Must-See Holiday Light Shows Across North Carolina

Here are our top picks of light show extravaganzas across the state


Published:

Biltmore Estate's 2017 theme is “A Vanderbilt Christmas,” featuring 135,000 LED and mini lights.

Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estate

’Tis the season for dazzling light displays. These annual sparkling and twinkling displays are a great way to celebrate festive fun with the family. Here are our top picks of holiday light shows across the state to help bring out your family’s holiday spirit. Shows are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll through the slides or jump to specific light shows below:


Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings

biltmore.com
One Lodge St., Asheville
Admission: $85 for adults; $42.50 for ages 10-16; free for ages 9 and younger. Purchase tickets online.
Dates: Nov. 3-Jan. 6

See the Biltmore Estate adorned in its holiday splendor during a daytime and/or evening visit. The 2017 theme is “A Vanderbilt Christmas,” featuring the gilded age and grand look. A lit 55-foot-tall Norway spruce encircled by 20 other illuminated evergreens decorates the front lawn for candlelight evenings. Enjoy 55 decorated Christmas trees inside Biltmore House, as well as 30,000 lights and 150 candles. In addition, there are 135,000 LED and mini lights sparkling around the estate. New this year, Antler Hill Village features a constellation of lights as dusk descends. This must-see experience features “waterfall” lights cascading from treetops; stars and orbs draping tree branches; miniature lights outlining archways and buildings; and glowing ornaments in the Village Green illuminating holiday evenings.


Chinese Lantern Festival

boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary
Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary
Admission: $15 for ages 18 and older; $10 for ages 3-17; free for ages 2 and younger
Dates: Nov. 24-Jan. 14, 2018. Tuesdays-Sundays 6-10 p.m. Closed Mondays except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Booth Amphitheatre is transformed into a dazzling walk-through display with larger-than-life lanterns. Enjoy holiday treats and beverages from venue stands.



Photo courtesy of Booth Amphitheatre


Country Christmas Train at Denton Farm Park

dentonfarmpark.com/country-christmas-train
4259 Handy Rd., Denton
Admission: $5-$15 ages 5 and older; free for ages 4 and younger. Additional fees for photos with Santa, wagon and pony rides.
Dates: Nov. 24-26, Dec. 7-10, Dec. 14-17, Dec. 20-23, Dec. 26-27. Friday-Saturday 4:30-11 p.m.; other nights 4:30-10 p.m.

Enjoy a lighted walking tour of the park. Stop at the church to hear a Christmas story and then take a ride on the Handy Dandy Railroad. Enjoy a nativity movie, Christmas carols, a petting zoo, Santa’s cabin, arts and crafts exhibits, and more. New for 2017, enjoy online ticket sales, additional light displays and an expanded, walk-through gingerbread house to accommodate a cookie-decorating area for kids.



Photo courtesy of Denton Farm Park


Enchanted Airlie

airliegardens.org/events-news/enchanted-airlie
300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington
Admission: $27 per car; $55 for vans
Dates: Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 13-22. There are two runtimes each evening, 5-7 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

Take a festive self-guided walking tour through Airlie Gardens to view a spectacular display of lights and holiday displays. Visit with Santa and enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies, beer, wine and more.



Photo courtesy of Enchanted Arlie


Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort

chetola.com
185 Chetola Lake Dr., Blowing Rock
Admission: Free
Dates: Begins at dusk on Thursday, Nov. 23 and runs through the end of Blowing Rock’s Winterfest, Jan. 26-28, 2018.

Chetola Resort is known for its sparkling display of lights each winter season. Drive or stroll around Chetola Lake, view glittering ice skaters, “Rudolph” reeling in a big fish, strolling carolers and many more festive scenes.



Photo courtesy of Chetola Resort


Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights

hillridgefarms.com/festival.php
703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville
Admission: $8-$12 (rate depends on age, night of the week and senior or military status)
Dates: Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.; other nights 5-9 p.m.

Enjoy a covered-wagon hayride through a beautiful display of lights, bonfires, s’mores, hot chocolate, apple cider, heated indoor dining, an old-fashioned toy and candy store, giant slide, jumping pillow and slide house.


Holidays at the Garden

dsbg.org
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Rd., Belmont
Admission: $8.95 for ages 2-12, $14.95 ages 13 and older
Dates: Open nightly Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m.

