Shop at holiday markets, participate in ugly sweater competitions, watch decorated floats during Durham Parks and Recreation’s annual Holidayz Parade and other festive events this weekend
Compiled by Renee Ambroso
Holidays in the Park – Thursday-Sunday, 5:15-9pm – 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.
‘A Christmas Carol’ – Thursday and Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, 2pm – Experience Ira David Wood III’s critically acclaimed musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic as it celebrates its 48th anniversary this winter and returns to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Create a new tradition with this family favorite featuring a feel-good story and a cast performing Christmas tunes with humor and heart.
Holiday Reception – Thursday, 2-5pm – Horse & Buggy Press and Friends hosts special guests/local artists Katherine Hanes, Claire Ashby, Flag Mountain Studio and Eutopia Design for its last reception of the year. The event features door prizes, discounted books, gift card incentives and a raffle for Metro 8 Steakhouse.
Cocoa Cinnamon Holiday Market – Thursday, 5-8pm – Stop by the cafe’s 2627 Hillsborough Rd. location to shop from local vendors like Blossom and Bone Florals, Pollinator Project and Venus Wraps. Be sure to take home a bag of beans from the cafe’s in-house roastery Little Waves Coffee Roasters and swing by the gift wrapping station!
Holiday Cookie Decorating Class (SOLD OUT) – 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.
Holiday Trivia and Holiday Sweater Competition – Thursday, 7-9pm – Don your ugliest festive sweater at The Oak House Durham to win trivia prizes and enjoy 20% off wine bottles. Founders Brewing Co. tap will also be serving up brew samples.
Live Music at The Glass Jug – Thursday, 7:30pm – One-man band Mike Hodgdon performs live at the brewery’s downtown location to play a mix of rock, blues and country.
The King’s Singers – Thursday, 8pm – Duke Performances presents this a cappella group, which formed in 1968 at King’s College in England, at Baldwin Auditorium.
Third Friday Durham – Friday, 6-9pm – This gallery crawl features ongoing exhibits and live performances from Allie Capo at the Museum of Durham History and Bryant Nfinity and Tuck Satterfield at Golden Belt Campus. Special events include a VESL Studios showcase at EverLou Coffee Co. and Found Ephemera Art pop-up at Golden Belt.
‘Southern Solstice’ Reception – Friday, 6-9pm – View the latest offerings from nine local sculptors, painters and mixed media artists and chat with the creators about their works at 5 Points Gallery as part of Third Friday Art Walk.
Wine Tasting at Parizade – Friday, 6:30pm – Join Jean Christian-Rostagni of Contrast Tours for this three-course dinner paired with exceptional wines at Parizade. Seats are limited!
Willie Carlisle Concert – Friday, 7pm – The folk singer joins down-to-earth country artist Dylan Earl and Durham’s own punky folk group Severed Fingers for a live show at The Pinhook.
Fayetteville Street Corridor Art & Business Walk – Friday, 7-9pm – The Hayti Heritage Center hosts its monthly gallery show, in addition to a holiday market and a “Soulful Noel” concert featuring surprise musical guests. COVID-19 testing and vaccines will also be available from the Durham County Department of Public Health.
Brandon Mitchell Four Piece and Public Opinion – Friday, 9pm-midnight – The vibraphonist and music instructor joins the Seattle-based garage rock band for a live jazz show at GPAZZ Live Music Hall.
Downtown Durham Holiday Hunt – Saturday-Sunday, 2pm – Grab two or three friends for this scavenger hunt that starts at Durham Central Park and follow clues and puzzles throughout the city. The hunt, organized by Triangle Treasure Hunt, takes 60-90 minutes to complete.
Trickle Tour – Saturday, 10am-2pm – Peek inside Durham’s newest Modernist home at 2509 State St. and talk to architect Alicia Hylton-Daniel about her work. Advance tickets are sold out, but walk-up tickets are still available.
Christmas in the Piedmont – Saturday,10am-4pm – Visit Bennett Place State Historic Site to experience the way holidays were celebrated in the Piedmont during the Civil War. Experience homefront cooking demonstrations surrounded by the modest decorations of the time and observe soldiers reenacting Christmas in the field. Santa Claus appears for a visit, and complimentary hot apple cider will be on hand in addition to a bake sale, with all proceeds going toward preservation of the site.
Visit Santa at Hayti Heritage Center – Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm – Santas Just Like Me brings Santas of color to the Fayetteville Street venue for families to create lasting memories, photos and holiday cheer.
Bull City Holidayz Parade – Saturday, 11am – Watch decorated floats, performers, staff and students from local schools, and members of other community groups make their way down Main Street during this free festive procession hosted by Durham Parks & Recreation.
Holiday Market at Boxyard RTP – Join Triangle Pop-Up and try a wide range of cuisine while enjoying a day of shopping from some of the best artists in the area. Enjoy live music while you eat, drink and shop at Boxyard RTP for one of the pop-up’s last markets of the year!
The Ramseur Street Small But Mighty Holiday Market – Saturday, 11am-5pm – This free event hosted by Durham Bottling Co. and the Helius Foundation features local artists, small business owners without a storefront (or with limited access to one) and vendors providing opportunities for unique gift shopping as well as food trucks, festive music and solid holiday cheer.
Durty Bull Holiday Market – Saturday, noon-4pm – Browse vintage clothes and jewelry from vendors like Spector Vintage + Design alongside artisanal nut butters and snacks from Big Spoon Roasters in the parking lot of Durty Bull Brewing Company.
Art-n-Soul Market – Saturday, noon-4pm – Mystic Farm & Distillery hosts this artisan food pop-up market with local makers, eats from Mama Voula’s and live music from Steve Holcomb. Mystic will also be serving up craft cocktails and bourbon tastings.
Duke Street Dogs – Saturday, 7pm – Enjoy a mix of jazz, bluegrass, rock and country from this longtime Durham-based band at The Blue Note Grill. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Full Moon Fever Bike Ride – Saturday, 7:30pm – Join Durham Parks and Recreation for a nighttime ride down the American Tobacco Trail. Choose between a 32- or 16-mile option, and don’t forget your helmet and lights.
A Very Get Sad Y’all Xmas – Saturday, 7pm – Motorco Music Hall hosts this nostalgic pop-punk evening filled with emo tunes from The Second After and Dirty Weekend.
Ronnie Chieng: The Hope You Get Rich Tour – Saturday, 8pm – The stand-up comedian and actor, who starred in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shang Chi,” stops at The Carolina Theatre as part of his nationwide tour.
Christmas in Hell! Dance Party – Saturday, 9:30pm-2am – Grab your ugly sweater and sequins for this disco inferno in The Fruit’s basement. KatBird Tarot will be offering card readings, and Shattered Light Photography will be on-site for photo-ops. A portion of ticketsproceeds benefit the LGBTQ Center of Durham.
MARKS Society Pop-Up Market – Sunday, 11am-3pm – Shop from more than 30 local craftspeople and artists at Durham Central Park.