By Kay Whatley, Editor
This list may include events from North Carolina counties of Edgecombe, Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wayne, Wilson, and beyond (Inner Coastal Plains-Five County area of Eastern NC). While most listed events are free happenings, some ticketed events may be included. Events may be rescheduled, delayed by weather, canceled, times adjusted, or locations changed without our knowledge. Contact organizers directly for updates. Events may be added/updated by emailing event details to the Editor.
Be sure to check out our list of Holiday Happenings. Many events, including parades and tree lightings, are included in that article (but not listed below).
Thursday, December 14, 2017
NC Industrial Hemp Commission Public Meeting (December 14, 2017 @ 10am)
The next meeting of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission will be a public meeting via telephone conference call. See details in our article here.
Santa’s Holiday Workshop (December 14, 2017 @ 3-4:30pm)
This free community event includes “free toy, candy cane and snack” for ages 1 to 16, accompanied by an adult. Santa will be there too. Held at the Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon NC.
RTP Mistletoe Market (December 14, 2017 @ 4-7pm)
Head to The Frontier, 800 Park Offices Drive, Durham NC, for holiday shopping this Thursday. Enjoy a free beer and shop local, hand crafted, and other goods. Over 40 vendors scheduled. All vendors will be donating a portion of their sales to Travis Manion Foundation. See event details at www.rtp.org/event/mistletoe-market-at-the-frontier.
Wee School Train of Lights (December 14-17, 2017 @ 5:30pm)
Wee School Train of Lights takes place at the Recreation Park Minature Train. Ride the train and see Christmas lights and decorations. Open to all ages for $2 per rider. Held by Wilson Parks and Rec at the Recreation Park Community Center, 500 Sunset Road NW, Wilson NC. See dates and times at www.facebook.com/events/120991842002127.
Christmas Movie Nights (December 14 & 21, 2017 @ 6pm)
Settle in beside the plaza’s Christmas tree at the Shoppes at Brentwood, 2801 Ward Boulevard, Wilson NC, for a holiday movie each Thursday. The film and hot chocolate are free. Merchants may be open late, and donations will be collected for the Salvation Army. One parent/guardian must stay with children. See more on the Shoppes at Brentwood’s Facebook page.
Come and Paint “Christmas Delivery” (December 14, 2017 @ 6-9pm)
Join the fun at Colorful Spirits Art Studio, 4221 W Langley Road, Elm City NC, and paint a sweet Christmas mailbox. Participation fee of $25 includes all needed supplies. Register by calling 252.265.9353. Updates may be posted at www.facebook.com/colorfulspirits.
Watch Last Jedi Movie with Arkham Comix (December 14, 2017 @6:30pm)
Join Arkham Comix Rocky Mount on Thursday at the Wilson movie theater — AMC Classic, 1501 Ward Boulevard, Wilson NC — to watch Star Wars the Last Jedi and take part in giveaways, get a poster, and more. Arkham Comix will be attending the 7:30pm 3D showing, but will also be present at the 7pm show. Updates may be posted at www.facebook.com/arkhamcomix.
Smithfield Christmas Parade (December 14, 2017 @ 7-8:30pm)
The Smithfield Christmas Parade will march down Market Street, Smithfield NC. Join Historic Downtown Smithfield for the parade and check out downtown shopping and restaurants.
Friday, December 15, 2017
WinterFest (December 15, 2017 @ 5-8pm)
Join Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation to celebrate the holiday season at this event in Pearson Park, 201 W Gordon Street, Kinston NC. Face painting, inflatables, hot chocolate, food trucks, crafts, and community booths. All are asked to bring a canned good or good-condition coat for entry fee. For more information, contact Yolanda Munoz at 252.939.3338 or Sara Neilson at 252.939.3302.
Christmas on The Farm (December 15-17, 21-23, 2017 @ 5-9pm)
Head out to Hubb’s Corn Maze for holiday fun. Warm up by the fire while making S’mores, enjoy hay rides, listen to Christmas music, and visit with Santa. Hubb’s is located at 10276 US Hwy 421 N, Clinton NC. Fees and more information at www.hubbsfarmnc.com/christmas-on-the-farm.html.
