Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What to Do & See Downtown this Week! 11/24/10

What to Do & See Downtown This Week!

         McCorkle Place - Fall 

Downtown Chapel Hill Holiday Events & Sales

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Shop Local on Small Business Saturday
First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday...this year, Saturday, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. Start your holiday shopping in Downtown Chapel Hill this year!
FREE Saturday Parking Downtown This Holiday Season! 
Parking is always FREE on Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill, but this holiday season parking will be FREE on Saturdays as well! The Town of Chapel Hill will be offering downtown patrons and visitors FREE parking on Saturdays in December at all municipal lots, the Wallace parking deck, and at on-street meters. At 5:00 PM on Saturdays, the Wallace Deck and Rosemary/Columbia Lot will begin charging at their normal rate.  Visit the Town's website for an udated map of the available municipal parking downtown - CLICK HERE.

Tree Lighting - 09 -2Community Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the Downtown Partnership in kicking off the holiday season with the lighting of the 22' tall Community Tree in the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church on Sunday, November 28 at 6PM. Enjoy the caroling of the church choir and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will be our guest tree lighter. Don't forget your camera - children can meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and have their pictures taken for free!  University Baptist Church is located at 100 S. Columbia; at the corner of Columbia Street and Franklin Street. Parking is FREE downtown on Sundays and University Square will be offering free parking to those attending the Tree Lighting Ceremony! For more information visit or email

30th Annual Thanksgiving Potluck & Jam
The Cave has been celebrating Thanksgiving with an open potluck dinner for 30 years in downtown Chapel Hill and all are welcome! Join them on Thursday, November 25 at 5PM and bring a dish for others to enjoy. The dinner starts at 5PM and the open mic jam starts at 9PM. For more information and to sign up visit
Chapel Hill Comics Store-Wide Sale

Chapel Hill Comics will be open regular hours on Friday, November 26, the Day After Thanksgiving, for a big sale starting at 10AM! Everything in the store will be on sale - but shop early for the best deals! This includes comics, graphic novels, kids' books, Uglydolls, Squishables, Giant Microbes, Piperoids, Pokemon cards, Scott Pilgrim T-Shirts, the already super-cheap Marvel Essential paperbacks, and posters! Chapel Hill Comics is located at 316 West Franklin Street. For more information visit 


Family Day at Ackland Art Museum
Bring your kids -- and your Thanksgiving guests -- to the Ackland Art Museum's Family Day on Saturday, November 27 from 10AM to 3PM. Hands-on art activities offered throughout Family Day include silk screen printing, portrait making, and origami. Enjoy storytelling and scavenger hunts in the Ackland's galleries. Students from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Chapel Hill High School will present poems, music and visual art in response to artworks currently on display. This event is free to all. No reservations necessary. Visit for a full event schedule.


NOW SHOWING at the Varsity

The Varsity on Franklin brings us classics for the whole family. Follow the yellow brick road from November 26 to December 2 as the Varsity shows 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939). What a great way to introduce young kids to Dorothy and the gang - on the big screen! And Frank Capra's holiday favorite 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946) is showing from December 3 to December 9. Get in the holiday spirit and cheer on George Bailey and his family! For more information,


Sugarland - storefront 2Sugarland...because life is sweet!
Shop Local this holiday season and get a SWEET treat! Bring in your receipt for over $25 from any Franklin Street local merchant, and Sugarland will give YOU one dozen cupcakes for $15 ($33 value.) ---It's just Sugarland's way of saying "Happy Holidays!" and celebrating local business. Sugarland is located at 140 East Franklin Street. For information visit
Hats Off to the Kids! Benefit at Carolina Inn 
Our Children's Place is coming soon!
Our Children's Place is hosting a very special celebration on Sunday, November 28 from 2PM to 4PM at The Carolina Inn. Pick out your favorite handcrafted items, sample the delicious afternoon treats provided by The Carolina Inn, and celebrate and support the work being done to create a better life for young children whose mothers are incarcerated. Tickest are $25 per person. Please call 919-843-2670 for reservations and more information or visit  


Make Them a Legend in Their Own Pint 
Ben & Jerry's is offering custom-made ice cream pints for the holidays -a truly unique gift for the hardest person to buy for on your holiday list! You can get creative and come up with both a flavor and a name for your custom pint of ice cream. It only takes the shop 24 hours to create your special gift! For details call or stop by the shop today; Ben & Jerry's is located at 102 West Franklin Street. Call 919-967-9068 or visit


