2015 Guide to Holiday Events in Cary


Cary, NC — We can’t believe it’s already “that time of the year” again – the time for excitement, scarves and sweaters, family traditions, shopping, parties, food and giving thanks. Enjoy our own tradition – this event guide to all the holiday happenings in Cary.

Holiday Events in Cary

Make your way down this list of fun holiday events (grouped by category) to add your favorites to your calendar. Most events are free unless stated otherwise.

Festive Crafts & Workshops

Holiday Wine & Design – Making Accent Bows
Thursday, November 19, 2015; 6-7:30 pm
at Garden Supply Co, 1421 Old Apex Road, Cary

Join several designers as they show you how to make accent bows for wreaths, presents, etc. The cost of the workshop is $15 plus the cost of the ribbon that you chose. You will leave with a bow ready to adorn any of your holiday creations. Call 919-387-3397 to register.

Holiday Wine & Design – Making a Wreath
Thursday, December 3, 2015; 6-7:30 pm
at Garden Supply Co, 1421 Old Apex Road, Cary

Create your own wreath using live greens and a wreath form, and learn about color. The cost of the class is $35.00 and includes instruction, wreath form and all the live greens you will need. Wreath additions will be extra. Call 919-387-3397 to register.

Tree Lightings

Tree Lighting at Waverly Place
Friday, November 20, 2015; 6-8:30 pm
at Waverly Place, corner of Tryon Rd. and Kildaire Farm Rd.

There will be performances by local music and dance groups, Santa and his elves with special treats, s’mores and hot drinks, face painting, ornament making, holiday gift displays and in-store promotions. Arrive by 7 pm for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Arbolito de la Esperanza – Tree of Hope Lighting
Friday, December 4, 2015; 6:30-8:30 pm
at Herb Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave., Cary

This tree lighting represents rays of hope for Hispanic/Latino children by initiating the collection of Stars of Hope donations. The tree lighting is preceded by a traditional Latin celebration in which people share a potluck dinner with holiday foods from around the Latin American world. Local Latino musicians perform and lead the audience in singing traditional holiday songs.

Town of Morrisville Tree Lighting
Friday, December 4, 2015; 7-9 pm
at the Indian Creek Trailhead, 101 Town Hall Drive, Morrisville

This annual time-honored tradition will be an evening of musical entertainment, crafts for the children, a visit from Santa and refreshments.

Town of Cary Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 6-8 pm
in front of Cary Town Hall, 316. N. Academy Street, Cary

This festive night includes actors, singers and musicians from the community. Bundle up and gather around Cary’s huge Christmas tree for a lighting ceremony. The “Cary Community Christmas Tree” will be also be unveiled inside Town Hall.

Crossroads Tree Lighting & Victorian Christmas
Sunday, December 6, 2015; 3:30-6:30 pm
at Crossroads Plaza, 213 Crossroads Blvd., Cary

Carolers will perform favorite holiday songs dressed in full costumes. Honored guests include Santa and his Reindeer, who will visit with children. Enjoy hot cider, crepes and other treats under the Christmas tree, and help fill Zach’s Toy Chest by bringing a new, unwrapped toy.

Holiday Markets for Shopping

See our Guide to Holiday Markets in Cary for more information on the markets listed below.

  • 11/21/2015 – Craft Fair at the Senior Center
  • 11/21/2015 – Mistletoe Market at Green Hope High School
  • 12/3 – 12/5 – Holiday Shoppe at Cary Academy
  • 12/13/2105 – Downtown Cary Food & Flea

Breathtaking Sights

Chinese Lantern Festival
November 28, 2015 – January 3, 2016
at Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary

The festival includes more than 20 displays comprised of hundreds of parts and thousands of LED lights. The event runs nightly from Saturday, November 28, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016. On Sundays-Thursdays, the show runs from 6:30-10 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it runs from 6:30-11 pm. Tickets ($20 for adults & $12 for kids) can be purchased through etix.

Magical Winter Lights
December 11-13, 2015
at Park West Village’s Park West 15 Theater, Village Market Place, Morrisville

Three outdoor nightly shows will have a flashy light show on the front of the movie theater, real falling snow, carolers, a free train to ride on and free story time with Santa in the theater of the lobby. Storytimes will follow this schedule:

  • 12/11/2015 – 5:30-8:30 pm
  • 12/12/2015 – 5:30-8:30 pm
  • 12/13/2015 – 6-8 pm

Holiday Competitions

The Gifting Tree Project: Decorating Day
December 2 – 3, 2015
Town Hall Campus, Downtown Cary

Local families, businesses, and groups are encouraged to apply to participate in this charitable decorating contest by November 25. For a $25 entry fee, groups will get their own tree to decorate. The trees will be displayed downtown all season, and a donation will be made to the charity of the winner’s choice. Tree decorating ends at 5 pm on December 3, 2015.

