Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What to Do & See Downtown this Week! 12/2/10

What to Do & See Downtown This Holiday Season!


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Downtown Chapel Hill Holiday Events & Sales

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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.


 Shell It Out! Mural Restoration Benefit TONIGHT 
Please join us tonight,Thursday, December 2 from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Horace Williams House, to SAVE THE SEA TURTLES! 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.  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.


Aveda beauty school of cosmetology & esthiology.AVEDA Holiday Shopping Event

AVEDA's annual holiday shopping event is Thursday, December 2 from 5PM to 9PM. Featuring 20% off AVEDA products and 20% off any services booked that night from December 3 to May 31, 2011. AVEDA Institute Chapel Hill is located at 200 West Franklin Street. For information visit   

Small WondersArtist Salon at FRANK Tonight 
FRANK's weekly salon, held every Thursday at 6PM, features author of Diet of the Gods, Vassiliki Ekonomopoulos, who will present and sign her Greek cookbook. Enjoy Greek music and cuisine.


Small Wonders Exhibit Now Open

The gift of art is no small wonder! SMALL WONDERS is a curated exhibit featuring art works measuring 20"x 20" or less. The exhibit runs from November 19 through January 9, 2011. FRANK features work from over 70 local artists and offers paintings, ceramics, and sculpture as well as a wide selection of fine art, craft, wearables, and gifts. FRANK is located at 109 East Franklin Street.  For more information visit


Warhol on Film: 4 Snapshots 
In conjunction with the Big Shots: Andy Warhol Polaroids exhibit, the Ackland Art Museum presents a series of films by Andy Warhol and others evoking his New York City scene, at the Varsity Theatre and curated by Richard C. Cante, Associate Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, UNC Department of Communication Studies. For information visit

Basquiat (1996)

Thursday, December 2, 7PM at Varsity Theatre, FREE
Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise to fame of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a teenage graffiti artist who lived in cardboard box in NYC's Lower East Side. At 19, Jean-Michel was "discovered" and embraced by Andy Warhol's crowd, and eight years later he was a world-renowned painter. The film will be preceded by a 6:00 PM talk related to the film at the Ackland Art Museum.


Empire (1964)

Saturday, December 4, 2PM to 10PM at Varsity Theatre, FREE
Andy Warhol's "portrait" of the Empire State Building consists of a single shot of the iconic building filmed one summer evening from dusk until after its trademark lights were turned off. Eight hours and five minutes of slow-motion, silent, stationary footage encourages viewers to think about the art of looking, as the passage from daylight to darkness becomes the film's narrative.

Star of Bethlehem Show at Morehead Planetarium
Star of Bethelehem
In "Star of Bethlehem," science explores the mystery surrounding a legendary celestial event. One of the longest-running planetarium shows in the world, "Star" weaves art, music and science into a fascinating holiday tradition. "Star" is one of three planetarium shows on Morehead's schedule for the holidays and is presented in its original analog format. The planetarium shows "Earth, Moon and Sun" and "Astronaut" in Morehead's new fulldome digital video projection system.  For information visit  
Open Sing of Handel's Messiah

Join the Wesley Foundation on Saturday, December 4 at 7PM as The Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist Campus Ministry at UNC-Chapel Hill, hosts the 45th annual open sing of Handel's Messiah. The Wesley Foundation is located at 214 Pittsboro Street (across from the Carolina Inn). Nathaniel Stine, minister for worship and music at the Chapel Hill Bible Church will be the conductor and an orchestra and soloists from the community will perform the musical celebration. The event is free and open to all members of the community. For information visit  


Community Open House at Carolina Inn

Twelve Drummers DrummingThe Carolina Inn will once again celebrate the season with enchanting decorations inspired by the traditional holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Join in the celebration as they kick-off the month of festivities with a FREE Community Open House on Saturday, December 4 from 12PM to 5PM. Enjoy performances by local musicians, lots of Carolina Inn treats and fun for the whole family. To see the list of exciting events - download the holiday brochure or visit  For more information, call 918-2718 or email


Boat Burning Show at Internationalist
On Sunday December 5, from 4PM to 6PM, Internationalist Books will host experimental / ambient rock band BOAT BURNING. The show is FREE. BOAT BURNING specializes in "hard ambiance": spacey, melodic, emotional instrumentals composed entirely in the moment. Featuring guitars, tape, percussion, cello and a variety of found instruments and guest performers, every Boat Burning concert is a truly unique event. For information visit


Storefront - ComicsKids' Art Show at Chapel Hill Comics  

Chapel Hill Comics proudly hosts their 5th Kids' Art Show - now open for submissions from December 1 to December 8.  An opening reception for the show will be Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM.  At the opening reception you'll be able to meet the artists & talk to them about their art as well as purchase certain pieces.  The show will be on view from Friday, December 10, until approximately Sunday, January 1. For details and submission guidelines 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


NOW SHOWING at the Varsity

The Varsity on Franklin brings us Frank Capra's holiday favorite It's a Wonderful Life (1946)  now showing from December 3 to December 9. Get in the holiday spirit and cheer on George Bailey and his family! Also showing are the Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (PG) and The Town (R).

