Arts & Culture

Your guide to 2015 holiday events

From left, Adam Poole as Hermey, Michael Brocki as Yuken Cornelius and Waylin Owsley as Rudolph in the 2014 production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical.” Catch it from Nov. 27-Dec. 30th at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh.
From left, Adam Poole as Hermey, Michael Brocki as Yuken Cornelius and Waylin Owsley as Rudolph in the 2014 production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical.” Catch it from Nov. 27-Dec. 30th at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh.

November 29

Chapel Hill Tree Lighting The Community Tree Lighting Ceremony will have caroling by the church choir and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. 6 p.m. Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church, 100 S. Columbia St. Free.

Chanukah music concert from Mishpacha. 2-3:30 p.m. Free. Quail Ridge Books & Music, Ridgewood Shopping Center, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh.

Hanging of the Greens 6 p.m. Pisgah Baptist Church, 3689 Hwy 210, Smithfield. 919-934-8048.

November 30

Wake Forest Children’s Choir Holiday Concert The Wake Forest Children’s Choir will present an evening of holiday songs and carols under the direction of Kasie Ryan and Terri Smith. 6 p.m. Free. Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest.

December 1

Holiday Dreaming Concert Wakefield Choral Booster organization presents a holiday concert with Christmas carols performed by the Wakefield High School’s show choir Harmonik Rhythm. Also, handmade crafts and seasonal goodies. 7:30-9 p.m. Lifepointe Church, 9500 Durant Road, Raleigh. $10 (free for children 12 & under).

Holiday Sip and Shop Caring Community Foundation hosts this annual holiday event at which attendees can shop with local merchants while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. There’s also a raffle. Proceeds help Triangle cancer patients with living expenses. 6-9:30 p.m. Wakefield Plantation, 2201 Wakefield Plantation Dr., Raleigh. $25/advance, $35/door.

December 2

Wilson Winter Lights Dazzling lights, holiday music, water features and hand-crafted botanical decorations, plus a visit with Santa. Proceeds benefit the Wilson Botanical Gardens STEM Garden. 6-9 p.m. Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1806 SW Goldsboro St., Wilson. $5 ($3 for ages 12 & under).

December 3

Advent Evening of Jazz This annual concert features the Jazz Mass Quintet, which will play Advent hymns and Christmas songs. Refreshments to follow. 7 p.m. St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 813 Darby St., Raleigh. Free (love offering requested). 919-833-8055 or

Arts Access Holiday Party The non-profit hosts a holiday party to thank friends and supporters. 6-8 p.m. Roundabout Art Collective, 305 Oberlin Road, Raleigh. Free (donations welcome). 919-833-9919 or

December 4

Resident Choir of the Raleigh Boy Choir performing seasonal songs, directed by Danny L. Yancey. 7 p.m. Free. Quail Ridge Books, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh.

Wake Forest Christmas Tree Lighting The lighting of the town’s 30-foot tree, followed by a visit from Santa. Free photos with Santa from 6:45-8:30 p.m. (tickets distributed in town hall lobby at 5:30 p.m.). Music from local students, free horse and carriage rides (weather permitting). 6 p.m. Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest.

Benson Christmas Tree Lighting Entertainment until the tree is lit, then a parade with Santa arriving by horse and carriage. Santa visits with children on Main Street after the parade. New this year is a golf cart decorating contest. 6-8:30 p.m. 919-894-3825

Apex Christmas Tree Lighting Carolers at 5 p.m. at the Union Depot, followed by the tree lighting by the mayor. Sleigh and carriage rides, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Salem Street, downtown Apex.

Holiday Art Open House. Waverly Artists Group presents an evening of jazz guitar (including holiday music), refreshments, holiday punch, wine and art. 6-9 p.m. Waverly Artists Group Studio & Gallery, 302 Colonades Way, Suite 209, Cary. Free.

December 5

Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest 3-10 p.m. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh present the annual Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest featuring live music, food trucks, the official tree lighting and more. Raleigh-based band American Aquarium is the headlining act. 300-400 blocks of Fayetteville Street.

Elf Fair The annual holiday craft extravaganza features holiday arts and crafts from local artisans, plus food and beverages and a free weaving demo for kids and adults. Also, a kids zone with hands-on art projects and classic holiday films. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro. Free.