Gingerbread House Competition
Saturday, December 5, 2015
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Create a gingerbread house yummy enough for an elf’s visit! The houses will be on display in Downtown Cary on December 5, 2015. Winning houses will be on display during December at the Cary Arts Center. Entry forms due by November 25, 2015; completed gingerbread houses due on December 4, 2015. Call 919-469-4061 for more information.

Festivals & Open Houses

Winter Festival at Parkside Town Commons
Friday, December 4, 2015; 3-7 pm
at Parkside Town Commons, 7119 O’Kelly Chapel Road, Cary

Bring the family to Parkside Town Commons for shopping, dining and fun, and a enjoy free, interactive holiday photo booth, costumed characters, carolers, holiday games and prizes, hot chocolate and cookies and valuable savings from shops and restaurants

Ole Time Winter Festival
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 10 am-4 pm
along W. Chatham Street in Downtown Cary

The Heart of Cary Association’s festival is one of the best holiday traditions in Cary. Festival-goers can enjoy arts and crafts, entertainment, food trucks, activities for kids and more.

Page-Walker Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 4-6 pm
at Page-Walker, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary

Get into the holiday spirit with old-fashioned Christmas fun. Learn about Victorian holiday traditions while touring the 1868 historic hotel. Listen to Victorian carolers and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Taste holiday treats and view historic rooms decorated for the holidays.

Jewish Cultural Festival
Thursday, December 10, 2015; 4:30-7:30 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

The festival kicks off with the lighting of the nine foot menorah for the fifth night of Hanukkah. Enjoy the celebration of Jewish culture with delicious traditional Jewish foods, crafts for kids, lively music, activities and educational programs.

Cary Kwanzaa Celebration
Tuesday, December 29, 2015; 11 am-3 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Kwanzaa is a celebration for all people, focusing on family, friends and the fruits of the earth. This year’s celebration will feature a vendor market and children’s village (with hands-on arts & crafts activities). There will me music performances, storytelling and more.

Events Especially for Kids

Letters to Santa
November 23-December 12, 2015
at Town Hall Campus in Downtown Cary

Starting on Monday, November 23, 2015, kids can drop-off their letters to Santa Claus in the Santa Mailbox on Town Hall Campus. All letters dropped off before December 12, 2015 will receive a response back from Santa himself. Include your child’s name and return address.

The Polar Express Pajama Party
Friday, December 4, 2015; 7-8 pm
at Barnes & Noble, 760 SE Maynard Road, Cary

Join Barnes & Noble for a pajama Storytime in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beloved classic The Polar Express. There will be games, crafts and tons of fun.

Breakfast with Mrs. Clause
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 9-10 am
at Garden Supply Co., 1421 Old Apex Road, Cary

Join a Garden Supply Company tradition and greet Mrs. Claus from the North Pole. She visits Garden Supply every year and shares a special holiday story and some breakfast treats. This special event is limited in size, so call 919-460-7747 to register.

Santa’s Workshop
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 10 am-12:30 pm
at Herb Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave., Cary

Children enjoy a variety of craft stations where they can make a gift for someone special and enjoy a visit with Santa himself. While there, support the Cary Teen Council food drive by sending each child with two non-perishable food items or a cash donation.

Storytime – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Saturday, December 5, 2015; 11 am-12 pm
at Barnes & Noble, 760 SE Maynard Road, Cary

Join Barnes & Nobe for coloring and activities to celebrate all things Grinch with a special event featuring How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Theater, Music & Shows

Dashing Through the Snow – The Cary Players
December 3-7, 2015
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Get in the holiday spirit with a colorful caravan of eccentric guests who deck the halls of the Snowflake Inn B&B in Texas. Tickets are $18-20 on etix. Showtimes include:

  • 12/3/2015 – 7:30 pm
  • 12/4/2015 – 7:30 pm
  • 12/5/2015 – 3 pm; 8 pm
  • 12/6/2015 – 3 pm
  • 12/7/2015 – 7:30 pm

Messiah Concert
Sunday, December 6, 2015; 7:30-9:30 pm
at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Drive, Cary

The 45th annual Messiah Concert by Cary Community Choir will be held in the sanctuary of Kirk of Kildaire. The event is free, but an offering will be taken at the door.

Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle (RTOOT)
Tuesday, December 8, 2015; 7:30-9 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Tickets are $9 on etix for the RTOOT’s Fall 2015 concert, “Seasons in Time.”

Songs of the Season
Wednesday, December 9, 2015; 7:30-9:30 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Don’t miss the General Assembly Chorus holiday show for a light evening of Christmas musical cheer. This year, there will be special guests, too. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (age 17 and under) on etix.

