2017 Triangle Area Holiday Season Events & Festivities

Durham 2017 Holiday Season Events

The holiday season is already in full swing, with plenty of exciting events planned for the Durham-Raleigh area this year. And in case you planning on taking full advantage, here's a look at what's on the upcoming schedule:

Nov 22

It’s easy to get lost in a good book, but the North Carolina Symphony hopes you’ll also lose yourself in music this holiday season. They’ve planned a special concert centered around the Polar Express the day before Thanksgiving at Meymandi Concert Hall. Paintings inspired by the book will display on a large screen topping the stage as a narrator, children’s chorus and the Symphony bring the traditional holiday season tale to life before your eyes and your ears.

Nov 24-Dec 24

It’s Rudolph and friends taking the stage at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts this holiday season. The musical adaptation of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer showcases every weekend through Christmas Eve in Downtown Raleigh.

Nov 29

Also in downtown, come Celebrate the Season at the Merrimon-Wynne House, for an evening of shopping, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, sure to put you in the mood for the holiday season. You’ll find a rich collection of local retailers ready to help you pamper your loved ones and friends with some great gifts for the season.

Dec 1

The first of the month brings the American Tobacco Tower Lighting to Durham. You’ll find local choirs and dance groups performing up until the tower lighting, followed up by more fun with the holiday playhouses at Diamond View Park.

A real treat for the entire family, the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh presents An Evening with Elves, also on December 1. The event is filled with treats, from s’mores to holiday activities. Kids can even make time out for a visit with the Snowflake Fairy.   

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Dec 2

The next morning, be sure to head out to the North Carolina State Fairgrounds for a Scandinavian Christmas Fair. The event delivers on authentic traditions and celebrations, traced to Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. You’ll find unique gifts, crafts and homemade concoctions for sale here, along with live performances.

Later that night, make plans to attend the Tree Lighting Celebration in Downtown Raleigh. The fun starts in the afternoon, including holiday treats, a gingerbread house contest, live entertainment and even a massive Snowzilla Slide. You can also expect to find Santa and Mrs. Claus on hand, all leading up to a lighting of the 35-foot tree to conclude the evening of fun.

Dec 6

The State Capitol is the setting for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 6. Expect to find live music, activities for kids and Santa, himself. Some area museums also plan to stay open late to mark the evening.

Dec 7-17

The Holiday Express rolls into town on select December nights. The Pullen Park tradition includes a train ride, carousel ride, Santa Claus and local entertainment. You’ll also find an ice-covered sledding hill and plenty of holiday lights with this family-friendly event

Dec 16

Take a step back in history mid-month, when the Bennett Place State Historic Site hosts its annual Christmas in the Piedmont. The event gives visitors a chance to see how things were celebrated during the Civil War, complete with living historians, holiday decorations and hot apple cider.

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