Free Holiday Fun: State Capitol tree lighting, Executive Mansion open house this week
Posted December 5, 2016
My post about free holiday events was popular last week, so, going forward, I thought I'd share more as I learn about them or as they are coming up.
These two events happen at state historic sites in downtown Raleigh. Admission is free. Reservations are not required. You can just show up.
State Capitol Tree Lighting, Open House, visits with Santa
Starting at 5 p.m., Thursday, the State Capitol will continue its tree-lighting tradition with luminaries and holiday music, followed by the lighting of the tree by Gov. Pat McCrory at 6:15 p.m. The lit tree is visible along the length of Fayetteville Street through the holidays. The Junior Woman's Club will be giving away cookies and hot chocolate. Santa also plans a visit.
The lighting launches the building's annual holiday open house at 6:30 p.m., Thursday. The public is invited to see the building's decorations, including trees decorated by 100 county ornaments and other symbols of North Carolina’s people and history, and natural greenery throughout the chambers. The West Raleigh United Methodist Youth Handbell Choir will perform in the rotunda. A block away, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences also will be open.
The Capitol will have music in the rotunda 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. The Capitol also will host Santa and children’s storytelling from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.
Visitors are encouraged to bring new children's coats and clothes for ages 0 to 12 to the first State Capitol Angel Tree Clothing Drive. They'll be collecting items through Dec. 10. Monetary donations also will be accepted.
Executive Mansion Open House
North Carolina's Executive Mansion, home to the governor, is open to the public from Thursday through Sunday. Visitors can see the elaborate decorations, enjoy holiday music and visit the first floor of the home. This is part of my family's annual holiday traditions.
Hours are noon to 9 p.m., Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday; 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. The Executive Mansion is at 200 North Blount St. in Raleigh.