Raleigh, N.C. — The snow has melted, the work week is almost over and it's time to venture outside again to check out these fun weekend events.
For the foodies
Bourbon Barrel Cheese & Beer Tasting - Love bourbon barrel aged beers? This event at House of Hops on Glenwood Avenue is for you. Compare and contrast the distinct differences of four different styles of Brooklyn Brewery beers aged bourbon barrels. Each beer will be uniquely paired with a specialty cheese from Orrman's Cheese Shop.
Videri 5th Anniversary Day Party - The downtown Raleigh chocolate shop will be celebrating on Sunday. They will be raffling off chocolate, offering special products and giving away door prizes.
AOH Irish Stew Cook-off - The Wake County AOH will be holding a friendly Irish stew and Irish soda bread competition on Saturday at Tir Na Nog. Bring a crockpot of your best Irish stew and/or a loaf or two of Irish soda bread made from your secret recipe. If you don't spend much time in the kitchen, you are still welcome to stop by and help judge the entries.
The Hop Yard Customer Appreciation - Enjoy special selections from Wicked Weed, White Street and Trophy Brewing, in addition to food and fun, here on Saturday.
Coffees from Around the World - Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro hosts this workshop and tasting on Saturday. Travel the globe and explore coffees from the Americas to Africa to the Pacific Rim.
Milk Bar Neighborhood Party - Live music, winter cocktails and more highlight this Sunday event. There will also be a staff chili cook-off.
Art, animals and more
Red Hot Mardi Gras Kick-Off - Durham is kicking off carnival season with this party Saturday night at Blue Note Grill. The Allen Boys and The Bulltown Strutters will perform.
NC Chinese Lantern Festival - It's the final weekend to check out this LED light exhibit at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.
Ultimate Dodgeball Tournament - Sky Zone Durham hosts this competition on Sunday. Teams will compete in fast, furious, high-flying three minute matches on Sky Zone's wall to wall trampoline courts. Winners receive one month of unlimited membership to Sky Zone.
2nd Friday ArtWalk - This monthly art walk is happening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Venues offer live music, food, activities, art demos, discounts and more.
Repticon - This reptile event features vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages and merchandise as well as live animal seminars. The event runs Saturday and Sunday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds' Kerr Scott Building. Tickets are on sale now.
Shamrock Breakdance Competition - This dance party at Kings is for all ages. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place.
The Great Cover-Up - Kings in downtown Raleigh hosts this four-night event and fundraiser. It features local bands playing cover sets of their favorite bands. The shows start Wednesday and run through Saturday.
Waka Flocka Flame - The Queens-bred, Atlanta-based MC plays two shows at Cat's Cradle this weekend. His Saturday night show is sold out but some tickets still remain for Sunday.
Aaron Lewis - The former frontman of Staind plays The Ritz Friday night.
Brandford Marsalis - The famous New Orleans jazz titan joins virtuoso pianist Joey Calderazzo for a show at N.C. State's Baldwin Auditorium Friday night.
Mike Doughty and Wheatus - The singer-songwriter joins with this indie band for a show Friday night at Cat's Cradle.
The Backsliders, 6 String Drag - Enjoy a night of hard core honkytonk at the Cat's Cradle back room Friday night with these bands.
Zoso - This Led Zeppelin Tribute Band plays Friday and Saturday nights at Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh.