Looking for holiday activities, events and celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s 2017? Here’s a listing of what’s happening in Wilmington, NC for the holidays.

Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401



Notable Quotes



Cape Fear Festival of Trees
(November 20th – December 31st)

9:00 am – 5:00 pm NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach

The Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation and First Citizens Bank present the 2017 Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. All visitors who purchase a general admission ticket to the Aquarium between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31 will also experience this annual holiday presentation. 

Enchanted Airlie (December 13 – December 22nd) SOLD OUT

Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road, Near Wrightsville Beach

Viewing Times: 5:00 -7:00 pm and 7:00 -9:00 pm $27.00 to $55.00

Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC, presents Enchanted Airlie, an opportunity for families to share in the joy of the season with a half-mile self-guided stroll through the gardens featuring festive lights, holiday displays, and Santa Claus, plus local food and beverage vendors with coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies and more. Tickets must be pre-purchasedPurchase Tickets

Greenfield Lake Tree Lighting and Holiday Movie

The Holiday Tree Lighting at Greenfield Lake Park near Downtown features a visit from Santa and a screening of Polar Express the movie. FREE to the public.
SCHEDULE — 5:55: Announcements; 6pm: Tree Lighting and Arrival of S. Claus; 6-8pm: Visits with Santa at the Rotary Garden Gazebo; 7pm: Screening of Polar Express  at the Amphitheater.

Star of Wonder, Star of Night

Poplar Grove Plantation 10200 US Hwy 17 North

December 15th to December 16th  5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Star of Wonder, Star of Night at Poplar Grove Plantation near Ogden, NC, celebrates the holiday season with the grounds specially decorated with festive lights, a chance to roast marshmallows on an open fire, and write letters to Santa, lawn games, food and gift vendors, the Grinch’s Toy Junk Shop, and outdoor movies including A Christmas Story, The Polar Express, and Elf. Santa will be visiting as well.

Popular Grove Plantation

Christmas Caroling with Santa and His Reindeer

Horsedrawn Tours in downtown Wilmington, NC, presents Christmas Caroling with Santa and His Special “Reindeer.” Free candy canes for the kids. $5-$12
Horsedrawn Tours, Catch the ride at Market Street between Front and Water Street

Christmas by the Sea

December 16th 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Carolina Beach Boardwalk

Christmas by the Sea at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk features Santa and cookies and hot chocolate, pony rides, a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, and arts & crafts.

Cherish The Ladies: Celtic Christmas

Thursday, December 14th at 7:30 pm Thalian Hall 310 Chestnut Street, Downtown

A Wilmington holiday favorite back by popular demand. With their unique blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocal, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in immensely humorous and entertaining package. Tickets $40/$32/$22

Holiday Train Expo (November 25th – December 30th)

Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Midtown

Hours: Friday, 6:00 -9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm -5:00 pm

The Cape Fear Model Railroad Society presents its annual Holiday Train Expo, which sets up near Dillard’s at Independence Mall in Wilmington, NC. The expo features trains of all types in a variety of villages, parks, and landscapes, plus photo ops with the conductor of the Polar Express, and a chance to watch models being built. Kids under age 3 get in free.

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular (November 25 – December 25th)

6;30 pm – 8:00 pm Wilmington Railroad Museum, 505 Nutt Street, Downtown

The Christmas Train & Light Spectacular at the Railroad Museum in downtown Wilmington, NC, features twinkling lights, trains running through a winter wonderland, model train exhibits, a visit from Santa, and cider and cookies.

Note: We make every attempt to provide current and accurate event information. However, dates, hours and event content is provided by the venue and may be subject to change. Please contact venue to confirm information posted here.

Website: Poplar grove Plantation