Things to do in the Triangle during the holidays with kids

Things to do during the holidays instead of the Pullen Park’s Holiday Express

Did you miss out on Pullen Park’s Holiday Express tickets this morning? While I was able to snag some, that isn’t the case for a lot of moms this morning. While the tickets sold out in record time, I can assure you there are still plenty of magical activities to do with your children this holiday season. Your children will love this list of things to do during the holidays with your little ones. Some notable activities include:

things to do in the triangle during the holidays

  • Meadow Lights
    • Includes Christmas lights, train, carousel, Santa, and concessions
    • The website hasn’t been updated but typically starts around the 17th-18th of November
    • Located in Benson, NC
    • More Info:
  • Piper’s Lights
    • A family-run lights display in North Raleigh with FREE admission including a free Santa train. They also have an old country store and Santa stops by a few days a week. Donations encouraged but not required. Candy store is cash-only.
    • Usually opens after Thanksgiving each year
    • More info:
  • Chinese Lantern Festival
  • Polar Express at the NC Transportation Museum
    • Located in Spencer, NC, the Polar Express train ride includes a live theater performance aboard the train ride. Passengers should expect hot chocolate and a sweet treat with songs, dancing, and a reading of The Polar Express. Santa joins the train and delivers a silver sleigh bell before exiting.
    • Tickets cost between $38 adult, $32 child for the lowest class all the way to $325 for a table of 4 in parlor class. Reduced ticket costs during dress rehearsal week of the 16th of November. Matinee performances are $5 cheaper per person than regular priced tickets.
    • More info:
  • Bass Pro Shop
    • Visit your local Bass Pro Shop for a free photo with Santa and free holiday activities in November and December!
    • Keep a lookout on their website for details:
  • Santa’s Reindeer Roundup Express at the New Hope Valley Train
    • Dubbed “Santa’s Reindeer Roundup Express”, New Hope Valley Train offers fun during the first half of December. There is a train ride, search for reindeer, and a photo-op with Santa.
    • Tickets range from $12 for kids to $15 for adults.
    • More info:
  • Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights
    • Starting in November, Hill Ridge Farms turns into a winter wonderland for their Festival of Lights event in Youngsville, NC. You can buy a joint ticket during their fall pumpkin events, or buy separately at FOL time. Tickets range from $8 to $11 per person, with the cheapest tickets on Wednesdays.
    • FOLs includes a covered wagon hay-ride to enjoy the pretty lights, winter-appropriate snacks for sale, indoor dining, toy and candy store, giant slide, corn house, jumping pillow, and slide house. If you want to see Santa, be sure to get in line RIGHT when they open or else you may miss out, as he gets booked up fast.
    • More info:
  • Raleigh Christmas Parade
    • The 2018 Raleigh Christmas Parade will take place on November 17th, 2018 in downtown Raleigh this year. The parade will last approximately 2.5 hours.
    • More info:
  • The Nutcracker Ballet
  • Santa Train by Amtrak
  • Raleigh’s Santa Trolley
    • A Christmas trolley that takes you on the hunt for Santa throughout downtown Raleigh.
    • Tickets are now available! Call 919-996-4364 for tickets and info as they are limited.
  • Museum of Life and Science’s Santa Train
  • If all else fails… your local mall!
    • Your local mall will have Santa typically between Thanksgiving and Christmas typically for a fee. This is a good one for all the moms out there who drop the ball on the other events. J

Did you score tickets to Pullen Park’s Holiday Express this year?!  I’m seriously tired from waking up that early. Leave me a comment with when you’re going – Maybe I’ll see you there! 🙂

Did I miss any of your favorite holiday traditions? Leave me a note with what I’m missing so I can add it to the list!