The 3rd Thursday of each month from March to October from 6pm to 8pm, Lafayette Village hosts the Wine Walk for Charity. The wine is provided by the various participating stores, restaurants, and service providers. The Wine Walk for Charity occurs during rain or shine, and registration can be found under a tent at the far end of the open Village Green (see map).
How does it work?
Participants of the event walk from shop to shop eating snacks, drinking wine (and sometimes wine concoctions), conversing with store owners, and window shopping. There are typically 10+ participating businesses, and we strive to hit as many as we can in the 2- hour-time-frame.
There is also a raffle and, if you make it to the designated number of participating shops, you are entered. Charity, raffle, wine, and food makes this event a win, win, win, win, wine night.
We often start (and sometimes end) our evening at one of the amazing restaurants in Lafayette Village, like Vinos Finos, Village Grill, or Driftwood Kitchen & Bar. It’s perfect for a date night, out with a friend, team building work event, and I’ve even incorporated the Wine Walk into a bachelorette party.
The cost is only $10 and it comes with a free wine glass for the first 100 people. Returning wine walkers get $1 off if they reuse a previous wine walk glass.
*Events for 2020 are subject to change due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
There is parking on the perimeter of the village and any open space is fair game. If you arrive early for dinner or drinks beforehand, parking often isn’t an issue. If the parking is full, there is also a secure underground parking garage (see map above). All the parking is FREE and it’s only a short walk to the Village Green to purchase your wristband for the walk.
Lafayette Village is designed like a European village and is made up of 30 dedicated merchants, locally owned and operated by your North Raleigh neighbors.
There are fountains, an open grassy square and outdoor seating is available at most restaurants. The grounds are suitable for perusing the local shops, taking a stroll through the “streets”, or sitting on the green enjoying a beautiful day. The atmosphere gives you the warm feeling of being in a French Provencal village, with coffee in hand and delicious crepes on your plate.
The Bookworm and The Social Butterfly both give the Wine Walk at Lafayette Village 3 out of 3 wine bottles! Our highest rating, yet! We have been going to this for years. It involves shopping, wine, and a lovely stroll through beautiful Lafayette Village. Best of all, it supports local charities. What’s not to love? Follow the photos as our wine glasses tour Lafayette Village.
Shops To Visit
Each shop is as unique as the next, from olive oils to chocolate, boutiques to clothing, and florists to facials. After you’ve drank all you can and shopped till you dropped, you can hit up any of the restaurants for dinner or more drinks. The restaurants each offer something different, from seafood to Americana to Tapas.
Click here to view a directory of merchants.
Notes from the Social Butterfly
I like that the Wine Walk For Charity brings out a crowd to whom I can relate: charitable wine drinkers. Because The Bookworm and I like to hit all the stores in the 2 hour time frame, we tend to take the most efficient route between stores. This means we tend to travel around with the same group of people and bond over the course of the night. One group of women were celebrating 30 years of friendship and had been celebrating all month. Another couple reminded me a lot of The Bookworm and I, because the woman was into conversing with the different people in each store, while her partner stood alone and sipped his wine in the corner. Both seemed to be having a great time, nonetheless!
With each new store we visit, during the wine walk, comes new people to talk to and new experiences to have. I love walking into a store and being consumed, both visually and aromatically, by all the stimuli in the store. I love talking to the shop owners about their stories and how they got started. I love hearing them talk passionately about the products they sell and the services they offer. These stores are all locally-owned and run, which speaks to my soul. They epitomize finding a niche and appealing to their target market and I love hearing how they live their dreams every day.
I cannot say enough good things about Lafayette Village and the people fill the shops there. No matter what your “thing” is, you can find it here, and that’s what keeps me coming back.
Notes from The Bookworm
Lafayette Village is set up in a way that allows those of us that are not socially- inclined to get some fresh air between shops. The shop owners are cordial and informative, but if you don’t feel like you can be talkative, I recommend bringing a distraction in the form of an extroverted friend, insert The Social Butterfly here!
Shop owners also seem to understand that not every shop is for everyone and some people are interested in the wine and then moving on. They don’t pressure me to engage in conversation. However, each shop I’ve been to has at least had something interesting that I would purchase for myself, for a friend, or will later recommend to someone else.