It’s the start of the holiday season – get in the spirit with local markets, art walks, charity events and live concerts
Compiled by Meghan Johnson
Unboxing Wknd – Thursday-Saturday – Boxyard RTP celebrates its grand opening now that all of its vendors have officially set up shop. The three-day event includes freebies, giveaways, balloon sculptures, live music, games and more.
Movember at Urban Axes – Thursday 6:30-10pm – Urban Axes hosts this fundraiser that features drinks, food, prizes and axe throwing. Forty percent of all proceeds benefit the Movember Foundation to raise awareness of men’s health issues.
Design Basics: Color in the Garden – Thursday, 7-8pm – Join Jan Little, director of education and public programs at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, for an online seminar on how to expertly bring color and dimension to your garden space.
NCCU Jazz Performance – Thursday, 7-9pm – North Carolina Central University Jazz Student Vocal Combo joins the school’s Jazz Ensemble 2 to perform a concert for Fall Jazz Week in the new band room in the B.N. Duke Auditorium Annex.
Movie Loft Presents: ‘Office Killer’ – Thursday, 7-9:30pm – Shadowbox Studio screens Cindy Sherman’s 1997 comedy-horror film and serves hot dogs on the grill starting at 7pm before the outdoor show at 7:30pm.
Duke University Wind Symphony – Thursday, 7:30pm – Duke Wind Symphony concludes its fall 2021 concert season with a program entitled “Points of Reflection” during a free live performance at the Baldwin Auditorium.
A Conversation With Stacey Abrams – Thursday, 7:30pm – The voting rights activist and New York Times bestselling author comes to Durham Performing Arts Center for a candid conversation in which she’ll share her insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship and social justice.
Ledisi: ‘The Wild Card Tour’ – Thursday, 8pm – The 2021 Grammy Award winner and 13-time Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist stops at The Carolina Theatre to perform her first album under her label imprint, Listen Back.
30th Annual Pasca Pottery Sale – Friday-Sunday – Browse more than 1,000 contemporary pottery items by studio artist Molly Pasca during this annual open house and sale in American Village.
Science Nights: Animal Habitat Designer – Friday, 5:30-8pm – Meet some of the Museum of Life and Science‘s education animals and learn about their unique habitats during this event for animal lovers. Participants can also design and take home their own hexbug habitats.
67th Annual Juried Exhibition – Friday, 6-8pm – The Durham Art Guild presents its largest and most impressive annual exhibition featuring the work of 67 regional artists. The exhibition will be on view at the SunTrust Gallery inside the Durham Arts Council building.
Third Friday Durham Art Walk & Gallery Crawl – Friday, 6-9pm – Support local artists across 17 galleries during this monthly event featuring downtown street performers, live music and plenty of shopping opportunities.
Duke Street Dogs – Friday, 7pm – Grab a bite to eat and enjoy a mix of old and new, original material, country and jazz, rock, Tin Pan Alley, bluegrass and old-time sounds from the band at The Blue Note Grill.
Full Moon Fever Bike Ride – Friday, 7:30pm and 8:30pm – Join the Durham Community Trail Watch group for a nighttime bike ride on the American Tobacco Trail. The first group starts at 7:30pm in front of Mellow Mushroom, and the second group begins at 8:30pm in front of Bean Traders.
Duke New Music Ensemble – Friday, 8pm – Explore 20th- and 21st-century music from the Duke Department of Music during a performance at Baldwin Auditorium directed by Brittany Green.
Watchhouse at Durham Performing Arts Center – Friday and Saturday, 8pm – Formerly known as Mandolin Orange, roots music duo Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz performs songs from their new self-titled album at Durham Performing Arts Center as part of their international tour. Their new style of music blends Appalachian folk and adventurous American primitivism.
Comedy Night with Neil Hamburger – Friday, 9-10:30pm – Motorco Music Hall hosts “America’s Funnyman” for a night filled with hilarious stories, jokes and songs for everyone.
Civil Rights History Walking Tour – Saturday, 10-11:30am – Learn about downtown’s civil rights legacy and Black Wall Street during Preservation Durham’s final tour of the year. The walk stops at important sites during the ’50s and ’60s civil rights movement, including the Durham County Courthouse, the Durham Arts Council (originally Central High School and later City Hall), the Kress and Woolworth buildings, sites of sit-in protests and the “Confronting Change” exhibit at The Carolina Theatre.
Multiple Choices for the Children Holiday Market – Saturday, 10am-2pm – Shop from 35 local vendors, from arts & crafts and accessories to food and holiday decor, to raise money for Duke Children’s Hospital at Umstead Pines Golf and Swim Club. There will also be local pork barbecue plates by Chuck McClean and entertainment from Nina’s School of Dance.
Durham Art Walk Holiday Market – Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, 1-5pm – Kick off the holiday season with the Durham Arts Council at this annual shopping experience in the heart of the City Center. The market allows patrons to stroll through and shop from dozens of local artists, enjoy live music and dine at downtown restaurants.
Be Good to Yourself – Outdoor Benefit Concert – Saturday, 3-6pm – The Glass Jug Beer Lab hosts this free concert by Charles Latham & The Borrowed Band at its RTP location. All donations and a portion of beer sales will be donated to Be Good to Yourself, an organization helping North Carolina musicians battling mental health issues.
A Gershwin & Porter Cabaret – Saturday, 3pm and 7pm – Enjoy a night of singing and dancing from members of the Duke Opera Theater as they present fast-paced cabaret tunes from George Gershwin and Cole Porter at the Rubenstein Arts Center.
Sunset Float on Falls Lake – Saturday, 4-6pm – Paddle from the Hickory Hill Boat Access to the perfect spot on the lake during sunset. Water birds and other wildlife accompany this relaxing two hours of paddling and floating.
Tails at Twilight – Saturday, 6pm – This annual fundraiser, held virtually this year, is hosted by and supports the Animal Protection Society of Durham. The event features a delicious meal from the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, an at-home cocktail kit from Alley Twenty Six, silent and live auctions, a golden ticket raffle and more.
Jacksfilms Presents: YIAY LIVE! LIVE! – Saturday, 7:30pm – The comedian and YouTuber Jack Douglass, better known as “jacksfilms” online, turns his popular series into an interactive audience game show at The Carolina Theatre.
8-Track Minds – Saturday, 7:30-10pm – Get lost in the rock-n-roll tunes and velvety vocals during this ’70s-inspired, hip-shakin show at The Blue Note Grill.
Jambalaya Soul Slam – Saturday, 8-10pm – Celebrate the power of female voices at this annual poetry slam featuring emerging and established poets at the Hayti Heritage Center.
Pop-Swap Community Market – Sunday, 11am-3pm – This pop-up swap event sponsored by the LGBTQ Center of Durham features 50-plus vendors and live music at Durham Central Park.
ZZ Top with Special Guest Tim Montana – Sunday, 7:30pm – This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, aka “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” performs 50 years worth of rock, blues and boogie at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Chris Thile – Sunday, 8pm – Enjoy music from the Grammy Award-winning mandolinist, singer and songwriter in Fletcher Hall at The Carolina Theatre. Chris brings a new musical aesthetic, from bluegrass to classical, for a genre-defying show.