Raleigh, N.C. — It's a shorter work week for most of us, but there's still plenty to do around town.
The nOg Run Club meets at the Raleigh Beer Garden every Monday at 6:15 p.m. This is a great way to get fit and meet other beer-lovers.
Steve Vai is a virtuoso guitarist, visionary composer and consummate producer who sculpts musical sound with infinite creativity and technical mastery, and he's been doing it since age 12. See him at the Carolina Theatre of Durham at 8 p.m.
Grab your fiddle, guitar, banjo or mandolin and join the Bluegrass Jam at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro to play some old time and bluegrass favorites. It's free, and all levels and instruments are welcome.
Get some live music in before the holidays with Open Mic Night at Deep South.
Or, test your smarts instead. Tuesday nights are Trivia Nights at The Pinhook in Durham.
Raleigh's only outdoor ice skating rink opened last week downtown in City Plaza, and Tuesdays are "two for one" night. The $10 cost of admission includes skate rental. Can't skate tonight? No worries. The ice rink will be open through January.
Get some local ingredients for your holiday meals and start checking off the gift list by shopping with local craft vendors at the Midtown Farmers' Market Holiday Market from 4 to 7 p.m.
The PlayMakers Repertory Company will present "The May Queen" starting tonight in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $15.
"Smell the Glove" will be performing live at Raleigh's Southland Ballroom for the 4th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Throwdown. The cover is $5.
Carolina Ballet's Carmina Burana features the widely recognized music of Carl Orff. See it at 8 p.m. at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
A great Wednesday tradition starts today at The Carter Building -- it's the weekly Holiday Gift Shopping Market, and it's an opportunity for shoppers to discover hidden gems and support small businesses. The market features art, jewelry, cosmetics, vinyl records, skin care, nail art, vintage clothing and more and will run Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. through Dec. 31.
Families with young children can take a break from preparing for Thanksgiving and bring the entire family the NC Symphony's one-hour singing and dancing celebration with music from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Frozen" and more. The fun starts at 3 p.m. at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Happy Thanksgiving! Before you eat a big meal, consider one of these area races.
The 11th Annual Gobbler's Run Thanksgiving Day 5K is a 5K family event through historic downtown Wake Forest to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. The course will be open to runners and walkers of all ages at 8 a.m., and pets and strollers are welcome.
The Turkey Leg 5k begins and ends at Knightdale Station Park at 8:30 a.m. and will happen rain, shine or ridiculously cold temperatures at 8:30. Registration is $20.
Don't want to spend the day in the kitchen? The Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is hosting an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Feast at 12 p.m. The cost for adults is $82 per person, and reservations are required.
It's Black Friday and, while shopping might be on your list, there are some alternatives.
The Christmas Carousel Holiday Gift Market at the State Fairgrounds is a great way to shop without the ordinary mall crowds. The over 260 exhibitors selling arts, crafts and holiday gifts assembled in one location will be there three full days. Adults pay $8 to shop.
The NC Black Friday Cask Festival takes place at Lynnwood Brewing Concern this year. There, you can try cask beer, which has been naturally carbonated in a keg and served at a cellar temperature of approximately 50-52 degrees Fahrenheit. Many of the casks will be unique and unavailable at any other bar or event. There will also be food trucks, so stop by between 4 and 8 p.m. to try it yourself.
Instead of hitting the malls, try relaxing at Fullsteam Brewery. Bring a gift to donate and receive a beer and even chair massages and aromatherapy. The brewery will also be serving ice cream floats and flights featuring five dark beers in honor of Black Friday.
Don't miss the Capital City Reggae Festival at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh at 7 p.m. The show features six reggae artists, and tickets are $10.
Get more picks for this month on our best bets calendar, and check back on Thursday for our official picks for the weekend.