Holiday Events In Wilmington, NC 2023

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 2023 Christmas Holiday Season.


Annual Holiday Train Expo
12/16/2023, 12/17/2023, 12/23/2023, 12/26/2023, 12/27/2023, 12/30/2023
Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Midtown
Hours: Friday: 12:00 -5:00 pm
Price:Adults: $7 | Children (Ages 3-12): $5 | Children under 3: Free

Be enchanted by spectacular displays of twelve 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. Kick off your holiday celebration with a visit to the Holiday Train Expo presented by the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society.


Cape Fear Festival of Trees
November 17th – January 1st
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach

The Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher features festive trees decorated by local businesses, various organizations and individual artists, transforming the aquarium space into an enchanted forest.


Enchanted Airlie Gardens
December 1-Decmber 21 SOLD OUT
Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road
Near Wrightsville Beach
Viewing Times: 5:00 -7:00 pm and 7:00 -9:00 pm

Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC, presents Enchanted Airlie, an opportunity for families to share in the joy of the season with a half-mile self-guided stroll through the gardens featuring festive lights, holiday displays, and Santa Claus, plus local food and beverage vendors with coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies and more. Tickets must be pre-purchased, and are per carload. Viewing times: 5-7pm and 7-9pm. 

Polar Express Holiday Show
Dec. 9, 10, 16, and 17, 2023 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm  SOLD OUT
Wilmington Railroad Museum
505 Nutt Street

The Polar Express Holiday Show at the Railroad Museum in downtown Wilmington, NC, features a reading of The Polar Express  with a local celebrity, a visit with Santa, and hot chocolate. Shows: 4:30 and 5:30pm. Admission: $5

All Is Bright 2023
December 13-15, 2019
Poplar Grove Plantation
10200 US Hwy 17 North
Near Ogden

Poplar Grove Plantation in Wilmington, NC, presents All Is Bright Festival featuring a European Winter Bazaar experience with arts and craft vendors, a bonfire, lawn games, outdoors screenings of classic movies such as The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The grounds and barnyard will be decorated with seasonal vignettes and interactive activities for kids, and the manor house will be open for evening candlelit tours 

Adults $10 (Ages 16+); Children $5 (Under 15); Family Package $25 (2 Adults/2 Children), plus taxes. All Online Tickets Honored Between 5:00 – 8:45 pm.


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

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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Notable Quotes

“Wilmington, NC, is a festive and beautiful city during the holidays. Lots to do and see to put you in the Christmas Spirit.”