Raleigh, N.C. — Our best bets include festive events, shopping opportunities and more.
Santa Charity Crawl – NC Event Pics hosts this bar crawl to benefit Toys for Tots Saturday on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Donate a new toy and receive a discount. The party starts at Woody’s in City Market at 6:30 p.m.
Elf Movie Party – This Friday night Elf movie party on NC State’s campus features fun props and a “real” snowball fight in the theater. This event is free and open to the public.
The Carolina Inn Holiday Market – This market is Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Shop handcrafted yuletide gifts from chocolates to jewelry to garlands and ornaments. Vendors from all over the state will be part of the holiday magic including Mama Dips, Woof Gang Bakery, Moon and Lola, Honeygirl Meadery, Chirba Chirba Food Truck and Cocoa Forte Food Truck.
10th Annual St. Nicholas European Christmas Market – Like the traditional Christmas Markets of Europe, shop for gifts, collectibles and baked goods from Poland, Germany, Ukraine, and more this weekend at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. There will be performances, carolers and children’s activities on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.
2017 Bull City Holiday Food & Wine Soirée – This 21 and up holiday food and wine market is Sunday at the Rickhouse in Durham. More than 30 local food and wine producers will be sampling and selling their products for holiday gifts and there will be opportunities to place orders for parties, baskets and stocking stuffers. This event is free to the public.
Durham Holiday Patchwork Market – If you want something more personal than a gift card or a generic gift, or something special for yourself or home, the Durham Patchwork Holiday Market is for you. Small batch and one-of-a-kind goods crafted with thoughtfulness and care. The market is Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Durham Armory.
Christmas Gift Bazaar – There will be more than 30 vendors showcasing lots of amazing gifts during this event on Saturday at the old Macy’s store at Cary Towne Center.
Downtown Cary Holiday Food and Flea – Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for this event Sunday at Ashworth Village. Enjoy tasting chestnuts roasted on an open fire from High Rock Farm, have lunch with The Humble Pig and get some shopping done.
Cary Jaycee Christmas Parade – The parade starts on Chatham Street at 2 p.m. Saturday and moves through downtown Cary.
Chapel Hill – Carrboro Parade – The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday in front of Morehead Planetarium. It will move through Franklin Street and end around noon at Carrboro Town Hall.
Wake Forest Christmas Parade – Enjoy more than 100 colorful floats and entries from local businesses, churches, schools and civic groups, as well as several high school marching bands and, of course, Santa Claus during this parade on Saturday.
Fayetteville Rotary Christmas Parade – Enjoy this parade starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Person Street in Fayetteville. The parade will go to Market House then to Hay Street and Railroad Station. WRAL’s Lena Tillett, Brian Shrader and Gilbert Baez will be participating.
Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker – A holiday tradition that’s perfect for the whole family, Carolina Ballet’s production is the only performance of The Nutcracker in the country with illusions created by world-renowned magician Rick Thomas. Marvel as beloved characters levitate, disappear, and reappear before your very eyes. See it this weekend at Durham Performing Arts Center and through the rest of the month at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
Theatre in the Park’s A Christmas Carol – Ira David Wood III’s beloved musical comedy, A Christmas Carol, celebrates its 43rd Anniversary this year. See it this weekend at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and then at Durham Performing Arts Center Dec. 14 through 17.
Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella – This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Just the right mixture of comedy and romance can add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. The show runs through Dec. 17.
Raleigh Ringers – This internationally acclaimed, advanced community handbell choir based in Raleigh will play Meymandi Concert Hall Saturday and Sunday.
A Charlie Brown Christmas – When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Theater in the Park presents this show Friday through Sunday. Note: There is a sensory friendly performance on Saturday morning.
North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival – This annual light display is at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre through Jan. 14. There are more than 20 displays featuring thousands of LED lights. There are also nightly performances.
The Revivalists – This 7-piece New Orleans band will play The Ritz Saturday night.
All You Need Is Love Benefit Concert – This concert, planned Sunday at the Pour House in Raleigh, will help raise money for Ashley Reaves Linden, a mother of three fighting cancer. Give what you can financially and help spread the love with bands The Fabulous Knobs, Johnny Folsom 4, Oak Team, Robert Kirkland and more.
For the foodies
Fleece Navidad – May all your sweaters be ugly and bright Friday night at The Haymaker’s Tacky Sweater Party.
Game Day Sip and Shop and Food Drive – Carolina Brewing Company will host this event on Sunday to support the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. It promises to be an awesome day of shopping, live music and food from Chirba Chirba Dumpling!
Chefs for a Change – This fundraising dinner series raises money for Families Moving Forward. Friday night’s dinner at The Rickhouse will include passed hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal with wine and beer. Tickets are $50.
Vita Vite Anniversary – Help this wine bar celebrate two years in business on Saturday. There will be live music from Old Habits, doughnuts from Rise and a get a taste of a new beer Vita Vite has crafted with Neuse River Brewing Company.
Mill Chill – Rocky Mount Mills will host this run, food truck rodeo, concert and brewery event.