“A Colonial Christmas” at the Joel Lane Museum House 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 728 W. Hargett St., Raleigh. Free, donations requested. 919-833-3431, or

Holiday Greenery Make your own fragrant holiday display using greenery, colorful stems, berries and pods. All plant materials and ribbon will be supplied. Bring a pair of hand pruners and any embellishments. 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St., Duke University, Durham. $65 ($55 Gardens members or Duke staff/students). Pre-registration required: 919-668-1707 Info:

Outdoor Holiday Concert Holiday music performed by local musicians from the Gathering Church. 6 p.m. Memorial Garden at University Baptist Church, 100 S. Columbia St. Free

Christmas in Apex The annual Christmas on Salem Street event, which includes photos with Santa at the Depot (9 a.m.-2 p.m.). Then the Christmas parade starts at 5 p.m. along Salem Street in downtown Apex.

Christmas Shoppe Craft Show featuring 65 artisans and crafters. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. St. Thomas More Catholic School, 940 Carmichael St., Chapel Hill. 919-929-1546 or

Ole Time Winter Festival. An arts and craft vendor event featuring elementary school choirs, ornament-making, Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. West Chatham Street, downtown Cary. 919-523-0567 or

Holidays Around the World Bright Star Touring Theatre company’s colorful, festive presentation for children and their families. 12:30-2:30 p.m. Free. Northgate Mall, Children’s Alleyway/Suite 109, Durham.

Holiday Open House Wake Forest’s downtown merchants will provide refreshments, performances by school and dance groups, horse and carriage rides, and fun activities for kids throughout the day. 10 a.m. Downtown Wake Forest.

Raleigh Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 9 a.m.-noon. $35 registration. Saint Mary’s School, 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.

Christmas Holiday Shoppe The 12th annual holiday craft show features more than 65 artisans and crafters from across the state. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thomas More Catholic Church, Friends and Family Hall, 940 Carmichael St., Chapel Hill. Free. 919-490-8493.

Holiday Charity Silent Auction The Woodcraft Women’s Club will have artwork, restaurant gift cards, tickets to sporting events and concerts, and more. Plus horsd’oeuvres, a children’s table and more. Proceeds benefit local charities. 7-10 p.m.. Great Room at Southpoint Village Apartments, 100 Village Circle Way, Durham. $5. Info:

Santa at Historic Yates Mill. Pictures with Santa, but also “reindeer games” in the mill yard, refreshments and a craft sale. Proceeds support the mill’s ongoing operations. Appointments required. 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Historic Yates Mill, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh. $15 & up.

December 6

Lighting O’ the Grove The 35th annual event will feature caroling, a performance by the Ladies in Blue a cappella group, a theatrical interpretation of Christmas at Saint Mary’s in 1842, refreshments, the lighting of the Christmas tree and a special candlelight singing of “Silent Night.” More than 600 luminaries will illuminate the historic front campus. 7:15 p.m. Saint Mary’s School, 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. Free (canned good donations to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC are encouraged). 919-424-4034.

Handel’s Messiah 45th anniversary of the 108-member Cary Community Choir’s performance. 7:30 p.m. Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr., Cary.

Men in Black Christmas Concert 5 p.m. King’s Park International Church, 1305 Odyssey Drive, Durham. $15-$20. 919-683-1709 or

Hanging of the Greens The traditional greening of the sanctuary will include music from the children’s and youth choirs. 6 p.m.. Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-833-4617 or

Paws and Claus Pet Photos. Bring your cat or dog for a photo with Santa. All sales proceeds support AnimalKind. 1-5 p.m.. Northgate Mall, Santa’s Town Hall (Center Court), Durham.

“The Loaned Manger” Children’s Christmas Program. 6 p.m. Yates Baptist Church, 2819 Chapel Hill Road, Durham; Free. or 919-489-2309.

Moravian Love Feast An informal service with music, refreshments, candle lighting. 7 p.m. Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, 1201 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh.

Apex Home Tour A holiday home tour. 1-5 p.m. Dec. 6. $10/advance, $12/day of, $5/children. 919-362-6923 or

Christmas in Clayton Art & Homes Tour presented by Clayton Visual Arts, located downtown and featuring 6 homes and 16 local artists. 3-7 p.m..

