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Top New Year's Eve Activities in Raleigh-Durham - New Year's Activities Raleigh

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New Year's Eve celebrations in Raleigh run the gamut from late afternoon family-friendly activities to all-out, raucous, no-kids allowed parties, and from black tie galas to casual sporting events featuring Raleigh's favorite teams.

Whatever you choose to do this New Year's Eve, please remember to drink responsibly and drive safely.

First Night Raleigh 2009

First Night Raleigh 2009 will be the 18th annual First Night celebration held in downtown Raleigh. First Night Raleigh is a family-friendly, predominantly alcohol-free New Year's Eve event. The dining and entertainment options at First Night spread out over many blocks, creating a "celebration zone" that encompasses the museums, Capitol grounds, and Progress Energy Center in downtown Raleigh.

All of Raleigh 's downtown museums are open late on First Night, and they all have special New Year's Eve activities planned for the whole family. Venues all over downtown Raleigh will be open and will each feature unique entertainment, including dancing (some of it participatory), live music, art exhibits and kid's activities. Area restaurants will also be open late and serving special menus.

First Night Raleigh culminates with the dropping of a "giant acorn" at midnight, as well as a fireworks show.

First Light Wake Forest 2009

First Light Wake Forest is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event in downtown Wake Forest . Its schedule of events features kid's activities, live music, a climbing wall, karaoke and a fireworks display.

New Year's Eve at the Umstead Hotel and Spa

The Umstead Hotel and Spa Compare Prices, as well as Heron's Restaurant are offering a special eight-course New Year's Eve dinner ($125/person), followed by a countdown to New Years complete with free-flowing champagne.

The dinner can be combined with a hotel stay ($215 with automatic late checkout at 3:00 p.m. on New Year's Day). Guests will receive commemorative champagne flutes.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes will be facing off against the Atlanta Thrashers at the RBC Center at 8:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Tickets are $25-200. For more information, call 1-866-NHL-CANES

NC State Basketball

The NC State Men's and Women's Basketball teams will both be playing home games on New Year's Eve. The Wolfpack men's game, vs. Towson, starts at 2:00 p.m. and takes place in the RBC Center. The NC State women's basketball game, vs. Georgetown, takes place at Reynolds Coliseum at 5:00 p.m.

Chapel Hill Zen Center New Year's Eve Program

The Chapel Hill Zen Center is hosting a New Year's Eve meditation session, fire ceremony (a symbolic burning of "difficult states of mind that we would like to release"), and potluck dinner. The activities begin at 8:00 p.m. are open to the public. For more information, call (919) 967-0861.

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