November Holiday Fun

Santa Claus nears the end of the parade route as he rides down Fayetteville Street shouting “Ho, ho, ho!” during the Raleigh Christmas Parade in downtown Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, November 22, 2014.


Mixed and a-mingled holiday fun

by Katherine Poole
Jill Knight/News and Observer

Yes, it’s November, but make no mistake about it, the countdown to Christmas has begun. So with apologies to the humbuggers and a full acknowledgement that there are many more than twelve days to go, here is a nice list of activities for the tall and the small.

Deck Meymandi’s hall

Celebrate your family’s holiday traditions on the town at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Nestle all snug in your seat for The Night Before Christmas, a whimsical retelling of Clement Moore’s poem through tap dance, jazz, and ballet. Dancing sugar plums, tapping reindeer, and jolly old elves are sure to ensure a good night to all.

Or, book passage for the N.C.  Symphony’s special event concert: The Polar Express. Paintings from the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book provide a magical backdrop (via giant screen) as a narrator and children’s chorus join the Symphony on stage to bring the beloved story to life. Bells will be ringing for all ears to hear.

If the silver and gold has tarnished on that favorite holiday movie DVD doing a constant loop at home, refresh the jolly by experiencing it live. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical has it all: elf dentistry, reindeer games, misfits, nitwits and a big toothless Bumble.

Walking in a winter-ish wonderland

Raleighites of all ages take to the streets to show their Christmas spirit. The 2017 Raleigh Christmas Parade is
Nov. 18. Presented by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, the Raleigh parade is the largest between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, so count on plenty of jing-tinglers, tar-tinkers, trum-tupers, and good old Santy Claus himself. The route begins on Hillsborough Street, passes by the Capitol, marches downtown, and disbands at Lenoir Street. Get a jump on claiming the best spot by downloading a parade map (see below).

Post-parade revelry continues at North Hills for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration. The beloved event is as big as the 41-foot Christmas tree prominently located in the Commons at North Hills. You can build up excitement for Santa’s arrival at 6 p.m. by hitting the snow slopes, riding the trackless train, kid crafting, jumping it out in the bounce house, or knocking out some holiday shopping at the vendor village.

Rockin’ Around

Looking for a new nontraditional tradition? By jingle, we’ve found it! Make the Macaulay Culkin face for Home Alone in Concert presented by the N.C. Symphony at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The newly minted holiday classic will play on a big-screen as the Symphony performs John Williams’ delightful score live. For such a fun evening, don’t leave anyone home alone.

Looking for a show that is one-horse slaying? Pop and lock down Nov. 24 for the Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Durham Performing Arts Center. This holiday mash-up is straight-up fun for the entire family and features dancers, DJs, and a lit Christmas tree. Kurtis Blow, one of the founding fathers of hip-hop, will open the show with a brief performance, then rap the introduction to set the scene for Clara to get her krump on.

Also: They’re going to rock this town … The Brian Setzer Orchestra rolls into the Durham Performing Arts Center Nov. 26 on their 14th annual Christmas Rocks! tour. The three-time Grammy winner brings his iconic sound to holiday favorites for an evening of jingling swing in a new old-fashioned way.

Although it’s been said many times, many ways … the Triangle does have the best holiday traditions this side of the North Pole. (And, it’s still only November.)

The Night Before Christmas
Nov. 11 7 p.m., Nov. 12 3 p.m.; $15 – $30;

North Carolina Symphony Special Event Concert: Polar Express
Nov. 22; 3 p.m.; tickets start at $30;

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Nov. 24 – Dec. 24; times vary; $15-$24;

The 2017 Raleigh Christmas Parade
Nov. 18; 9:40 a.m.;

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration
at North Hills
Nov. 18; 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.; free;

Home Alone in Concert
Nov. 24 7:30 p.m., Nov. 25 3 p.m.; $44 – $65;

Hip Hop Nutcracker
Nov. 24; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; tickets start at $35;

The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks!
Nov. 26; 7:30 p.m.; tickets start at $45;