The 12 Days (or so) of Christmas: Top Holiday Arts Events in December

The 12 Days (or so) of Christmas: Top Holiday Arts Events in December

By Rhonda Bellamy, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County

From the historical to the hysterical, Wilmington celebrates the season in high style!  Here are a few of the fine art, theater, and music offerings on tap for the most wonderful time of the year. 

A Trailer Park Christmas
Friday and Saturdays at 7pm
Sundays (starting in Dec) at 3pm
TheatreNOW
19 S. 10th St.
|Box Office: 910.399.3669
Trailer park ChristmasThe residents of Whispering Pines Trailer Park are back with their open latch holiday gathering. Will an impending hurricane and eviction notice spoil their celebrations?  Back for a second year at Wilmington’s premiere dinner theater!  You’ll enjoy a delicious comfort food inspired three-course meal by TheatreNOW’s award-winning chef.  www.TheatreWilmington.com

Swing’n the Holidays
December 1 – 4 & 7:30 p.m.
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
310 Chestnut St.
Box Office:  800.523.2820
The United Kingdom’s number one jive and swing band bring a holiday spectacular to the Mainstage. Known for their high energy Jump Jive music, the Jive Aces performed for Her Majesty the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and for the London Olympics. They combine a mixture of fresh arrangements of swing, Jive, and R&B classics with a selection of superb swinging originals.  www.ThalianHall.org

Make Week
December 1-8
Cameron Art Museum
3201 S. 17th St.
Phone:  910.395.5999
Make a gift to give to someone special. These are low-cost workshops and a great introduction to Museum School. Each day during this week-long "Make Week" features a different 1- or 2-day workshop where you will make something.   www.CameronArtMuseum.org

Babes in Toyland
Dec. 3 – 6, 2015
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 pm, Sunday at 3 pm
Hannah Block Community Art Center 
120 S 2nd Street 
Tickets: Etix or call 910-341-7860
Babes in ToylandTwo unhappy children, Jane and Alan, run away from home. Their parents, who are always putting work and discipline before fun, are too busy for them, so they set out for a place where they will be understood. The children believe that Toyland, a magical land of spirited toys, will deliver them from their hardships. When they arrive, the kindly Toymaker welcomes them with open arms. He warns them not to become too caught up in the fantasy, but soon the toys of Toyland draw them in with their singing and dancing.  www.Thalian.org

A Forces Command Holiday
Friday, December 4
7:30 p.m.
Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities & Fine Arts Center
701 N. 3rd St.
The Army Ground Forces Band will present  “A Forces Command Holiday” featuring  traditional and contemporary holiday tunes like “White Christmas”, “Let it Snow”, and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The concert will also include audience sing-alongs and a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  This performance is FREE, but tickets are required.  Click here to reserve up to four tickets. 

A Carolina Nutcracker with Live Orchestra and Boys’ Chorus
Saturday, December 5th at 7pm
Sunday, December 6th at 3pm
Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities & Fine Arts Center
701 N. 3rd St.
The Nutcracker liveThis holiday favorite is set in Wilmington’s Bellamy Mansion exactly 150 years ago and features historical characters from the period, along with all the beloved traditions of the original ballet. http://www.cityballetofwilmington.org

Mame
Dec. 10 – 20, 2015
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 3 pm
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Everyone’s favorite Auntie is back…..Her wild, adventurous spirit is inside everyone who lives for the moment and believes that “life is a banquet!” It’s the height of the 1920’s and Auntie Mame becomes the guardian for her ten-year-old nephew, Patrick. Her life is turned up-side-down, many of her priorities change, but she still lives life to the fullest. Special songs include Mame, It’s Today, Open a New Window, If He Walked into My Life, We Need a Little Christmas, Bosom Buddies and That’s How Young I Feel.   www.Thalian.org

Christmas Jazz Café
December 11
7:30 p.m.
Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station
In its seventh year, the Christmas Jazz Café caps the year with a solo performance by jazz saxophonist Shableek, who has opened for artists George Duke, Gerald Albright, Fantasia Barrino, Kem, Mint Condition and many others. 910.431.3794

The Historic Wilmington Holly Jolly Stroll
December 11-12
Downtown Wilmington
Holly Jolly logoA family-friendly stroll featuring open houses by local merchants, festive storefront and residential décor, and street musicians and local entertainers.  Free and open to the public.  910.343.0998

NC Symphony Pops
Saturday, December 12
3:30pm & 7:30pm
The North Carolina Symphony’s Holiday Pops is a musical tradition that will fill your heart with cheer. Conducted by David Glover, this all-new concert features selections from The Polar Express and Frozen, plus all your holiday favorites and popular sing-a-long.

Wilmington Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker”
Saturday, December 19 & Sunday, December 20 at 3pm
Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities & Fine Arts Center
701 North 3rd St.
Grandeur and opulence are the watchwords for this full length production, complete with a whopping 250 in the cast and 600+ ornate costumes. Guest dancers from Atlanta Ballet Theater, Carolina Ballet, and WBC’s own professional core company dazzle, as do the many local youth dancers.  www.WilmingtonSchoolofBallet.com

New Year’s Eve Gala
December 31, 2015
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
7:00 p.m.
Catch a sensational performance of the Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis” produced by Cape Fear Theatre Arts.  The evening includes dinner, drinks, and dessert.  After the show, ring in 2016 with a live DJ, dancing, and champagne toast.  www.ThalianHall.org

New Year’s Eve:  Bacchanalia
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Seatings at 6 pm & 9:30 pm
BacchanaliaContemporary variety acts including flame acts, aerial acts, live music, and comedy cap 2015 and usher in 2016! A four-course meal, party favors and champagne toast are included with the ticket.  www.TheatreWilmington.com

Wilmington is merry year-round!

Wilmington is home to the North Carolina Jazz Festival (February), the North Carolina Azalea Festival (April), the Cape Fear Blues Festival (July), the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival (October) and Cucalorus Film Festival (November). 

Catch an art exhibit at Cameron Art Museum or any of our 20 galleries.  Catch a show at any of our unique performance spaces, including historic Thalian Hall and our new 1500-seat Humanities & Fine Arts Center. Catch up on your reading of local writers like Clyde Edgerton, Celia Rivenbark, and Wiley Cash. Catch live, local music all over Wilmington. Catch the spirit!

About the Author

Rhonda Bellamy is executive director of the Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County, a position she has held since reestablishing the agency in December 2011.

About the Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County

Art Council logoAs the lead agency on the arts in southeastern North Carolina, our core functions are to establish the region as a premiere arts destination, to promote arts-driven economic development, and to support artists and arts organizations.  For more information: http://artscouncilofwilmington.org/

Discover Wilmington’s vibrant arts scene with an audio tour of our arts venues and public sculpture installations.  Access our mobile app at www.artswilmington.toursphere.com.