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10 Can't-Miss Things to do in Durham This Winter

Estimated Read Time:
3 min

Chill out. We've got plenty of ways to keep you and your crew entertained this winter.

Everyone knows that summers in Durham are incredible, but wintertime has perks that make it special, too. Instead of hiding out under your covers waiting for the warm weather to return, put on those boots with the fur and head to the Bull City for an unforgettable wintertime adventure.

1. Get Boosted.

First thing's first, we want you to explore Durham safely. The great news is that Durham County Public Health is located right in the heart of downtown and has all brands and doses of vaccines available every Monday-Thursday. With convenient walk-in hours, you can get boosted in less than 30 minutes, including the 15 minutes of wait time to ensure no adverse reactions. Here's more on the current COVID-19 considerations to keep in mind when visiting the Bull City.

2. Catch a comedy show.

After the last two years, we could all use a laugh, right? See stand-up comedians like Tig Notaro, Whitney Cummings, Kathleen Madigan, and Fortune Feimster take on the Carolina Theatre stage, or grab tickets to the DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center debut of Netflix comedy star Hasan Minhaj on February 17.

3. Explore New Nightlife.

Durham’s bar and nightlife scene has recently exploded with new venues to suit all tastes. Warm up this winter at Queeny’s, a new uniquely Durham gathering place for late-night eats, drinks, and conversation. Both Killer Queen Wine Bar, a cozy space on E. Main Street with wine lists updated daily, and Rubies on Five Points, Durham’s latest spot for live music, cocktails and revelry, are bringing new vibes to the late-night scene.

There’s also frozen cocktails and non-alcoholic frozen beverages loaded with sweet treats at The Slush, a bar and lounge bringing some fun to the Bull City. Whatever you're looking for, the Bull City’s bar and nightlife scene will keep pace with you through the wee hours.

4. Book a winter weekend Getaway.

It’s the perfect time to book your winter getaway and stay at one of Durham's exceptional lodging properties. Experience a unique combination of timeless European design and true authentic Southern hospitality at the newly-opened AC Hotel Durham, or getaway in style at Springhill Suites by Marriott, a new hotel that’s just a block from downtown with spacious suites and modern amenities.

Splurge at one of Durham’s Four Diamond Hotels with upscale style and amenities or stay at a cozy bed and breakfast. With approximately 70 lodging options, the Bull City has something unique for everyone.

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5. Take the Supereno Challenge.

Put on your boots and head to the Eno River for a fun, self-guided hike program, designed to help you get out and discover new areas. Learn about the highest, deepest, longest, and oldest parts of the river and complete challenges to earn a prize.

6. Make a Bull City Souvenir.

Need a one-of-a-kind gift or souvenir? Head to Crafts & Drafts NC to enjoy a drink and craft some Bull City memorabilia. Not only do they provide the alcohol, but they also have a wide variety of fun projects, tools and materials. Whether you are a craftaholic, or this is your first time crafting, they have something fun for you to do.

Unwind and paint with your crew at the Wine & Design location on Hope Valley Road. From birthday parties to couple’s nights, mobile events to private classes, they will help turn your getaway into a memorable celebration.

7. Try an indoor sport.

Make your rock climbing dreams come true (with help from an expert) at The Triangle Rock Club. With the largest indoor bouldering space and climbing gym in a five-state radius, they have everything you need to start or continue your climbing journey.

Rather than speed or power, curling is a sport that requires great skill and precision. In fact, it has been nicknamed “chess on ice” for the amount of strategy involved in winning a game. Brush up on your curling fandom and try your hand at this unique sport at the Triangle Curling Club. Register for a curling class or book a private group session this winter!

8. Visit a new or newish Restaurant.

It’s a good time for foodies to visit Durham. Excitement is buzzing for the early 2022 reopening of headliners like Littler. If you’re more comfortable dining outside, try one of these lit restaurants with a heated patio. We also put together a list of new spots that opened last year. (And don’t worry, we won’t fault you if you didn’t get to try them all before the end of last calendar year.)

9. Sip Something New.

You’ve earned a night out to sit back and sip something new. Stop by Moon Dog Meadery, a new meadery adding a unique flavor to the craft cocktail scene ​by offering a curated selection of ​craft beer, wine, cider and artisan craft mead.

With upscale food and cocktail pairings and a cozy option to dine outdoors, Alley Twenty Six is easily a favorite among visitors and residents. They recently added a new zero ABV (non-alcoholic) section to their menu, so warm up with a ginger soda, raspberry hot chocolate, and more.

Melanated Wine and Spirits is a Black-owned wine shop with a mission to demystify the complexities of wine buying so that wine can be educational, delicious, and fun for everyone. Book a tasting to try one of their wines, or grab tickets to a paint and sip event.

10. Check out Third Friday.

On the third Friday of every month, local art galleries throughout Durham create a festive atmosphere to display art and mingle with artists. Explore the current exhibition at 5 Points Gallery by Durham artist Jim McKeon. Jim’s art “encourages the viewer to explore their own relationships and experiences with subjects like racial and gender discrimination, economic disparity, and social injustice as well as our overall human coexistence with the planet.”

Not convinced you can knock out all 10 things in one day? Find the perfect place to stay and take in each activity at your own pace.