Celebrate the holidays in Wilmington NC at the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, Island of Lights festivities, Enchanted Airlie and more!
Wilmington NC holiday events feature twinkling lights, holiday tunes, Christmas shows, holiday shopping, visits with Santa and more! Mark your calendar today so that you can celebrate the holiday season in Wilmington, North Carolina with family and friends.
Visiting from out of town? Contact our local hotel partners for excellent holiday rates!
2014 Wilmington NC Holiday Events:
A Trailer Park Christmas
Now - December 21, 2014
From Durham writers Rachel Klem and Jeffrey Moore comes the wildest, most absurd Christmas show ever! Journey to the Whispering Pines Trailer Park where Meemaw Hussey and her family gather to celebrate the holiday with some spiked Sunny D and tasty delights from Meemaw's kitchen. Lorraine and Dale, Meemaw's daughter and son-in-low, try and keep their kids, Dale, Jr. and Jolene, on the straight-and-narrow, but you know young'uns these days. Plus, there's a whole mess of neighbors like Ratsnake, Eddie Mac Taylor, Fancy Nancy and them that'll have you in stitches. TheatreNOW presents this rowdy Christmas show that features live music, audience interaction and a whole mess of hilarity all served with a "city-fied" meal! Call 910-399-3669 for more information.
Festival of Trees at the Cameron Art Museum
Now - December 7, 2014
The Cape Fear Festival of Trees returns as one of the most heart-warming holiday traditions in Wilmington. During the two-week festival, you are invited to wander through a winter wonderland of holiday elegance. Glittering trees decorated by local businesses, various organizations and individual artists transform the museum space into an enchanted forest. In addition to the dazzling array of trees, enjoy performances by over 30 local musical groups and artists. Treat your ears to the wonderful sounds of harps, handbell choirs, ukulele choirs, a capella singing and more. Included in your festival admission. Click here for additional information.
The Lighting at the Lake Celebration
November 28, 2014
The light up ceremony officially begins the month long Island of Lights Festival in Carolina and Kure Beaches in NC. The Lake is located at the intersection of Atlanta Avenue and Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach, NC. There is parking in a lot at the Lake, at a lot across from the Lake, and on Lake Park Blvd. where indicated. The event is always the night after Thanksgiving and the opening ceremony is at 7 PM. The brief opening ceremony, prior to the actual lighting, will feature the President of The Island of Lights Committee, Pleasure Island elected officials, and musical entertainment. Families can walk one mile around the lake to view the beautiful lighted displays. Santa will visit the celebration and free refreshments will be served prior to Light Up.
Wrightsville Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 28, 2014 at 5:30PM
Come see Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s Elves at the annual Town of Wrightsville Beach Tree
Lighting Ceremony held at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall, 321 Causeway Drive. Enjoy Christ-
mas music, a musical performance by the Elf Patrol, hot chocolate, and the memory making
moment of your child’s visit with Santa. Click here for additional information.
North Carolina Holiday Flotilla
November 28 - 29, 2014
The 31st Flotilla weekend will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 28th and 29th. From our humble beginnings thirty years ago, the Flotilla has grown to become one of the top 20 events in the Southeast and a must see family weekend, attracting an estimated 50,000 people to Wrightsville Beach annually. Our weekend kicks off with the fabulous Launch Party held at the Blockade Runner on Friday November 28th, followed by the family friendly Festival in the Park on Saturday November 29th and of course, the spectacular lighted boat parade and increasingly impressive fireworks will be that evening. Call 910-256-2120 for more information.
November 28 - 29, 2014
December 5-6, 11-14, 18-22, 2014
A Wilmington tradition since 2005, guests from around the world have visited Airlie Gardens from Thanksgiving to Christmas to take in the sparkling sights and festive sounds of the season. Guests will experience a 0.5m stroll through the Gardens, on a self-guided tour while feasting their eyes on a spectacular array of lights and holiday displays. Also in attendance, Santa Claus himself, and a few local food and beverage vendors with coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies and more! The year 2014 marks our 10th anniversary of Enchanted Airlie! NEW this year, in addition to more spectacular lights, The WOW Factor of Wilmington presents, a meet and greet with Winter Princesses! Call 910-798-7700 for more information.
A Christmas Story, The Musical
November 28-30, 2014 | December 5-7, 2014
This classic holiday tale centers on a mischievous, bespectacled boy, Ralphie, who dreams of getting a BB-gun for Christmas. In the weeks before the big holiday, Ralphie, his friends and his family get into all kinds of situations — including run-ins with a bully with “yellow eyes,” a tongue stuck to a flag pole, a bar of soap in the mouth, a garish leg lamp, a major award and a Chinese Christmas dinner. Call City Stage at 910-342-0272 for more information.
Christmas Train and Light Spectacular
Fridays & Saturdays through December 27, 2014
Stroll through the Wilmington Railroad Musuem to see 20,000 twinkling lights, music and Christmas layouts with snow. Visit with Santa, enjoy festive decorations and get some hot cider & cookies afterward. General admission is only $5 per person. Kids under age 2 are free.
