Tag Archives: date night ideas

2017 Holiday Events: Santa Visits, Christmas Tree Lightings, Sleigh Rides, Parades, Festivals

APEX

The Halle Cultural Arts Center presents two holiday productions in December. See Infinity Ballet perform “Nutcracker Dances” Dec. 1-3, and two musicals in one with “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol” and “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical” Dec. 8-10. Visit etix.com for show times and to purchase tickets.

CARY

See 20 light displays illuminated by thousands of LED lights at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary Nov. 24-Jan. 14. The hours are 6-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The festival also features cultural performances and artisans. Purchase tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-17, online at boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary.

The 2017 Cary Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Cary Jaycees, is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. See the website for the parade route. caryjaycees.org/cary-jaycees-christmas-parade.

Cary Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker Suite” Dec. 15-17 at the Cary Arts Center. Purchase tickets, $21-$25, at etix.com/ticket/v/8087/cary-arts-center.

Cary’s Menorah Lighting is Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center. The town’s Kwanzaa Celebration is Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. townofcary.org.

DURHAM

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 9-10 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” takes place Dec. 13-14 at 7 p.m. at Carolina Theatre in Durham and features world-class Russian dancers, nesting dolls and giant puppets. Purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com.

Christmas in the Piedmont During the Civil War at Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham celebrates the season Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with living historians who demonstrate cooking and gift-wrapping in the 19th century. Santa visits with families during the event. Candlelit tours of the site take place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are required for the tours and are $3 for adults and $2 for ages 5-16. 919-383-4345. bennettplacehistoricsite.com.

RALEIGH

 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” lands at Fletcher Theater for performances Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Purchase tickets, $15 and up, at ticketmaster.com.

Theatre in the Park presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 1-10. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. Theatre in the Park’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is Dec. 6-10 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and Dec. 14-17 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Raleigh Little Theatre presents its holiday sugarplum, “Cinderella,” Dec. 1-17. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. raleighlittletheatre.org.

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE’S “CINDERELLA” CHARMS AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES DEC. 1-17. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE SANTIAGO

Mordecai Historic Park’s Holiday Open House in Raleigh welcomes families Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Dec. 10, 1-4 p.m. Tour the home as it would have been decorated for Christmas during colonial days through the World War II era. Admission is free. Take one of the lantern tours, which run 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, through the house and grounds to watch vignettes of the Mordecai family, soldiers and enslaved people during the Civil War. Purchase tickets, $5 per person, at reclink.raleighnc.gov (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

Raleigh Ringers’ Holiday Concerts Dec. 9-10 at Meymandi Concert Hall showcase unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music arranged just for handbells. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. ticketmaster.com.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s holiday spectacle, “Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” is Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. ticketmaster.com.

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 15-24 at Raleigh Memorial auditorium. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

The renowned Raleigh Boychoir presents “Carols of Christmas” Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Purchase tickets, $8-$18, at raleighboychoir.org.

First Night Raleigh takes place Dec. 31, 2 p.m.-midnight, in downtown Raleigh. Enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities prior to the Acorn Drop at midnight. A First Night button, $10, is required for entry. firstnightraleigh.com.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTSPLOSURE/FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH

OTHER TRIANGLE TOWNS

Visit Lights on the Neuse in Clayton, a 1-mile, tractor-pulled Christmas hayride through a magical extravaganza of holiday lights on select nights in November and December. The event also offers a sweet shop and visit with Santa. See the website for hours and to purchase tickets. lightsontheneuse.com.

Hop aboard an open train car with all the trimmings when New Hope Valley Railway in New Hill hosts its annual Holiday Santa Trains. Santa Claus and his elf visit with each child and pose for photos. Trains run Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10, departing at 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visit the website for prices and to purchase tickets. triangletrain.com.

RIDE THE RAILS WITH NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY IN DECEMBER. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY

The Pittsboro Christmas Parade is Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and features seasonal floats, tractors, vintage vehicles, Santa and more. pittsboronc.gov.

Smithfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the corner of Third and Market streets. Enjoy hot chocolate, live entertainment and an appearance from Santa. The annual Smithfield Christmas Parade is Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. on Market Street. smithfield-nc.com.

The Lighting of Wake Forest  The town’s holiday parade, featuring high school marching bands, more than 100 colorful floats and Santa, takes place Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in downtown Wake Forest. wakeforestnc.gov.

Take a covered wagon hayride through the holiday lights, and enjoy bonfires, a jumping pillow, train rides and music at Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights in Youngsville Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $10 for ages 2 and older Sun., Mon., Tues and Thurs.; $12 for ages 2 and older Fri.-Sat.; and $8 on Wed. hillridgefarms.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 30 North Carolina tourist attractions

The Triangle once again dominates the list of North Carolina’s most visited historic tourist attractions in 2016.  You don’t want to miss these!

In the top 30, four attractions are in Raleigh, with one each in Durham and Chapel Hill.

The top tourist attraction, for the third year in a row, is in Raleigh. The Biltmore in Asheville had long been at the top since the list began 13 years ago, but is no longer counted among the popular attractions because it stopped reporting attendance totals.

