When you think about Memorial Day, what comes to mind? Backyard barbecues with friends and family get-togethers might top your list. In Raleigh, there are a number of ways you can get the most out of the long weekend. From joining in community events to visiting historical sites to supporting local business, here are some of our favorite things to do in Raleigh NC around Memorial Day.

“An American Celebration: The Best of Broadway”

Enjoy an evening of the best numbers from classic and current Broadway shows Sunday, May 28. Triangle Wind Ensemble brings these numbers to life with a big band sound and vocal soloists. The show will conclude with a salute to our Veterans in honor of Memorial Day. You can pack your own food and beverages to have a picnic at An American Celebration, and make sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Don’t want to bring your own eats and drinks? Venue vendors are offering a “picnic in the park” option to pre-order dinner so you can pick it up when you arrive.

Watch a Western Movie

Any classic Western movie will do, but why not get a laugh by settling in for a screening of Blazing Saddles? Mel Brooks’ 1974 comic western will be showing on May 26 at The Cary Theater, just 20 minutes from downtown Raleigh. The satirical film makes fun of the myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, with the hero being a black sheriff in an all-white town.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest

things to do in Raleigh NSource

Up, up and away! The WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest is a fun, family-oriented event that takes over Fleming Loop Park. Watch as 35 colorful hot air balloons fill the skies of the town of Fuquay-Varina May 26-29. Wander into the beer, wine, and cider garden for some refreshment and sample state fair-inspired eats. Local musicians will hit the stage to keep the tunes flowing, while children can play a number of field games. You can see the entire schedule here.

Sample All-American Beer

Americans love their beer, so raise a glass and settle in for a relaxing day. The Raleigh Beer Garden has the largest draft beer selection in the world under one roof, including 144 draft lines dispensing local North Carolina beers. Scooch up to the bar and sample local brews from names such as Bell’s, Epic, Hoppin’ Frog, and Dogfish Head, or find your favorites from other states around the country.

Get a Dose of History

From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, Raleigh played a monumental part in the formation of America. What better time to learn something new about our country’s history than over Memorial Day weekend. You can find an exhaustive list of historical sites to visit on National Park Service’s website. Want to get to know more about what made North Carolina what it is today? The NC Museum of History showcases the diverse people, landscapes, sports and changing culture of the state throughout the 20th century.

Eat Local

Things to do in Raleigh NSource

What better way to celebrate Memorial Day than to get your fill of classic American foods? If you don’t have a BBQ planned or just don’t feel like cooking, Raleigh is full of great burger joints and BBQ eateries. You can’t get more American than a hamburger, and Raleigh boasts several top-notch burger joints.

Chuck’s serves up gourmet burgers, craft beer, and milkshakes in downtown Raleigh, while The Station specializes in classic burgers and house-made chips. If barbecue is what you’re craving, The Pit and Ole Time Barbecue both have all the meat, sides and fixin’s you’d expect from a traditional BBQ restaurant.

Get out there and have a great time this Memorial Day weekend, however you decide to spend it! If you happen to find yourself in Midtown Raleigh, be sure to stop by and say hello! We’re always more than happy to show you around. You can also view our floor plans online or give us a call at (919) 439-4787.

Hope to see you soon!