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Deember 8th-14th Triangle 2016

by Pam & Michael Davison

This is the second weekend of holiday festivities throughout the Triangle! If you missed out last weekend or just can't get enough, there are more tree lightings and parades this weekend.

I encourage you to take a moment from the excitement of the Holidays and enjoy the peace that parks offer this time of year. There is something special about the warm sunshine on a crisp winter day and all the sounds that winter brings. Listen for a scurrying squirrel or the chirps of a cardinal. Its times like these that melt away stress and allow you to take on whatever challenges the rest of the day may bring.

Do you have plans for New Years? is proud to be a sponsor of First Night Raleigh. A $10 All Day Pass gives you access to nearly 100 performances in over three dozen locations across Downtown Raleigh as well as the DIY Festival and the midnight Acorn Drop. Advanced tickets are available at several Triangle locations and online.

Holiday Events

Come Downtown Thursday night for the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Festival at the North Carolina State Capitol. Festivities begin with the lighting of luminaries and musical performances and culminate with the lighting of the State Tree. After the ceremony you are invited inside the Capitol for a Holiday Open House The Open House will continue through Saturday. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences features extended hours Thursday and a Science Cafe about the Mystery of Brewing. While your Downtown, lace up some skates and do a few laps on the Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink.

The Holly Springs Community Band will be playing a Season in Song Concert Thursday evening at the Holly Springs Cultural Center.

Come out and see the Mordecai house decorated for Christmas! Each room will be decorated according to a different time period that the Mordecai family resided in the home. The free Holiday Open House will run Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening, they will also offer Holiday Lantern Tours with the Burning Coal Theater. Tours sell out so call to reserve your ticket early.

Tour the Plank Kitchen and Main House and see Christmas decorations interpreting 5 different time periods in Historic Oak View's history daily through Saturday.

The Town of Carrboro will celebrate the season Friday night with music on the lawn and tree lighting.

Christmas by Candlelight is back again this Friday at the Duke Homestead Historic Site. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during the evening candlelight tours of the Homestead. After the tour, enjoy caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies while you take in the period decorations.

A Main Street Christmas, a traditional-style celebration, with Christmas carols, hayrides and other festivities culminating in a tree lighting ceremony at the Holly Springs Cultural Center Friday night that will get you in the mood for the Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade through Downtown Holly Springs Saturday.

Friday night there will be guided candlelight tours of Bennett Place Historic Site every 20 minutes that will take visitors into the field to watch as Union and Confederate soldiers hold a truce and exchange items, into the historic Bennett home where they will watch and listen as family members try to prepare food as well as decorate their house and keep the holiday spirit going.

The Wake Forest Christmas Parade will be marching through Downtown Wake Forest Saturday.

Saturday afternoon brings the Cary Christmas Parade.

The Chapel Hill - Carrboro Holiday Parade marches through town Saturday morning.

The Durham Holiday Parade takes place Saturday morning.

The Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge is a unique kind of holiday display -- and one you don't want to miss. See 75+ trees gloriously decorated by area nonprofits on the Diamond View Lawn. By voting for your favorite, you'll help a nonprofit win great prizes. Also at the American Tobacco Campus, you can check out the Tree of Bikes until December 15th.

Annual Halle Hall of Wreaths and Trees are on display at the Halle Cultural Arts Center through December 21st.

Historic Yates Mill Park invites you to join them for several activities this week. Come share the heart-warming story, An Orange for Frankie, and hear how other people celebrate the winter holiday season Friday. Get into the spirit of giving by helping to cut out and assemble Warm Fleece Blankets for children in need on Tuesday.

More Festive Fun!

Thursday morning, bring the kids over to the Carrboro Century Center for Kids, Cookies & Candy Canes. Join them for cookies, crafts, balloon sculpting and a children"s show.

Kick off the Estrella de la Esperanza (Star of Hope) campaign Friday evening at the Herb Young Community Center. They will celebrate a tree lighting along with a potluck dinner of Latin American holiday dishes and local musicians who perform traditional holiday songs.

A four day Art Extravaganza kicks off Thursday night in Downtown Fuquay and continues through Sunday. There will be Art Exhibits, Kids Crafts, Holiday Entertainment and Pictures with Santa.

Shop Local Art on the ArtWalk with live music, food & drinks, and other art related entertainment Friday night in Carroboro.

The North Carolina Museum of Art kicks off the weekend Friday evening with extended hours, live music by Tea Cup Gin Unplugged and a Gallery Exploration of the Lush Life. Also Saturday, there will be a lecture on Kinetic Art. Bring the whole family to the Art Museum Saturday for a Family Fun Saturday about Fine Lines. Both Saturday and Sunday they will be offering Weekend Family Friendly Tours and Meet Your Museum Tours.

Bennett Place Historic Site will be celebrating Christmas in the Carolinas During the Civil War on Saturday. The farm will be decorated in a typical modest fashion of the time and there will be children's games, cooking demonstrations, soldiers in camp along with hot apple cider, Christmas cookies and a visit from Old St. Nick.

Bond Park will host a Grinch Candy Cane Hunt Saturday. Outsmart the Grinch who has discovered that elves have hidden red and white candy canes and find them before he turns them green!

The NC Chinese Lantern Festival continues at Regency Park through January 15th. The Festival includes more than 20 all new displays, each one comprised of hundreds of parts, and thousands of LED lights. In what proved to be a fan favorite last year, the spectacular Chinese Dragon on Symphony Lake will return to mesmerize visitors.

Posada Navidena, a Hispanic holiday celebration with international bands performing and booths offering health professional services as well as traditional Christmas-related items will take place Sunday at the NC State Fairgrounds.

The annual Christmas Open House at West Point on the Eno Park will take place Sunday featuring hot cider & cookies, grinding demonstrations, free samples of homemade hush puppies, and traditional 19th century decorations in the Mangum House,

Sunday at Marbles Kids Musuem, enjoy a special performance of The Nutcracker by the Triangle Academy of Dance, then join in on the fun!

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. The event is open to the public Sunday afternoon in Downtown Raleigh.

Parks offer Outdoor Activities

Come out to Falls Lake before the premier of Star Wars: Rogue One on Friday night to look up at the stars with North Carolina State University"s Astrophysics Group for their Star Wars Star Party. Come back Saturday for a program about White-Tailed Deer and the chance to make a holiday themed craft!

Bring your binoculars and join them at Eno River State park for a relaxing morning outing Bird Watching on Saturday.

Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join them at Harris Lake on Saturday for a cup of hot cocoa and a ride on their wagon to explore the back roads of the park. Be one of his special guests on the wagon as you listen to stories and sing Christmas carols!

It's Strictly for the Birds Saturday at Blue Jay Point County Park. Create yummy winter treats for the birds in your yard during this hands-on "holiday baking" session.

Come join Mike Raley and Anne Clapp of 680 WPTF The Weekend Gardener Show live Saturday morning at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh.

The State Fairgrounds will also host a Sportscard and Sports Memorabilia 3-Day Show this weekend.

Take a Walk in the Woods Saturday at Crowder District Park and discover the animals and plants that call the park home this time of year.

Bring your kids to learn about the Animals of Umstead & the Junior Ranger Program Sunday afternoon at Umstead State Park. Join them at Umstead Wednesday morning for a Trail Work Day.


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