Light up the city: Raleigh’s Christmas tree will be aglow.
Get in the holiday spirit with the Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest celebration on Saturday. Mayor Nancy McFarlane will light up the tree, and the event will feature rides, including a Ferris wheel. Visitors can go ice skating and check out the gingerbread house competition and Santa’s Village. Food trucks and vendors will be on hand. Free except for ice skating, which costs $10; 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday; City Plaza, 400 block of Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh.
The way Christmas used to be: Celebrate with a history lesson.
The Joel Lane Museum House will host its annual Colonial Christmas Open House, which will transport holiday-lovers to the founding of the North Carolina State Capitol. The home will feature decorations that were common during the American Revolution. Re-enactors will show some of the traditions of the time, and visitors can play colonial-era games. A gift shop and bake sale also be available for shopping. Free; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; Joel Lane Museum House, 728 W. Hargett St., Raleigh.
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A classical Christmas: Listen to Baroque-era music.
The N.C. Symphony will perform music from well-known Baroque composers such as Bach and Handel. Daytime performances are shorter than the evening performances. Friday’s early performance will feature a free pre-concert discussion. $30; noon to 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday; Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh.
Pop-up market: Mark off items from your shopping list.
Local blogger Jenna Little will present a special holiday market. Local artisans and small businesses will be on hand for shopping, and the event will feature finger foods and warm beverages. Shoppers can enter raffles for a chance to win gift cards and goods from local businesses. There will also be a chance to donate items to Raleigh Rescue Mission. Free except for purchases; 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; Vintage Church, 11 S. Person St., Raleigh.
Get artsy: Paint a portrait of your pet.
Bring a photo of a pet to artist Shawn Hart and create an original portrait of four-legged family members. Hart, a Raleigh-based artist who works of out Artspace downtown, specializes in painting animals. Paint and canvas will be provided, as will wine to help the artistic process along. $25 for Artspace members, $30 for non-members; 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; Artspace, 201 E. Davie St., Raleigh.
Carriage rides and more: Celebrate the holidays in Wake Forest.
The Lighting of Wake Forest will feature a Christmas tree lighting, local choirs, hot cocoa and a children’s craft. Children can also get their picture taken with Santa Claus. Weather permitting, free horse and carriage rides will be offered. Free; Friday evening; carriage rides begin at 6:30 p.m. and pictures with Santa begin at 6:45 p.m.; Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest.