Weekend at a Glance: Holiday Markets, Hillsborough Parade and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

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Start December on a festive note this weekend with several local craft markets, brunch with Santa and a tree lighting

Don’t miss Hillsborough’s annual holiday parade this Sunday. Photo by Cesar Carrasco.

Compiled by Charlotte Goto

Thursday – Sunday

‘Atmospheric Memory’
The opening weekend of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s immersive contemporary art experience co-commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts explores light and sound with floor-to-ceiling projections at Memorial Hall. Purchase a ticket for a specific time slot; exhibit hours vary each day.

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.


Jeff Rosenstock
Experience live punk rock from this artist as he performs his deeply personal “NO DREAM” album, delivering a unique voice and authentic sound with each song. The show at Cat’s Cradle begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are required.


First Friday
Join UNC Department of Music and Arts Everywhere to celebrate classic holiday songs. Visit the Hill Hall Rotunda from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy caroling performed by UNC Chamber Singers, directed by Susan Klebanow

Senior Holiday Tea
Sip tea and socialize with friends at the Carrboro Century Center’s holiday tea for adults 50 years and older. Enjoy seasonal entertainment and snack on some light starters. This event takes place at Carrboro’s Century Hall from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Deck the Walls Annual Holiday Show
Members of the Orange County Artists Guild welcome guests for the opening of holiday exhibits at the Eno Arts Mill Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. Stop by to enjoy jazz and refreshments from Honeygirl Meadery, Red Oak Brewery and How ‘Bout Burger food truck. While parents browse, kids can keep occupied with crafts from the Art Therapy Institute. Registration for a time slot is recommended.

Saturday – Sunday

Holiday at the Farm
Stop by 1870 Farm to visit dressed-up animals, meet Santa, make s’mores over a campfire and sip steaming apple cider during a hayride. Purchase a ticket for a time slot between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Broken Spoke Farm Holiday Fair
Local growers, artisans and makers will set up shop at Broken Spoke Farm in Hillsborough from noon to dusk. Support local vendors and pick up holiday gifts including pottery, calendars, handmade soap, jewelry, wreaths, candles, artisanal foods and more.


Inclusive Business Holiday Market
Visit Extraordinary Ventures from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to shop for holiday gift items like coffee, flower arrangements, soy candles, local honey and more. Proceeds will support businesses and nonprofits creating change in the community. 

Holiday Market and Open Farm Day
Support local vendors and stock up on fresh produce, gifts and more while munching on cookies and apple cider at RambleRill Farm in Hillsborough. Explore the small business market, including vendors like Woodcrest Farm & Forge and Starfish Bakery, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Elf Market
Shop for handcrafted jewelry, fine art, gifts and more at University Place during the 15th annual Elf Market hosted by The ArtsCenter, with proceeds benefiting its youth education scholarships. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outdoor Winter Craft Market
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a friend or family member? Local artisans will offer a variety of goods, including handmade folk art, quilted pillows, essential oils and natural beauty products. Rain or shine, this market will take place at the Sara Waitt Breezeway at the North Carolina Botanical Garden from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Brunch with Santa
Santa’s in town from the North Pole – and he’ll be visiting The Carolina Inn! Experience the holiday magic and join Saint Nick for a brunch buffet including cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, and more. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options are available. The event begins at 10 a.m., and tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Wreath-Making Workshop
Follow along during West Queen Studio’s workshop in Hillsborough and make a wreath for your front door. Supplies are included – just bring your own gloves. The event starts at 1 p.m.

Wild Mind Improv’s 1st Show Back, Show!
The ArtsCenter in Carrboro hosts delightful entertainment for all ages from 6 to 7 p.m. Led by director Anoo Tree Brod, the show includes short scenes, games and dance breaks.

Miracle on Market Street
Ring in the holiday season with an outdoor showing on the Southern Village Green of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” in partnership with The Lumina Theater. Hot chocolate will be served courtesy of La Vita Dolce, with concessions available for purchase. A tree lighting will follow the film, and a portion of proceeds from movie ticket sales will be donated to the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports young adult and adolescent cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals. The movie screening begins at 6 p.m. 

The Songs of Big Star
Enjoy this orchestrated acoustic performance of songs by the classic American rock band. This concert features Chapel Hill-based artists Jeff Crawford and Chris Stamey, among others. Cat’s Cradle hosts this seated show at 8 p.m., and doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are required.


Yoga At Yonder (YAY)
Join Meg Poe as she leads a yoga session at Yonder Southern Cocktails & Brew. Practice relaxation, challenge your strength and enjoy a complimentary mimosa after. The class takes place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Mosaic Ornament Class
Join in a mosaic-making class at the Eno Arts Mill to create two ornaments from glass, beads, tiles and gems. No experience is necessary but tickets are required. The class takes place from 1 to 4 p.m.

Gingerbread House Decorating
Drive by The Carolina Club at 2 p.m. to pick up a gingerbread house kit, complete with cookie walls, frosting and more. 

A Celebration of Ray Dooley
After more than 30 years of contributing to UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art, the renowned professor and resident PlayMakers Repertory Company member is retiring this winter. Join in this celebration of his career and 104 appearances in PlayMakers productions. All proceeds will benefit the Ray Dooley Artistic Excellence Fund, which supports UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. The celebration starts at 3 p.m. 

Light Up The Night Hillsborough Holiday Parade
See local bands, businesses, cheerleaders and dance troupes and even Santa Claus during the annual holiday parade. Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver and several Town Board members will be joined by ESPN analyst and parade grand marshal Chris Spatola. The event is scheduled for 4 p.m., but head to Hillsborough early to stop by a local restaurant, get ahead on shopping and grab the perfect spot to view the parade. 

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Light up your night in front of the Orange County Historical Courthouse during Hillsborough’s annual holiday event immediately following the parade through downtown. Partners and elected officials will have the honor of flipping the switch to illuminate the tree’s many branches and ornaments, and attendees can take part in group caroling at the ​​Old Courthouse Square at 6 p.m. 

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