Weekend Plans: Grinch, parades, tree lightings, Winterfest, more
Posted November 30
Updated December 1
Happy weekend! We have a busy weekend full of Christmas events.
As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for many more ideas. Go Ask Mom’s Holiday Central has lots of information about events this season. Also, remember that Pullen Park will be closed to the general public Thursday through Sunday so it can host the sold out Holiday Express.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical is at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Sunday. I had a chance to take my older daughter on Tuesday evening. This is a fantastic, highly entertaining show featuring a hilariously dastardly Grinch character and an adorable Cindy Lou Who. The show includes a Saturday morning sensory-friendly performance, the first for DPAC. Highly recommend if you can get tickets!
The Grinch is one of many holiday shows on stage this weekend. They also include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts; Cinderella, a long-running holiday favorite, at Raleigh Little Theatre; and the Nutcracker by several companies. Go Ask Mom’s holiday show post has the details for these and other shows coming up.
Downtown Raleigh’s Winterfest is noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, on City Plaza on the 400 block of Fayetteville Street. The big event includes live music; rides, including a carousel, Ferris wheel and super slide; ice skating; tree lighting; a gingerbread house contest; a zone for kids; food trucks; and Santa’s Village.
Durham's Holiday Fun Fest is noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Durham County Stadium. The free event includes a meet and greet with Santa, snow sledding, s'mores and more.
We have tree lightings and/or parades across the Triangle this weekend, including in Apex, Cary, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon. Cary also hosts several events, including a Santa’s Workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, where visitors can make a gift and visit with Santa. Cary’s Page-Walker House also will host a holiday open house. And Wake Forest has big events planned this weekend.
Historic Yates Mill County Park will host Santa for pictures on Saturday.
Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh will host a costumed Grinch character for a 2 p.m., Saturday, holiday program featuring a reading of the Dr. Seuss classic, singing, activities and more. Best for ages 3 and up.
Marbles Kids Museum’s popular Evening with Elves is 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $35 (and $30 for members). (The museum’s IMAX theater also is offering viewings of Polar Express on the weekends).
Northgate Mall offers free ornament making on Saturday.
Historic Oak View County Park’s annual Sleigh Rides and Cider is 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, at the Wake County Park. The free event includes horse-drawn carriage rides, hot apple cider, live music, Ol’ Saint Nick, holiday activities, handmade crafts and more.
In Johnston County, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site hosts its holiday open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Visitors will get the chance to see how Christmas was celebrated in eastern North Carolina during the Civil War. Kids can participate in a scavenger hunt and decorate a Christmas tree with strings of popcorn and cranberries. The event is free, but tickets are required for the wagon rides and an inflatable obstacle course. Tickets are 3 for $5 or $2 each. Wagon rides are free for kids ages 3 and under.
In Durham, Duke Homestead's Christmas By Candlelight is 6:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., Friday and Dec. 9. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for kids.
And 100 Years of Christmas at Stagville, also in Durham, is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The open house is free. Lantern tours, which start at 4:30 p.m., require tickets, which are $5 per adult and $3 per child and also include hot drinks and gingerbread.
And in downtown Raleigh, the Joel Lane Museum House will host its annual Christmas open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Admission is free, but donations are requested. The house will be decorated with traditional greenery. Activities include colonial games and crafts, re-enactors and live music.
Temple Beth Or in Raleigh will host its Hanukkah Handmade Market featuring 30 Jewish artisans selling their work, ranging from textiles to photography to jewelry, pottery, baked goods and more. It’s 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.
Cary Academy’s popular Holiday Shoppe is Thursday through Saturday at the school in Cary. The free event is 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. I always find some beautiful items at this show.
And, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will be exploring the world of Pokemon with a natural sciences twist. Topics for Pokemon Day include internet safety and the science of Pokemon. Visitors also can make Pokemon crafts and learn about apps that are similar to Pokemon Go that allow users to track real animals for research and conservation purposes.