Best Bets Weekly Events Column

I began covering the "Best Bets" around the Triangle in a weekly column in May 2010. The column first published online only on The News & Observer's now-defunct site In January 2019, the column moved to dual weekly publication: online ( and front-page Friday print newspaper (Weekend section). 

Your 5-minute guide to the Top 10 things to do in the Triangle this weekend

Happy Thanksgiving Week, y’all. In the famed words of Clark Griswold: “This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on.” Wherever this finds you in the haze of 2020, we hope you are blessed with abundant health, love (near or far) and all the food you can stuff yourself with. Even in 2020, the holidays inspire hope, light, love and cheer — and the magic of the season is palpable. ... (photo credit Warner Bros.)

Your 5-minute guide to the Top 10 things to do this week in the Triangle

Be afraid. Be very afraid. In the famous words of Beetlejuice: “It’s showtime”—with all kinds of haunts, from a socially distant stroll with the walking dead to “The Midnight Dreary,” to spook-free ops like sweet, sweet symphony (and the culmination of Fair Food Days) and everything in between. Hey, if the broom fits, ride it. But, whatever you do, #SpreadLove. (photo courtesy paramount pictures)

2020 Halloween Guide: Farm Fun, Haunted Houses, Train Rides & More

Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble. Calling all children of the corn. From feel-good fam-friendly G-rated corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and farm fun to PG seasonal spooks to full-on fright fests for you and your boo crew, here is our roundup of can’t-miss hauntings and happenings around the Triangle. Plus, there are new safety protocols in place.

Your guide to the Top 10 things to do this week in the Triangle

Keep your gin up with all kinds of freaky and feel-good fall fun this week—from the opening of Durham’s long-awaited gin concept Corpse Reviver (of corpse you should imbibe!) to 11 days of N.C. State’s fab Fair Food Days to fear farms, flying witches, monstrous mazes, and more—even fun for you and your furkid with Barktoberfest. Enjoy! And as always, #SpreadLove (and spook), y’all. (photo courtesy Corpse Reviver)

Outdoor dining, films and more best bets this week

Don’t go bacon my heart! Did ya know Oct. 12 is National Pulled Pork Day? Time to get piggy wit it (NC pork, of course) — plus plenty o’ other “non-boaring” fun around the Triangle. That includes Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, Black Cinema on the Durham Bulls Athletic Park screen, and Unscripted Durham’s Cocktail Cruise By (cheers!). You’ll also find Raleigh Parks fam-friendly Halloween events and so much more. Go hog wild, y’all, and #SpreadLove. (stock photo ©lounom)

Dine Outside in Downtown, Pick Pumpkins and More Fall Fun

Oh, my gourd, #SquashGoals. Spice things up all over town this week — from carving pumpkins with goats to building scarecrows (he promises to be outstanding in his field) to hauntings, hay rides and more fall galore. After you’ve worked up an appetite, plenty of ops abound to #SupportLocal with Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, Downtown Durham Streetery, Oktoberfest, and others. Plus music, art, theater, comedy… and tacos. Fantas-taco fall fun, indeed. As always, #SpreadLove, y’all. [Photo credit: Jessie Gladdek]

Cut your own flowers, dine in the park, learn a little science. Your weekend best bets:

Somewhere between the 900 days of March and now, apparently we had a summer. Alas, Labor Day (aka the summer bookend) is upon us. If you aren’t making an exodus to the Carolina coast for some final summer sun and fun, there’s lots of sun and fun to be had here at home, too. From food and fitness to flowers to farms—with some culture, science, history and live tunes on the rooftop to boot—enjoy the holiday weekend, friends—and, as always, #SpreadLove. (photo credit JULI LEONARD).

Pick sunflowers, head to a drive-in movie and this week’s Best Bets

Y’all, it’s totes ma goats Goat Week on Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge and e’erybody goat time for this. Elsewhere, you can park it for a Food Truck Rodeo on the farm, an alfresco French wine dinner (bon appétit!), live comedy and more, plus plenty of outdoor/drive-in flicks and virtual ops to boot. And, wherever you are, stay cool (literally) and #SpreadLove. (image credit: Robert Willet)
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