Your Complete Guide to Holiday Events in Wilmington NC

Your Complete Guide to Holiday Events in Wilmington NC

The holiday season is upon us and we’re looking forward to a month of cheer! Below is your complete  guide to holiday events in Wilmington NC!

bread & lights gingerbread & lantern festival

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, presents bread & lights gingerbread & lantern festival featuring a display of gingerbread creations by all ages as well as artist-made lanterns.

Monday through Sunday, running until Sunday, December 6th. Mondays – Sundays, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.
Admission is $6 to $12.
For more information visit the Cameron Art Museum website.

The Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

Enjoy a fantastic display of lights and toy trains and enjoy an appearance from Santa each night!

Fridays and Saturdays through December 26th, 6PM to 8PM.
Admission is $5.00 per person.
For more information, visit the Wilmington Railroad Museum website.

Wilmington Railroad Museum
505 Nutt Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Greenfield Tree Lighting (& Movie Night featuring Elf!)

Watch the tree light up, participate in an elf costume contest and catch a live screening of Elf at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Santa will be visiting after the lighting ceremony and will have gifts for the first 500 children! Concessions will also be available for purchase during the film.

Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Drive
Wilmington, NC 28401

Enchanted Airlie

Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC, presents Enchanted Airlie,  where visitors can take a self-guided tour through the gardens that are featuring festive lights and holiday displays. Santa Claus will be making an appearance and guests can also enjoy food and beverages from local vendors.

December 4th-6th, 10th-13th, 16th-22nd. Viewing times are 5pm-7pm.
Various ticket options are available. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Airlie Gardens website.

Airlie Gardens
300 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

Island of Lights Christmas Parade

Enjoy festive floats and gain some holiday cheer from the annual Island of Lights parade in Carolina Beach. The parade runs from Atlanta Avenue up Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Plaza.

Friday, December 4, 2015  at 7:30 PM.
For more information, visit the Pleasure Island website.

Carolina Beach
Atlanta Avenue and South Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla

Boats and lights! Get into the Christmas spirit by the water with wonderfully lit boats. The boats cruise from Snow’s Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back.

Saturday, December 5th, at 6PM.
For more information, visit the Pleasure Island website.

Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Marina
216 Canal Drive
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Christmas by the Sea

Celebrate the holiday season by the sea on the Carolina Beach boardwalk. Enjoy hot chocolate at the Welcome Center, a fire pit with story telling, caroling, holiday themed movies at the Gazebo, puppet shows, and arts & crafts.

Saturday, December 5th, 12th, and 19th, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event page.

Carolina Beach Boardwalk
Cape Fear Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

13th Annual Holiday Parade

Enjoy the 13th Annual Holiday Parade in downtown Wilmington filled with floats and fun! The parade begins at North Front and Walnut Streets and moves south on Front Street, ending at Church Street. View the parade route here.

Sunday, December 6th at 4:55PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event website.

North Front Street and Walnut
Wilmington, NC 28401

5th Annual Chanukkah Menorah Lighting

Oak Island’s 5th Annual Chanukkah Menorah Lighting at Middleton Park (next to Town Hall) features Rabbi Paul from the Temple of Israel and music.

Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 4PM.
Admission is free.

Middleton Park
4700 East Oak Island Drive
Oak Island, NC 28465

Pet Photo Night with Santa

Let fluffy and spot share their wishlist with Santa and get a great photo op.

Sunday, December 6th from 6PM to 8PM.
For more information, visit the Independence Mall website.

Independence Mall
3500 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

A Christmas Stroll Through the Past

Join the Burgwin-Wright House, Bellamy Mansion Museum and St. James Episcopal Church as they stroll through the past with period decorations, costumed interpreters, entertainment and refreshments! Enjoy a trolley ride or a candlelit stroll through Downtown Wilmington as you go from one location to another!

Saturday, December 12th, 4PM to 7PM.
Admission is $20 for adults. Children 15 and under are free.
For more information, visit the event website.

