Feature Image: Owl Howl • Belville • November 4
Owls, ospreys, and other birds of prey will spread their wings during the Cape Fear Raptor Center’s third annual fund-raiser at the Brunswick Riverwalk on November 4. See and learn about 12 raptors, like eastern screech owls Pip and Squeak, and red tailed hawks Opie and Nero; watch flight demonstrations; enjoy live music, food trucks, and kids’ activities; and take part in a raffle or silent auction to benefit the nonprofit wildlife sanctuary. You can even hold and get your photo taken with some of the beautiful birds — sure to be a hoot.
Learn more: (910) 687-6888 or capefearraptorcenter.org.
WNC Pottery Festival • Dillsboro • November 3-4
This 18th annual festival opens with the Clay Olympics, in which potters compete in various events. More than 40 master potters from 16 states will display their work at this juried show.
Learn more: (828) 631-5100 or wncpotteryfestival.com.
Celebrating 60 Years of Don Balke Artwork • Nebo • November 3-5, 10-12, 17-19
Meet the artist and celebrate his 60-year career spent creating wildlife and landscape artwork. More than 500 framed prints and originals will be on display at the Don Balke Gallery, and light refreshments will be served.
Learn more: (828) 652-2703 or balkegallery.com.
Pumpkin Fest • Statesville • November 4
Pumpkin smashing, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, and pumpkin pie eating — plus food, music, arts and crafts, classic cars, and a beer garden — will ensure you get your pumpkin fix this fall.
Learn more: (704) 878-3436 or statesvillepumpkinfest.com.
Highlands Food and Wine Festival • Highlands • November 9-12
Sip and savor your way through delicious cuisine at this annual weekend-long festival. Start off at the Grand Tasting; attend a food truck event; enjoy wine dinners; stroll through downtown during the Sip and Shop event; and top things off at the Gospel Brunch.
Learn more: (828) 526-2112 or highlandsfoodandwine.com.
Patchwork Craft Show • Brevard • November 10-11
This juried show and sale will feature centerpieces and seasonal decorations, greeting cards, journals, scarves, pottery, and more, all created by area artisans.
Learn more: (828) 885-8245.
Christmas in the Mountains • Alleghany County • November 18-December 24
Participating choose-and-cut tree farms will offer hayrides, hot chocolate, and farm animal encounters while you shop for the perfect Christmas tree.
Learn more: (336) 372-5473 or sparta-nc.com.
Fall Ridge Guided Hike • Chimney Rock • November 18
One of the most popular (and more strenuous) hikes of the year explores an area at Chimney Rock State Park that’s off the beaten path, and usually unseen by guests.
Learn more: (828) 625-9611 or chimneyrockpark.com.
Toys, Games, and Trains • Kings Mountain • November 18-January 6
Take your holiday photos at this annual exhibit at the Kings Mountain Museum, which features enchanting model train displays with Christmas scenes, railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games.
Learn more: (704) 739-1019 or kingsmountainmuseum.org.
Downtown Christmas Festival • Lenoir • November 18
Enjoy craft vendors, entertainment, Christmas decorations, kids’ activities, visits from Santa, and a musical light show at this annual event. Proceeds benefit Caldwell County Rotary Club’s scholarship fund.
Learn more: (828) 381-9742 or caldwellrotaryclub.org.
Craft in Toyland • Asheville • November 18-December 31
Santa’s workshop has come a long way. At this exhibit, the Grovewood Gallery will showcase handcrafted toys and games, and a collection of antique wooden toys from the Tryon Toy Makers.
Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or grovewood.com.
Thanksgiving at Half-Mile Farm • Highlands • November 23
Enjoy a chef-made traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with panoramic farm views and a cozy fireplace during this special holiday meal at Half-Mile Farm.
Learn more: (855) 271-7246 or halfmilefarm.com.
Mountain Artisans Hard Candy Christmas • Cullowhee • November 24-25
More than 100 regional artisans will sell handmade treasures at this 30th annual folk and heritage craft show at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center. Browse quilts, soap, jewelry, leather goods, and more.
Learn more: (828) 524-3405 or mountainartisans.net.
