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 it๐Ÿ˜‰} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy.ย So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


๐ŸŽ„ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


๐™๐™ช๐™™๐™ค๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™™-๐™‰๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™š๐™ง: ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก, 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 Corneliusย and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your heartsย while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝโค ๐ŸŽ‰

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!


๐ŸŽ„ 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 โœจ
*ย  a delightful blend of comedy and romance ๐Ÿ’‘
* elegant scenery and costumes ๐Ÿ‘—
* outstanding singing & dancing ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ƒ
….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!ย  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:

โ€ข 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!

ย 

โ€ข 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 Tchaikovskyโ€™s famed score.ย The Nutcrackerย is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

๐ŸŽ„ 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 ๐Ÿฅ‚ + 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! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! ๐ŸŽ


๐ŸŽ„ 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 newย 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!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

Holiday Movies


๐ŸŽ„ 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!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

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? ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŽ
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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 worldโ€™s oldest authors with the publication of their second joint book The Delany Sistersโ€™ 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 wonโ€™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!

kลโ€ขรคn | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

๐Ÿ†•๏ธ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kลโ€ขรคn 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 buโ€ขku and soโ€ขca, 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 kลโ€ขรคn, 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 ๐Ÿ”™ 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 ๐Ÿ†•๏ธ 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? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the ๐Ÿ†•๏ธ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzioย has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additionsย 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 ๐Ÿ”™ 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 regionโ€™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 coupleโ€™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, 2019โ€“January 19, 2020, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. October 12โ€“24, 2019, and January 20โ€“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 Symphonyโ€™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 ๐Ÿ”™ to get a peek ๐Ÿ‘€, 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!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B27LTcWn-oO/?igshid=turue3rlqx73

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 โ€œThelmaโ€ 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.Coleโ€™s record label. Fans got to hear and see her perform hits from her successful album entitled โ€œShea Butter Babyโ€. 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.
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B3DlpUVnDKt/?igshid=1x3mddvoqahze
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.

https://youtu.be/oO966ZzVbZY
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 1โ€™s and 2โ€™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”, โ€œThe Freaks Come Out At Nightโ€ and โ€œFriendsโ€. 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 itโ€™s infancy during the mid 80โ€™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 80โ€™s. Their catalog of hit records is immense. They only performed a sampling of them with โ€œKing Of Rockโ€, โ€œItโ€™s Trickyโ€, “Peter Piperโ€, “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. ๐Ÿ‘€ 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 ๐Ÿ’•~ 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 Grayโ€™s popular comic Little Orphan Annie?

Harold Grayโ€™s popular comic Little Orphan Annie

Harold Grayโ€™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!

Summer Fun Day Trip Itinerary for Families Visiting #WilmingtonNC River District & Island Beaches @wilmingtoNCoast

Living in Miami for almost 20 years meant falling in love with the ocean and the beach. So for Fathers Day I thought it would be great to take my husband and our daughter for a Sunday Funday in Wilmington River District & Island Beaches for Fathers Day.

Depart Raleigh, NC | 9:00 am

Beach chairs ? check. Towels and cold water? check. Beach snack? check. Gas tank full and we were off. A quick 2 hour straight drive on I-40 East puts most Triangle residents in downtown Wilmington. Another great thing about the ride is it cuts thru farm country and there are many opportunities to pull of the highway to a farmers produce stand and pick up some ripe plums, peaches or berries to snack on! The beauty of a day trip is that you really don’t have to pack or plan much. Just get up and go!

Arrive Wilmington,NC| 11:00 am

We headed to the Wilmington riverbooth information center on Riverwalk at the foot of Market Street to pick up maps, guides, coupons and more from the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau. They have 2 locations conveniently downtown.

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WHERE is your fave destination to take a Day Trip? For a memorable family getaway from Raleigh, NC, we โค Wilmington's River District & Island Beaches. @wilmingtoncoast Besides being an easy, 2 hr + drive, it is a cool place that has historic Southern charm and a beach life vibe! ————————– We have been coming here at least once a year ever since our daughter was 4, but not matter how many times we visit, it is always a good idea to stop by to see what's new and get information on fun things to do at The Riverfront Booth, which is located at the foot of Market Street and Water Street and operates on a seasonal schedule; daily, 9:30am-5pm (June-Aug.). ————– Watch for highlights from our fun day on my instastories exploring #WilmingtonNC, enjoying the walkable River District, visiting @ncaquariumff ๐Ÿ , playing on Pleasure Island [Kure/Carolina Beach], dining at @michaelsseafood and more! Plus stay tuned for my #familyfun #DayTrip itinerary on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! #visitNC #exploreNC

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Stroll River District | 12 pm

We spent some time strolling and window shopping in the historic River district. They have everything from vintage clothing boutiques, restaurants and we particularly enjoyed a little Italian food store. As is tradition we took a pic of our little girl by the fabulous fountain! It was Sunday so the Artisan street market was in full swing. Local vendors and artists had booths with unique art and gifts for sale.

