Don’t-Miss Holiday Events in the Triad

Triad Holiday Performances, Tours & Special Events


Image courtesy of Denton FarmPark

Updated for 2016. The Triad is an exciting place to be when the harvest gives way to the holidays. Festivals and traditions abound, offering everything from large-scale light displays to classical ballet productions. Have a look at our list of the season’s quintessential Triad events, which we've expanded this year well beyond our traditional top-10 list. For even more holiday events, see our Calendar.


“Tiny Turkey”
Nov. 9. Trinity Evangelical Covenant Church, 5200 West Friendly Ave., GSO.
Nov. 10. First Baptist Church of Mebane, 301 S. Third St., Mebane.
10 a.m. $3.50. 336-420-9277. Tales are told with wit, twists and great musical numbers. an original musical adaptation of a favorite childhood fairytale. 30-45 minutes. Age 2 and younger admitted free.

CTG's 22nd Annual Production of “The Wizard of Oz”
Nov. 11-13, 18-20. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., GSO. $10-$44. 843-609-7493. Watch 100+ talented kids, teens and adults — both on-stage and backstage — present this timeless classic. Welcome the holiday season with Dorothy and her friends as they take you “over the rainbow.” Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Holiday Concert
Nov. 17. Maple Springs UMC, 2569 Reynolda Road, W-S. 7 p.m. Free. 336-924-8191. The Bethabara Concert Band will perform a holiday concert celebrating the season. Canned food donations are welcome.

Christmas by Candlelight Tours
Nov. 18-19, Nov. 25-26; Dec. 2-3, 9, 16-17, 22-23. Old Salem Visitor's Center, 900 Old Salem Road, W-S. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $40. 336-721-7300. Take a guided tour by candlelight through the Historic District, where the customs and traditions of Christmas in Salem will be brought to life through all of your senses. The evening will include music, games, food, drink and interacting with staff to create special memories. Registration required.

Tanglewood Festival of Lights
Nov. 18-Jan. 1. Tanglewood Park, 4201 Manor House Circle, Clemmons. 6-11 p.m. $15. 336-703-6400. Tanglewood Park’s rolling countryside is transformed into a winter wonderland of giant, twinkling snowflakes and whimsical scenes. Entering its 25th season, this event continues to be one of the largest and most spectacular light shows in the Southeast.

North Carolina Harp Ensemble Holiday Concert
Nov. 20. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium, 900 Old Salem Road, W-S. 3-4 p.m. Free. 336-721-7300. The North Carolina Harp Ensemble will perform a free holiday concert featuring favorites such as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride!”

Pilot Mountain Christmas
Nov. 24-Dec. 31. 4236 NC 268 Hwy E., Pilot Mountain. Free. 336-351-2487. This is the 50th and final edition of Larry and Rachel Charpiat’s free walk-through holiday display, which spans 4 acres and includes more than 750,000 lights. Expect a Santa sighting and hot cocoa. See website for hours.

“A Christmas Carol”
Nov. 25-27, 29-30; Dec. 1-4, 6-11. Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., W-S. $10+. Triad Stage brings Dickens’ classic story to life in a dazzling production brimming with bold acting, daring design and spine-tingling special effects. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Preston Lane.

“Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity”
Nov. 25-27, 30; Dec. 1-4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-24. The Pyrle Theater, 232 S Elm St., GSO. $10+. Starting with Genesis and going all the way to the Nativity, this story spins a holiday story with down-home laughter, toe-tappin’ music and a tug at the heartstrings. Written by Preston Lane, with original music by Laurelyn Dossett.

Country Christmas Train
Nov. 25-27; Dec. 2-4, 8-11, 15-21, 26-27. Denton FarmPark , 4259 Handy Road, Denton. 4:30-10 p.m. $5-$15. Ride the Handy Dandy Railroad through thousands of Christmas lights and watch the true meaning of Christmas come to life in live nativity scenes. Visit the Christmas Village and sing carols in the country church, explore the general store, and visit the arts and crafts exhibits. Take a horse drawn wagon ride, and don’t forget to visit Santa.

Winston-Salem Symphony Plugged-in Pops!: A Carolina Christmas with Cirque de la Symphonie
Nov. 26-27. Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road, W-S. $20+ 336-464-0145. Cirque de la Symphonie returns as part of "A Carolina Christmas" to deliver acrobatic artistry and family fun for the holidays. Celebrate the sounds of the season, complete with carols, holiday magic, and even a visit from Santa. Robert Moody will conduct. Dr. Christopher Williams will direct the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale.


