HOLIDAY CLASSICS. Ira David Wood III’s “A Christmas Carol” takes the stage December 9 at 7 p.m. at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, kicking off the show’s 49th year. The annual musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic will be performed in Raleigh through December 11 before it moves to the Durham Performing Arts Center December 14–18. Purchase tickets here. Before you go, get the inside scoop straight from its starring actor in our latest “Talk of the Triangle” podcast episode, featuring IDW III himself.
The North Carolina Symphony presents treasured holiday classics and carols during its annual “Holiday Pops” concert on Friday, December 9, at noon and 8 p.m., and Saturday, December 10, at 3 and 8 p.m. Performances take place in Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Purchase tickets for $20–$65 here.
The 51st annual self-guided Historic Oakwood Candlelight tour in Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood neighborhood taking place this weekend, December 10–11, from 1–7 p.m., is sold out. Ticketed guests will be able to tour 11 properties dating from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Each home is staffed with docents who describe the rich history of the home. Photo courtesy of Tom Bagby.
Marbles Kids Museum’s Evening With Elves event is Friday, December 9, 6–8:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to s’mores, an arctic museum play and a special visit from the Snowflake Fairy. Kids are encouraged to wear their PJs. Purchase tickets for $25–$30 per person.
FINE ARTS. The North Carolina Museum of Art will host exhibitions celebrating the accomplishments of two African American artists in 2023. “Michael Richards: Are You Down?” is a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen that will run from Saturday, March 4–Sunday, July 23. “Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design” runs from Saturday, April 1–Sunday, August 6 and presents intricately designed costumes from popular movies.
The United Arts Council is offering an Internship for Diverse and Emerging Arts Leaders (IDEAL) for undergraduate students from backgrounds underrepresented in arts leadership. Interns are placed with host arts organizations in Wake County and paired with local mentors to guide their personal and professional growth throughout the summer. Internships include a $4,500 pre-tax stipend. Applications are due by Tuesday, January 31.
FOODIE NEWS. Chef Scott Crawford will open BRODETO, an Italian-Croatian restaurant, at Raleigh Iron Works in late 2023. Louis Cherry Architecture, which designed the interiors at Crawford’s other establishments (Crawford and Son, Jolie, and Crawford Cookshop), will design the 4,800-square-foot space. BRODETO will feature an open kitchen with a live fire hearth, outdoor dining garden and a large bar.
Tandoori Trail restaurant is now open at 2017 Creekside Landing in Apex. The eatery offers Mughlai and Awadhi dishes, many of which were created more than a century ago. Tandoori Trail is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Tickets for the 30th annual Triangle Wine & Food Experience go on sale on Thursday, December 8, at 9 a.m. The three-day event runs February 2–4 and features Triangle restaurants and wineries working together to offer guests multicourse menus. The event also includes an auction, and is a fundraiser for the Frankie Lemmon School & Development Center.
HOLIDAY FOOD AND DRINK. Raleigh’s STIR is hosting Cookies with Santa on Tuesdays and Thursdays through December 20, 1–3 p.m. Milk and cookies are served with each kid’s meal. Gift card purchases of $50 or more include a 20% off bonus gift card. Photo courtesy of Tabletop Media.
Kanki has brought back its Snowball cocktail for December. The creamy and fruity cocktail features Malibu rum and cream of coconut and pairs with hibachi and sushi dinners.
Cafe Root Cellar locations in Chapel Hill and Pittsboro are hosting gingerbread house decorating. The Chapel Hill events are scheduled for Sundays (December 4, 11, 18), 4–6 p.m. The Pittsboro events are scheduled for Saturdays (December 10 and 17), 2–4 p.m.
Carolina Brewery will serve its holiday beer, Santa’s Secret, in its Chapel Hill and Pittsboro locations in December. Receive a $5 bonus card with the purchase of a $25 gift card or a $10 bonus card with the purchase of a $50 gift card.
Dram and Draught continues its annual Repeal Day celebration, raising a glass to the end of prohibition on Monday, December 5. Stop by the Raleigh, Durham or Cary locations for a group photo at 5:30 or 8 p.m.
Sassool’s chicken shawarma nachos are back for the holiday season. The December special is made with chicken shawarma, black bean salad, jalapeno cilantro hummus, Lebanese pickles and tahini. Visit the restaurant’s website for information on catering. Photo courtesy of Tabletop Media.
Downtown Raleigh’s Tonbo is offering a new duck ramen. The dish is a combination of duck breast confit, grilled bok choy, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, roasted sweet potatoes, a soy-marinated soft egg, scallions and nori.
Raleigh Rolls in Morgan Street Food Hall is rounding out 2022 featuring mint Oreo ice cream rolls. The Oreos are mixed in and topped with a cookie, candy cane and whipped cream. Il Palio in Chapel Hill will serve a three-course Christmas Eve dinner, starting at $89 per person, and a four-course dinner for New Year’s Eve. Reservations are available online. The restaurant is also taking orders for panettone cake; place an order at 919.918.2545.
