December Activities in the Triangle Area

Carolina Inn 12 Days of Christmas

Where: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

When: Events Throughout December

In honor of the classic song, the Carolina Inn will hold a variety of holiday related events that will range from a holiday tea to brunch with Santa. The Inn will be beautifully decorated for the occasions.

Holidays in the Park

Where: Museum of life and Science, Durham

When: Throughout December

“Follow shimmering pathways and glowing trees through the garden, Farmyard, and Dinosaur Trail. Enjoy the tropical temperatures inside the Magic Wings Butterfly House or stop by Sprout Café for a night-time snack. Take an illuminating train ride on the Ellerbe Creek Railway, passing colorful light displays along the way!” The museum will be lit up with fantastic decorations for the holidays as it welcomes visitors of all ages.

Nights of Lights at Dorothea Dix

Where: Dorothea Dix Park, Raleigh

When: Now until Dec 24

“Towering oaks, rolling hills and open fields will be the magical backdrop for this dazzling light show throughout the park. Illuminated trees, festive light displays, and local art installations will delight visitors of all ages along the 1.3-mile route.” Dorothea Dix will be lit up in spectacular Christmas decorations for cars to drive through. On December 13th there will be an inclusive night for bikes only.

Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead

Where: Duke Homestead, Durham

When: Friday, Dec 3 & 10, 5:30 – 9 pm

Historic Duke Homestead will be recreating Christmas from times past. Costumed interpreters will lead a tour through the historically decorated homestead and visitors will have the opportunity to decorate a Christmas tree in Victorian style while listening to carolers around a blazing fire.

Duke Homestead Xmas tour

Craft Market at the NC Botanical Garden

Where: NC Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill

When: Saturday, Dec 4, 11 am – 5 pm

“Find the perfect holiday gifts during our outdoor craft market. Local artisans will offer a variety of products, including folk art, quilts/quilted items, essential oils, handmade natural art, felt art, and natural beauty products.” The beautiful garden is always a nice place to visit not matter the time of year.

Boylan Heights ArtWalk

Where: Boylan Heights, Raleigh

When: Sun, Dec 5, 12 – 5 pm

Artists will line the historic neighborhood’s sidewalks, porches and yards, selling a wide range of glasswork, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork, fiber, clay work and ceramics, photography and prints, multimedia, paintings and more. This is a great place to get a special Christmas gift while supporting local artists. There will also be food available for purchase.

Hillsborough Solstice Lantern Walk

Where: Meet at Eno River Farmers’ Market Pavilion and end in downtown Hillsborough

When: Tues, Dec 21 5:45 PM

The Solstice Lantern Walk is a celebration of community and the beginning of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. the non-denominational winter event encourages participants to bring creative handmade (electric) lanterns and join in a procession through River Park. Registration is required but the event in free. Check out the site for a fantastic gallery of lanterns from previous years.

First Night Raleigh

Where: Fayetteville Street, Raleigh

When: Fri, Dec 31, Children’s Celebration 2 – 6 pm (At NC Museums of History and Science), Main Event 7 pm – Midnight

First Night is Raleigh’s New Years Eve bash full of food, fun and a giant acorn. Come out for live performances, a Ferris wheel and more. Starting at 2 pm, there will be Children’s Celebration for those that aren’t quite ready to stay up to watch the acorn drop at midnight. Tickets are $12 in advanced and $16 day of. Children under 5 get in for free.