100 Years of Christmas • Huntersville • November 24-25
Head to the historic Latta Plantation to see how Christmas festivities have changed since the Colonial and Antebellum periods. Buildings will be decorated in 1800s holiday finery, and costumed reenactors will demonstrate old-fashioned holiday preparations.
Learn more: (704) 875-2312 or lattaplantation.org.
Annual Hometown Christmas • West Jefferson • November 24
Kick off the Christmas season with Santa, an old-time fire engine, carolers, and hot chocolate at this community tree lighting.
Learn more: (336) 846-9550 or visitwestjefferson.org.
Thanksgiving Kiln Opening • Blowing Rock • November 25
Shop for traditional wood-fired pottery items, Santa face jugs, swirl vases, pitchers, candlesticks, and more at this annual kiln opening at Traditions Pottery. Lunch will be served.
Learn more: (828) 295-5099 or traditionspottery.com.
Christmas Parade • Sparta • November 25
See homemade floats, a marching band, classic cars, fire trucks, horseback riders, Santa, and more parade down Main Street.
Learn more: (336) 372-6135.
The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display • Asheville • November 26-January 4
At this 25th annual display at the Omni Grove Park Inn, elaborate gingerbread houses built by participants of all ages will amaze visitors. Open all day Monday-Thursday, and Sunday after 3 p.m., based on parking availability.
Learn more: (800) 413-5778 or omnihotels.com/grovepark.
Holly Day Fair • Fayetteville • November 2-5
This huge 51st annual gift and craft show is the perfect way to knock out all your holiday shopping at once.
Learn more: (910) 323-5509 or hollydayfair.com.
Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. • Davidson • November 3-5, 10-12
Join Simba and friends on an adventure in the African savannah at the Armour Street Theatre — singing along is encouraged.
Learn more: (704) 892-7953 or davidsoncommunityplayers.org.
Donald Sinta Quartet • Cary • November 3
This quartet is internationally renowned for its concerto performances. Their repertoire includes string pieces by Dvořák, Schubert, and Shostakovich, as well as many saxophone standards.
Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or townofcary.org.
Persimmon Festival • Colfax • November 4
This 10th annual festival at the Historic Stafford Farm celebrates persimmons and traditional farming with live music, arts and crafts, historic vehicles, and food.
Learn more: (336) 682-5328 or colfaxpersimmonfest.com.
Diggery Diggers’ Dino Show • Cary • November 4
The audience gets to interact with animated dinosaurs, solve puzzles, and dance at this show, which is part of the Marvelous Music Family Series at the Cary Arts Center.
Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or townofcary.org.
North Carolina Gourd Art and Crafts Festival • Raleigh • November 4-5
Find out how a gourd can be transformed into an amazing piece of art at this 76th annual festival, which will have gourd art competitions, vendors, free seeds, and workshops.
Learn more: (919) 996-9192 or ncgourdsociety.org.
American Watercolor Society Travel Exhibit • Mooresville • November 7-December 22
Forty paintings, all created by internationally known artists, will be featured at the historic downtown train station during this 150th annual exhibit.
Learn more: (704) 663-6661 or magart.org.
Needle Felted Paintings Tea Time Workshop • Greensboro • November 9
Blend colors, lines, and shapes to create a small needle felted tapestry by “painting with wool” at this workshop for adults. Bring your own food and drinks.
Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.
Vintage Fan Fair • Raleigh • November 10-11
Embrace nostalgia at the state fairgrounds. This festival will pay homage to all things vintage: products, services, campers, music and entertainment, and even a special retro variety-style show tribute.
Learn more: (984) 500-7733 or vintagefanfair.com.
Symmetry Quilt Show • Asheboro • November 10-11
More than 100 quilts will be featured at this show; shop for gifts at the boutique and from vendors, and enjoy door prizes and a raffle drawing for a handmade quilt.
Learn more: (336) 963-8258 or facebook.com/randolphquiltersguild.
A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol • Smithfield • November 10-12, 17-18
Set in 1943, this musical presents the hilarious story of radio broadcasters attempting a contemporary take on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
Learn more: (919) 834-1873 or neuselittletheatre.org.
Veteran’s Day Observance • Cary • November 11
Honor those who have served at a ceremony at Veteran’s Freedom Park, where there will be speakers from local armed forces community support groups.
