Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

11 Fantastic Family Events in Downtown Chapel Hill this Summer


With schools out and summer in full swing, here’s a collection of fun downtown events perfect for kids of all ages and their families!

1.      Family and Friend’s Day

Spend an interactive, art-filled day at the Ackland Art Museum for free this Sunday, June 26th from 1 - 5 p.m. Create your own work of art to take home, inspired by works in the new summer exhibit “All About America”. Also, challenge a friend to Ackland Museum Bingo while exploring the collection.


2.     Star Families Show at Morehead Planetarium


Explore astronomy themes as a family! The Star Families series is designed for children (ages 7-12) accompanied by their families. This special program is also good for Scout troops, 4-H clubs and other groups that involve children and parents learning together.




3.      Youth Screenprinting Workshop

FRANK Gallery is hosting a free screen-printing event for children ages 6-14 on July 16th! Print staff will give a presentation on how a screen print is made from start to finish and then kids will have an opportunity to pull a print and take it home!



4.     Tuesday at Moe’s is Kids Day

Every Tuesday at Franklin Street’s Moe’s Southwest Grill, kids eat free! There’s also a kids’ activity table from 5:30 – 7 p.m. each Tuesday with different crafts and activities ranging from painting pet rocks to popsicle American flags.


5.     Green Spaces for Kids to Explore

Downtown Chapel Hill offers some of the town's most beautiful natural settings.  Enjoy a quiet, tranquil walk right in the heart of town!  Walk over to the beautiful McCorkle Place on the UNC campus, where you can find people picnicking, dogs catching frisbees or children playing.  More green spaces. 



6.     Movies Under the Stars

Let the stars be your guide all summer long! Downtown Chapel Hill has free showings of space themed movies on top of the Wallace Parking Deck at 150 E. Rosemary Street. Enjoy free popcorn and fun activities before the movie! More information on the Movies Under the Stars summer series.


7.     Old Chicago Dinner Deals

Kids eat free Monday – Thursday after 5 p.m. for a limited time only! Sit on Old Chicago's beautiful outside patio and play Cornhole before dinner.



8.     Indoor Fun at the Theater

There are several theaters in the downtown area that have movies and live performances perfect for children of all ages:

  • Downtown Chapel Hill is home to the unique Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street, which shows a variety of movies with something for the whole family!  
  • Right around the corner on Cameron Avenue is Memorial Hall offering the finest performances from some of the world’s best artists!  
  • Don't forget Playmakers for the best live theater in the area!  

9.     Fridays at the Front Porch

Kick-off the weekend with free live music, food trucks, and a perfect place to play under the shady oaks and magnolias on the Carolina Inn's front lawn. 


10.     Pool Day at Hargraves

The free outdoor swimming pool is available for lap swimming and open swim time now through Labor Day. The 25 meter pool offers a zero-depth entry pool, locker rooms, showers and family changing area. There is also a wading pool for pre-school aged children and toddlers. 


11.     Midway Kid’s Cooking class

On Saturday July 16th, Midway Community Kitchen is offering a kid’s cooking class from 6:30 – 9 p.m.! The kids (ages 10-16) will hang out and make a fun supper! The headline event will surely be the fruit smoothie frozen pops! Sign up and start planning your date night now!  


Where to park when coming downtown.

Also enjoy free 2 hour on-street parking every Saturday in July

By Liz Mainous