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6 Things your Family Can’t Miss this Holiday Season in Durham, NC

Posted by Heather Darnell on Nov 30, 2017 2:59:45 PM

Make special memories with the whole family during “the most wonderful time of the year” in Durham, North Carolina. The holiday season in Durham, NC is packed with fun festivals and activities just right for kids from ages one to 92. Visit Durham and you’ll see why it’s a great place to savor the holiday season.

Make your day merry and bright at the American Tobacco Campus

See American Tobacco Campus in all its bedecked glory this December when the historic district is draped in lights. 


Catch the holiday spirit (and real snow!) at the Durham Holiday Parade and Fun Fest

Find a spot along the parade route in Downtown Durham on December 2 at 11 a.m. and enjoy the Durham Holiday Parade. Bands, vendors, local mascots and Santa will be the highlights. Later, go to the American Tobacco Campus at 1 p.m. for Fun Fest. Delight in snow sledding, arts and crafts area, community care corner, and holiday vendors.


Journey to the sites of Christmas past at Durham’s historic places

You won’t be able to be a scrooge while touring Christmas by Candlelight on December 1 and 8 at Duke Homestead, the birthplace of the Duke tobacco empire. Costumed interpreters will lead guests on a candlelit tour featuring traditional music, dancing, cookies, and storytelling. Then on December 2, learn about what Christmas would have been like for enslaved and freed families during the 1850s at Christmas at Stagville, once one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. On December 16 at Durham’s Bennett Place, the site of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War, families can experience how Christmas would have been spent at wartime. Enjoy period décor, cooking, and soldier demonstrations.


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Have a holly jolly Christmas enjoying world-class theater, dance, comedy, and concerts

In Durham you can experience more than yuletide carols being sung by a choir (althoughHandel’s Messiah at Duke Chapel December 1-3 should not be missed). There’s no shortage of holiday shows at DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) in December. Spend a night out seeing acts like Fantasia, 98 Degrees, and more. Or savor an evening at The Carolina Theatre with Robert Earl Keen or performances of The Nutcracker. Plus, don’t miss The Medici’s Painter, Carlo Dolci and 17th Century Art at The Nasher Museum of Art, which is only on view until January 14, 2018.


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Celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in a cultural epicenter

This year have your kids experience a holiday tradition that’s different from your own. Join in the festival of lights at the Levin JCC Hanukkah Festival on December 10 with latkes, games, and music. Then celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa at the Kwanzaa Celebration on December 30, or at the African American Dance Ensemble’s Kwanzaafest 2018 on January 1 with dancing, face painting, and food.


If the weather outside is frightful, Durham hotels are so delightful

While it’s unlikely there will be a lot of snow in Durham this holiday season, it’s still fun to cozy up at some of Durham’s lodging properties and leave the cold outside. Little ones will have fun toting around the giant fuchsia penguins at the 21c Museum Hotel, sitting by the fireplace or enjoying afternoon tea at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, or splashing around at an indoor pool at one of several hotels near the Streets at Southpoint Mall after holiday shopping.


With so many great things to do with the whole family in Durham, the kids will have lasting holiday memories for years to come. You may have to do it all again next year!


Topics: holiday season, holidays, family, families, family events, Kids & Families, kid-friendly

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Read on for everything you need to know about events and things to do in Durham, NC. Check back regularly for new photos, lists, and guides, so you can explore Durham like a local.

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Durham Visitor Info Center
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Durham, NC 27701

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