Learn more: (919) 319-4560 or townofcary.org.
RDC Marathon • Durham • November 12
During the holidays, exercise can feel extra difficult, so get your fitness in before the turkey at this inaugural marathon. Run all 26.2 miles, or the half marathon, to benefit ALS research.
Learn more: (919) 376-9441 or runrdc.com.
Made 4 the Holidays • Greensboro • November 12
This arts, crafts, and pottery show will transform the Greensboro Farmers Market into a wonderland of locally made art, jewelry, and food.
Learn more: (336) 373-2402.
Shawn Colvin • Raleigh • November 13
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin will perform at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts while on tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her album “A Few Small Repairs.”
Learn more: (919) 996-8707 or dukeenergycenterraleigh.com.
Polar Express Train Ride • Spencer • November 17-18, 24-26, December 1-3, 8-10, 14-22
All aboard! Ride The Polar Express, inspired by the movie of the same name, at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. On the ride to the North Pole, guests, who are encouraged to wear their pajamas, will enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, singing, and dancing.
Learn more: (704) 636-2889 or nctrans.org.
Boutique • Winston-Salem • November 17-18 (Our State will be here!)
Hosted by the Junior League of Winston-Salem, this eighth annual shopping extravaganza will feature more than 60 vendors, including the Our State Store, at the Benton Convention Center.
Learn more: jlws.org.
Holiday Open House • Creedmoor • November 18-19
Listen to live music, take photos with Santa, and browse more than 500 handmade ornaments at the Cedar Creek Gallery’s holiday event.
Learn more: (919) 528-1041 or cedarcreekgallery.com.
American Indian Heritage Celebration • Raleigh • November 18
Musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers, and authors from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes will gather for this 22nd annual celebration at the NC Museum of History, which will feature craft demonstrations, games, and food.
Learn more: (919) 807-7900 or ncmuseumofhistory.org.
Carolina Christmas Bazaar • High Point • November 18
Shop for gifts from 75 vendors, a bake sale, and a general store; take part in a silent auction; and enjoy homemade breakfast and lunch at this 34th annual event at the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
Learn more: (336) 472-4710 or wesleymemorial.org.
Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair • Winston-Salem • November 18-19
More than 100 artisans will show their work at this 54th annual juried guild show, which has been called one of the best in the country.
Learn more: (336) 725-1516 or piedmontcraftsmen.org.
Dot • Chapel Hill • November 22, 24-26, 28-30, December 1-3, 5-10
Written by Colman Domingo, this touching play about a dysfunctional family reunion during the holidays might make you laugh and cry.
Learn more: (919) 962-7529 or playmakersrep.org.
A Dickens Holiday • Fayetteville • November 24
Trade Black Friday for holiday cheer in historic downtown: Horse-drawn carriages will carry shoppers down Hay Street; storefronts will feature Victorian holiday decorations; local singers will perform; and vendors and artisans will sell food and gifts.
Learn more: (910) 323-1776 or theartscouncil.com.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker • Durham • November 24
This exciting mash-up performance, featuring special guest MC Kurtis Blow, reimagines the timeless Christmas ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s score, with modern clothes, dancing, and music.
Learn more: dpacnc.com.
It’s a Wonderful Life • Fayetteville • November 24-December 17
Get your tissues ready: The classic Christmas tale comes to life on the stage at the Gilbert Theater.
Learn more: (910) 678-7186 or gilbertheater.com.
Festival of Trees • Pinehurst • November 29-December 3
The Carolina Hotel will be filled with more than 100 decorated Christmas trees during this 21st annual festival, proceeds of which benefit the Sandhills Children’s Center. Decorated wreaths, gingerbread houses, and gift baskets will also be available to bid on.
Learn more: (910) 692-3323 or festivaloftrees.org.
Down East Holiday Show • Greenville • November 2-5 (Our State will be here!)
Start the season off with one-of-a-kind gifts and food at this annual holiday event, which raises money for student scholarships and educational activities at Pitt Community College.
Learn more: (252) 493-7287 or downeastholidayshow.com.
Dinner Show: We Can Be Heroes • Wilmington • November 3, 4, 9, 10, 11
As part of the Cucalorus Film Festival, join misfit superheroes for a hilarious performance during a breakfast-for-dinner meal.
