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10 Things You Can Do in Raleigh During the Holidays

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Best Holiday Events & Attractions in Raleigh, NC

It’s already looking a lot like Christmas and we know what that means. Well, aside from the cold, snow and presents, it means a lot of time to spend with family and friends.

And because it’s the most wonderful time of the year, Raleigh is packed with events and activities special to the Christmas season that you can enjoy with the people closest to your heart.

Being the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is bursting with a robust and diverse culture that you can enjoy all year round. But, what takes place during December is something truly worth experiencing.

Check out the top 10 things you can do in Raleigh, NC, during the holiday season.


1. Watch a Theater Show

carolina ballet nutcracker raleigh

Performing arts is a big thing in Raleigh and the city is well known for some of the best holiday music and arts production.

This year, Carolina’s Ballet is doing the famous Nutcracker in the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts building in Raleigh from the 15th to the 24th of December. Tickets range between $37 – $111 and you can get them here.

Broadway Series South also has Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical going on until the 24th. Inspired by the animated television classic, this would be a great holiday treat for the kids! Click here for tickets and show schedules.


2. Christmas Lights Show

Lake Myra Christmas Lights raleigh

One of Wendell Wonderland’s main attraction is the Lake Myra Christmas Lights which is only a 25-minute drive from Raleigh. It’s a large-scale choreographed lights display that’s perfectly in sync with famous holiday music. It happens annually and every year it gets bigger and better. 

In Cary, about 16 minutes away from Raleigh, the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival runs until mid January. It’s now on it’s third year and it’s become one of the must-see attractions for tourists visiting during the holidays. It features 20 hand-made lantern displays lit up by thousands of LED lights. The 200-feet long dragon is their main display floating on Symphony Lake. Tickets are a $15 for adults and $10 for kids.

Then there’s Piper’s Lights located in the heart of Raleigh which has been running every year for the last 30 years. It’s run by a dedicated family and spreads for about 7 acres. Piper’s Lights even won the Great Christmas Light War by ABC Television.


3. Greet the New Year at City of Oaks

first night raleigh

This years First Night Raleigh is the events 27th year. It features almost a hundred performances across more than 35 venues in Raleigh downtown.

It ends with a giant acorn dropping at the strike of midnight in the City of Oaks. Tickets are $11 All Day Pass, $50 VIP Pass; Day of: $15 All Day Pass.


4. Watch Carolina Hurricane NHL Home Games

carolina hurricanes raleigh

The holidays is for people to spend time with their families and maybe take a break off of work. Not for our Carolina Hurricanes. This December, they have a series of home games at the PNC Arena in Raleigh and what better way to release some masculinity than to watch them play right?

Check out their schedules, pick out which games you want to see, get your tickets and cheer for the Hurricanes with your best buds!


5. Christmas Dinner

The Umstead Hotel and Spa raleigh

Save yourself some of the work of preparing a full course Christmas dinner, take a 16-minute drive from Raleigh to Cary and enjoy the wonderful spread that The Umstead Hotel and Spa will prepare for their guests.

At $95 per head, you get to enjoy a delectable four course meal.


6. Christmas Brunch

Christmas day brunch at Heron raleigh

Are you going to keep your tradition of Christmas dinners at home?

That’s totally cool. You can switch it up with a Christmas day brunch at Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary instead. Their brunch goes on from 7am to 1pm and have a light yet rich menu ready for you.

This would be a great gift to give your moms or wives. A morning of not having to get up early and prepare breakfast would be an absolute treat for them!

7. Ice Skating

ipreo raleigh winterfest

Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest is the perfect traditional Christmas activity you and your kids can enjoy. They have their ice skating rink open in Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh until the end of January 2018!

Tickets cost $10 per head which includes skate rentals. The fest also includes rides, live music, food trucks and a gingerbread house.

There are usually a lot of people but don’t be in a hurry. You got the rest of December and all of January 2018 to take your family there at least one or two times!

8. Comedy Club

Goodnight's Comedy Club

Want a night of laughter and all out humor with your friends?

Head on to Raleigh’s legendary stand-up comedy spot, Goodnight’s Comedy Club, where famous names such as Ellen Degeneres, Chris Rock, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfield have performed.

Known nationally, tickets to a show would be such an awesome gift! Or you can find a sitter to watch the kids and enjoy a night of laughter with your partner!

9. Fashion Fair

50 years ebony fashion fair raleigh

This one’s for the ladies and for anyone who’s interested in the world of fashion.

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair covers half a century’s worth of the evolution of style and fashion. Notable fashion names such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen among many more will grace the fashion shindig running until the 28th of January next year.

The fair is held in the North Carolina Museum of Art in uptown Raleigh and has ticket prices of $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, uniformed, groups and students.

10. Raleigh Brewery Tour

Image result for raleigh brews cruise

And, what’s a holiday without warming up with a brewery tour of Raleigh’s famous beer scene?

There are more than 30 breweries located in Raleigh and you get to experience the behind the scene tour like no other with Raleigh Brews Cruise! Beer sampling (which is the best part) is part of the knowledge-based tour.

Warm up this cold December with the greatest local beers in town, experience the brewery scene first hand and gift a Raleigh Brews Cruise certificate to your brothers and mates!

Already thinking about how awesome a tour would be? Check out our calendar and book a tour now!