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.
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.
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.
When a new exhibit comes to Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, it transforms the entire space. In warehouse-style rooms, pieces spill out of the traditional boundaries of the wall like marshmallow cereals spill out of rainbows, sprawling over the floor or engulfing visitors totally. The multi-level gallery takes on six exhibitions each year, immersing visitors in an ever-changing landscape of installations, sculptures, and paintings by local and national artists.
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.
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.