Celebrate the Season
Lights, Festivals & Holiday Classics

Get out of your holiday routine and get into the holiday spirit coastal-style. While Wilmington and our Island Beaches offer all of the traditional holiday classics that you can certainly see and do right in your own hometown, a getaway here is a great opportunity to get out of your holiday comfort zone. Stroll back in time down the brick-lined streets of the decorated Historic District, attend a play in one of America's oldest theatres, shop in pedestrian-friendly markets, and visit our island beaches for holiday lights and other coastal-style festivities to make your holiday vacation merry and bright.

Whether relaxing by the river or overlooking the sea, there is no better place to ring in the new year. You can welcome 2018 with a gala and live theater performance at Thalian Hall, hang out at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for their annual New Year's Celebration, and more. With plenty of events and special packages, there is something for everyone.

For an old-world holiday experience, walk through festive, period-decorated historic homes while completing your holiday shopping downtown. Our island beaches light up the shore with festivals like the Island of Lights Festival at Carolina Beach, featuring Christmas by the Sea. Take your little elves to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher for Santa by the Sea December 16-17 or for Holiday Elf Camp where they can make gifts.

Be sure to check out our many holiday performances for those classics like The Nutcracker that are a must-see family tradition at The Wilson Center, Thalian Hall and more. If all of this holiday cheer has you yearning for a time out, explore Wilmington's many year-round attractions including the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science and the Cameron Art Museum.

There's so much to see and do, so check out our holiday brochure for the top list of events. With a to-do list as long as your shopping list, take advantage of these special getaway lodging deals and travel packages for a sleigh full of savings from the river to the sea!