17 Things to Do in Chapel Hill This Holiday Season

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Get in the spirit of the season with these live and virtual events

holiday decorations at The Carolina Inn

Compiled by Laney Dalton

Visit The Carolina Inn during its 23rd annual Twelve Days of Christmas and stroll among the enchanting decorations inspired by the classic holiday song. Dec. 1-Jan. 3

Pick out a fresh wreath made on-site at Smith’s Family Fun Farm. The farm also sells homegrown white pine and cedar trees, as well as fresh Fraser firs from the mountains. Through Dec. 23

Peruse the poinsettias and Christmas trees for sale at Eno River Farm. Twinkling Christmas lights decorate the farm, which will serve hot chocolate and ice cream throughout winter. Through Dec. 24

Grab some hot chocolate, curl up under a blanket and tune in to PlayMakers Repertory Company’s audio version of the family-favorite story “A Christmas Carol” featuring actor Ray Dooley. Stream anytime until Dec. 27

holiday event at Orange County Historical Museum

Linda Ostrand shares techniques and recipes from the 17th and 18th centuries, demonstrating open-hearth cooking by preparing a Portugal cake. The event will be livestreamed by the Orange County Historical Museum. Dec. 3

Shop Southern Village’s online Arts on Market for handcrafted gifts and art made by regional artists, bakers, makers and artisans. Dec. 6-9

Enjoy a festive brunch with Santa at The Carolina Inn this holiday season. The brunch menu features sweets like cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes to savory items like hot chicken and waffles, and there will be cookie decorating with the inn’s pastry chef. Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 23, 24

This year’s Hillsborough Holiday Parade, hosted by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce, will be held virtually as a fun and safe way to celebrate the holidays and our communities, and will feature local businesses and schools. Vote for your favorite group, as the most creative and decorative videos will win prizes. Watch the video online starting on Dec. 6

Follow along during West Queen Studio’s Zoom workshop and learn how to make a magnolia wreath for your front door. Dec. 6

Head over to the Maple View Farm porch area with your letters to Santa, and his friends from the North Pole will place them in his mailbox. A percentage of ice cream sales will be donated to Sam’s Wish Fund Holiday Cheer to provide gifts to children facing life-threatening illnesses. Dec. 7, 14, 21

Visit The Drive-In at Carraway Village for a screening of The Royal Ballet’s captivating production of the timeless holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” Dec. 20

Celebrate the winter solstice with the Hillsborough Arts Council’s fifth annual Solstice Lantern Walk, which will be a self-guided tour this year. Hillsborough
residents are invited to place lanterns on their front porches or in visible areas for walkers and drivers to enjoy. Dec. 19-21

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" reading at Smith's Family Fun Farm

Listen to Santa read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at Smith’s Family Fun Farm while enjoying a cookie and hot cocoa. Kids will have a chance to tell Santa – from a safe distance – what they want for Christmas, and then each child will get a small gift from the Grinch. Dec. 4 and 5


Drop off unwrapped presents for kids aged 13 and younger at the Hillsborough Police Department’s Toys for Tots drive weekdays through Dec. 14

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals through Dec. 15 for its Toys for Tots drive.

In lieu of toys and books, the Chapel Hill Service League is soliciting monetary donations, which will be put toward gift cards for families and kids in the community, for its 70th annual Christmas House event.

Participate in Chapel Hill Tire’s 12 Days of Kindness, a holiday social media challenge, by performing an act of kindness, sharing it in a photo or video on Facebook or Instagram, tagging @ChapelHillTire and using the hashtag #cht12days. Chapel Hill Tire will give customers $10 off of most services if you show them your social media post at any of its eight locations. From Dec. 13-24, ask your friends to visit its website and vote for your act of kindness. For the act that gets the most votes, Chapel Hill Tire will make a $3,000 donation to the charity of your choice, plus a $2,000 donation for the act with the second-most votes and a $1,000 donation for the third-most votes.

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Chapel Hill Mag Intern

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