job in telling the story with 3 different Donna’s representing the stages in her life and musical career. Here’s a fun fact: Alex Hairston, an NC native plays Disco Donna! Each actress did a fantastic job in singing, dancing and portraying Donna in their own unique way!

Disco Donna (Alex Hairston), Diva Donna (Dan’yelle Williamson), Duckling Donna (Elease Hardy) | Production Photos courtesy of DPAC

Go and experience a disco party and musical tribute like no other in SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. I made it a working date night and had so much fun!

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Looking for some hot stuff? 🔥 Check out SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical @dpac @DonnaSummerBway Tonight, I was invited to the opening night performance of this musical, which is playing Feb 25th – March 1st, and I can't wait to sing and dance in my seat to all of her hits! 💃 #Didyouknow…she was the first female artist with four No. 1 singles in a 13-month period according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Now that's some #blackgirlmagic right there ✨ Get Tix Now..and stay tuned for my full review on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! . . . #DonnaSummertheMusical #DPAC #Durham #NC #SobeSavvy #soNCSavvy #LifestyleBlogger #thingstodoinDurham #datenightideas #NCBlogger #RaleighBlogger #DurhamBlogger #entertainment #performingarts #supportthearts #DonnaSummer

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For general event details, including the content advisory and age requirements, read here: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/summer-the-donna-summer-musical
DPAC| Durham Performing Arts Center | 123 Vivian Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701|DPACnc.com

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical opens at DPAC on February 25th and runs through March 1st

Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day from National Pawn Shops @NationalPawnNC #ValentinesDayGifts

Have you finished Valentine’s Day shopping yet? Save money and find the perfect valentines day gift for Him, Her and YOU at National Pawn & Jewelry.

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❣Have you finished #ValentinesDay shopping yet? Save $$ and find the perfect #valentinesdaygift for Him, Her and YOU! @nationalpawnshops 📍6740 Fleetwood Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612 ——– This location is huge, clean, has great inventory and provides excellent service. If you are looking for jewelry especially, they have affordable 'outlet' bargain prices! ———– 👀Watch my #instastories for a inside look of what they have to offer & swipe 🔙 to see some of my favorite finds for Valentine's!❣ . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #Raleighblogger #NCBlogger #Lifestyleblogger #jewelry #handbags #watches #pandora #michaelkors #RaleighNC #musicalinstruments #guitar #giftideas #ValentinesDayGifts #TuesdayTreat #shopping #nationalpawn #pawnshop #TuesdayMotivation #tuesdaytips

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National Pawn and Jewelry has been the premiere pawn destination in the Triangle since 1987. They have provided small cash loans in exchange for all sorts of property. Jewelry, electronics and everything in between can be found in one of their locations. I was invited to visit their flagship 📍6740 Fleetwood Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612, located off of Glenwood/70 to see what they had to offer. Being a few weeks from Valentine’s Day, I was seeking to find items that could be Valentine related (..think red, pink, heart shaped jewelry), but open to anything!

I was warmly greeted upon entering their bright and airy showroom. The stereotype of a dirty and dark pawnshop could not be the furthest thing from the truth. This store felt like a department store with friendly associates at every turn. They have a large jewelry department and customers are allowed to try on a few pieces. DID YOU KNOW… National Pawn and Jewelry are also the largest buyers of gold in the entire state?!

I continued to enjoy just browsing to see all the wonderful items in stock and actually decided to gift myself some love by getting a gold heart shaped ring and a red, Michael Kors tote bag! There were so many nice items, the decision was hard but shopping was fun. Here are some of my favorite finds for Valentine’s❣ :

Handbags

Depending on the day, you may find anything from vintage Louis Vuitton, to Coach, Michael Kors and more were available. All shapes, colors and sizes. What I liked most is that the handbag I selected was in mint condition.

Rings

I tried in a variety of rings. Some with diamonds, or stones, in gold and silver. I had fun finding and trying on all the heart-shaped rings in the store!

Necklaces

There were plenty of necklaces with and without pendants to buy. You could also find just the pendant to purchase. I saw quite a few heart shaped as well as a necklace that said ” LOVE”.

Bracelets

Who doesn’t like a little arm candy?! I think bracelets are the perfect gift if you are not sure of the size of ring or kind of jewelry your Valentine likes. There was a gold bracelet that had elephants and hearts and I thought to myself…”I know some Deltas who would love this one”.

Earrings

Here are some of the pierced heart earrings found in the store on this day. Aren’t they darling? Remember, inventory changes, so if you see something you like, get there as soon as possible!

