Monday, November 26, 2012

Fun Christmas Events around Raleigh

Oh there are so many fun Christmas events happening in the Raleigh area this month. The Triangle offers lots of fun ways to celebrate! Below are some of my favorites. . organized by date for you.

This list has become an annual post at The Intentional Home and it keeps getting better because of your input. If you have an event that should be added to this list, please let me know and I'll update the list. 
    Thursday, Nov 29- Saturday, Dec 1
    Every year, school, community and church choirs perform musical pieces at the Raleigh Community Christmas Celebration at at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 5060 Six Forks Rd.

    But the highlight of this event for my family is the display of 300 nativities from around the world. It is just amazing to me (and my kids) to go around and look at how each country depicts the manger scene and what materials are used. The collection is a sweet reminder that Jesus was born for all mankind, not just us Americans. There is also a live nativity outside.
Times are as follows: Thurs, Nov 29 and Fri, Nov 30: 6-9pm and Sat, Dec 1: 2-9pm. Here is the link to details and directions.

And HERE is a post where I shared 7 ideas to help make the nativity the center of Christmas and this celebration was mentioned.

Thursday, Nov 29 - Sat, Dec 1

More than 100 vendors will put their wares up for sale at Cary Academy's Annual Holiday Shoppe, which is free and open to the public. There is no tax charged on purchases. Proceeds go to community outreach and need-based scholarships. Cary Academy is located at 1500 N. Harrison Ave. Cary, NC. Times are as follows: Thurs, Nov 29: 10am-5pm
Fri, Nov 30: 10am-5pm and 6:30-9pm and then Sat, Dec 1: 10am-4pm.

Friday, Nov 30-Sat, Dec 1

Singing carolers kick off Christmas on Salem Street in downtown Apex Nov. 30 at 5 pm Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive and the mayor lights the town's tree at 5:30 pm Enjoy holiday treats and sleigh and carriage rides from 6-9 pm. And then on Saturday, Dec 1 from 7-11am, Salem Street firehouse serves a pancake breakfast. Kids can have their pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 9 a.m.-2 pm. And Apex's annual Christmas parade is at 5 pm on Sat.

Join the town of Garner on Main Street on Friday, Nov 30 from 6-8pm for Garner's Annual Light Up Main event. The festivities get started at 6 p.m. with the tree-lighting ceremony and will continue until 8 p.m. Activities include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, children's arts and crafts, hot cocoa, cider and cookies, face paintings, street magicians and balloon artists, and more. The town hosts a Christmas Parade on Sat, Dec 1 at 2pm. Click here for details and directions.

Downtown Knightdale ushers in the holiday season Nov 30 from 6-7:30 pm with live entertainment, a tree lighting ceremony and Santa's Magical Workshop, where kids can take a sneak peek inside his workshop in the caboose, have their pictures taken with Mrs. Claus and Santa's elves, write a letter to Santa and see him ride on a carriage. This celebration takes place at Harper Park on Main Street. The town hosts a Christmas Parade Dec. 1 at 2 pm.

Fri, Nov 30-Sun, Dec 2

Wake Forest Presbyterian Church located at 12605 Capital Blvd. puts on an outdoor, living, walk-thru nativity program called "Walk Through Bethlehem" every first weekend of December.

The church has built a small version of Bethlehem where you have to pay your taxes, the angel Gabriel makes a visit, King Herod is plotting to find out where baby Jesus is and at the end, the nativity and Star of Bethlehem.

Walk Through Bethlehem program will be held on Friday, Nov 30 and Saturday, December 1st, from 6 pm until 9 pm and Sunday, December 2 from 5 pm until 8 pm. Click here for more details and directions.

Sat, Dec 1

AT&T Raleigh Winterfest Outdoor Ice Rink Festival kicks off on Sat, Dec 1 from 3-9pm in City Plaza at the southern end of the 400 block Fayetteville Street. This holiday extravaganza lasts until Jan 13th. Families can enjoy carriage rides, train rides, carousel rides, sledding ramps, food, Victorian carolers, performances by local choirs and dance companies, an outdoor skating rink, ice carving demonstrations, a visit from Santa and the lighting of a dazzling tree. Admission which includes skate rental is $8 for both adults and kids. For more info along with the weekly schedule, click here.

A Winter Night at Oak View begins at 5pm on Dec 1. This is Oak View's annual winter event, featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, hot apple cider, live music, Ol' Saint Nick, holiday games, boutique of handmade crafts, and much more! Free and open to the public from 5-7:30pm. Located at Historic Oak View County Park at 4028 Carya Dr. in Raleigh. Click here for more details.

Old Time Winter Festival in Cary is happening all day Saturday, Dec 1 from 10-4. Click here to check out all that the streets of downtown Cary has going on that day: arts and crafts, food, live entertainment, Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides.

