2018 Holiday Events In Wilmington, NC

Looking for holiday activities, events and celebrations for Christmas and the holidays? Here’s a listing of what’s happening in Wilmington, NC for the holidays during the 2018 Christmas Holiday Season.


25th Annual Christmas Concert
December 7th-9th 7:30 pm (Saturday 3:00 pm)
First Baptist Church, 411 Market Street, Downtown

The 25th Annual Christmas Concert at First Baptist Church in downtown Wilmington, NC, features festive carols performed by the Chancel Choir and Orchestra. Additional performance on Saturday at 3pm and again Sunday at 7:30 pm. An offering for Habitat for Humanity will be collected. Childcare for infants and toddlers provided. Admission is free.

Link: First Baptist Church

Christmas by the Sea
Saturday, December 8th, Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach 6:30-8:30 pm

Christmas by the Sea at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk features visits with Santa, storytelling, caroling, pony rides, arts & crafts, puppet shows, and hot chocolate.

Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
Ocean Front Park, Kure Beach

The annual Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show starring everyone’s favorite characters: Frosty, Harriet Hippo, the Grinch, Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Rudolph and many more. Santa Claus will be there, and his crazy elves will entertain you with their zany antics. Traditional Christmas songs will be performed by our lovely Winter Princesses, arrayed in their dazzling holiday outfits. The show will be held at the Ocean Front Park, near the Pier, on December 7th, 8th and 9th. Show time is 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 5:00 pm on Sunday. Come early and grab your spot, music fills the air a half hour before showtime. Tell your family and friends, bring a folding chair in case of overflow, and come to Kure Beach for a merry old time. Don’t forget—it always snows at the Christmas show!

Homemade Holiday Shorts
Sunday December 9th 6:00 pm,
WHQR Studios 254
North Front Street, #300

WHQR Radio in downtown Wilmington, NC, presents Homemade Holiday Shorts, an evening of storytelling, live music, intimate conversation and holiday treats. Hosted by Rob Zapple and featuring music by the Swing Shifters, guests include radio legends, actors, writers and performers reading emotional and funny tales of the season. The event takes place before a live audience and is broadcast on WHQR 91.3fm promptly at 6pm. A full reception, including drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres, follows the one-hour performance. Doors open at 5:20pm. Proceeds benefit WHQR.

Link: Tickets

Christmas by the Sea at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk
November 24th, December 1st, 8th, 15th 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk area will be decorated and brightly lit every night during the holiday season. On these special days, enjoy Christmas by the Sea with awesome holiday activities. Visit with Santa in his workshop for cookies and hot chocolate, listen to storytelling by a fire, roast some marshmallows by the firepit, listen to caroling, kids can enjoy pony rides (December 1st, 8th and 15th) and an arts and crafts area with ornament making fun. Come celebrate the holidays with Christmas by the Sea.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees
November 19th – January 2nd

9:00 am – 5:00 pm NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach
The Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation presents the 2018 Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. All visitors who purchase a general admission ticket to the Aquarium between Nov 19 and Jan 2nd will also experience this annual holiday presentation featuring 50 festive trees decorated by local businesses, organizations and individual artists transforming the aquarium into an elegant holiday forest.

Holiday Train Expo at Independence Mall
Sunday, November 25, 2018  1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

The Holiday Train Expo at Independence Mall (Dillard Wing) features Polar Express and Christmas Village including 32 varieties of trains and eight unique layouts with Christmas lights galore.

Enchanted Airlie Gardens
November 23-24, December 1st, 7th-22nd
Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road, Near Wrightsville Beach
Viewing Times: 5:00 -7:00 pm and 7:00 -9:00 pm $27.00 to $55.00

A New Hanover County tradition since 2005, guests from around the world have visited Airlie Gardens from Thanksgiving to Christmas to take in the sparkling sights and festive sounds of the season. Guests will experience a 0.5m stroll through the Gardens, on a self-guided walking tour while feasting their eyes on a spectacular array of lights and holiday displays. Also in attendance, Santa Claus himself, and a few local food and beverage vendors with hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies, beer, wine and more!. Tickets must be pre-purchased.

Link: airliegardens.org/events-news/enchanted-airlie/

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular
November 23, 24, 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Wilmington Railroad Museum, 505 Nutt Street, Downtown

The Christmas Train & Light Spectacular at the Railroad Museum in downtown Wilmington, NC, features twinkling lights, trains running through a winter wonderland, model train exhibits, a visit from Santa, and cider and cookies. Cost $5

Link: wrrm.org/events.html

The Merry Little Christmas Festival
December 7th 5-8 pm, 8th from 12 pm-8 pm, 9th 12 pm-5 pm, 14th 5-8 pm, 15th 2 pm-8 PM, 16th 12 pm-5 pm
Poplar Grove Plantation 10200 US Hwy 17 North

The Merry Little Christmas Festival is our way of sharing a little of the holiday spirit with our neighbors, families and friends. The grounds, outbuildings and Manor House of Poplar Grove will be specially lit up and twinkling, including a Winter Bazaar of 60 juried arts and crafts vendors and interactive experiences over the course of two weekends, so bring family and friends, and spend a small part of your holiday with us!

Link: Popular Grove Plantation

Christmas Caroling with Santa and His Reindeer

Horsedrawn Tours in downtown Wilmington, NC, presents Christmas Caroling with Santa and His Special “Reindeer.” Free candy canes for the kids. $5-$12
Catch the ride at Market Street between Front and Water Street

Holiday Train Expo (November 24th – December 16th)
Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Midtown
Hours: Friday, 6:00 -9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm -6:00 pm

Be enchanted by spectacular displays of eight unique model train layouts as they travel across miles of scale track through a wonderland of villages, parks and landscapes. Take advantage of a photo-op with the famed Polar Express. Start your holiday season with a visit to the Holiday Train Expo presented by the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society.


Note: We make every attempt to provide current and accurate event information. However, dates, hours and event content is provided by the venue and may be subject to change. Please contact venue to confirm information posted here.

Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
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