Pandora Charms

Did you know..National Pawn & Jewelry has Pandora Bracelet Charms in store for a fraction of the cost that you would pay at a Pandora retail store. I was surprised by the selection and thrilled to learn this!

Musical Instruments

Here’s a gift idea for HIM: Ladies, maybe your guy has been dreaming of playing the guitar or has been talking about learning a new hobby. Or maybe you want to serenade him on Valentine’s Day with an original song, dressed in heels to match this shiny red guitar! I also saw keyboards and other instruments just in case you and your Valentine want to start a band. They also had electronics, such as cameras, tablets, laptops and more.

Unique Finds

Look at this heart-shaped pocket watch! Isn’t it cool? The manager I spoke with said he has seen everything under the sun brought into the store by all sorts of customers like rare coins, precious gems and stones, and expensive watches.

Great Service

This location is huge, clean, has great inventory and provides excellent service. Any questions that I had or any concerns were answered by an associate. On this day, LaKayla was there as well as the store manager to offer us any assistance needed. If you are looking for jewelry especially, they have affordable ‘outlet’ bargain prices and you are allowed to negotiate.

SobeSavvy Tip: If you see something you really want but just don’t have the funds for it that day, it’s ok..ask National Pawn about their layaway program!

For more information, follow National Pawn & Jewelry at:

Website: https://www.nationalpawnshops.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalpawnraleigh/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nationalpawnshops/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NationalPawnNC

HAVE YOU SHOPPED AT A PAWN SHOP BEFORE? WHICH ITEM WOULD YOU GET FOR YOU OR YOUR VALENTINE?

Thank you for reading and I hope you are inspired to shop at any of the 19 locations of National Pawn & Jewelry for your next gift find! ❤

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My Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants for @TriRestWeek | @41Hundred @Sushimon_nc @Seasons52 and STIR

Triangle Restaurant Week Roundup January 2020

If you’ve been following me over on Instagram @SobeSavvy, then you may have noticed that I have been getting my eat on for Triangle Restaurant Week! You still have this weekend to make plans to try some delicious dishes prepared for you in 3 courses at a fixed price. Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas are participating but here is a recap of my Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants to enjoy during Triangle Restaurant Week!

41 Hundred

Located in North Hills, inside the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, 41 Hundred is not your ordinary hotel restaurant. Chef Kevin Smith and his team gave us memorable dishes that left lasting impressions. Here is where I kicked off Triangle Restaurant Week and ICYMI, you can check out my full review on the blog>>here. The dinner menu was 3 courses for $30 and I chose the Seafood Gumbo, Sea Bass, and Blueberry Cobbler Cheesescake. Everything was great from the service to the taste/quality of the food. From start to finish, I enjoyed it all but my favorite bite of the night was the Sea Bass as seen here ⤵️

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🎉Kicking off TRIANGLE RESTAURANT WEEK with Dinner at @41hundredlounge From January 20-26, 2020 stop in the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel located in North Hills and enjoy this restaurant's special menu offering a 3 course Lunch for $15 or 3 course Dinner for just $30 for @trirestweek ———— Pictured here: Course 2 | Sea Bass One word: INCREDIBLE ❤ To see more amazing eats from #41Hundred, check out my #instastories and stay tuned for my full #TRW review on the blog, SobeSavvy.com ! . . . #trianglerestaurantweek #SobeSavvy #SobeSavvyEats #NCblogger #foodblogger #Raleighblogger #visitnorthhills #huffpostaste #foodietribe #foodies #dinner #raleighrestaurants #raleighfood #food #trianglefoodies #foodie #nomnom #foodpics #whatIate #instagood #visitraleigh #919eats #raleighfoodpics #foodphotography #ncfoodfinds #forkyeah #f52grams

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STIR Raleigh

STIR Raleigh is also located in North Hills and is one of my go to place for fresh oysters. I was interested in seeing what dishes they came up with for Triangle Restaurant Week. Because I associate STIR with fresh seafood, I was hoping to see more seafood items but was still pleased with the choices. From their $30 p/p dinner menu, I chose Crab Ravioli, Braised Pork Shoulder, and Banana Cheesecake. I really enjoyed the dessert which tasted like a mashup of banana pudding and cheesecake! Take a look at my photos here and feast your eyes on STIR Raleigh ⤵️

Sushi Mon

I highly anticipated going here to Sushi Mon after hearing so many great things about their restaurant, its menu and of course sushi. So when I saw them on the Triangle Restaurant Week list of participating restaurants, I was so excited! Located near NC State, Sushi Mon offers “elevated takes on sushi and Japanese fare“. Their 4 course dinner menu for $35 took my tastebuds on a culinary journey. They had ingredients imported from Bangkok,Thailand and Spain but even featured local food too. My favorite bite of the night: EVERYTHING. Seriously, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Here is my video which recaps my dining experience at Sushi Mon ⤵️

