Wilmington, NC Holiday Traditions

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” –Calvin Coolidge

We love Wilmington all year long but the holiday season holds a special place in our hearts.   No matter what your interests are, you can find festive activities and create traditions that your family will love in our favorite city!  You can create holiday cheer with a unique array of historic, traditional and coastal activities, including festive home tours, decked-out holiday boat docks, colorful lakeside light displays and more!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without an obscene amount of twinkling lights and holiday cheer.  And where is the best place in town to visit for all of the above?  Airlie Gardens!  Every year, Wilmington goes all out and covers Airlie with over one million festive lights, holiday flowers and live entertainment for the whole family.  Year after year, your family can enjoy Enchanted Airlie in all its glory!

If you didn’t get your fill of Christmas lights at Airlie Gardens, there is always the Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Mayfaire Town Center.  It is a winter wonderland full of trees decorated by local businesses, groups and families for a good cause.  There are activities and treats for the whole family as well as holiday wreathes and ornaments for sale.  Bonus is, you can get your holiday shopping finished while at Mayfaire Town Center and visit Santa at Santa’s Workshop too!

Does your holiday spirit have you feeling like singing?  Well, Santa is waiting for you to join him in Caroling by Reindeer Drawn Trolley in downtown Wilmington!    You get to see the beautiful Historic Downtown holiday lights of old Wilmington while singing with Santa himself! Stay warm under snuggly blankets in the enclosed Christmas carriage, pulled by special “reindeer”.  This holiday tradition is fun for the whole family and will be sure to make some wonderful memories!

Wilmington is known for being an exciting beach town and that appeal doesn’t change with the seasons!  Salt life continues into the winter and just get more festive!  Throughout the holiday season, you can see decked out docks and holiday lights on display during a Holiday Boat Tour starting at the Blockade Runner at Wrightsville Beach.   Or, you can take a walk around Carolina Beach Lake Park to see the Holiday Lights at the Lake festive light display all season long.  While you are there, you can make a tradition of walking along the festively decorated Carolina Beach Boardwalk where seating areas and gazebos become Oceanfront Holiday Coves during Christmas by the Sea.  With so many wonderful holiday traditions to choose from in Wilmington, the only issue is deciding where to start!

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