Light Up Your Holidays - December 3-4
Light Up Your Holidays is a new holiday tradition in downtown Raleigh. Local arts and cultural groups will present series of outdoor and indoor events that will delight your entire family! Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker will kick off the festivities on December 3rd at 6pm in front of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, when he will “flip the switch” to light a canopy of twinkling stars over Lichtin Plaza. On both Friday and Saturday stop by between 6 pm-10 pm to check out creative light sculptures commissioned by Artsplosure,stroll past holiday-themed window displays in A.J Fletcher Theater, step inside to see designer-decorated Christmas trees, festive decorations and more in the three spectacular outer lobbies of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
A Taste of Retail - December 4th
Sample 31 of downtown’s most unique shops while savoring light bites from popular dining establishments. Select retailers will offer early bird specials from 10 am-12 pm and all participants will offer discounts throughout the day. Starting at noon, retailers will provide tastings (available while supplies last) courtesy of local restaurants. While you shop, enjoy afternoon performances by outdoor entertainers. A third R-LINE bus will circulate throughout the event. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Raleigh.
The 18th Chatham Studio Tour December 4-5 and 11-12
Each year the Chatham Artists Guild presents the Chatham Studio Tour, where visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour through dozens of local artists' studios. 10-5 p.m. Chatham County.
Star of Bethlehem Show at Morehead Planetarium - Ongoing through January 1
In "Star of Bethlehem," science explores the mystery surrounding a legendary celestial event. One of the longest-running planetarium shows in the world, "Star" weaves art, music and science into a fascinating holiday tradition. "Star" is one of three planetarium shows on Morehead's schedule for the holidays and is presented in its original analog format. Chapel Hill
Open Sing of Handel's Messiah - December 4
Join the Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist Campus Ministry at UNC-Chapel Hill, for the 45th annual open sing of Handel's Messiah. Free and open to all members of the community. 7 p.m. Chapel Hill.
Twelve Drummers Drumming - December 4
The Carolina Inn will once again celebrate the season with enchanting decorations inspired by the traditional holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Join in the celebration as they kick-off the month of festivities with a Community Open House featuring local musicians, lots of Carolina Inn treats and fun for the whole family. 12-5 p.m. Chapel Hill.
Boat Burning Show at Internationalist - December 5
Internationalist Books will host experimental / ambient rock band BOAT BURNING. BOAT BURNING specializes in "hard ambiance": spacey, melodic, emotional instrumentals composed entirely in the moment. Featuring guitars, tape, percussion, cello and a variety of found instruments and guest performers, every Boat Burning concert is a truly unique event. 4-6 p.m. Chapel Hill.
Beer Dinner at Cypress on the Hill - December 8
Join Cypress on the Hill for their first (and very special) beer dinner. Cypress will be serving 5 courses of Chef Gallis' stellar presentations paired with 5 of Foothills Brewing Company's award-winning beers. $40. Reservations required. 7 p.m. Chapel Hill.
Small Wonders Tour & Art Project - December 8
FRANK Art Gallery and Kidzu Children's Museum partner to tour FRANK's Small Wonders exhibit and afterward, travel back to Kidzu to explore print making and create small wonders of their own! $12 per child, ages 4 and up.Registration is required. 4 p.m. Chapel Hill.
"Life in a Raindrop and Beyond" - December 9
The NC Museum of Natural Sciences takes unique look at rainforest biodiversity.Journey into one of the last great wilderness areas on our planet ―the enchanted Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia ― and discover the rich tapestry of life that occurs in the smallest organisms living high in rainforest canopies, as well as some of the largest forest inhabitants that depend on the area’s rivers and estuaries. 7 p.m. Raleigh.
Miracle on Fayetteville Street - December 11
Miracle on Fayetteville Street at the Raleigh City Museum will take you back in time for a fun, historic holiday celebration. Come watch the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street. What’s a trip to the movies without treats? Enjoy cider and festive cookies with us. Explore your creative side as we make Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations. $5 per family. 1-4 p.m. Raleigh.
2nd Annual German Christmas Market - December 11
Guglhupf Cafe comes alive with this festive market! Live music, food, mulled wine and cider, holiday gifts, arts and collectibles by 10 nationally-recognized Outsider Artists from the South, donate a book to Book Harvest book drive. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Durham.
Holiday House Tour - December 11-12
The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill will have its annual Holiday House Tour in the Cameron-McCauley neighborhood, one of the oldest areas in the town. Eleven stops including 10 historic homes and The Carolina Inn. $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 1-5 p.m. Chapel Hill.
Holiday Springs and Sprockets - Art That Moves - Ongoing through January 4
Once again, the NC Museum of Life and Science is transformed into a world of mechanical marvels and artful wizardry through the art of Steve Gerberich. Featuring five large scale, holiday-themed sculptures and installations, Gerberich's art explores scientific principles in artfully creative ways appealing to both kids and adults alike. Free with Museum admission. Durham.
Gingerbread House Decorating - December 18
Kids will get to experience the fun of decorating a gingerbread house at Kidzu Children's Museum. Each participant will receive an undecorated gingerbread house with frosting, shaved coconut snowflakes, and candy decorations. $15 per house (2 children can share a house), only 10 houses per session. For children 3-10 years of age. Registration required. 2-3 p.m. or 4-5 p.m. Chapel Hill.