Where To Go And What To Do In The Wilmington Area and Nearby This Christmas 2022

The most wonderful time of the year is here! Many are busy with their house decorations and starting already their shopping for gifts. Other than that, there are plenty of events and activities you and your family can go and do this 2022 in Wilmington NC and neighboring places.

December 1

All is Bright at Poplar Grove

Venue: Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US Highway 17 North, Wilmington, NC 28411

Spend time with your loved ones strolling around the illuminated grounds of Poplar Grove presented by Patriot Illumination during December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23,and 28-30.

  • 5:00PM-9:00PM
  • Friday evening visits with Mr. Twister, the infamous Balloon Maker Extraordinaire
  • Saturday evening visits with Santa from 6:00PM-8:00PM
  • Adults $10 (Ages 16+); Children $5 (Under 15); Family Package $25 (2 Adults/2 Children), plus taxes.
  • For ticket bookings and more info, click here.

December 2

Island of Lights Christmas Parade

Route: Atlanta Ave-down Lake Park Blvd to the Federal Point Plaza in Carolina Beach

Enjoy the floats and bands. Way and smile to Santa.

  • Begins at 7:30PM
  • FREE to spectators.
  • For more details, read here.

Spirit of the Holiday Cruise

Cruise along the historic Wilmington Riverwalk by the Wilmington Water Tours in 212 S Water St.

Relax and unwind as you listen to holiday songs while sampling small appetizers and yuletide cocktails while enjoying the sights of colorful lights on December 2-3, 16-18 and 30.

  • 5:30PM-6:30PM
  • Adults: $25 | Kids(Age 4-12): $15 | Under 3 years: Free
  • For tickets, book here. For inquiries, call (910) 338-3134.

The Holiday Flea at the BAC

Venue: Brooklyn Arts Center + The Annex in 516 N Fourth St., Wilmington, NC 28401

Shop for vintage, retro, upcycled and antique finds during this three-day holiday flea.

  • Fri: 4:00 PM-8:00 PM | Sat:10:00 AM-5:00 PM | Sun: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • $10 for all three days | Kids 12 and under are free
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 616-9882

The Nutcracker: NY Ballet for Young Audiences

Venue: Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts at 310 Chestnut St. Wilmington, NC 28401

Have a wonderful holiday experience with the classic Tchaikovsky ballet in the magical journey of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince on December 2-3. 

  • Fri: 4:00 PM & 7:00 PM | Sat: 10:00 AM
  • Tickets: $35  
  • Choreographed by Hariett Kinter and Edwin Kinter
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 632-2285

The Polar Express Movie in the Park

Venue: Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation along 321 Causeway Drive, NC 28480

Sit back, relax and have some outdoor fun with a holiday movie about an adventure ride  to the North Pole in The Polar Express. Don't forget to bring your chairs, blankets, picnic and enjoy the treat with your family. 

  • 6:30 PM 
  • Concessions will be available for purchase
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 256-7925

December 3

Carolina Beach Holiday Market 

Venue: Carolina Beach Lake Park along Atlanta Ave and Lake Park Blvd

Complete your Christmas shopping list with the market vendors wide array of amazing holiday gifts, from handmade arts and crafts to baked goods and everything nice on December 3.

  • Opens at 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM | Free entrance
  • Meet Santa and Mrs. Clause between 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • For more info, visit here.

Christmas by the Sea

Venue: Carolina Beach Avenue S & Harper Avenue

Witness the Town of Carolina Beach transform into an island of lights in shining, shimmering splendor as you stroll along the Boardwalk and Gazebo in its holiday glow with special happenings on December 3, 10 and 17.

  • 5:00 PM | Free for Spectators
  • Lights best viewed after dark until the New Year
  • For more details call (910) 458-2977

Holiday Train Expo

Venue: Dillards Wing of Independence Mall at 3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403

Visit the enchanting Holiday Train Expo's tradition of spectacular displays of twelve unique model train layouts with trains travelling through a wonderland of villages, parks and landscapes every Saturday and Sunday of December (3&4, 10&11, 17&18, 27&28, 29&30).

