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Christmas 2020 Event List | Holiday lights, Santa, ice skating, virtual events across the Piedmont Triad and beyond

The holidays are here! Join in the fun with Christmas lights, ice skating and so much more happening in the Piedmont Triad and beyond.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Santa is coming to town – face mask and all! 

2020 means spending the Christmas holiday a little differently this year. Despite the pandemic, it’s time to spread not the virus, but Christmas and holiday cheer!

So, get out of the way Grinch, and do what keeps you safe this holiday season while having a lot of holiday fun.

We’ve put together this Christmas event list filled with activities the entire family can enjoy from Christmas lights to parades, to trees, to ice skating, to visits with Santa, and even virtual events.

To get this list in text message form right to your phone, type SANTA to 336-379-5775. 

If you have an event and would like to be featured, send an email with details to webteam@wfmy.com

As always make sure to check individual event sites for updated dates, times, and ticket information.


Winter Wonderlights

Greensboro Science Center

The Winter Wonderlights display is like nothing the Triad has ever seen. Walk-through the Greensboro Science Center’s cutting-edge light experience over the holidays! The display is located outside the zoo area. Professional light designers created 12 unique zones such as the Snowball Surprise, Forest of Light, Gingerbread Barn, and even some Dancing Fountains for you and your family to enjoy.

Where: Greensboro Science Center – 4301 Lawndale Drive in Greensboro

Dates: Until Jan. 3

Tickets: Ticket prices range from $12 to $24, with children ages two and younger receiving free admission. All ticket holders can get a complimentary ride on the new Rotary Club of Greensboro Carousel.

Find out more: Winter Wonderlights 

Tanglewood Festival of Lights

Oh, Christmas! Oh, Santa! The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is a fan favorite and a tradition for many families! This event is such a favorite that you should expect a 4 hour wait time on weekends! Tanglewood Farms is also taking reservations for horse-drawn carriage rides and tractor-pulled hayrides. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 336-766-9540.

Where: Tanglewood Park - 4061 Clemmons Road, Clemmons

Dates: Nightly until Jan. 1

Hours: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Cost: $15 per family vehicle

Entrance location: The entrance to Festival of Lights is off of US-158. GPS may incorrectly direct you to a back gate which is off of Idols Road. Visitors may not enter the show through that back gate. Visitors at the back gate will be directed to the main entrance off of US-158.

Tune your radio! Visitors can hear original compositions from UNC School of the Arts Music Technology students as showcased in the interactive musical displays. All you have to do is drive-thru and tune your radio to 99.5 WMAG through Dec. 25 to hear holiday music.

Other: Thursdays - Sundays are very popular nights at the Festival of Lights. During these nights, long lines and wait times should be expected. Weekends are especially busy and 4 hour wait times should be expected. Also, if visitors are not inside the park gate by 10 p.m., they may not get into the show before it closes.

Find out more: Tanglewood Festival of Lights

Denton Farm Park

It’s Christmas on the farm! Drive through a Christmas light extravaganza and see live nativity scenes while visiting Denton Farm Park. The show will take about 20 minutes to complete. There will also be the option available for shopping within the Craft Area and dining from a mobile food vendor.

Dates: Friday, Nov. 27 – Sunday, Dec. 27

Where: Denton Farm Park

Route: Guests will enter the South Gate at 4259 Handy Rd. and will exit via the North Gate at 1072 Cranford Rd.

Times: Gates open 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Cost: $20 for family cars, trucks and vans.

Check out Denton Park Farm site for more information on tickets, dates, and times.

Country Christmas Train

Lanes of Light Holiday Drive-Through

Lanes of Light is a spectacular holiday drive-through winding over a mile throughout the festively-dressed Twin Lakes Community in Burlington. It will give you that warm cozy festive holiday cheer feeling! This year the community is accepting money donations instead of a food drive because of the pandemic. The money will be donated to the Salvation Army. This event is for two nights only!

Dates: Dec. 5 – 6

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where: Twin Lakes Community

Take exit 141 in Burlington and follow the Lanes of Light signs.

Find out more: Lanes of Light


If your neighborhood has a lot of Christmas lights, let us know! We'll add your neighborhood to the list. Send an email with details to webteam@wfmy.com 

Sunset Hills Neighborhood 

Get ready to get lost in a magical holiday experience while driving through the Sunset Hills neighborhood in Greensboro to look at Christmas lights. This is one spectacular Christmas experience the entire family will enjoy. The neighborhood is decorated with tons of enormous lighted Christmas balls for as far as the eye can see! The neighborhood is usually decorated from after Thanksgiving through Christmas. They also accept food donations for local food banks. 

