From classic Christmas entertainment to a coastal twist on holiday fun, Wilmington and Beaches is the perfect destination for a festive getaway this holiday season. Kick off your celebrations with a tree lighting along the scenic Riverwalk Nov. 25. Kids will love hopping aboard Battleship NORTH CAROLINA with Santa to create their own retro holiday e-card, call the North Pole or track Santa’s journey in the Combat Information Center. Stroll through a yesteryear-inspired yuletide during the Old Wilmington Candlelight Tour Dec. 10-11. Sing carols on a Santa-led Christmas carriage through historic downtown Wilmington Dec. 16-17 and Dec. 23-24. Visit a winter waterland at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Cape Fear Festival of the Trees now through Jan. 2,2023. Marvel at the decorated boats parade on the Intracoastal Waterway during the NC Holiday Flotilla Nov. 26 at Wrightsville Beach or catch the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla Dec. 3 at Carolina Beach.
Holiday Markets & More
Escape mall madness and shop local this holiday season! Find coastal treasures at Blue Moon Gift Shop, voted “Best Gift Shop in Wilmington” year after year or stroll the open-air Lumina Station to find chic boutiques with home goods, clothes and more. Take your shopping seaside at the Kure Beach Holiday Market Nov. 19 and 26. Shop vintage treasures for the old soul in your life at the Brooklyn Arts Center Holiday Flea Dec. 2-4 or find one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists at the Burgwin-Wright House’s Colonial Christmas Open House & Craft Market Dec. 10.
Festive Sights & Sounds
Hear Mannheim Steamroller perform your favorite holiday tunes Nov. 28 or see “The Nutcracker” come to life Dec. 3-4 at The Wilson Center. Head to historic Thalian Hall for an irish-twist on the holidays during Celtic Angels Christmas or catch a showing of the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” Dec. 22. Inspired by traditional lantern festivals, Cameron Art Museum’s "Art of Illumination" exhibition features imaginative lanterns from artists all over the world designed to allow visitors to look at the new year in a new light Dec. 3, 2022 through Jan. 15, 2023.
New Year's Eve lodging packages, themed soireesevents and more festive entertainment
Enjoy a sneak peek to New Year's Eve celebrations in Wilmington and Beaches with ideas for festive fun! Find special rates and holiday packages to kick off 2023 in style. Or, book a vacation rental to host your own New Year’s Beachin’ Eve. Celebrate with the whole family at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington’s New Year’s Noon, complete with arts and crafts, an apple juice toast and more. Find a festive beach ball drop at midnight, along with family-friendly activities, live music, spectacular fireworks and more at the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Take in the fireworks on the water with Island Cruises’ New Year’s Eve Cruise. This is just a glance at what's planned. See what's happening now and keep checking back as restaurants finalize menus and more events and holiday packages are announced!
Guide to New Year's Eve

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