Lunch Downtown Historic Wilmington| 1 pm
Strolling had us all hungry but we also wanted to make our way to the beaches. We ended up at this great spot called The Reel Cafe. They let us order some fish and chips to go. It was plenty for us all to snack on during the quick drive to the beaches.

Visit NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher | 1:30 pm

Who doesn’t love an aquarium? Not just any aquarium but the famous NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This world class aquarium is adjacent to the beach so after exploring all of the wonders of the natural oceans we strolled took a dip in one !! From Albino alligators and a majestic Bald Eagle, this aquarium allows visitors to experience the wild close up. Sharks and giant groupers can be right around the next turn! My daughter loves the hands on areas where she can touch horse shoe crabs and real stingrays. How exciting! They have a cute outdoor patio cafe and kids play area. This aquarium also gives visitors some outdoor experiences. Behind the main building is their now famous Lorikeet Landing habitat. You can walk inside with pre made nectar for purchase and the happy Lorikeets will actually land directly on you and eat from your hand. Some can be a little aggressive so I laid my nectar on the ground for them to feast. Make this a must do activity on your trip to this wonderful facility.

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#Didyouknow…#June is #NationalAquariumMonth & #nationaloceanmonth? Celebrate both at @ncaquariumff #ncaquariumff and have fun going on an under the sea adventure at this landmark attraction, which was named TOP 20 U.S AQUARIUMS by @tripadvisor + BEST AQUARIUMS in the US by @travelchannel .com ———- Located at the southern tip of @kurebeachnc , the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just a short drive south from @wilmingtoncoast and aprox 2.5 hrs away from #RaleighNC, making it an ideal place for families to visit for a day trip & it is right next to the beach! ——- Some must see highlights are: โ–ชLuna, the albino alligator โ–ชTouch/Feel stations โ–ชAdventure Reef, an outdoor interactive play area for kids โ–ชVisit the Lorikeet Landing exhibit and feed them too! …and over 2,500 animals to see and have fun learning about! ——- No matter how many times we visit, there are always new and fun discoveries! ๐Ÿ  . . . #SobeSavvy #soTravelsavvy #soNCsavvy #NCblogger #LifestyleBlogger #FamilyBlogger #TravelBlogger #tuesdaytip #traveltuesday #familyfun #aquarium #daytrip #summertravel #daytripideas #WilmingtonNC #KureBeach #attraction #landmarks

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Play at Kure Beach | 2:30 pm
Kure beach is a local favorite. There are many beaches to choose from along this portion of the coast and each has their own different flavors. Kure beach lets dogs get their chance at a ocean dip so my daughter {who is a big dog lover} was delighted at the happy hounds. The surf was not too strong so we did some body surfing and playing with the incoming tides. A great couple of hours just relaxing enjoying the ocean.

Explore Carolina Beach Boardwalk|4:30 pm
Next up was Carolina Beach Boardwalk. This beach has some traditional carnival like rides and small roller coasters. It reminded me of a small Coney Island. Pizza and ice cream shops were everywhere. When you visit the Boardwalk make a beeline to the world famous Britt’s Donut Shop. This is siimply the lightest most delicious glazed donut ever. They only make one kind so don’t worry about having a problem choosing one! Made fresh on premise and dropped still steaming warm in your bag. Simply the best. After all the eating, we wanted to work off some calories so we hit up Wheel Fun Rentals. We rented a fun double pedal bike and went off on a self guided tour of the area. Great exercise and a wonderful way to see more of the area.

