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Free DIY Workshops!

Join us from 2:00-6:00pm on New Year’s Eve for the new DIY Festival! Learn a new hobby for the new year with our hands-on workshops or talk to the pros about how they honed their craft. There is fun for everyone at the DIY Festival!

Download a printable .PDF of the First Night Raleigh 2017 Schedule BY TIME:

Man playing the art piano at First Night Raleigh

DIY Festival

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Performances and activities are on Bicentennial Plaza, inside the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Children 5 years old and under are permitted free when accompanied by a pass-wearing adult. Scroll down to learn more!

Early Countdown to Midnight

People’s Procession & Early Countdown

7:00 pm
What a perfect way to end our daytime DIY Festival! Don’t worry about keeping the kids out too late to ring in 2017 – they can enjoy all of the excitement early in the evening. Join Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble and ShadowGrass, as well as Chuck Davis of the African American Dance Ensemble as we drop the famous acorn and set off fireworks at 7:00 pm. Read more 

Mist Twst Logo - Lemon and lime graphic with uppercase dark green type overlaying

Sponsored by: Mist Twist
Media Sponsor: City of Raleigh – Raleigh Television Network

The First Night Acorn

First Night “Twisted Acorn” Game

Play along with First Night’s Own Rendition of the favorite party game “Twister” with an acorn twist!

Children doing arts and crafts

Scrap Exchange

Hundreds of recycled items will be available to fuel your creativity. Make a space hat to wear in the parade!

Resolution Oak Tree with resolutions tied to it

Resolution Oak

Got a resolution for 2016? Write it on a “leaf” and add it to the First Night Raleigh Resolution Oak Tree, created by local sculptor Jennifer Van Orden.

Paperhand Puppets

Paperhand Puppet Intervention

A First Night Favorite, the Paperhand Puppet Intervention is a puppet theater company based out of Saxapahaw, NC. For over fifteen years they have been creating original large-scale puppet extravaganzas complete with giant puppets, masks, shadow puppets, stilt dancing, painted flats, live music and so much more! Now YOU get a chance to become the Puppeteer as you wear a puppet head, carry a puppet or just walk with the Puppets during the People’s Procession!

Dance troop of girls smiling and waving

Christy’s Dance Explosion

This Garner based Dance Studio will perform for our audiences as well as teach you how to dance into the New Year.

Pottery being spun on a wheel

Pottery Wheel Demonstration

Watch the magic happen as Anne Terry uses her wheel to make pottery. You can make a pinch pot using air drying clay.

Man weaving a basket

Basket Weaving Demonstration

Help Anne Wilson, contemporary basket maker, build a giant basket and see how she makes her art baskets.

Photo of people walking in a public space

Dance Captain Wanted

YOU are the choreographer — that’s right — get on the stage and dance and see what happens next! DIY!

Children skipping

Super Skippers

Watch the award winning group of Cary super jumpropers take over the plaza!

Colored sketch of city sidewalk and businesses

Urban Sketchers

Sketch the city with Scott Renk, leader of Raleigh’s Urban Sketchers, all levels are welcome.

Little boy playing the art piano

Art Piano

YOU become the musician as you play one of our beautifully painted street pianos. Pianos painted by Lisa Gaither and Dare Coulter.

Hand made robot

Southeast Raleigh High School Robodogs

See the award winning robots built by students at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School! Live and in action from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Yelp Logo - Black lowercase type with red flower type graphic to right

Media Sponsor: Yelp

Black, dark blue, and light blue woven bracelets

Woven Bracelets Workshop

Darlene Williams will guide you to make a bracelet by spinning wool by hand.

Henna on palm of a hand and on the inner forearm

Henna by Deepika Bhatt

Ask Deepika to tell you how she started while she creates special Henna Art on you!

A ukulele on a white background

Ukulele Lessons with Larry Hutcherson

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Bring your own uke or use one of Artsplosure’s. Learn this new skill to take you into the New Year. We guarantee you will love it.

Printing tools and paper

Card Print Making Worskshop

3rd Floor Classroom

Use colorful inks to stamp a card with whimsical animal images. Write a note and mail it to a new friend in the New Year.

Happy Accidents performing

The Happy Accidents Enloe High School Improv Troupe

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Family-friendly scenes performed by Happy Accidents from Enloe High School! Read more 

depika Bhatt henna tatoos

Henna Tattoos

2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
First Floor Lobby

Join India’s own Deepika Bhatt for a beautiful tradition, and just in time to get ready for the New Year! Read more 

Movie reel

Film Series: There’s My Angel & Changeover

WRAL 3D Theatre
7:00 pm – There’s My Angel directed by Willie Hodges Screenplay written by Dilsey Davis.
9:00 pm – Changeover by Estes Tarver.

Enjoy “Changeover” and “There’s My Angel” films at the WRAL 3D Theatre in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Read more 

Animal of the Hour

Animal of the Hour

2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm
“Windows On the World” on the 3rd Floor

Get up close and personal with some of North Carolina’s resident creatures. Read more 

charging station

Findelity Investments Recharging Station

Bring your electronic device by and get a CHARGE to keep up with all the action! Read more 

Someone doing someone's nails

Nail Yeah!

Demo Gallery (1st Floor)

Crystal Clark, master nail artist will be teaching the tricks of the trade. Decorate your nails for this festive evening.

Two toddlers in a nursery

Toddler Play Area with Arts Together

Longleaf Room Area (Ground Floor)

This special room is designed for our youngest attendees to get out of the strollers and into the fun too!

Someone working a weaving machine

Weaving Demonstration

Weaving Demo – See what it takes to weave the cloth you wear everyday. Victoria Sowers will demonstrate her weaving know-how.

Craft supplies including pipe cleaners, felt, markers, colored fuzz balls, and scissors

Joystick Decorating

Decorate your very own Joystick (magic wand) with color and ribbons to wave in the air and welcome in the New Year.

Giraffe and cow hand puppets

Puppet Making Workshop

Use paper and stickers to make a puppet friend to dance with you this New Year’s Eve.

Daniels Auditorium Workshops, Demos, and Performances

Black and white illustration of music notes

Harmony Singing Workshop

2:30 pm

Harmony Singing Workshop with one of the finest vocal teachers in the area…learn how to sing all of those parts that you hear in music—you will leave with a new skill or improved skill in singing into the New Year.

Presley Barker playing guitar

Presley Barker Guitar Demonstration

3:30 pm

Featured on UNC-TV –this award winning 11 year old Bluegrass Musician will delight you with his guitar licks. Find out how he did it himself!


Ken Waldman playing the fiddle

Ken Waldman, Alaska’s Fiddling Poet Demonstration

4:30 pm

A former college professor with an MFA in Creative Writing, he’s been a visiting writer at nearly 100 colleges and universities, a visiting artist at over 230 schools in 33 states, and has led workshops from Alaska to Maine.

As a performer, he’s played from the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage to Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, occasionally as a soloist, more often as leader of one of his ever-changing troupes of nationally recognized musicians.

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