2019 Special Events

Tobacco Basket Workshop

Saturday, April 6th

Love the look of vintage tobacco baskets? Make your own chic version in this workshop with artist and maker Nancy Duffie. Fee includes instruction and all materials. You will leave this workshop with a completed 14"x 14" tobacco basket! All materials for the basket are pre-stained a smoky black color.

$35 (plus tax) per person, pre-registration required. There are three class options: 9:30 am,12 pm and 2:30pm. There are 10 spots available per class, and each class should be 1.5-2 hours.

Registration will be open on Tuesday, March 12th at 9:00 am.


Historic Games Day

Saturday,April 20th

Bring your family to Duke Homestead for a day of fun and hands-on learning. Life on a 19th century farm was pretty different from today, but some things don’t change – kids in the 1800s loved to play, too! Join us for a day of historic games, from parlor games to town ball, and make a toy of your own.

Suggested donation: $4/adult; $3/child

Born at Duke Homestead

Saturday, May 4th; 10am-4pm

We often talk about Duke Homestead as the birthplace of Washington Duke’s tobacco business. But, Duke Homestead was also the birthplace of three individuals. Join us for special tours of the historic Duke home all about what birth, childhood, and motherhood meant in the 1850s.

Tickets:  $3 plus tax for ages 12 and up; ages 11 and under free of charge

Farm animal festival

Saturday,June 22, 11 am - 3 pm

Come by Duke Homestead and meet the farm animals! Young homesteaders will learn about the importance of animals and pollinators on farms, both historically and today. Join us for a day visiting with animals, interactive games, engaging crafts, imaginative face painting, and more!

Free Admission


Saturday,July 20, 10 am - 3 pm

Celebrate North Carolina food culture and history. This extremely tasty event includes BBQ and Pie contests. Guests can taste the BBQ and pick a People’s Choice winner of their own. Venture back in time at the Duke House where costumed interpreters will demonstrate historical cooking methods. 

See the event schedule and more information HERE.

Free of charge


Saturday,August 24, 10 am - 3 pm

Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history at Duke Homestead with our Harvest and Hornworm Festival. Don't miss the looping contest and Hornworm Race! This event will feature live music, local arts and crafts vendors, hands on history, and the last tobacco auction in Durham!

Free of charge   


Friday,October 25, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Tickets will be available later this year.

Phantasmagoria, noun: a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection or assemblage; a dreamlike state where real and imagined elements blur together; a magical event at Duke Homestead on October 26th.

Explore historical concepts of Spiritualism, awe, and wonder from the 19th century at Duke Homestead. You are invited to wander the property to see what wonders you can find. We won’t spoil the surprises, but we can tell you that this will be unlike any other Halloween experience you will have. Appropriate for all ages. (No experiences are designed to scare!) Participation will require walking and standing on uneven terrain.

Tickets are $10 plus tax per person in advance, $15 plus tax at the door.

The event will close at 9:00 pm, so we recommend arriving before 8:30 pm.    

Photos with Santa

Saturday,November 30, 10am-2pm

Come have your Christmas photo made with Santa with the backdrop of Duke Homestead! He'll be dressed out in his finest 19th century Santa outfit. Photos will be sent to you as a high-quality, print-ready digital file.

No reservation required. $10 per photo.

Christmas by Candlelight

Friday,December 6 and 13, 6:45 pm - 9:15 pm 

Tickets will be available later this year.

Experience a historical North Carolina holiday season with Duke Homestead! Take an evening and join us as we celebrate Christmas by Candlelight. Costumed interpreters will lead you on a candlelit tour through the Historic Area festooned with period decorations as we celebrate Christmas in the 1870s.

$6 for adults; $3 for children (plus tax)

Become a vendor at our summer events! For more information on how to apply, click HERE.