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𝐒𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢 𝐌𝐨𝐧 × 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 is AMAZING! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sit at the sushi bar and enjoy the experience of watching the chef create the phenomenal dishes available on the special menu. Now thru Sunday, Jan 26. enjoy a 3 course lunch for $15 or 4 course dinner for $35! 👀WATCH this video for a inside look of @sushimon_raleigh x @trirestweek + check out my #instastories along with my dinner date/foodie friend @citygirlcece to see more of their fantastic food! 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤?

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Seasons 52

When I found out my friend would be in town for a business meeting, we quickly made plans to meet for lunch. I told her it’s Triangle Restaurant Week here and we can go somewhere that would have vegan options for her. Seasons 52, located in Crabtree Valley Mall, is known for their healthy cuisine, fresh grill and wines. For $15 p/p, their 3 course Lunch menu is quite a deal! I got the Romaine and Kale Ceasar, Wood-Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout and Mini Indulgence Dessert. Those desserts are so good, it is hard to choose just one. Take a look at my delicious lunch at Seasons 52 here⤵️

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🙋🏽‍♀️Raise your hand if your face lights up when dessert arrives to the table?! ——– Today, I met a friend who was in town for a business meeting for an impromptu #lunchdate. She's vegan, I'm not, so Seasons 52 was a great option for us both! ——– The @TriRestWeek 3 course Lunch Menu @Seasons52, located @shopcrabtree is delicious, healthy, fulfilling, flavorful and just $15 p/p thru Jan 26, 2020! Pictured here: Romaine & Kale Ceasar • Wood Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout • Red Velvet Mini Indulgence Dessert . . . #Seasons52 #trw #trianglerestaurantweek #SobeSavvy #SobeSavvyEats #NCblogger #foodblogger #Raleighblogger #dinecrabtree #huffpostaste #foodietribe #foodies #lunch #dessert #raleighrestaurants #food #trianglefoodies #foodie #nomnom #foodpics #whatIate #instagood #919eats #raleighfoodpics #yum #foodphotography #forkyeah #f52grams #healthyeats

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🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴

I hope that after reading this you are inspired to visit these restaurants NOW for Triangle Restaurant Week or LATER when the mood for good food hits you! What’s the best thing you had to eat during Triangle Restaurant Week January 2020? Have you been to any of the above restaurants before? Let me know in the comments below!

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Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh NC

Hello December! We’ve officially kicked off our holiday season in our home and ready to spread some cheer. The Christmas tree is up, we’ve already started drinking eggnog and Motown Christmas songs are on repeat on Spotify. My #HeighPartyof3 (which consists of my spouse, our daughter and me) are in the Heigh-liday spirit {get it😉} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy. So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


🎄 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


𝙍𝙪𝙙𝙤𝙡𝙥𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙙-𝙉𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙍𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙚𝙧: 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡, is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts until DEC 24th in downtown Raleigh. My family has enjoyed this live performance for the last few years now and it just keeps getting better! They’ve even added something new this holiday season to the beloved TV classic.
See all of your fave characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your hearts while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!💪🏽❤ 🎉

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun continues in the lobby with great photo ops next to larger than life inflatables and cool photo props. Get your kids face painted before the show or shop for some holiday gifts during intermission!


🎄 CINDERELLA


Continuing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Famiy Fun in Raleigh, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella! Celebrating its 36th year, Cinderella runs December 6 – 22.
This amazing production has
* a sparkle of magic ✨
*  a delightful blend of comedy and romance 💑
* elegant scenery and costumes 👗
* outstanding singing & dancing 🕺🏼💃
….and great actors to bring this timeless story to life! We loved all the modern updates and twists that were added to this classic tale, plus there is some audience interaction that everyone enjoyed!  Make plans to see #RLTCinderella for the holidays and
Get your tickets today!

SobeSavvy Tip: Stay after the show and get a chance to meet The Fairy Godmothet or snap a pic with King Darling! There’s also merchandise available to buy for your little prince or princess in the lobby. Plus, RLT is collaborating with WRAL and accepting donations for Coats For The Children.


***SAVE THE DATE & GET TIX NOW for these upcoming shows at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

DEC 13th and 14th Holidays with the North Carolina Symphony |HOLIDAY POPS features the holiday songs everyone knows and loves at Meymandi Concert Hall. With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!

