Things to Do in December in Raleigh: Christmas Lights Tours, Events, and Festivals

Posted on: December 5th, 2017 by Northhills Transportation No Comments


Raleigh hosts a variety of events to mark the holiday season including festive parades, tree lighting and Christmas lights display ceremonies, lots of shopping opportunities, a chance to meet Santa, and much more. Easily manage your holidays and make it easier to move around as a family with our North Hills Transportation Service that offers airport, corporate, group transportation, and airport shuttle services. Here are a few family-friendly things you can do while you spend your Christmas holidays in Raleigh.

Enjoy Season Themed Art in Raleigh

There are lots of cultural events in Raleigh for you and your family to enjoy. Raleigh’s holiday traditions include a yearly ballet performance of the Nutcracker and other classic Christmas shows. Also, if you are new to Raleigh, make sure you join in on the fun with a thirty year old Christmas tradition by watching a hilarious adaptation of Cinderella at Raleigh’s Little Theatre.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Raleigh has lots of trip-worthy tree lighting ceremonies as well as exuberant Christmas lights displays. The official celebrations kick off at Raleigh’s City Plaza at the Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration when the Mayor lights up a thirty five foot spruce tree. There is plenty to enjoy including live music, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, refreshments, and a Gingerbread House Contest. You can also visit the Wendell Wonderland that has over 400,000 twinkling lights, ice carvings, delicious food, drinks, and lots of other seasonal activities to participate in. Additionally, the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival is another must-see display that features the Chinese Dragon floating on Symphony Lake. It is a two hundred feet long and twenty one feet tall dragon that is accompanied by nineteen other light displays made of hundreds of handmade lanterns.

Shopping for the Entire Family

Shopping has never been as fun. Head over to Downtown where you will find lots of unique shops that offer locally crafted goods and all retailers offer discounts throughout the day. You also get to enjoy awesome holiday treats and beverages that are provided by retailers from local restaurants. This would be a nice way to keep busy in case your kids are enjoying other fun Christmas activities. There are also art and music performances all day by various outdoor entertainers on the street.

The First Night Raleigh

Raleigh’s New Year’s Eve is a full-day splendid celebration with live music and lots of entertainment from over a hundred performances across thirty-five venues. There is lots of glamorous fireworks and the epitome of this event is when a huge copper acorn is lowered to ring in the New Year at midnight. This festival has attracted lots of local and foreign tourists and that is probably because it is only a $10 pass to all these fun-filled activities.


It’s time to celebrate Christmas wonders. Itching to get out and enjoy tons of Christmas lights and beautifully made displays?  Well, you won’t be disappointed this year either. If you’re a fan of twinkling holiday lights, we recommend the blog post published by our St. Louis limo service friends at Corporate Transportation and discover the amazing Christmas lights tours in St. Louis.