Nov. 17-Jan. 2. N.C. Aquarium-Fort Fisher. Cape Fear Festival of Trees. The Lower Cape Fear Hospice hosts this beloved tradition amidst the inspiring backdrop of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Visitors will delight in more than 50 dazzling, decorated trees in a unique aquatic setting. Free with admission.
Nov. 21. Goldsboro, North Carolina Symphony, Holiday Pops Statewide, 8 p.m. Join your North Carolina Symphony for this festive concert full of orchestral holiday favorites you know and love at the Paramount Theatre in Goldsboro. Ticket prices vary.
Nov. 24-25, Dec 1-2, Dec. 8-9, Dec. 15-16, Dec. 21-23. Gatesville, Merchants Millpond State Park, Light Up the Millpond, 5-8 p.m. Enjoy the lights of the season with an evening drive through Merchants Millpond State Park. Holiday lights and decorations provided by the community will be set up through the park. We are still accepting donations, so please bring your light and decorations if you want to help decorate the park. This is a free drive-thru event. For more information, please contact the park at 252-357-1191 or email@example.com.
Nov. 25. Nags Head, Jockey's Ridge State Park, Kites with Lights, 4-7 p.m. Come spread the holiday cheer and watch a kites light show on Jockey’s Ridge. At 5 p.m., enjoy the lighting of the Jockey’s Ridge State Park Solar Christmas tree out on the dunes directly across from Jockey’s Ridge Crossing.
Dec. 1. Elizabeth City, Museum of the Albemarle, Gingerbread Workshop, 4 p.m. Join the Museum of the Albemarle for our annual Gingerbread Workshop. Design your house with a wide variety of candies, cookies, cereals, and more. We do the clean-up, and you go home with a marvelous gingerbread creation to enjoy through the season. A completed registration form and payment are necessary to have guaranteed registration for the event that is non-refundable. Registration forms are available in the lobby of the Museum of the Albemarle or can be located on Facebook or Museum website. For more information, call 252-335-4054.
Dec. 1. Halifax, Historic Halifax State Historic Site, Yuletide by Lanternlight, 4-8 p.m. Experience an authentic Christmas of long ago in the warm glow of lantern light. Enjoy homes, public buildings, and taverns decorated for the season with festive, all-natural décor. Interactive historical vignettes will bring each building to life. Enjoy a warm fire in the Tap Room tavern just as guests did 200 years ago! Fee, registration required.
Dec. 2. Beaufort, North Carolina Maritime Museum, Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla. Join the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort for the annual Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla. Yachts, oars, kayaks and commercial vessels decorated for the season can be seen starting around 5:30 p.m. on the Morehead City waterfront and at 6:15 p.m. on the Beaufort waterfront.
Dec. 2. Elizabeth City, Museum of the Albemarle, Holiday Open House Back to Christmas – 1970s, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Step back in time through the exhibit of a 1970s living room and child’s bedroom decorated for the holidays. Take a minute to watch clips of favorite television shows and commercials all the while sitting on 1970s furniture. Bring a friend or find a guest to reminisce and discuss the times. Members of the Colonial Quilt Lovers Guild of Northeast North Carolina have worked together to make a traditional Christmas quilt, Vintage Christmas, designed by Lori Holt, My Bonnet Company. Santa will make his grand entrance from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to ensure that the Christmas lists are correct early on. Free. Call (252) 335-1453 for more information.
Dec. 2. Four Oaks, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, In Heavenly Peace: Bentonville Christmas Open House, 4-8 p.m. Experience the Harper House as a family residence, not as a Civil War field hospital. This holiday season, you are invited to tour the home of John and Amy Harper as it may have appeared after the conclusion of the Civil War. Come enjoy the beauty of a 19th century Christmas aglow with candlelight. Also enjoy period refreshments in the kitchen, festive music by a warm campfire, and a ride on the Bentonville Holiday wagon. You can also paint your own ornament to take home! Do not miss your chance to experience Christmas by candlelight at Bentonville Battlefield! $5 admission for adults, FREE for kids 8 and under!
Dec. 3. Creswell, Somerset Place, Annual Christmas Open House, 1-4 p.m. ‘Tis the Season! Explore, enjoy, and experience the Christmas season at Somerset Place. Visitors can enjoy traditional holiday decorations of fresh natural and floral arrangements that will adorn the exterior and interior of site buildings. For younger audiences, jolly Saint Nicholas will appear in the Collins House from 2-4 p.m. The Collins House and site buildings will be open for self-guided tours with interpretive staff in period dress available to answer questions. Free.
Dec. 3. Creswell, Somerset Place, Somerset Place Annual Christmas Open House, 1-4 p.m. Explore, enjoy, and experience the Christmas season as Somerset Place is decorated with traditional holiday floral arrangements adorning the exterior and interior of site buildings. Share a tasty meal of black-eyed peas and hearth-cooked cornbread, sip hot spiced tea and sample delicious homemade desserts. Enjoy live Christmas music while shopping at our Christmas market with vendors. The Collins House and site buildings will be open for self-guided tours with interpretive staff in period dress available to answer questions. A costumed doctor from the mid-19th century will discuss antebellum medicine in the plantation hospital. For younger audiences, jolly Saint Nicholas will appear on the grounds from 2-4 p.m. Free.
