Out & About in Wake County: November / December 2023

1. Vintage Market Days presents Merry & Bright, an upscale vintage-inspired indoor market with over 120 of the most curated vendors from the area and across the US! Nov. 10–12 at the NC State Fairgrounds. Get your tickets today! vintagemarketdays.com/market/nc-triangle/

2. One of Raleigh’s oldest holiday shopping events is back! The 49th Annual Visions of Sugarplums Holiday Art & Gift Show will take place from November 9–11 at Quail Hollow Swim Club. A selection of unique and handcrafted items like Santas, snowmen, wreaths, and holiday decor will be for sale. Admission and parking are free. visionsofsugarplumsraleigh.com

3. The NC Chinese Lantern Festival returns to Cary from Nov. 17 to Jan. 14 for its eighth year, with more than 40 all-new larger-than-life lanterns on display! In addition to the magic of lights, cultural arts performances will take place every night. Last year, more than 200,000 attended. Don’t miss out! Tickets required. boothamphitheatre.com

4. It’s not a holiday to-do list without the Raleigh Christmas Parade! This year’s festivities are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, in Downtown Raleigh. An annual tradition for many families in the area, spectators can watch streetside or on ABC11, the ABC11 streaming app, and the ABC News Hulu channel. grma.org/christmas-parade/

5. The Rink, presented by UNC Health, is coming back to Red Hat from Nov. 18 to Jan. 15. Enjoy the thrill of ice skating with views of the Raleigh skyline, as well as private igloo lounges (new this year!), fire pits, hot beverages and snacks, cozy outdoor lounge furniture, and a 20- foot tree for the perfect photo op! redhatamphitheater.com/the-rink

6. An old-world celebration certain to get you in the spirit of the season, the Scandinavian Christmas Fair at the NC State Fairgrounds is an authentic celebration of the traditions of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. Held on Dec. 2, this year marks the 28th anniversary of the Julmarknad (Swedish for Christmas fair). You might even pick up a few words in a local tongue and develop a taste for traditional herring! scanfair.org

7. Temple Beth Or will be sponsoring and hosting a Handmade Hanukkah Market on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the perfect opportunity to support local Jewish artists and purchase handmade crafts, artwork, and other unique gifts for the holidays! hanukkahmarket.com

8. This is your opportunity to tour the interior of some of Raleigh’s most historic homes during the holidays! On Dec. 9 and 10, enjoy the feeling of a small-town community right in Downtown Raleigh at the 52nd Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour. The immaculate care of the exteriors of the homes is only a prelude to the beauty and attention to detail given to the interiors. Homes are staffed with docents to enlighten you on the rich history of each property. Tour the properties at your own pace in any order. Tickets are required and usually sell out. historicoakwood.org

9. The African American Dance Ensemble will perform at the Together at Kwanzaa Celebration in Raleigh on Thursday, Dec. 28. This family-friendly event will feature music, dance, a candle lighting ceremony, shopping, and more. aadekwanzaafest.com/

10. It’s time to ring in the new year at First Night Raleigh! Festivities begin on Dec. 31 with City Plaza outdoor musical performances in the afternoon and the Children’s Celebration at 2 p.m. Performances and activities will continue throughout the evening across multiple indoor venues throughout Downtown Raleigh. The night is capped off with the famous Raleigh Acorn Drop and a spectacular fireworks show. firstnightraleigh.com

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