Guide to November Family Events: Shopping Spree, Lantern Festival, Tree Lightings, Santa Visits and more!

November is bringing lots of Fall and Holiday family fun to Raleigh-area families. Here are a few of our favorite outings we’ve found that we hope you’ll enjoy.

Scroll to the bottom to get a jump on planning your Santa Visits and Christmas Tree Lightings!

*Due to weather or scheduling please make sure to check the website or call the event venue before you go.

Nov. 14th – 17th: Let’s get shopping at the annual Junior League of Raleigh A Shopping SPREE at the Raleigh Convention Center. This shopping fundraiser showcases the latest trends in fashion, home decor and holiday gifts with local and national exhibitors. 

Nov. 16th: Take inspiration from the art that Frida Kahlo created, wore and lived at the Family Studio: Inspired by Frida event at the N.C. Museum of Art. Families will enjoy a two-hour workshop and gallery tour including creating collaborative works of textile art to take home. This is a ticketed event. 

Nov. 17th: Celebrate the natural world and where our favorite Thanksgiving food comes from at the Giving Thanks event at Crowder Park. Families will investigate corn under microscopes and hand lenses, learn the difference between fruits and veggies, and make a Thanksgiving craft. Free event; register in advance. 

Nov. 22 – Jan. 12: This is one of our favorite events that amazes the kiddos! The N.C. Chinese Lantern Festival. Koka Booth Amphitheatre will be transformed into a magnificent setting of twinkling lanterns and lights. This is a must-see event in our book! This is a ticketed event; kids 2 and under are free.

Nov. 23rd: It’s time for a parade! The annual Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh is back to help families kick off the Holidays. Come to Downtown Raleigh enjoy the largest Christmas parade between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. 

Nov. 24th: Gather the family for the 24th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History in Downtown Raleigh. Free event featuring musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers, authors and more. Come learn about our state’s American Indian culture, past and present. 

Nov. 27th – 30th: Get artsy be thankful! Come by the Finley Center at Historic Yates Mill Park and join in on the Art in the Park – Thankfulness Project. Celebrate what you’re thankful for in this community art project collaboration games and thanksgiving-themed crafts. Free event, for all ages; registration required. 

Nov. 29th – Dec. 24th: The beloved TV classic returns to the stage for the holidays – Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer: The Musical at Fletcher Opera Theatre. This is a ticketed event. 

Nov. 30th – Dec. 1st: Repticon Raleigh Reptile & Exotic Animal Show is back at the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds. Learn and see exotic reptile pets in person from a variety of vendors. 

Christmas Tree Lightings, Santa Visits, and Holiday Performances..start marking your calendars and make some plans to kick off your holiday season!

Streets at Southpoint: Nov. 15th – Dec. 24th
It’s time to get your “Photos with Santa”! Four-legged family members can also enjoy Pet Nights every Monday at 5pm.

Crabtree Valley Mall: Nov. 16th – Dec. 24th
Santa visits for the kids, Pet Nights with Santa, holiday performances and more! Don’t forget to reserve your time/day in advance to avoid the wait.

Lafayette Village: Nov. 18th, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
St. Nick will light the Christmas Tree at 5:30 p.m. to begin this annual event. It’s an evening of Carolers, Santa visits, Nutcracker dancers, performances from local schools, and specials from village merchants.


Waverly Place: Nov. 22nd, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
8th Annual Tree Lighting is back to open up the holiday season along with Santa visits, local holiday performances, and a special concert by The Embers.

Park West Village: Nov. 22nd-24th
A Winter Wonderland is coming to Morrisville! All ages will enjoy a Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping, train rides, carolers, two large sledding slopes and storytimes with Santa.

Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration:  Nov. 23rd, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Kick-off your holiday in Downtown Raleigh with a tree lighting, local food vendors, a Marbles Kids Museum booth, free activities for every age, local beer and wine vendors and more.

The Commons at North Hills Midtown Park: Nov. 23rd, 3:30pm – 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy the annual Christmas Tree Lighting featuring snow slopes, Santa visits, trackless train rides, kids crafts and activities, a bounce house, and a vendor village.

Brier Creek Commons: Dec. 6th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m

Families will enjoy the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa visits, carriage rides, trackless train rides, face painting, DJ music, and a Brier Creek merchant Tree Decorating Competition.

Parkside Town Commons: Dec. 7th – 8th
Enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, face painting and a balloon at Chuy’s at Parkside Town Commons. Reserve your time slot by purchasing tickets in advance.


Did we miss to list one of your favorite Fall or Holiday events? Please share in the comments below. 

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