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For Family Friendly Fun at the beach..head to Carolina Beach Boardwalk >@carolinabeachnc ! During our Day Trip to @wilmingtoncoast , we stopped by the award-winning boardwalk which features: amusement rides in the summer, sweets and eats from Beach Bunny Ice Cream @beachbunnyicecreamcoffee + Frank's Pizza @frankspizzacbnc and Britts Donut Shop @brittsdonutscb @brittsdonuts . Lastly, we rented a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals @wheelfunrentalsofficial which allowed us to work off all that good eating, have a fun, unique bike riding experience together and see more sights around CB Lake Park! โ€ข What is your fave thing to do at #CarolinaBeachBoardwalk ? ————– Stay tuned for full Day Trip to Wilmington, NC Historic River District & Island Beaches coming soon, on the blog SobeSavvy.com

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Dine at Michael’s Seafood Restaurant in Carolina Beach | 6:00 pm
No trip to Wilmington and the Beaches would be complete until we have a early dinner at Michaels. This venerable seafood restaurant never dissapoints. The chowder is amazing. A bowl is never enough! The main even was the seafood platter. Crab legs, shrimp, corn and mussels oh my! As always the service was great as was the food and drinks. We love this place. Make sure you make this your place too.

Depart Wilmington,NC| 7:30pm

On our way back to 40-W, I heard ” I want Pelicans” from the back seat. Pelicans is our favorite snoball/snowcone spot back in the triangle so we were happy to see them in Wilmington. We grabbed 3 of them for the road. A sweet ending to a sweet day in Wilmington & The Beaches.

For more info on the happenings in Wilmington and Beaches go to www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com

Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC |#Travel #Raleigh #NC #FamilyFun

It’s Spring Break for my 2nd Grader and we are kicking it off by playing tourist in our own backyard! Our staycation in Raleigh,NC ..where ALL ARE WELCOME..will be filled with simple pleasures, plus mother and daughter bonding time. We’ll be having fun while hanging in Downtown Raleigh in the Glenwood South neighborhood, and some other favorite ‘Random Raleigh‘ spots. I am excited to share these Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC with you! Enjoy!

Downtown Raleigh/Glenwood South

Raleigh,NC consistently ranks in the top 5 in quality of life index of American Cities and since living here for the last 4 years, it is easy to see why! There is access to so much and the cost of living is pretty good. Downtown Raleigh puts locals and visitors in the center of it all. One of Raleigh’s Downtown neighborhoods, Glenwood South, is known locally as the premier entertainment district where restaurants of every budget and cuisine coexist with nightclubs. However if you arrive on a Sunday like we did, you’ll find a quieter side of Glenwood South with locals walking their dogs and offerings for the entire family. Check out my photo gallery from our stay in Downtown Raleigh/Glenwood South full photo gallery >>here.

EAT | La Santa Modern Mexican Food

My idea of a great staycation involves having time to siesta, fiesta and enjoy good food! We found that we could do all that just blocks away from our hotel at La Santa Modern Mexican Food, located at 222 Glenwood Avenue #107. From their house made guacomole, tasty dishes created using recipes from the owner’s mother, margaritas featuring fresh juices and craft cocktails, everything here is done so deliciously! The dรฉcor is eclectic with a laid back upscale cantina vibe. Their carnitas tacos are incredible and they have a great ninos {kids} menu also. Great service, fresh food and amazing drinks is why families would enjoy dining at La Santa.

STAY | Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown

In a previous post about Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown, located at 600 Glenwood Ave, I shared a list of my favorite features about this hotel property, which included convenient location, clean and spacious rooms, free breakfast, fitness center/pool. During that stay with my husband, we did not get a chance to use the pool due to maintanence. However, I learned that the indoor pool was heated and getting new patio furniture for the Spring. So here we are back with our daughter, who came ready to to get her mermaid on! The pool area was clean, intimate, and relaxing enough for me to sit poolside and read while they had fun in the pool! This hotel is ideal for families looking to enjoy some poolside fun no matter what season it is!

PLAY | North Carolina Museum of History

Did you know that Raleigh is often called the “Smithsonian of The South”? We have world class museums downtown, one of them being the North Carolina Museum Of History, located at 5 E. Edenton St.! Admission is FREE and it offers so much for the entire family to enjoy! Our favorites were the special art exhibition by Durham, NC native Ernie Barnes and a gallery dedicated to children that allows them to have interactive fun learning and listening from the oral history of North Carolinians.There were also lots of hands on areas so my daughter could actually touch some things in a normally hands off kind of place! We even made a souvenir penny in the shape of North Carolina.

EAT | Demo’s Pizzeria and Deli

Strolling the shops of Glenwood Ave can work up an appetite and we knew just the place to stop for a casual bite! DeMos Pizzeria and Deli, located at 222 Glenwood #121, offers NY style thin crust pizza and also a full service deli offering Boars Head Products. My husband/daughter shared a cheese pizza [read my full review of DeMo’s >>here] and I had a specialty sandwich called the San Fran, made with turkey, avocado, bacon, tomato and pepper jack cheese. It was so good! Great family-friendly environment and attentive staff makes DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli one of our local favorites.