2011 Varsity Theatre Annual Passes Now Available 
Available starting on December 1st, the Varsity Annual Pass allows you to see as many movies as you want as many times as you want! Passes valid for all Varsity scheduled show times and include a free small popcorn with each visit.  Passes will be valid from December 1, 2010 to January 1, 2012 and cost only $100.00 - Pay once and enjoy the whole year!. Passes are available at the Varsity Theatre box office. Passes are not valid for red carpet events, private screenings or non-Varsity hosted events. For information visit  and become a fan at the Varsity's Facebook page!

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.

EmPOWERment, Inc...Now More Than Ever

The community is invited to EmPOWERment Inc.'s 7th annual Build-a-Home Fundraiser on Tuesday, December 7 from 6PM to 8:30PM. The event is being held at Top of the Hill's Great Room. EmPOWERment Inc.'s mission is to empower people to create their own destinies through homeownership, economic development, and community organizing. For more information or to RSVP call 967-8779 or visit

Yoga in the Galleries at Ackland
Namasté!  Take a break from your day (and your holiday preparations) and explore the world of yoga in the beautiful setting of the Ackland on Tuesday, December 7 from 12PM to 1PM!  Yoga mats and museum cushions are provided. Please wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to stretch. Since the Galleries can be cool, long sleeves are recommended. Sessions led by Joanne Marshall.  Beginners are welcome. Registration is limited.  Free to members, $5 non-members. For more information visit
Beer Dinner at Cypress on the Hill
Join Cypress on the Hill on Wednesday, December 8th at 7 PM for their first (and very special) beer dinner. Cypress will be serving 5 courses of Chef Gallis' stellar presentations paired with 5 of Foothills Brewing Company's award-winning beers for only $40.00. Seating will be limited, so reserve your place today. For a detailed menu - click here or visit For more information about Foothills Brewery - click here.


Holiday Events at Kidzu Children's Museum

Small Wonders Tour & Art Project : FRANK Art Gallery and Kidzu Children's Museum partner on Wednesday, December 8 at 4PM to tour FRANK's Small Wonders exhibit and afterward, travel back to Kidzu to explore print making and create small wonders of their own! $12 per child, ages 4 and up. Registration is required.  


Gingerbread House Decorating: On Saturday, December 18, 2-3pm or 4-5pm; Kids will get to experience the fun of decorating a gingerbread house. Each participant will receive an undecorated gingerbread house with frosting, shaved coconut snowflakes, and candy decorations. $15 per house (2 children can share a house), only 10 houses per session.  For children 3-10 years of age.  Registration is required. Call 933-1455 for more information or visit


Kildare's Pub Offers Daily Specials & Events

Mondays at Kildare's Irish Pub is the place to be with 35 Cent Wings, $2 Yuengling, $3 Smithwick's and $3 Three Olive Drinks. Pub Trivia starts at 10PM with great prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Stop singing in the car on the way to work - bring your talents to the stage at Kildare's for Karaoke Night every Tuesday starting at 10PM. Enjoy a selection of beer for just $2 and $5 burgers cooked to perfection!  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday feature DJ Matt, Chapel Hill's #1 DJ, playing all the songs you love. Kildare's offers 25% off food to anyone in the hospitality business! To make reservations and or ask about specials e-mail or visit


Get Your Car Ready for the Winter!

CH Tire Logo

Get your car ready for the winter and holiday travel. Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center makes it easy and convenient. They offer appointments and free shuttle service to and from your home or work. Their ASE certified technicians can perform all your dealer maintenance. Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has been providing award winning service on Franklin Street since 1953. For discounts and 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


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, 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.

Holiday Parade 2009 - 4Chapel 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.  Parking will be FREE downtown on Saturdays in December! For complete details visit

The Holiday Spirit of Giving

Carolina Brewery Partners with Toys for Tots The Carolina Brewery is proud to partner with the United States Marine Corps for another campaign for Toys for Tots. You can drop off an unwrapped toy at either of the Carolina Brewery locations throughout the holidays. Donations to Toys for Tots help to support the Orange County Toy Chest, a holiday program that expects to serve more than 5,500 low-income children.  Due to the current economic climate, more families than ever are in need of help and support during the holiday season. For information visit


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 its 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