Boylan Heights ArtWalk Admire holiday decorations and shop for artwork and handmade craftwork on your stroll through historic Boylan Heights. Noon-5 p.m.. South Boyland Avenue between Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard. Free.

December 8

N.C. Master Chorale performs “Joy of the Season,” carols and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” 7:30 p.m. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E South St., Raleigh. $27-$38. 919-856-9700 or

The Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle (RTOOT) has their “Seasons in Time” concert, featuring music from Sibelius in Finlandia to Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” to music from “Les Miserables” and holiday songs. 7:30 p.m. $9. Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. 919-469-4069 or

December 9

Love Light & Trim the Tree A special candlelight ceremony and tree-lighting that represent donations made in honor or in memory of loved ones. Santa and Twinkle the WakeMed mascot will be there for ornament-making and goodies. Also, help decorate a tree in the Children’s Hospital. 6-8:30 p.m. WakeMed Raleigh Campus, Outdoor Courtyard, 3000 New Bern Ave., Free.

The General Assembly Chorus presents their annual holiday show featuring special guests the Harmony Grits quartet, Downtown Sound, and the Heart of Carolinas Chorus. 7:30 p.m. Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. $15/adults, $10/students. or 1-800-514-3849.

December 10

Community Band Holiday Concert The Holly Springs Community Band performs. 7:30 p.m. Holly Springs Cultural Center, 300 W. Ballentine, Holly Springs. Free, but reserve tickets at 919-567-4000. Food items will be collected for the Holly Springs Food Cupboard.

The Swingles This show by the London-based Swingles, an international a cappella phenomenon, will include music for the holiday season, performed in tandem with the students of the N.C. State Chorale. 8 p.m. Stewart Theatre, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. $28-$32. 919-515-1100 or

December 11

“’Tis the Season” concert by the Triangle Wind Ensemble feature holiday favorites plus a screening of the British animated film “The Snowman” with live soundtrack performed by the ensemble and boy soprano Josh Singleton. Also, a rendition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” with narration by David Ballantyne of WCPE Radio. 7:30 p.m. Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. $12 adults, $5 students and seniors. Tickets at the door or in advance at (search Cary Arts Center) or by phone: 919-462-2055.

Gingerbread House Workshop One family can work on a house together or build them individually. 6:30-9 p.m. Cary Academy, 1500 N. Harrison Ave., Cary. $75 per house. or 919-677-7839.

Christmas In Spring Hope Horse-drawn carriage rides, face-painting, Christmas music and lights, dancers, nativity displays, a children’s scavenger hunt, Santa Claus and more. 5:30-8 p.m. Main Street, downtown Spring Hope. Free.

December 12

“Music for the Season” by the Triangle Brass Band under the direction of Tony Granados. 7 p.m. Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, 2209 Fairview Road, Raleigh. $10 adult, $5 senior/student. and

“Nutcracker” by the Triangle Youth Ballet of Chapel Hill. 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Carolina Theater, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham. $15-$27 ($12 for children under 6). 919-560-3030 or

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade 10 a.m.-noon. Starts at Morehead Planetarium and runs the length of Franklin Street to Carrboro Town Hall.

Wake Forest Christmas Parade Community groups and businesses show their holiday spirit, and Santa will be there, too. 1 p.m.. South White Street & South Brooks Street, Wake Forest.

Bahama Ruritan Christmas Parade Free donut and hot chocolate at the Ruritan Clubhouse (8202 Stagville Road) following the parade. Downtown Bahama. 10 a.m. (arrive by 9).

Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade Floats, bands, dancers, horses, marching groups and more. 11 a.m. Main Street through downtown, starting at Holly Springs Road and ending at Ballentine Street.

Holiday Fair The Garner Magnet High School PTSA sponsors its fifth annual fair of gifts, crafts and food items from more than 120 vendors, plus photos with Santa. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Garner High 2101 Spring Drive, Garner. Free.

Living Nativity Walk or drive through. Freatures live animals. 6-9 p.m. Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 1615 East NC Highway 54, Durham.

December 13

Triangle Jewish Chorale Winter Concert “A Medley of Melodies, Celebrating Hanukah and TJC’s trip to Argentina” will reprise songs from the summer concert tour in Buenos Aires and offer familiar and novel settings of Hanukah songs in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino. 3 p.m. Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham. Free (donations encouraged).

