It’s cold out but that doesn’t mean you have to stay home all winter…well maybe today. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some fun Triangle Area places that are all indoors.
The Cary was originally opened in 1946 as a venue for live performances and film screenings. Currently, the theater is owned by the Town of Cary and also functions as a cultural performing space. The Cary shows independent and classic films as well as documentaries, live comedy and live music. The theater is located right in Downtown Cary, surrounded by great restaurants, shopping and more.
The Rialto is the oldest theater in Raleigh, originally built in 1942 but renovated several times since. It has aged gracefully, retaining the charm of an era before cheap movie theater chains. The single theater shows foreign, independent and alternative films and sells standard concessions as well as beer and wine.
Every third Monday the theater shows a classic film for $5 and every Friday night it shows the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Rialto is seated in the picturesque Five Points neighborhood, one of Raleigh’s nicest areas. Check out Lilly’s Pizza a few doors down for a delightful dinner before catching a movie.
Quail Ridge Books opened its doors in 1984 with the aim of serving the community with a great selection of books and functioning as a space for group discussions, book signings, town hall meetings and more. Located now in North Hills, the expansive and impressive store is the go-to location for big name authors to hold book signings in Raleigh. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly and the environment is relaxing and quaint. There is a large children’s section and the store regularly puts on events for children as well as adults.
If you’re a fan of wacky thrift stores then you have to check out Father and Son. A Downtown Raleigh staple for over 20 years, Father and Son is overflowing with all sorts of delightful vintage furniture, clothing, records, books and more. Walking through the store is an adventure in itself.
Recently, the store was almost forced to move to Durham after its lease expired. However, instead it is moving to a new location at 302 S. West St., in the always changing Warehouse District.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
North Carolina’s most visited museum lies right in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, a short walk from the legislative and capital buildings and right across from the North Carolina Museum of History. In the words of the Museum “the NC Museum of Natural Sciences is a high-performing nexus of research, collections, living collections, exhibitions and digital media, school and lifelong education, community engagement, and a regional network.”
There’s something there for all ages and it really is an enormous place. Expanded in 2012, the exhibits are state of the art and well-kept. I can’t count how many times I’ve been over the years but I still find something new every time.
“CAM Raleigh seeks to curate the most contemporary works of art and design possible—those still emerging, growing, and living. We hope to spark new thinking by creating ever-changing experiences that explore what’s now and nearing.”
Raleigh’s destination for contemporary art, CAM is a living museum, regularly updated with new exhibits and fun events. The museum was one of the original residents of today’s Warehouse District, helping to blaze a trail for the area. Admission is only $5 and the museum is open to the public on First Fridays. Hungry? Check out Humble Pie or The Pit right around the corner.
The Museum of Life and Science is all about getting in to it. The hands-on exhibits span a wide range of science fields and are so fun that kids (and adults) might just forget that they’re learning something. There’s also an outdoor portion (if you’re ready to brave the cold or happen to visit on a random 60 degree day) featuring live animals, a train, a massive butterfly house and more.
Admission is free at this campus museum located less than a block from Franklin Street. The museums permanent collection consists of over 18,000 pieces of art, including one of NC’s best collections of Asian art and works of art on paper as well as European masterworks, contemporary art and NC pottery. Also check out (and take pictures in) the wild structures outside, made from vines/tree branches.