Fun Things to Do This Weekend (Dec. 16-18)


This weekend, holiday outings invite families to put a sparkle in their children’s eyes and escape the hectic pace of the season to make memories.

Santa Train

Take a ride on the Ellerbe Creek Railway Santa Train at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Tickets are $22 per rider and include a journey to the "North Pole" through thousands of twinkling lights as riders meet Santa and his elves. Back at the station, explore festive activities including face painting, holiday crafts, a "skate in your socks" ice rink and more. Finish your night with complimentary hot chocolate and holiday music. Trains leave every 20 minutes (5:20-8:20 p.m.); event gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. Purchase tickets here.

Photo of Santa and Santa Train courtesy of the Museum of Life and Science

Breakfast With Mrs. Claus FREE

Join Mrs. Claus for breakfast and a short story, 9-10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at Garden Supply Company in Apex. After visiting with Mrs. Claus, enjoy a holiday craft. Register online.

Triangle Performance Ensemble Holiday Show

Head to Hillside High School in Durham for Triangle Performance Ensemble’s "Durham’s Black Nativity" 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. Enjoy original music and contemporary gospel favorites that reveal the story of the birth of Jesus Christ based on poet Langston Hughes’ version of the Christmas Story. Purchase tickets for $17-$20 online.

Holiday Songs Performance FREE

Hear the children’s troupe, Bright Star Touring Theatre, perform holiday songs at Northgate Mall’s Discovery Nook, a space dedicated for children’s fun and learning, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. 

Photo Courtesy of Bright Star Touring Theatre 

Santa’s Workshop: Ornament Making FREE

Enjoy “Santa’s Workshop: Ornament Making” with Durham Arts Council, 11a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, in suite 132 of the Northgate Mall.

PHOTO COURTESY of Durham Arts Council 

Scrapiversary FREE

The Scrap Exchange in Durham welcomes all to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its home at The Center Theater and the unearthing of a time capsule buried in 1966 at 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16.

Illustration courtesy of The Scrap Exchange

NC Chinese Lantern Festival

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.

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

Ice Raleigh

Head outdoors for ice skating at Ice Raleigh, located at City Plaza on Fayetteville Street. 


Carolina Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Watch Carolina Ballet tell the holiday story of “The Nutcracker” at Raleigh Memorial auditorium in Raleigh.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Ballet


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