5 Chances To Hang Out With Santa In Wilmington Before Christmas​​

by Dec 4, 2019Festivals, The Blog, Wilmington

’Tis the season to be jolly, and there is no better place to be jolly than in Wilmington, NC! Wilmington lights up with Christmas cheer this time of year, so if you want to celebrate, put on your warm socks and set out to spend some quality time with loved ones (and Santa too) before Christmas.

We’ve collected a number of seasonal events to warm your heart when the weather’s chilly. Young or old, there’s a Christmas tradition in Wilmington for everyone. Here are some of our favorites.

Bring the Whole Fam to the Christmas Tree Lighting and Movie Night at Greenfield Lake

December 13th, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

source: facebook.com/wilmingtonrecreation

Visit with Santa and then enjoy a showing of the movie Home Alone at the amphitheater. Events will be held at the amphitheater & Rotary Garden. Location:1941 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington. All events are FREE. Light refreshments will be sold.

5:30 pm – Enjoy story time with Fairytales and Dreams by the Sea – Princess Parties and Events
6:00 pm – Arrival of Santa!
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Visitation with Santa will begin after his arrival. This will take place in Rotary Garden gazebo
7:00 pm – Showing of the holiday movie, Home Alone at the Hugh Morton Amphitheater @ Greenfield Lake

Experience the Wonder at Enchanted Airlie

November: 29th & 30th; December: 6th-22nd, 5-7 and 7-9 p.m

Enchanted Airlie

source: Enchanted Airlie Gardens 2016 – www.AirlieGardens.org – Photo by Brett Cottrell, New Hanover County

A New Hanover County tradition since 2005, guests from around the world have visited Airlie Gardens from Thanksgiving to Christmas to take in the sparkling sights and festive sounds of the holiday season. Stroll through the Garden on a self-guided tour of holiday lights, music & displays. Also in attendance each night, Santa Claus himself! Tickets will sell out in advance, so reserve yours early!

Photos with Santa at Mayfaire Town Center

Select days between Nov. 22 – Dec. 24, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Santa at Mayfaire Town Center

source: facebook.com/mayfaire

Capture your child’s holiday memory of their visit with Santa at Santa’s Workshop in Mayfaire Town Center. Santa welcomes children, adults, pets and anyone in the holiday spirit! He is here from Friday, November 22 through Tuesday, December 24.  Visits are always free, and photo packages are available for purchase to preserve the holiday memories. Personal photography is not permitted.

Santa’s Magical Morning at the NC Aquarium

Dec. 7th, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


source: Facebook.com/NCAquariumFF

A favorite jolly elf makes a splash at the aquarium for Santa’s Magical Morning on Saturday, Dec. 7. Catch him diving with his aquatic friends, including sharks, rays and eels. Gather round for holiday story time (and cookies) with Mrs. Claus. And in a new twist to a holiday favorite, good boys and girls giggle with glee as Santa delivers a specially selected gift for each child. Photos are encouraged!

Sip, Shop & See Santa at the Cotton Exchange

Dec. 7 – 23


Kids who want to tell Santa Claus their Christmas wishes should know he arrives at the Cotton Exchange in downtown Wilmington. As always, you can take free pictures with Santa at The Cotton Exchange. This year, they’re utilizing a system that holds your place in line and sends you a text when it’s almost time for your visit! You can walk around and enjoy your time instead of waiting in long lines to see Santa. Enjoy music provided by area school choirs, bands, and orchestras on many Saturdays during the holiday season. On Sundays, enjoy local music. Come see the numerous trees decorated for local charities throughout our buildings. Expect Santa every weekend up until Christmas Eve from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

There are too many holiday adventures to count, but at Wilmington Today, we hope you’ll seek them out and have fun celebrating the season! Merry Christmas, Wilmington!

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