The magic of the season begins this Saturday, in Downtown Cary.
Stroll the decorated streets, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, see a play, and make new memories at the Heart of the Holidays Celebration.
“There is literally something for everyone to enjoy in downtown Cary during our Heart of the Holidays Celebration,” said Sarah Schubert, program specialist with the Town of Cary.
All events are free and open to public unless otherwise noted. Here’s the schedule of events for Saturday, Dec. 5:
Ole Time Winter Festival
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Heart of Cary Association’s 12th annual Ole Time Winter Festival begins on West Chatham Street, where festival goers can enjoy arts and crafts, entertainment, food, shopping and more. Santa will be there too! heartofcary.org
Letters to Santa
Kids who drop their letters to Santa in the mailbox located at Town Hall before Dec. 12 will hear back from the jolly old elf! Be sure letters include child’s name and address.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Town Hall Campus, 6 p.m.
This festive night features actors, singers and musicians from the community, and the unveiling of the Cary Community Christmas Tree inside Town Hall. More than 120 community groups have provided handcrafted ornaments to be displayed on the tree, representing Cary’s diversity.
Gingerbread House Competition
Inside Downtown Cary businesses
View the gingerbread creations of local children and adults, in this fifth annual contest. And if you miss one, the winning houses will be on display during December at the Cary Arts Center.
4th Annual Gifting Tree Project
A Christmas tree decorating contest with a charitable twist — the winning tree earns a donation to its creator’s nonprofit of choice.
Herbert C. Young Community Center, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Kids ages 10 and younger, accompanied by an adult, will enjoy craft stations where they can make a gift and enjoy a visit with Santa. While you’re here, support the Cary Teen Council food drive by donating two non-perishable food items per child, or by making a cash donation; all contributions go to a local charity. For more info, call (919) 460-4965.
Page-Walker Holiday Open House
Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 4 to 6 p.m.
It’s old-fashioned Christmas fun! Learn about Victorian holiday traditions while touring the decorated 1868 historic hotel, hear Victorian carolers, try hands-on crafts for the kids, and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. For more, call (919) 460-4963.
Art Exhibit Receptions
Cary Photographic Artists at Cary Arts Center, 2 to 4 p.m.
Getting to Know Me: LeTouquet & Town of Cary Children’s Cultural Exchange at Cary Town Hall, 2 to 4 p.m.
Serenity in the South: H. Lee Dawson at Herbert C. Young Community Center, 2 to 4 p.m.
Cary Players presents Dashing Through the Snow
Cary Arts Center, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Get in the holiday spirit with a colorful caravan of eccentric guests who deck the halls of the Snowflake Inn in this hilarious family-friendly comedy. Additional performances on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. For tickets, see caryplayers.org.
The Cary Theater
Arthur Christmas at 10 a.m.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:30 p.m.
Home Alone at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets are $3-5. For additional holiday film showings and dates, see thecarytheater.com.