2016 Cary Holiday Events Guide

Cary, NC – The holiday season will be on us before we know it. To plan out your events, here is a guide to holiday fun around Cary in November and December.

For a full list of events, check out our calendar.



Holiday Shopping Event and Luncheon is shopping, door prizes, lunch and the big guy Santa Claus himself. It starts at 10 AM on Saturday, November 5 at the Mayton Inn and benefits the North Carolina Medical Society Alliance.

Holiday Sip and Shop is a shopping and wine sampling event at Life Experiences. It is on Tuesday, November 8 at 5:30 PM and 10 percent of proceeds go to Life Experiences, a non-profit that finds jobs for adults with disabilities.

The Women Business Owners Network is holding a shop and sip event at Cary’s Homewood Suites on Macalyson Court. Taking place Thursday, November 10 at 6 PM, there will be crafts and wine, with donations for WBON’s scholarship fund.

Christmas Shopping Spree is an arts and crafts event at Genesis United Methodist Church. There are more than 40 vendors planned at 9 AM on Saturday, November 12.

Elizabeth’s Home and Garden Shop is holding its four-year celebration on Saturday, November 12 and starting at 10 AM will have music, food, in-store deals and raffles all throughout the day.

Cute Buttons is holding a holiday open house on Friday, November 18 at 4 PM. During the open house, items are 15 percent off, aside from sales and custom items.

Mistletoe Market is a handmade crafts and food market at Green Hope High School, put on by their Fine Arts Boosters. It takes place on Saturday, November 19 at 10 AM and proceeds go to scholarships for visual arts graduates.

Waverly Holiday Open House are in-store specials at Waverly Place on Saturday, November 19 at noon, plus choirs, horse and carriage rides and more. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate.

Glenaire is holding its Holiday Craft Sale with crafts by Wake County artists for sale on Saturday, November 19 starting at 10 AM.

Pink Alli Holiday Spectacular is special at The Pink Alli on Saturday, November 26 where items are 25 percent off and all purchases comes with a gift and it starts at 10 AM.

Turkish House on 303 E Durham Rd. is having a holiday sale with local vendors and handmade crafts. There will also be food, prizes, and story time for kids. It is on Saturday, December 3 and starts at 2 PM.

Locally Made Market is the inaugural event at the Mayton Inn on Sunday, December 4 where some of the best local artisans will be selling their goods. It starts at noon and there will also be door prizes and other giveaways.

The Cary Gallery of Artists Holiday Open House is an event with handmade ornaments and crafts by local artists. It takes place Thursday, December 8 at 5:30 PM.

Chatham Street Wine Market is having a pop-up holiday sale, with local food and free samples of local wine at 1 PM. It’s open on Saturday, December 10.

Prestone Pointe’s Holiday Open House and Craft Fair is on Thursday, December 15, starting at 10:30 AM. There will be local vendors with crafts and organizers request people park in the nearby Food Lion on Chapel Hill Road and take the shuttle to the event.

Festivals and Shows

The Chinese Lantern Festival stretches from Friday, November 25, 2016 to Sunday, January 15, 2017. The festival will include more than 20 new displays on top of last year’s Chinese Dragon and and other sights. It all takes place at Koka Booth Amphitheater.

Cary’s Community Choir will be performing Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, December 4 at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church at 7:30 PM.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a play by the Cary Players. It tells the story of a group of misfits who take over their town’s yearly pageant and runs from Thursday, December 1 to Monday, December 5. Times differ between shows.

The Nutcracker is being performed by the International Ballet Academy at Cary Academy on Saturday, December 10 at 2 and 7 PM.

‘Tis the Season is a concert by the Triangle Wind Ensemble playing holiday music that encompasses everything from movie music to carols. It takes place Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 PM at the Cary Arts Center.

Holiday Pops is a performance by the 90-voice Concert Singers of Cary. They will be joined by the Moonlight Orchestra on Sunday, December 11 at 3 PM at the Cary Arts Center.

