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January pops off with tons of good food and live music. Here’s your list of the top events in Durham, NC. 

(Links to more info are included in titles, you’ll find recurring monthly events at the bottom)

Good Luck Fried Chicken & Bubbles for New Year’s Day

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Jan. 1 | Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter | 9am-3pm

Chef Gray Brooks at Jack Tar is offering his recipe for a childhood favorite – crispy fried chicken ($24 for a half chicken, $44 for whole chicken) & 3 traditional New Year’s Day sides. And what goes better with fried chicken than a bottle of bubbles?! Choose from select glasses & bottles to pair with this fine southern supper celebrating 2019!

The All You Can Eat and Drink Thing

Jan. 2 | Durty Bull | 5-7pm


Head to Durty Bull for a couple hours of all you can eat spring rolls from Soul Fresh and brews from Durty Bull. It will cost you $25 online and $30 at the door.

New Year Food Swap 

Jan. 8 | Durty Bull | 7-8pm

Love food? Love making food? Love local food culture? Love bartering? LOVE BEER?! Come swap homegrown, handmade, or foraged edible delights with like-minded food lovers at Durty Bull. A food swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade edible creations (breads, preserves, special concoctions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants.

Silent Book Club

Alex Leopold bull city ciderworks
Photo: Alex Leopold

Jan. 8 | 6:30-8:30pm | Bull City Ciderworks

Come read in public and mingle with new, bookish friends! Silent Book Clubs are a way to read books of your choosing in public in companionable silence. Get a beverage and tackle some books on your To Be Read pile! Second TUESDAYS at Bull City Ciderworks, mingle from 6:30 – 7, read silently from 7 – 8, then wrap up and mingle further at 8PM.

YOLO Karaoke at The Pinhook

Photo: @the_pinhook

Jan. 11 | The Pinhook | 9pm

The Pinhook was voted Best Karaoke in the Triangle by the readers of the Independent Weekly several years in a row, and with good reason. Their karaoke is awesome. Tons of songs, outsized personalities, and fantastic hosts that will make you up your singin’ game. They treat it like the honorable and ancient Japanese art that it is. Please, by all means, sing as MUCH Cher as possible. 

Lobby Call: Hygge Huddle

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Jan. 12 | 11am-1pm | The Durham Hotel

Cozy up this winter weekend with a Hygge-inspired crafting workshop with Amelia Freeman-Lynde of Freeman’s Creative. They’ll be drawing on the famous Danish concept of “coziness” to bring a little extra warmth to the coffee experience with embroidered mug rugs and cup cardigans, plus seasonal mason jar oil lamps. Amelia’s craft projects are designed for all ages and levels of expertise. So, throw on your most indulgent couch clothes and head to the Coffee Shop lounge for a restorative afternoon of free crafts, friendly faces and seasonal drink specials.

MLK Event: Celebrating the Legacy through the Arts

Jan 12 | W.D. Hill Recreation Center | 2-5 pm

Durham Parks and Recreation will host a program to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme is MLK: Celebrating the Legacy through the Arts. Participants will enjoy a series of activities highlighting the components in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

HopFest at Fullsteam

Jan. 19 | Fullsteam Brewery | 1-5pm

Enjoy an afternoon filled with four hours of live music and even more beer. Expect acoustic covers, blues, indie rock, jazz—and all the hoppy (or non-hoppy) beer you can imagine. Bring the spouse, the kids, the dog. Kinda the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon – great music and delicious beer.

Free Dog Training Workshop

Jan. 23 | 7-8pm | Barley Labs

Does your pup bark a lil too much in public places? Are you having a great time at the dog bar until your pup lunges/barks at new people/dogs when they arrive? 

Join our pals from Canine Chemistry for a dog training workshop where they’ll give you strategies to help you and your dog enjoy your time in public places like our bar! 

8th Annual NC Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting

Jan. 26 | Durham Athletic Park | 2-6pm

The NC Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting was created to celebrate beer culture by recreating the excitement of getting to try something you have never, will never, or would never get to try outside of living near the brewery or attending a like event. Additionally, this event serves as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for Pints for Prostates.

Beers are poured by 50-55 different brewery representatives in an intimate environment, allowing attendants the opportunity to learn what makes these beers special and meet the personalities behind them. 

Science of the Season: Exploring Winter

Photo: @sarahpdukegardens

Jan. 26 | Sarah P. Duke Gardens | 2-4pm

Exploring Duke Gardens is always amazing and we’re excited spend an afternoon discovering the many ways plants, people and other animals live during winter. There will be fun activities and performances presented by Duke Gardens and other local groups. This exploration for participants of all ages will be in and around the Doris Duke Center. This is a free drop-in event, though parking fees apply. Adult chaperone required for children. 

Disco Sweat XLI

Jan. 26 | Wheels Fun Park | 10:30pm – 2am

Wheels Fun Park is throwing it back to the good old days when bell bottoms were in and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” was on the radio. It will cost you $15 at the door or advance tickets are available.

Winter Food Truck Rodeo

Jan. 27 | Durham Central Park | 12-4pm

A Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is an all-ages Sunday afternoon gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, five times each year. The event is free to attend. You simply pay for what you decide to eat from the trucks’ menus–from savory and stick-to-your-ribs to sweet treats. Locally-brewed craft beer, cider and a band or DJ are always on hand. Dogs are allowed at the Food Truck Rodeo on regular (not retractable) leashes. 

Taste of Tobacco Road Cookoff

Jan. 27 | Barrel Culture Brewing | 1-4pm

The Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties is hosting its first annual cook-off. Local amateur chefs will offer up their best recipes in one of the following categories (appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and people’s choice) to be judged by local celebrity chefs and event attendees. Grab your friends and come out to the Taste Cook-off to experience good food, drinks and entertainment while also supporting a local cause!

Tickets are $30/person in advance (includes two drink tickets) or $45/person in advance (includes two drink tickets and a copy of Taste of Tobacco Road, which is the Junior League’s cookbook).

If you think you’ve got what it takes, or you just love to cook, you can also enter the competition for $20. Contestants have the opportunity to win fantastic prizes from local businesses. 

Beer and Bellydance

Photo: Undulation Nouveau

Jan. 29 | Fullsteam Brewery | 8-10 pm

Enjoy some unique bellydancing performances by local bellydance students and Undulation Nouveau and live middle eastern music by the Lost Nomads while you sip on your beers. If you’ve got the moves yourself, you can even sign up to perform! Music, bellydancing, and beer: the perfect trio to enliven your week

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Can’t Miss Recurring Events

Beer and Banjos at The Pit- Every Monday Night

Free Pinball at Durty Bull- Every Tuesday

Trivia at The Pinhook- Every Tuesday

Game Night at Ponysaurus- Recurring 1st & 3rd Tuesdays

Pony Ride-2nd Tuesday of the Month

Bulltown Comedy Series at Fullsteam- 3rd Tuesday of the month at Fullsteam

Open Mic Stand-Up Comedy at Durty Bull- Every Friday Night

Super Secret Dance Party-First Friday Monthly

Patchwork Market- 1st Saturday of Month at Fullsteam

Preservation Durham Tours- Saturdays, April-November

  • Murals by Bike – 1st Saturdays
  • Durham’s Tobacco History – 2nd Saturdays
  • Durham’s Civil Rights History – 3rd Saturdays
  • Architecture and the Urban Landscape – 4th Saturdays

Check out our full event calendar here

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