Tis’ the Season
Friday, December 11, 2015; 7:30-9:30 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

The Triangle Wind Ensemble will provide the music to accompany the delightful short film, The Snowman. Also joining them for this concert will be David Ballantyne, from WCPE: The Classical Station, who will be narrating The Night Before Christmas.

Holiday Pops
Sunday, December 13, 2015; 3-4 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

The Concert Singers of Cary Symphonic Choir welcomes the 20-piece Moonlighters Orchestra for an encore performance of last year’s highly successful program of Holiday favorites. Enjoy an afternoon with Cary’s premiere jazz ensemble, who will play Holiday songs both old and new. Tickets are $25 on etix.

Raleigh Boychoir’s Millennium Singers
Sunday, December 13, 2015; 4-6 pm
at Page-Walker, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary

What better way to get in the holiday spirit than to listen to heavenly voices performing holiday classics? Choir members, aged 7-14, will bring a wonderful selection of music. Light refreshments served at intermission. Tickets are $16.50 each on etix.

A Celtic Christmas
Tuesday, December 15, 2015; 7-9 pm
at The Cary Theater, 122 E. Chatham Street, Cary

Together with their Celtic ensemble, Christmas traditions, stories, songs and tunes will be presented in an intimate yet lively production. This event is presented by the Scottish Cultural Organization of the Triangle. Tickets are $22-$24 and can be purchased at the Cary Theater.

Winterfest 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015; 7:30-9:30 pm
at the Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury O’dell Place, Cary

This free show from the Cary Town Band is always a hit. Don’t miss the very-popular carol sing-along and music to celebrate your favorite holiday festivities – Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, maybe New Years, and of course, a Sleigh Ride.

A Very Cary Christmas
December 18-20, 2015
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

Presented by Cary Ballet Company and The 3D Project, A Very Cary Christmas features two charming shows in one special event. Follow Clara through the magical Nutcracker story ballet as she receives a special gift, battles menacing mice and travels through the Land of Snow. The 3D Project will present a holiday production with seasonal music. Tickets are $18 on etix.

  • 12/18/2015 – 7 pm
  • 12/19/2015 – 2 pm; 7 pm
  • 12/20/2015 – 3 pm

The Nutcracker
Saturday, December 19, 2015; 2 pm & 7 pm
at Cary Academy, 1500 N. Harrison Ave., Cary

Make your holiday season complete with International Ballet Company’s presentation of the beloved ballet “The Nutcracker.” Children of all ages will be mesmerized as Clara helps her Nutcracker Prince defeat the Rat Queen and travels to the enchanted Land of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Cavalier, Ginger Cookies and many other delicious characters. Tickets can be purchased at www.tututix.com/ibacary and range from $12-$15.

White Christmas Sing-Along
Saturday, December 19, 2015; 6:30-8:30 pm
at The Cary Theater, 122 E. Chatham Street, Cary

Join friends and family for a screening and sing-along of White Christmas. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the movie starts at 7:00 p.m. The theater was packed last year, so get your tickets in advance online through etix or at the Cary Arts Center box office.

A Mini Very Cary Christmas
Saturday, December 19, 2015, at 10:00 AM
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary

This is a special one-hour Mini Very Cary Christmas for those families with younger children. It’s a great introduction to the Nutcracker story ballet in a shorter format. Tickets are $8 on etix.

Cary Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 12, 2015; 1-4 pm in Downtown Cary

For the past 35 years, the Cary Jaycees have sponsored the Christmas Parade in Downtown Cary. The parade is a joyful celebration which includes bands, mascots, local businesses, community groups and churches.The event will be held rain or shine.

Rally Point Christmas Party

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party
Saturday, December 19, 2015; 9 pm-12 am
at Rally Point Sport Grill, 1837 N. Harrison Avenue, Cary

DJ George, food and drinks and an ugly Christmas sweater contest.

Did We Miss Anything?

Cary has a lot of holiday events, and it’s difficult to list everything. If we missed your Cary favorite, leave a comment below to let fellow readers know about it.


Story from staff reports. Photo by Melinda Shelton.


CaryCitizen’s 2015 Holiday Event Guide is sponsored in-part by the Heart of Cary Association, Waverly Place, Rally Point Sport Grill, Cary Ballet Conservatory and the Concert Singers of Cary.


2 replies
  1. KinderVillage Music Studio
    KinderVillage Music Studio says:

    Join us for our annual Holiday Sing-a-long on Saturday, December 5, 2015. It will be held at the Lochmere Pavilion on the corner of Lochmere Dr. & Kildaire Farm Rd in Cary. It is an outdoor event beginning at 11:00 am featuring holiday music & songs we all love to sing along with. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on! The event is free and open to all. Canned food will be collected for the food bank. Call 919-467-4398 with questions.
    Hope to see you!

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