Cary Children’s Concert Choir and Cary Youth Chorale are performing holiday music together at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center on Sunday, December 11 at 4 PM.

The Nutcracker will be performed by the Cary Ballet Conservatory on Thursday, December 15 at 7 PM; Friday, December 16 at 10 AM and 7 PM; Saturday, December 17 at 10 AM, 2 PM and 7 PM; and Sunday, December 18 at 3 PM at the Cary Arts Center.

Winterfest ’16 is a performance by the Cary Town Band at the Cary Senior Center on Friday, December 16 at 7:30 PM. There will be songs and singalongs for all different holidays.

Cary's official Christmas tree is located on the south side of Town Hall.

Holiday Lighting

Light Up Night is a tree-lighting event at Parkside Town Commons on Saturday, November 12 at 4 PM. There will also be music, face painting, Santa and more.

Waverly Tree Lighting takes place at Waverly Place on Friday, November 18 at 5:30 PM. There will be Santa and Co., music, dancing and more.

Crossroads Plaza will be having a tree lighting on Saturday, November 26, as well as carolers at 3:30 PM and Santa and his Reindeer at 4 PM.

Morrisville’s Tree Lighting takes place at the Indian Creek Greenway and Trailhead on Friday, December 2 at 7 PM. There will be activities, crafts and jolly old Saint Nick.

Town of Cary’s Christmas Tree Lighting takes place at Cary Town Hall on Saturday, December 3 at 6 PM.

Arbolito de la Esperanza is a tree-lighting event at the Herb Young Community Center, put on by the Town of Cary and Diamante Inc. as part of the Estrella de la Esperanza campaign to gather supplies for families in need. It takes place Friday, December 9 at 6:30 PM and local musicians will also perform there.

Magical Winter Lights is a free lighting event at Morrisville’s Park West Village. It takes place Friday, December 16 to Sunday, December 18 at 6 PM.

Menorah Lighting presented by Chabad of Cary takes place on Monday, December 26 at 220 N. Salem St. in Downtown Apex. Check out the giant ice menorah with the event starting at 4:15 PM.


Holiday Centerpiece Workshop at Garden Supply Co. will teach visitors to make centerpieces for any holidays. You can bring your own container or buy one at the store on this Sunday, November 20 and Sunday, December 11 event at 2 PM.

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus is a breakfast and short story at Garden Supply Co. on Saturday, December 3, 10 and 17 at 9 AM. After the stories and breakfast, there will also be a crafts workshop.

Holiday Wreath Workshop at Garden Supply Co. takes place on Sunday, December 4 at 2 PM. There will be another wreath workshop on Thursday, December 8 at 6 PM with wine.

Wrapping Relief at the Cary Senior Center on Saturday, December 10 and 17 is a chance to get your presents wrapped for you by the Cary Teen Council. Limit 10 gifts per person and it starts at 10 AM.

Parties and Other Events

Garden Supply Co. is having an after-hours wine dinner with employees giving gift and decoration advice. It takes place on Thursday, November 10 and 17 at 5 PM.

Santa’s Workshop is a chance to meet Santa Claus at the Herb Young Community Center on Saturday, December 3 at 10 AM. While children (and adults) wait to meet Santa, there will be arts and crafts stations.

Holiday Open House at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center is an opportunity to see the Center dressed for the holidays and learn about its history, plus there will be a horse and carriage and carolers. It takes place on Saturday, December 3 at 4 PM.

Grinch Candy Cane Hunt is a fun event for kids aged 6-12 at Bond Park’s Kiwanis Shelter. It takes place Saturday, December 10 at 1 PM but pre-registration is due on Thursday, December 1.


Story by staff reports. Photos by Jackie, Heath Cajandig and Jessica Patrick.

Seasonal coverage is sponsored in part by Waverly Place, Parkside Town Commons, International Ballet Academy and Concert Singers of Cary.