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How to Safely Celebrate the Holidays in DTR

How to Safely Celebrate the Holidays in Downtown Raleigh

Deck the halls with Downtown Raleigh! From the twinkling snowflake lights on Fayetteville St to the dazzling Christmas tree at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, it’s no secret that the holidays have arrived downtown. Whether you’re grabbing a sweet treat and seasonal cocktail or exploring light art, here’s a list of ways to safely celebrate the holidays in Downtown Raleigh.

If you are or know a Downtown Raleigh business offering holiday specials or programs, please let us know by emailing


Seasonal Sweet Treats 

egg nog

Brown Butter Cake - Tame your holiday sweet tooth with Humble Pie’s new boozy dessert special -- brown butter vanilla cake with egg nog, rum, and nutmeg. See other menu items and order online here.


Crepe and Coffee Advent Calendar - Bad Cat Coffee Company is doing their own version of an advent calendar offering specials on crepes and regular-sized coffee every day from Dec. 3 to Dec. 24. In shop orders only. See their full menu here.

ice cream

Festive Ice Cream - I scream, you scream, we all scream for Two Roosters holiday ice cream! With flavors like butterscotch haystack, peppermint crack bar, Moravian sugar cookie, chocolate butter cookies, and peanut butter nutty bar, it won’t be too hard to get into the holiday spirit this year. Order online for a safe and easy pick-up. See all flavors on Two Roosters’ website.

Holiday Hand Pies - Made with an all-butter crust, Weaver Street Market’s sweet potato-pecan and chevre-fig hand pies are filled with wonderful seasonal ingredients like local sweet potatoes, pecans, figs, and maple with a hint of rosemary. These hand pies make the perfect savory-sweet treat for the holidays. See other offerings and specials here.

peppermint bark

Peppermint Bark - lucettegrace is selling house-made peppermint bark this holiday season featuring Valrhona white and dark chocolate. Limited quantities available until they sell out. Call 919-307-4950 to order. 

cupcake cookie

Sweet Gift Box for the Holidays - Ship some holiday cheer to your loved ones or treat yourself to The Cupcake Shoppe’s Holiday Gift Box featuring hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows, party popcorn, peppermint cookies, and a gingerbread man! Call 919-821-4223 to order for pickup, local delivery, or shipping. 

Festive Beverages 


Christmas Staycation - Spice up the season with St. Roch Fine Oysters & Bar’s new “Christmas Staycation” cocktail featuring reposado tequila, Asian plums, lime, agave, and finished off with a sugar-spice rim. See their other classic cocktails here.

cranberry cocktail

Fa La La Mojito - Drink up with Good Day Good Night's Fa La La Mojito with festive ingredients like cranberries, mint leaves, cranberry and lime juice, and Outer Banks Distilling Kill Devil Rum. Learn more about other offerings. 

Holiday Champagne Kit - Grab your very own Champagne kit from The Raleigh Wine Shop to kick off the holidays in style! It’s all packed up in a grab and go box for easy gifting or to treat yourself to a Champagne picnic. The box includes a half-bottle of Jose Michel Brut Champagne, Locals Seafood Smoked Fish Dip, Carolina Kettle Outer Banks Sea Salt Potato Chips, and 2 to-go cups. Order it for pick-up here.

Holiday Cocktails & Mocktails - Get into the holiday *spirit* with seasonal drinks from Gravy. Try out non-alcoholic flavors like spicy pineapple, balsamic blueberry Italian soda, and pomegranate spritz. If you’re feeling extra spirited, order the Tis the Season or the Espresso Martini, both with alcohol. See more holiday goodies here.


Mocha Winter Latte - Warm up with holiday flavors like fragrant orange and clove mocha. A Place at the Table’s new Mocha Winter Latte is perfect for a chilly evening and will be available all month long! See other menu items and more about A Place at the Table’s mission here.

mulled cider

Mulled Cider - With fresh ginger, orange, cloves, and cinnamon sticks, the mulled cider at 42 & Lawrence is the perfect concoction to bring on the holiday season. Each cup of cider sold includes a donation to charity. Keep up with holiday hours and offerings on their website.

