It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Wilmington! Hot Cocoa fills your cups, bright lights flood the streets, and holiday cheer is everywhere for all to hear. Our city sure knows how to get into the holiday spirit. Not only do the beautiful Christmas decorations Downtown and at Mayfaire Town Center bring a little joy to your hearts, but there are also plenty of fun holiday events to dive into this year!

Enchanted Airlie

This is the 11th year for this incredible New Hanover tradition. Airlie Gardens is known year-round for its breathtaking views and serene environment. Add sparkling sights and festive sounds to the mix and you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet! Cozy up with your loved ones, grab a warm cup of cocoa, take a bite of some local food vendors’ delicious cuisines, and even meet Santa Claus himself at Enchanted Airlie! And don’t get your tickets in advance, because this stellar event sells out fast.

Holiday Train Expo

All aboard this Polar Express! The Cape Fear Model Railroad Society is showcasing its annual Holiday Train Expo from December 9th to December 11th at Independence Mall. Get lost in a winter wonderland as you watch trains travel through detailed villages, parks, and festive landscapes. Kids can even get their photo taken with the conductor of the Polar Express!

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

In case you miss the Holiday Train Expo, there is still time to travel the tracks at this Downtown Wilmington event! Featuring model trains, twinkling lights, and trains trekking across snowy scenery, this exhibit is truly spectacular! Grab a Christmas cookie, pour a cup of cider, and revel in the magic of the holiday season.

It’s a Wonderful Life

One of the best parts of the holidays is the holiday films. And what’s better than a showing of the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This annual tradition takes place at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington. Get your popcorn ready and get excited to enjoy a James Stewart classic for 2 hours of this feel-good throwback. Fun for the whole family!

Christmas Caroling

Warm-up those vocal cords and spread holiday cheer for all to hear as you trot through the streets of Historic Downtown in your very own horse-drawn carriage! Sing Christmas carols with Santa, his reindeer, and your loved ones to serenade the streets of your city. Bring the kids and enjoy free candy canes as you hum about the most wonderful time of the year!

There is so much to love about the holidays, and our town surely does not disappoint. Create new traditions with your friends and family this year, and make Wilmington feel a little more like home!