Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What to Do & See Downtown This Week!

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. 
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter Visit our blog
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

Get Glam for the Holidays
Ready for those holiday parties? Look and feel good after a day of beauty - the perfect way to start fresh in the new year. Downtown Chapel Hill's salons offer hair styling, makeup applications, mani/pedis and more - for men, women, and kids!
Star Show: The Moon
Saturday, December 6 from 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm: Explore astronomy as a family! The engaging Star
Families series is designed for children (ages 7-12) accompanied by their families. This month
learn about the moon. 
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. 

Book Lover on Your List?
The Bookshop of Chapel Hill, located at 400 West Franklin Street, features inexpensive gifts and rare finds perfect for the bibliophile on your holiday gift list. New, used and rare books in all genres fill the stacks from floor to ceiling. Need a good book idea? Visit  / 
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.  
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. 

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.  

Shop Locally at Uniquities

Holiday Events at La Residence

Thursday, December 4 & Friday, December 5: La Residence Restaurant invites you to a special Crepe Lunch by the warm fire! December 7 and 11; 3 pm-5 pm: Enjoy afternoon tea at La Residence featuring handmade, fresh treats by Blakemere Teas. Call La Residence at 919-697-2506 for

Santa's Workshop at Carolina Inn
Sunday, December 7, 2:00-3 :30 pm: Join Santa and his elves in his Christmas toy workshop at the Carolina Inn. Create, build, decorate, and name your very own Teddy Bear. This furry friend will be a lifelong companion and a precious Christmas memory for each child. Holiday treats provided. $40. Ideal for ages 5-10 years. 

Downtown Holiday Parade

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade, presented by The Jaycees, will be held on Saturday, December 13 from 10 am 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! During the parade, bring an unwrapped toy to the 140 West Plaza to help support Orange County's Toys for Tots campaign. Santa's elves will be on the Plaza to say thanks and enter you in a drawing for great prizes from downtown businesses!  
Jazz for the Holidays

Monday, December 8 at 7:30 pm: Back by popular demand, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra (NCJRO) returns to Memorial Hall with sizzling vocalist RenĂ© Marie to celebrate the holidays in style. Led by co-founder and trumpeter Jim Ketch, director of jazz studies and professor of music at UNC-Chapel Hill, NCJRO showcases North Carolina's finest jazz musicians, performing classic jazz and big band music. For details and tickets visit 

Cocktail Class at The Crunkleton

Wednesday, December 10 at 5:30 pm: The Crunkleton offers this complimentary class to teach you how to make some inspirational holiday cocktails for yourself or at your next party! Lift a glass to holiday cheer! 
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.