 

DEC 18th – 29th ‘The Nutcracker’ Carolina Ballet | From the moment the curtain rises, the magic of this Holiday classic is mesmerizing. Take a journey to a land of whimsical characters featuring magical illusions, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. Listen as a live symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s famed score. The Nutcracker is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


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HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

🎄 SANTA BRUNCH at STIR

If you saw my Instagram story/post this past weekend, then perhaps you caught me and my Heigh Party of 3 hanging with ole Saint Nick aka Santa at STIR, located in North Hills. BRUNCH WITH SANTA at STIR is a recurring event happening every Sunday in December and is on my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh because of the good food and intimate moments with Santa. Saint Nick works the room like a pro and is so kind to take photos with everyone. Enjoy $1 Mimosas 🥂 + a buffet bar filled with goodness is included with your entree! My daughter loves their avocado toast customized to her liking and I am all about the fresh seafood selections like Oysters and Shrimp & Grits! Santa was quite jolly and dapper in his suit, so get ready for your close-up with ole Saint Nick! Just take a look at these photos to see some tasty highlights at STIR! 🎅🏽

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! 🎁


🎄 DUNKIN Holiday Treats


Do you like to ride around and see neighborhood Christmas lights while listening to holiday tunes? We do and we like to enjoy it while sipping on a warm beverage and eating snacks. So we stopped in our local Dunkin for some holiday treats. My daughter and I both had hot chocolate and their new Holiday Brownie Crumble Donut, which features a vanilla frosted yeast ring donut dipped in brownie crumbles and drizzled with dark green icing. My husband enjoyed the eggnog latte with a yummy glazed donut. I think we may break tradition of leaving Santa cookies this year and give him a plate full of donuts with coffee on the side from Dunkin!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Dunkin app, earn DD perks and skip the line if order on the app before you go! Not sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out some of the cool merch offered by Dunkin inside the store and online or a DD gift card is always a great idea!


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Holiday Movies


🎄 ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH


Going to the movies is always a good idea for a family date. Make plans to see a feature film or catch one of the holiday themed films now showing at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH. This is our go to theater for movies because of the Alamo Family program. The perks for parents with kids are great and you have the ability to watch a movie and eat/drink at the most comfy seats.

SobeSavvy Tip: Gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers. Give the the gift of Alamo, which is good for tickets, food, drinks and merchandise!


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There are so many fun things to do with kids in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle this holiday season. This is just a bit of what we like to do but take a look at Visit Raleigh, Facebook, Eventbrite, and Carolina Parent for more Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh, NC!

What festive family fun do you plan to have this holiday? 🎄🎅🏽🎁
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5 Reasons To See ‘HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay

Do you know the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany? I did not but I have since learned that their remarkable story has gone from a New York Times bestselling book to the Broadway stage. Now NC Theatre is bringing this Tony award-nominated adaptation of the real-life sisters’ memoirs to the stage in Raleigh, NC at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater from November 8-17, 2019 and I can not wait to see it! Why am I excited? Let me share with you Five Reasons To See HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS!

1. IT IS A TRUE STORY

If you enjoy non-fiction like me, then get ready to hear the two sisters give an account of their trials and tribulations in their lifetime. Born to a father who was a former slave, they lived in Raleigh,NC and was raised on the campus of St.Augustine. Now that I live here in Raleigh, I am interested in learning about what their childhood was like back then.

2. BOTH WOMEN LIVED TO BE OVER 100 YEARS OLD

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany (born 1889), the eldest of the 2 sisters lived to the age of 109. Her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany (born 1891) died at the age of 104. After the popularity of their book Having Our Say, which this play is based on, the two sisters became internationally known after the Guinness Book of World Records recognized them as the world’s oldest authors with the publication of their second joint book The Delany Sisters’ Book Of Everyday Wisdom. The sisters were 105 and 103 at the time of publication.

3. LEARN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & WOMEN’S HISTORY

Trailblazers, activists, sisters, and best friends Sadie and Bessie Delany- both over 100 years old- take audiences on a journey as they recount the triumphant stories of their lives. They overcame both racism and sexism and forged careers in education and dentistry respectively while living in New York. NC Theatre provides a Study Guide to learn about the history of the Delany family, the HAVING OUR SAY director (who is also an African American woman), and more!

4. GET INSPIRED

The more I learn about these sisters and what they must have endured, I find it remarkable that despite it all they lived a longer, fuller life than most. They never married and say because they did not have husbands to worry them to death was the secret to living a long, happy life! I just know I am going to leave feeling wiser than before and inspired by these two women after seeing this play.