Holiday Concert with John Pizzarelli Quartet
December 2, 2014 at 8PM
Swing into the holidays with world-renowned jazz guitarist and crooner John Pizzarelli. Acclaimed by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz" and hailed as “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times, Pizzarelli's performances transport audiences to a different time. For the first time during his illustrious career, John Pizzarelli brings his acclaimed quartet to southeastern NC for an unforgettable evening of classic swing, bold jazz originals and charming holiday standards. Don't miss out on what is certain to be the most talked about show of the holiday season! Click here for additional information.
Jeremy Webb's A Christmas Carol at Thalian Hall
December 3, 2014 at 4PM & 7PM
Jeremy Webb returns to the Thalian Hall stage, this time not as the characters of Shakespeare, but in his one man portrayal of all the characters of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Take a break from the holiday rush and settle in for the dramatic, often hilarious, and sometimes spooky holiday classic. Every Christmas this is the story that warms our hearts and reminds us with laughter and tears that the true Christmas spirit comes from giving. Click here for additional information.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some)
December 4-7, 11-14, & 18-21, 2014
Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told - plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons form ancient times to topical pop-culture and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season. Call Big Dawg Productions at 910-367- 5237 for more information.
Island of Lights Christmas Parade
December 5, 2014
Area residents both young and old look forward to this annual Christmas Parade. The Christmas Parade will is always the second Friday after Thanksgiving and begins at 7:30 PM. The Parade proceeds from Atlanta Avenue down Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Plaza in Carolina Beach. Floats, bands and Santa Clause will be there to add to the festivities of the Season and provide a night of entertainment for families. Click here for additional information.
Holiday Flea at BAC
December 5-7, 2014
Renowned as the “ultimate vintage flea” and attended by more than 1,500 shoppers and dozens of vintage vendors from around the region, The Holiday Flea is a three-day event that will again be the go-to shopping experience of the season—with a wide array of vintage, retro, antique, and upcycled treasures—and tons of fun, with Wilmington’s finest food trucks feeding the crowds, a coffee shop in the courtyard, and the BAC cash bar serving liquid refreshments. Call 910-538-2939 for more information.
A Verry Merry Showboat
December 6, 2014
Enjoy a new holiday tradition at the USS North Carolina! Kids can fly a flag with Santa (bring your own or buy a US or NC flag from the Battleship’s store). Santa and the Battleship’s Captain will sign your certificate of authenticity. Type your Christmas wish list on a vintage typewriter using authentic WWII USS NORTH CAROLINA radio message paper. Call the North Pole in the Battleship’s main radio room. See Santa’s journey being tracked in the Combat Information Center. Create Christmas cards for veterans in VA hospitals and more. Bring your camera for some unique photo ops. A great way to start your holiday season! Click here for additional information.
Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla
December 6, 2014 at 6PM
Fishing boats and pleasure craft electrically decorated with thousands of lights present a spectacular display on the Intracoastal Waterway. They cruise from Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The boats compete for prizes and add to the wonderful holiday spirit. This Christmas flotilla always takes place on the second Saturday after Thanksgiving and begins at 6 PM. A panel of judges will be on hand to choose the winners. Bring the family and enjoy the evening at Carolina Beach.
Polar Express Family Shows
December 6, 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2014
The charming holiday classic returns for an 11th season! This favorite program provides a live reading of the story by WWAY-TV personalities, visit with Santa, all the festive decorations in the Museum and hot cocoa afterward! This Wilmington event is scheduled for December 6, 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2014. Shows begin at 4:30PM and at 5:30PM. These shows sell out, so tickets are by prepaid reservation. Tickets are only $5 per person. Kids under age 2 are free. Call 910-763-2634 for more information.
Poplar Grove Christmas Arts & Crafts Show
December 7, 2014
On Sunday, December 7, 2014, from 11AM - 4PM, visit the decorated 1850 Manor House and grounds as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Christmas Arts and Crafts + Gift Show features vendors selling handmade and other specialty gift items, baked goods and local foods. Shop from a wide variety of products that are perfect for gift giving, decorating and holiday festivities. Vendors will be on the grounds, in the Cultural Arts Center ‘Barn’ and the Agriculture Building. Call 910-686-9518 for more information.
Holiday Parade in Wilmington NC
December 7, 2014
The 2014 Holiday Parade starts at 5:40PM at the corner of N. Front Street and Walnut Street. The parade will travel south to Orange Street and back north on Water Street. Reviewing stand located in the 00 block of N. Water Street. Click here for additional information.
Christmas Stroll Through the Past at Bellamy Mansion
December 13, 2014 from 4PM - 7PM
The Bellamy Mansion Museum and the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens invite you to stroll down Market Street through the past. Celebrate the holidays with a luminary walk, period decorations, music, costumed interpreters, petting zoo, refreshments and more! The St. James Church nave will also be open for visitors during the Stroll, with architectural historian Edward F. Turberg available for questions. Call 910-251-3700 for more information.
2014 Jingle Bell 5K Run
December 13, 2014 at 9AM
The Wrightsville Beach Museum of History invites you to participate in the museum's Fourth Annual 5K Jingle Bell Run. As this will be a celebratory, holiday event, race participants are encouraged to dress in holiday apparel (Santa costumes, antlers, snow men, etc.). The 5K Jingle Bell Run will benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. Join us in a 5K through the Wrightsville Beach area to see the beach in a new way. Historic cottages, beautiful winter marshes, and all your old haunts are part of the scenery as you meet the challenge to experience this special 5K and benefit this special museum. Call 910-256-2569 for more information.
Wilmington NC Events