TOP HOSPITAL. WakeMed (Raleigh Campus, North Hospital and Cary Hospital) has been recognized as a 2022–2023 Best Hospital for Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report. The media company evaluated nearly 650 hospitals that provide high-quality labor and delivery services for uncomplicated pregnancies for this year’s list. WakeMed reported nearly 9,000 births during its 2022 fiscal year.
UGLY SWEATER. Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater, elf costume or seasonal onesie for the Official Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl in downtown Raleigh December 10 and 17, 3–9 p.m. Dash in style through downtown Raleigh’s bars, where you can enjoy holiday drink specials, costume contests and more. View the venue list at barcrawllive.com. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased online. This event is for ages 21 and older.
MUSIC TO YOUR EARS. The North Carolina HIP Music Festival takes place at various venues in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill from Tuesday, February 7–Sunday, March 5. Mallarmé Music (formerly the Mallarmé Chamber Players) hosts the HIP (Historically Informed Performance) Festival to showcase renaissance, baroque and classical music performed on period instruments with historical performance practices. Purchase a HIPSTER pass for $100 to gain admission to all events. Photo by 1905HKN/GettyImages.
The Raleigh Youth Choir will perform its annual Carols of Christmas at Edenton Street United Methodist Church (228 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh) on Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m. Additional performances of Carols of Christmas include The Oaks at Whitaker Glen, an assisted living center, on Monday, December 12 at 5 p.m.
ROCK ON. Triangle Rock Club will host a 15th-anniversary party at its Raleigh, Durham and Morrisville locations on Thursday, December 15, 6–8 p.m. The facilities offer equipment for indoor climbing, fitness and yoga.
WEDDING PLANS. Raleigh’s Heights House Hotel hosts its Winter Showcase Soirée on Monday, January 23, 1–4 p.m. The event, at 308 South Boylan Avenue, is an opportunity for brides- and grooms-to-be to meet top local vendors and explore the venue. Learn about wedding-day services and enjoy drink and catering options. Reservations for this free event can be made online.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Enloe High School’s student council is working to raise $175,000 to benefit Alliance Medical Ministry. The charity will be honored at the Enloe Charity Ball at Marbles Kids Museum on Sunday, December 10. Donations are accepted online. Alliance Medical Ministry’s mission is to expand health care access to uninsured working adults in the Raleigh area.
Tri Pointe Homes Raleigh is raffling a custom-built dollhouse and doghouse this holiday season. The custom homes, built by Duncan Parnell, are scaled versions of homes currently being built by Tri Pointe in Raleigh. Purchase raffle tickets online through Sunday, December 18. All proceeds will be donated to Note in the Pocket, a Raleigh nonprofit providing quality clothing to homeless and impoverished children and families.
HIDDEN TREASURES. The History Channel TV series “American Pickers” will recycle and rescue forgotten relics from North Carolina in February. The pickers are looking for unique collections of antiques. People with large, private collections can contact or leave a voicemail at 646.493.2184. Leave a name, town, phone number and a description of your collection.
VERY FINE. Bailey’s Fine Jewelry has opened a new retail concept, Fox & Bailey, focusing on men’s watches and jewelry. The new shop is located in Bailey’s flagship store in Raleigh’s Village District and includes top watch brands including Nomos, Norqain, Hamilton, Gucci and many others. The shop also sells rare vintage records, hats and luxury electric bikes.
LIGHT SHOW. Magic of Lights at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek presents Waggin’ Wednesday, when guests are encouraged to bring their pet for a photo with the Grinch. Thursday is Vendor Night, when guests can shop for holiday gifts from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Toy donations are accepted every night.
HOLIDAY TUNES. The Raleigh Ringers will perform their annual holiday concert in Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on December 17 and 18 at 4 p.m. This holiday tradition features unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music, including a little rock ‘n’ roll. Tickets range from $14–$26 and can be purchased online. Learn more about The Raleigh Ringers in our November/December issue of Midtown.
HOLIDAY DINNER OPTIONS. Raleigh’s Vidrio will be open 4-11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, offering its regular menu plus steak frites a la bordelaise (filet mignon, pomme frites and shallots) for $39.
Mothers & Sons in Durham will be open 5-10 p.m. serving its regular menu and specials such as chestnut testaroli with braised duck, pickled golden raisins and duck skin cracklings. Durham’s Mateo will also be open 5-10 p.m. on December 24.
Durham hotels Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and JB Duke Hotel are kicking off the holiday season with special holiday dining options. Vista Restaurant is serving a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day breakfast menu from 6:30–11 a.m. and a breakfast buffet from 6:30 a.m.–noon. The Fairview Dining Room is accepting reservations for a Christmas Eve Sugar Plum Brunch from 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and a four-course, prix fixe dinner from 5–9 p.m. The restaurant offers Christmas Day four-course, prix fixe menu from 1–7:30 p.m.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is ready to help out with your holiday meal plans by offering The Complete Feast (serves 10-12) and Dinner Feast for larger crowds, while the Ready to Eat Holiday Big Yellow Box is perfect for smaller groups. Each option is available online and via the Dickey’s app.