5. BE ENTERTAINED AND SUPPORT THE ARTS

Per NC Theatre, the story of the Delany sisters will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on our journey as Americans. The funny and heartfelt family drama, starring Gayle Turner as Sadie Delany and Lakeisha Coffey as Bessie Delany, is one you won’t want to miss! Reviews that have already been shared say that you will be entertained by the heartfelt performances.

Click here to purchase tickets to see NC Theatre Presents Having our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years Tickets at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts! Tickets start at just $30 so claim your seats today!

SobeSavvy Tip: There will be an *Encore Series: Post-Show Panel Discussion Saturday, Nov. 16 immediately following the 2PM performance in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. Panelists which consists of influential members of the community and individuals closely tied to the production, will analyze the themes and history of HAVING OUR SAY. This series is FREE and open to the public!

*I am looking forward to going to the matinee performance on Saturday at 2pm on 11/16. You can also join the conversation and follow @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay!

**UPDATE: Just saw @nctheatre ‘s production of Having Our Say | The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years and appreciate how much detail was put into bringing their real story to life. From the intimate portraits, to the smells of real food cooking in the kitchen, the actors made the audience feel like we were right there in the living room having a conversation with those amazing trailblazing sisters who were proud Americans and Survivors! Enjoyed seeing art and history come together with #ncthavingoursay

Leslie, @SobeSavvy
Founder SobeSavvy.com

Have you seen the movie, play or read the book HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō•än | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

🆕️ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō•än in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s bu•ku and so•ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō•än, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

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It's #WorldPastaDay ..and there are so many delicious pasta-bilities on the menu at @il_palio, located in @thesienahotel in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! Swipe 🔙 for a look at some of the amazing culinary artisanship and fantastic dishes served at Il Palio! . . . . #IlPalioNC #TheSienaHotel #ChapelHill #NC #Italiancuisine #Italiancooking #ravioli #pasta #seafood #steak #dessert #nceats #foodtalk #ncfoodfinds #chapelhillrestaurants #diningout #f52grams #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #foodblogger #lifestyleblogger #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #chapelhillblogger #foodwomenwine #foodiefriday #nomnomnom

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If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the 🆕️ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

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Are you #teamsyrup or #gravy on your #chickenandwaffles? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the 🆕️ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzio has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additions like chicken and waffles, tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken and biscuits. Invited #raleighinfluencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new private room for events and parties. ———— Follow #driftwoodraleigh on my #instastories to see some highlights from the #medianight ! Swipe 🔙 to see our tasty experience at Driftwood! . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #lifestyleblogger #raleighfood #trianglefoodies #raleighrestaurant #lafayettevillage #visitRaleigh #Raleigheats #NCfood

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Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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5 Date Ideas To Enjoy The Arts This Fall In The Triangle |@nctheatre @ncsymphony @ncartmuseum @UnscriptedDurm @AlamoRaleigh

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill aka The Triangle is a tri-city region in North Carolina that has a thriving art scene! If you are a lover of any of the seven categories of arts: painting, architecture, sculpture, music,literature,performing and cinema, then there is always something interesting and fun to do in the area. I made this list of date ideas inspired by a conversation with a mom friend who asked me for recommendations of places to go.

Performing Arts|See A Production by NC Theatre

If you or your loved one enjoys musicals or plays, then take them to see a production by North Carolina Theatre, the region’s nonprofit professional theatre. NCT kicks off their 2019-20 season opening production of the timeless musical, WEST SIDE STORY, running Oct. 15-20. With a cast including talent straight from Broadway plus some of the best regional talent, North Carolina Theatre opens their season by telling such a poignant story with the best artists in the industry. Learn more about this production here, which takes place at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

For more info go to North Carolina Theatre‘s website at www.nctheatre.com and find them on all social platforms @nctheatre, and the show hashtag is #NCTWestSideStory! I look forward to attending Sunday’s matinee at 2pm, and check out more of what is coming this season!

Painting, Architecture, Sculpture|Day Date at North Carolina Museum of Art

Ok art lovers, my favorite place to go on an artsy day date in Raleigh is at NCMA. Whether you are sitting outside and admiring the architecture of the building, taking a stroll while enjoying sculpture in the park or admiring paintings inside, there are many ways to immerse yourself in art. Mark your calenders for a special exhibition: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, opens October 26- January 19, 2020 at North Carolina Museum of Art.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism showcases the couple’s portraits, murals, politics, and personal lives. Kahlo is best known for her strikingly honest self-portraits, often depicting her dreams. Rivera worked as a large-scale muralist in Mexico and the United States, taking a larger look at history and cultural revolution. Both artists pursued their distinctive visions while forging the way for Mexican artists in the 20th century and beyond. Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. The myths that surrounded them in their lifetime arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their friendships (and conflicts) with leading political figures and their passionate, tempestuous personal relationships. There are so many interesting events surrounding this series such as film screenings of Frida, a special dinner and coffee with the curator. Check out the calender for the exhibition events: here.