See:   https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/03/07/top-30-north-carolina-tourist-attractions.html     for the slideshow.

The list is compiled by Carolina Publishing & Associates.

Where to see fireworks and celebrate the 4th of July in the Triangle

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

Nearly every town in the Triangle will have a Fourth of July celebration either over the weekend or next week. From Raleigh’s big downtown celebration – The ‘Works – to Durham fireworks at the Bulls game and Cary’s celebration with the N.C. Symphony, here’s your guide to fireworks, festivals and parades across Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston and Chatham counties.

July 4

Apex – The annual Olde Fashioned Fourth of July runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a Parade of Wheels at noon, which children 12 and under can take part in. Other activities include inflatables, karaoke and face painting. Pets are not allowed. Info: apexnc.org/532/Olde-Fashioned-Fourth-of-July.

Benson ––Benson’s July 4th Celebration takes place at Benson Singing Grove (400 E. Main St.) 5:30-9:30 p.m. There will be food, games, entertainment, live music, a raffle and fireworks. Info: 919-894-5117.

Brier Creek – The Show Us Your Stripes Block Party will take place 7 to 9 p.m. at the Brier Creek Commons Clock Tower Plaza, featuring games, bounce houses and face painting. Fireworks will start after dark. Info: shopbriercreekcommons.com/events.

Carrboro – The activities will commence at 9:30 a.m. on Weaver Street Market Lawn. A parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall will start at 10:50 a.m. There will be live music, a costume contest, inflatables, sack races, a water-balloon toss and bingo for seniors. Info: carrbororec.org/DocumentCenter/View/2750.

Cary – From 3 to 10 p.m., the town will have its celebration in Koka Booth Amphitheatre. There will be watermelon eating contests, a Ferris wheel, a scavenger hunt and music by the N.C. Symphony and the Cary Town Band. Fireworks will start after the symphony’s 7:30 p.m. performance. The event is free, save for some of the amusement rides and pub tables. Pets, hula hoops and weapons are prohibited. Info: boothamphitheatre.com.

Chapel Hill – Fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium on UNC’s campus. Gates open at 7 p.m. and other festivities include a watermelon eating contest, face painting, stiltwalkers and food trucks. The suggested donation to help offset costs is $1 for an individual and $5 for a family. No outside food or drink is allowed. Info: bit.ly/2seqxfb.

Cleveland – Celebrate Cleveland starts at 9 a.m. at 9046 Cleveland Road (JCC Cleveland Campus).

Clayton – Catch food vendors, raffles, basketball competitions, cornhole and inflatables at Municipal Park (325 McCullers Drive) starting at 4 p.m. Fireworks will start after dark. Live music, inflatables and rides will continue after the fireworks. Info: bit.ly/2tbFC5n.

Durham – Durham’s Independence Day Celebration, sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation and the Durham Bulls, includes baseball, fireworks, food and fun. Fireworks happen after the game, and tickets to the game are strongly encouraged, as the gates will open during the 7th inning for general admission based on availability. Tailgating, alcohol in parking decks and watching from parking decks are prohibited. Areas where the game can be viewed outside the ballpark are Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, the grassy area behind Diamond 3, Ponysaurus and Burt’s Bees, outside of the North Deck. Info: durhamnc.gov/1008/Independence-Day-Celebration.

Additionally, the Children’s Independence Day Parade at Durham Central Park starts at 9:30 a.m. (prep), followed by fire truck tours and free popsicles. Info: bit.ly/2tN4ga6.

Kenly – The celebration starts at 8 p.m. at Kenly 95 Petro (923 Johnston Parkway). Info: 919-284-2116.

Knightdale – The band Chairman of the Board will headline the celebration, and there will be food trucks. The event begins at 5 p.m., with shuttles to the Knightdale Station Park beginning at 4. Fireworks start at 9:15 in Knightdale Station Park. Info: knightdalestation.com.

Pine Level – The celebration runs 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Sam Godwin Recreation Park (U.S. 70-A). Info: 919-965-2284.

Raleigh – The ‘Works will have festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Fayetteville Street and at Red Head Amphitheater. Fireworks will start around 9:30. Contests include patriotic pooch, watermelon seed spitting, ice cream eating and a hot dog eating. There will be a beer garden and live music including The Connells and DJ Dousro. Info: raleighconvention.com/works.

Selma – The 14th Annual All-American Festival takes place at Historic Selma Union Depot (500 Railroad St.) 5-10 p.m. Info: 919-975-1411.

Zebulon – There will be fireworks after the Carolina Mudcats game at Five County Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the game starting at 7. A ticket is required for the game and fireworks. Tickets start at $10. Info: carolinamudcats.com.

July 5

Holly Springs – From 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, there will be patriotic festivities including fireworks at 9:15, face painting, live music and inflatables. Friendly pets on leashes are welcome. Bringing fireworks, including sparklers, is prohibited. Info: hollyspringsnc.us/358/July-5th.