Everything You Must Do in Durham This December (With Holiday Festivities Galore)
Photo by lindseylue_

Everything You Must Do in Durham This December (With Holiday Festivities Galore)

Wednesday, Nov 28 2018

You know the drill—our complete guide to the best of December in and around Durham. From makers markets to world-class performances to spiked beverages, there's a little holiday cheer for everyone this December (and some non-holiday goodies for when you need a break)!

Take your pick between can't-miss events, new places to explore and old favorites that are just too good to pass up this time of year! Don't just think about it, go do it!

Looking for more holiday happenings? Check out our lists of the best markets for shopping, the best fun runs for staying fit and festive and the best Christmas lights—and keep an eye out for a full guide to NYE events soon!

Not-to-Miss December Events

NC Chinese Lantern Festival 2018 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Photo by @twwilkinson

NC Chinese Lantern Festival 2018 +2172 fire icon

With 20 displays, each comprised of hundreds of parts and thousands of LED lights, an evening stroll through the NC Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary might just blow your mind.

Multiple Day Event
NC Chinese Lantern Festival 2018
$15   .  Koka Booth Amphitheatre   .  Cary
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Black Nativity Durham 2018 at Hillside High School Theater
Photo by @CenturyFX Photography via @hillsidetheatrednc

Black Nativity Durham 2018 +219 fire icon

Enjoy this non-traditional, non-denominational telling of the birth of Jesus, written by Langston Hughes, in this Durham tradition.

Multiple Day Event
Black Nativity Durham 2018
$17+   .  Hillside High School Theater   .  Durham
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Beer & Holiday Lights Tour at Beer Study
Photo by @Tap the Triangle

Beer & Holiday Lights Tour +197 fire icon

Enjoy a boozy bus ride through some of the area's best light displays. Start the night with a beer and pizza party before driving through the holiday lights.

Multiple Day Event
Beer & Holiday Lights Tour
$49   .  Beer Study   .  Durham
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The Hip Hop Nutcracker at DPAC
Photo by @supportdowntownaugusta

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Check out this modern rendition of the holiday classic, set to Tchaikovsky's timeless music but performed in contemporary dance with MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop's founding fathers.

Thu Dec 20, 7:30p
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
$35+   .  DPAC   .  Durham
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Holiday Triple Feature at Ponysaurus Brewing Company
Photo by @ponysaurusbrewing

Holiday Triple Feature

Enjoy tons of beer, hot mulled wine and s'mores while watching three of your favorite holiday movies on the big screen. 

Sun Dec 23, 6:00p
Holiday Triple Feature
Free   .  Ponysaurus Brewing Company   .  Durham
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Arcana's 3rd Anniversary at Arcana
Photo by @arcanadurham

Arcana's 3rd Anniversary

Celebrate three years of Arcana with food from Toast, beer and cocktails and of course tarot!

Sun Dec 16, 7:00p
Arcana's 3rd Anniversary
Free   .  Arcana   .  Durham
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Holiday Pop-Up at Union Member House at Union Member House
Photo by @unionmemberhouse

Holiday Pop-Up at Union Member House

Shop local wares and get a peek inside Durham's new social club with this free maker's market at Union Member House.

Sat Dec 08, 12:00p
Holiday Pop-Up at Union Member House
Free   .  Union Member House   .  Durham
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December New Business Openings

NOW OPEN: Hi-Wire Brewing at Artists at the Warehouse - Golden Belt
Photo by @hiwirebrewing

Play Soccer Pool and Sip Beer at Hi-Wire Brewing +353 fire icon

Check out Asheville's circus-themed brewery at their first taproom in the Triangle, touting previously hard-to-access brews, soccer pool courts, an incredible wrap-around mural and more.

NOW OPEN: Hi-Wire Brewing
-   .  Artists at the Warehouse - Golden Belt   .  Durham
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Shop Bull City Local at Bulldega at Bulldega Urban Market
Photo by @sassycakes88

Shop Bull City Local at Bulldega's New (Bigger & Better) One City Center Location

It's all in the name—Bulldega, a Bull City bodega, is a grocery store that focuses on the local and sustainable, with gifts and goodies in between. This market with more is sure to make you swoon!

