Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

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

What to Do & See Downtown This Holiday Season! (+ Free Weekend Parking)
 Get ready for a season full of family-friendly activities and traditional holiday events in downtown Chapel Hill. 
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Free Weekend Parking  

Shop locally downtown for the holidays! Parking is always free on Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill, but this holiday season The Town of Chapel Hill will be offering downtown patrons and visitors free parking during the daytime on Saturdays in December For complete details and a map visit

Thanksgiving at The Inn

The Carolina Inn invites you to celebrate your Thanksgiving tradition with them on Thursday, November 27 from 11 am to 4 pm, with traditional holiday fare, artfully prepared by Carolina Crossroads' talented culinary team. Accepting reservations now. Call 919-918-2735 or visit

Small Business Saturday
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday - Saturday, November 29 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 6 at 2 pm & 8 pm; Sunday, December 7 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
Join the annual open sing of Handel's Messiah; with an orchestra and soloists from the community and university on Saturday, December 6 at 7 pm at the Newman Center on campus. 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.
Holiday House Tour

Saturday, December 6 from 12 pm to 7 pm: Explore the beautiful Gimghoul neighborhood on the annual Holiday House Tour.Advance tickets are $30, $25 for members of Preservation Chapel Hill. 

 Aveda Shopping Event
Kid-Friendly NYE EventNight Lights Logo
Come to NIGHT LIGHTS and celebrate a family New Year's Eve on Wednesday, December 31 from 3 pm to 6 pm at Morehead Planetarium & Science Center. Family-friendly activities, performances, and a kids' countdown under the stars to ring in the new year! $5 per person.
Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony
Holiday ConcertJoin us 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, November 30 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!
Thanksgiving Feast at Talulla's
Enjoy Talulla's Turkish-Inspired Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday, November 27 from 12 pm to 10 pm. They'll be offering a Turkish-inspired three course pre-fixe menu. Al la carte dining from the dinner menu also available. For reservations visit  or call 919-933-1177. 
Black Friday Spelling Bee

Friday, November 28 at 6:30 pm: Were you T-O-P of your C-L-A-S-S when it came to spelling? Do you enjoy watching people stumble over "chrysanthemum" in front of a crowd? Join DSI Comedy Club for an adult Spelling Bee sponsored by Flyleaf Books & UNC Humanities Program. Sign up and buy tickets at  

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 Friday, December 5 at 6:45 pm at Varsity Theatre. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Tickets are FREE! All are invited; while tickets last. For tickets call 919-967-1545. 

Shop Locally at Uniquities

Stock the Art Cart with FRANK

Thursday, December 4, from 6 pm to 8 pm: Help bring in the holiday season with FRANK Gallery as they collaborate with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the N.C. Cancer Hospital to collect new and very gently used art supplies for the Expressive Arts Program.  The program gives UNC cancer patients and caregivers the opportunity to express themselves through art.  

FREE Outdoor Holiday Concert
On Saturday, December 6 at 6 pm 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 13 from 12 pm to 2 pm. 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! 
Winter Stories for Children

Thursday, December 4 at 5 pm: Storytellers and musicians will entertain children of all ages with music and sing-alongs at the Friends of the Library's 22nd annual Winter Stories program in Wilson Library on UNC's campus. Free and open to all. Refreshments will be available.  

Holiday Teas at La Residence 

December 7, 11, 21 from 3 pm to 5 pm: Afternoon Tea features award winning sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream a well as English favorites, tasty finger sandwiches with scones and jam and, more of their handmade fresh clotted cream. Call La Residence at 919-697-2506 for reservations.
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.