The holiday season is in full swing with lots of area activities. Here’s a roundup of upcoming holiday happenings in Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and Morrisville.
Sounds of Christmas
First United Methodist Church Cary holds Christmas concerts at noon Wednesday, Dec. 14, and Wednesday, Dec. 21, in the sanctuary at the church, 117 S. Academy St. Free and open to the public. A free luncheon follows at 12:30 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall. 919-467-1861, firstcary.com
The 18th annual Live Nativity is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Saint Francis United Methodist Church, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. The event will feature costumed Biblical characters, live animals, music, children’s activities, a display of Nativity exhibits and more.
A food drive for Dorcas Ministries also will be held during the event; participants are asked to bring spaghetti sauce (glass jars will be accepted) and packages of pasta. A complimentary hot dog dinner is 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. 919-362-4107, saintfrancisumc.org, bit.ly/2gApjoX
The Cary Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” Dec. 15-18 at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $20-$25. bit.ly/2gaWeEB, caryballet.com
The group also performs a special one-hour version at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, at the center as part of the 2016-17 Marvelous Music Family Series. Tickets: $7-$8. For ticket information, go to bit.ly/21AaGHR.
Holiday craft fair
The Holiday Craft Fair and Open House is 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at Preston Pointe retirement center, 1995 NW Cary Parkway. Parking is available in the Food Lion shopping center at 9567 Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville. A free shuttle to the center will be available. 919-460-8141
Chinese Lantern Festival
The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival is open through Sunday, Jan. 15, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary. More than 20 new displays are featured. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Chinese cultural arts performances, featuring traditional Chinese dance and a juggler, are at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
The festival is closed Mondays except for Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-17 and free for children ages 2 and younger. Free parking. 800-514-3849, bit.ly/1YgQHJ9, boothamphitheatre.com
Winter Wonderland in The District is 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, to Sunday, Dec. 18, in front of Stone Theatre at Park West Village, Village Market Place, Morrisville. Free. The event will feature two sledding hills, a children’s snow play area, train rides, music and story time with Santa. Non-perishable food items for the North Carolina Food Bank and monetary donations for Toys for Tots will be accepted. For more information and to sign up for sledding, go to bit.ly/2fuiXHz.
Cary Town Band
The Cary Town Band presents “Winterfest ’16” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at the Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury O’Dell Place. Free. carytownband.org
Gingerbread house contest
Winning houses in the sixth annual Cary Gingerbread House Competition are on display through Friday, Dec. 16, at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. Honorable mention entries are on display through Dec. 16 at The Mayton Inn, 301 S. Academy St. 919-319-4560, bit.ly/1GWZMCJ
Christmas with a Cop
The Wake County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 41, holds its 25th annual Christmas with a Cop from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Kmart, 4500 Western Blvd., Raleigh. Law enforcement officers will take needy children ages 2-15 shopping for presents. Lunch also will be provided. To apply for the program, go to ncfop41.org/community-involvement.
Suggly Sweater 5k
The third annual Suggly Sweater 5K, Fun Run and Christmas Celebration is 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Sugg Farm Park at Bass Lake, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. Participants can dress in their favorite ugly sweater. The event, which also will feature music, refreshments and photos with Santa, is a fundraiser for Meg’s Smile Foundation. For more information and to register, go to sugglysweater5k.com.
Wreaths Across America
The Wreaths Across America ceremony is noon Saturday, Dec. 17, at Hillcrest Cemetery, 608 Page St., Cary. Boy Scout Troop 213 is organizing the outdoor ceremony, which will honor fallen veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Free and open to the public.
A holiday gift-wrapping fundraiser for Second Chance Pet Adoptions is noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 17-23 beside the Men’s Warehouse store at Crossroads Plaza shopping center, 213 Crossroads Blvd., Cary. The event will be from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24. secondchancenc.org
Pet Photos with Santa
Wag in the holiday season with a program supporting Independent Animal Rescue. Dress your pet in holiday attire and have photos taken with Santa from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Petco West Cary, 7121 O’Kelly Chapel Road, Parkside Town Commons shopping center. 919-403-2221, animalrescue.net
The Concert Singers of Cary perform part 1 of Handel’s “Messiah” with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. Tickets: $25. 919-249-1120, concertsingers.org, thehalle.org
The Cary theater, 122 E. Chatham St., has added a fifth “White Christmas” movie sing-along at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. All previous shows are sold out. Cost: $10. The theater also is showing a series of Christmas films through Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24. Cost: $5 per film. For a schedule of movies and showtimes, go to thecarytheater.com. 919-462-2055
Children’s film series
“The Polar Express” shows at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at The Cary theater, 122 E. Chatham St. Cost: $1. Part of the Film Day - Fun Day children’s series. Recommended for ages 3-7. For more information, go to bit.ly/28Jn6Jw. 919-462-2055, thecarytheater.com
The Campaneria Ballet Co. performs “Journey to the Nutcracker Suite” and the KMJ Jazz Co. performs “My Favorite Things” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20-22 at at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. Tickets: $16. campaneriaballetschool.net
Wreaths and trees
The ninth annual Halle Hall of Wreaths and Trees Exhibit and Auction runs through Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. Free. The event is a fundraiser for Western Wake Crisis Ministry. bit.ly/2eg7pvh
The 22nd annual Cary Kwanzaa Celebration is 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. This year’s theme is “It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day.” The event will feature a performance by the Kuumba Dance Co., a vendor market, children’s activities and more. 919-460-4969, bit.ly/2fS1RHc
Email your holiday event to firstname.lastname@example.org.