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December 4th - December 10th 2014 Triangle

by Pam & Michael Davison

I hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday! Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the parks, museums, historic sites and downtowns are filled with Christmas and Holiday Season activities. There are tree lighting ceremonies this week and a handful of parades to get you in the mood for the season.

This is a great time of year to visit some of your favorite parks or check out a new one. Take some time for yourself and your family and escape the hustle and bustle of the 'Shopping Season'. If you visit some of the larger parks, there is a good chance you will even spot some wildlife, especially deer, now that the cover of the leaves is gone. A sunny day in a park is a great place to take that holiday family picture, too.
We have close to 90 events listed this weekend. In this newsletter, we are concentrating on the holiday events. Feel free to go to and look up this weekend's dates on the Event Search for a complete listing of the Triangle's events.
Christmas Tree Lightings & Parades

Thursday kicks off the Holiday Tree Lightings here in the Triangle. Along with the Christmas Tree lighting, Fuquay Varina will also host performances by local choral and musical groups and free Holiday Sleigh Rides. Saturday will be a Frozen Family Fun Day. Come see characters from the movie "Frozen," join in on a sing along, enjoy Frozen themed balloon art, Mimi the Clown and a visit from Santa. The Fuquay-Varina Hometown Christmas Parade will take place Sunday afternoon.


Saturday starts off with the the Hillsborough Christmas Parade followed by the Hillsborough Tree Lighting including members of the Orange Community Players, dressed in colonial garb, serenading the town with carols and Christmas stories. Sunday brings the Hillsborough Holiday Homecomings Tour.

Down in Garner on Friday night they will Light Up Main. The festivities will include lighting the town Christmas Tree, entertainment, refreshments and Santa's workshop with children's arts and crafts. The forecast even calls for snow! Head downtown Saturday for the Garner Christmas Parade.
Downtown Knightdale will be celebrating their Tree Lighting Friday night along with live entertainment and Mrs. Claus picking up your letters to deliver them to the North Pole. Join them Saturday afternoon for the Knightdale Christmas Parade.
Christmas on Salem Street starts with carols and the official lighting of Apex's Christmas tree Friday night. They are selling tickets for Horse Drawn Carriage Rides and Kiddy Christmas Train Rides. This year they have added a Winter Wonderland with real snow to play in and sledding down a large snow-covered slide. Saturday features a Pancake Breakfast and Pictures with Santa. Sunday brings the Apex Christmas Parade and Apex Historical Holiday Home Tour. Come to the Halle before Sunday's parade to enjoy excerpts from the Nutcracker.
The Lighting of Wake Forest Friday night will feature the lighting of a 30-feet-tall Christmas tree by the Mayor, followed by the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick. The event will also include performances by local choirs and complimentary "Pictures with Santa" in the town hall lobby. Saturday brings a Holiday Open House to the Downtown Wake Forest shops and restaurants. There will be free horse and carriage rides, visits and pictures with Santa, live entertainment, and a variety of special events. The Wake Forest Parade is next weekend.
Durham will ring in the Holiday Friday night with the American Tobacco Tower Lighting. Also starting Friday and going until December 19th, you will want to check out the Triangle Tree Challenge. Located on the Diamond View Lawn adjacent to DPAC, more than 60 trees are gloriously decorated by area nonprofits that are looking for your vote.
Durham will host a Holiday Fun Fest on Saturday at Edison Johnson Community Center with family fun including face painting, arts & Crafts and a visit from Santa.
Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the Morrisville Town Hall as a children's choir performs and they light up their tree. Saturday brings the Town of Morrisville Winterfest Parade & Holiday Craft Fair.
Saturday will also bring the Tree Lighting in Downtown Raleigh during the Raleigh Winterfest Celebration. In addition to a Christmas Tree lighting, you can skate at the downtown ice rink; enjoy live entertainment; food & drink vendors; a craft market; the Taste of Downtown; a Gingerbread House Tent; Santa's Village; a beer & wine garden and carnival favorites like a Bounce House, a Carousel, and a 47ft Ferris Wheel. They will even have a Snowy sledding Hill. The Winterfest Ice Rink will remain open through February 1st so click through for all the information about prices, hours, special days and events.
Skate on over to American Tobacco this holiday season for some wintry fun at Durham's Ice Factory, the outdoor Ice Skating Rink. Click through for all the special events.
Saturday will be all about the Holidays in Cary! Downtown will host the Gingerbread House Competition, Letters to Santa, Christmas Tree Lighting and Ole Time Winter Festival. Santa's Workshop will come alive for kids with a variety of kids crafts stations at the Herb Young Community Center. The Cary parade is also next weekend.
Sunday afternoon, Downtown Raleigh will host Our Lady of Guadalupe Parade. The procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an annual event of Sacred Heart Cathedral where the faithful pray and sing hymns as they walk from the church ground and back.
History and the Holidays
One of my favorite holiday events is Saturday night's Sleigh Rides & Cider at Historic Oak View Park. Enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Oak View's Pecan Grove, listen to Christmas carols in the 1855 farmhouse, drink hot apple cider in the 1825 Plank Kitchen, listen to stories and visit with Old St. Nick! There will a bake sale to raise funds for the park's renovation projects.
The Arbolito de la Esperanza lighting event Friday night at the Herb Young Community Center is preceded by a traditional Latin celebration in which the public participates in a pot-luck dinner with Holiday foods from different Latin American countries. Local Latino musicians will be playing music for sing alongs to villancicos and agüinaldos (traditional holiday songs).
Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during the evening Candlelight Tours of Duke Homestead. The tour features period decorations, caroling, story telling, hot apple cider, and other goodies. They will be offering the special tours both this Friday and next Friday night.
Living historians will be celebrating Christmas in the Carolinas as it was celebrated during the American Civil War on Saturday at Bennett Place Historic Site.
Get into the holiday spirit at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Holiday Open House. Learn about century-old holiday traditions while touring Cary's own 1868 historic hotel decorated for the season. Enjoy Victorian Carolers, sing Christmas carols around the piano or enjoy a free horse-drawn carriage ride.
Re-enactors will demonstrate scenes of 18th-century life; the sounds of live music will fill the air; and interpreters will entertain children using colonial games and crafts during Saturday's Colonial Christmas at the Joel Lane Museum House.
Join an Eno River State Park Ranger at the Historic Piper Cox House Sunday for some cookies, hot chocolate and the chance to Sing Along with some of the historic carols sung over the years by the inhabitants of the Eno River Valley.
More Holiday Happenings
Celebrate the season as Pullen Park with a ride on the Holiday Express. Enjoy holiday lights and displays, a lighted train ride, local entertainment, carousel ride, crafts, visit with Santa and more. The event goes Thursday through Sunday this weekend and next weekend and many nights sell out so click through for information on how to get your advanced tickets.


