Old-Style Holiday with a Coastal Spin

Kick-off your holiday celebrations with a getaway to Wilmington and our Island Beaches. Experience the season of yesteryear with visits to historic house museums including the Bellamy Mansion, Latimer House Museum and Burgwin-Wright House, which will all be decked out in their holiday best. Sing carols on a Christmas carriage ride through historic downtown Wilmington Dec. 17-18 or Dec. 23-24. At our island beaches, enjoy a festival in the park and lighted boat parade with fireworks at the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla in Wrightsville Beach Nov. 27. Stroll around Carolina Beach Lake Park to see the Island of Lights displays or the water-based holiday parade at the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla Dec. 4. Explore a winter waterland at the Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022. From an old-style Christmas by the river to festive flotillas on the sea, find celebrations around every corner.

Seasonal Scenes & Shows
Hear your favorite holiday tunes with Mannheim Steamroller Nov. 29 or enjoy a doo wop twist on the classics at Hip to the Holidays: Under the Streetlamp Dec. 7 at the Wilson Center. Catch Christmas classics like “The Nutcracker” Dec. 3-4 and “It’s A Wonderful Life” Dec. 23 in historic Thalian Hall. Reflect on the season’s change and year’s end at Cameron Art Museum’s “Art of Illumination” exhibition inspired by traditional lantern festivals Dec. 3, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022.
Ring in the New Year
Toast to 2022 by savoring award-winning fare at local favorites like manna ave. 123 or Catch then hit the town’s vibrant nightlife scene with dancing at Satellite Bar & Lounge or craft cocktails at a 1920s-inspired speakeasy, The Blind Elephant. Celebrate with family at the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration in Kure Beach complete with beach ball drop, dancing and fireworks show. Make the most of your getaway by checking local hotels and lodging for New Year’s Eve specials.
Holiday Markets & Handmade Finds

Shop seaside at the Kure Beach Holiday Market Nov. 20 and 27. Discover vintage treasures from local vendors plus food trucks, a coffee shop and a bar at the Brooklyn Arts Center’s Holiday Flea Dec. 3-5. Step back in time and find gifts by local artists from jewelry to handmade crafts at the Colonial Christmas Open House & Craft Market at the Burgwin-Wright House Dec. 11. Savor coastal flavors long after your vacation ends with gifts of coffee from local roasters like Port City Java or brews from Wilmington’s original brewery, Front Street Brewery. Satisfy your sweet tooth with treats from Mon Ame Chocolate and Wine Bar. Bring home the scent of the Cape Fear breeze courtesy of The Old Wilmington Candle Company. Shop handcrafted wares from over 100 artisans at Blue Moon Gift Shops.

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