Raleigh Flute Choir Holiday Concert The Raleigh Flute Choir returns for their annual holiday music program. 3 p.m. N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh. $10 general admission, $8 NCMA members, $6 students, $6 RAFA. or

“Cabaret Warsaw for Hanukkah” from Mappamundi, a local world music ensemble. 4:30 p.m. ArtsCenter, 300-G E Main St, Carrboro. $7 in advance, $10 at the door.

The Oakwood Waits An a cappella caroling ensemble, dressed in authentic 1840s attire, perform Medieval to Modern Carols for the Christmas Season. 7:30 p.m. Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1520 Canterbury Road, Raleigh. Donations ($10 min. suggested) go to Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County).

“’Twas the Night Before Christmas” Performed by the Concert Dancers of Raleigh youth ballet company. 4 p.m. Jones Auditorium, Meredith College, Raleigh. $8-$10/adults, $5-$6/children.

Christmas Cantata 11 a.m.. Sunrise United Methodist Church, 5420 Sunset Lake Road, Holly Springs.

The Raleigh Ringers Holiday Concerts 25th Anniversary Holiday Concerts featuring alumni members. 4 p.m. Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E South St, Raleigh. $19.14. On sale at box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. 800-745-3000, More info:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” A poignant story with both traditional and contemporary Christmas songs. Refreshments. 5:30-7 p.m. Avent Ferry United Methodist Church, 2700 Avent Ferry Road, Raleigh. Free. 919-835-3688.

“Christmas Makes Everything New” Choir program. 6 p.m.. Yates Baptist Church, 2819 Chapel Hill Road, Durham. Free. or 919-489-2309.

Durham Craft Market Holiday Show Enjoy live music, refreshments and a visit from Santa while browsing lots of locally made holiday gifts/ Noon-5 p.m. Durham Armory, 212 Foster St, Durham. Free.

December 14

Christmas Concert The North Carolina Boys Choir will perform traditional secular and sacred Christmas music. 7 p.m. Binkley Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Dr., Chapel Hill. Free (donations appreciated).

N.C. Boys Choir Christmas Concert showcases traditional secular and sacred Christmas music. 7 p.m. Binkley Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Dr., Chapel Hill. Free (donations accepted).

The Raleigh Ringers Holiday Concerts 25th Anniversary Holiday Concerts featuring alumni members. 7:30 p.m. Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E South St, Raleigh. $19.14. On sale at box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. 800-745-3000, More info:

December 16

Army Ground Forces Band holiday concert Limited tickets available for the 7 p.m. concert. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Meymandi Concert Hall. Ticket distribution on a first-come, first-serve basis. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope requesting 7 p.m. show to: Army Ground Forces Band Concert c/o Duke Energy Center Box Office, 2 E. South Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

December 17

Christmas concert featuring choirs, soloists and musicans from across Johnston County. Refreshments served. 7 p.m. St Ann Catholic Church, 4057 U.S. 70 Bus. Hwy West between Clayton and Smithfield. Free (donations welcome). Proceeds go to the church food pantry. 919-934-2084.

December 18

Carols At Christmas by the Raleigh Boy Choir. 7:30 p.m. Edenton United Methodist Church, 228 W Edenton St., Raleigh.

Holiday Concert By the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, Rodney Wynkoop, conductor. 8 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 305 E Main St., Durham. Free ($5 donation suggested).

Live Nativity with a live camel, cow, goat, donkey, llama and sheep. Hot cocoa and apple cider will be served. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Christ’s Sanctified Holy Church, 9050 Strickland Road, Raleigh,

Holiday Concert Featuring Croasdaile Chorale, Durham Children’s Choir and the Forest Singers. 4:30 p.m. Temple Baptist Church, 4504 Sterling Drive, Durham. Free.

December 19

Handel’s Messiah Part I by the Concert Singers of Cary. The singers will be joined by 10 members of The N.C. Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players to present Handel’s work with replicas of instruments used in Handel’s time. Pre-concert demonstration of the instruments. 7:30 p.m. Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. Tickets $25. 919-249-1120 or

“Rejoice This Night!” by Voices, The Chapel Hill Chorus. Includes an audience singalong of carols. 8 p.m. Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham, $7-$20.