For more info, go to NCMA‘s website: http://ncartmuseum.org/ and get your tickets for October 26, 2019–January 19, 2020, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. October 12–24, 2019, and January 20–February 2, 2020, Scott Avett: INVISIBLE will be open on its own. Tag your photos when you visit #NCMAFrida #ArtNaturePeople

Music|Enjoy a Night Out at the NC Symphony

Plan a perfect ‘parents night out’ or date night and attend a concert performed by the North Carolina Symphony. That is what hubby and I did recently when we stepped out to see Broadway Mega-Hit Hamilton Star Leslie Odom, Jr. join the North Carolina Symphony with Broadway and Jazz Hits on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. This highly anticipated show, which opens the Symphony’s 2019/20 Pops Season, was the perfect way to spend time together and experience the power of live music! Whether you are into classical, Broadway, movie music, rock, or swing or whether you live in the Triangle, Wilmington, Southern Pine, pick a date or two and plan a night with NC Symphony.

For more info go to North Carolina Symphony‘s website at www.ncsymphony.org and find them on social @ncsymphony. I look forward to attending Saturday’s night show, and congrats again to the winner of my Instagram giveaway who will also enjoy a night out at the NC Symphony!

Music|Sounds of the Studio Early Saturday Date Idea at Unscripted Hotel

Saturdays are a popular date night and here is an idea for someone who loves LIVE MUSlC, SMALL PLATES, and COCKTAILS. Check out UNSCRIPTED HOTEL| Sounds of the Studio every Saturday from 5:30-7:30pm. Go jam out to diverse music brought to you by local performers in the Durham community featuring Hip Hop Instrumental, Jazz, and Latin.

All small plates are buy one get one free, and free parking will be offered to those with a food or beverage purchase (must show receipt).

This is a FREE event that takes place in the hotel lounge every Saturday until Nov. 2nd. Here is the upcoming music schedule:

OCT 19 (SAT) – Wiley Fosters

The Wiley Fosters (instrumental hip-hop quartet edition)

Jay Parker – Turntables
Luis Rodriguez – Guitar
Jack Fleishman – Bass
William Dawson – Vibraphone

OCT 26 (SAT) – Alexandra Valladares & Viajeros Melodiosos

NOV 2 (SAT) – Jazz Harp Trio

Be sure to follow @unscripteddurham for more exciting events! And follow my IG instastories @SobeSavvy where I will give you an inside look of Sounds of the Studio at Unscripted Hotel. #livelifeunscripted #unscripteddurham

Cinema|Drinks+Dinner, Movie Date at Alamo Raleigh

I love one stop shop dates. That’s when you can go to one place and have like 3 dates in one! Want to enjoy a good cocktail and coversation, have dinner before or while watching a movie? You can do all that at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh! I recently went to one of their speciality screenings for HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo,etc and had a blast! We got to enjoy a special themed menu and even had play money to make it rain in the movie theater!

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DATE NIGHT | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE @drafthouse Opening weekend for HUSTLERS Why choose @alamoraleigh to see this movie? They offer: * A Special Menu * Special "Rowdy" Screenings in the evening ** Also, the ladies from @aradiafitnessnc are here this evening Friday 9/13 & Saturday 9/14 from 7pm-11pm providing on pole fitness classes and doing demonstrations Swipe 🔙 to get a peek 👀, Plus check out my #instastories for more! **DO YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS MOVIE?** . . . #alamodrafthouse #Hustlersmovie #alamoraleigh #rowdyscreening #openingweekend #nowshowing #moviedate #atthemovies #datenight #datenightideas #polefitness #thingstodoinRaleigh #SobeSavvy #LifestyleBlogger #RaleighBlogger #blackgirlsblog @hustlersmovie

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From game nights, to free events, to rowdy screenings, Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh will turn an ordinary movie date into a full cinematic experience!See the list of all the fun events happening at Alamo Raleigh>>here and be sure to follow @alamoraleigh.

I hope you are inspired to plan a fun date while supporting the arts this fall! Tell me in the comments below, which one would be your ideal date to support the arts?