Where: Sunset Hills neighborhood is located off Friendly Avenue in Greensboro across from the hospital. You will see hanging ball Christmas lights. You can turn right onto a number of roads off Friendly Avenue to look at the lights in the neighborhood. 

Drive slowly and look for lots of people walking around in the neighborhood!

Birch Creek Neighborhood 

The Birch Creek development might give Clark Griswold a run for his money! If you like over-the-top Christmas lights then you need to check out the Birch Creek neighborhood in McLeansville.

Beyond the Piedmont Triad 

Speedway Christmas – Concord 

It’s one of America’s largest holiday light shows, Speedway Christmas in Concord. It features more than 4 million lights over a 3.75-mile course. Tune into 101.3 FM to enjoy Christmas music as you take in illuminated Christmas displays at the light show, which is open even when it rains! Check Speedway Christmas for dates, times, and ticket information.

Closed Dec. 8 & 9 for private events and also on Christmas.

Dates: Nov. 21 - Jan. 17 

Time: 6:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.

For more details: Speedway Christmas

Speedway Christmas

Christmas Town USA - McAdenville

McAdenville in North Carolina just west of Charlotte is known as Christmas Town USA! The town features hundreds of Christmas trees on display. You’ll enjoy a two-mile route around a lake. It’s a very slow ride on the weekends.

Dates: Dec. 1 - 26

Times: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. on weeknights and weekends

For more details: Christmas Town USA

Credit: Visit NC
Christmas Town USA

Tweetsie Christmas – Blowing Rock 

Celebrate the holiday season as Tweetsie Railroad transforms into a winter wonderland! It includes a 3-mile nighttime train ride among thousands of holiday lights, Santa’s Gingerbread House, classic amusement rides and more. Tickets are for a specific date and train ride time. A limited number of guests are admitted nightly, so advance tickets are strongly recommended.

Dates: Until Dec. 31

Tickets: Adults: $44, Children (age 3-12): $38, Children 2 and under: Free.

For more details: Tweetsie Railroad

Credit: Tweetsie Railroad

N.C. Transportation Museum Drive-Thru Light Show

Get ready to be dazzled by thousands of Christmas lights! The North Carolina Transportation Museum is hosting a drive-thru holiday light show. The museum’s historic structures and antique railroading equipment will be part of the scenery, shining like never before. Check out the lights during the 1.25-mile drive-thru experience.

Where: N.C. Transportation Museum – 1 Samuel Spencer Dr., Spencer

Dates: Nov. 20-22, 27-29, Dec. 4-6, 10-13, 15-23, 26-30

Times: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tickets: $8 per car or $15 for 12-15 passenger vans, mini-buses or shuttle buses

Other: Cars will enter the property at 1 Samuel Spencer Drive and exit from the south end of the property onto Hwy 70/US 29.

Find out more details: N.C. Transportation Museum

Credit: NC Transportation Museum
NC Transportation Museum

Night of Lights – Raleigh

Get into the holiday spirit while driving through a 1.3 mile of magical lights inside Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh.

Where: Dorothea Dix Park - 2105 Umstead Dr., Raleigh

Dates: Dec. 16 – 31

Times: 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. with special hours on New Year’s Eve.

Tickets: $15 per vehicle; $30 per vehicle with 9+ passengers

Find out more: Night of Lights

Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum

Experience Asheville’s brightest holiday tradition at Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum. This is a drive-thru holiday light show. You’ll navigate through a one-mile stretch of the Arboretum’s campus to see the Christmas lights.

Where: N.C. Arboretum - 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville

Dates: Nov. 20 – Jan. 10

Times: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Tickets: Personal vehicle is $25 purchased on website, at the gate $30

Find out more: N.C. Arboretum

Credit: NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the N.C. Arboretum

Taste of the Season Carowinds – Charlotte

Due to COVID-19, Carowinds' 2020 WinterFest has been canceled. However, thanks to an extensive reopening plan, the park has pivoted to a Taste of the Season outdoor Christmas event that features samples of sweets and savories, specialty drinks, holiday décor, seasonal shows and select rides.

