Parades, Breakfasts with Santa, Christmas light displays and MORE! Find out where to go this week!

If you are not in the Christmas Spirit yet, all you need to do is drive around to the many decorated houses and neighborhoods with Christmas trees in windows, candles in windows, bows on mailboxes and so much more. It is also the time of year when there is so much to do including parades and Christmas light displays! Read on!

Thursday, Dec. 7

TONIGHT starts the Member Preview to the Holiday Lights at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. As I have written before, if you have joined as a family, this night pays for your membership and it is truly one of the best membership values around as they have many other events during the year that are free or discounted for members along with other perks. The Holiday Lights though is such a beautiful event with lights everywhere on a mile long walk, Christmas music, photos with Santa, s’mores over a fire pit and lots of free crafts and entertainment. This year, they are adding a caroling wagon ride and extending lights into the Heritage Garden. 

Also, tonight is the grand opening to Christmas in the Park! One of our favorite light displays located at Arnette Park, there are train rides, walk through lights on a lit trail, crafts for children, marshmallow roasts, an outdoor Christmas movie and photos with Santa.

The Coats Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8

Holiday Lights at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden will be open to the public starting tonight and on the following dates: Dec. 8-10, 14-17, 21-23, 26-30 at 5:30 p.m. Oh, and use code HOLIDAY17 on their website for 10% off! (You are welcome!)

Saturday, Dec. 9

We have several parade options!

The Fayetteville Rotary Christmas Parade will be downtown Hay Street at 11 a.m. Get there early to find a good place to park (try the parking deck first!) and then a place to put down your captain chairs and blankets. Wrap up because it is supposed to be cold!

The Broadway Lions Christmas Celebration and Parade starts with the celebration at 10 a.m. in the Broadway Community Center and the parade down Main Street in Broadway at 2 p.m.

The Annual Clayton Rotary Christmas Parade is at 3 p.m. down Main Street in Clayton.

Also, on Saturday is the Lillington Christmas Parade, which is a fun night parade with floats that are lit. It is also paired with their Christmas Tree Lighting which includes visits with Santa and crafts from 3 to 5:30 p.m. along with the tree lighting at 6 and the parade at 7.

We also have several other Downtown Fayetteville events:

Breakfast with Santa at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum will happen before the parade from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Adults are $10, children under 12 are $5 and under 2 are free) and then traditional pictures with Santa will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Photos with Santa are $5 ($10 for digital image).

The 17th Annual Breakfast with Santa at Fascinate-U Children’s Museum from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Members are $10, Non Members are $12 and admission includes a breakfast buffet, a picture with Santa, making a Star Wars tree ornament and museum play.

Lunch with Santa at Huske Hardware from 1 to 4 p.m. Santa will walk around and visit families while dining then patrons will be able to get photos with Santa starting at 2 p.m. for $5.

Another Parade Day Breakfast with Santa will be hosted 8 to 10:30 a.m. at 100 Hay Street with Santa, local mascots and a princesses. Childen ages 3-15 will receive a Santa swag bag.

Carriage Rides with Santa on Dec. 9-10 and 16-17 is a fun way to see everything downtown, which is beautifully decorated for Christmas with wrapped poles, wreaths, a large Christmas tree under the Market House and gorgeous lights. The Town of Spring Lake will also host Breakfast with Santa at the Spring Lake Community Center from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $2 in advance and $4 at the door and will include craft zones, pancakes and sausage, children’s activities, photos with Santa and more. There will also be a special treat for the first 100 children.

Pancakes with Santa will be held at the Spout Springs Emergency Services building from 8 to 11 a.m. with family fun activities like face painting, corn hole, karaoke and photos with Santa, sponsored by the Spout Springs Firefighters Association.

Santa is also coming to the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every child will have a special meet and greet, receive a toy and an Operation Christmas Stocking. Extra special is you can take your photos with your own camera!

Sunday, Dec. 10

One of the most beautiful sneak peeks into living in Downtown Fayetteville, come find the unexpected with the Candlelight Loft Tours from 5 to 8 p.m. The lofts and living spaces are decorated to the hilt and it is fun to see what is above the shops and restaurants for most of the buildings downtown. *There are a few spaces with elevators, but mostly stairs for those who have strollers. Tickets can be purchased at shops downtown or at 222 Hay Street.

Monday, Dec. 11

The Harnett County Public Library will host a Popsicle Stick Christmas Ornament workshop for those students in kindergarten through 2nd grade from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 12

The Gingerbread Jamboree at The Little Gym will be open for all ages, accompanied by parents. Preregistration is required and is only $5 a child! All supplies for building their own gingerbread house will be provided. Sessions are from 3:30-4 and 4-4:30.

Christmas Family Night is always fun at Sweet Frog Fayetteville! Grab the family, get some fro yo and enjoy Santa, Scoop and Cookie along with games, crafts and prizes from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Nutcracker

If you are looking to see the most iconic Christmas ballet in the world, you have two options this weekend.

The Dance Theatre of Fayetteville will perform at Methodist University on Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. The NC State Ballet will be performing at the Crown Theatre on Dec. 9 and 10 at 3 p.m. Ongoing Events

If you have not been to Pinehurst for Skating at the Carolina, it is amazing. Skating is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. through Jan. 6. Tickets are $10 and include skates, music, lights and holiday cheer with a 3000-square foot skating rink at The Carolina Hotel’s West Lawn. Holly Jolly Lights is a nice bonus with their Christmas Display and Light show through Dec. 26 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly at 1030 Monticello Drive, Pinehurst.

The 27th annual staging of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Cape Fear Regional Theatre will be performed through Dec. 17. With three casts and 45 performances, this is a heart-warming treat and tradition for Fayetteville. If you have not seen this gem, take your children! They will be mesmerized as they learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Meadow Lights in Benson is now open through Christmas. They have a fantastic train ride through Christmas lights, a carousel, photos with Santa and an old fashioned candy store complete with barrels of candy you cannot find much anymore. It is worth the drive if you have not been!

Denton Ridge is also a bit of Christmas awesomeness starting with a train ride to the quaint village where you can see live animals, visit a country store, get photos with Santa, see a live Nativity, roast marshmallows around the campfire for smores, get a roasted sweet potato and so much more. Denton Ridge is located in Linden.

18 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! And there is more so stay tuned!

A stay at home mom of four, we are always on the go! If it’s out there, we want to know about it and try it. Drop a line to faymomonthego@gmail.com with questions or tips, and I’ll get back to you. There’s so much to do here – and I want you to know about it all! Like Mom on the Go on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fayareamom for more or visit fayareamom.com.