Waverly Tree Lighting, Countdown to Christmas at Halmark, 78th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade

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Holiday Gift Guide, 12 Christmas Eve Dinners, Best Breweries, NC Chinese Lantern Giveaway

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS. Waverly Place’s annual annual Tree Lighting Celebration takes place Friday, November 18, 5:30–9 p.m. This year’s event benefits Read and Feed and features a concert by The Embers and performance by the Athens Drive High School Band. Snap a photo with Santa, warm up with refreshments from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory hot cocoa bar, watch aerial artists and more. Gift bags will be available for those who visit 10 or more Waverly Place merchants during the event. Pick up a Tree Lighting passport from the Read and Feed donation site in The Park at Waverly Place.


The 78th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh, takes place this Saturday, November 19, 9:30 a.m.–noon, on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh.

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival is hosting a Sensory Friendly Night on Tuesday, December 6. The evening will provide a welcoming environment for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as those with sensitivity issues or developmental disabilities. The event will include lower decibel music, decreased capacity, no strobe or flashing lights, and access to designated quiet areas to decompress from sensory overload.

The Hallmark Channel is expanding its popular “Countdown to Christmas” by taking the celebration on the road to Phillips Farms, located at 6720 Good Hope Church Road in Cary, on the weekends of November 25–27 and December 3–4. Enjoy Hallmark-branded festivities while searching for the perfect Christmas tree and grabbing some holiday goodies. Hours are Fridays, 3–6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Sundays, 1–6 p.m.


Celebrate the holiday season at Spring Haven Farm in Chapel Hill when it reopens November 16 for Winter Wonderland With Goats. Bring home a freshly cut tree from the Christmas tree forest, sip on hot cocoa and enjoy a ride on the Polar Express Tractor Train with the kids. Admission includes visiting with all the animals, including Holly the goat. Find more holiday fun in our Raleigh and Western Wake holiday roundups.

Tweetsie Railroad kicks off Tweetsie Christmas on Friday, November 25, running on selected nights through Friday, December 30. Located in Blowing Rock, the attraction opens each evening at 5:30 p.m. and includes a 20-minute nighttime train ride in an open-air car behind one of the park’s historic steam locomotives. Meet Santa in his gingerbread house, roast s’mores and enjoy a Christmas variety show.

CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS. The 27th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration takes place this Saturday, November 19, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. For the first time in three years, the event will bring together members of all eight state-recognized tribes to share demonstrations, presentations and performances that highlight the traditional and contemporary artistic, scientific, historical and cultural contributions of American Indians in North Carolina.

TREATS + FEASTS. A North Carolina tradition continues after 23 years. La Farm Bakery is offering breads, pastries and desserts for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Choose from yeast rolls, turkey-shaped bread, sourdough stuffing mix, pumpkin spice challah, apple strudel challah, and fall French tarts in apple-almond, pumpkin and pecan. Bread baskets and boxes of pastries for holiday weekends are also available. Preorder for Thanksgiving by November 21.

Indulge in a family-friendly, holiday-themed dessert cafe at The Dessertery, which kicks off this Saturday, November 19 and runs through December 23 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Enjoy holiday decor, all-you-can-eat sweets and hot cocoa, plus live entertainment on select nights at the Kennedy Theatre in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Purchase tickets here.

Through January 3, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is featuring two new burgers on its holiday menu. The Home for the Holidays Burger consists of a turkey patty, fried Brie cheese and grilled apples, and is topped with a house-made cranberry orange compote. The Hangover Burger delivers Bad Daddy’s signature Angus patty topped with house-made American cheese, a slice of rosemary ham and a fried egg, all sitting on top of a bed of smashed Bad Daddy’s tots.

GIVEAWAY! befree is dedicated to improving lives by addressing the real, everyday challenges of people living with limited mobility. The company is committed to creating adaptive and inclusive fashion that really works. Fill out the form on our Midtown or Cary Living giveaway pages for a chance to win a pair of befree zipOns in either youth or adult size. We’ll select one winner Wednesday, November 23.

BOOK TALK. University of North Carolina professor and editor Marcie Cohen Ferris, along with contributors Andrea Reusing and Courtney Lewis, will discuss Ferris’ book “Edible North Carolina” at Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. The conversation will focus on North Carolina’s contemporary food movement.

DEAL OF THE WEEK! Swagger Boutique’s Black Friday sale starts Monday November 21! Shop 20% off clothes and shoes in stores and online through November 26. Swagger also has holiday decor and fun gifts for everyone you love. Come in and see them at the Lochmere Pavilion location (2425 Kildaire Farm Road, Suite 503, Cary) or Quail Corners location (5011-D Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh). Or, follow this link and check out with the coupon code GOBBLE20 (some exclusions apply).

ARTISTIC MERIT. Three local 12th graders will present their senior art shows at Champion Education, located at 106 Pheasant Wood Court in Morrisville, on Saturday, November 19, 12:30–2:30 p.m. Alice Yu (Green Hope High School), Sophia Fratta (North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics) and Anna Hu (Raleigh Charter High School) will sketch a live model and sell their pieces to guests in attendance to raise money for the United Arts Council.

NAME CHANGE. The Raleigh Boy Choir has changed its name to The Raleigh Youth Choir to reflect a more inclusive environment. Auditions allow singers to be placed in the appropriate choir for their voice, while still permitting flexibility to make further changes that result from vocal growth. Learn more here.

LOCAL SHOPPING. Rose & Lee Co., located at 104 W. Chatham Street in Apex, will participate in the second annual Pink Friday small business shopping experience on Friday, November 18. Pink Friday is a small-business spin on the traditional Black Friday shopping experience. The boutique will celebrate all weekend with new holiday arrivals and giveaways for the first 100 shoppers both in store and online.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Food Lion’s Holidays Without Hunger campaign will provide one million meals with a campaign that runs Wednesday, November 9–Tuesday, December 13. Food Lion customers may purchase a specially marked, pre-packed Holidays Without Hunger food box for $6 or make a cash donation at checkout in-store or online through Food Lion To Go.


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