41st Annual Santa Train – Thursday-Saturday, 5-9pm – Take the family to the Museum of Life and Science to experience a moonlit ride to the North Pole by way of the Ellerbe Creek Railway. Skate in your socks on a synthetic ice rink, create Christmas crafts, sip on hot chocolate and have your face painted by Paint Savvy. Don’t miss out on the snow polymers during the “Science of Santa” activities.
Beer & Holiday Lights Tour – Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 6-9:30pm – Tap the Triangle – Craft Beer Tours hosts a boozy bus ride through some of the area’s best seasonal light displays! They’ll begin the evening at Beer Study Durham for a flight of beer and pizza followed by a tour of some of the best neighborhood lights displays, and finish up with a beer stop at the Bond Brothers Beer Co. in Cary before heading back to Durham. Ugly sweaters are encouraged, and a prize will be given for the most festively hideous!
The Hip Hop Nutcracker – Thursday, 7:30pm – A contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music celebrates its fifth anniversary at DPAC. Produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with Executive Producer Eva Price and co-commissioned by the United Palace of Cultural Arts, this performance will feature MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip-hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set before rapping the introduction.
Senior Holiday Party – Friday, 4:30-7pm – Durhamites ages 55 and older, mark your calendar for this 47th annual event at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center. Entertainment includes emcee Ken Smith from WRAL, DJ Allnite, Dwayne Jordan performing live jazz during dinner and more.
Last-Minute Holiday Market – Friday, 5-7pm; Saturday, 11am-7pm – Celebrate the winter solstice with Freeman’s Creative‘s shopping extravaganza for protagonists! They’ll be talented local makers, refreshments and some low-key crafting. Don’t let holiday gifts be a stressful endeavor!
Happy Hour with Marjorie Hodges – Friday, 5:30-6:30pm – Come hear the director of external affairs and special projects at the North Carolina Museum of Art talk about the power of collaboration and relationships in the art industry at Vert & Vogue.
3rd Friday Artist Reception & Holiday Event – Friday, 6-8pm – Join the Durham Arts Council (DAC) for an art-filled, family-friendly affair, featuring four new exhibits, the The Durham Art Guild‘s Members’ Holiday Market, caroling by the Durham Children’s Choir, live jazz from Shaquim Muldrow, a holiday showcase performance from the DAC dancers and cookie decorating for all!
Third Friday Art Walk – Friday, 6-9pm – Did you miss the grand opening of Golden Belt Artist Studios December 1? Here’s another chance to explore the new space and get your last-minute holiday gifts from Golden Belt artists at 800 Taylor St.
Third Friday in the Cameron Gallery – Friday, 6-9pm – Shop the annual holiday art show at The Scrap Exchange for last-minute gifts. Items are priced from $25-$150, featuring artists who incorporate reclaimed materials or found objects in their work. Festivities include light snacks, drinks and free activities in the Make-n-Take room. The event is free.
Christmas Jammies & Christmas Morning – Saturday, 10am-10pm – While you drink a rare seasonal beer from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in your Christmas PJ’s (or ugly sweater!), color and cut ornaments at the The Glass Beer Jug Lab for your Christmas tree! Starting at 4pm, they’ll screen holiday movies like “The Polar Express,” “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” All ages are welcomes.
TVF Holiday Market – Saturday, 11am-3pm – If you’re vegetarian, vegan or anything in between (or have friends and family who are!), come to Triangle Vegfest Holiday Market at the Durham Armory. About 50 vendors will be on hand, with food, beer and brunch from Soul Cocina Triangle.
Beer and Nut Pairing Flights – Saturday, 4-8pm – Didn’t get enough of last weekend’s flight event with Big Spoon Roasters? Don’t worry – if you missed the tasty opportunity, Durty Bull Brewing is doing it all over again. Try their craft brews alongside locally made nut butters, as you enjoy a free showcase of different North Carolina musicians.
Holiday Cookie Exchange & ‘A Christmas Story’ – Saturday, 7-10pm – Bring a dozen cookies (or more!) to Barley Labs and exchange cookies with others, who will bring their own special recipe! Afterwards, enjoy your cookies and a beverage while watching “A Christmas Story” on the big screen.
Alex Aff: Things Could Be Worse (Album Release Show) – Saturday, 9pm –Since the release of his sophomore project “Who Knows Who Cares II,” this Durham artist has cultivated a sound that his listeners compare to the ’90s era. Artists like J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Curren$y and Logic serve as an influence to the young Carolina emcee/producer. Last month he released his fourth project, “Things Could Be Worse,” a collection of songs that tell a story of a man trying to adopt a more pragmatic mentality. Alex will be hitting Motorco Music Hall‘s stage with this new album along with other acts that include Danny Blaze, rap duo Facts About Bob, Kelly Kale, Chelsea Inpsire, Ducee’ DropTop and Sip Slo.
Kushmas Lit Show: Hip Hop Dance Party! – Saturday, 9pm – Join rap group The Kush Administration, DJ Shahzad and others for a fun night of music, dancing and drinks at The Pinhook – with a holiday twist!
Cat Adoptions – Sunday, 1-3pm – Satisfy your mid-month cat cravings with a visit to Barnes Supply Co. with the Animal Protection Society of Durham‘s cats. There will friendly felines, just waiting to find their new family – and for the month of December, cats will have a reduced adoption fee of $50!
Dog Meet & Greet – Sunday, 1-4pm – Join the Animal Protection Society of Durham (APS) for adoptable dogs at Beer Durham’s monthly “Dog Days” party! Bring your own pups for a fun dog party and/or just come for a beer or two. Bring your growler to take some draft beer home, too! Beer Durham donates a portion of all draft sale proceeds to APS.
Holiday Triple Feature – Sunday, 6pm-midnight – Ponysaurus Brewing hosts a night of your favorite holiday movies under their warm heaters on the patio! There will be hot mulled wine, s’mores, Qspresso Food Truck, $1 snacks and beer. Come watch “Home Alone,” “Christmas Vacation” and “Die Hard.”