11 Fun Things to Do in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill Over Winter Break
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival
Enjoy a live family-friendly performance such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” through Dec. 24 and Carolina Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” through Dec. 24, both in Raleigh. Browse our roundup of December shows for details on a range of holiday shows for all ages.
Photo of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” courtesy of Rob Orazi
Go ice skating outdoors at Ice Raleigh in downtown Raleigh. The seasonal rink is open through Jan. 29, 2017, except during inclement weather, so call ahead.
Photo of ICE Raleigh rink in downtown Raleigh courtesy of Carolyn Scott Photography
3. Santa Visits
Take your little ones to visit Santa at local malls through Dec. 24. Browse our roundup to find out the jolly old elf’s schedule.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Give back by volunteering with your kids. Local nonprofits, such as the Food Bank, are always looking for volunteers. Browse our roundup of local nonprofits to find lots of places where your family can help. Call ahead to ensure the volunteer opportunities listed are still available before you head out.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DURHAM, PARKS AND RECREATION
5. Escape to a local park with your family to learn about nature and make holiday crafts. Search our Daily Calendar for programs for children, including the Ingalls' Long Winter at Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh and Chanukah Tot Shabbat at Raleigh-Cary Jewish Community Center in Raleigh. Also see our roundup of holiday crafts and gift-making programs for children.
Photo courtesy of Marko Poplasen, Shutterstock.com
Catch The Polar Express at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles through Dec. 22.
IMAGE COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.
6. Catch fascinating museum exhibits, like “Rolling Sculpture: Art Deco Cars from the 1930s and '40s" at the North Carolina Museum of Art through Jan. 15 or "The Secret World Inside You" at the Museum of Natural Sciences, both in Raleigh. Be sure to call ahead to find out when museums are open. Browse our roundup of museum exhibits to find one that will suit your family.
Photo courtesy of 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt, Courtesy of the RPW Collection, Denver, Colorado.; Photo © 2016 Michael Furman
Enjoy the Chinese Lantern Festival at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary Nov. 25-Jan. 15. You can see more than 20 displays with thousands of LED lights. Hours are 6-10 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. The festival also features Chinese performers on weekends. Purchase tickets online, $15 adults and $10 for ages 3-17, at boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary.
Photo courtesy of Bill Stice
Take your children ages 7 and older to see "The Longest Night: A Winter's Tale" at the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center in Chapel Hill through Jan. 29, 2017. The planetarium show—a collaborative effort with Paperhand Puppet Intervention—tells a fable of courage and generosity and stars a young girl. For ticket information, visit this link.
Courtesy of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
10. Track Santa!
Show your kids how they can track Santa on Dec. 24 and enjoy online holiday games well ahead of Christmas Eve. Learn more about the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ducu59us, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
11. 'Lights for Lupus' Display FREE BUT DONATIONS WELCOME
Check out the Reid family's holiday light display of 50,000 LED lights that are timed to 28 songs in North Raleigh. All donations will support the "Walk to End Lupus Now: Raleigh" event taking place on April 23, 2017, on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.
Photo courtesy of Reid Family