“A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 1-4. Sunset Theatre, 234 Sunset Ave., Asheboro. $6. Randolph Youth Theater Company presents this classic Charles Dickens holiday tale with a different, lighter touch. Adapted and directed by Bobby Bodford. See website for performance times.

Candle Tea
Dec. 1-3, 8-10, Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Single Brothers' House, 600 S. Main St., W-S. $5. 336-749-9463. The Women’s Fellowship of Home Moravian Church presents this event where you can sing Christmas carols, see how beeswax candles are made and used in the Christmas Eve candlelight lovefeasts, enjoy a warm cup of Moravian coffee and a piece of sugar cake, and more.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”
Dec. 1. LJVM Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway, W-S. 7:00 pm. $19.50-$49.50. 336-758-2410. See all of your favorite characters from the special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Festival of Lights
Dec. 2. Elm St., Greensboro. 6-9 p.m. Free. 336-397-0060. Join friends and neighbors at Greensboro's 28th annual holiday kick-off celebration featuring six blocks of live music, pictures with Santa, children’s crafts, the tree lighting and more.

“Elf the Musical, Jr.”
Dec. 2-4, 9-11. Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. $8-$9. 336-222-8497. Alamance Children’s Theatre presents this musical adaptation of the popular movie. The story follows the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who crawls into Santa’s bag and is transported to the North Pole. Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.

Christmas in Bethabara
Dec. 3. Historic Bethabara Park, 2147 Bethabara Road, W-S. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 336-924-8191. Come home for the holidays to the place where it all began. Enjoy music by Downtown Sound and others, candles being made and experience other local Christmas traditions.

Twelfth Night: A Colonial Christmas Celebration
Dec. 3. Alamance Battleground State Historic Park, 5803 NC 62, Burlington. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 336-227-4785. The 18th Century holiday celebrated as Twelfth Night was a spirited mid-winter event. Celebrate the season in the historic 1780 Allen log home and experience the rush of activity and preparation for the last night of the Christmas holiday.

Soulful Christmas Concert
Dec. 8. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium, 900 Old Salem Road, W-S. 8 p.m. $30. 336-721-7300. Celebrate the Christmas season with jazzy, spiritual and Motown sound Christmas music. Enjoy foods prepared by area restaurants and caterers. There will also be a special Christmas story by a local celebrity.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
Dec. 9-11, 14-18. Starr Theatre, 520 S. Elm St., GSO. $10-$15. In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids — probably the most inventively awful kids in history. Wednesday-Saturday performances at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

UNC School of the Arts presents “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 9-11, 14-18. Stevens Center of UNCSA, 405 W. Fourth St., W-S. $24-$83. 336-721-1945. Join the Nutcracker Prince, Clara, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy for this holiday classic. The UNC School of the Arts production is a Winston-Salem holiday tradition. See website for performance times.

Greensboro Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 10-11, 17-18. Carolina Theatre of Greensboro, 310 S. Greene St., GSO. 336-333-2605. Swirling snowflakes, giant mice, dolls that come to life and sweets from around the world are just some of the characters you’ll experience as you join Clara on her magical adventure.

Christmas by Candlelight Tours
Dec. 10, 17. Körner’s Folly, 413 S. Main St., Kernersville. 5-9 p.m. $8-$12. 336-996-7922. Enjoy self-guided tours of the house beautifully decorated in the evening hours. Hear live Christmas caroling, storytelling, and talk with costumed guides stationed throughout the house. Meander through all 22 whimsically decorated rooms at your own pace.

Piedmont Chamber Singers Candlelight Concerts
Dec. 11. Historic Bethabara Park, 1788 Gemeinhaus, 2147 Bethabara Road, W-S. 4 and 5 p.m. Free. 336-924-8191. Light refreshments will be served in the Visitor Center throughout the evening. View Bethabara exhibits, enjoy mulled cider and browse in the Bethabara Gift Shop.

Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra: Holiday Concert
Dec. 11. The Crown, 310 S. Greene St., GSO. $10-$15. 336-333-2605. Come for a fun romp full of holiday spirit as your perennial holiday favorites are performed with a big band twist. Performances at 3 and 7 p.m.