For the Carolina Fans on Your Shopping List
Johnny T-Shirt has something for every Carolina fan this holiday season. Items include tons of stocking stuffers, toys & games for the younger Carolina fans, game gear, tech gifts, and more. Add some Carolina Spirit to your holidays with their special t-shirt featuring 'Joy to the Heels' and Rameses wearing a Santa hat! For more information visit


Holiday Hours & Wish Lists at Somethin' Else Somethin' Else - necklace 
Somethin' Else has extended holiday hours beginning Wednesday, December 1st from 11AM to 7PM through Christmas; and Saturdays from 11AM to 7PM. Let Somethin' Else help you organize your shopping list and accomplish the difficult task of finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Where every gift is a work of art -Somethin' Else offers handmade American crafts, jewelry, and more.  And enjoy complimentary holiday gift wrapping! Visit


 Shell It Out! Benefit for Mural Restoration
The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill is teaming up with the Framer's Market and Gallery, The Downtown Partnership and local merchants to raise money to restore The Sea Turtles mural located at the corner of Columbia and Rosemary Streets.  Please join us Thursday, December 2 from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Horace Williams House to SAVE THE TURTLES! Enjoy a silent auction and an evening of Turtle-themed desserts, coffee and wine.  The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill is located in the Horace Williams House at 610 East Rosemary Street.  For more information contact (919) 942-7818 or


To learn more about supporting the mural restoration and donate online -CLICK HERE.


Discounts at Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center

CH Tire LogoChapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, a GreenPlus certified business, offers discounts on automotive services like oil changes and tire rotations to UNC employees &students as well as downtown merchants and employees. Take advantage of complimentary shuttle service to the surrounding area! Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has been providing service with integrity right on Franklin Street since 1953. They offer full service automotive repair, ASE certified technicians, and award winning service. VOTED BEST MECHANIC IN THE TRIANGLE by readers of the Independent. For more information visit


Crafts and cocktailsCrafts & Cocktails at Nightlight
The Nighlight Club is partnering with the Scrap Exchange to bring you some good old fashion crafting fun and cocktails on Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM! Scrap Exchange will bring the materials and tools to help you make ornaments, holiday cards and wreaths! So come out, make some crafts, have some cocktails and make beautiful gifts from the heart! There is a suggested donation of $5.00 and a cash bar.

Holiday Craft Fair & Party
Presents are always more special when they are home-made and thoughtful. Come to the Nightlight Holiday Craft Fair on December 18 from 2PM to 6PM to find a special something for everyone on your list. Previous year's work includes homemade candles,plants, screen print shirts, posters, jewelry, lamps and holiday treats! Then stay late for the Nightlight Holiday Party! Nightlight is located at 405 1/2 West Rosemary Street. For more information visit


Moroccan Tasting Dinner at SANDWHICH

OBLTSaturday, December 11th join SANDWHICH for a Moroccan Tasting Dinner with a five course menu, complete with Moroccan Tea Service at the end.  $45 per person in advance; $55 at the door, space permitting.  Call or stop in to register and ask for Brad 919-929-2114. Remember that Monday-Saturday starting at 5PM, SANDWHICH participates in the free valet parking along West Franklin Street.  Drop your car off in front of the stand and tell the attendant you're coming to dine at SANDWICH and they'll park your car for you! For more information on SANDWHICH visit

Give the Perfect Gift: Give Blood
The Annual Holiday Edition of the Carolina Blood Drive  will be held in Woollen Gym on the UNC Campus on Tuesday, December 14 from 7:30AM to 1:00PM. Be somebody's hero and give the gift of another day! Visit or call 96-BLOOD for an appointment or information. All donors will receive a free t-shirt and a chance to win a pair of Delta Airline tickets. If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate please visit  or call 1-866-562-7156.
Cypress on the HillSunday Brunch at Cypress on the Hill  
Every Sunday from 11AM to 3PM, Cypress on the Hill Restaurant offers brunch, with the bar open until 4:00 PM. The exciting new brunch menu, on the EVENTS tab on the restaurant's recently re-designed website, features a la carte items from $4.50- $13.00.  Please call 919-537-8817 for reservations or visit for more information. 

2010-2011 Carolina Basketball Season is Here!