Christmas in Spring Hope (December 15, 2017 @ 5:30-8pm)
Head to this quaint Nash County town for a variety of activities and displays. Fun includes horse-drawn carriage rides, Nativity display, Santa Claus, and Christmas-themed face painting, music, scavenger hunt, dancers, and more. It also includes reading of the Christmas Story. A light supper will also be served. Held along Railroad Street, Spring Hope NC. Follow the town Facebook page for updates. This is the new event date, as it was postponed last week.
Whirliglow-in-the-Dark Dance Party (December 15, 2017 @ 6-9pm)
The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC, will be filled with light and music as everyone shows off their electric slide in their most Christmasy glow-in-the-dark apparel or paint! The dee jay will have the joint jumping with games and dancing for everyone. This family-friendly event is for kids of all ages. Food trucks onsite!
Many food choices will be available. SaYum Jamaican Restaurant is just a couple of blocks away at 408 Nash — across from the train station– and there will be food trucks Get A Piz-za This, Everette’s Concessions (burgers, hotdogs and fries), and Taste of Texas with yummy sweets like funnel cakes and fried Oreos right by the park, plus an additional tentative food truck, and awesome craft beer and soda at 217 Brew Works.
There might just be prizes for the brightest/best costumes so give it your best shot. This event is free, made possible by by Wilson Downtown Development Corporation and Greenlight Community Broadband. Presented by Emerald Owl Productions.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” On Stage (December 15-17, 2017 @ various times)
Several performances scheduled at the Gilbert Theater (Second Floor), 116 Green Street, Fayetteville NC. Tickets are $14-$16, and may be purchased via www.gilberttheater.com, by calling 910.678.7186, or via red.vendini.com.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Story Time (December 16, 2017 @ 10am)
For children, there will be a Saturday story time at the Main Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. Library information is online at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.
Breakfast with Santa (December 16, 2017 @ 10-11:30am)
Come for breakfast, juices, craft time, story time, and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This is a joint event organized by the Farmville Public Library, Farmville Recreation, and the May Museum. Held at the Farmville Public Library, 4276 W Church Street, Farmville NC, the event details and contact information may be found here.
Free Prep Class Rocky Mount (December 16, 2017 @ 10-11:30am)
Hosted by APlus Test Prep at 120 Tarboro Street, Rocky Mount NC. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Attend a free Prep Preview and learn what APlus classes are all about. The session includes a strategy session focused on sample test questions, info about using test scores to get college scholarships, and an ongoing Q&A during which participants get all their ACT and SAT questions answered.
Future Sight STEM Career Expo (December 16, 2017 @ 10am-3pm)
This Expo showcases “the opportunities of the new and future economy” to the middle- and high-school students. Admission is $1 per person. Held at the Greenville Convention Center, 303 SW Greenville Blvd, Greenville NC. For more information, call Brian Baker at 252.364.6569 or email.
Christmas in The Piedmont (December 16, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
Visit Bennett Place for this annual event showcasing holiday celebrations in Civil War times. Historians on site, weapons demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, beeswax candle making (hands-on), and more. St. Nick will visit too. Call 919.383.4345 with questions. Held at Bennett Place State Historic Site, 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham NC.
Brown Bag Lunch (December 16, 2017 @ 11am-12:30pm)
Having a tough time and in need of food for yourself or your loved ones? Pick up lunch, at no cost, at Zebulon United Methodist Church, 121 W Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC. See www.zumchurch.org.
GeekCraftExpo RDU 2017 Holiday Market (December 16, 2017 @ 11am-6pm)
This free and family-friendly Expo is being held at the Durham Armory, 220 Foster Street, Durham NC. GeekCraft Expo has partnered with Marbles Kids Museum to provide geeky, holiday-themed make-n-take crafting activities for kids & families…free of charge. Cosplay
is encouraged and admission is free. “If you’re looking for gifts for the geeks on your holiday shopping list, there is simply no better place to shop; everything for sale at GeekCraft Expo is incredibly unique, limited in quantity (hand made).
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NERDS! Why give your money to the big box stores when you can instead support LOCAL crafters and makers? And GeekCraft Expo RDU has almost FIFTY of them, all under one roof!
See more at www.facebook.com/geekcraftexpo.
