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Things to do in North Carolina this weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and beyond? We have some suggestions for weekend fun in North Carolina.

Posted Updated
Ira David Wood opens 42nd year of 'A Christmas Carol'
Kathy Hanrahan
, WRAL lifestyle editor

Looking for something to do this weekend in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and beyond? We have some suggestions for weekend fun in North Carolina.


The Justice Theater Project presents Black Nativity in Concert (Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Theater in the Museum Park (N.C. Museum of Art), 2110 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh) - This free, outdoor event will be held Saturday and Sunday at the North Carolina Museum of Art's Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Theatre in museum park. Online registration is required to attend.
Theatre In The Park presents A Christmas Carol (Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts - Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, 2 E. South St., Raleigh) - A musical comedy adaptation of the Dickens classic. The show has been performed annually since 1974 and was named one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeast." See it on stage at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium Dec. 9-12 and at DPAC Dec. 15-19. Note: Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance is requires. . Masks are required in all Raleigh and Durham venues.
Cinderella 2021 the Musical (Raleigh Little Theatre, 301 Pogue St, Raleigh) - After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cinderella is returning to RLT for its 37th year in 2021! This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Just the right mixture of comedy and romance can add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. This visually stunning musical combines elegant costumes and scenery with singing, dancing, conniving step-relatives, and resourceful fairy folk. This version of Cinderella is inspired by the style of British Pantos. It's the perfect family outing during the holiday season, with the Royal Ball taking place on Christmas Eve. Join the cast in singing "We Wish You a Merry a Christmas," and come celebrate the holidays at RLT!
Raleigh Ringers Holiday Concert (Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts - Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh) - The Raleigh Ringers present their annual holiday concerts at the Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh on Dec. 12 and 13. This Raleigh holiday tradition will feature the group's unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including a little bit of rock 'n' roll.
Holiday Pops with the North Carolina Symphony (Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts - Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh) - At this festive performance, vocalist Yolanda Rabun joins the Symphony to spread cheer with traditional favorites including "White Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Enjoy Sleigh Ride, music from The Nutcracker, and more! The show is Friday and Saturday at Meymandi Concert Hall.
Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations (Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham) - This electrifying new smash-hit Broadway musical follows The Temptations' extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. See it at DPAC through Sunday.
Delta Rae - The Light & Dark Tour (The Ritz, 2820 Industrial Drive, Raleigh) - See Delta Rae on stage Friday night at The Ritz. Guests are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours of the event or be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (14 days past final vaccination shot). Children under 12 years of age will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 72-hours before the event, and will provide proof of negative result prior to entering the venue. Mask wearing will be encouraged.

Get shopping

St. Nicholas European Christmas Market (N.C. State Fairgrounds, Holshouser Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Road) - You'll find your favorite Slavic foods and baked goods, The Little German Band, the Vendor Village, and a European Market filled with unique gifts from across Europe. Hours are Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
MAKRS Holiday Fest (Raleigh City Plaza, 400 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh) - The MAKRS Society will be hosting its biggest event of the year in the heart of downtown Raleigh on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will feature more than 150 local vendors, live music and food trucks along Fayetteville Street.
Triangle Pop-Up Holiday Market (Clouds Brewing Taproom, 1233 Front Street, Raleigh) - Head to Clouds Brewing for this holiday market on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a highly curated selection of local artists and makers.
Merry Moore Market (Moore Square Park, 200 South Blount Street, Raleigh) - Celebrate the holiday season at the Merry Moore Market at Moore Square with more than 50 local vendors Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 9 p.m.
Holiday Market & festival (Holiday Market, 1001 Horse Creek Rd, Raleigh) - The 3 Bluebirds Farm Holiday Market Fundraiser will be held many regional artisans and exhibitors on Saturday and Sunday. There will be vendors, produce, food trucks, hayrides and visits with Santa. All ticket sales will go towards building a new structure at 3 Bluebirds Farm for teen and adult vocational programs for individuals with autism.