Dec. 3. Wilmington, North Carolina Symphony, Holiday Pops Statewide, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Join your North Carolina Symphony for this festive concert full of orchestral holiday favorites you know and love at the Wilson Center in Wilmington. Ticket prices vary.
Dec. 8. Winnabow, Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site, A Light in the Darkest of Night, 4-7 p.m. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson will be offering visitors the chance to experience a peaceful evening amongst the ruins of St. Philips Church as it is decorated in its holiday finest, with candlelight and greenery. This FREE program allows for self-guided exploration and meditation. Our visitor center and gift shop will remain open during the evening.
Dec. 8. Southport, N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport, Winterfest Historic Holidays. This annual tradition, presented in conjunction with the city of Southport, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8. Staff and volunteers will be dressed out in period attire, and historic activities and take-home crafts will be available. This drop-in event is free and appropriate for all ages. Free.
Dec. 8-9. Edenton, Historic Edenton Holiday Events. Tour the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $2.50 per person; Guided tours of holiday decorated 1800 James Iredell House, 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., $2.50 per person; Candlelight tour will focus on Cotton Mill & Hayes, 4-8 p.m., fee for Edenton Historic Commission; Hot Cocoa served to visitors in 1767 Courthouse, 4-8 p.m., free.
Dec. 9. Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. Aquarium Santa by the Sea, 9 a.m. Make holiday cards and an ornament, enjoy special treats and games. Meet Santa for a photo opportunity and Mrs. Claus will be found around the aquarium for story time. Enjoy on-site food trucks during the day. Event holiday bag includes a take-home photo of each child with Santa, plus crafts, holiday treats, activities, and other seasonal fun. Event holiday bag is $9.95 per participant in addition to Aquarium admission fee or membership reservation for that day. If an adult would like to participate in the activities, the purchase of a holiday bag is required.
Dec. 9 and 16. New Bern, Tryon Palace, Candlelight Holiday Event, 4:30–9:30 p.m. Candlelight is a site-wide event for Tryon Palace that includes tours of the decorated Governor’s Palace, Stanly House, Dixon House, and holiday festivities and fun throughout the Palace grounds. Arrive early to enjoy all the festivities before your tour of the Palace. Gates open to all ticket holders at 4:30 p.m. Your ticket indicates your Palace tour time only. Please be in line prior to your tour time. Candlelight tickets are available online, at the ticket desk or by calling 252-639-3524. Candlelight is a rain or shine event, but fireworks may be cancelled during extreme weather conditions. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
Dec. 10. New Bern, North Carolina Symphony, Holiday Pops Statewide, 7:30 p.m. Join your North Carolina Symphony for this festive concert full of orchestral holiday favorites you know and love at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern. Ticket prices vary.
Dec. 10. Winnabow, Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site, An 18th Century Christmas, 1 -5:30 p.m. Join us this holiday season at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site as we explore how the American colonists celebrated Christmas. Costumed interpreters will provide guided tours of St. Philips Anglican Church throughout the afternoon. During the program, you can enjoy 18th century inspired refreshments, participate in traditional games, or try your hand at 18th century themed crafts. The highlight of the evening will be an authentic period candlelit service in the ruins of St. Philips, followed by the firing of the Christmas Gun. The service will begin promptly at 5 p.m. and will conclude by 5:30pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here.
Dec. 15-16. Beaufort, NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort, 29th Annual John Costlow Christmas Train Show. The museum is excited to welcome the return of the John Costlow Christmas Train Show this year. The annual show, which will be held in the museum auditorium, offers a glimpse into the past with antique working model trains and model trains of all sizes. Admission is free. Donations will be given to the Beaufort Lions Club, who will be assisting with this year’s show. Children ages 12 and younger will need to be accompanied by an adult.
Dec. 20. Jacksonville, North Carolina Symphony, Holiday Pops Statewide, 7:30 p.m. Join your North Carolina Symphony for this festive concert full of orchestral holiday favorites you know and love at Northside High School in Jacksonville. Ticket prices vary.
Dec. 21. Tarboro, North Carolina Symphony, Holiday Pops Statewide, 7:30 p.m. Join your North Carolina Symphony for this festive concert full of orchestral holiday favorites you know and love at the Keihin Auditorium at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro. Ticket prices vary.
Dec. 30. Bath, Historic Bath, "Old Christmas at Historic Bath," 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-7 p.m. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of the Old Christmas season at Historic Bath! Join us at the Bonner House from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and take part in the festivities. Learn about the holiday traditions of early 19th century North Carolina. Experience holiday cooking over an open hearth and taste fresh gingerbread. Make historic ornaments, decorate a tree, play games, and drink cider by the bonfire. At 5 p.m., come back and enjoy the Christmas tradition of stories around the bonfire. Bring your own s’mores and hot chocolate and enjoy an evening under the stars.