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If we’ve learned one thing about Durham, NC – it’s that there’s a surprisingly wide variety of things to do in what is otherwise a relatively small (albeit mighty!) city. If you’re new to Durham yourself, anticipating a visit from out of town family and friends or just looking for some weekend inspiration – we’ve got you covered. Not only have we put together a list of things to do in durham this weekend (or any time you’re lucky enough to find yourself with some unplanned free time) – but we’ve compiled the following list of ideas into an itinerary format based on location, hours of operation and (our opinions on) the best times to check out each of these brilliant downtown Durham experiences.
9am: What better way to start the day than with a big stretch and dose of fresh air! LaVita Yoga hosts a drop-in class on the rooftop of The Durham Hotel most Friday, Saturday & Sunday mornings at 9am for a $10 fee. Follow this link to confirm that there are no hotel events affecting the regular schedule & sign up to salute the sun with other local yogis.
10am: The Durham Farmers Market offers So. Much. More. than local produce. Head over to Foster street to stroll through the main market, open Saturdays from 8am-Noon from Spring through Fall, where you can browse creations from local artists, catch some live tunes, get your grub on or stock up on local seafood, fresh-made pasta and, yes, also tons of local produce.
12pm: Nothing embodies the spirit of Durham quite like the funkiness of the Unscripted Hotel, where the rooftop pool deck is the star of the show. Order up a cocktail, cold beer or grub from your table at the pool bar, your poolside lounge chair or straight from that oversize pizza float you were lucky enough to claim your stake on. There’s a DJ on the deck from 12-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months and lounge chair reservations are available for a small fee.
4pm: Break up the day by bouncing around to some of the many unique boutiques that are situated directly around the Unscripted Hotel in downtown Durham. Chet Miller is a personal favorite and conveniently open until 6pm on Saturdays.
6pm: If your trip coincides with a stretch of Durham Bulls home games, the stadium is about a 10 minute walk from Unscripted and most Saturday home games kick off at 6:35pm, making this a perfect post-pool activity and segway into Saturday night.
8pm: If you didn’t snack your way through the baseball game, you’ll probably need to consider some sustenance to get you through our Saturday night suggestions. While there are an endless amount of tasty restaurants all around downtown, here are some of our favorites. Just be sure to make a reservation whenever possible, as seating is often limited at downtown Durham restaurants.
10pm-2am: Now that you’ve stretched, sunned, shopped & grubbed, it’s time to check out the Durham nightlife scene. If you’re seeking cocktails, check out Alley Twenty Six or Arcana. Alley Twenty Six offers carefully crafted cocktails and tasty snacks, while Arcana is a more eclectic scene where you can expect to find a killer Bourbon selection and (often) the opportunity for a Tarot card reading. If you’re more into the craft beer scene, check out Ponysaurus, Fullsteam or Bull City Ciderworks. Looking for something a little more interactive? Come see us at Boxcar Bar + Arcade, where you’ll find a full bar with over 70 arcade-style games and endless entertainment or head over to Surf Club to get your Bocce on.
9am: If you’re an early riser, nature lover or looking to walk off last night’s fun – head over to Sarah P Duke Gardens for a morning stroll. The gardens are open daily from 8am-6:30pm and you won’t be disappointed in the scenery.
12pm: You can’t declare it a Sunday Funday without adding in a little… well, fun. And if you’re following this itinerary, then you’re just a few short steps away from Boxcar Bar + Arcade, situated directly across the street from Cocoa Cinnamon. Not only will you find a collection of nearly 100 arcade games inside, but the Sunday specials are like no other. From $1 mimosas to $10 champagne bottles and select $5 craft drafts – you can fuel the fun all day long without breaking the bank. Pair your adult beverage of choice with the Brunch Pizza or another Neapolitan style pie from the Pizza Kitchen, which can all be enjoyed inside the bar or on the sizable patio area (where you’re also likely to catch free live music performances on Saturday & Sunday afternoons).
4pm: Don’t let the fun stop there. Make your next stop at Urban Axes, located directly next door to Boxcar, for a different form of gaming. Order up a brew at the bar and let your guide lead you through a series of challenges that sure to add something AXE-tra to your Sunday Funday. (Reservations may be necessary)
6pm: Ready to relax? Catch a flick at Carolina Theatre, a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) or a concert at Motorco Music Hall. While these are all completely dependent on what happens to be scheduled on any given date, you should be able to find something interesting between these three venues.
Do you have other recommendations on things to do in durham this weekend? Tweet us @BoxcarDRM so we can share your ideas!