Random Raleigh

The City of Raleigh has earned the reputation of being one of the best places to live in the USA. There is a celebrated food scene, we have the largest research park [RTP] in the nation, and the diversity of culture and art that I can expose my child to is why we are happy to be here in the state capital. During Spring Break, we had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm

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My daughter and I had the opportunity to visit Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum and got a private tour of NC State Dairy Farm. This unique agritourism experience allowed us to have some educational fun while learning how a typical North Carolina dairy farm operates. Some of what we learned: *how milk is made *what cows eat *how they raise the cows *what kind of cows are there ———— We loved seeing the baby cows and how they are cared for. We left knowing that milk is obtained in a clean, safe environment and that is is good for you. Especially in the form of Howliing Cow ice cream, which we got to enjoy at the end of the tour! ————— ***Interested in going on a GROUP Tour? To get more info, contact Alex Ives at awives@ncsu.edu

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and enjoyed admiring art around town, like the Raleigh ArtBeats Sidewalk Murals

..plus, had fun discovering many of the IG worthy murals we have in Raleigh!

Our main goal for this Spring Break Staycation was to simply have family fun with each other outdoors and teach our girl how to ride her bike without training wheels. Mission complete! We have many biking trails and beautiful parks here. We utilized Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department as a guide for fun and free things to do like the Pop-Up Studio Free Art for Kids Program and where to go for outdoor recreation like bike riding or simply blowing bubbles in the park!

I hope you enjoyed reading my Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC and will consider visiting if you are a tourist or revisiting some places like a tourist if you are a local. Whether your kid is on Spring Break, Track Out or you are curious what to do on a weekend, take the time this Spring to get outside and explore Raleigh, NC ….where all are welcome!

Event Recap | 7th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience @BullCityEXP @DPAC #Durham #Food #Beer #Fun

On March 24, 2019, 30+ of Durhamโ€™s Finest Restaurants Paired with 30+ Fantastic Breweries at the 7th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience! This event was held at DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) in Durham, NC and presented by Tylerโ€™s Restaurant & Taproom and Samโ€™s Quik Shop to benefit the ELLERBE CREEK WATERSHED ASSOCIATION.

Last year, I had the opportunity to cover the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience>>read recap here<< and can assure you it’s a great time for foodies and beer lovers alike!
The event features restaurants paired with breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Stella Artois Onstage Experience showcasing live music & local food trucks.

Admission into the Bull City Food & Beer Experience includes:

  • Souvenir Glass
  • Food Sampling from 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants in addition to local food trucks and food vendors
  • Beer Sampling from local and national breweries
  • A limited number of VIP Experience Ticket Holders will enjoy all elements of regular admission PLUS 30-minute early event access, a private entrance and restrooms, specialty food tastings, exclusive T-shirt, private access to VIP tasting lounge with specialty spirit, rare beer and wine tasting only available to VIP experience ticket holders.

Take a look at the 2019 List of Restaurant/Breweries:

Here are some of my Favorite Pairings and Highlights:

Harvest 18 โ€“ Trรถegs Independent Brewing

Alley Twenty Six โ€“ Golden Road Brewing

The Pit โ€“ Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bleu Olive โ€“ Compass Rose Brewery

Qspresso โ€“ Stem Ciders

Stella Artois Onstage Experience featuring Live Music

Check out more of my favorite bites from the night:

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Swipe ๐Ÿ”™ to see some of the tasty bites from last night at the 7th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience! Over 30+ local restaurants were paired with breweries and some of the Chefs created dishes using whichever beer,ale,cider,stout,mead it was paired with! The yummy variety at @bullcityfoodandbeerexperience is what I most enjoyed about the event! ********* See my YouTube video recap + Read more about this event #ontheblog, SobeSavvy.com! *********** #bullcityfoodandbeerexperience #BullCity #Food #Beer #Durham #NC #DurhamEats #919eats #DurhamFoodies #NCeats #DurhamRestaurants #NomNom #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #yum #Lifestyleblogger #EventBlogger #FoodBlogger #RaleighBlogger #DurhamBlogger #TriFoodies

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This event was simply wonderful. The variety of food vendors on 3 floors allowed for our tastebuds to never get bored. Most dishes were presented in the perfect bite size so my beer samples never spilled! Some chefs chose to incorporate their beer pairing as an ingredient in whatever dish they created. I also loved how most beer vendors took the time to educate guests on various beer backstories and fermentation methods. It was simply the perfect way to spend a beautiful early spring afternoon!

