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Staying in Durham for the summer? Here are 7 things to do in the Bull City

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Staying at Duke for the summer? Spend some time exploring the city we call home — I promise, Durham does extend beyond 9th Street. Take advantage of fun summer events in Durham for free or at a minimal cost, learn about rich cultural history, listen to music, see a baseball game and even take part in a bubble festival this summer in the Bull City.

Music in the Gardens

If you’re not in the mood for Wednesday Night Shooters, spend your evenings taking in a more wholesome evening of music in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. While I can’t promise you’ll hear “Mr. Brightside” or your favorite 2000s bops, local artists from a variety of genres will be there to perform. Shows begin June 12 and run until July 17. Tickets are $10 for Duke students.

Durham Bulls Games

Watch the team that inspired the 1988 classic “Bull Durham” and, if you’re lucky, you can even see a player hit a baseball into the famous bull. (As Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner, said: “He hit the f—king bull. Guy gets a free steak.”) Cheer for that player, and if you ask nicely, maybe he’ll share? Games occur at least once a week even up to five times in a week and go through September. The Bulls even host special nights like Pride night (June 5) and Food Truck Fridays (every Friday). Go take part in America’s favorite pastime and cheer on one of the most famous minor league teams! 

Bubble Festival

Trade in the Duke bubble for one that's a little more fun (and soapy). Participate in a truly one of a kind event and embrace your inner child at Chapel Hill’s Bubble Festival on July 27. There will be live music, food trucks and the “BIGGEST bubbles of your life.” Bubble Festival will take place at the Chapel Church in Chapel Hill. It's sure to be an unbelieBUBBLy fun time.

Pauli Murray Walking Tour

If you really miss your history seminar, get your fix by learning about one of Durham’s most successful and significant residents. Pauli Murray was a civil rights activist, an architect of the women’s rights movement, the first female episcopal priest, a poet and a brilliant legal scholar. Beginning at the Pauli Murray house, this walking tour will teach you about Murray, her accomplishments and the history of racial segregation in Durham. Take a tour on June 22. Unlike your history seminar, you probably won’t have an essay due at the end of this. 

Civil Rights Walking Tour

You can also learn about Durham’s civil rights history as a whole. From Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis to “Black Wall Street,” Durham has a long history that students seldom learn about. Educate yourself about the inspiring individuals who called Durham home long before we came to Duke. Tours occur every third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m., starting at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Tickets are free.

Juneteenth Celebration

Celebrate Juneteenth, a day to commemorate the abolition of Slavery in the United States. There will be a celebration in Downtown Durham on June 15. Come listen to inspiring stories, hear music, visit food trucks and learn about the history of struggle and freedom that took place over 150 years ago. Come one, come all because admission is free.

Durham’s Farmers’ Market

Grab delicious fruits and veggies and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time! Embrace your inner Leslie Knope and “get your chard on”! Visit Durham’s Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays 3 to 6 p.m. or on Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. The market is located at Durham Central Park.

If this list wasn’t exhaustive enough, check out Eventbrite or Discover Durham for more. Happy exploring!

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