Museums in Apex


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Part of the North Carolina Railway Museum, the New Hope Valley Railway shepherds passengers through pine forest aboard vintage diesel and steam-engine trains. Covered cars protect riders from the elements, while a historic open-air caboose allows them to recline in locomotive fashion as they enjoy the shade of the woods, the breeze of the wind, and the harmonious serenade of local wildlife choirs. Trains depart from and return to Bonsal Depot, where a gift shop awaits filled with keepsake merchandise and a display track showcases vintage railroad equipment. Free to the public, the North Carolina Railway Museum houses historic railway artifacts including vintage trains from builders such as Vulcan Iron Works and General Electric. On select Saturdays and Sundays, the Railway lets passengers take control of diesel-electric or steam-engine trains to experience firsthand life as a conductor.
5121 Daisey Street
New Hill,
NC
US
The Raleigh City Museum is a private, non-profit organization, dedicated solely to the history of North Carolina's capital city through collecting, preserving, and interpreting Raleigh documents, photos, memorabilia, and more. Though time travel is still the officially endorsed method of learning, chrono-grounded members can absorb the city's history into their cranial knowledge receivers with unlimited admission to the museum's exhibits, such as Let Us March On: Raleigh's Journey Towards Civil Rights and The Revolution of Media, the history of newspaper, radio and television media in Raleigh through the years. Other membership benefits include special invites to exhibit previews, a 10% discount in the museum store, a subscription to the Bailiwick quarterly newsletter, and discounts at historic sties throughout the U.S. through enrollment in the Time Travelers program.
220 Fayetteville St
Raleigh,
NC
US
The North Carolina Opera's debut concert encompasses classic selections of arias, duets, and instrumentals from Puccini, Verdi, and Tchaikovsky, as well as other composers, along with a splash of contemporary sound-seasonings: well-known zarzuela hits and some rousing numbers from Broadway's Great White Way. Operatic numbers feature Sandra Lopez, soprano; Nelson Martinez, baritone; and Todd Robinson, bass. The full orchestra is conducted by artistic director and conductor Timothy Myers, who leads the starlit aural frolicking with grace, style, and Teddy Roosevelt's proverbial big stick. Broadway fans and opera aficionados will be surprised at how recognizable many of their alter egos' favorites are, and all-genre music junkies can get three kinds of fix at the same time. The program is dynamic, with all three styles of orchestral expression mixed together, eliminating auditory ruts and avoiding the unpleasantness of groove recalibration.
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh,
NC
US
The museum is home to more than 150,000 artifacts that represent six centuries of North Carolina's history. Current exhibits include Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker, featuring the nation's largest collection of furniture made by Thomas Day, a man of color who owned and operated one of North Carolina's largest cabinet shops prior to the Civil war, a recreation of Day's parlor and workshop, and talking portraits. Opening March 4, The Photography of Lewis Hine showcases a selection of photographs documenting the plight of child workers in the state’s textile mills a century ago. Either membership includes invitations to events such as Frolic at the Museum on April 16, celebrating the newest exhibit, The Story of North Carolina, an artifact-packed chronology covering 20,000 square feet.
5 E Edenton St
Raleigh,
NC
US
Though they come from different walks of life, the instructors at Happymess Art Studio find common ground in their passion for artistic expression. They harness their diversity and devotion in the studio, which offers an eclectic assortment of art classes week after week. Happymess is not just painting?its schedule features watercolor classes, drawing classes, and a "Paint Like" series, where you can absorb the ideas of iconic artists by studying their stylistic approaches and grocery receipts. Outside the studio, the Happymess instructors work their magic in the community teaching ARTreach Activities through partnerships with local art groups, schools, and organizations.
718 Iredell Street
Durham,
NC
US
Ava Gardner was studying to be a secretary at the Atlantic Christian College when 12-year-old Thomas Banks met her while playing at the school's campus in 1940. A year later, the young boy learned his friend had signed a movie contract with MGM to become a movie star. From then on, he collected newspaper clippings and memorabilia tracing her film career, from her breakout role in 1946's The Killers to her lauded work in 1953's Mogambo with Clark Gable. Tom and Ava remained friends over the years, and, at her request, he unveiled his collection—more than 50 years in the making—in 1979 in Smithfield, her birthplace and eventual resting place. Tom amassed more than 20,000 artifacts from Ava's career and private life, which now, among other pieces, fill the 6,400-square-foot Ava Gardner Museum. Among movie posters and awards stand the silk satin cape that Ava wore in publicity shots for The Barefoot Contessa and the black dress she donned in The Great Sinner. Her personal items include china, jewelry, 40 portraits of her by Bert Pfeiffer, and the engraved watch she gave to her third husband, Frank Sinatra. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum celebrates the starlet with its annual Ava Gardner Festival, which includes screenings of her classic films and heritage tours.
325 E Market St
Smithfield,
NC
US
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