RECAP| Art of Cool Festival 2019 @AOCFest Ft. Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, Big Daddy Kane, RUN-DMC and more! #AOCFest

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Durham, NC was the place to be this past weekend (Friday, September 27-Sunday, September 29) for the 6th Annual Art Of Cool Festival also known as the AOCFest! This festival, which features great music, good food trucks,community engagement and sponsor activations, has quickly become the premiere late summer cultural experience that should not be missed!

PLAN YOUR STAY

Since SobeSavvy.com was there to provide local media coverage for the weekend, I decided to make it a workcation and checked into one of the official hotels of the AOCFest. The Aloft Durham Downtown proved to be an excellent choice with its urban style and comfort amenities PLUS it is the closest hotel to the festival’s main venue, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Guests attending the festival were provided a special group rate if booked in advance. I definitely would plan ahead to stay here next year or anytime you want to Stay & Play in Durham!

2019 LINEUP

Produced by The Dome Group LLC, AOCFest 2019 featured 20+ R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, alternative and spoken word artists at multiple venues in Durham.

FRIDAY

The Masonic Lodge is where various DJ parties were being held all weekend in one of their event rooms. DJ RNB was spinning and there was also a bar sponsored by Durham’s own Bedlam Vodka, who I had the pleasure of reviewing and sharing recipes >> here on my blog!

Later that evening, “Cooligans” were seen at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market being held on Blackwell Street. Food Trucks along with a variety of vendors lined the closed down area. We had a few delicious shrimp tacos from @shrimptrucknc to fuel us up for the headliners at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium next door.

We also did a little shopping at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market and I purchased some organic Shea Butter products from Nailah’s Shea. I also ate chicken and waffles from Big C’s Waffles food truck. We also spotted “Thelma” from Good Times, Bernadette Stanis who had her books for sale and was taking pics with fans!

We arrived in time to see the group Black Violin were on the stage. A duo from Florida, this group takes classical violin training and combine it with a hip-hop twist.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B272CFWHcSW/?igshid=1hg7apvp2u5s5

Next up was artist Ari Lennox. She is the first female signed to J.Cole’s record label. Fans got to hear and see her perform hits from her successful album entitled “Shea Butter Baby”. Her creative singing style and bold lyrics energized the crowd. Her future is limitless and as bright as her smile!

Up next was the the incomparable Miss Jill Scott. She has been an entire industry upon herself over the past almost 20 years. Album upon album of iconic poetry tinged R&B songs captured the attention of an entire generation. Her catalog is deep and she did not disappoint. Her stage presence is simply unmatched. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand. We sang the songs with her and just showered her with love and affection for all her music means to us. Great night to kick
off the festival.
SATURDAY
A stay at the Aloft Downtown Durham allowed for me to wake up to an awesome view of Diamond View Park at the American Tobacco Campus where Power Yoga, a free community engagement event hosted by The Art Of Cool Festival, was held at 10am & 11am on Saturday. Such a great way to start the day!

DJ Fatz took us back with a “2Pac vs Biggie” during a day party at Masonic Lodge. He did an awesome job blendiing two titans of rap by mixing their hits back to back. Every lyric to every hit record was sung by the festive crowd. Realizing how we lost both so young was sobering but celebrating their music was inspiring.

We headed back to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium for a night full of legendary hip-hop featuring
Big Daddy Kane, Whodini and RUN- DMC. Before they took the stage DJ
Skillz showed some amazing work on the 1’s and 2’s. He played everything from old school hip to new school R&B. This man truly is in a league of his own in the DJ world.

Big Daddy Kane feat. The Symphony took the stage looking and sounding amazing! Back like he never left, he
performed as if he has not lost a step. His rapping skills go from fast to slow and he rocked the mic no matter the tempo. He was joined on stage by his Bboy dancer, his little son showed of his moves too, and the legendary Cool G Rap was there for an epic performance of The Symphony. If you ever get a chance to see Big Daddy Kane live you will see there Ain’t No Half Steppin EVER with him!

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2-kFNQnAJ6/?igshid=cs8y664hxoo5

Next up was the group Whodini, who blazed the stage performing hit after hit such as “Big Mouth”, “One Love”, “The Freaks Come Out At Night” and “Friends”. Lead rapper Jalil did come out in his signature Zorro style hat and the ladies went wild!

By the time RUN-DMC took the stage, the electricity of anticipation was in the air. Rap was still in it’s infancy during the mid 80’s and RUN-DMC almost single handidly was responsible for rap crossing over to
mainstream America. Every successful rapper owe them a debt of gratitude. Time stood still during their set. It was as if they transported all of us back to the 80’s. Their catalog of hit records is immense. They only performed a sampling of them with “King Of Rock”, “It’s Tricky”, “Peter Piper”, “Run’s House” and many more! The crowd showed their love by coming dressed in Adidas, or rocking RUN DMC tees. Even AOCFest was selling “RUN AOC” tshirts to honor the group and he festival. RUN DMC are true icons that are rightly revered as some of the founders of Hip-Hop.

