10 Things To Do At Night In Raleigh, North Carolina - Updated 2021

things to do at night in raleigh nc
Swadeep Singh
Swadeep Singh

Also known as the ‘City of Oaks’ due to the vast numbers of oak trees, Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina. The city is wide and nearly half a million people live here, and since it’s an important metropolis already, people all around the US and also from foreign lands arrive here. This city has lots of parks and a grand nightlife, thus nobody will stay bored for too long here. Anyway, if an outsider has just no idea about Raleigh, he can follow the exploration program that we’re sharing below. This might not be new information for a local, but trust us, this will cover almost all the thrilling and fun activities the city has to offer. Keep reading this article to know the things you can do at night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

1. Drink a cup of coffee at The Raleigh Times

This century-old building was the home of a former newspaper publication that printed its last edition in 1989. After its acquisition and some renovation, this newspaper-themed place has become the most notable café bar in Raleigh. The Morning Times is the café and breakfast area, and The Raleigh Times restaurant is the main division. They serve the best coffee in the city and make over 10 types, besides that, tea and breakfast are also on the menu. This place opens early and closes after midnight (cafe section closes early). Have a coffee in the morning and enjoy the craft beer and pub food here late at night.

The Raleigh Times

Address: 14 E Hargett Street Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

Website: The Raleigh Times

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Saturday to Sunday 7:30 AM - 10:00 PM

Price: 2 USD

2. Plan a picnic at Lake Johnson

Lake Johnson is situated in southwest Raleigh, and it’s a getaway for locals from their bustling work life. Gladly the lake and its surrounding greenery are extensive enough to hold hundreds of picnickers together at a time. Yep, this area is a popular picnic place, and one can even go boating and fishing in this lake. The parking space is ample, and the restrooms are also clean. You will have two hiking treks, one is quite short but the larger one encircles almost 8 km (5 miles) around the lake. This area is considered safe but if you’re overly concerned, you can walk your dogs around, just be sure that they are leashed.

Lake Johnson

Address: 4601 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA

Website: Lake Johnson

Opening hours: Daily 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Price: Free

3. Watch your favourite movie at The Rialto Theatre

Rialto is not your regular cinema theater, it’s an independent movie hall that shows indie-cinema, classics favorites, and all those gems which never got fame in the mainstream. The call for such films are heard in award nominations, but they often get overshadowed by the Hollywood. Anyway, if you happen to be a movie lover, you will fall in love with the ambiance of this place instantly. This theater gives the best hospitality, the seats are reclined here, and the screen and sound quality are topnotch. A great place for a movie-date in our opinion.

The Rialto Theatre

Address: 1620 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27608, USA

Website: The Rialto Theatre

Opening hours: Daily, first show starts at 1:30 PM

Price: 8 USD

4. Take a tour of the Videri Chocolate Factory

Videri Chocolate Factory
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bz3rk used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Everyone loves chocolate, and all those who say they don’t like it would have surely loved chocolates in their childhood and perhaps also wanted to visit a chocolate factory someday. Now it’s your time to visit one if you’re in Raleigh. Videri is a small-sized dark chocolate manufacturer in this town, and they offer people at large to live their childhood dream. The factory runs between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, five days a week, and through the many windows, you can take a peek at the manufacturing process. It’s a self-guided tour, and you will be guided by informative signs. The overall tour wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. They also have a small café, and you can have free samples.

Videri Chocolate Factory

Address: 327 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

Website: Videri Chocolate Factory

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Price: Free, reservation required

5. Enjoy a dining experience at Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

things to do at night in raleigh nc | enjoy a dining experience at second empire restaurant and tavern

If you’re hungry and would like to make the dining experience special, we can present you with an upscale restaurant. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern is the name, and they are established in an old Victorian mansion. It’s an affluent, classy eatery located in the middle of Raleigh city, and actually, they are two restaurants in the same place. Upstairs has the more classy elegant dining area, and the downstairs is known as the Tavern, which is not as elegant but still graceful. The fare at Tavern is relatively simpler than the Second Empire, so plan accordingly.

