Things to Do: November / December 2022

1. The Christmas Market at Vintage Market Days, an upscale vintage-inspired indoor market, returns to the Triangle with over 120 of the most curated vendors from the area and across the US! Nov. 11–13, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; NC State Fairgrounds.

Vintage Market Days

2. Don’t miss the Morrisville Holiday Market, a perfect opportunity to get an early start on your holiday shopping! Featuring vendors, face painting, games, music, and (of course) Santa! Sunday, Nov. 13, noon–5 p.m.; Bethany Village Shopping Center, Morrisville.

Morrisville Holiday Market

3. The NC Chinese Lantern Festival returns to Cary for its seventh year, with more than 40 all new larger-than-life lanterns on display! In addition to the magic of lights, cultural arts performances will take place every night. Nov. 18–Jan. 8; Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

NC Chinese Lantern Festival. Photographed by Jonathan Fredin.

4. It’s not a holiday to-do list without the Raleigh Christmas Parade! An annual tradition for many families in the area, spectators can watch streetside or on ABC11. Saturday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m.; Downtown Raleigh.

5. Celebrate the season at Winter Wonderland in Park West Village, featuring train rides around the district, storytime with Santa, food trucks and hot beverages, holiday stilt walkers, the Snowzilla toboggan slide, and MUCH more. Saturday, Nov. 18, 5:30–8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, 2–5:30 p.m.; Park West Village, Morrisville.

6. The Rink, presented by UNC Health, is coming back to Red Hat! Enjoy the thrill of ice skating with views of the Raleigh skyline, as well as fire pits, hot beverages and snacks, cozy outdoor lounge furniture, and a 20-foot tree for the perfect photo op! Nov. 19–Jan. 16; Red Hat Amphitheater.

The Rink

7. Shop for trees and holiday decor at Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm. Enjoy hayrides, hot mini donuts, hot chocolate, and local apple cider while you’re there. Nov. 25–Dec. 1; Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm, Apex.

Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm

8. Celebrate rich Nordic traditions at the Scandinavian Christmas Fair, an old-world celebration featuring live Nordic entertainment, craft items and imports for sale, a spectacular Lucia Procession, and more! Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; NC State Fairgrounds.

Scandinavian Christmas Fair

9. Bring your furry friend to Pictures with Santa Paws! Proceeds will benefit Triangle Beagle Rescue of North Carolina. Saturday, Dec. 3, 1–4 p.m.; Vicious Fishes, Apex.

Pictures with Santa Paws

10. The Cary School of Music and JC Room Blocks will be hosting its Olde Cary Commons Holiday Celebration for three Saturdays in December, with musical performances by students and faculty, crafts, story time, holiday activities, and a visit from Santa. Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 2–6 p.m.; Olde Cary Commons.

11. Calling all night owls! Apex’s Rotary Christmas Parade is the only nighttime holiday parade in Wake County, and it doesn’t disappoint! Proceeds benefit numerous local charities, with the primary benefactor being Western Wake Crisis Ministry. Saturday, Dec. 3, 5 p.m.; Downtown Apex.

12. Temple Beth Or will be sponsoring and hosting a Handmade Hanukkah Market this year, the perfect opportunity to support local Jewish artists and purchase handmade crafts and artwork and other unique gifts for the holidays! Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; Temple Beth Or, Raleigh.

13. Enjoy a night of music at the North Carolina Symphony’s Holiday Pops concert, featuring all of your holiday favorites. Dec. 9–10; Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh.

North Carolina Symphony’s Holiday Pops

14. Spend an afternoon in downtown Cary during the 2022 Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade, featuring bands, mascots, community and faith groups, local businesses, and more! Saturday, Dec. 10, 2–4 p.m.; Downtown Cary.

15. The Fifth Annual 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl is coming to town (the most wonderful crawl of the year)! Put on your favorite holiday flair and visit participating locations with your 16-ounce Santa Stadium Cup, Santa hat, and wristband. Saturday, Dec. 10, noon–8 p.m.; Alchemy, Downtown Raleigh.

16. Walk through history during this year’s Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour! Tour 11 properties in the Historic Oakwood neighborhood, all dated from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Don’t wait. Tickets sell out fast! Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11, 1–7 p.m.; Historic Oakwood.

Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour

17. City Ballet Raleigh has been presenting Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker for decades, and this year marks their 30th anniversary! Don’t miss this year’s production of a holiday favorite. Dec. 9–10; NC State University’s Stewart Theatre.

18. Burn off all those holiday treats and jingle with your family and friends at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run! Wear your favorite holiday costume and sign up for a 5K (timed or untimed) and a kids fun run. Saturday, Dec. 17, 3–5 p.m.; WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary.

19. Join the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, Beth Shalom, Chabad of Cary, and the Town of Cary as they celebrate the Festival of Lights at this year’s Hanukkah Menorah Lighting! There will be treats, holiday music, and plenty of fun for the kids. Monday, Dec. 19, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Cary Arts Center.

20. Light up the night at the Solstice Celebration Lantern Walk in Hillsborough! Finish the walk with music, gingerbread houses, hot beverages, food, and more downtown fun! Wednesday, Dec. 21; Downtown Hillsborough.

21. The African American Dance Ensemble will perform at the Together at Kwanzaa Celebration in Raleigh, a family-friendly event featuring music, dance, a candle lighting ceremony, shopping, and more. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.; C3 at The Venue, Raleigh.

22. Celebrate African American heritage at the 28th Annual Cary Kwanzaa Celebration, produced by the Town of Cary in partnership with the Ujima Group, Inc. Friday, Dec. 30, noon–4 p.m.; Cary Arts Center.

23. If you’ve never experienced a Candlelight Christmas at Biltmore, you don’t know what you’re missing! Twinkle lights, luminaries, and the soft glow of candles create a truly magical setting that you have to see to believe. Nov. 4–Jan. 7; Biltmore.

Candlelight Christmas at Biltmore

24. Head west to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights and enjoy a light show route, S’moresville, horse-drawn carriage rides, hay rides, a gift shop, and much more. Nov. 11–Jan. 1, 6–11 p.m.; Tanglewood Park, Clemmons.

25. Have a magical holiday experience at Greensboro Science Center’s Winter Wonderlights, complete with dancing fountains, a polar pond, a snowball surprise, a starry night, a wild walk through a forest of light, and other sweet surprises! Nov. 17–Jan. 1; Greensboro Science Center.

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