Sat, Dec 1 - Sun, Dec 2

This is the 12th year for Holly Days at Sanderson High School, which features over 150 vendors, a bake sale, a raffle, silent auction baskets and performances by the Sanderson vocal groups on Saturday. Admission is $2, and this fee benefits the Food Bank. The address for SHS is 5500 Dixon Drive, and the hours are 9:00 to 5:00 on Saturday and 11:00 to 4:00 on Sunday. For more details, click here.

Wed, Dec 5- Sun, Dec 9

Celebrate the season at Pullen Park's Holiday Express. From 4-9pm each day, enjoy holiday lights and displays, a lighted train ride, local entertainment, carousel ride, crafts, visit with Santa and more! Tickets are $8. This event usually sells out so you must get your tickets in advance. Tickets went on sale July 31 and Dec 6,7,8 are already sold out. Click here for more info on how to get your tickets.

Thurs, Dec 6-Sat, Dec 8

Every year, school, community and church choirs perform musical pieces at the Apex Christmas Nativity Celebration. This is a free public event sponsored by the Apex Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The highlight of this event in my opinion is the display of over 350 nativities from around the world. It is just amazing to me (and my kids) to go around and look at how each country depicts the manger scene and what materials are used. The collection is a sweet reminder that Jesus was born for all mankind, not just us Americans.

Times are as follows: Thurs, Dec 6 and Fri, Dec 7: 6-9pm and Sat, Dec 8: 3-9pm.Click here for more details and directions.

And HERE is a post where I shared 7 ideas to help make the nativity the center of Christmas and this celebration was mentioned.

Thurs, Dec 6-Sunday, Dec 9

The NC Executive Governor's Mansion in Raleigh is open each year in early December for people to view the Christmas decorations.This is free and quite fun to do. Here are pictures from last year. Reservations are not required. Open dates this year:

Thursday, December 6th – 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday, December 7th – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, December 8th – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 9th – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Friday, Dec 7 - Saturday, Dec 8
Wake Forest will kick off the holiday season with the Lighting of Wake Forest on Friday, Dec 7 at 6-8pm. The lighting of a 30 ft tall Christmas tree and a visit from St. Nick happens at Town Hall Centennial Plaza located at 301 S. Brooks Street. There will also be music, pictures with Santa, and horse and carriage rides. Wake Forest's Christmas parade is Sat, Dec 8 at 1pm in downtown Wake Forest (27857), corner of Elm and S. White Street. Click here for details and directions.

Saturday, Dec 8 at 2pm

Cary Christmas Parade in Downtown Cary along Academy Street. The Intentional Home blog reader, Rebecca says to get there early to get a good spot and also notes that Ashworth's Drug Store is open, selling yummy hot chocolate and lunch items.

Fri-Sun, December 14-16, 7-9pm
Longview Baptist Church located at 2308 New Hope Road Raleigh, NC 27604 is doing a Drive through Drama depiciting the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection.

Tues, December 18- Wed, Dec 19

Greystone Baptist on the corner of Sawmill and Leadmine does a live outdoor nativity at 6:30, 7, and 7:30pm on Tues, Dec 18 and Wed, Dec 19. Refreshemnts are served in the Fellowship Hall afterwards. I do not have this confirmed yet, anyone know if this is a definite?
Sat, Dec 22 - Monday, Dec 24

Hayes Barton Baptist Church, located at 1800 Glenwood Ave.(5 points) in Raleigh, will present a Living Nativity from 7-9pm each night.

All of December

Private House Light Displays. Anyone have some good addresses to hit??? I am in the process of compiling a list.

Check out ABC Family's TV Program Guide. ABC shows a Christmas movie every night from Dec 1-25. Titles and times are here.

Monday, Dec 31, 2pm to midnite

First Night Raleigh 2013 is a New Year's Eve celebration put on by Downtown Raleigh. The festival includes the early afternoon Children's Celebration, early and late countdowns, the People's Procession, music, dance, theatre, the giant Acorn Drop, and fireworks. Tickets go on sale beginning Dec 1. Tickets are $9. Click here for where you can buy tickets and also for event information.

Tell me. . have you gone to any of these events?? Which are your favorite?? What events have I missed. Do tell me so I can add them to the list!! This list just gets better and better every year because of your input.

I also found this link of Hot December Happenings at the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau; it is extensive. Let me know if you attend any of the events on that list and if I should add them to this list.


  1. We love the Lake Myra Lights - this year it has been moved to downtown Wendell.

  2. Thank you for sharing all of this great information! SO helpful! :)

  3. I LOVED getting this, Su! thank you for putting it all together for us. My personal favorite is the "Walk Thru Bethlehem" (but of course it IS my church!). It is SO much work, and all volunteer, and NO CHARGE (donations are gladly accepted!) -Carol P.


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