So, you think you can't get tickets to see a Carolina Men's basketball game in the Smith Center? Think again!  This season tickets are available for many of the home games NOW for as low as $25 each! Tickets are also available for the Carolina Women's basketball team, with an action-packed schedule featuring a visit from NCAA champions Connecticut, and home games  played in the newly renovated Carmichael Arena! To purchase tickets for Carolina basketball games visit or call (800) 722-HEEL.

Downtown Holiday Events

 The Nutcracker by the Carolina Ballet The Nutcracker is a holiday season staple about the imagination of a child's world in which all things are possible. Featuring toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes, an army of mice and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $18 for children 12 and younger. The ballet will be performed on December 4 &5 at Memorial Hall on the UNC campus. Tickets for Carolina students with valid UNC One Cards are $10. For more information, visit  or contact Memorial Hall Box Office at (919) 843-333.


Holiday Parade 2009 - 4The Chapel Hill -Carrboro Holiday Parade

 Presented by The Chapel Hill Jaycees, will be held on Saturday, December 11,  from 10AM to 12PM. The parade starts at the Morehead Planetarium and winds the entire length of Franklin Street to Carrboro Town Hall. Applications for parade participants are still being accepted - until November 27th. For complete details visit



Carolina Inn - Holiday Display 1Holiday Events at The Carolina Inn

The Carolina Inn is a must-see stop for everyone during the holidays. Festive and elegant decorations based on the holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" set the tone for the entire holiday season.  The Carolina Inn offers self-guided tours and numerous holiday activities, including special meals, breakfast with Santa, cookie decorating, holiday teas and a display of wonderful gingerbread houses.  Activities run Nov 29-Jan 2.  More information can be found at


Holiday House Tour

The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill will have its annual Holiday House Tour in the Cameron-McCauley neighborhood, one of the oldest areas in the town and considered to be the birthplace of Chapel Hill on December 11 & 12 from 1PM to 5PM each day. Visitors will be able to tour inside and learn the history of some of the homes in the neighborhood. The tour includes 11 stops including ten historic homes and The Carolina Inn. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the weekend of the tour. For more information visit or call (919) 942-7818.



The Holiday Spirit of Giving

Book Fairy Book Drive for Pediatric Patients at UNC
Children undergoing cancer treatment will find comfort in books thanks to a book drive on the UNC campus that runs until Friday, December 10th. Several UNC departments and organizations are sponsoring the drive on behalf of the Book Fairy, an organization that donates the books to the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at UNC Hospitals. All new or gently-used books for ages one through mid-teen are welcome. For complete details - click here.


Share Your Holiday Meal with Someone in Need 

This Thanksgiving season the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) aims to raise $21,000 to provide 840 Holiday meals to local households who are struggling in this economy. For only $25 you can provide a turkey or ham, stuffing, vegetables, bread and dessert to a local family in need. For more information visit

Blanket Orange County Driveblankets
In it's 7th year, Blanket Orange County has a goal to collect 400 new or gently used blankets for The Interfaith Council (IFC), The Neighborhood House of Hillsborough and The Maggie Alvis Halfway House. The blanket drive will run from November 15 through December 3, 2010. There are convenient drop off locations throughout Chapel Hill - including downtown at the Visitor's Bureau at 501 West Franklin Street. For information visit

FREE Valet Parking Downtown!
Enjoy an evening downtown with the ease and convenience of complimentary valet parking from Monday through Saturday at one of 19 participating downtown businesses. Patrons enjoying other establishments can also use the valet service for a $5.00 charge. Drop-off your car at two conveniently located valet parking stands; in front of the UNC Information Technology building(440 West Franklin Street), near the West End Wine Bar or in front of Spanky's Restaurant (101 East Franklin Street).

Participating Businesses: 411 West Italian CafeBonne Soiree,Carolina Brewery, Elaine's on Franklin, Mediterranean Deli & Catering, La Residence Restaurant & Bar, Lantern Restaurant, Talulla's Restaurant, Vespa Restaurant, West End Wine Bar, Cypress on the Hill , Mint Restaurant, FRANK: Franklin Street Arts Collective, Franklin Street Pizza & Pasta, R&R Grill, Salon 135, SANDWHICH, Spanky's Restaurant, Top of the Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Downtown Partnership Video
Click on photo!

 What does economic development in downtown Chapel Hill look like?

 The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is charged with leading and managing downtown through partnership efforts; marketing and promoting the assets of downtown; improving the visual appeal of downtown; and rebuilding downtown as a mixed use center of retail, service, professional, governmental, institutional, and residential uses. Visit! Contact us at 967-9440 or