Find a park within of zipcode:
Finding quality outdoor time

Have an article you want to submit? Simply email it to us in one of the following formats and we review it for publishing on our site!

You can email your article to us in a .doc or .txt format.

December 1st - 7th Triangle 2016

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 80 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 All Around the Triangle

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 a "Kiddy Christmas Train Ride" . Kids can also enjoy activities like cookie decorating and face painting. There will even be a food truck. Saturday features the Apex Christmas Parade. Sunday brings the Apex Historical Holiday Home Tour. Come to the Halle Sunday to enjoy excerpts from the Nutcracker. Also Opening Friday and running through the 21st, check out the Annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Exhibit & Auction at the Halle.

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.

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. Come back downtown Sunday for Rudolph's Food Truck Rodeo.

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 and Tree of Bikes. Come see the bikes that have been collected and lit up. Also starting Friday and going until January 2nd, 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 the Durham County Stadium Practice Field 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 Friday night.

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 entertainment on the Main Stage, a Gingerbread House Contest, Rides, Kids Activities, Food Trucks and Vendors. The Ice Raleigh Skating Rink will remain open through January 29th so click through for all the information about prices, hours, special days and events. Friday night, DJ City Dirt Duo will be playing the tunes.

They will be celebrating the Heart of the Holidays in Cary Saturday! Downtown will host the Gingerbread House Competition, Letters to Santa, Christmas Tree Lighting. Santa's Workshop will come alive for kids with a variety of kids crafts stations at the Herb Young Community Center. The Cary Christmas Parade is also next weekend.

The Fuquay-Varina Hometown Christmas Parade will take place Sunday afternoon.

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. Come back for a guided your of Christmas at Oak View Farm Tours Monday through Saturday next week. They will be displaying decorations from five different time periods in Oak View's history! (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era, Victorian Era, Great Depression, and World War II).

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.

Saturday, you can Take Pictures with Santa at Yates Mill. Prices for photo packages vary, but there will also be "reindeer games" in the mill yard, a variety of old time toys for you to try, some free seasonal refreshments and handmade crafts for sale.

Step back in time to celebrate a Civil War Christmas at Bentonville Battlefield Saturday with costumed civilian and military interpreters.

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.

The Tar Heel Tale Tellers will be bringing holiday tales to life Sunday afternoon at Marbles Kids Museum.

The North Carolina Museum of Art will host a concert by the Triangle Jewish Chorale Sunday afternoon featuring two original pieces commissioned by the Triangle Jewish Chorale and written by North Carolina composers: Allan Friedman's Kabbalat Shabbat Variations (world premiere) and Alejandro Rutty's Down Home: The Cantata.

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 Sunday through Tuesday this week and next week. 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 also be cultural exhibits and children"s activities. The Fairgrounds also hosts a Toy Train Sale & Swap Meet, and the Holiday Classic Open Horse Show this weekend.

Carrboro will host a Holiday Lights Cruiser Bike Ride Friday night. Light your bike (and yourself) up like a Christmas tree and join them for a 3 to 3.5 mile loop making noise and merriment.

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 Meg Smiles Foundation.

Infinity Ballet Theatre's Dances of the Nutcracker will come to the Halle Cultural Arts Center December 2nd-4th.

First Friday

Come to Crowder District Park Friday to explore the Mysteries of the Moon. Sip on some hot cocoa and listen to some of the stories people have told about the moon and find out if there is truth to them.

First Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will feature a Teen Science Cafe on Is There a Doctor in the Greenhouse?. Come back Saturday for Pokemon Day.

The North Carolina Museum of Art will feature music by the Onyx Club Boys and an exploration of Sharing the Wealth.

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. First Friday also features extended hours at City of Raleigh Museum.

First Friday at the North Carolina Museum of History lets you treat yourself to 20% off everything in the Museum Shop and festivities such as the Museum"s holiday decorations and lobby level exhibits. Mix all that with some delicious samples of Little City Brewing and Provisions beer, wine and finger food.


Recent Articles
January 30th - February 5th Triangle 2020
January 23rd - 29th Triangle 2020
January 16th - 22nd Triangle 2020
January 9th - 15th Triangle 2020
January 2nd - 8th Triangle 2020

Browse by Category