More than 600,000 lights and illuminated displays will light up Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Roast a marshmallow, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, enjoy music and sip a warm beverage as you tour the displays, visit with Santa and more.


Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla

pleasureislandoflights.com/christmas-flotilla.html
Carolina Beach
Admission: Free to spectators
Dates: Dec. 2, 6 p.m.

Boats decorated with thousands of lights will cruise the Intracoastal Waterway for a festive display. Watercrafts will cruise from Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back as they compete for prizes.


Lights Before Christmas

riverbanks.org/events/lights-before-christmas.shtml
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, 500 Wildlife Pkwy., Columbia, South Carolina
Admission: $9-$11
Dates: Nov. 18-Dec. 30, 5-9 p.m. Closed Nov. 23 and Dec. 24-25.

Enjoy nearly one million lights, animated images, visits with Santa, a bonfire, hot cocoa and s’mores.


Lights on the Neuse

lightsontheneuse.com
Boyette Family Farms, 1620 Loop Rd., Clayton
Admission: $9 for ages 3 and older; free for ages 2 and younger (cash only)
Dates: See the website for dates and hours.

Take a 1-mile, 30-minute tractor-pulled hayride through a beautiful lights extravaganza. You’ll see more than one million lights line the way to the banks of the Neuse River. Enjoy concessions, a visit with Santa, cookie decorating, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and more holiday fun. 

Tickets include the Christmas Lights Hayride, and reservations are required for the hayride only. An ATM is located onsite.


McAdenville (Christmas Town USA)

mcadenville-christmastown.com
Downtown McAdenville
Admission: Free
Dates: Dec. 1-26. Monday-Friday 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 5:30-11 p.m.

Experience the wonder of the season in Gaston County’s Christmas Town USA, a tradition since 1956. Walk or drive by the awe-inspiring displays of more than 375 decorated trees, 200 lit lamppost wreaths, music, a life-size Nativity scene, a lake fountain and more.



Photo courtesy of Steve Rankin


Meadow Lights

meadowlights.com
4546 Godwin Lake Rd., Benson
Admission: Free, but train/carousel tickets are $2.
Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 31; Sunday-Thursday 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5-11 p.m.

Meadow Lights is the largest and oldest Christmas light show in Eastern North Carolina with lights on more than 30 acres. Visit the Old Country Store for old-fashioned candy, ride a train or carousel, and visit with Santa.


North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

ncholidayflotilla.org
Wrightsville Beach
Admission: Free
Dates: Nov. 24-25

Enjoy Thanksgiving weekend at the beach during this two-day celebration that kicks off Friday night with a tree lighting and visit with Santa at 5:45 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall. On Saturday, take the kids to Festival in the Park, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., to enjoy inflatable slides, bounce houses, a coloring contest, a train ride, festival food, an antique car show and more. The lighted boat parade will begin at 6 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks show. The best viewing is along Banks Channel.


Speedway Christmas

charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/speedway-christmas
5555 Concord Pkwy. S., Concord
Admission: $20-$30 for cars; $40-$50 for vans
Dates: Nov. 19-Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m. Closed Dec. 25.

Speedway Christmas features more than three million lights, a Christmas Village, and the unique opportunity to drive the track in a lights-to-music show along the 3.5-mile course. The village is open Thursday-Sunday and includes a petting zoo, Bethlehem village and photos with Santa. You can also enjoy movie nights when the village is open. See Christmas classics on a giant 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV.


Tanglewood Festival of Lights

forsyth.cc/parks/tanglewood/fol
4061 Clemmons Rd., Clemmons
Admission: $15 for cars; $35 for vans; $100 for buses and motorcoaches
Dates: Nov. 17-Jan. 1, 2018, 6-11 p.m.; Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m.

Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights is one of the largest and most spectacular light shows in the Southeast. Drive through Tanglewood’s rolling countryside, which is transformed into a winter wonderland. Be sure to stop at the Gift Village to roast marshmallows. See the website for more information about horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.



Photo courtesy of Tim McCulloh Photography
 


Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum

ncarboretum.org/exhibits-events/winter-lights
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
Admission: $18 for ages 12 and older; $12 for ages 5-11; free for ages 4 and younger (discounted rates for members, groups and during Friends & Family Tuesdays)
Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m.

Enjoy this annual holiday light exhibit throughout the arboretum’s gardens. More than 500,000 LED lights will light your way as you walk through a festive winter wonderland. Listen to favorite holiday tunes and sip warm beverages while you walk.



Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Arboretum
 


Christmas Wonderland of Lights at Zootastic Park

zootasticpark.com/events/christmaslights.aspx
385 Ostwalt Amity Rd., Troutman (physical address)
Admission: $7 for ages 2 and older; free for ages 1 and younger.
Dates: Nov. 22-Jan. 1, 6-9 p.m.

Choreographed light show, petting zoo, s’mores, carousel, photo with Santa, wagon rides and animal encounters.

Lights for Lupus

vimeo.com/193740720
1413 Whittington Dr., Raleigh
Admission: Donations are not required, but are welcome.
Dates: Dec. 1-27; 5:30-10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; lights will be on until midnight the week of Dec. 20-27.

​The Reid Family of Raleigh has turned their annual Christmas lights display into a lupus fundraiser. Visitors can tune into 95.9 FM, which features music coordinated with the light show. Last year the light show raised more than $3,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter. 


Myra Wright is the digital editor of Carolina Parent and Charlotte Parent.

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Calendar

August 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Celebrate the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle with vendors, food trucks, free food samples and live music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Armory
220 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

This back-to-school celebration features indoor and outdoor eating areas, kids' activities, music and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn at Southpoint
7007 Fayetteville Rd.
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Website »

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Enjoy a back-to-school event featuring a food truck rodeo, inside and outside eating areas, kids' activities and more. Take a non-perishable food item for Back Pack Buddies, an Inter-Faith...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn at Southpoint
7007 Fayetteville Rd.
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: Spectacular Magazine
Telephone: 919-916-1640
Contact Name: Phyllis Coley
Website »

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The Arc of the Triangle, Allegiant Air and The Arc of the North Carolina will co-host a Wings for Autism® event at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in partnership with the Transportation...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
2400 John Brantley Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Telephone: 919-942-5119 x117
Website »

More information

The Arc of the Triangle, Allegiant Air and The Arc of the North Carolina will co-host a Wings for Autism® event at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in partnership with the Transportation...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
2400 John Brantley Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Telephone: 919-942-5119 x117
Website »

More information

The Arc of the Triangle, Allegiant Air and The Arc of the North Carolina will co-host a Wings for Autism event at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in partnership with the Transportation...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
2400 John Brantley Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Telephone: 919-942-5119 x117
Website »

More information

Discover how farmers preserved their food in the days before refrigeration. Learn about drying, pickling, canning and other techniques. All ages.  ages. Registration not...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Tour the farm, spend time with farmers who care about the environment and meet friendly animals. Tickets must be purchased online; the farm is not open for drop-ins.

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Hux Family Farm
1923 Shaw Rd.
Durham, NC  27704
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Website »

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Learn about the importance of trees through games and hands-on activities. Make paper and  discover the goods that we get from trees. All ages with adult. Registration required...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Sunday, August 19, 2:00–3:00 p.m. Want to do more to help out your community park? Do you like history, the environment, agriculture and/or the arts? Consider volunteering at Yates Mill! Join us...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675

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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Study the vital role that wetland ecosystems play. Net macroinvertebrates, learn how to identify them and discuss their value in the aquatic environment. Wander through some of Lake...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Enjoy activities inspired by the boo, "Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf," by Judy Sierra. Ages 4-9. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Hillsborough Library
137 West Margaret Ln.
Inside McDougle Middle School
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 191-924-52525
Contact Name: Beth Hawkins
Website »

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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Read the story by Eric Carle, and practice counting and observing similarities and differences.  A short walk to look for crickets and other insects. Ages 18 months-3 years with adult....

Cost: $2/child

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Weekly basic skills cooking class for children aged 5-10 at Whole Foods North Raleigh.  This free class meets each Tuesday at 4 p.m. and is offered by registering in advance...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods Market (North Raleigh)
8710 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Website »

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Low-cost microcontrollers, such as the Arduino, have revolutionized the way we connect the real and virtual worlds. Learn Arduino programming and create projects using sensors...

Cost: Free

Where:
Parata Systems
106 Roche Dr.
Durham, NC  27703
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Sponsor: TechGirlz
Contact Name: Jenna May
Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Registration required.

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Read a story about cows, compare cow breeds, and learn about life on a dairy farm. Explore how milk is made into butter, cheese and other yummy products. Wrap up with an ice cream social and taste...