The Scandinavian Christmas Fair at the state fairgrounds on Saturday features Scandivanian favorites like homemade foods, unique crafts and entertainment. There will be cultural exhibits and children"s activities. On Sunday, the Posada Navidena brings a hispanic holiday celebration with international bands, health booths and holiday items to the Fairgrounds. There will also be a Classic Car Auction, a Toy Train Sale & Swap Meet and the Holiday Classic Open Horse Show this weekend at the Fairgrounds.
The Holly Springs School of Dance invites you to one of their 6 shows on Saturday at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. The annual Holiday Cabaret helps the dancers learn they can use their gifts to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The Natural Science Center of Greensboro invites you to join them daily for their Laser Holiday Show and the 3D film, The Light Before Christmas.
Do you love making, crafting, and tinkering? The Museum of Life and Science invites you to check out their Holiday Make & Take in the Lab from now until December 24th.
The Halle Cultural Arts Center will host an Opening Reception Friday evening for the 7th Annual Christmas Tree Exhibit and Auction to benefit the Wake Crisis Ministry. The trees will be on exhibit until December 22nd.
Local musicians from the Gathering Church will perform an Outdoor Holiday Concert Saturday evening in Downtown Chapel Hill.
Holiday tales will come alive Sunday at Marbles Kids Museum with performances by the Tarheel Tale Tellers.

Science Thursday & First Friday
The fun starts at 6:45am at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences Thursday with live streaming of the NASA Orion Test Flight. Watch the launch and the splash down. In between, listen to guest speakers and presentations. At 11am, they will present an Exciting Geological Find: Diamonds in NC. Science Thursday boasts Science Trivia, a presentation by the Collections Manager of Fishes and Getting Started in Astro Imaging.

 Head on over to Bass Lake Park for Family Fun Night. After enjoying fishing, arts & crafts and some live animals, you will be treated to a magic show by Dan the Magic Man or kid friendly concert with Trish Miller.

First Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will feature the 1970 film "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth," a Teen Science Cafe on the invasive Lionfish, discount tickets to "The World's Largest Dinosaurs," and an opening reception for the nature photography show "Scenes from the Natural World."
The North Carolina Museum of Art will feature music by the David Dyer Trio, an exploration of the The Mysteries of Discretion and the intriguing documentary Tim's Vermeer by Penn and Teller
Enjoy a free self-guided tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, retail, restaurants and alternative art venues on the First Friday Gallery Walk every month in Downtown Raleigh. City Market also celebrates First Friday with live music & entertainment along with extended hours at Marbles and City of Raleigh Museum.
Durham Central Park will celebrate the Grand Opening of Mount Merrill Saturday with a children's drum circle, balloon twisting, interactive story time and more!








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