"For the city’s 150th anniversary, Durham’s three State Historic Sites invite you to join our Christmas programs, “Spirit, Sacrifice, and Celebration.” See how the lives of past Durhamites transformed dramatically in the decade leading up to Durham’s founding. Visitors can discover the spirit and culture of enslaved people at Christmas at Historic Stagville in 1860, learn of the sacrifices and compromises local families made in the midst of the American Civil War in 1864, and the post-war celebration and growth at the start of Durham’s famed industrial founding at Duke Homestead in 1870.
Come to Duke Homestead for evening candlelight tours and celebrate an old-fashioned traditional Victorian Christmas with the Duke Family in 1870. As the Dukes switched from growing to manufacturing bright leaf tobacco, they enjoyed the start of soaring wealth just a few short years after the hardships of war. Visitors will be invited to join in the celebration with dancing, decorating the house and the Christmas tree with historic decorations, listening to Christmas stories, playing Christmas games, singing along to beloved Christmas songs, drinking some hot cider, and even meeting Santa Claus!
Doors open at 5:15pm
Tours depart from the Visitor Center every 15 minutes. You will purchase tickets for a specific tour time. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early.
Each tour is limited to 25 people total.
$6 + tax for adults
$3 + tax for kids (ages 3-12)
We are unable to offer refunds on purchased tickets. All cancelled tickets will be considered a donation to the site and will be used for future educational programming.
Do I have to buy tickets?
Yes, tickets are required to participate in this program.
When and where can I buy tickets?
We strongly encourage you to buy your tickets in advance via Eventbrite. This is the only way to pre-purchase tickets. It is possible that tickets will sell out before the day of the event. Please call us if you have questions or need help using Eventbrite: 919-627-6990.
We usually line up to purchase tickets at the door. Will you have tickets available at the door?
We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available at the door. Please consider pre-purchasing your tickets online to guarantee your spot.
I am bringing a large group. Can I purchase tickets for everyone?
Yes. And tickets to Christmas by Candlelight make fabulous holiday gifts...
Will it be dark or hard to see?
The tours take place at night in the historic area of our site, which does not have electric lighting. Guides with lanterns will walk you through the site, and some of your path will be illuminated with candle light. Visibility will be limited, and the paths are uneven.
What should I wear? Will I be cold?
This program takes place mostly outdoors in December. Some years it has been 70 degrees, and some years it has been 30. Please keep an eye on the weather and dress accordingly.
I am bringing an elderly person or someone with limited mobility. Will they be able to do this tour?
If this is the case for your group, please call the staff in advance of the event and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. The paths utilized on this tour are unpaved and uneven. One building on this tour is not wheelchair accessible. The entire tour is approximately 300 yards in distance, and visitors will be standing or walking most of the time."