Where: Carowinds 

Dates: Select dates from Nov. 21 - Dec. 20

Tickets: Daily tickets available including reservations

Find out more details: Carowinds  


Piedmont Winterfest - Downtown Greensboro 

A winter wonderland in the heart of Greensboro! Piedmont Winterfest lets people of all ages and skill levels enjoy an outdoor ice skating rink and an ice slide coaster!

The ice skating rink will be located at 123 West Lewis Street parking lot between Southend Brewing and Fat Tuesday.

COVID-19 Safeguards

Organizers ask for you to purchase tickets online. They will also check temperatures before skaters are allowed to enter the ice skating rink. They will also ask a few health screening questions. You will be required to wear a face mask. There’s also a 40 skater limit on the rink. Each session will be for one hour and 45 minutes.

Tuesdays will be closed for skating and it will be used for curling.

Opening night is on Friday, Nov. 20.

For information on dates, times, and tickets visit Piedmont Winterfest.

RELATED: Piedmont Winterfest is back! Here's how it will be different this year

Ice Skating/Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex

Get on the ice and make some family memories this holiday season at the ice skating rink located at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.

COVID-19 Safeguards

Masks are required during all times while public skating and throughout the ice rink. All public skating sessions are limited to the first 90 skaters. 

You’ll need to fill out an ice skating waiver

When: Various dates, and times!

Where: Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex - 414 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem

Tickets: $7 for admission, $3 for rental skates

For information on dates, times, and tickets visit Ice Skating/Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex

Kernersville Ice Skating – Kernersville 

Take the ice skating fun outdoors in Kernersville! The Kernersville Ice Skating rink will open on Nov. 27. 

However, the ice rink will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Where: Kernersville Museum - 127 West Mountain St., Kernersville

Tickets: The cost to skate is $5 for 30 minutes of skate time and includes your skate rental.

Hours of Operations: 

  • Tuesday - Friday: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Other: You must sign a liability waiver 

More Details: Kernersville Ice Skating 

Graham’s Ice Skating Rink

Hit the ice in downtown Graham! The annual event is held for three weeks in November and December.

COVID-19 Safeguards

Maximum of 20 participants on the ice. Make sure to bring a face mask!

Dates: Nov. 27 – Dec. 20

Times: Various times visit the website.

Where: Graham Ice Skating Rink – 213 S. Main Street, Graham

Find out more: Graham’s Ice Skating Rink


Santa at the Carolina

Tell Santa what you want for Christmas! Kids can visit with Santa at the Carolina Theatre. The visits are free but do require advance reservations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 Safeguards 

Safety precautions will be in place including a plexiglass screen.

Dates: Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 18-20

Time: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday

2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18

Where: The Carolina Theatre located - 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro

Other: Make sure you bring a camera to capture a photo during your socially responsible visit with Santa.

Make a reservation to visit with Santa.

RELATED: Want to get your Santa letter to the North Pole? Here's how!

Credit: Getty Images Creative
Santa wearing his face mask getting everything ready for the big day!

Santa at the Point

Santa is coming to visit the High Point Rockers! Kids can come and spend time with Santa at Truist Point.

Dates: Dec. 12

Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Other: If you wish to attend the event you’ll need to purchase a ticket in advance. It’s a $5 donation per person including adults. You’ll also need to reserve your spot time with Santa. Bring a book to donate to the Rock’N Read Program and you’ll receive a free ticket voucher to a 2021 Rockers home game.

COVID-19 Safeguards

Masks will be required at all time for guests during the event. Guests will also be asked to wait in line six feet apart from other groups. Multiple hand washing stations will be available/

Parking: Free parking will be available in the Rockers parking lot on Lindsay Streets. Guests can enter through the Right Field Gate on Appling Way.

More details: Purchase tickets


Credit: High Point Rockers
High Point Rockers

Santa at Friendly Center 

Santa arrives at the Friendly Center in Greensboro Friday, Nov. 27, but visits will be different because of the pandemic. 

COVID-19 Safeguards 

Kids and families will sit six-feet away for social distancing so, that means no sitting on Santa's lap. Kids are invited to write a letter to Santa instead. They can bring it and organizers will make sure Santa gets it and gets a chance to read it. You also must make an appointment ahead of time. You can do that by visiting the Friendly Center site. Walk-ups will be allowed during the first and last hour of the day if there are no appointments.  

Santa Photos

The Winston-Salem Dash will host socially distanced photos with Santa Claus this holiday season.

The pictures are presented by Salem One and held at Truist Stadium. 

COVID-19 Safeguards

A plexiglass barrier will be placed between Santa and the guests to provide a safe picture.