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As The 7th Annual @bullcityfoodandbeerexperience comes to a close, I would like to raise my #beersampling glass to @tylersrestaurant + @samsquikshop and everyone who came out to @dpacnc for this #Durhamevent benefitting @ellerbecreeknc! There were so many delicious local #Durham #NC #restaurants, paired with #breweries from across the nation. Stay tuned for more highlights from the #bullcityfoodandbeerexperience on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! ————— #SobeSavvy #Foodblogger #Raleighblogger #eventblogger #Durhamblogger #durhamfoodie #ncblogger #beer #food #bullcity #durham #yum #chefs #foodfest #sundayfunday #ipa #beerfest #foodandbeer #foodies #ncbeer #trifoodies #durhameats #event #eatlocal

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๐Ÿ‘€Watch my YouTube Video event recap here>> https://youtu.be/XByGcmJptZo

For more information about participating Restaurants & Breweries, how to donate to Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association or if you want to sign up for details of their next event in 2020, please visit โ€“ BULLCITYEXPERIENCE.COM

#FamilyFun | 5 Reasons To See UniverSoul Circus @UniverSoulCirc | March 20-31,2019 in #RaleighNC

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend opening night as a blogger in the Raleigh/Durham area. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hey Raleigh, NC, Get ready for the triumphant return of America’s No. 1 Circus! Universoul Circus is back, now in its 26th year, to give you live family entertainment extravaganza! If you have never been before, or maybe you are a returning fan like me, I am here to share 5 Reasons To See Universoul Circus with your family and friends!

1. DIVERSITY

FACT: There are 13+ Countries Represented at UniverSoul Circus! Enjoy one-of-a-kind performances from around the world โ€“ all coming together as one under a single ring big top. Led by Ringmaster Lucky from South Africa and his long time Sidekick Zeke, the 2019 edition of UniverSoul Circus features contortionists from Guinea, Skaters from Cuba, Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States, a High Wire Act from Colombia and Gabon, Trampoline Acrobats from Cuba and Ethiopia, Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia, Solo Trapeze from Brazil, Trick Rescue Pooches from Colombia and Russia, a Cossack Horse Act from Kazakhstan, Cuba, Guinea and Mexico, Fresh the Clownsss from the United States, and many more surprises!

Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

2. SIGHTS

UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top two circuses in America along with Cirque du Soleil and one of the reasons is because of all the exciting and electrifying acts! This once in a lifetime thrill-a-minute spectacle comes at you like a high-speed rollercoaster! If you like thrills and live entertainment, UniverSoul Circus has all of that!

Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

3. SOUNDS

Celebrating 26 amazing years in 2019, UniverSoul Circus is a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater, and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. FACT: There are over 11+ Performing Acts!

Photo Credit | UniverSoul Circus

4. SOUL

Celebrated around the world for spreading a soulful dose of unity, inclusion and diversity under its red and yellow striped big top, UniverSoul Circus was created in 1994 by a man named Cedric Walker who had a vision of creating a circus with an inclusive, jovial and soulful atmosphere. Participants are immersed into a global dimension, drawing multicultural, multinational, and multigenerational bonding through performance art for all people to enjoy and be entertained.

5. FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

The last time my family and I attended was the Summer of 2017 and we had so much fun! [You can read my 2017 recap>>>here]. UniverSoulโ€™s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmasterโ€™s top ten most requested family events. When people ask me how is it? I simply say it’s a good time for all ages and encourage them to see for themselves why UniverSoul Circus is the #BestCircusEver!

Me and my family at UniverSoul Circus, 2017

*SobeSavvyGiveaway: I hosted a flash giveaway on Instagram and the winner(s) are…drum roll..Congrats to Meka H. and Kiara R. of Raleigh,NC

GET TICKETS on sale now via: www.ticketmaster.com

CONNECT:

@universoulcircus (Instagram)

@universoulcirc (Twitter)

www.facebook.com/universoulcir

www.youtube.com/universoulcircus

*Be sure to visit website to signup and become an insider and get updates for your city tour stop/dates at: www.universoulcircus.com

FOLLOW my highlights from opening night on Instagram @SobeSavvy and check out my video recap on YouTube! >> https://youtu.be/iZ_6pQQdtkU

RALEIGH:

Wednesday, March 20 thru Sunday March 31, 2019

Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

3801 Rock Quarry Rd

Raleigh, NC 27610

* Next City >>Newark,NJ on 4/3/19

HAVE YOU BEEN TO UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS BEFORE? WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT? Let me know in the comments below! See you under the Big Top!๐ŸŽช