Wilmington and the beaches at Kure, Carolina and Wrightsville are great for celebrating your Thanksgiving and getting in the mood for the December celebrations. It’s all here from special Thanksgiving dinner specials to tree lightings, holiday musical specials, old favorites in the theater, parades and special tours including the famous Old Wilmington by Candlelight tour and the beautiful Enchanted Airlie tour. And, of course, we always have Arts, Sports, History, kids events and much more. Make Wilmington part of your holiday tradition.
Wouldn’t it be easier to dine out for Thanksgiving?
Everybody gets just what they want, you don’t have to eat leftovers at every meal the next week and someone else cleans the plates. We have a whole host of restaurants that want to accomodate you and the Star News has identified them. Here’s their list Thanksgiving Dinner.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
The City decorations are up. Friday brings the public tree lightings to Downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington’s lighting begins with entertainment in Riverside Park at 5:30 pm with the lighting at 6:25 pm. And then a familiar figure in a red suit who lives at the North Pole will stop by. Wrightsville Beach will be offering hot chocolate and accepting donations of coats, gloves, hats, scarves, baby formula, diapers and chidlren’s toys for Port Human Services. Santa and Mrs. Claus plan to arrive at 5:45. Carolina Beach joins in the fun on the 30th. That’s the date for the Island of Lights Christmas Parade. The next day brings the famous Pleasure Island Flotilla. Lighted boats cruise from Snow’s Cut Inlet to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back to Snow’s Cut. Wilmington holds its Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 2. The 6 pm parade runs south on Front Street and back up Water St. You can get more details for all of these at Holiday Events (hint: click on the little magnifying glass next to each event for more info.)
More Special Holiday Events
One of our most spectacular seasonal events is the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society’s beautiful Candlelight Tour. Historic homes are decorated for the holidays in spectacular manner and opened for tours Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd. (Hint: see some of the homes at dusk to enjoy the full effect of the lights.) Looking for a Christmas tree decorating idea? Visit the Festival of Trees at the Cameron Art Museum. This 25 (plus) year old festival features 25 beautifully decorated trees in an exhibit organized by the Cameron, Wilmington Ballet and the Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center. This family event brings the season and our local artistic talent together for the display that runs the 24th until December 2. The Wilmington Railroad Museum joins in the celebration with its Train and Light Spectacular. More than 15,000 lights make this gem of a museum sparkle to light up the season. Enjoy the lights, cider and cookies from the 24th through the end of December. Airlie Gardens opens its gates to Enchanted Airlie showing off the beautiful gardens lit with seasonal lights and special “Lego” displays. Last years’ display set a record for the largest crowd to see a single Lego display. The show runs from the 23rd until December 22. You can find more about these events at Holiday Events.
Our Theater features are Timely
Jimmy Stewart made it famous, and a classic. It’s a Wonderful Life comes to Cape Fear Playhouse with a November 29, opening. Relive George Bailey’s tortured night wondering if his life mattered. Would Mr. Potter achieve his dream to run the town? Another classic opens the following weekend. Meredith Wilson’s magical adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street brings a young lawyer to the defense of Santa and the transformation of a mother and daughter who are changed when they learn to believe in something. It’s at Thalian Hall. The Nutcracker Ballet returns this year with special performances at the Minnie Evans Performing Arts Center, located at Ashley High School. Five professional dancers join a cast of more than 60 local dancers to present the spectacular full-length grand scale traditiontal Nutcracker. It’s 3:00 pm December 1 & 2. You can find more about these shows and upcoming productions at Our Theater.
Some foolish people began talking about secession after the election. That was a serious issue back in 1861 and The Cape Fear Museum gives a serious look at it and the questions before the residents of Wilmington in 1861. Fragments of War uses bits from the museum’s collection to explore the difficult decisions many Wilmingtonians’ faced then. Should North Carolina remain a part of the Union or join the Confederate States of America. You can read more about this exhibit on the blog, What Would You Have Done? A later war is remembered at the nearby Battleship NC memorial. And the lives of the sailors comes alive on December 1, with Battleship Alive. Interpreters provide insight into the daily lives of the sailors aboard the ship. There’s more about these events at Our History. (Hint: the Battleship has set its schedule for 2013 and that schedule can be found on the calendar. Use Advanced Search and select ‘Battleship NC.’)
This Friday is a fourth Friday of the month which means it is time for a Fourth Friday Artwalk. And that means dozens of downtown art galleries will be open in the evening and many with new shows. New Elements Gallery opens its Holiday Show, WHQR Radio presents paintings by Virginia Belser and David Norris, and Checker Cab invites everyone to their new location to see “Grimm Memories. A number of ongoing shows are open around town including Linda Lavin’s show at the Cameron, No Boundaries at Acme, and Fear at Projekter. More about these and more at Our Art.
Bossa Nova, jazz, blues, celtic, and rock are among the musical genres you’ll find around Wilmington this month. And a special show at Kenan Auditorium looks back at the music of Bill Monroe, the bluegrass giant. Peter Rowan, Tony Rice and the Travelin’ McCoury’s pay homage to the undisputed “Father of Bluegrass. Chamber Music of Wilmington presents a Celtic Christmas Concert and the Wilmington Symphony brings us Home For The Holidays. Details on all of this and more performances can be found at Our Music.
And there’s more (there’s always more)
Find something for the kids at Kids Events. We have Sports at Our Sports. Or just check out the whole schedule at Our Events. We have all kinds of restaurants that you can find and search at Dine Here. And you can find lodging at Our Hotels and more. Use the search function (look for the binoculars) to refine your search.
Find your nonprofit
We have a robust nonprofit community around southeastern North Carolina. You can find a great directory of nonprofits at www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org or find a calendar of nonprofit events at SENC Nonprofit Events.
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