Raleigh, N.C. — It only happens once a month, but First Friday is a great way to see experience downtown Raleigh. The next First Friday event is May 2.
Events run from 6-9 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and involve tons of galleries, restaurants and other venues in downtown Raleigh.
All places participating in First Friday will have flags outside.
Our Best Bet for this month's First Friday:
Explore student-created art at Designbox with “(n)everlasting: a student design journey." The exhibit celebrates the history of "The Student Publication" from the NC State College of Design, one of the oldest student-led design journals in the country.
Designbox will also be demoing the MakerBot Replicator 2, a consumer-friendly 3D printer, on First Friday.
There are so many other First Friday events, we had to make a list of them all. Browse through the listings below:
Food and drink (All First Friday deals are 6-9 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
The Architect Bar - Featuring local artists, live music and drink specials
The Big Easy - Free dessert with purchase of two entrees or free appetizer with purchase of three or more entrees
Bolt Bistro & Bar - Half price wines by the glass, seasonal drink features and appetizer specials
Boylan Bridge Brewpub - $5 select appetizers during First Friday hours and $5 select cocktails
buku - $15 wine flights featuring a different wine region of the world each month
Busy Bee Cafe - $3 craft tap featuring local and regional craft beers
Cafe de los Muertos - Complimentary beer, wine, and of course, coffee
Caffe Luna - Free bottle of San Pellegrino with purchase of two entrees
Capital Club 16 - Half price select appetizers from 5-7 p.m.
Centro - $2 off all tequila flights and live music from 7-9 p.m.
Crema on Fayetteville - Free cone with purchase of ice cream
Cupcake Shoppe - Buy one get one
Dickey's Barbecue Pit - Free dessert with purchase of barbecue meat plate and drink or one free Kid's Meal (12 and under) per paid adult meal of equal or greater value
Donato's Pizza - $5 off a second large pizza
Dos Taquitos Xoco - Free queso dip with the purchase of an entree and kids eat free if they dress like Frida Kahlo
Five Star - $5 appetizers and $5 glasses of wine
Irregardless Cafe - Half price bottles of Irregardless' fine house wine
Jose and Sons - Half-price select appetizers from 5-7 p.m. and live music from 7-10 p.m.
Kimbap - Special entree features and buy one, get one half price appetizers all evening (open 5:30-10 p.m.)
Mo's Diner - Half price wine by the bottle and nightly features
The Oxford - Whiskey flights, $5 House Vodka, $6 Fireball, artist feature from 6-9 p.m. (Botanical Watercolors & Oil Portraits by Eileen Allen) and music feature from 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Paddy O'Beers - Start of First Friday Fun Run at 6 p.m. and club members get $3 Weeping Willow on draft and $5 BeerMosas, Mother Earth Brewery tasting
Posta Tuscan Grille - Half price appetizer with purchase of a bartender's specialty cocktail
The Remedy Diner - $5 glasses of house wine
Rum Runners - Free admission until 11 p.m., half off all shots, $3 beer special and $6 double Long Islands
Shish Kabob - Free hummus sampler and toasted pita with any gyro sandwich purchase
Sono - $2 edamame from 5-7 p.m. and a $7 feature cocktail
Square Rabbit - Buy one dessert, get one of equal or lesser value for free
Tir na nOg Irish Pub - $1.25 off all craft bottles, $4.50 Fireball shots, and half off appetizers from 4-6 p.m.
Tuscan Blu - 10 percent off any wine purchase
Woody's at City Market - Half price appetizers and wings from 4:30-6:30 p.m.; 20 percent off appetizers from 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $2.50 PBR Tallboys; tequila shot specials and $5 Jagerbombs (open until 2 a.m.)
Zinda - Free appetizer with purchase of two entrees, artist features (Knitted Text Series by Ann Tilley, Original Collages and Woodblock Prints by M.Q. Bannerman, and Papercuts by Haley Serrano)
Other deals (All First Friday times are 6-10 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Alter Ego Hair & Nails, 119 E Hargett St., Suite 200
What? Salon that specializes in hair care and exhibits art
Special: Monthly art exhibits and periodic music, dance performances, special events and product or tool specials
Atomic Salon, 905 W Morgan St. (Hours 7-10 p.m.)
What? The Triangle’s only rock-n-roll vintage hair salon featuring art exhibits on First Fridays
Balance, 304 Glenwood Ave.
What? A studio for the body and soul featuring local artists
Special: 15 percent off merchandise and 20 percent off massages scheduled during First Friday
City Gallery at Vintage Church, 117 S West St.
What? Vintage Church's gallery hosts art exhibitions, serves artists, and loves Raleigh
City Market, 200 E Martin St.
What? Houses multiple First Friday venues
Special: Live music from March-November
Clark Patterson Lee, 415 Hillsborough St., Suite 101 (Hours 6-9 p.m.)
What? Full-service architecture, engineering, interior design, master plans and art gallery
Special: Free architectural advice during First Fridays
City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St.
What? City history museum featuring receptions and rotating art exhibits
Special: Admission for the museum and all special events are free
Contemporary Art Museum, 409 W Martin St.
Special: First Friday admission is free. Programs include after-hours access to galleries, hands-on activities at the creation station, music by local DJs, food trucks and a cash bar.
Deco Raleigh, 19 W Hargett St., Suite 108
What? A collection of unique and local decorative items
Special: Refreshments, entertainment and artist meet-and-greet
Downtown Dental, 205 Fayetteville St., Suite 100
What? Dental office hosting art exhibits and receptions with light hors d'oeuvres
Feelgoodz, 206 S Wilmington St.
What? Natural, comfortable, and ethical footwear
Special: Changes monthly
HagerSmith Design, 300 S Dawson St.
What? Architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, historic preservation and art gallery
Hamlin Drug Company, 126 E Hargett St.
What? Raleigh's oldest independent pharmacy
Special: 30 percent off specialty lines
High Cotton, 19 W Hargett St.
What? 100 percent cotton bow ties and apparel for gentlemen, handmade in North Carolina
Special: Free gift with purchase
Klish and Eldreth, PLLC, 304 Glenwood Ave.
What? Intellectual property boutique law firm featuring photography from local artists
LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 S Harrington St.
What? A safe and welcoming resource center for the LGBT community and friends featuring monthly art exhibits
Lisa Stewart Designs, 300 Blake St., Suite 7
What: Handcrafted leather, fine art and gifts made in Raleigh
Special: Free gift with purchase of $75 or more
Lumina Clothing Company, 123 E Martin St.
What? American made men's clothing designed in Raleigh
Special: Changes monthly
Makena Skin Care, 304 Glenwood Ave. Suite 7
What? A skin care studio featuring local artists on a rotating basis
Special: Book a facial on First Friday and receive $10 off
Marbles Kid Museum (Hours 5-8 p.m.)
Special: Create | Innovate every First Friday night at Marbles as part of downtown Raleigh’s monthly art celebration ($5 per person, members play free)
Moon and Lola, 208 S Wilmington St.
What? Upscale jewelry and accessory boutique
Special: 15 percent off merchandise storewide
The Morning Times, 10 E Hargett St. (Hours 6-11 p.m.)
What? Coffeehouse and gallery serving single origin coffees, house-baked pastries, and sandwiches
Special: Drink specials and an outdoor art market featuring live entertainment
Nora and Nicky's Designer Resale, 19 W Hargett St., Suite 104
What? Luxury and designer consignment specializing in high-end labels
Special: 15 percent off any single item
Nuvonivo, 111 E Hargett St.
What? Trendy fashion for babies and kids
Special: Changes monthly
Oak City Coffee Roastery, 615 W Hargett St.
What? An independent coffee shop in downtown Raleigh
Special: $2 off select coffees
Oak City Cycling Project, 212 E Franklin St.
What? Independent bike shop selling new and used steel bike frames and fun
Special: 10 percent off t-shirts and free high fives
Ornamentea, 509 N West St.
What? Fine beads and jewelry making supplies
Special: Free jewelry project from 6-8 p.m.
The Pour House Music Hall, 224 S Blount St.
What? Raleigh's premier live music venue presenting local and international bands nightly
Special: Free admission or 20 percent off admission (when applicable) with mention of First Friday
Raleigh Television Network, 310 W Martin St. (Hours 6-8 p.m.)
What? The city’s digital television network center
Special: Open access to the RTN studio
Raleigh Wine Shop, 126 Glenwood Ave.
What? Fine wine and provisions
Special: 10 percent off of bottle purchases from the WineStation and/or tasting wines to drink on-site or to go
So & So Books, 704 N Person St.
What? An independent book store in downtown Raleigh
Special: Complimentary snacks and drinks, pre-order May's book of the month, "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," by Gabriel García Márquez, for 25 percent off
Stitch & Holly Aiken Bags, 20 E Hargett St.
What? Retail showroom of Raleigh handbag designer Holly Aiken
Special: 10 percent off all bags
Triangle Downtowner Magazine, 402 Glenwood Ave.
What? The Triangle's most popular magazine
Special: Enjoy local art, music and drinks
TRIG Modern, 328 W Jones St.
What? Design consultancy showroom and gallery featuring home furnishings, lighting and art
Special: Featured artist on-site during the monthly exhibition opening
Trinity Gallery, 549 N Blount St.
What? Art in the city for the city, featuring local artists and musicians
VanNess & Fellows Tattoo Boutique and Gallery, 226 E Martin St.
What? A one-of-a-kind art gallery, boutique and custom tattoo studio
Special: 10 percent off all steam punk art
Vault Yoga, 234 Fayetteville St
What? A yoga studio in a bank vault featuring monthly exhibits
Videri Chocolate Factory, 327 W Davie St., Suite 100
What? Freshly-made chocolate and confections
Special: 10 percent off all chocolate products
The Wine Feed, 602 Glenwood Ave.
What? Wine oasis in a beer town.
Special: 20 percent off wine on tap at our wine bar
Art on display
There are also some art exhibits happening throughout downtown. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a list of the exhibits and a complete rundown of the galleries and museums participating in First Friday.