Countdown to Holiday celebrations are on and we are sure you are busy preparing.  Take a break with the kids and check out a few of our favorite family outings happening in and around Raleigh below.

(Disclaimer: Don’t forget to double check the website or call ahead to the venue you’ll be attending to stay on top of any cancellations or changes in schedule.)

Storytime at Sassol Cafe

Monday, December 12th 6:oo p.m. – 7:00 p.m. & Tuesday, December 13th.  4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Sassol Restaurant, Raleigh & Cary Location

Reading, creative activity & book signing with Jena Ball author of the CritterKin series.  Kids eat free on Tuesday, December 13th with paying adult.

Special Photo Nights with Santa at Crabtree Valley Mall: Grandparents Day

Monday, December 12th. Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh

Celebrate the season with Grandma & Grandpa with a special visit and photo with Santa.

Messy Art:  Cookie Cutter Stamping Week

Monday, December 12th – Friday, December 16th.  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. SnickerDoodles, Raleigh

Paint with cookie cutters! Make all kinds of fun prints with lots of cookie cutter choices. Cost: $5 per child ($4 for each additional sibling).

NC Chinese Lantern Festival 

untitled-design-45Runs until Sunday, January 15th. (Tuesday-Sundays) 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary

This annual festival is mesmerizing visitors both young and old. Enjoy over 20 magical lights displays with over a thousand LED lights. Enjoy the craftsmanship, cultural significance and artistic beauty of the lantern festival.  Cost: Kids 2 and under are free, $10 for ages 3-17 years, $15 for Adults over 18 years.


Nature Stories:  Our Yard Is Full Of Birds

Wednesday, December 14th.  1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Blue Jay Pointe County Park, Raleigh

For ages 3-5 years. Learn about backyard winter birds and make a bird “treat” to take home to feed the birds in your yard. Theme related stories & activities for parent and child. Cost: $4 per child. Registration required.

Cary Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker

Thursday, December 15th – Sunday, December 18th.  Cary Arts Center

Follow Clara through an evening of dreamy delight in the classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker.  Enjoy the full length story that begins with a family party that includes magical tricks by Drosselmeyer, life size dancing dolls and his special gift to Clara, a wooden nutcracker.  As the clock chimes ring, the evening is not what it seems. There is a battle between soldiers & mice, Nutcracker & Mouse Queen that is not to be missed.  Clara becomes the hero of the battle. Guided by the Prince, she finds her way through the snowy landscape to meet with the lovely Sugarplum Fairy where Clara is rewarded with a presentation of the Land of Sweets. Was it a dream? Hard to say.

Come find out!Tickets on sale at The Cary Theater or or 800-514-3849.  Special one hour show for young families on December 17th at 10:00 a.m.

What’s In The Box:  Movement

Thursday, December 15th.  10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. & 1:15 p.m.  NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

For preschoolers ages 2-5 years and their caregivers.  Movement: Up, down, round and round, stomp your feet and twirl around! Explore all kinds of creative movement at the Museum. This session introduces a work of art from the Museum and includes activities that stretch the imagination.  Everyone can collect “What’s in the Box?” cards in English or Spanish (provided at each session or download). Register online. Cost: $8 for Members, $10 for Nonmembers (no charge for adult.)

Citizen Science Thursday

Thursday, December 15th.  3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Harris Lake County Park, New Hill

FREE program for ages 8 years & up. Help the park staff with their citizen science projects. Projects can include: monitoring bird houses or other artificial habitats, cleaning or repairing boxes/habitats, installing additional projects and others.  Come prepared to learn and work as you contribute to our citizen science research and our Natural Resources Inventory Database. Dress for the weather in layers, bring a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes.

Garden Gourmet: Reindeer Mousse

Thursday, December 15th. 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh

Mix it. Whip it. Taste it! Get in the holiday spirit with homemade mousse fit for a reindeer. Chocolate, mint and fruit dippers. Stop by Curiosity Square to make and taste. No prior cooking experience required.


Thursday, December 15th – Sunday, December 18th.  Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family; just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. A visually stunning musical combining elegant costumes and scenery with song, dance, conniving step-relatives and resourceful fairy-folk. Tickets can be purchased online.

Kids Night Out:  Dinner & a Movie – Holiday Classics!

Friday, December 16th.  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio at Parkside Commons, Cary
Finish your shopping and have your kiddos cook up some fun in the Holiday Kitchen with Rudolph and Frosty on the big screen and holiday favorites in the kitchen! They’ll make Snowman Pancakes, Homemade Whipped Cream, Fruit Magic Wands and a big surprise! Register online in advance.

JCC & Beth Shalom Family Chanukah Celebration

Friday, December 16th.   6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Beth Shalom Synagogue, Raleigh

FREE event. Join Rabbi Edery & Ronni Ticker at Beth Shalom for Shabbat service & an early Chanukah celebration. Come celebrate with friends, light candles, sing songs, play dreidel, hear a story, & enjoy holiday treats. Families are welcome to stay for the Beth Shalom Un-Chanukah Party with potluck dinner & Jewish food debate starting at 6:30pm & followed by Shabbat services at 7:30pm. RSVP here.

Storytelling Pajama Night

Friday, December 16th.  6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts, Wake Forest

FREE and open to the public. Put on your favorite jammies and slippers and cozy up for an evening of storytelling & hot chocolate. Rags and Riches Theatre will be performing The Gingerbread Man.

Holiday Family Fun Friday 

Friday, December 16th.  5:30 p.m.  NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

Enjoy holiday fun at the Museum of Art! Transport yourself to a holly jolly wonderland. Art deco–inspired art-making and games, free treats for the kids, music by Sandbox, and a visit from Santa await families at this popular annual event. Food and drink, including pizza, available for purchase. Cost: $5 per person. Free for family-level members and above and children 2 and under.

Park West Winter Wonderland 

Friday, December 16th – Sunday, December 18th.  5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Park West Village, Morrisville

The District at Park West Village is transforming to a Winter Wonderland for all families to enjoy. This FREE event will host 2 large real snow sledding hills, a children’s snow play area (ages 1-5 years), train rides, live a-cappella music from Catch 22 and a story time with Santa.  Visit their website to learn more and to sign up early for your sledding time slots.

Kids Wiggle & Giggle Dance Party

Friday, December 16th.  11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.  PlayDays NC, Apex

For ages 0-6 years. Celebrate Friday with a Dance Party at PlayDays NC.  Enjoy fun music and dance.  Activity is FREE with admission or PlayDays membership.

Pop Sci-Quiz Show

Friday, December 16th.  11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.  NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

For all ages. Test Your Science Smarts! How far is Earth from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy? How many red blood cells are in the human body? Think you know the answers to this science pop quiz? Join science correspondent Chris Smith inside the globe of the Nature Research Center for science Q&A with the Pop Sci Quiz Show! Dive into some amazing science facts and learn a little about how we know what we know in the universe.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Broadway Series

Runs until Saturday, December 24th.  Fletcher Opera Theatre, Raleigh

The original television classic comes to life on stage during this Broadway series performance. Come start off your holiday season with a special visit to this magical show.



Get your FREE tickets for the KidDilly Expo & come out for a day of family fun!

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