Holiday fun

Chemistree Day (The Glass Jug Beer Lab - Downtown Durham, 545 Foster St Suite 10, Durham) - The Glass Jug Beer Lab will be celebrating the holidays on Saturday with a cookie swap, special holiday ales and holiday movies!
Downtown Raleigh Illuminate Art Walk (Downtown Raleigh, 300-400 Block of Fayetteville St., Raleigh) - Downtown Raleigh comes to light with Illuminate, a light-based art walk. Returning December 3, this five-week activation takes place in Downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville Street and Glenwood South districts. Illuminate will transform plazas and underutilized spaces with a large-scale interactive installation, light-based sculptures, and projection art. Installations will shine nightly from December 3 to January 7. Stay tuned for more information about our 2021 Illuminate Art Walk. See website for public art map.
WRAL Nights of Lights (Dorothea Dix Park, 1030 Richardson Dr., Raleigh) - Towering oaks, rolling hills and open fields will be the magical backdrop for this dazzling light show throughout the park. Illuminated trees, festive light displays, and local art installations will delight visitors of all ages along the 1.3-mile route.
Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead (Duke Homestead State Historic Site, 2828 Duke Homestead Rd, Durham) - Kick off your holiday season with this annual favorite! Enjoy Christmas games, live music, singing, holiday cookies, and a whole lot of history as costumed interpreters lead you on a candlelit tour through the historic area. Staff is taking COVID precautions and have made slight changes have been made to activities and logistics this year. This is a unique opportunity to see the Duke family home brought to life as it might have been in 1870 when the Dukes lived here! Tours depart from the Visitor Center every 10 minutes. You will purchase tickets for a specific tour time. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early. Each tour is limited to 15 people total. **In accordance with local and state guidelines, masks are required for indoor settings like the Visitor Center and historic buildings, and encouraged outside if you are unable to social distance or when approaching a station. No refunds on purchased tickets. All cancelled tickets will be considered a donation to the site and will be used for future educational programming.
1st Annual NC Holiday Beer Fest (Clouds Brewing Taproom, 1233 Front Street, Raleigh) - Clouds Brewing will host its first Holiday Beer Fest on Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. The event will include more than 20 holiday beers on tap, Cue Burger food truck, warm cider and mulled wine and live performances from The Raleigh Chamber Orchestra.
Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade (Town of Holly Springs Town Hall, 128 S Main St, Holly Springs) - Holly Springs will hold its holiday parade on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. This year's theme is Holiday Movies.

Family fun

Museum Movie Night: FROZEN (Sing-a-long version) (N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh) - Enjoy the sing-a-long version of "Frozen" at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences on Friday night. There will be live music, food and music and science stations before the screening at 7 p.m.
The Polar Express 3D (Marbles IMAX, 201 East Hargett Street, Raleigh) - Tom Hanks stars in an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. See this holiday classic in IMAX 3D at Marbles Kids Museum with showtimes Nov. 26 through Dec. 24.
The Rink (Red Hat Amphitheater, 500 S. McDowell St., Raleigh) - Ice skate in downtown Raleigh at Red Hat Amphitheater. Admission $11 and includes skate rental. The event runs through New Year's Day.
Santa with a View (The Willard Rooftop Lounge, 9 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh) - Take gorgeous photos of your family with Santa with a backdrop of the downtown Raleigh skyline. Santa JD Thomas will be on hand for photo ops and holiday wishes. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee, cocoa, or an adult beverage from the bar. Your visit with Santa is free, and no professional photography will be provided - please be prepared to take photos on your phone or bring your own camera. Santa will be there from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Disney On Ice presents Mickey's Search Party (PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh) - Jon this magical search and help unlock an epic journey when Disney On Ice presents Mickey's Search Party delivers an unforgettable experience in your hometown! See it at PNC Arena Dec. 8-12.
Elf Recruitment Art Class (Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Ave, Zebulon) - The Town of Zebulon will host this art classes at the community center on Saturday morning. Classes are limited to 10 children. In this workshop, kids will make 4 to 5 handmade gifts/art projects and wrap them up as surprises for loved ones. It costs $25 per participant, $15 for additional sibling ($40 for 2).


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