Your Weekend Guide to Bull City & Beyond: December 1st – 3rd, 2023

Santa Paws – Friday, 5-8:30pm – Dress your pups in their ugliest holiday sweater and bring them out to the Durham Armory for photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause. Shop local vendors at the canine-friendly pop-up market to get some gifts for your furry friends, compete in the canine ugly sweater contest and bring goods for the dog food and toy drives.

Christmas by Candlelight – Friday, 5:30-9pm – Experience an 1870s Christmas on this candlelight tour through the Duke Homestead State Historic Site. Learn the history behind the Duke family home as costumed interpreters bring it to life while engaging in storytelling and delighting in cookies, cider, singing, live music and more.

Holiday Greenery: Build Your Own Wreath – Saturday, 9-11am – Make your own holiday garland at Sarah P. Duke Gardens’ Doris Duke Center with Plant Collections Manager Elisabeth Hall and horticulturist Michelle Rawlins. The two experts illustrate best practices for transforming greenery, stems, berries and more into a holiday wreath to enjoy at home.

Brunch and Photos with Santa – Saturday, 11am-2pm – Santa makes a stop at Durham Food Hall for photos, reindeer games, face painting and more. Enjoy brunch or lunch from vendors throughout the hall before or after meeting St. Nick. any decorations you want to include. 

Downtown Durham Tree Lighting – Saturday, 5-9pm – The tree lighting is a celebration of the holidays and also the city of Durham. This year’s program at the CCB Plaza includes a holiday market, music from the Choral Society of DurhamFruits of Our Labor and Duck. Batalá Durham provides the drumroll to the tree lighting, current Mayor Elaine O’Neal lights the tree, and the jolly old man in a red suit will also make an appearance! 

Durham Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert – Saturday, 7pm – The symphony fills the Durham Armory with holiday tunes, featuring classical works and music honoring Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and the upcoming New Year, preceded by a surprise visit from Santa and followed by a dessert buffet during intermission. Also take part in the silent auction and bid on a variety of unique items while enjoying the concert!

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