Learn more: (910) 399-3669 or theatrewilmington.com.
5K Pirate Run/Walk • Bath • November 4
Go for a run (or walk) through historic downtown during this 5K hosted by the Bath High School Preservation. Oh, and don’t forget to dress like a pirate — parrot optional.
Learn more: (919) 818-9607 or bhsp5k.com.
Jack Williams in Concert • Bolivia • November 4
This dynamic folk artist’s music has been shaped by a 54-year career spent playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, and classic pop music from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.
Learn more: (860) 485-3354 or listenupbrunswickcounty.com.
Holly Days • Southport • November 4
This 26th annual arts and crafts show will feature everything from leather purses to handmade baskets to floral arrangements, and will be held at the Southport Baptist Church.
Learn more: (910) 457-4365 or southport-oakisland.com.
North Carolina Whirligig Festival • Wilson • November 4-5
Celebrate the official opening of Whirligig Park at this downtown festival, which will feature three stages of entertainment, more than 200 vendors, food trucks, and kids’ activities.
Learn more: (252) 237-2889 or whirligigfestivalnc.org.
Schumann Quartett • Wilmington • November 5
This energetic string quartet is known for the strong connection between its members, who can communicate how they want to perform a music sequence with a single look.
Learn more: (910) 962-3500 or chambermusicwilmington.org.
Two on Tap • Washington • November 9
Melissa Glattino and Ron DeStefano will take you back to the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers during their high-energy tap-dancing performance at the Turnage Theater.
Learn more: (252) 947-2076 or gobcca.org.
Southeast North Carolina Veterans’ Day Parade • Wilmington • November 11
This inaugural downtown parade will include veterans, support groups, high school marching bands, ROTC units, and first responders, and will be followed by a commemorative service at Wilmington’s National Cemetery.
Learn more: (910) 777-8514 or sencveteransparade.com.
Soup and Sandwich Day • Murfreesboro • November 15
Fill up on pimento cheese sandwiches, soup, desserts, and sweet tea, all for a good cause, at this annual event hosted by the Murfreesboro Historical Association.
Learn more: (252) 398-5922 or murfreesboronc.org.
Elisabeth Adkins and Ed Newman • Oriental • November 16
This violinist/pianist duo are also husband and wife. Her orchestral career spans three decades; he’s been a piano virtuoso since he was 5 years old.
Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or pamlicomusic.org.
Red Party • Greenville • November 17
In 1987, the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina opened its doors to families with ill or injured children who were receiving treatment at area medical facilities. Now, they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary and years of support with live music, a silent auction, and hors d’oeuvres.
Learn more: (252) 847-5435 or rmhenc.org.
Meadow Lights • Benson • November 17-December 31
At the largest and oldest Christmas light show in eastern North Carolina, you can drive or take one of four trains through the twinkling 10-acre property, say hi to Santa, ride a carousel, or visit a huge candy store.
Learn more: (919) 669-5969 or meadowlights.com.
Cape Fear Festival of Trees • Kure Beach • November 20-December 31
Through the end of the year, this annual festival will be ongoing at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Decorated Christmas trees are sure to bring the spirit of the holidays under the sea.
Learn more: (910) 772-0500 or lcfhfoundation.org.
Battleship Ho Ho Ho • Wilmington • November 24
Santa will welcome visitors on board the USS Battleship North Carolina. Explore the ship, and type your Christmas wish list on a vintage typewriter using authentic WWII USS North Carolina radio message paper.
Learn more: (910) 399-9100 or battleshipnc.com.
Lighting at the Lake Celebration • Pleasure Island • November 24
This celebration kicks off the monthlong Island of Lights Festival in Kure Beach and Carolina Beach. The lighting of the tree and displays will take place at 7 p.m.
Learn more: (910) 612-2487 or pleasureislandoflights.com.
North Carolina Holiday Flotilla • Wrightsville Beach • November 24-25
A weekend full of fun events will include a launch party with live music, a tree lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa, and a festival in the park. Watching the flotilla on the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday night will be the cherry on top.
Learn more: (910) 256-2120 or ncholidayflotilla.org.