Discover even more options in the November/December issue of Midtown, which features 12 local restaurants offering elegant Christmas Eve dinners.
CONCERT TOUR. Presale tickets for Ruben Studdard & Clay Aiken: Twenty | The Tour at Koka Booth Amphitheatre (Saturday, April 29) go on sale online on Wednesday, December 14 at 10 a.m. Use the password IDOLTWENTY. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Studdard won season two of American Idol in 2003 and Aiken was runner up.
NEW HOTEL. The 149-room Hyatt House hotel has begun construction in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station neighborhood. The extended-stay hotel is expected to open in 2024. In addition to gathering and entertainment spaces, it will feature a 4,100-square-foot rooftop bar and restaurant bar called High Rail. The second phase of Seaboard Station will include nearly 55,000 square feet of retail space.
AFFORDABLE PETS. Wake County Animal Center is reducing fees for pets six months and older through Sunday, December 18. Dogs fees are $25, while cats are available for a name-your-price offer. There are 65 dogs and 38 cats in the shelter awaiting adoption. An adoption gallery is available on the website.
VIRTUAL FIREPLACE. The Biltmore House library fireplace yule log is available for screening in your home. Biltmore’s YouTube channel proves the perfect ambiance for your holiday gatherings. The historic home’s pastry chef Aaron Morgan is also providing the recipe for a peanut butter yule log, which features a rich peanut butter-cream cheese filling with Italian buttercream icing.
SUSTAINABLE SHOES. Kane Realty Corporation announced Wednesday that Rothy’s, a footwear store specializing in sustainable shoes, handbags and accessories for women and men, will open in the Main District of North Hills between Lilly Pulitzer and Bonobos in early 2023.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Plates Neighborhood Kitchen donated $5,400 to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina following a three-course Thanksgiving dinner. The Raleigh restaurant’s owners, Steve Day and Justin Gallus, made a $30 donation for each meal purchased. The food bank has provided food for people at risk in 34 counties for the past 40 years.
As a result of its sixth annual Undies Drive, which took place October 1–November 1, Hillman Real Estate Group at eXp Realty gathered 5,589 pairs of underwear—surpassing its goal of 5,000—and donated an additional $5,000 to Note in the Pocket, thanks to HREG’s additional matched donations, undie for undie, dollar for dollar. Over the last five years, Hillman Real Estate Group has donated over 15,000 pairs of socks and undies.
DRAWING FOR DOLLARS. Atri Mandal and Medha Balaji won $100 awards for being chosen the winners among more than 900 students in Wake County’s annual conservation poster contest. This year’s theme was “Water: The Cycle of Life.” Mandal, from Kristen Andersons’s fourth grade class at Poe Magnet school in Raleigh, won first place. Balaji, from Suzanne D’Amico’s fifth grade class at Green Hope Elementary in Cary, won second place.
NEW YEAR’S EVE. Raleigh’s premier New Year’s Eve Gala, hosted by Rocky Top Catering, is returning to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, and they’re throwing it back to the ’80s for an epic night! Guests will enjoy delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, a grazing station, gourmet seafood, small plates, late night snacks and amazing dessert displays. There will also be open bars offering fine liquors, wines, craft beers, custom cocktails and champagne. Entertainment includes two dance floors, a fabulous DJ, a 360° Photo booth by ZimZoom and The Breakfast Club—the longest running, most recognized ’80s tribute band in the U.S. The gala kicks off at 8 p.m., December 31, and wraps up at 1 a.m., January 1. Attire is black tie optional, and guests must be 21 years of age or older. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
The Willard Rooftop Lounge at the AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown hosts a New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.–1 a.m. with live music from Peter Lamb and the Wolves. The event includes a buffet, cash bars and a champagne toast at midnight.
Join Barcelona Wine Bar for New Year’s Eve with luxe tapas and a complimentary midnight cava toast. There will be no tickets or door charge for the evening.
Raleigh’s Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewery will host a cocktail party including a slider bar, flatbreads, charcuterie and dessert. The event includes two seatings, 5:30–8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.–1 a.m. The brewery team will provide a special beer release and a complimentary champagne toast. Tickets are available online.
Alley Twenty Six will offer a prix-fixe five-course tasting menu with cocktail pairings on New Year’s Eve. Reservations are available between 4-10:45 p.m. Vegetarian options are available upon request.
The Studio at Unscripted Durham, a boutique hotel in downtown Durham, will host a Speakeasy New Year’s Eve Party on Saturday, December 31, from 9 p.m.–1 a.m. The event includes hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast at midnight, and DJ entertainment. Purchase tickets online in advance.
TECH DONATION. The Boys & Girls Clubs serving Wake County will celebrate the grand opening of the RapidScale Innovation Lab at the Washington Elementary Club in Raleigh on Tuesday, December 13 at 5 p.m. Kids from the club will give a tour of the new RapidScale Innovation Lab, which was made possible by a $20,000 donation from RapidScale and includes new laptop computers, printers, VR headsets, furniture and more.