Raleigh Christmas Events

‘Tis the season to be filled with merriment and partake in fun Raleigh Christmas Events. We’ve put together some of the top Christmas events in Raleigh for friends and family to enjoy during your holiday visit to The City of Oaks.

Raleigh Christmas Parades

The Raleigh area offers Christmas parades in all sizes, celebrating the cultures and traditions of North Carolina.  

photo of marching band and raleigh christmas event

Raleigh Christmas Parade

For the largest parade between Atlanta and Washington, DC, stand streetside in Downtown Raleigh for the 78th annual Christmas parade on Nov. 19. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the 1.4-mile-long parade meanders through historic Downtown Raleigh, and includes themed floats, jumbo-sized balloon characters, marching bands, and plenty of local talent to delight parade-goers. The Raleigh parade lasts until noon, right after Santa makes his celebrity appearance. If you don’t feel like dealing with crowds, the Downtown Raleigh Christmas Parade is just as much fun to watch on the television in one of our cozy rooms at The StateView Hotel. Order breakfast in bed, grab the remote, and start your holiday season right.

Cary Christmas Parade 

Enjoy the Cary Jaycees’ 43rd annual Christmas Parade as it winds through quaint downtown Cary on Saturday, December 10, from 2–4 p.m. A holiday showcase of marching bands, mascots, local businesses, churches, and  community groups, the Cary Christmas Parade celebrates the season in this fun-filled event.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade 

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade returns after a two-year hiatus, on Saturday, December 3, at 10:30 a.m. A celebration of diverse winter holiday traditions, this parade focuses on the many cultural customs of the area and highlights arts, entertainment, and creative, festive parade floats by local artists and community groups.

Raleigh Christmas Shows 

Set a festive mood for your holiday season when you take in a Christmas show. Raleigh offers some of the best holiday spectaculars for you and your family to enjoy during your stay at The StateView Hotel.

The Polar Express: Live in Concert

Step into the breathtaking Meymandi Concert Hall on November 23 and 25 for a magical holiday train ride on The Polar Express. Featuring images from the Caldecott Medal-winning book projected on a huge screen, this performance includes the North Carolina Symphony and guest singers bringing this adventurous Christmas Eve tale to life. 

A Christmas Carol 

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol defines the season, and you can see this wonderful story come to life onstage at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. A crown jewel of Raleigh’s performance season, this staging of Ebenezer Scrooge’s adventures with the Ghosts of Christmas is a popular December tradition. Catch the holiday spirit as this play runs from December 9–11, 2022.

The Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Clara, Drosselmeyer, and the cast of favorites from the Land of the Sweets return in The Carolina Ballet’s annual staging of The Nutcracker. See this enchanting version of the classic original at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium from December 10–24, 2022.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Complete with pyrotechnics, thrashing guitar solos, and quick maneuvers into heavenly choral singing, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve concert is a seat-rumbling, heart-pounding extravaganza. TSO performs this visually dazzling  orchestral rock show at Raleigh’s PNC Arena on December 14.

Other Festive Activities in Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting 

If you’ll be staying with us on Friday, November 18, be sure to attend the Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The annual lighting of the tree takes place in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and officially kicks off the holiday season for charming, bustling Downtown Raleigh. Enjoy vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment as you sip a glass of beer or wine and wait for the magic. Be sure to get there by 6:15 p.m. to see the tree lighting. And Jolly Old St. Nick himself will be there for photos with the kids. A short 9-minute drive from The StateView Hotel, the Tree Lighting Celebration is a great event for everyone.   

The Christmas Carousel Holiday Gift Market

Head to the NC State Fairgrounds November 25–27 to shop to your heart’s content at the 2022 Christmas Carousel Holiday Gift Market. For 35 years, The Christmas Carousel has been a Raleigh area Thanksgiving Weekend tradition, hosting more than 250 exhibitors in 90,000 square feet of space. Find local arts, crafts, homemade food, holiday decorations, and more. Santa will be there as well to hear everyone’s Christmas wish list.

Lights on the Neuse 

Lights on the Neuse brings the North Pole to Raleigh with its amazing light show at Boyette Family Farms. Enjoy cookie decorating in the Sugar Barn, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, an old-time hay ride through the lights, and other fun activities. Lights on the Neuse is at 1620 Loop Road in Clayton, NC, and is open throughout November and December. Tickets are available now.

Christmas Wreath Workshop

There’s nothing better than the smell of pine and feeling like one of Santa’s helpers to get you in the Christmas spirit. For a unique experience during your stay in Raleigh, sign up for an artisan Christmas Wreath Workshop. With dates available in late November through Christmas, you’ll find the opportunity to create your own custom wreath for your home or as a gift. 

Fieldstream Farm Lights

Fieldstream Farm is offering a spectacular holiday season light show to enjoy from the comfort of your car. Beginning November 24, the Farm opens its dazzling drive-through light show that includes more than one million lights. Admission is $20 for vehicles with 1–8 passengers and increases in price for larger vehicles. Enjoy the show Monday–Friday from 6:30 p.m.–9:45 p.m, and on Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 p.m.–9:45 p.m.


Whether it’s a tree lighting, parade, or show, Raleigh offers so many opportunities for holiday fun for you and your family. Don’t miss out: Book your stay at the StateView Hotel now.  We’re located at the epicenter of the top Raleigh Christmas Events and all that the historic city has to offer. If you’re looking for even more fun while you’re here, check out other things to do in Downtown Raleigh.