Shop Bull City Local at Bulldega
$$   .  Bulldega Urban Market   .  Durham
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COMING SOON: Boxcar Bar + Arcade (Durham) at Boxcar Bar + Arcade (Durham)
Photo by @boxcardrm

COMING SOON: Boxcar Bar + Arcade (Durham)

Get ready to play at Boxcar's first Durham location, opening December 2018. Not only will this location have the arcade games and great bar you've come to expect, it'll also have wood fired pizza!

COMING SOON: Boxcar Bar + Arcade (Durham)
-   .  Boxcar Bar + Arcade (Durham)   .  Durham
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COMING SOON: Rhythms Live Music Hall at Rhythm's Live Music Hall
Photo by @tadasmikuckis

COMING SOON: Rhythms Live Music Hall

Rhythms Live Music Hall will bring an upscale performance venue to Durham's Lakewood neighborhood starting December 7.

COMING SOON: Rhythms Live Music Hall
-   .  Rhythm's Live Music Hall   .  Durham
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Watch Local Vodka Get Made at Bedlam's Distillery  at Graybeard Distillery
Photo by @bedlamvodka

COMING SOON: Bedlam Vodka Distillery Tours +169 fire icon

Love your local spirits? Check out how Bedlam Vodka gets made with their all new distillery tours launching December 1—plus, obviously, samples at the end. 

Weekly
Watch Local Vodka Get Made at Bedlam's Distillery
$15   .  Graybeard Distillery   .  Durham
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Always a Good Idea

Join in Artistic Academia at the Ackland Art Museum  at Ackland Art Museum
Photo by @vniemeyer

Join in Artistic Academia at the Ackland Art Museum +36 fire icon

It may not be the MoMA, but the Ackland Art Museum can measure up. Spend the day gettin' cultured and expanding your artistic knowledge.

Join in Artistic Academia at the Ackland Art Museum
Free   .  Ackland Art Museum   .  Chapel Hill
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Play a Classic Game of 9-Ball  at Green Room
Photo by @mickaleer

Play a Classic Game of 9-Ball

If you're looking to shoot some pool, bring your friends to the Green Room, a classic pool hall and dive bar that doesn't pretend to be anything else.

Play a Classic Game of 9-Ball
$   .  Green Room   .  Durham
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Snack on Hot Dogs & Sip in Secret at Accordion Club at Accordion Club
Photo by @accordionclub

Snack on Hot Dogs & Sip in Secret at Accordion Club

Accordion Club, a new dive bar in the Rigsbee neighborhood, offers a cozy environment for drinking, plus hot dogs, Frito pies, bottles to take home and games.

Snack on Hot Dogs & Sip in Secret at Accordion Club
$   .  Accordion Club   .  Durham
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Past Experiences

Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead at Duke Homestead
Photo by @bmwfixer2001

Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead

Enjoy storytelling, cookies and cider, live music, singing, dancing, and a whole lot of history as costumed interpreters lead you on a candlelit tour through our historic area.

Past
Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead
$6   .  Duke Homestead   .  Durham
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The Patchwork Holiday Market at Durham Armory
Photo by @daviepaperco

The Patchwork Holiday Market

This monthly Durham craft market is back with a two-day holiday spectacular. Shop from a new set of vendors each day, enjoy eats and music while you browse and get your gifts wrapped on site!

Past
The Patchwork Holiday Market
Free   .  Durham Armory   .  Durham
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Allagash Oyster Roast at Motorco Music Hall
Photo by @bitesofbullcity

Allagash Oyster Roast

Allagash Brewing Company and Oysters Carolina are teaming up and heading to Motorco. Tasters will be poured, glasses will be filled, and lots of oysters will be roasted and served.