White Christmas Sing-a-long. Sing-a-long to the holiday classic film starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. 2 and 7 p.m. The Cary, 122 E. Chatham St., Cary. $5. 919-462-2051 or

A Christmas Celebration Johnston County Chorale’s live orchestra performs with Austin Pope & The Bluegrass Bandits, West Johnston High School Vocal Ensemble and Dance Team and others. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Clayton Center, 111 E. 2nd St., Clayton. $15. 919-553-1737 or

Make & Take Crafts from Around the World A drop-in family holiday crafting session that will teach about different cultural celebrations. Activities include: Diwali rangoli patterns; Chinese New Year lanterns; paper snowflakes; a menorah and more. Noon-4 p.m. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St., Duke University, Durham. Free. 919-668-1707 or

December 20

“To See Jesus” This worship service led by the Chancel Choir and Orchestra includes congregational singing, choral selections, instrumental features and vocal solos. 11 a.m. Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. Free. 919-833-4617 or

Christmas Candlelight Service Christmas candlelight service with concert and candle-lighting followed by holiday hospitality. 7 p.m. Unity Church of Raleigh, 11101 Creedmoor Road. or email

December 24

Christmas Eve Services Family Christmas Eve worship service at 4 p.m.; Communion Christmas Eve Service at 6 p.m. Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-833-4617 or

Christmas Eve Services A worship service at 5 p.m., candlelight worship with communion at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunrise United Methodist Church, 5420 Sunset Lake Road, Holly Springs.

Christmas Eve Services Family service at 5 p.m. with children’s ensembles, communion; 7:30 p.m. Saint Francis Choir and communion; 11 p.m. Bell Choir, lessons and carols, candlelight communion. Saint Francis United Methodist Church, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. 919-362-4107 or

Christmas Eve Service An hour of special piano music at 6 p.m. followed by 7 p.m. service. Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, 1201 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh.

December 31

Night Lights A family-friendly New Year’s Eve with activities, games, refreshments and a countdown for the kids – all under the stars in the fulldome theater. 3-6 p.m. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 250 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill.

First Night Raleigh Nearly a full day of activities, including a children’s celebration starting at 2 p.m. that ends with an early fireworks countdown. Live music and other entertainment, plus the acorn drop and more fireworks at midnight. Throughout downtown Raleigh. $10.

New Year’s Eve in Vienna Classic Viennese waltzes and big band favorites from the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Jazz Repertory Orchestra. 8 p.m. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. $56-$77. 919-733-2750 or

On-going events

Holiday Pops Concert. The N.C. Symphony, led by David Glover, plays holiday music, featuring the N.C. Master Chorale with Lisa Jolley, Jeanne Jolly and Alfred E. Sturgis. Selections from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Polar Express” and “Frozen.” Santa in the lobby prior to shows. Audience members are requested to bring food items to support the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in its BackPack Buddies Program. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27, 3 p.m. Nov. 28. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. $42-$72. 919-856-9700 or

“Rudolph the Musical” The world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters return with a live stage show. Nov. 27-Dec. 30. A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. $22.69 & up.

“Dashing Through the Snow” presents Southern style comedy by the Cary Players. Dec. 3-7. Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. $18-$20. 919-469-4069 or

“A Christmas Carol” presented by Theatre in the Park. The Ira David Wood III musical comedy in its 41st season. Dec 9-13 at Memorial Auditorium, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Dec. 17-20 at Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Showtimes vary. Tickets range $30-$82.

Holiday Café and Bake Sale Delicious Greek food and pastries prepared by the members of the Philoptochos Society, with 10 percent of proceeds donated to Transitions LifeCare. Remaining proceeds benefit local, national and international charities. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 5000 Leadmine Road, Raleigh.

