December Activities in the Triangle Area

Holidays in the Park

Where: Museum of life and Science, Durham

When: Most days throughout December, Starting Dec 1

“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.

Wendell Wonderland

Where: Downtown Wendell

When: Friday, Dec 2, 5 – 9 pm

The community event will have a range of activities including trolley rides, a holiday market, musical performances, a chance to meet Santa and more. There will also be several food trucks.

Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead

Where: Duke Homestead, Durham

When: Friday, Dec 2 & 9, 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.

NCAA Women’s and Men’s Soccer College Cup

Where: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary

When: Dec 2 and Dec 5 for the Women’s; Dec 9 and 12 for Men’s

The final four of both women’s and men’s college soccer will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park. The women’s bracket is set and will feature UNC-Chapel Hill, Florida State, Alabama and UCLA. The men’s soccer teams still need to play one more round before the semi-final begins but could include Duke and UNC-Greensboro.

Winter in the Garden

Where: NC Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill

When: Dec 3, 4, 7, 11

The botanical garden will be putting on a range of events including a craft market, natural ornament workshop and guided nature walks around UNC’s campus. Check out their website for more details.

30th Annual Boylan Heights ArtWalk

Where: Boylan Heights, Raleigh

When: Sun, Dec 4 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..

Light Up the Night Holiday Parade

Where: Downtown Hillsborough

When: Sunday, Dec 4, 4 pm

Put on by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the parade will feature bands, dancers, mascots and Sant Claus. UNC basketball legend Phil Ford will be the grand marshal of the event. Festivities start at 4 pm with the “Running of the elves” and the actual parade starts at 4:15.

Hillsborough Solstice Lantern Walk

Where: Meet at Eno River Farmers’ Market Pavilion

When: Wed, Dec 21 4:30 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 is free. Check out the site for a fantastic gallery of lanterns from previous years.

First Night Raleigh

Where: Fayetteville Street, Raleigh

When: Tues, 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 Year’s Eve bash full of food, fun and a giant acorn. Come out for live performances, festivities and good times. Raleigh still hasn’t released a lot of information about the event but past First Nights have also included a children’s celebration that starts at 2 pm.