Take in the charms of the season by sleigh as your horses trot down the streets of downtown Fuquay-Varina. Bring a canned food item, which will serve as your “ticket” for the sleigh ride, to donate to the Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry.
As winter’s darkness descends, luminaries will brighten the quaint corners of the historic Duke Homestead. Receive a guided candlelit tour of the homestead, decorated as if it were the 1870s, and enjoy Christmas carols and storytelling.
Add some international flair to your holiday by immersing yourself in the Old World Christmas traditions of the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. There will be a Lucia procession, traditional folk dances, and plenty of Scandinavian delicacies to try.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Adults $7. Children 12 and younger free. scanfair.org.
CHAPEL HILL, DURHAM, RALEIGH • DECEMBER 5-6, 12-13, 18-27
The Nutcracker is a holiday staple for just about every ballet company, but there are few productions quite as elegant or masterful as the one put on by the Carolina Ballet each season. Be dazzled by dancers as they twirl among each other and float through the air.
UNC Memorial Hall, December 5-6. Durham Performing Arts Center, December 12-13. Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, December 18-27. carolinaballet.com.
Holiday Home Tour
HILLSBOROUGH • DECEMBER 6
Home of the state legislature during the American Revolution, Hillsborough holds a great deal of history, and its homes — all decked out for the season — will take you back in time. The theme of this tour, now in its 29th year, is Music and Memories, and the day will feature music from the likes of a handbell choir, pianists, and choral groups.
North Carolina has many magnificent firs, but none are quite as stately as the one that’s lit on the Capitol grounds each year. Join the governor for this traditional lighting ceremony, and marvel at the decorations inside the rotunda of the Capitol during an open house.
Luminaries and holiday music at 5 p.m. Tree lighting 6:15 p.m. Open house begins at 6:30 p.m. Free. North Carolina State Capitol. (919) 733-4994. ncstatecapitol.org.
“A Civil War Christmas” Holiday Open House
FOUR OAKS • DECEMBER 5
Learn how troops made the most of their Christmas during the Civil War while watching costumed interpreters decorate the kitchen in holly, magnolia, fruits, and popcorn strands. Enjoy cookies and cider while listening to music of the period.
Raleigh Boychoir’s Page-Walker Winter Concert Series
CARY • DECEMBER 13
Their angelic voices have graced the White House and Carnegie Hall, and now members of the Raleigh Boychoir take their talents down the road to Cary. Their performance of holiday classics is sure to warm your heart.
The sounds of delicate handbells will bounce off the walls at Meymandi Concert Hall as The Raleigh Ringers holds its annual holiday concerts. Hear classic holiday tunes reinterpreted in unexpected ways.
The big, jolly guy might love cookies, but we hear he gets the occasional hankering for waffles, too. Children and children at heart will enjoy some personal time with Santa during brunch at the elegant Carolina Inn.
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