Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What To Do & See Downtown This Week!

Enjoy a season full of family-friendly activities, shopping locally, and traditional holiday events in downtown Chapel Hill. 

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FREE Parking Downtown This Holiday Season 

Shop local and enjoy downtown Chapel Hill for the holidays! Parking will be free throughout December during Saturday daytimes at all Town-owned parking lots and metered parking (2 hour time limit).  After 5 p.m. normal rates will be charged at Wallace Deck and Rosemary/Columbia Lot. On Saturday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 31, all public parking is free. And remember...public parking is always free on Sundays year-round! Visit for a map and list of downtown parking options.

Holiday Cooking Class 

Tuesday, December 6 | 6:30 pm

Midway Community Kitchen wants to help you inject some life into your holiday table with Toriano Fredericks, cook and co-owner of Boricua Soul Food truck. Fredericks will show you a few plates from a Southern Latino Table to spice up you holiday. For more information and to register:

St. Nick Collection Kick-Off at FRANK Gallery

Friday, December 9 | 6-9 pm

The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and FRANK Gallery collaborate every holiday season to provide art supplies to patients in the N.C. Cancer Hospital. FRANK Gallery will be collecting items. Stop by the Gallery and bring an art item to donate! For the full list of suggested supplies, visit 

The 12 Days of Christmas

Experience the Carolina Inn's enchanting decorations that are inspired by the traditional holiday song. For the month of December enjoy seasonal events like Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Brunch & Breakfast with Santa, Afternoon Tea, and Make Your Own Gingerbread House Class for children. Registration is required for events, visit or

Art Making at Ackland 

Saturday, December 10 

With three programs geared at a variety of ages; Ackland Art Museum has a day packed with art making opportunities. Art Adventures for ages 6-9, Drawing for Tweens for ages 10-13, and Drawing in the Galleries for adults will be held at various times and may require registration. 

Bottle Share at Imbibe

Saturday, Dec 10 | 6-9 pm

Imbibe encourages you to bring or two bottles of cool beer to share as your entry fee, and enjoy what everyone else brought! $1 off entire food menu and $1 off all draft beers. More Info

NOW OPEN: Franklin Street Yoga Center Boutique

Saturday, Dec 3 | 4:30 pm

Franklin Street Yoga Center Boutique, located across from the studio in The Courtyard, is celebrating their Grand Opening and Holiday Party with food, festivities, and giveaways. Featuring yoga accessories, meditation supplies, mala bracelets and necklaces, fresh juices from Vimala's and lots of holiday gifts. 

The Whiskey Professor 

Tuesday, December 6 | 7 pm

The Whiskey Professor himself, Bernie Lubbers, will be joining The Crunkleton for an informative and eventful night of Bourbon, Bluegrass, and Barbecue. For more information and tickets, visit
The Varsity Theatre is showing the 1946 classic movie. It's a Wonderful Life, about an angel helping a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. 

Holiday House Tour with Preservation Chapel Hill

Friday, December 9 | 6 pm

This year guests will stroll on a candlelight tour of four private homes in the East Franklin-Rosemary Historic District while enjoying wine and hors d'oeuvres at each stop. The tour will culminate at the Horace Williams House for a festive Dessert Party. For tickets and information visit

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade 

Saturday, December 10 | 10 am

Presented by the Jaycees and the Town of Chapel Hill, the Holiday Parade is a favorite local tradition, which showcases everything from marching bands, business leaders, youth groups, and creatively decorated floats. At 10am, the parade begins in front of Morehead Planetarium and progresses through Chapel Hill on Franklin Street, ending around noon at the Carrboro Town Hall. 

2nd Friday ArtWalk

Friday, December 9 | 6-9 pm

Shop local art this holiday season for everyone on your list! Featuring galleries, retail shops, studios, and venues throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Venues offer live music, food, activities, and more! 

The Longest Night: A Winter's Tale

Now Showing

This a one-of-a-kind fulldome Morehead Planetarium show explores the concept that winter is a time for Earth to rest, waiting for new growth in the spring. Morehead Planetarium collaborated with Paperhand Puppet Intervention to develop the story and visuals. For show days, times and cost visit
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership works 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. Learn more at
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