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Address: 330 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC 27603, USA

Website: Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Closed Sunday to Monday

Price: 31-60 USD

6. Play arcade games at Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Boxcar Bar in Raleigh
Source: Photo by Flickr user Sergey Galyonkin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This place has 70+ arcades, 15+ pinballs machines, air hockey, foosball, and many such game-tables, and along with them, cartridge-based consoles with numerous titles. Exactly the same way as during the 80s and early 90s, plenty of gaming tournaments are held here every now and then, and they have a firm event list for the month. Plus, 24 types of craft beers are also served. Boxcar Arcade has revived the classic gaming era once again, that is why it’s a perfect paradise. Visit this place with your kids to make them aware of the arcade era, and challenge them on your dominated titles. By the way, playing the original Nintendo system is free of charge.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Address: 330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

Website: Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 4:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Saturday to Sunday 12:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Price: Inexpensive tokens for arcades, gaming consoles are free to play

7. Unwind at the Duke Gardens

things to do at night in raleigh nc | unwind at the duke gardens

Not in Raleigh technically as this garden is situated in Durham, but that’s also not very far from the Raleigh city. Duke Gardens is a massive garden that extends to over 55 acres (22 hectares) and has about 8 km (5 miles) of pedestrian path. Duke has numerous points for having a picnic, plus there is a pond and an amphitheater. There is also a very large-sized scripture in the middle of the park by the name ‘The Big Easy’, which is made just with the help of sticks. The Big Easy is a very exciting thing to see in real life. The views of this garden are so tempting, that perhaps you would like to visit this little town more often.

Duke Gardens

Address: 420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708, USA

Website: Duke Gardens

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Price: Free

8. Catch live music shows at Lincoln Theatre

Lincoln is an indoor venue in this city that holds live shows, the place is not too small but also, it cannot be said its big either. The main hall and its balconies can accommodate at the most 100 guests. But there is a benefit with such small halls, everyone can get to be part of the show. Sure, the big groups wouldn’t perform here, but Lincoln holds plenty of shows per month. The entry rates are fairly priced, also their bar serves beer on a reasonable tag. The parking is also free here.

Lincoln Theatre

Address: 126 E Cabarrus St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

Website: Lincoln Theatre

Opening hours: 7:30 PM onwards for event

Price: 8-30 USD, varies with events

9. Go for a rock climbing experience at Triangle Rock Club - Raleigh

If gyms are boring, and you’re seeking an exciting workout experience, then rock climbing might be a thing for you, and there is a club in Raleigh. You should visit this place, as the local says that this is the best rock climbing club in the whole state. If you have just joined this fever, and your wrists aren’t supporting you, then the guides will help you climb your first wall. For the experienced climbers, they have walls with assorted difficulty levels. As safety measures, the auto-belay-system and harnesses are available, so people won’t get hurt. This facility offers daily and monthly passes. By the way, this climbing club also has a full gym.

Triangle Rock Club

Address: 6022 Duraleigh Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612, USA

Website: Triangle Rock Club

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 5:30 AM - 11:00 PM, Friday 5:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Price: 19 USD for a day pass

10. Enjoy a stroll in the Lassiter Mill Park

things to do at night in raleigh nc | enjoy a stroll in the lassiter mill park
Source: fromthecube on Instagram

This park is centrally located in the city and people visit the Lassiter Mill Park for relaxation. The park itself is small sized, the only notable thing is a small waterfall spilling over a little dam. The creek down this dam is shallow, to this place is safe for kids as well. Fishing is allowed on a few spots, and there are rules written for that. This creek has bass, catfishes, and carps. The tree canopy is dense, and upon strolling deeper into this park, you might feel like you’re in some forest. This park is safe, and small picnic trips are possible as well.

Lassiter Mill Park

Address: 3362 Lassiter Falls Cir, Raleigh, NC 27609, USA

Website: Lassiter Mill Park

Opening hours: 24/7

Price: Free

Do not stop, explore more

Partial view of Raleigh, North Carolina's growing skyline -- 19 May 2012
Source: Photo by user Willamor Media used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Raleigh is not at all a small city, and certainly, there are a lot more places to visit, and numerous things you can do. The list we have shared will indeed help you explore the prime attractions of this city. But don’t just stop with our list, stay curious, explore more, and share your best findings with us.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Nicknamed Bobby, Swadeep Singh is a businessman since 2013, but he has forever been a writer. Traveling places never makes him exhausted, that is why he never say no to any travel plan. If he’s not...Read more

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