Fun Things to Do This Weekend (Dec. 9-11)

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Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
Enjoy the holiday open house at the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh.

Festivities at state historic sites in Raleigh and Durham welcome visitors to celebrate holidays past and present this weekend. The Cary, Durham and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro parades also offer joyful ways to usher in the holidays with your children.

State Capitol Holiday Open House FREE

Head to the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh to enjoy music in the rotunda, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10. Also, the Capitol will host Santa and children’s storytellings, 2-4 p.m., Dec. 10. Through Dec. 10, you may also donate money or new clothes for children (birth through age 12) to the State Capitol Angel Tree Clothing Drive to benefit the Salvation Army of Wake County. (Note: The governor's tree-lighting tradition at the State Capitol and other festivities kick off Thursday, Dec. 8.

PHOTO of the North Carolina Executive Mansion COURTESY OF the North Carolina DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

North Carolina Executive Mansion Holiday Open House FREE

Tour the North Carolina Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh Friday, Dec. 9-Sunday Dec. 11 to enjoy live holiday music and view the home decked out with Christmas trees, greenery, floral arrangements and decorations. Visit this link for the schedule. (Note: The Holiday Open House begins on Thursday, Dec. 8.)

Photo of the North Carolina Executive Mansion courtesy of the north carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Civil War Christmas by Candlelight Tour at Bennett Place

Take a tour by candlelight around the farm at this state historic site in Durham, 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, to watch as re-enactors show how soldiers and civilians attempted to celebrate the holidays during the Civil War. Enjoy free hot apple cider and cookies at the visitor center. Tours will take place every 15 minutes. Tour tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for ages 5-16 and free for kids under age 5. 

​PHOTO COURTESY OF the NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

Christmas in the Piedmont at Bennett Place FREE

Head to Bennett Place, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and take your kids to learn how Christmas was celebrated in the Piedmont Carolinas during the Civil War. Watch living historians decorate the farm in a typical modest way and view cooking in the kitchen house. Kids can enjoy games and see examples of presents in the main house. Soldiers will be camped on site and Santa will visit. The visitor center will feature free hot apple cider and cookies. 

​Photo courtesy of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Mordecai Holiday Open House in Raleigh FREE

Celebrate the season at the free open house, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11. Admission is free. Lantern tours run 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 10 through the house and grounds, and tickets cost $5 per person. Order tickets here (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

West Point on the Eno Park Christmas Open House FREE

Enjoy music, holiday crafts and more at the park’s annual open house, 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5101 N. Roxboro Rd. in Durham. Enjoy refreshments, historic holiday decorations, festive music and holiday crafts from yesteryear. No need to register. For more information, call 919-471-1623 and select option 2. 

Photo courtesy of City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department

Cary Christmas Parade FREE

The Cary Christmas Parade kicks 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in downtown Cary and features bands, mascots and participants from local schools businesses, community groups and churches. View the parade route here.

Durham Holiday Parade FREE

Watch the parade of hometown bands, drill teams, schools, community groups make its way through downtown Durham. The parade starts at the Health Department (Main Street Dillard streets) at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and ends near Duke University East Campus (Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard). 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade FREE

Watch the parade kick off in front of Morehead Planetarium on E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and progress through Chapel Hill on Franklin Street. The parade should end around noon at the Carrboro Town Hall. Watch for themed floats, marching bands, elves, reindeer, candy canes and Santa Claus riding his sleigh.

Saint Nicolas and Carols with the Choral Society of Durham

Head to Duke University Chapel in Durham to hear the Choral Society of Durham present "Britten's Saint Nicolas and Carols" with the Durham Children's Choir at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $22 (adult age 30 and older), $10 (adult under 30) and $5 (student of any ages) and are available at the door and from Duke University Box Office by calling 919-684-4444). For more information, call the Choral Society office at 919-560-2733.

Photo of Choral Society of Durham courtesy of Marc Banka

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