35 Things to Do in Raleigh This Week, May 5–11

The Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day are all this weekend (!). Here’s where to celebrate + plenty more things to do in Raleigh this week.

Through 5/7
Triangle Small Business Week

There’s no better time to #ShopLocal! Celebrate and support the small businesses that make Raleigh, well, Raleigh and participate in myriad events going on throughout the week. trianglesmallbusinessweek.com

Through 5/8 
Ring of Fire

Walk the line over to Duke Energy Center to salute The Man in Black during a foot-stompin’ good night of music from NC Theatre. nctheatre.com

Through 5/30
Best of North Carolina 2022

Calling all culture vultures and NC lovers! The biggest names and pieces from NC’s past and present are on display at Gallery C, including artists like Josef Albers, Sarah Blakeslee and Eliot Clark. galleryc.net 

Through 5/31
Down Home: Jewish Life in NC

NC’s Jewish history is on full display (think family, being Southern, commerce, immigration, community) during this free exhibit at the NC State Capitol. jewishnc.org

Through 6/1, ongoing
DTR Spring Fitness Series

If the cost of a gym membership is keeping you down (and, ahem, on the couch), fret no more—DTR is offering free fitness classes to celebrate Downtown Raleigh Employee Appreciation Month this May. Get pumped. downtownraleigh.org 

Through 7/17
NCMA Exhibit Duo

Leaving no footprint—yet impactful—are these environment-focused exhibits. So whether you’re into Fault Lines or what is To Be Rather Than to Seem, the NCMA has you covered. ncartmuseum.org

13 Tacos & Taps Cinco Party

Holy guacamole! 13 Tacos & Taps’ special Cinco de Mayo menu includes six different types of tacos (think Korean pork BBQ, birria and shrimp); housemade tortilla chips with guac, queso and salsa; churros; and drink specials—$3.50 Modelo Especial, $1.50 Jell-O shots and $5 house margs. Plus, you’ll have the chance to win free tacos (once per month) for a full year. Ay caramba! 13tacosandtaps.com

Chido Taco Cinco Party

No siesta—let’s fiesta! Chido is throwing a big Cinco party outside with games, a DJ, ceviches and a smaller menu of its beloved favorites—think quesabirria, torta cubana and all its stunning colorful margaritas and cocktails. Talk about a spec-taco-lar time. chidotaco.com

Dos Taquitos Cinco Party

Tequila bad vibe—just take a shot. And where better than at this locally famed Dos Taquitos, where CDM is nacho average holiday. The North Raleigh staple’s annual street party returns May 5 with drink specials, a food truck, prizes, giveaways, live music and face painting. The margs start flowin’ at noon, so make sure you call out sick from work—er, use up a vacation day. Worth it! dostaquitosraleigh.com

Evening With Heart Raleigh

Don your cocktail attire and spread the love via this heart-focused event studded with cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and a silent auction to benefit The Marfan Foundation, which aims to save and improve lives of people living with genetic aortic and vascular conditions. Aw, we love love. marfan.org

Gonza Cinco Party

If drinking too many margs is liable tequil-ya, we’ll take that risk. And where better to make pour decisions than Gonza’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, now in its 10th year (!). While the resto won’t be going all out with a huge party this year, all locations will be open for regular hours and have face painting, street performers, and its award-winning Colombian- and Latin-inspired dishes and cocktails. Chip, chip, hooray! gonzatacosytequila.com

5/5, 5/19
LIVE @ Lake Raleigh

Sun’s down, fun’s out! Join NC State LIVE and Visit Centennial at Lake Raleigh for two free sunset concerts in May with Tumbo (May 5) and Shirlette Ammons (May 19)—whichever floats your boat. liveatlakeraleigh.com

5/5, Thursdays
Midtown Beach Music Series

Everybody’s gone surfin’… er, to North Hills for the highly anticipated return of this Midtown weekly music series feat. beach music, Motown, oldies and more. On Cinco de Mayo—post up for a little “Liquid Pleasure”—fitting. visitnorthhills.com

Salt & Lime Cinco Party

Take a pitcher, it’ll last longer—or $3 Mexican pints or $4 Toro shots—to keep the party going all day long. A limited menu of appetizers, tacos and churros for dessert will also be available for when the munchies (inevitably) hit. saltandlimecabo.com

5/5; 5/19
Wine Tasting

Free wine? Yes way, rosé! Falls Village Wine & Beer is holding two free wine tastings feat. unique and affordable wines. Time to wine down… fallsvillagewineandbeer.com 

Bike Bonanza

Bring your chain gang to Union Station on First Friday to fete National Bike Month for some wheelie good music, art projects and bike-share rides. raleighnc.gov

Women Rock!

