Thanksgiving Feast: Community meal at Iron Mike Conference Center, Thursday, at noon. Pre-paid reservations are required for this event, which is also open to the public. The cost is $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for children aged 6 to 11, and free for children aged 5 and under. Gratuity is not included in prices. To make a reservation, call 907-2582.
Dickens holiday: The streets of downtown Fayetteville bustle with carriage rides, photos with Father Christmas, holiday music and carolers during the 17th Annual Dickens Holiday, Friday, from 1 to 9 p.m. Merchants and arts and craft vendors are decked out in Victorian style for a unique shopping experience. Scrooge, Marley and other characters from “A Christmas Carol” roam the streets. For more information about the event, visit www.theartscouncil.com/dickensmain.
Heart of Christmas: Celebrating 18 years, the Heart of Christmas Show is a full-blown, whistles and bells, Broadway-style production that has something for everyone. It’s a fast-paced show that beautifully portrays the meaning of Christmas with song and dance. The show donates all proceeds from ticket sales of three weekend shows, Saturday and Sunday, at the Crown Theater. For tickets and more information, visit www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/heart-of-christmas.
Sustainable Saturdays Film Series: The Burden is the first documentary of its kind to tell the story of our dependence on fossil fuels as the greatest, long-term, national security threat confronting the U.S., and how the military is leading the transition away from oil. The film will be shown as part of the Sustainable Saturdays Film Series at Cameo Art House, Saturday. The show starts at 11 a.m. and doors open at 10:30 a.m. Each film in the series has a suggested donation of $7, and $5 if you are a Cameo Film Society or Sustainable Sandhills Member.
Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s Christmas celebration: Sweet Tea Shakespeare invites all fans to their Christmas cantata, Dec. 8 and 9, 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Behold will feature Sweet Tea Shakespeare musicians and actors with music from Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God and the Oh Hellos, along with readings and good cheer. Behold is a musical take on the Christmas Story. Part Gospel, part Sweet Tea magic, this is a reflective evening meant to warm your hearts and focus your minds on Advent and Christmas. Details available at www.sweetteashakespeare.com.
Christmas in the park: Dec. 7 through 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Arnette Park, Fayetteville. Enjoy a leisurely stroll on a half-mile, paved walking trail while taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season. And don’t forget to stop by and visit with Santa. Admission is $10 per Family vehicle, $30 per commercial vehicle, $75 per motorcoach/bus and $5 for a photo with Santa.
Yuletide Feaste: Dec. 2 and 3, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., taking participants and audience back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I, the Yuletide Feaste is a Renaissance-style dinner engagement featuring an elegant, four-course meal, a festive banquet hall setting, a large cast of costumed characters straight out of Tudor England, and Methodist University students singing carols for the Christmas season. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Go to www.methodist.edu for more information.
Holiday Lights in the Garden: Dec. 9 to 23 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Lights sparkle and illuminate a mile-long pathway to showcase the garden’s winter beauty as a synchronized show of music and lights shimmers over the Cypress Pond. S’mores roasting over fire pits, free crafts for children, visits and photos with Santa, holiday gift shopping and more add to the festivities. The Garden will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Visit www.capefearbg.org for more information.
The Nutcracker: Performed by the North Carolina Ballet, The Nutcracker will be presented at the Crown Theatre, Dec. 10 and 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 adults, $18 military, and $7 kids 12 and younger. Visit www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/nc-state-ballet-the-nutcracker for more information.
Tanglewood Festival of Lights: Open through Jan. 1, 2017, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, North Carolina will be transformed into a winter wonderland of giant, twinkling snowflakes and whimsical scenes. Entering its 25th season, Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights continues to be one of the largest and most spectacular light shows in the entire Southeast. Each year the show is better and brighter with brand-new and improved light displays, a wide variety of vendors at the holiday gift village and even Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Visit www.forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol/ for more information.
A City Market Christmas: Kick off the holiday season in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina with a vintage Christmas celebration taking place throughout City Market, Sunday, from noon to 7 p.m. In addition to live music and holiday performances, historic Market Hall will also be home to a Makers Market featuring over 20 local artisans. Grab some hot cider, ride in a horse drawn carriage, catch some music and listen to carollers as you roam the cobblestone streets. For the kids, there will be face painting, arts and crafts and Santa on-site for a visit and photos.
‘The polar express’ train ride: The Polar Express at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2 to 4, Dec. 9 to 11 and Dec. 15 to 22, from 4:45 to 8:30 p.m., each evening. Set to the music of the motion picture soundtrack, Families will enjoy a trip to the North Pole, with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then enjoy singing, dancing, and a reading of “The Polar Express.” Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will present the first gift of Christmas. On the return trip, everyone will receive their own silver sleigh bell. Visit www.nctrans.org, for ticket information.
Chinese Lantern Festival: Friday through Jan. 15, from 6 to 10 p.m., in Cary, North Carolina. Cary’s Booth Amphitheater will once again be transformed into a magnificent setting when the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival returns. The festival will include more than 20 all new displays, each comprised of hundreds of parts and thousands of LED lights. Admission: Adults $15; Kids (3-17) $10; Kids (2 and under) free. Visit www.boothamphitheatre.com for more information.
Governor’s mansion open house: North Carolina’s Executive Mansion — the “people’s house” — will open its doors for the annual Holiday Open House from Dec. 8 through 11. Visitors are invited to tour the home, take in the decorations, and enjoy seasonal musical entertainment by local performing groups. The hours of the open house are: Dec. 8, noon to 9 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Dec. 10, 2 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 11, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and reservations are not needed or accepted. The mansion is located at Mansion is located at 200 North Blount St., Raleigh, North Carolina. Visitors should enter at the main gates on Blount Street.
62nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree: Carolina Voices presents a winter wonderland of holiday entertainment at The 62nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree. The warm sounds of the season will fill the Knight Theater as the soaring voices of the MainStage Choir (in a 32’ specially-designed tree) perform all your favorite Christmas music — from the inspirational and sacred to the traditional pop and family classics. The stage will sparkle with whimsical dance, puppetry and special friends who will warm your heart at this special time of the year. Guests include: Hardin Minor, Grey Seal Puppets, Miller Street Dance Academy, Young Voices of the Carolinas, and Impromptu. There will be three performances: Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.carolinavoices.org.