Holiday Events of The Triangle

Dated: December 1 2021

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With a historically mild climate through the month of December, Raleigh is the perfect place to get festive during the holidays. Whether you are new to the area or a local looking to get in the spirit, we have compiled a list of our favorite holiday traditions throughout the month!


Nothing rings in the holiday season like a hometown celebration! Here is a list of parades, parties, and events:



Apex - December 4 | 5pm  Apex Rotary Christmas Parade


This annual event strolls through the streets of Historic Downtown Apex. Starting at the intersection of Ambergate Station and The Peakway, heading down Salem street and ending at the Apex Public Works buildings on Upchurch St. All proceeds benefit Western Wake Crisis Ministry.


Cary - December 11 | 2pm-4pm  Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade


The parade is a joyful celebration which includes bands, mascots, local businesses, community groups, and churches. The parade starts on E. Chatham Street at Ward St, proceeds down E. Chatham to S. Academy Street, turns left onto S. Academy Street, and ends at Dry Ave in front of the Cary Arts Center.


Fuquay Varina - December 5 | 3pm  Fuquay Varina Christmas Parade


The event brings out town residents en masse. Families line the streets to cheer as their favorite entries pass by. Bring your soccer chairs & blankets to secure a comfy viewing spot on the sidewalk along the parade route. We look forward to seeing you at this treasured Fuquay-Varina community event!


Holly Springs - December 11 | 10am  Happy Holly Days Parade


The Happy Holly Days Parade is held the second Saturday of December. Floats, bands, dancers, decorated vehicles, horses, marching groups and all sorts of entertaining entries travel Main Street through downtown, starting at Holly Springs Road and ending at Rogers Street.


Knightdale - December 4 | 2pm  Knightdale Christmas Parade


The parade begins on First Avenue at Knightdale Station Park and ends at Knightdale Elementary School on Fayetteville Street. Catch candy and enjoy watching local groups, businesses, and organization as you wait for Santa to arrive!


Morrisville - December 3 | 6pm  Morrisville Tree Lighting


This year’s event will be on Friday, December 3,  at 6 p.m.  Santa Claus and the Town Council will be counting down the lighting of the tree followed by some fun and entertainment.


Wendell - December 3 | 5pm-9pm  Wendell Wonderland


A perfect chance to experience historic downtown Wendell lit up for the holidays, with a visit from Santa Claus, trolley rides through town, lighting of the town tree, live music, hot chocolate, food trucks, a craft market and more. The previously mentioned Lake Myra Christmas light show—one of the east coast's most dazzling displays—will also be in full swing, featuring more than 400,000 lights—and it's all free! More details on food vendors and toy donation opportunities for the 2021 event are expected to be announced soon.


Miracle at The Haymaker: Happy Howlidays – December 4 | 2pm-4pm


Dress up your pup for the Howlidays at Miracle® at The Haymaker! They’ll be opening their doors early at 2 p.m. to make room for all the good boys and good girls to join for a fun holiday cocktail and some festive pics.


MAKRS Holiday Fest – December 11 | 11am-5pm


Still working through your Holiday shopping list? Be sure to check this event out! The MAKRS Society will be hosting its biggest event of the year in the heart of Downtown Raleigh! Featuring 150+ vendors, food trucks, alcohol and beverages, live music, fun activities for families and more!


Polar Express Movie on the Green – December 18 | 6pm | Lafayette Village, Raleigh


Bring the whole family to see Lafayette Village’s annual screening of The Polar Express on a giant inflatable screen! Located in their main courtyard green, bring your chairs and blankets for a magical evening. Make sure to dress warm for the weather! This is sure to be a tradition everyone will love to enjoy!


Zero Proof Holiday Party – December 19 | 2pm-5pm


Join Zero Proof for an alcohol-free holiday party at Coronato Pizza benefiting The Fellowship Home. Zero Proof hosts a wide variety of events around the Triangle ranging from hikes on local trails, live music events, and exploring new venues around the area. Your Zero Proof Holiday Party ticket includes food and delicious non-alcoholic drink options are avalable for purchase. Anyone is welcome to join for this event to come meet new friends, learn more about Zero Proof Alcohol-Free Events, and support a great cause.


Looking to celebrate ALL month long? These events are open the entire month of December:


Magic of Lights


Magic of Lights is a dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of Coastal Credit Music Park. One carload, one price. Magic of Lights is a great family entertainment value!


NC Chinese Lantern Festival


A super trip-worthy event for the whole family returns for a sixth year! Back after cancelation in 2020 due to COVID-19, the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival brings more than 20 larger-than-life lanterns to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Made up of thousands of LED lights, displays light up the skies and mesmerize visitors on this one-hour walking tour (have your cameras ready for the spectacular Chinese Dragon that sits on Symphony Lake!). Beyond beautiful lanterns, the ticketed festival also welcomes a showcase of Chinese culture—nightly performances featuring martial arts, traditional dance, acrobatics, drum performances and more.


The Rink


This holiday season, residents and visitors can enjoy the thrill of ice skating in a winter wonderland created in the heart of downtown Raleigh, N.C., at Red Hat Amphitheater. THE RINK presented by UNC Health features a natural ice rink with stunning views of the Raleigh skyline.


WRAL Nights of Lights at Dorothea Dix Park


Brighten your holiday season with WRAL Nights of Lights Drive-Thru Light Show at Dorothea Dix Park, brought to you by WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting Company in partnership with the City of Raleigh, illuminated trees, festive light displays and local art installations will delight visitors of all ages at the second-ever Nights of Lights Drive-Thru Light Show at Dorothea Dix Park. The 1.3-mile driving route features towering oak trees, open fields and rolling hills—plus views of the Raleigh skyline peeking above the trees—making it a perfect location for this holiday event.


Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms


Immerse yourself through over a mile long trail of magical Christmas lights and displays from the warmth of your vehicle! Bring snacks and drinks and enjoy a festive evening viewing over one million lights! Friendly, leashed pets welcomed. Admission price is by vehicle, credit/debit cards accepted, but cash is recommended.


Miracle at The Haymaker


Miracle®, the beloved Christmas-themed pop-up bar that launched in 2014 in New York City, returns to Downtown Raleigh’s The Haymaker. Sippin’ Santa and friends are back to offer guests 21+ seasonally-themed cocktails in a cheery setting through New Year’s Eve, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.



However you wish to celebrate this season, from our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Holidays!

Blog author image

Sherry Case

Sherry relocated from Maine in 2005 and has called North Carolina home ever since. Raleigh's tight knit feel was exactly what she needed when moving from small­town Maine and attending North Carolina....

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