There's nothing as heartwarming as spending a holiday at Chapel Hill's best bar. The Cave, at 452 1/2 W. Franklin St., is beloved around town for its Thanksgiving and Christmas Day potluck dinners. This year, the bar opens at 5 p.m., Mouse (that's the owner) is cooking a big pot of chili, and everyone is invited to come by and bring a dish, with dinner starting around 7 p.m. This year also will feature the second annual All Star Love Bash, when celebrity musicians from the area who are home for the holidays stop by to jam. You never know who's going to show up.
Instead of hassling with the airport for the holidays, go next door to William B. Umstead State Park. Today at 10 a.m. is a Winter Walkabout, a three-mile hike led by a ranger along parts of the Sycamore Trail. Meet at the Visitor Center (off U.S. 70), which has the technical address of 8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 571-4170 for info and reservations.
Join in the celebration of Kwanzaa by heading to the 8th Annual Cary Kwanzaa, today through Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Herbert C. Young Community Center in Cary, 404 N. Academy St. There'll be speakers, performances and a community market. Free. For more info, call 460-4963. In Durham, visit the Kwanzaa with Linda Humes celebration Thursday through Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., featuring the founder and artistic director of Yaffa Cultural Arts. Artists from around the region will participate. St. Joseph's Performance Hall, Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville Road. Free. 683-1709.
Today's the last day to catch the narrated trolley tours of Raleigh. Tours start at the Mordecai Historic Park on Mimosa Street and run from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Adults $8, children $4, 6 and under, free. 834-4844.
Today's the second and final day of the Mary Myers Memorial indoor soccer and inline hockey tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society, at the Carolina SportsPlex, 3717 Davis Dr. There'll be rec divisions and competitions for more serious teams. For spectator or registration information, call 518-2520 or go to www.nextlevelacademy.com/mmm.
Catch some of the best high school basketball players in the country--soon to be the best college players, and maybe a year or two later, the best pro players--at the GSK Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament at Reynolds Coliseum on the N.C. State University campus. The tourney ends today, but the first two rounds are Friday and Saturday. $25. 787-7211.
It's New Year's Eve, and around the world billions of people will be excitedly tuning their satellite dishes to get the live transmission carrying pictures of that big Acorn falling in Raleigh. But you can see it live by participating in First Night Raleigh, an alcohol-free New Year's celebration featuring storytelling, music, comedy and more. It starts at 3 p.m. with kids' activities all around downtown Raleigh. Tickets are $10, $7 for children 12 and younger. www.firstnightraleigh.com. 990-1158.