Sugar plum fairy drink

Sugar Plum Fairy Martini - 10th and Terrace as partnered with The Carolina Ballet to create a Nutcracker-themed cocktail called the “Sugar Plum Fairy Martini” made with vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Chambord liqueur. See their full menu here.

The Grinch Cocktail - Sip and savor The Grinch, a featured holiday cocktail from Sir Walter Coffee with Titos, elderflower, green apple, and ginger beer with fresh Cranberries! See more alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options.

Holiday Happenings

Marbles Kids Museum’s Evening with Elves 
Dec. 7 - 25

Spend an Evening with Elves and spread joy by gifting tickets to friends and family near and far! Marbles Kids Museum’s elves have reimagined the party for 2020 to create a virtual shared experience, whenever and wherever you are. Each ticket purchase includes access to the virtual event and a party pack for 4 including The S'more the Merrier, Sparkle & Shine Sing-Along, Cookie Creations, Jingle Bell Bangles, Reindeer Gear, and more! Purchase tickets here.

Illuminate Art Walk 
Dec. 11, 2020 - Jan 8, 2021

Grab a scarf, order some hot cocoa to-go, and soak in the sights with Downtown Raleigh's Illuminate, a light-based art walk developed in partnership with VAE. Take a winter walk and be wowed by the transformed storefronts designed by local artists. Installations shine nightly from Dec. 11 to Jan. 8. So, once the sun goes down, prepare to be awed. See more information here.

Raleigh Night Market 
Dec 12 &13

Shop safely outdoors at the Raleigh Night Market in Moore Square on Dec. 12&13. The two-day shopping experience will host over 40 vendors offering handmade artisan products, holiday gifts, baked goods, and more! Enjoy live music on Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from 12 pm-5 pm. Find more information. 

Menorah Lighting 
Dec. 15

Chabad Young Professionals of Raleigh (CYPR) will be hosting a 10-15-minute ceremony on Dec. 15 of the Menorah lighting and will stream it online. Stay tuned for times and where to watch the stream. 

History Hunters: New Year Traditions 
Dec. 16

Get a jump on the new year with the NC Museum of History by learning about New Year’s traditions and foods in North Carolina and all around the world. This virtual program is for children and families and designed to make learning about history both fun and interactive. Register online here.

Holiday Pops With Jingles the Elf 
Dec. 19, 7 pm

Back by popular demand, the hilarious Jingles the Elf joins the North Carolina Symphony for a family Christmas concert bringing joy, fun, and holiday spirit to everyone! Sing along with favorite songs you know and love, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Joy to the World—plus, hear a special reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Purchase tickets here.

Holiday Favorites with Brass and Organ 
Dec. 23, 8 pm

Celebrate the splendor of the holidays with festive music! You’ll enjoy Silent Night, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, and Carol of the Bells with the glorious sounds of our North Carolina Symphony brass, plus special guest organist David Jernigan and vocalist Lindsay Kesselman. Register and buy tickets here.

Carolina Ballet's Virtual Performance of "The Nutcracker"  
Dec. 25, 7 pm

In order to continue the extraordinary holiday tradition of Carolina Ballet's "The Nutcracker", Capitol Broadcasting Company will film the performance, presented by PNC, and it will be broadcasted on WRAL-TV on Dec. 25 at 7 pm, with encore performances scheduled throughout the holiday season. Stay tuned for tickets and read more here.

Festive Photo-ops

christmas tree

Holiday Tree - In front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts at 2 E South St, Raleigh.


Ornament Stack - In front of Raleigh Convention Center at 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh. 

snowflake lights

Snowflake Lights - Along Fayetteville St. 

Christmas Shopping 

For all things holiday shopping, head over to our Holiday Hub for a directory of over 50 Downtown Raleigh businesses offering online shopping, a gift guide featuring deals and specials, and ways to give back to the community this holiday season. Visit the Holiday Hub here.