Weekend at a Glance: Christmas by Candlelight, Cookies and Craft Markets

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‘Tis the season for holiday performances and shopping galore! It’s also the last weekend to experience Duke Homestead’s Christmas by Candlelight

Christmas by Candlelight
Take a candlelit tour of Duke Homestead State Historic Site for a Victorian-style holiday with the Duke family. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Compiled by Megan Tillotson

Holidays in the Park – Thursday-Sunday – The Museum of Life and Science offers festive activities for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season, with colorful light displays among their outdoor exhibits and indoor spaces in addition to an illuminating train ride along Ellerbe Creek Railway.

‘Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations’ – Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, 1pm and 7pm – The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, which follows “the greatest R&B group of all time” from the streets of Detroit, makes a stop at Durham Performing Arts Center for back-to-back shows.

Durham Holiday Night Market – Thursday, 5-9pm – Head to American Tobacco Campus for a family-friendly evening, where you can shop at more than 50 local vendors, grab a bite to eat from food trucks or restaurants, and sip on local beer or wine.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Class – Thursday, 5:30-7pm – Make delicious and decorative cookies with the help of Butterbee Cookies owner Jennifer Phelps at Buzzy Bakes Bakeshop at Boxyard RTP. Each guest receives six cookies, a cookie cutter, recipe cards and special coupon to Buzzy Bakes. Registration is required.  

Drop Spindle – Thursday, 6:30-7:30pm – Learn how to spin wool into yarn with instructor Hannah Smith at Leigh Farm Park during this event hosted by Durham Parks & Recreation. Attendees can discover the drop spindle’s historical background and receive individualized support while completing this hands-on craft.  

Jives – Thursday, 7pm – The Blue Note Grill hosts an evening of live music from local jam regulars Will Ellis, Ayo, Helena Redman and Lo Taylor. All seating is first come, first served.

Christmas by Candlelight – Friday, 5:30-9pm – Join Duke Homestead State Historic Site for an 1870s Victorian-style holiday like the Duke family would have celebrated. The experience includes candlelight tours led by costumed interpreters as well as seasonal games, live music and holiday cookies. 

Acoustic Holiday Concert – David Scott Binanay – Friday, 7-11:30pm – Experience Guyanese cuisine and an acoustic holiday violin performance at GPAZZ Live Music Hall. Dinner starts at 7pm with the concert following at 8pm. 

Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham Holiday Concert – Friday, 7:30-9pm – The 32-person choir presents their free holiday concert “O Holy Night” at First Presbyterian Church. Donations are accepted. 

Faith Jones & the Wiley Fosters/North Carolina Polka Time Christmas Time Allstars – Friday, 7:30-9pm – Durham native Faith Jones and her band return to The Blue Note Grill for a special soul/R&B performance with the North Carolina Polka Time Allstars opening the show. No cover required.

Wake Moody Solo – Live! – Friday, 7:30-9:30pm – The Chapel Hill-based artist – known for feel-good music built on old-school R&B, rock and modern pop – performs live at The Oak House Durham.

Hayti Film Next Level Series December – Friday and Saturday, 7pm – Hayti Heritage Center screens “The Sleeping Negro” and short film “Colder” on Friday and “AILEY” on Saturday at Provident1898. Doors open at 6:30. Friday’s event is also available to view online.

Bijayini Satpathy World Premiere: ‘ABHIPSAA – A Seeking’ Friday and Saturday, 8pm – The Indian classical dance master premieres her new musical score co-commissioned by Duke Performances. Friday’s event is followed by a post-performance conversation with Bijayini. 

‘Jean Charlot: Visions of Mexico, 1933’ – Saturday – Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University premieres this exhibition by French-American artist Louis Henri Jean Charot. The collection showcases Louis’ relationship to Mexico’s indigenous past and its colonial legacy through lithographs and prints. The exhibit is free and on display through June 5.

Chemistree Day – Saturday-Sunday, 10am-midnight – Don your holiday sweater at The Glass Jug Beer Lab for a cookie swap, festive movies and seasonal drinks, including the brewery’s Winter Wit. The Flat Drum food truck will serve up wings from 6-9pm. 

Bull City Holidayz Laser Light Show Saturday, 5:30pm, 7:30pm or 9:30pm – Durham Parks & Recreation hosts a drive-through light display synchronized to holiday music that you can tune your radio to at Durham County Memorial Stadium.

Liberty Arts Holiday Jamboree Saturday, 5-8pm – Liberty Arts hosts its annual holiday sale featuring artwork available for purchase, live art demonstrations, a gift wrapping table, and a cookie, wine and beer bar. 

Fiesta de Navidad: Venezuelan Christmas Party Saturday-Sunday, 7pm-1am – Celebrate a traditional Venezuelan Christmas during this dance party hosted by the Venezuelan Cultural Association of North Carolina at the Durham Armory. There will be a live DJ, a visit from Santa, seasonal Hispanic dishes, and tequila and desserts for sale. 

Citizen Saturday, 7:30pm – The Ohio-based rock band takes the stage at Motorco Music Hall with Drug Church, Glitterer and Floating Room opening the show.

Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters Holiday Spectacular II Saturday, 7:30pm – The Asheville-based Americana band performs their holiday special live at The Blue Note Grill. Tickets are required. 

2021 Concenergy Artists Ball Saturday-Sunday, 7:30pm-1am – The Fruit hosts musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, designers, storytellers and more for this end-of-year celebration. Activities include live music, artist showcases, interactive games, DJ parties, and a complimentary wine bar. Tickets are required. 

Durham Craft Market Annual Holiday Show Sunday, 10am-4pm – The open-air marketplace showcases 40-plus local makers during this free holiday-themed event at the Durham Central Park Pavilion

Durham Bazaar Sunday, noon-5pm – Support local crafters and and purchase holiday gifts while enjoying live DJs and drinks at The Pinhook during this free festive event for all ages.

Holiday Open House Sunday, 1-5pm – Durham Parks & Recreation presents its annual winter celebration featuring festive music, historic holiday decorations, crafts and refreshments at West Point on the Eno.

Inner Visions: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder Sunday, 6-7:30pm – Chuckey Robinson pays tribute to the R&B soul legend during a live performance at The Hayti Heritage Center as part of its Black American Music Series.

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