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Christmas Attractions in Wilmington NC

by Rebecca Hall on December 8, 2019
Christmas Attractions in Wilmington NC

Though the beautiful city of Wilmington has so much to offer year-round to visitors and locals alike, it takes special pride in its lineup of Holiday Season attractions.

Voted in the Top 20 Events by the Southeast Tourism Society, one of Wilmington’s most popular Yuletide attractions is Enchanted Airlie, November 29th through December 22nd. Visit beautiful Airlie Gardens and experience over a million festive lights, flowers of the season, and live music that the entire family will enjoy. With refreshments provided by local vendors and even a visit from Santa Claus himself, this is an event not to be missed!

Another seasonal favorite is the annual Old Wilmington by Candlelight Tour in Historic Downtown Wilmington, December 7th, and 8th. This two-day event offers tours of private homes, churches, and other historic sites, followed by a competition at the historic Latimer House where votes are cast for the best gingerbread house.

From December 6th to the 15th, discover A Merry Little Christmas Festival, a European Winter Bazaar that takes place at the seasonally decorated Poplar Grove Plantation with arts and crafts from local vendors, activities for kids, and evening candlelit tours of the estate. Enjoy this truly magical holiday experience!

Escape the hustle, bustle of the holidays by visiting the Jingle Belles Holiday Tea on December 8th and 9th at the Bellamy Mansion, the “crown jewel” of the city’s River District. A formal occasion, this Holiday Tea in the opulent parlors of the historic antebellum mansion offers hors d’oeuvres, libations, and of course, hot tea, in a setting that will take you back to the glory days of the old South.

The Merry Little Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival taking place from December 13th to the 15th is an outdoor carnival of arts, crafts, and gifts from local vendors, especially enjoyable for children with Santa’s Workshop and a special mailbox for sending their Christmas lists to the North Pole. The event features movies and concessions for the entire family to enjoy.

An annual musical tradition celebrating the Holiday Season takes place at the Statewide Holiday Pops on December 3rd at the Wilson Center. Enjoy the North Carolina Symphony for an evening of beloved holiday classics from “The Nutcracker” and “The Polar Express”, followed by the sing-a-long celebration!

From November 29th through December 28th, the Christmas Train & Light Spectacular at the Railroad Museum in the Historic Downtown Wilmington district features scale model trains running through a winter wonderland boasting over 25,000 twinkling lights, an appearance by Santa Claus, cider and cookies.

Experience the cultural side of Wilmington as the Wilmington Choral Society presents the “Songs of Disney” on December 3rd at the Wilson Center. Children of all ages are invited to attend as their favorite Disney character! Visit for details.

Encore magazine presents 12 Tastes (or more!) of Christmas, December 12th at Brookly Arts Center and Annex, a fundraiser benefitting Nourish NC, whose purpose is to provide food for the children of the New Hanover County school system. The theme being “A Christmas Story”, prizes will be given to those with the best theme-related costumes. With over 30 local breweries and eateries vying for the award of Best Bite, Best Sip, and Best Booth Decoration, the competition will ultimately result in a “win” for anyone who attends.

Hosted by Wilmington Parks and Recreation, the Wilmington Holiday Parade on December 8th, will be an evening parade through Downtown Historic Wilmington via Front Street. Live coverage of the parade will be televised on WECT’s Bounce TV. Though the parade is planned to be held rain or shine, should extreme weather prevail that could affect the safety of participants, spectators, and staff as determined by city officials, the parade will be postponed until Sunday, December 15th.

Join Wilmington Ducks Unlimited for their 1st inaugural Wilmington Oyster Roast on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, on the lawn at the battleship USS North Carolina. For $45 a person, enjoy live music, games, raffles, all you can eat oysters, sides, and your choice of beverage. The event is scheduled rain or shine.

Also on December 7th, the 2nd Annual Wilmington Historic Half Marathon and 5K run. Starting downtown, the course will run through beautiful Historic Downtown Wilmington. The 5K runners will split off from the marathoners and traverse the boardwalk to finish, as the marathoners continue on over 3 bridges, around a scenic lake, and finish on the boardwalk.

Visit historic Wilmington this Holiday Season and enjoy the attractions that will surely create fond lifelong memories!


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