Cary, NC – The end of the year always brings out new events to celebrate with friends and family. Start your planning now with our list of events in Cary and Morrisville.
Heart of the Holidays in Downtown Cary
Leading up to the Town of Cary’s tree lighting, there are events all throughout the day on Sunday, December 1, 2018.
Santa’s Workshop is your kids’ chance to meet Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. While they wait, there will also be a crafts station and the Cary Teen Council will be collecting nonperishable food or cash donations. It runs from 10 AM to 12:30 PM with a 20 minute break at 11:30 AM.
The Page-Walker Arts & History Center is holding its annual holiday open house with a tour of the hotel decorated in 19th Century style, Victorian carolers singing, a horse-drawn carriage, treats, a kids’ crafts station and more. It is free to attend and runs 4 – 6 PM.
The Cary Players will be performing “A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol” at the Cary Arts Center this day. It tells the story of ragtag wartime actors trying to perform and bring Christmas cheer at a dire time. The play will be performed at 3 and 7:30 PM.
The Town of Cary Christmas Tree Lighting takes place at 6 PM at Town Hall, with singers, actors, musicians and more performing before the town flips the switch and turns the electric colorful lights on the big tree. Also, see 130 handmade ornaments decorating the tree from communities all over Cary.
Holiday Events Around Town
Sparkle Night at Parkside Town Commons kicks off the holidays extra early this weekend with a tree and Menorah lighting, bounce houses, a trackless train, a fun snow effect and of course the jolly red-suited guy. It takes place Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 4 to 7 PM.
Waverly Place’s Seventh Annual Tree Lighting will take place on Saturday November 16, 2018 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. There will be a festive photo booth, amazing aerialist acts and a holiday concert from the Embers featuring Craig Woolard Music at 6 PM on the outdoor stage.
Winter Wonderland is an annual event at Park West in which kids of all ages will enjoy the Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping show, featuring colorful holiday lights broadcast on the side of Stone Theatre Park West 14. Snow My Yard will provide snow for sledding, a trackless train will tour the District, and there’s story time with Santa. It is free from Friday, November 16 to Sunday, November 18, 2018 each night from 5:30 to 8:30 PM.
Morrisville’s Tree Lighting takes place on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the Indian Creek Greenway trailhead. It starts at 7 PM.
Cary Academy’s Holiday Shoppe is a chance to shop from 100 different vendors for holiday goods and gifts, with proceeds going to community outreach and scholarships, plus there will be door prize giveaways. The market is free to attend and takes place Thursday, November 29 from 10 AM to 5 PM; Friday, November 30 from 10 AM to 8 PM; and Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 10 AM to 4 PM.
The Menorah Lighting to celebrate the start of Hanukah kicks off at 5:30 PM with music, food and kids’ activities. It takes place at the Cary Arts Center on Thursday, December 6, 2018.
The Cary Senior Center is holding a holiday potluck lunch for people aged 55 and older. Bring some food to share as well as a wrapped gift valued between $5 and $10 for a gift exchange. It runs from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM on Friday, December 7, 2018 and it is free to attend.
The Grinch Candy Cane Hunt is a fun game to find hidden candy canes around Bond Park. The event is for kids aged six to 12 and starts at 11 AM on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
The Town of Cary Christmas Parade takes place in Downtown Cary on Saturday, December 8, 2018. It is put on by the Cary Jaycees and includes floats and demonstrations from groups all over town. The parade starts at 1 PM.
Mad Dash Babysitting is a chance for parents to leave their kids in the care of the Cary Teen Council while they shop or have a romantic holiday night out. There will be games, food and other activities for the kids aged five to 10 and takes place at the Herbert C. Young Community Center. All children must be toilet-trained and it runs from 5:30 to 9:30 PM on Friday, December 14, 2018.
The 24th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration is a free cultural event at the Cary Arts Center with live performances as well as introspection on the Nguzo Saba principles and taking stock of the past year. It starts at 11 AM on Friday, December 28, 2018. Produced by the Town of Cary in partnership with the Ujima Group, Inc.
Concerts and Shows
The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival starts Friday, November 23, 2018 and runs until Sunday, January 13, 2019. There are hundreds of LED creations, a new Chinese dragon, live performances by acrobats, jugglers, dancers and more. It’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s biggest event of the year and people come from all over the country and the world to see it. Closed on Mondays except for December 24 and December 31.
The Cary Players continues its performance of “A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol” with shows on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 3 PM and Monday, December 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM, still at the Cary Arts Center.
The Cary Community Choir is doing its 48th annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. This is also the last concert with David Mellnik as conductor after 18 years. The show is at 7:30 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, December 2, 2018.
The Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle celebrates its 10th year with a show on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at the Cary Arts Center. The show will include reflections on the past 10 years as they mix comedy and music, all starting at 7:30 PM.
The Concert Singers of Cary performs their Holiday Pops Concert at the Cary Arts Center. This is a big show every year and it starts at 7:30 PM on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
International Ballet Academy’s The Nutcracker ballet will be performed twice on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 2 PM and 7 PM at Cary Academy. The only full length Nutcracker performance in Cary.
The Triangle Wind Ensemble will be playing a holiday-themed concert on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3 PM at the Cary Arts Center.
Winterfest Concert takes place at the Cary Senior Center with the Cary Town Band playing music themed around Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s and the Winter Solstice. It’s a free concert for people aged 50 and older and starts at 7:30 PM on Thursday, December 13, 2018.
Cary Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker Suite is part of the Marvelous Music Series at The Cary Arts Center during the second weekend of December with shows Friday, December 14, 2018 at 11 AM; Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2 PM; and Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 2:30 PM.
The third weekend of December the Campaneria Ballet Company will dance the Nutcracker Suite on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 6:30 PM and Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 1 PM, all at the Cary Arts Center.
As more Winter and Holiday events are announced, we will be updating this article. If you know of some events we missed, let us know in the comments.