Past
Allagash Oyster Roast
$20+   .  Motorco Music Hall   .  Durham
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Hi-Wire and Warehouse Artist Studios Grand Opening at Artists at the Warehouse - Golden Belt
Photo by @beerandracing

Hi-Wire and Warehouse Artist Studios Grand Opening

Hi-Wire Brewing and Golden Belt Warehouse Artist Studios are both having their Grand Opening Party! There will be 25 artists, food trucks, and a lot of circus-themed entertainment.

Past
Hi-Wire and Warehouse Artist Studios Grand Opening
Free   .  Artists at the Warehouse - Golden Belt   .  Durham
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1st Anniversary Party at Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop at Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop
Photo by @melinaspasta

1st Anniversary Party at Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop

Join Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop while they celebrate their First Anniversary at the shop. There will be pasta sampling, filing of cannoli orders, and lots of other surprises.

Past
1st Anniversary Party at Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop
Free   .  Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop   .  Durham
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One Last Mystery Party at Beer Study
Photo by @mysterybrewing

One Last Mystery Party

Mystery Brewing has closed its doors and Beer Study is going to be ringing them out in style by tapping the last of their kegs and enjoying some live music.

Past
One Last Mystery Party
Cost of Beer   .  Beer Study   .  Durham
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Winter Wonderland Festival at Duke Gardens
Photo by @Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Winter Wonderland Festival

Bring the whole family to this winter celebration at Sarah P. Duke Gardens! Expect crafts, cookie decorating, festive music and more.

Past
Winter Wonderland Festival
Free / $5   .  Duke Gardens   .  Durham
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Oysters + Oyster Saison Garden Party from Eastcut + Ponysaurus at Eastcut Sandwich Shop
Photo by @Eastcut Sandwich Bar

Oysters + Oyster Saison Garden Party from Eastcut + Ponysaurus

These two Durham faves—Eastcut Sandwich Bar and Ponysaurus—are coming together for an oyster party to write home about. Fresh oysters, pints of oyster saison, live music and more.

Past
Oysters + Oyster Saison Garden Party from Eastcut + Ponysaurus
$$   .  Eastcut Sandwich Shop   .  Durham
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Bedlam Vodka Distillery Tour Grand Opening at Graybeard Distillery
Photo by @Bedlam Vodka

Bedlam Vodka Distillery Tour Grand Opening

See how this Durham-distilled vodka is made—and get a taste for yourself—as Graybeard Distillery, home to Bedlam Vodka, opens its doors for tours for the first time!

Past
Bedlam Vodka Distillery Tour Grand Opening
$15   .  Graybeard Distillery   .  Durham
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The Holiday R&B Paint For A Cause at Durham Ballroom
Photo by @Jack Sharp

The Holiday R&B Paint For A Cause

Get creative, mingle with some awesome folks and dance the night away to some live R&B and DJs—all while supporting some great local causes.

Past
The Holiday R&B Paint For A Cause
$20+   .  Durham Ballroom   .  Durham
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Durham Holiday Parade & Fun Fest at Downtown Durham
Photo by @dprplaymore

Durham Holiday Parade & Fun Fest

Get in the seasonal spirit for the Durham Holiday Parade! Be jolly with visits from Santa and watch decorated floats go by. After the parade, head over to Fun Fest for sledding, train rides and more!

Past
Durham Holiday Parade & Fun Fest
Free   .  Downtown Durham   .  Durham
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Paw Paw Smash Party at Bull City Ciderworks
Photo by @Bull City Ciderworks

Paw Paw Smash Party

Get down and dirty to help Bull City Ciderworks prepare this unique local fruit for their last cider release of 2018. You'll get to be part of making your favorite cider!

Past
Paw Paw Smash Party
Free   .  Bull City Ciderworks   .  Durham
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Sex Ed Storytelling at Motorco
Photo by @motorcomh

Sex Ed Storytelling

Hear some spectacularly awkward stories of sex ed experiences. You'll laugh, you'll cringe and you'll leave happy you're supporting making sex ed better in NC. 

Past
Sex Ed Storytelling
$10   .  Motorco   .  Durham
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Everything You Must Do in Durham This December (With Holiday Festivities Galore)
Everything You Must Do in Durham This December (With Holiday Festivities Galore)