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Raleigh’s summer 2023 bucket list

Want to start planning your summer in the City of Oaks? We put together a list of 18 fun activities, festivals, and must dos to make to most out of the season.

Kayaks sitting on the edge of a lake.

Learn to paddle or take a kayak tour through the City of Raleigh.

Photo by RALtoday

It’s summer, summer, summertime, and we are ready to sit back and unwind. We put together a bucket list of 18 fun activities to help you plan the perfect summer in the City of Oaks. Bonus: Print this list off, stick it to your fridge, and see how many items you can check off.


☐ Sip, shop, dine, and dance at the NC Hops Festival. (June 24)
☐ Show your support for our LGBTQ+ community at Out! Raleigh Pride. (June 24)
☐ Geek out for GalaxyCon, a festival of fandom. (July 27-30)
☐ Have a howlin’ good time at NC State’s Packapalooza festival and block party. (August 26)
☐ Celebrate culture through art, food, music, and community at the 14th Annual African American Cultural Festival. (September 2-3)
☐ Grab tickets for a jam-packed Hopscotch Music Festival. (September 7-9)

People sitting on a lawn watching a outdoor movie.

The next First Friday film is “The Princess and the Frog” on August 4.

Photo by RALtoday

Family fun

☐ Celebrate the red, white, and blue with fireworks at a July of 4th Celebration at Dix Park. (July 4)
☐ Don’t miss the sunflowers in full bloom at Dix Park. (Mid-July)
☐ Get silly with the Kirby Derby holiday extravaganza. (August 19)
☐ Watch a movie on a rainy day at an independent theater.
☐ Take the kiddos to explore Marbles Kids Museum’s reimagined water play space within the new Splash exhibit.
☐ Shop, dine, and watch a movie at Moore Square on First Friday.

More must dos

☐ Pack a lunch (or grab a dog from The Roast Grill) to enjoy Raleigh’s smallest park.
☐ Visit local watering holes for during Drink Up during July (participants coming soon).
☐ Sing your heart out with Raleigh’s summer concert lineup.
☐ Take a hike with water views near Raleigh.
☐ Sign up for a paddle or kayak tour at Lake Johnson.
☐ Plan a summer photo shoot at a flowering garden.