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.

Make Your Own Gingerbread House

Midway Community Kitchen hosts this class, open to children ages 10-14. They'll provide all the materials needed to build elf houses, including a cake stand and box to protect the houses while they are transported back home. Must register at 
Tea Cup Gin is back in the Roberts Lounge at The Franklin Hotel where the jazz is hot, the vibe is chill, and the amazing Hannah will be mixing signature drink specials that will blow you away! 

Star Families Show

Saturday, Dec 17 | 3:30 pm

Learn about our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and see what it looks like from Earth. Then take an imaginary trip through space and discover that we live in a universe of galaxies. The Star Families series is designed for children (ages 7-12) accompanied by their families. 

ART& Crafting at Ackland

Wednesday, Dec 21 | 6-9 pm
Thursday, Dec 22 | 6-9 pm

Ackland Art Museum invites you to create your own giftwrap and paper bows in the ART& space. The flexible ART& space is available for visitors to make the museum their own—whether they want a date spot, a place to gather and converse with friends and classmates, or a quiet spot for a cup of coffee.

Holiday Dance Party

Saturday, December 17 | 10 pm

Get in the spirit at the Baxter Arcade's Holiday Dance party with DJ Petey Green. Enjoy specialty cocktails too. Dress festive! 

Our Holiday Social

Monday, Dec 19 | 5:30 pm

All are invited to join the Downtown Partnership for food and networking at our Holiday Social at the West End Wine Bar, 450 West Franklin Street, downtown Chapel Hill. RSVP HERE. Questions? Call Meg McGurk at 919-967-9440. For downtown parking information:

Holiday Window Contest

Downtown Chapel Hill businesses are brightly lit and colorful; creating a vibrant holiday atmosphere as part of our annual window decorating contest. Explore Franklin St. & vote:
Help kickstart the Chapel Hill Tire Food Drive. When you bring 4 cans of food (or more) to any of their 5 locations, you’ll get $10 off your next oil change! They've partnered with CORA Food Pantry and Inter-Faith Council for Social Service to help local families in need this season. Make an appointment today! 

Mimosas, Tarot Cards, and Giveaways

Sunday, Dec 18 | 12-4:30 pm 

Franklin Street Yoga Boutique invites you to come and enjoy an afternoon of magic! Tarot card readings, mimosas, crystals, and giveaways. Tarot readings by Philip Young and Black Unycorn Enterprises. MORE INFO

Free Helmets for Kids

Is Santa leaving a bike under the tree this year for a child on your gift list? The Bicycle Chain is offering a free child's bike helmet with the purchase of every child's bike from now until December 24th. 

Fridays, December 16 & 23 

Come laugh at yourselves... and your family. Home for the Holidays is an interactive improv show all about the holidays (or ANYTHING to help you forget). Scenes are based on your suggestions, so every show could be about you and your family! 

Holiday Hum-Along

Sunday, Dec 18 | 2:00 PM

Ackland Art Museum invites you and your friends to the Ackland's annual celebration. Sing, hum, or clap along to your favorite seasonal tunes. All ages and musical abilities are welcome! 
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