Weekend at a Glance: Letters to Santa, Luminaries and Hand Lettering

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Kick up your heels this weekend with a holiday bar crawl, theater shows and a festive farm visit

Grab a ticket for a sensory friendly, modified view of “Atmospheric Memory,” an immersive art installation at Memorial Hall, this Sunday. Photo by Mariana Yanez.

Compiled by Makayla Williams

Thursday- Sunday

Winter Wonderland with Goats
Craft your own ornament, pick out the perfect pine to take home from the Christmas tree forest, cozy up with hot cocoa on a train ride and take holiday photos in the festive barn at Spring Haven Farm. Purchase a ticket for an arrival time slot between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the farm remains open until 6 p.m.


Santa Bar Crawl 2021
Pull out your holiday garb and join this bar crawl for a cause. Proceeds benefit the Orange County Animal Services. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. and stops include Local 506, Franklin Motors Beer Garden and more!


Center Theatre Company Presents Disney Descendents
Join Raleigh’s Center Theater Company at Southern Village Green for a performance of Disney’s “Descendents.” Tickets are available for shows on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. 


‘Homes for the Holidays’ Gingerbread House Shop and Stroll
Stroll through historic downtown Hillsborough and peek in shop windows for a view of wonderful gingerbread creations, from iconic North Carolina landmarks to classic candy-covered homes, throughout the day. Vote for your favorite at homesfortheholidays2021.com, and make a donation to benefit artists through the Hillsborough Arts Council and Orange Congregations in Mission.

Sundaes with Santa
Head over to Maple View Farm’s country store in Hillsborough any time between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. 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 with life-threatening diseases.  

Carrboro Holiday Tree Lighting and Children’s Chorus
Sing carols with local kids and Find Your Own Voice Singers and gather at Carrboro Town Hall for the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.  

Jack the Songman
Enjoy a craft beer at Vecino Brewing Co. while this entertaining musician plays funky, fresh tunes live from 6 to 8 p.m.

Owl Prowls at Mason Farm
Join Piedmont Wildlife Center’s Gail Abrams on an evening hike of Mason Farm Biological Preserve. Hikers will learn about owls, catch a nice glimpse of the farm after dark, and Gail will do her best owl impressions in hopes of seeing a wild owl. Afterwards, hikers will be able to meet PWC’s resident owls. This event begins at 7 p.m. and registration is required. 

Teen Science Cafe – The Role of Our Gut Microbiome
Join Morehead Planetarium & Science Center and guest speaker Rachel Dumez for a discussion on the trillions of microorganisms that are present in our bodies. This event takes place from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. 

Michigan Rattlers
Cat’s Cradle hosts the heavy-hearted folk-rock northern group at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online and at the door, which opens at 7 p.m. 


Night of the Arts
Thomas Stevens Gallery in Hillsborough hosts spoken word artist Endlesswill for a night of wine and painting, poetry, and fun. Each ticket includes a glass of wine, a framed original poem and a canvas. The event lasts from 7 to 9 p.m.

Letters to Santa
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present at the Hillsborough Visitors Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Swing by and drop off your letters to the North Pole!

Light a Luminary 
The 28th annual event is hosted by Southern Village and benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals. Purchase a ticket and pick up a luminary kit between 1 and 4 p.m. or check the RMHCH website for information on neighborhood-wide lighting nights.

An Evening with Steve Gunn and Jeff Parker
The rock singer and songwriter is joined by guitarist Jeff Parker at Cat’s Cradle’s Back Room. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Art Adventures – Kimono Collages
Allison Tierney teaches this virtual class offered by the Ackland Art Museum, focused on collages for kids ages 6-9. Registration is required. Join via Zoom from 1 to 1:45 p.m.

Transactors Improv
Stop by The ArtsCenter for “Gifts and Ghosts,” a comedic holiday improv show from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are required.


Holiday at the Farm
Stop by 1870 Farm to visit festive dressed-up animals, meet Santa, make s’mores over a campfire and sip steaming apple cider during a hayride. Limited tickets are available for time slots starting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.


“Atmospheric Memory” Relaxed Session
From 10 a.m. to noon, view Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s visually powerful light and sound exhibit at Memorial Hall in a sensory friendly way. These viewings are adjusted for a calmer experience of the art installation.

Chapel Hill-idays Downtown Markets
Get all your last-minute holiday shopping done from noon to 4 p.m. Vendors and local businesses set up booths on 400 to 500 West Franklin Street

Meditative Chiming with Katie Shlon 
Learn to make your own wind chime, as well as practicing mindfulness while listening to the peaceful sounds around you. Tickets are required for this class that takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at the Eno Arts Mill, and don’t forget to bring objects like beads, rocks and scrap metal to use for your creation!

Hand Lettering and Holiday Tags
Get creative with calligraphist and UNC alum Maghon Taylor, owner of All She Wrote Notes, at The Carolina Inn and design unique tags for all your gifts this season. Maghon’s hand lettering class will be paired with sweet and savory treats and the Inn’s signature holiday mimosas. 

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