503 Market Street
Wilmington NC 28401

Wilmington Ballet Company Presents: The Nutcracker

Wilmington Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker  at the Cape Fear Community College Humanities & Fine Arts Center in downtown Wilmington, NC. The event features Master of Ceremonies WWAY news anchor Daniel Seamans and stars Keaton Thomas, a Marine Corps Prior Active Duty Captain, as the beloved Nutcracker. Robin Dale Robertson portrays the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer while the role of Clara is danced by Sydney Jones, a 10th grader at Laney High School and student at the Wilmington School of Ballet. Professional guest dancers include Stacey Slichter of North Atlanta Dance Theater as Sugar Plum Fairy and Adam Schiffer of Carolina Ballet as the Cavalier.

Saturday, December 19 & Sunday, December 20 at 3pm.
Admission is $35 per person.
For tickets and more information, visit the Cape Fear Community College website.

CFCC Humanities & Fine Arts Center
200 Hanover Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Where to Shop Local in Wilmington NC

Where to Shop Small in Wilmington, NC


Can you believe that it is December already? While we can’t believe it, we are also incredibly excited to start our holiday decorating and shopping.

We love the shop small movement, which was created to encourage shoppers to support their local businesses. In Wilmington, we have so many fantastic small stores and shops that offer perfect holiday gifts. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite local Wilmington vendors and businesses.


Our Favorite Vendors in Wilmington, NC

Rick and his team at Alfagraphics do such a phenomenal job and offer several print services including business cards, brochures, invitations and digital and traditional marketing materials.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Randy and the team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing are fantastic for plumbing repairs and hot water heater installations.

Kenny Fowler Heating & Air
We don’t know what we’d do without Kenny. Enough said!

Grant Brand Instrument Repair
Faith and Josh are the best in town for musical instrument repairs.

Luxe Home Interiors
There is always something amazing to find at Luxe and the friendly staff always makes our visits a great experience.

Seagate Baptists Church

Brad Southerland, Insurance Sales at Senn Dunn


Some of Our Favorite Stores and Services in Wilmington, NC:

Carter Kayte

Island Passage

Shoe Soultique

New River Pottery

Black Cat Shoppe

Cape Fear Spice Merchants

We’re lucky to have several great hair salons in Wilmington, NC! Here are some of our staff favorites:

N Salo Salon

The Rockin Roller Salon

Beauty Bar Boutique


Decorating your Rental Home for Halloween

So. You love the Fall. And you really love Halloween. You’ve got boxes of spooky decor tucked into every available space in the house but you’re afraid to display any of it because you’re a renter. Never fear! We’ve got a few tips to help you indulge your love of all things Halloween while avoiding potential damage to your rental.

Tip 1: Focus on items that don’t require nailing down. Go crazy at the pumpkin patch, splurge on mums from one of our local Wilmington nurseries. They’ll add wonderful atmosphere to both the exterior and interior. Set up a tiny graveyard in your front yard and hang spiderwebs from the trees. Don’t forget to add some of those creepy fake ravens and skulls to really give your guests the shivers!

Tip 2: If you have some great stuff that’s just crying out for display on your walls, try some Command hooks. This nifty invention sticks to the wall using an adhesive that, once removed per the instructions, leaves the paint job intact. No nail holes, no sweat come move out. They’re also great for using on the front door to display a wreath.

Tip 3: Create a shape large enough to fit your windows using black poster board. Cut out large jack-o-lantern face in each window size shape. Get creative! Use double-sided tape to hang them in the windows and voila! You’ve just made your home the talk of the street every time you turn the lights on at night.

Tip 4: Use special lighting effects to catch the eye of trick-or-treaters! A black LED floodlight in the front yard, painting your home in an eerie purple glow, flashes of lightening, or neon green mist creeping in your landscaping all go a very long way to making a huge impact without harming your rental.

Check out this page with even more tips:

What are some of your tips and ideas for decorating your rental home for Halloween?