December Traditions Buffet and Concert (December 16, 2017 @ 6pm)
Enjoy an Old-Fashioned Christmas Buffet and Concert presented by the ProMusic Conservatory in Wilson NC. Enjoy seasonal food and music by ProMusic faculty and students, with guest violinist Kathryn Adams. Join in with their audience carol sing. Tickets are $15 per person and must be purchased by December 12. See details on the ProMusic Conservatory website.
Polar Express Movie on The Green (December 16, 2017 @ 6-9pm)
Showing outside at Lafayette Village, 8450 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh NC. Watch “The Polar Express” movie on a giant inflatable screen. Bring chairs and blankets and dress appropriately.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
114th Anniversary of the Wrights’ First Flight (December 17, 2017 @ 8:30am-5:30pm)
The First Flight Society and the National Park Service will honor the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at this celebration of the first heavier-than-air, controlled, powered flight. The event will be in a tent area south of the Visitor Center parking area, Wright Brothers National Memorial, 1000 S Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills NC. Park entry will be free for the day. Updates may be posted here.
Last Minute (Agri-Cultural) Market (December 19, 2017 @ 5-7:30pm)
Join the Farmville Community Arts Council and shop locally for last-minute gifts. There will be music, kids’ crafts, food trucks, and more. There will also be gift wrapping available for $3 a package, so bring gifts in need of wrapping too. Head to The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, 4519 W Pine Street, Farmville NC. Updates may be posted to www.facebook.com/FarmvilleArts.
It’s a Wonderful Life Movie (December 19, 2017 @ 7pm)
A wonderful holiday movie night at the Paramount Theatre, 139 S Center Street, Goldsboro NC. Tickets are $5 per person, with children 12 and younger free with a paying adult. Popcorn, candy, and drinks will be available for purchase. See more about this holiday-themed Paramount Movie Night at www.goldsboroparamount.com/its-a-wonderful-life-2.
It’s a Wonderful Life Movie (December 20, 2017 @ 1pm & 7pm)
Come and watch this classic holiday film at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S Greene Street, Greensboro NC. Two shows available. Tickets are $7 for adults; $6 for students, teachers, seniors & military. See details and ticket link on this page. Note that the Deuterman Law Group will be accepting food donations for the Greensboro Urban Ministry in the lobby before the screenings. Suggested donations include canned fruits and vegetables, proteins and soup, peanut butter, dry beans, rice, sugar, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, baby food and formula, and Ensure. (No glass containers.) Full details and suggestions are available at GreensboroUrbanMinistry.org. Guests who bring two or more donated items will receive $1 off in concessions.
Its A Wonderful Life Movie (December 21, 2017 @ 4pm)
Head to Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington NC, for their 7th-annual showing of this Christmas classic. Note that a 7pm showing sold out, so this 4pm showing has been added but may sell out quickly. Tickets are $10 per person. See details and purchase tickets via this page. Note that Tony Rivenbark’s famous toy collection will be on display with seasonal treats for the whole family.
Field School: The Ingalls Long Winter (December 22, 2017 @ 2-3:30pm)
Held at Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh NC. Description: “Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family really had to tough it out. Learn what the family did to survive one especially long winter and find out how the family celebrated Christmas. Taste an old-fashioned peppermint candy stick and bring home a home-made holiday craft. If you want to, come dressed in your best pioneer outfit!”
Two sessions are offered, and are designed for children ages 7 and older; fee is $6 per child (per session) for this drop-off program. Adults may stay if they like, though seating is limited. To register (required), click the link for the desired session:
Christmas with CLAWS, Inc. (December 23, 2017 @ noon-4pm)
CLAWS, Inc. presents “LIVE Birds of Prey” at Wild Birds Unlimited of Chapel Hill. This event is inside the store, as the weather outside may be frightful — but the birds inside…delightful! All are welcome at Wild Birds Unlimited, 1806 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill NC. See updates on their Facebook page.
Ed. Note: Event information gathered from various sources. While attempts are made to verify data, for most events contact details are included. If you’re planning to attend an event, use contact information or event links to confirm, check for updates or changes, or verify space is available. These events are publicized by The Grey Area News, but are not events overseen by this news site or staff.
Highlighted events are selected by staff, generally due to prior experience with the event or knowledge of offerings.