The festival ended on Sunday with a VIP Brunch featuring The Hamiltones that took place at the Durham Convention Center.

If I had one word to describe the Art Of Cool Festival 2019 it would be DOPE! Amazing weekend and phenomonal performances. The AOCFest once again proved that with the right mix of artists and audience, you can expect a dope cultural experience. 👀 Watch my full recap video for more fun highlights

For more information on the 2019 Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), visit aocfestival.com.

Twitter: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Instagram: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Facebook: Facebook.com/AOCFest

Spotify: AOCFest Playlists

********Read previous AOCFest recap coverage >>>here

Did you attend AOCFest this year? If YES, who did you enjoy most? If NO, which artist would you have been most excited to see?

Opening Night Review | ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie

Opening Night Review |  ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie

Opening Night Review | ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie | SobeSavvy.com

On July 23, 2019, I joined NC Theatre for their season finale of ANNIE, running July 23-28 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC. My daughter shared the news and her excitement on Instagram:

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Hey Y'all..it's @outandaboutava with SobeSavvy.com I am so excited to go to the opening night of ANNIE presented by @nctheatre at @decraleigh ! Annie will be showing from July 23-28 in #Raleigh. Want Tickets? Go to nctheatre.com for details and stay tuned for @sobesavvy 's #theatrereview for #NCTAnnie 💕~ See you soon! . .WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM ANNIE? ***[ "Tomorrow" is ours, let us know yours in the comment below!! ]*** . #outandaboutAva #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #nctheatre #annie #performingarts #theatre #openingnight #decraleigh #thingstodoinRaleigh #Raleighkids #Raleighmoms #kidinfluencer #browngirlblogger #brownskingirl #Raleighmomblogger #igkids #familyfun #momblogger #lifestyleblogger #ncblogger #raleighblogger #avadorable #almost8 #blackgirljoy #girlmom

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Needless to say, we are ANNIE fans! We have watched both the movies and sang all of the songs but had never seen this beloved musical on stage before. Fun Fact: Did you know the movie and musical ANNIE is based on Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie?

Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie

Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie | NCTheatre.com

For those of you who may not be familiar with ANNIE, here is the description of this musical:

Molly ( played by Emily Jewel Hoder) & Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Molly ( played by Emily Jewel Hoder) & Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan.

Hannigan ( played by Karen Ziemba) +

Miss Hannigan ( played by Karen Ziemba) + “Little Girls” | production photo provided by NC Theatre

With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil schemes, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta)  & Oliver Warbucks ( played by John Eric Parker) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) & Oliver Warbucks ( played by John Eric Parker) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Opening night of NC Theatre’s season-ending production of ANNIE was a SMASH HIT! From the live orchestra, the star-studded cast (especially the young and talented orphans who sang and danced their way into our hearts), to the adorable Broadway pup who played Sandy, this is a musical the whole family would enjoy! In fact, my daughters favorite moments involved Sandy since she loves dogs so much.

ANNIE will feature an adorable Broadway pup as Sandy

Have you heard? NC Theatre’s production of ANNIE will feature an adorable Broadway pup as Sandy! | NCtheatre.com

We had great (and comfortable) seats inside of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and no worries for the younger theatre goers as they do provide booster seats. My daughter, who is almost 8, was happy to see so much “girl power” on stage from the wonderful mix of young girl actors. I appreciated the diverse cast and representation of talent showcased in this production. The set designs were spectacular and provided the perfect backdrops of everything from the streets of NYC to Daddy Warbucks’ mansion on Fifth Avenue. Elaborate choreography was on on display that had us all in awe. The entire cast was amazing and we all song along to all the familiar songs like “Tomorrow”, “It’s a Hard Knock Life”, “Easy Street” and many more! This play was paced very nicely and never slowed down much throughout both sets between intermission. It was a magical night watching a magical timeless story.

Me and my #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed opening night of ANNIE

**SobeSavvy Tip: College students get an exclusive discount! Enjoy $25 tickets with a valid college ID to our season ending production. Learn more and get your tickets>> here

ANNIE will be showing from July 23-28 in Raleigh for 8 performances only! WANT TICKETS? Go to nctheatre.com for details and follow on IG @nctheatre #NCTAnnie !

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM ANNIE? ***[ “Tomorrow” is ours, let us know yours in the comment below!! ]***

Thanks for reading and supporting the arts!