The photos will be taken on the following dates from 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m:

Tickets cost $20 per vehicle with a maximum of 6 guests per vehicle. That price includes two drink tickets (coffee hot cocoa or water), two Dash 2021 ticket vouchers, and a photo opportunity with the big man.

Call 336-714-6862, if you have any questions.

RELATED: Take COVID-safe pictures with Santa at Truist Stadium

Credit: Getty Images, WFMY
Santa teams up with the Dash!

Visit Santa at the NC Zoo!

The North Carolina Zoo will host a "Believe" holiday event featuring animals with ice treats, holiday décor, music, holiday scavenger hunt, candy stations, walk through the Swirly Twirly Forest to Santa, holiday photo with Santa and lots more fun!

COVID-19 Safeguards

Guests attending the event will follow one-way directional route during their visit. Social distancing and masks are required.

Dates: Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13

Where: NC Zoo – 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro

Tickets: $15 per person plus full Zoo price admission. Children under 2 are free with a paying adult. 

Find out more: NC Zoo


Downtown Greensboro 

Light the Night

This is a shop, dine, and stroll event. The 2-night event will also feature a festive show of laser lights. You’ll be able to see the laser light show on the MLK parking lot near the new Greensboro selfie mural.

Live entertainment from holiday favorites:

  • Wally West & The Wassailers
  • The Silver Drummer Girl
  • Greensboro College Jazz Ensemble
  • UNC Greensboro Horn Choir

Dates: Dec. 4 – 5

Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Elm Street in Greensboro

Find out more: Light the Night

Check it out! Laser Show video

Sonic Forest

“Sonic Forest” is a multi-sensory, interactive installation that is composed of 16 trees. Interacting with the trees triggers a series of events from an original score of melodic tones, environmental sounds, spoken or whispered expressions to changing LED lights. Sonic Forest is a walk-thru family experience for the entire month of December.

Dates: Nov. 28 – Dec. 27

Time: Open daily until 11 p.m.

Where: Hamburger Square on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Greensboro

Find out more: Sonic Forest

Check it out: Sonic Forest video

Tinsel Town

Tinsel Town will feature 50 uniquely decorated Christmas trees and will be on display for the entire month of December for family-friendly walk-thrus. You can also vote for your favorite Christmas tree.

Dates: Dec. 4 – 27

Time: Open daily until 9 p.m.

Where: Kontoor Brands parking lot located at 400 N. Elm Street in Greensboro

Other: No parking on Kontoor property! Make sure to park in one of the parking decks or on-street spaces.

Find out more: Tinsel Town

Peppermint Alley

Take a walk along Peppermint Alley and enjoy festive-family friendly holiday decorations. It’s a selfie-lovers dream!

Dates: Dec. 4 – 27

Where: Alley next to Boxcar Arcade located at 120 W. Lewis Street in Greensboro

Find out more: Peppermint Alley

Family Portraits

Join in on a holiday photoshoot at the Community Picture Day Outdoor Studio! Enjoy themed backdrops including Christmas, New Year's, and a Winter Wonderland. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at Community Picture Day

Dates: Dec. 19

Time: 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Holiday Window Christmas Displays

Visit downtown Greensboro to check out the unique, festive, and beautiful holiday window displays. You can even vote for your favorite window display.

Dates: Nov. 28 – Dec. 31

Find out more: Holiday Window Decorating Contest

Drive-Thru Live Nativity

The reason for the season! You can experience a live nativity right from your car. South Elm Street Baptist Church is holding a drive-thru live nativity.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 6 

Time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: South Elm Street Baptist Church - 4212 S. Elm-Eugene Street, Greensboro

Rain Date: Sunday, Dec. 13

Find out more details: Drive-Thru Live Nativity

December Drag Brunch

Kick up your heels for this show in Greensboro. The December Drag Brunch is sure to entertain during the holidays.

Date: Dec. 20

Time: 11 a.m.

Where: 2901 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro

Tickets: $5

Find out more: December Drag Brunch including other upcoming events.

Also, check out the Icons Drag Dinner Christmas show!


NC Zoo’s ‘Believe’ Event

The North Carolina Zoo animals are ready for Santa to come and visit! Just ask the reindeers, they’ll tell you!

The North Carolina Zoo will host a "Believe" holiday event featuring animals with ice treats, holiday décor, music, holiday scavenger hunt, candy stations, walk through the Swirly Twirly Forest to Santa, holiday photo with Santa and lots more fun!