  • Starts at 12:00 PM until 5:00 PM
  • Adults: $7 | Children (Ages3-12): $5 | Children under 3: FREE
  • Presented by the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society

Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla

Venue: Carolina Beach Boat Basin to Snow's Cut

Watch the sparkling fishing boats and water crafts covered with thousand of lights cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway on December 3.

  • 6:00 PM
  • FREE for spectators
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 386-8081

Art of Illumination 

Venue: Cameron Art Museum located at 3201 S 17th St Wilmington, NC 28412

Feast in the artistry and light of the traditional lantern festival on its 8th year. Thirty-six artist-made lighted sculptures will be on display in Studio 1 starting December 3 until January 15, 2023.

  • Tues-Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM | Thurs: Open late until 9:00PM
  • Closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
  • For more info, visit here, or call (910)395-5999

December 8

A Very Merry Christmas by Brian Whitted

Venue: Brooklyn Arts Center + The Annex at 6835 Conservation Way, Wilmington, NC 28405

Enjoy your favorite holiday music with Brian Whitted and special performances by talented vocals and a feature of a seven piece orchestra on December 8 - 11.

  • Thur, Fri, Sat Evening: 7:00PM | Sat & Sun Matinee: 3:00PM
  • Tickets begin: $80
  • Presented by Opera House Theatre Company
  • For more details, visit here, or call (910) 859-4615

Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

Venue: Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts at 310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Laugh your heart out on the modern twist of a funny yet deeply moving story of a Holiday Classic that opens "Marley was dead, to begin with..." starting December 8 until the 18th.

  • Every Evening: 7:30PM | Sunday Matinee: 3:00PM
  • Tickets: $35
  • Presented by: Big Dawg Productions
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 632-2285

December 10

Colonial Christmas Open House & Craft Market

Venue: Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens at 224 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Visit the annual 1700's Colonial Christmas tradition and enjoy the festive house viewing and shopping at the garden market featuring 18th century crafts, with local authors, artists and more on December 10. 

  • Market: Opens 9:00AM until 2:00PM
  • Open House festivities start from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM
  • Free Admission | Donations are appreciated
  • For more details, visit here or call (910) 762-0570

Jingle on the Beach

Venue: 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach Park

Start a great morning with a holiday cheer, on the beach, with family, friends and a Beachy Santa. Enjoy the youth performances and get a glimpse of the beautiful Azalea Festival Princess on December 10.

  • 10:00AM until 12:00PM
  • Advance Tickets Adult: $5 | Children: $15 
  • On the Day Event Tickets Adult: $5 | Children: $20
  • All children must be accompanied by a paying adult
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 794-4650

Old Wilmington by Candlelight Tour

Venue: 126 South Third St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Join the 50th Anniversary of the Candlelight Walking Tour located in Historic Downtown Wilmington and delight in a unique holiday experience on December 10 and 11.

  • Saturday: 4:00PM - 8:00PM | Sunday: 1:00PM - 5:00PM
  • Tickets: $50
  • Presented by: Latimer House Museum
  • For more Tour Sites info, visit here or call (910) 762-0492 

December 11

18th Century Christmas

Venue: Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson at 8884 St Philips Road SE, Winnabow, NC 28479

Explore how the American colonists celebrated Christmas at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site and look into the guided tours and candlelit service in the ruins of St. Philips Anglican Church on December 11.

  • 1:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Per Car at gate: $5 (Cash preferred)
  • For more details, visit here or call (910) 371-6613

Holiday Pops Concert: NC Symphony

Venue: The Wilson Center at 701 N Third St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Celebrate the holiday spirit with the musical sounds and carols of the Christmas season and sing-along with the North Carolina Symphony on the night of December 11.

  • Matinee: 3:00PM | Evening: 7:30PM (Doors open earlier)
  • Tickets begin: $20
  • For more info, visit here, or call (910) 362-7999

Wilmington Holiday Parade

Parade Starts at North Front Street from Walnut to Church Streets, Historic Downtown, Wilmington

Get on your feet and join the holiday cheer of the annual Christmas Parade and celebrate with marching bands, floats, entertainers and the all time favorite Santa Claus on December 11. 

