All of Western Wake is readying to welcome Santa, with two big celebrations launching the season this weekend, in Cary and Apex.
Here’s what you need to know, to get you and the family to the lands of ho-ho-ho!
Heart of the Holidays Celebration, Cary
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Santa’s Workshop
Herbert C. Young Community Center
Kids ages 10 and younger are welcome to enjoy craft stations and visit with Santa. Please bring an adult, and two non-perishable food items or a cash donation to support the Cary Teen Council’s food drive.
10 a.m. to 4p.m., Vote in the Gingerbread House Competition
Inside Downtown Cary Businesses
Coming up: Winners of the contest will be on display at the Cary Arts Center, and the honorable mentions at The Mayton Inn, from Dec. 6-16.
2 to 4 p.m., Art Exhibition Openings
Town Hall, Cary Arts Center & Herb Young Community Center
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
Presented by the Cary Players at Cary Arts Center
What happens when the toughest kids in town take over the annual Christmas pageant? A heartwarming comedy for the whole family! Runs through Dec. 5.
4 to 6 p.m., Page-Walker Holiday Open House
Page-Walker Arts & History Center
Get into the holiday spirit with some old-fashioned Christmas fun! Learn about Victorian holiday traditions, listen to Victorian carolers and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Enjoy holiday treats, and make a holiday craft with the kids.
6 p.m., Official Town of Cary Christmas Tree Lighting
Town Hall Campus
Featuring actors, singers and musicians from the community. After the outdoor tree is lit, check out the Cary Community Christmas Tree inside Town Hall, adorned with handcrafted ornaments from 120 community groups.
7:30 p.m., “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
The Cary Theater
Throughout the day:
Mail letters to Santa at Santa’s Mailbox at Town Hall, through Dec. 10, and stroll the Gifting Tree Project along Academy Street. Vote for your favorite Gifting Tree from Dec. 3-28, and its creators will have a donation made in their name to a local nonprofit.
For more information on any of these events, call (919) 319-4560 or visit townofcary.org.
Christmas on Salem Street, Apex
Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4
Friday, 5 p.m.
Christmas Carols at the Depot, followed by the lighting of the Apex Christmas Tree by Mayor Lance Olive.
5:45 p.m., Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive by horse-drawn carriage at the front of the Downtown firehouse, then walk and mingle with children.
6 to 9 p.m., Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
Cost is $10 per person; children 2 and younger ride free. Tickets are sold online only, and are limited.
Kiddy Christmas Train Ride tickets are $5 per person, and available online and at the corner of Saunders and Salem streets unless all tickets sell out prior to the event.
Also on Friday night, enjoy Christmas cookie decorating, face painting, sidewalk carolers, a bell ringing group, and Santa’s Workshop.
Saturday, Dec. 3
7 to 11 a.m., Apex Rotary Pancake Breakfast
Apex Downtown Fire House
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pictures with Santa
The Apex Depot (Chamber of Commerce)
Picture tickets will be available starting at 8:30 a.m., for one of the hourly time slots. Cost is $25 for a CD of 12-15 pictures. Children may sit and visit with Santa at no cost, but no pictures will be allowed.
5 p.m., Grand Christmas Parade
Sunday, Dec. 4
1 to 5 p.m., Apex Historical Holiday Home Tour
Cost is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Apex Chamber of Commerce or The Rusty Bucket.
For tickets and more information, visit apexdowntown.com/christmas-on-salem-street-2016/.