COVID-19 Safeguards

Guests attending the event will follow one-way directional route during their visit. Social distancing and masks are required.

Dates: Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13

Where: NC Zoo – 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro

Tickets: $15 per person plus full Zoo price admission. Children under 2 are free with a paying adult. 

Find out more: NC Zoo

High Point 

Drive-In Winterfest – High Point

Get ready for the holiday lights, decorations and Christmas carols from the safety of your vehicle. High Point is hosting Winterfest for guaranteed holiday fun. Santa will also make a surprise visit! This is a free event. Visitors are asked to bring canned food items for The Salvation Army.

Date: Dec. 5

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where: High Point Athletic Complex located at 2920 School Park Road

For more details: Winterfest


Kernersville Christmas Tree Lighting 

Deck the halls and join in the Christmas fun in Kernersville. The town will hold its Christmas tree lighting ceremony in early December. There will be music, Santa’s Christmas magic, a photo station, and even a goodie bag!

COVID-19 Safeguards

Masks are required during the event and when 6 ft. social distancing cannot be maintained.

Date: Dec. 5

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Tickets: Kernersville Christmas Tree Lighting

Christmas at Körner’s Folly 

Daytime Christmas Tours 

It’s transformed for the holidays with floor-to-ceiling garland, lights, and the works! Make sure to check out the historic Körner’s Folly for a truly Victorian Christmas. 22 rooms are fully decorated for Christmas at Körner’s Folly. Make sure to bring your cell phone, there are QR codes in each room so you can listen to the songs that inspired the decorating as you tour. Tours are self-guided and last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

COVID-19 Safeguards

To stay in-line with COVID-19 safety practices, Holiday Tours are by appointment only. Face coverings are required and must be worn over the nose and mouth for the duration of your tour.

Dates: Nov. 27 – Jan. 2

Tickets: $10.00 for Adults, $6.00 for Children (Ages 6-18), and Free for Children Under 6.

Find out more:  Körner’s Folly

Christmas by Candlelight evenings

Transport yourself back to the warm glow of the Victorian Era. Costumed interpreters from Kernersville Little Theatre will greet guests before they begin a self-guided tour through all 22 lavishly decorated rooms, featuring a variety of interactive Christmas carols.

Dates: Evening tours each Saturday in December

Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Other: Space is limited for the magical evening self-guided tour. Körner’s Folly recommends pairing this with a tour of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden holiday tulip light display.

Tickets: $15.00 for Adults, $6.00 for Children (Ages 6-18), and Free for Children Under 6. Due to limited quantities, tickets are nonrefundable.

Find out more: Körner’s Folly


Drive-Thru Journey to Bethlehem

Tyro United Methodist Church invites you to Journey to Bethlehem. This COVID-19 safe, drive-through experience starts with Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and ends at the ascension. You will be greeted by Roman guards on horseback and then travel through 30 scenes with over 150 actors and live animals portraying what life was like during the life of Jesus. As you drive through you will also be able to hear the Nativity story on your car radio.

Dates: Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6

Time: 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Tyro United Methodist Church, 4484 S NC Hwy 150, Lexington NC 27295 Follow the signs directing traffic.

Tune Radio: The church has an FM transmitter that only picks up within about 1/2 mile.  There will be signs that tell the attendees to turn their radio to FM station 101.7.  

Admission: Free and all are welcome.

Credit: Paula Turlington
Live nativity drive-thru

Virtual Events

Wake Forest Christmas Lovefeast

The Wake Forest Christmas Lovefeast is a cherished tradition. This year will be different due to COVID-19. The event will be a live video event that you can watch virtually. It will include a special service from Wait Chapel and join in by preparing your own Lovefeast at home.

Date: Dec. 6

Time: Prelude begins at 5:45 p.m. with service to follow.

Other: More details and the link will be shared closer to the virtual event.

Find out more: Wake Forest Christmas Lovefeast

Christmas at Bethabara

Get ready to celebrate the holidays with Christmas at Bethabara virtual event. The online event will include singing, decorating and baking, and an inspiring holiday ode!

Date: Dec. 13

Time: 5 p.m.

Where to watch: Bethabara Facebook or Youtube

The Nutcracker 

Virtually experience a magnificent performance! The Nutcracker a holiday tradition in Winston-Salem will be a virtual event this year due to COVID-19.

Dates: Dec. 17 – 25

Tickets: The Nutcracker

Before You Leave, Check This Out