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November 30th - December 6th 2017 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 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

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 Friday through Sunday to enjoy excerpts from the Nutcracker. Also Opening Friday and running through December 20th, 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. This year"s parade Grand Marshall will be Former Orange High School Baseball Star and Current Atlanta Braves Member Bryce Wilson and food truck will set up before the festivities.

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. 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. Come back Downtown Saturday for their Holiday Parade.

Durham will host a Holiday Fun Fest on Saturday at the American Tobacco Campus with family fun including the Peppermint Plunge, Meet Santa, Arts & Crafts, Face Painters, Train Rides, Inflatable Slide, Bounce House, Toddler Playland, & Pony Rides, Community Care Corner and Local vendors.

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 Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting. The free family-friendly event will transform Fayetteville Street and City Plaza into a winter wonderland featuring Snowzilla, an almost 35-foot-tall and 90-foot-long super slide, live music, holiday refreshments, the Carolina Hurricanes Slapshot Booth, an inflatable obstacle course, face painting and a Kids' Zone.

They will be celebrating the Heart of the Holidays in Cary Saturday! Downtown will host an Old Time Winter Festival, the Gingerbread House Competition, Letters to Santa, and 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.

Downtown Chapel Hill kicks off the holiday season with a Community Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church Sunday evening accompanied by choirs and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Downtown Fuquay-Varina will Light the Town Tree with choirs and a special visit from Santa on Thursday evening. 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.

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.

More Holiday Fun

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.

The Holly Springs School of Dance invites you to one of their 2 shows on Saturday at their new location, Hope church - Holly Springs Campus. The annual Holiday Cabaret helps the dancers learn they can use their gifts to raise money for the Meg Smiles Foundation.

The NC Chinese Lantern Festival continues to light up the night at Regency Park through January 14th.

First Friday

Family Fun Night at Bass Lake Park celebrates First Friday with arts and crafts, live animals and a magic show by Dan the Magic Man.

Iris after Dark is a new evening experience offered by the NCMA's Iris restaurant every Friday night featuring small plates, an extended wine and beer selection and the and tunes of local DJs and musicians. You can also stay to see the Fall Film The Red Turtle.

First Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will feature a Teen Science Cafe on Music and the Mind.

First Friday at the North Carolina Museum of History will feature stories on early aviation in North Carolina and Double Barley Brewing will be in the museum's lobby, providing free samples

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 and Marbles Kids Museum.



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