CHAPEL HILL – The holiday season is in full swing, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Downtown Chapel Hill.

Meg McGurk, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, recommends that people check out the Carolina Inn’s month-long series of holiday events.

“There’s everything from holiday afternoon tea to brunch with Santa Claus. Horse-drawn carriages start this weekend,” McGurk says. “Also, the whole Inn is decorated very festively with a theme of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas,’ so it is really exciting to go in there.”

The Carolina Inn also offers self-guided tours of the decorations, cookie decorating sessions, and a display of gingerbread houses.

After Christmas, McGurk says there will still be events to look forward to. Morehead Planetarium is hosting a free New Year’s Eve event for the whole family.

“No one was doing really a kid-friendly [event]. This is early in the afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., so come out, enjoy,” she says. “There’s going to be performances, lots of activities for kids,  as well as their own version of a countdown. There could not be a more perfect place to countdown than in Morehead Planetarium under the stars.”

And good news for everyone—parking in metered spots and off-street lots is free on Saturdays and Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill  through the end of December.

For a full list of all the events going on this holiday season, you can click here.