Cedar Creek Gallery cradles a collection of handmade items from more than 200 regional and local craftspeople. The independent gallery, which began more than 40 years ago, has grown into an eclectic emporium brimming with original work by artists who have contributed to permanent collections in institutes such as the Smithsonian and the Chrysler Museum. On-site studios provide a venue for the gallery's matter manipulators to transform raw materials into items such as pottery pieces ($15–$500), blown-glass ornaments ($15–$43), and mugs ($19–$35). In addition to harboring handcrafted wooden pens and letter openers ($31–$51), the gallery opens its doors each year for special events such as the National Teapot Show and the Fall Pottery and Glass Festival, which brings guests together for two weekends of live music, glass-blowing demonstrations, and DJs spinning records on pottery wheels.
Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University not only houses precious works of art that span centuries; it is a work of art itself. Composed of five separate, rectangular volumes, the Nasher Museum compartmentalizes its 65,000 square feet of space elegantly and efficiently. Two pavilions host rotating exhibits and another pavilion contains the permanent collection. In addition, an auditorium seats 173 people and features lectures and film screenings, whereas the final pavilion houses two classrooms, in addition to the museum's store and café, where members receive discounts.
The mobile historians at Triangle Glides lead tours through the most exciting locations in Raleigh's past and present. They spin tales as groups glide past modern and historic landmarks on the Downtown Discovery tour or learn of riots, duels, and public hangings during a more macabre tour, aptly named Raleigh's Darkest Secrets. In other tours, groups travel into the 19th-century neighborhood of Oakwood and enjoy the lush grounds of Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers.
This sort of exploration is the foundation of Triangle Glides, but its Segways are restricted to land. To explore the area's waters, the company also sells and rents standup paddleboards. Resident instructors can help newbies master these watercraft during seasonal lessons on nearby Lake Wheeler, where paddlers find calm waters surrounded by leafy forests.
Fueled by her passion for performance art, fashion, and choreography, Durham native Anjanée N. Bell founded Bellan Performance Centre as a philanthropic organization, and as a destination for those individuals with interests as diverse as her own. The disciplines and fundamentals of dance weave a common thread through the facility's many endeavors, which include aspirations to emerge as a performance-art community by way of engaging live shows. Off stage, Bellan provides various educational programs and fitness classes that encourage participants of all ages to get up and move, even if they lack the experience and spring-loaded toes of many professional steppers.
Phillips Farms of Cary cultivates more than just crops of strawberries and corn. During seasonal events, the farm reaps all-ages fun for families with a variety of attractions and activities. Strawberry season brings about picking sessions where visitors can pluck their own fruit, and as autumn descends on the farm, so to do 40-foot bounce pillows, pedal carts, and a winding corn maze. Guests can make their way through a labyrinthine path that changes every year and celebrate a successful trip with kettle corn baked fresh to order or by high-fiving a pygmy goat in the petting area. October also brings about frightening chills from a two-story Gore House filled with zombies and ghouls around every corner.
Around the shores of Jordan Lake, a squad of outdoor enthusiasts works to cultivate environmental stewardship in youngsters through discovery-based classes and events that disguise education in a cloak of fun. Codirectors Eleanor Herr and Denise Nelson both possess a passion for nature, degrees in early-childhood education, and the creativity to combine the two into exciting programs.
Lessons and field trips designed for public- or home-schooled children instill a love of nature while adhering to the Common Core State and North Carolina Essential Standards for education. Events for kids and their families, such as a full-moon night hike with a campfire, encourage bonding that can strengthen telepathic communication during future potato-sack races. Weekly nature camps for ages 6–11 keep young brains blossoming in the summer. Jordan Lake Environment Education also hosts birthdays, replete with themed activities, coloring books, and free time for any self-provided cake and refreshments.
Head instructor Toney Massinople owns the Equestrian Arts Institute, a safety-oriented riding school where he and his team of talented instructors specialize in eventing and dressage. Massinople graduated from Morven Park International Equestrian Institute, one of the top schools in the U.S., and brings his expertise to riding lessons for any level from beginner to advanced, broken up according to a grade-level structure. During private or group lessons, pupils learn to tack, ride, untack, and groom horses to look like the steeds of cartoon superheroes, while more advanced riders can hone their jumping, eventing, and dressage skills. The classes help students meet individual goals with a roster of horses, each possessing gentle, kind dispositions. The aspiring riders hone their abilities in a top-notch facility replete with a 10-stall barn, a large dressage area, an indoor riding hall, and a stadium arena. In addition to regular lessons, Equestrian Arts Institute also trains and boards horses.