Who run the world?! … At NC Symphony, women rock and roll. Join the orchestra in celebrating women as they perform hits from female rock stars like Carole King, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and more. Rock on! ncsymphony.org 

NCSU vs. UNC Baseball

Go the heel home, UNC. gopack.com 

Vintage Market Days: “Dear Mom”

Treat the woman who was right about everything to a day of retail therapy (!) via this spring market repping 120 countrywide curated vendors peddling jewelry, furnishings, decor and more. Oh, sale yes! vintagemarketdays.com 

5/7, ongoing
DJ Atlas

Hey Mr. DJ, turn the music up… Catch DJ Atlas spinnin’ tracks at Boxcar every Saturday night. theboxcarbar.com

Free Comic Book Day

Calling all comic book nerds! The largest free Comic Book Day celebration is happening across all four Ultimate Comics locations in the Triangle—and you get a bag of free comics just for showing up. In addition, every location will have special guests (from cosplayers to professional comic creators) and photo opps, while the Cary location is also throwing a giant outdoor tent sale with discounted comics. ultimatecomics.com 

Gizmo Brew Works 9th Anny

Hoppy Birthday, Gizmo! Celebrate with a night of music, food, craft beer and adoptable pups from Cause for Paws. gizmobrewworks.com


You’ll be “way less sad” as AJR “burns the house down” in Raleigh… metaphorically speaking of course. redhatamphitheater.com 


Like Coachella for truck lovers, post up at Wake County Speedway for this fusion of truck meets and music festivals dropping a load of cars and trucks for show (and 50+ trophies!), 12 up-and-coming Grupos, Carolina’s best Micheladas, plus tunes (natch), a vendors market, food trucks and more. Truck yeah! wcspeedway.com

Kentucky Derby Day at The Willard

Hold your horses! Grab your big hats and suits and head to The Willard for Kentucky-inspired food specials and mint juleps—natch—while the race plays on the rooftop screens. thewillardraleigh.com 

Kentucky Derby Watch Party at Dram

“The best two minutes in sports” is best enjoyed with hat contests and prizes, mint juleps and drink specials at Dram’s annual Derby party—plus donations to CORRAL Riding Academy and HorsePower. Rein on! dramanddraught.com


“Ride wit me” over to Koka Booth as Nelly no doubt lights it up till it’s “hot in herre.” boothamphitheatre.com

NWSL Challenge Cup

Squad goals: The Challenge Cup series is here—and we’re pretty sure our NC ballers have got the courage and kicks to take the cup. nccourage.com

Tacos N’ Tequila Bar Crawl

Tequila may not be the answer… but it’s worth a shot. Make your way around DTR bars and restos for a winning combo for some spec-taco-lar fun—plus halftime and afterparties, DJs, and more. Ay caramba! barcrawllive.com

5/8, monthly
MAKRS @ North Hills

If you were born to be a planksta, get your mind—and body!—right via healthy food trucks, yoga classes, messages, henna and more to makr it a great day as this pop-up market (with a month theme of wellness) is back in full force. visitnorthhills.com

Mother’s Day Brunch + Live Concert

Show mom you love her a brunch via this buffet brunch, mimosa bar, prize giveaways and live performances at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. It promises to make you the fave. eventbrite.com

Mother’s Day Market

Show mom you love her all the moore by taking her on a local shopping spree through Moore Square Market. downtownraleigh.org

5/8, Sundays
Drag Brunch

No need to drag yourself to brunch when it involves killer cocktails, dancin’ DJs and stirrin’ bartenders. BYO heels and chow down on grub provided by Food Vibes Only Food Truck—then stick around for a dance party. rubydeluxeraleigh.com

Jazz Night

Ya like jazz? If the answer is yes, this is the perfect opp to get serenaded—and treat your mama to a smooth night out. boothamphitheatre.com 

5/11, ongoing
Wellness Wednesdays

Holy fit. Wellness Wednesdays at North Hills’ Midtown Park are back with a host of free weekly fit ops! See ya on the grass lawn of Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park. northhillsevents.com 

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.