Cost: $7/child

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Contact Name: Rebecca Cope
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about the exciting process that changes caterpillars into butterflies. Visit the butterfly garden while searching for butterflies and caterpillars!. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $4/child

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Walk through the Cretaceous period, the Jurassic Period and the Triassic period and experience what it was like to be among living dinosaurs. See life-size replicas of adult and baby dinosaurs, dig...

Cost: $20-$34

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. Little Miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #117241

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Take the family for a night of jigs, reels and anything Celtic. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the end of the "dog days of summer" by joining a park naturalist for an evening hike around the millpond. Learn tips for observing wildlife and find out ways to identify the...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-400-3288
Contact Name: Rebecca Cope
Website »

More information

Take a moonlit stroll down the Trail to the Beaver Creek bridge and back, listening and looking for nocturnal animals. Linger on the bridge to enjoy the wonderful sounds of nature and play some fun...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-2117
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Morehead Planetarium presents a night of West African storytelling and stargazing at Historic Stagville. Learn about the oral tradition that might have been preserved by enslaved families. After...

Cost: Free. Donations welcome.

Where:
Stagville State Historic Site
5828 Old Oxford Hwy.
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Telephone: 191-962-00120
Contact Name: Vera Cecelski
Website »

More information

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Camp Gladiator takes over the Durham Bulls Athletic Park featuring fun workouts designed for all fitness levels. Enjoy local vendors, music, food, gear and tons of giveaways....

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
409 Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Camp Gladiator
Telephone: 919-538-7606
Contact Name: Marisa Park
Website »

More information

Walk through the Cretaceous period, the Jurassic Period and the Triassic period and experience what it was like to be among living dinosaurs. See life-size replicas of adult and baby dinosaurs, dig...

Cost: $20-$34

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a unique weekend celebrating the history of Tweetsie Railroad, the ET&WNC Railroad and mountain culture.

Cost: $0-$45

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln.
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
View map »


Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Telephone: 180-052-65740
Website »

More information

Hundreds of artisans from across the Southeast, festival foods, demonstrations, a kids' play area and live music highlight the town's signature arts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Campus
316 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Stretch your way into creative and silly poses. Share fun memories from the summer, like building sand castles, spitting watermelon seeds, and diving into the swimming pool with our friends,...

Cost: $20 -$25

Where:
Funny Girl Farm
504 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Telephone: 984-377-3113
Website »

More information

The Salvation Army of Wake County’s 7th annual Most Amazing Race Raleigh will take place Saturday, August 25 at popular locations throughout downtown Raleigh. The scavenger-hunt-like race is...

Cost: Teams must raise $300 to participate

Where:
The Salvation Army of Wake County Corps Community Center
902 Wake Forest Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Website »

More information

Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history at Duke Homestead. Don't miss the looping contest and Hornworm Race. This event features live music, local arts and crafts vendors, hands-on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


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Enjoy backpacks and school supplies while they last. Sponsored by Word of Truth St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church and Carolina Pines Community Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina Pines Community Center
2305 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27605
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Sponsor: Word of Truth St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church & Carolina Pines Comm Center
Telephone: (919) 831-6435
Contact Name: Tonya Henderson

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Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Enjoy live entertainment, hands-on projects and gallery hunts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
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Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. Little Miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
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Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
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Children's booksellers read their favorite picture books. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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The first Holly Springs Children's Business Fair allows children in Holly Springs and surrounding communities to showcase their entrepreneurial skills by launching their own business. Children...

Cost: Free

Where:
Holly Springs Towne Center
NC55 & New Hill Rd.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Infinity Educators, LLC
Telephone: 919-694-1908
Contact Name: Charlene Y. Dunn
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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View the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history and aspects of its preservation. All ages. Registration encouraged online; tickets available inside...

Cost: $5/adult, $3/ ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Join staff for a morning in the gardens. Take a peek at a mini pond, composting area, pollinator garden and children’s garden. Ages 5 and older with family. Register online. 

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Enjoy giveaways, live entertainment, food, inflatables and more. Dog-friendly event.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Pine Plaza
US 64
Apex, NC  27523
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Sponsor: Lake Pine Plaza
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster

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Enjoy live music. Take a blanket or lawn chairs. Pets and alcohol not permitted.

Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
2600 Evans Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The Halle Cultural Arts Center
Telephone: (919) 249-1120
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.