  • 6:00PM - 9:00PM
  • Free for spectators
  • For more details, call (910) 772-4177

December 15

A Magical Cirque Christmas

The Wilson Center at 703 N Third St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Be enchanted with dazzling performers and breathtaking performance with live musicians in a magical Christmas evening on December 15.

  • Matinee: 3:30PM | Evening: 7:30PM (Doors open earlier)
  • Tickets begin: $39 | Ticket Hours: Monday-Friday 2:00PM-6:00PM
  • For more info, visit here or call (910) 362-7999

December 16

Caroling by "REINDEER" Drawn Carriage or Trolley

Market & Water Streets Wilmington, NC 28401

Join the fun and sing Christmas carols with Santa while roaming around the historic downtown of old Wilmington on a Christmas carriage pulled by special "reindeer" on December 16. 

  • 6:00PM -10:00PM
  • Adults: $14 | Children Under12: $6 
  • Free Candy Canes for Children
  • For more info, visit here, or call (910) 251-8889

Hark! The Herald Angels Swing

Venue: Blockade Runner Beach Resort at 275 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Savor a sumptuous meal and a show-stopping showcase of a Christmas Cabaret and Dinner Show with the yuletide music starting on December 16 until Dec 18.

  • Fri-Sat: Cocktails at 6:30PM | Dinner Show 7:00PM | Sun: Matinee Brunch at 12:00PM
  • Tickets: $45 
  • Reservations required | Christmas Cabaret reservations: 844-676-0554
  • For more info, visit here, or call (910) 256-2251

Kure Beach Holiday Whoobie Whatty

Venue: Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion at 105 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Come in your best Whoville attire in this Grinch-themed outdoor holiday event.

  • 5:30PM-7:30PM
  • FREE event to attend | Refreshments are available for purchase
  • For more info, read here.

December 17

Winter Wanderland

Venue: Children's Museum of Wilmington at 116 Orange Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

Learn about how other cultures celebrate the Christmas holidays and there are fun activities for the kids to join.

  • 9:00AM-12:00PM
  • $10 for General Admission
  • For tickets, book here or call (910) 254-3534

December 18

75th Anniversary Christmas Showing: It's a Wonderful Life

Venue: Mayfair Town Center at 900 Town Center Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405

Relived a Christmas Classic with this special showing only on December 18 Sunday and December 21 Wednesday.

  • Sunday Matinee:3:30 PM | Wednesday:7:00 PM
  • $14
  • Get your tickets here or for inquiries call (844) 462-7342

December 20

Nights of Lights Holiday Open House

Venue: Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design at 503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Enjoy and be inspired by the Victorian Christmas decorations all around the mansion.

  • December 20-22, 2022 4:00PM-7:00PM
  • FREE | Donations are gladly accepted | Holiday goodies available for purchase
  • For questions, email lmorton@bellamymansion.org or call (910) 251-3700

December 21

Celtic Angels Christmas

Venue: Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts at 310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Be captivated with the vocal masterpieces and instrumental tunes featuring the angelic Irish quintet and the Celtic Knight Dancers.

  • Matinee: 4:00 PM | Evening Performance:7:30 PM
  • Tickets at $65 and above
  • Choose your seats here. For inquiries, call (910) 632-2285

December 31

Island of Lights New Year's Eve Celebration

Venue: Carolina Beach Boardwalk at Carolina Beach Avenue S & Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Spend New Year's Eve at the beach with music, giant ball drop and epic fireworks in the night sky.

  • Begins at 9:00PM
  • FREE for spectators | Refreshments and NYE hats and noisemakers available for purchase
  • For more info, click here.

New Year's Eve Cruise

Venue: Island Cruises at 301 Carl Winner Dr, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Welcome the New Year with a leisurely trip along the Intracoastal Waterway and back to Carolina Beach for the fireworks.

  • Cruise departs at 10:00PM and returns before midnight
  • Adult: $32 | Child: $22 | Full cash/card bar onboard also serving coffee and hot chocolate
  • Get tickets here. For inquiries, call (910) 232-3272


Make it a 2022 to remember. Celebrate good times and bank on happy memories in this yuletide season.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous, wonderful New Year!

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