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What To Do & See This Holiday Season! (+Free Parking)

What to Do & See Downtown This HOLIDAY SEASON! (+ Free Parking)

 Get ready for a season full of family-friendly activities and traditional holiday events in downtown Chapel Hill. For a list of holiday events and free holiday parking information visit
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FREE Holiday Parking  
Holiday shopping downtown just got easier! 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 FREE parking on Saturdays in December (7, 14, 21, & 28)  at all municipal lots, the Wallace Deck, 140 West Lot, and at on-street meters. At 5PM on Saturdays, the Wallace Deck, 140 West Lot, Rosemary/Columbia Lot will begin charging at their normal rate. Free parking on Thanksgiving! On-street meters are free on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29. On Thursday, Town-owned parking lots also are free. 
Thanksgiving at 
The Carolina Inn

Offering both brunch and dinner, The Carolina Inn invites you to celebrate your Thanksgiving tradition with them on Thursday, November 28 with traditional holiday fare, artfully prepared by Carolina Crossroads' talented culinary team. Accepting reservations now. Call 919-918-2735 or visit

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday - Saturday, November 30 is Small Business Saturday; a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Every day of the year there are many unique and wonderful locally-owned, locally-operated businesses downtown with gift buying options for all on your list!  
Nutcracker Ballet 
Saturday, December 7 at 2 pm & 8 pm; Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm It's the classic holiday Nutcracker from the Carolina Ballet that you know and love, but now like nothing you've ever seen at Memorial Hall! Ticket and performance information at:
Handel's Messiah Sing
The Wesley Foundation  hosts the 48th annual open sing of Handel's Messiah; with an orchestra and soloists from the community and university on Saturday, December 14 at 7PM at the Newman Center on campus. The guest conductor this year is Nathan Leaf, Director of Choral Activities at North Carolina State University.  The event is free and open to all. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own score as a limited number will be available. For more information call 919-942-2152.
Night Lights Logo  
Celebrate a family New Year's Eve on Tuesday, December 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm at Morehead Planetarium & Science Center. Free family-friendly activities, performances, and a kids' countdown under the stars to ring in the new year!
Holiday House Tour

Explore the beautiful Laurel Hill neighborhood on the annual Holiday House Tour,  December 14 from 12 pm to 4 pm; and December 15 from 1 pm to 5 pmAdvance tickets are $30, $25 for members of Preservation Chapel Hill. 

Kick-off the Holidays at the 
Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership in welcoming the holiday season at the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church; 100 S. Columbia Street, on Sunday, December 1 at 6 pm.  Free and open to all! Enjoy caroling with the church choir. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will be our guest tree lighter. Bring your camera - children can meet Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus!
Holiday Concert
Thanksgiving Feast at Talulla's
Enjoy Talulla's Turkish-Inspired Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday, November 28 from 12:30 pm to 10 pm. They'll be offering a three course pre-fixe menu. Al la carte dining from the dinner menu also available. For reservations visit  or call 919-933-1177. 
Student Holiday Print & Art Sale

Purchase original UNC student artworks at very reasonable prices at this annual event on Friday, Decmber 6 from 10 am to 9 pm. You will find great art gifts for the holidays including hand made screen prints, relief prints, photographs, ceramics, drawings, paintings, digital works and more! Held in the Print Studio on the third floor of the Hanes Art Center; room 301; next door to the Ackland Art Museum. 

It's a Wonderful Life Showing

Nothing conveys that true love and spirit of community like the classic It's a Wonderful Life movie. Community Home Trust is holding a FREE showing of the film on Saturday, December 7 at 6:45 pm at Varsity Theatre. Doors open at 6:15M. Tickets are FREE! All are invited; while tickets last. For tickets call 919-967-1545 or visit 

FREE Outdoor Holiday Concert
On Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. enjoy a FREE outdoor concert of holiday music performed by local musicians from the Gathering Church. They will perform new takes on traditional Christmas songs from the Gathering Church's album Christmas Nights. The concert will be in the Memorial Garden at University Baptist Church; 100 S. Columbia Street. 
Downtown Holiday Parade    
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade, presented by The Jaycees, will be held on Saturday, December 14 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. The parade starts at the Morehead Planetarium and runs the entire length of Franklin Street to Carrboro Town Hall. Stake out your curbside spot and enjoy a great community tradition! 

The Twelve Days of Christmas 

The Carolina Inn's month-long series of holiday events is inviting for everyone this season. Festive decorations and family-friendly events based on the holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" set the tone for the entire holiday season.  Events include tours,  activities, breakfast with Santa, cookie decorating, holiday teas and a display of wonderful gingerbread houses. Activities run the entire month of December. Complete information about all of the events; including dates, times, and cost is online at 
Gingerbread House Workshop 

Kids can experience the fun of decorating a gingerbread house on Saturday, December 21 from 1 pm - 2 pm or 3 pm - 4 pm at Kidzu Children's Museum. Each participant will receive an undecorated gingerbread house with frosting and lots of decorations.  Cost is $20 per house. Two children may share one house. Ages 4-9. Drop off for this program is welcome. Space is limited and registration is required. To reserve your spot call Kidzu at 919-933-1455.  

Winter Stories for Children

Storytellers and musicians will entertain children of all ages with music and sing-alongs at the Friends of the Library's 21st annual Winter Stories program in Wilson Library on UNC's campus on Thursday, December 5 at 5 pm. Free and open to all. Refreshments will be available.  

CHDP Logo 2011 
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is working to bring the resources of the Town, University and downtown community together to maintain, enhance and promote downtown as the social, cultural, and spiritual center of Chapel Hill through economic development.