Kick off the holiday season with these family-fun winter events and performances!
Compiled by Mia Cooper
Winter Wonderland with Goats
Spring Haven Farm celebrates the holiday season with festive farm activities, including buying a Christmas tree, riding the Polar Express Tractor Train and sipping on hot cocoa with the farm animals. At the “Snowflake Barn,” guests can enjoy sweet treats and write a letter to Santa. Before leaving, elves at “Santa’s Workshop” will help you design and make an ornament to bring home. Masks are required.
Thursday and Sunday
Virtual Classes Celebrating The Studio’s Anniversary
Hillsborough’s The Studio at a Step To Health celebrates its third anniversary by offering free virtual movement classes on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Participants must sign up at least a half hour in advance to attend.
Open Hearth Cooking
Orange County Historical Museum hosts a cozy fireside evening with Linda Ostrand, an open hearth cook trained at Pennsbury Manor, as she demonstrates 17th and 18th century cooking preparing a Portugal Cake. If participants can’t make it to the event at 7 p.m., the recipe and recording will be made available to all who registered within the week after the live event.
Phantom of the Universe
Immerse yourself in the hunt for dark matter and journey across space and time at the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center. Speed alongside particles before they collide in a visually stunning explosion of light and sound. The show is narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton with sound by an Academy Award winning team at Skywalker Sound.
The Longest Night: A Winter’s Tale
The newly reopened Morehead Planetarium & Science Center collaborated with Paperhand Puppet Intervention to develop the story and visuals of this family-friendly show that explores the concept of winter as a time for Earth to rest while waiting for new growth in the spring. The cast and crew includes dozens of puppeteers and production professionals, and The Paperhand Band created original music for the show.
Holiday Market at the Honeysuckle Tea House
Enjoy draft mead or a warm apple cider while shopping and supporting local vendors in an outdoor setting. Artists will be selling handmade goods like candles, jewelry, beauty products and more.
Society for the Festival Tree (FeST)
Preorder and pick up a surprise box, wreath and baked goods at St. Matthews Episcopal Church’s fundraising event at 210 St. Mary’s Rd. Proceeds benefit Orange County outreach programs.
Botanist and Barrel Winery Tour
Expand your cider and wine knowledge during a behind-the-scenes look of Botanist and Barrel, which includes a walk through the blueberry farm, a tour of the winery, samples of wine and cider, and a tasting glass to keep.
Virtual Arts on Market
Shop for handcrafted art and gifts made by local artisans, artists, bakers and makers during this live virtual event hosted by Southern Village. Participants can speak directly with artists during “Live Booth Hours” via video conferencing.
Hillsborough Virtual Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Holiday Parade virtually this year, but the holiday tree lighting, which takes place afterwards at 6 p.m., is available to view in person (masked and socially distant). Both events will be available for livestream on YouTube and Facebook.
‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’
PlayMakers Repertory Company presents a virtual reading of Nora Ephron’s “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” starring Debra Messing from “Smash,” Marin Hinkle from “Two and a Half Men” and Camryn Manheim from “The Practice.” Participants can stay for a post-show discussion with the cast. Proceeds from the evening’s performance benefit PlayMakers on-going operations, including its 20/21 season, education and community engagement programs.