We have one final weekend of activities before many of us hunker down for last-minute Christmas shopping, out-of-town guest visits and, finally, the big day itself.
As always, check WRAL.com’s Holiday Guide for a full calendar of events between now and then. And check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more. For holiday light displays, check WRAL.com's map and an earlier post about some of the bigger ones.
Here’s your weekend family fun!
The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will celebrate the holiday with a Holiday Family Fun Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday. The kids can come dressed in their pajamas for the free event, which includes art, music and crafts. The museum’s main building will be transformed into a wintry landscape. Kids can make seasonal items in the studios, listen to a storytime by a campfire and more. Santa will make an appearance (bring your own camera). As part of the evening, get one free admission for children under 12 to Still-Life Masterpieces with the purchase of an adult ticket. I’ll have more on this exhibit on Friday. You also can enjoy dinner at the museum. The museum’s casual Still-Life Cafe will be serving up some special children’s menu items.
And on Sunday, the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh will hold its HoliDaze Family Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. The event features crafts and special pop-up performances of the Nutcracker from the City Ballet. Admission is $5 and free for kids 10 and under. Check the museum's website for the full schedule.
Duke Homestead in Durham will hold its Christmas by Candlelight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday. Learn how people celebrated Christmas in 1870. There will be period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider and more. Admission is free.
And another historic site - Bennett Place in Durham - will hold its Christmas in the Carolinas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. The free event depicts how Christmas was celebrated on a local farm during the Civil War. Santa Claus will be there for pictures. Another feature: The traditional roasting of a hogs head.
Comedian Heath Hyche returns for another family-friendly stand-up comedy show at Raleigh's Goodnight's Comedy Club at 2 p.m., Sunday. Best for ages 8 and up. Hyche is one of the top performers on Disney Cruise Lines. Tickets start at $10. Read my earlier post for the details.
Big holiday shows continue:
The Raleigh Little Theatre’s run of Cinderella continues through Sunday. This very family-friendly show with lots of lights and even a little audience participation is fantastic. Many girls come dressed in their princess best. The theater has been presenting this show for more than two decades during the holidays. I highly recommend it. Tickets are $25 and shows will sell out.
We have Nutcrackers. The Carolina Ballet’s show is at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts. Read my earlier post for a ticket discount to some of the shows. The Triangle Youth Ballet will present the show at 7 p.m., Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday, at Carolina Theatre in Durham. And the Cary Ballet Company will present the ballet at at 7 p.m., Friday; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, at the Cary Arts Center in downtown Cary as part of its "A Very Cary Christmas" show. The performance also includes a piece featuring The 3D Project Dancers, a jazz company, who will premiere "All Wrapped Up," which includes favorite holiday songs and a visit from Santa. Read my earlier post for ticket information and details about all of these performances.
One Nutcracker that I just learned about: A Very Barriskill Nutcracker is 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday, and 1 p.m., Sunday, at Reynolds Industries Theatre on the Duke University campus. The full-length production includes contemporary jazz and tap with classical ballet.
Theatre in the Park’s “A Christmas Carol” moves over to the Durham Performing Arts Center with shows 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday. Tickets start around $30 and shows will sell out.
The second annual Morrisville Winterfest Parade starts at 11 a.m., Saturday, at Town Hall Drive. After the parade, there will be a vendor fair with food and gift items.
Christmas at Roma’s Clydesdale Farm is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Dec. 22, in Castalia, which is about an hour north and east of Raleigh The event includes a Christmas horse parade at 1 p.m., Saturday, a gingerbread house where kids can shop for gifts, crafts, complimentary horse rides and more. Admission that includes all activities is $12 or you can go a la carte.
Christmas in the Park at Arnette Park in Fayetteville continues through Dec. 22. Admission is $2. Find food, train rides, arts and crafts, a fire pit and entertainment, and walk along a half-mile trail while to see some lights. The big feature: A 30-foot Christmas tree surrounded by smaller Christmas trees and lights that dance to music.
Waverly Place in Cary will host a Winter Wonderland on Saturday. A holiday market opens at 11 a.m. From noon to 4 p.m., find snow, sledding and s’mores.
The Sandbox Band for kids and families will play holiday classics and their own original Christmas songs at Lunch with Santa and the Sandbox Band at 11 a.m., Saturday, at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 and include lunch. I took my older daughter to the band’s concert at Morehead Planetarium last weekend and am still laughing about a couple of their jokes. That was a great concert and I’m sure this one will be too!
Santa is making a stop at the Selma Train Depot from 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday. Take your own picture with the big guy and hop on a kiddie train.
And Broad Street Cafe in Durham will host a free concert, part of its BSC Kids series. The free concert at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, is a Raffi sampler, featuring Paul Rosenberg from The Waterlilies.