Holiday Family Fun

Christmas shopping done and looking for some last-minute weekend family plans? Check out all the family fun going on in our Raleigh area!

Holiday Shows, Nature Workshops to STEM fun…Lots to do in & around Raleigh.

The Polar Express Train RideDec. 18th-22nd. NC Transportation Museum, Spencer.  Hot Chocolate, Cookies, gifts from Santa along with a reading of The Polar Express. Just like in the movies! 

Ira David Wood’s III “A Christmas Carol”. Dec. 17th – 20th. DPAC, Durham.  A favorite holiday show tradition in the Southeast. Best for children over 3 years old.

“Hocus Focus” Special Needs Magic Show. Dec. 18th. 6:30pm.  Wake Forest Renaissance Center for the Arts. A free sensory friendly magic show for children (2nd – 8th grade) with special needs.

Holiday Family Fun Friday. Dec. 18th. 5:30. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Music from Sandbox, Escher-inspired art making & crafts, visits with Santa along with food to purchase. FREE event.

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular. Dec. 18th-19th. Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. Holiday music plus gravity-defying feats from today’s greatest circus performers.

Nutcracker – Carolina Ballet. Dec. 18th-27th.  Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh.

Handel’s Messiah Part I Concert. Dec. 19th. Halle Cultural Arts Center of Apex. Performed by Concert Singers of Cary & The NC Baroque Orchestra. Come early & watch a pre-concert demonstration of some instruments over 200 years old.

Fiesta Navideña. Dec. 19th. 12:00-4:00pm.  NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. Community Outreach Event offering family information, children’s toys as well as health and other professional services. Free Admission.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Expo. Dec. 19th. 10:00-5:00pm. NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh.  Grab your last-minute gift from 70+ unique vendors to shop from along with pictures with Santa.  FREE admission.

Wagon Ride & Cocoa with Santa. Dec. 19th. 1:00-2:15. Harris Lake County Park, New Hill.  Be Santa’s special guest on a wagon ride.


Suggly Sweater 5K & Fun Run. Dec. 19th. Sugg Farm, Holly Springs. Run in your favorite holiday ugly sweater. Fun run, food & pictures with Santa.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical runs until Dec. 30th. Fletcher Opera Theatre, Raleigh. The beloved tv classic is made for the stage and includes all of your favorite characters & songs.

Lights on the Neuse. Boyette Family Farms, Clayton. Hayrides, sweet shoppes, a sugar barn & even a playdate with Santa.  Check out the Holiday Magic at Lights on the Neuse.

A Very Cary Christmas. Dec. 18th-20th. Cary Arts Center. Two charming holiday shows in one evening performed by Cary Ballet Company and the Cary Ballet Conservatory 3D Project Dancers.  “A Mini Very Cary Christmas”,  one hour production of The Nutcracker, perfect for young families.  A “Ballerina’s Tea” will follow this show where your little ones can take pictures with the ballerinas and enjoy tea & cookies after the show.

 Cinderella. Dec. 20th. Raleigh Little Theatre. Musical comedy for all ages.
Sleigh Rides at Brier Creek. ends Dec. 20th. Brier Creek, Raleigh.  Catch the last weekend of Holiday Sleigh Rides.
Sensory Fun Days. Dec. 20th. 3:00-5:00pm. Flaherty Park Community Center, Wake Forest. Free unique open play time for parents to have some family fun with their children with special needs. (18 months – 13 years old.)
Gingerbread Dreams. Dec. 4th-21st. Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex. 8th Annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Exhibition & Auction. All proceeds go to Western Wake Crisis Ministry.
Holiday Book Drive at Barnes & Nobles. runs until Dec. 27th. Cary store. Book drive will benefit Project Enlightenment.
Weekend Family-Friendly Tours. Saturdays. 10:30 am. Museum of Art, Raleigh. 30 minute themed tours for kids ages 5-11 years with parent.
Jingle Jam with Stage Door Dance. Dec. 19th. 11:00-11:45. Marbles, Raleigh.  Join a rockin’ holiday party with Stage Door Dance.
Science Solvers featuring the Marbles STEM Play Corps. Dec. 19th. 2:30-4pm. Marbles, Raleigh. Experiment, explore & discover with middle schoolers from the Marbles STEM Play Corps.
Citizen Science Saturdays at Prairie Ridge. Dec. 19th. 10:30-11:30am. Prairie Ridge, Raleigh. Be a Citizen Scientist by participating in a project collecting data during a nature walk. Project topics vary each week from bugs, gardening, birds and much more.
Weekend Family-Friendly Tour: Kids in Art. Dec. 19th. 10:30 am. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Half & hour tours for kids (5-11 years) along with a parent.
Polar Express Movie Night, Dec. 19th. 6:00pm. Lafayette Village, Raleigh.  Put on your hat & mittens and grab your chairs & blankets for some outdoor movie fun.
SuperFun Saturday. Dec. 19th. 10:30-12:30. Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex.  FUN free arts & crafts for children. Parents must accompany children. Ages 4-12 years.
Winter Break. Dec. 20th. 1:00-3:00pm. Lake Crabtree Park, Raleigh. Family workshop where you can learn why animals migrate, hibernate and survive during the winter. $3 per person/ $5 per family.

Check out ongoing family fun events in the Triangle. From a night of twinkling lights at the N.C. Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary to some outdoor ice skating fun at the Ipreo Winterfest ice rink. DJ Trevor from Raleigh-Durham’s Vox DJ Company will be spinning Christmas tunes while you skate on Dec. 18th.

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