Things to do in Raleigh before you're dead
November 13, 2007 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Help me come up with an "experience" gift around Raleigh, NC.

Yes, this is the beginning of Christmas Giftfilter here at AskMe. I have done prior searches, but haven't been able to find anything useful. My wife and I are looking to get a gift for my brother-in-law and his wife. He makes a decent income, so it is difficult to buy him "things" that he would like that he doesn't already have. There have been some great threads in the past about buying experience based gifts. The major problem is that we have never been to Raleigh, and we have no idea what is around there.

Our budget is flexible, but we will definitely spend less than $200. The couple are just turning 30, they have a 6 month old baby boy. He works in the software industry, she is a stay-at-home mom. We don't get to spend a lot of time with them, so we are unsure about their other big interests. I do know that they like movies, restaurants, music, travel, etc. However, we are hoping to do better than a generic gift certificate to a movie theater.
posted by bove to Shopping (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A gift certificate to the Magnolia Grill in Durham, NC?
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2007

Are you close enough that you could maybe go to Raleigh for a weekend (or an overnight) and offer to babysit for free, while paying for them to go to a nice dinner and some kind of event that they would enjoy (movie, play, concert, etc)? I don't know, just an idea.
posted by greta simone at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2007

Scratch that, I just saw that you are in AZ. I'm fresh out of ideas.
posted by greta simone at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2007

Might this thread help?
posted by yoga at 3:18 PM on November 13, 2007

Cooking classes at A Southern Season? If they like cooking and can make it to Chapel Hill, that is. (Not super far from Raleigh, but not convenient on a weeknight). A gift certificate to the store would be nice too - they have a lot of fantastic gourmet food.

Or perhaps a gift certificate to Fearrington House? I was taken there one year for my birthday and it was wonderful.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:20 PM on November 13, 2007

The Carolina Ballet is supposed to be excellent.

The African-American Dance Ensemble is maybe more original, and also quite well known, but I don't see any performances listed on their site.

There are good "every Christmas" shows at two established Raleigh Theatres: Cinderella at Raleigh Little Theater (I think there's comedy involved), and A Christmas Carol at Theatre in the Park -- both are long-standing traditions.

There's always the NC Symphony

I also looked at listings on the site of our local Independent Weekly - you can search for dates in the future; I tried Dec. 15 and got a lot of hits. More music and theater listings (probably a lot of overlap) are on

Good luck! I think the time you spend finding the right event for them is a huge part of the gift.

Others can perhaps recommend restaurants to go with these events.
posted by amtho at 3:24 PM on November 13, 2007

If you think they'd like cooking classes/tastings (sorry, this is my thing, so I ran with it): Seconding something at Southern Season. They have a lot of wine tasting and gourmet cooking classes/tastings/demos, as does Savor Hospitality in Cary (near Raleigh). Spice of Life Thai cooking classes is one I haven't tried, but would like to.

This list has some interesting choices on restaurants. This list is pretty detailed for all events. Transiberian Orchestra is in Raleigh in December, that seems kind of seasonal, if they like that kind of music.
posted by artifarce at 3:48 PM on November 13, 2007

Passes to Full Frame - major documentary film fest in the spring.
posted by yarrow at 3:48 PM on November 13, 2007

there are some great off-broadway shows at the raleigh memorial auditorium.
posted by kidsleepy at 4:39 PM on November 13, 2007

If they are sports fans, even in the slightest bit, I'd recommend tickets to NC State, Duke, or (preferably) Carolina basketball. It's the best basketball in the country and a great experience.
posted by willie11 at 6:40 PM on November 13, 2007

Basketball is sold out for this season for Duke and Carolina and NC State. But you might be able to get a jump on next year, when State should be a real powerhouse.
posted by Huplescat at 7:39 PM on November 13, 2007

For cheap and fun, send them to the Rialto Theatre Friday at 11 p.m. for the Rocky Horror Picture Show (be sure to outfit them with props; it's a great show), or maybe to the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. Seconding the Raleigh Little Theatre; they have wonderful events throughout the year. And the Holiday Flute Concert at the NC Museum of Arts is always a nice touch.

For restaurants, try 411 West.
posted by tigerjade at 5:41 AM on November 14, 2007

« Older Help me find a Manhattan apartment for 3-6 months   |   What is Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.