Winston-Salem Symphony Special Holiday Concert: Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 13-14. Centenary United Methodist Church, 646 W. 5th St., W-S. $20+. 336-464-0145. Celebrate the season with a Winston-Salem Symphony tradition. Handel’s oratorio is widely regarded as music’s most affecting message of faith. Join Maestro Moody, Winston-Salem Symphony musicians and a selection of renowned guest singers for a truly spiritual experience, perfect for the holiday season.

“A Christmas Carol: The Broadway Musical”
Dec. 15-18. High Point Theatre, 220 E. Commerce Ave., HP. $18-$22. 336-887-3001. High Point Community Theatre presents this classic Charles Dickens story of a prosperous curmudgeon who is visited by spirits to guide him toward the true meaning of Christmas and kinship. Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Lynn Aherns. Book by Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent.

High Point Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 16-17. Edward C. Smith Civic Center, 217 S. Main St., Lexington.
Dec. 21-23. High Point Theatre, 220 E. Commerce Ave., HP.
336-887-3001. Choreography is by award-winning Artistic Director, Gary Taylor. Sets are by award-winning designer, Howard Jones. Lighting is by Craig Stelzenmueller. Original costumes are designed by Executive Director and Founder Rita Taylor. See website for performance times.

Macy's “Yes, Virginia: The Musical”
Dec. 16-18. Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive, W-S. $25. 336-725-4001. Does Santa Claus really exist? Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon is determined to find out. She writes to Francis Church at the “New York Sun” to find out. Based on a true story, Church’s answer will ultimately become the most famous newspaper editorial of all time.

Fox8/Old Dominion: Holiday Concert with the Winston-Salem Symphony
Dec. 17. LJVM Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway, W-S. 7:30 p.m. Free with food donation. 336-464-0145. Join the Fox8 and Old Dominion families for a fun concert featuring festive holiday favorites. The show includes a carol sing-along, which is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Parking and the concert are free with a donation of canned food or non-perishable food items, which will be distributed to Salvation Army Food Pantries throughout the Piedmont.

Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert
Dec. 17. Centenary United Methodist Church, 646 W. 5th St., W-S. 3-4 p.m. Free. 336-922-4073. Winston-Salem Girls Chorus presents its annual holiday concert, during which each of three choirs with singers from grades 2-12 will perform separately and together. Guest instrumentalists will also perform.

Tea with Clara
Dec. 17-18. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., GSO. 1:45 p.m. $20. 336-333-2605. Dine on delicious tea and sweet treats. Mingle with Clara's friends from the ballet. Learn Clara's lullaby dance and take home a unique and playful treat box. Of course, host Clara will make an appearance, so be sure to bring your camera for photos and autographs.

“A Christmas Memory”
Dec. 18. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, W-S. 4 p.m. $10-$15. This two-decade long tradition continues this season, as Robin Voiers returns as Truman Capote’s older cousin Sook in an original adaptation of Capote’s tale of his own humble childhood holiday traditions.

Golden Harmonies Choir’s Christmas Musical Performance
Dec. 20. Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. 1 p.m. Free. 336-222-5135. Burlington Recreation & Parks invites you to come out for a free performance of the Golden Harmonies Senior Adult Choir and the New Covenant Children Choir.

High Point Ballet Presents “Land of the Sweets”
Dec. 23. High Point Theatre, 220 E. Commerce Ave., HP. 2 p.m. 336-887-3001. The show length of approximately one hour and content is tailored for young people’s attention. To add to the experience, everyone is invited to come at 1 p.m. to meet “The Nutcracker” characters, have souvenir pictures taken and participate in themed activities. See website for ticket prices.

Peter and the Wolf Concert
Dec. 29. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium, 900 Old Salem Road, W-S. $8-$35. 336-721-9111. The classic story is retold through music and dance in a collaborative production with Music Carolina, Peppercorn Theatre and Helen Simoneau Danse. Performances held at 11 a.m.,1 and 3 p.m. All ages.

If all this holiday talk has put you in the mood for shopping, here's our guide to Holiday Shopping in the Triad, a list of special holiday shopping events.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

15 Must-Visit Small Towns in North Carolina

If you love the small-town vibe, pack a suitcase to discover the irresistible charm of these North Carolina road-trip worthy destinations.

Must-See Holiday Light Shows Across North Carolina

’Tis the season for dazzling light displays. Here are our top picks of holiday light show extravaganzas across the state.

Applying to NC Colleges? Take an Inside Look at 16 NC Public Schools

These profiles detail everything from student-to-faculty ratios to acceptance rates and the percentage of students who successfully graduate in four years.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!


Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.