“Nuncrackers,” The Nunsense Christmas musical. Dec. 4-20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sundays. North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, 7713-51 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh. $13-$18. 919-866-0228 or

“Cinderella.” This holiday tradition runs Dec. 4-20. Cantey V. Sutton Theatre at Raleigh Little Theater, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh. $27-$33. 919-821-3111 or

“The Nutcracker” performed by the Carolina Ballet. Dec. 5-6 at Memorial Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill. $10-$49. Dec. 12-13 at Durham Performing Arts Center. $45.31-$117.44. Dec. 18-27 at Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh. $48.85-$144.65. Showtimes vary. 919-719-0900 or

“The Nutcracker Ballet” performed by the Cary Ballet. “A Very Cary Christmas” program by Cary Ballet and the 3D project features “The Nutcracker Ballet” and other holiday pieces. Dec. 18-20. $16. (A one-hour version of the same program for young children will be offered at 10 a.m. Dec. 20; $8 for ages 2 and up.) Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. 919-481-6509 or

“The Nutcracker” performed by City Ballet. 7 p.m. Dec. 11-12, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 12. Stewart Theatre, N.C. State University. Tickets start at $10. 919-844-9799 or

“Nutcracker Dances” performed by Infinity Ballet. 3 p.m. Dec. 5, 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. $6. or

“The Santaland Diaries” based on the short story by David Sedaris. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12, 18-19; 3 p.m. Dec. 13, 20. Theatre in the Park, 107 Pullen Road, Raleigh. $18-$24. 919-831-6936 or

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Seasonal family comedy. Dec. 11-13. Forest Moon Theater, Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest. $7-$13. 919-435-2022 or

“Can Mrs. Claus Save Christmas?” and “A Christmas Line.” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12, ; 3 p.m. Dec. 12-13. Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. $8/adults, $6/students. 919-249-1120 or

Haywood Hall House and Gardens Christmas Open House. Haywood Hall is decorated for Christmas and open to the public from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 12-13. 211 New Bern Place, Raleigh (2 blocks east of the State Capitol). Free (donations welcome).

A Baroque Christmas. By North Carolina Master Chorale. Music of Handel and Bach, the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and more. Noon and 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh (Paul Agnew conducting); 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Memorial Hall, UNC Chapel Hill (Alfred E. Sturgis conducting). $20-$70.

“Black Nativity” A play by Langston Hughes, staged by the Justice Theater Project with choreography by Chuck Davis. Dec. 19-22. Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Union (NCSU), 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. $27 ($22 senior/students; $18 groups of 10+). or 919-264-7089.

Cirque Musical Holiday Spectacular. Holiday music by the N.C. Symphony and circus performers. David Glover conducts. 8 p.m. Dec. 18-19, 3 p.m. Dec. 19. $33-$85. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. 919-733-2750 or

“Santa’s Gift to the Monsters” by the Raleigh Symphony is a family holiday concert including a world premiere of Lanette Lind’s newest work for children. 3 p.m. Nov. 29 at Carswell Recital Hall, Meredith College, Raleigh. 3 p.m. Dec. 6 at Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., Wake Forest.

Christmas Tree and Wreath Exhibit and Auction. Benefiting Western Wake Crisis Ministry. Dec. 4-21 (Reception 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4). Halle Cultural Arts Center. 237 N. Salem St., Apex. 919-249-1120 or

The Raleigh Ringers Holiday Concerts. 4 p.m. Dec.13, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E South St., Raleigh. $17-$19 (Groups of 10 or more, $15). 919-847-7574 or

Living Nativity The story of Christmas through a living nativity. 7-9 p.m. Dec. 22-24. Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-833-4617 or

Live drive-thru Nativity: Depicting the life of Jesus from birth to Resurrection. 7-9 p.m. Dec 11-13. Longview Baptist Church, 2308 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh. Free. 919-231-3747 or

Live Nativity With 13 scenes portraying the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5-6, rain or shine. Selah Christian Church, 1332 Selah Church Road, Four Oaks.

Live Nativity Complimentary dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m.; live nativity with costumed Biblical characters 6-8 p.m, Dec. 15-16. Saint Francis United Methodist Church, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary.

Live Nativity The nativity story shared on a child-friendly level. Refreshments. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Dec. 13. Hope Lutheran Church, 3525 Rogers Road, Wake Forest. Free. or 919-554-8109.

Live Nativity Real live animals and actors representing the holy family and Bethlehem community. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 18-19. Sunrise United Methodist Church, 5420 Sunset Lake Road, Holly Springs.

Live Nativity A live presentation of the birth of Christ. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13. Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, 1201 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh.

The Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour. 1-7 p.m. Dec. 12-13. Historic Oakwood Neighborhood. Info center at The Tucker House, 418 N. Person St., Raleigh. $25 in advance (through Dec. 10), $30 day of. Group rates available. 336-409-6792 or

“A Christmas Carol” The final season of the Allan Gurganus-Michael Malone interpretation of the classic Dickens tale. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17-18. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough. $20 (proceeds benefit St. Matthew’s, the Hillsborough Arts Council, and the Burwell School).

“Dashing Through the Snow” A Jones Hope Wooten comedy presented by the Cary Players. Dec. 3-7. Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. $18-$20. Showtimes at

Northeast Piedmont Chorale’s “Hodie! This Day” Christmas program. 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Wake Forest Baptist Church, 104 E. South Ave., Wake Forest; 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at New Hope Baptist Church, 4301 Louisburg Road, Raleigh. Free.

A Rockin’ Royal Christmas play by the Mission Kids Choir, which has a cast of more than 50 children ages 5-12. 7 p.m. Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13. Cary Church of God, 107 Quade Dr., Cary. Free. 919-467-0537 ext. 127 or

Santa’s Workshop. A series of free interactive holiday arts and entertainment events for kids. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each Saturday, Nov. 28-Dec. 19. Northgate Mall, Suite 140, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham.

Salvation Army’s Angel Trees “Adopt” a child to buy warm winter clothing for this holiday season at Crabtree Valley Mall and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh and Cary Towne Center in Cary, through Dec. 12. You may also adopt online at

Photos with Santa. Nov. 27-29; Dec. 4-6, Dec. 11-24. See website for specific hours. Northgate Town Hall (Center Court), 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham.

“Glory of Christmas.” Unity Choir’s annual concert directed by Maestro Scott McKenzie and performed with guest orchestra and soloists. The program draws from different faiths and traditions and includes jazz, gospel, classical and world music. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 5 p.m. Dec. 19. Fairmont United Methodist Church, 2501 Clark Ave., Raleigh. Suggested donation: $15 advance reservation; $20 at door; children: $10. Reserve at

Choral Society of Durham’s Christmas Concert features J.S Bach’s “Magnificat” and Carols. 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 4 p.m. Dec. 13. Page Auditorium, Duke. $22. 919-560-2733 or

“Bulls, Bells & Barrels” is a Christmas Rodeo for the entire family presented by Carousel Farms. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12. N.C. State Fairgrounds, Hunt Horse Complex. Country Christmas Shopping at 6 p.m. Free parking. $12-$17 (kids 5 & under free). or 919-872-6898.

“Ride the Rails with Santa” train rides at New Hope Valley Railway. Santa talks to each child and poses for photos. Santa’s elf talks to adults and sometimes passes out coal. Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13. Rides: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day. 3900 Bonsal Road, New Hill. Steam train rides: $17 (seniors $16, children $14). Diesel train rides: $12 (seniors $11, children $10). or 919-362- 5416.

Holly Days at Sanderson More than 150 vendors with jewelry, crafts, holiday decor, food and more, plus performances by Sanderson High School vocal ensembles and a Tinsel Tea Room. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6. Sanderson High, 5500 Dixon Dr., Raleigh; $2.

St. Nicholas European Christmas Market Experience the European Christmas Market traditions of Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland and Scandinavia. Christmas tree sales, pieroghi, kielbasa and European Christmas breads and cookies. 7-9 p.m. Dec. 4 also includes caroling and visit of St. Nicholas; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 5, includes hot Slavic lunch and The Little German Band. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, 2515 Piney Plains Road, Cary.

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus Free, but space is limited so call to register. 9 a.m. Dec. 5, 12, 19. Garden Supply Company, 1421 Old Apex Road, Cary.

Christmas Tree & Wreath Auction The 8th annual event benefits the Western Wake Crisis Ministry. Dec. 4-21 (9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday). Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex;

Holiday Art Extravaganza Presented by the Fuquay-Varina Arts Council, an extensive crafters market with live musical entertainment, a children’s craft corner and photos with Santa. 4-7 p.m. Dec. 10 (art only); 3-8 p.m. Dec. 11 (Santa 4-7 p.m.); 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Santa noon-5 p.m.); 1-5 p.m. Sunday (Santa 1-5 p.m.). 405 Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina.

Pet Photos with Santa Dogs and cats only. 6 p.m.-closing each Monday through Dec. 14. Streets at Southpoint, Center Court, 6910 Fayetteville Road, Durham.