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25 Things To Do In North Carolina After the Big Meal

Enjoy a memorable family outing after the Thanksgiving feast.
Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 6, 2007) Turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, stuffin’ and pumpkin pie make a robust holiday feast. But what to do after the dishes are washed? Football is an option, but if you’re craving something for the entire family, the “chefs” at the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development have cooked up our top list of fun festivals, events, theatre, parades and more.

Go to for even more events and happenings across the state. Contact us for images or go to .

Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Season
Now through Dec. 24, 2007
One of the most popular family holiday traditions involves cutting down a live Christmas tree. North Carolina produces more than 12 percent of the real Christmas trees in the United States. The state has more than 1,600 Christmas tree growers, with a total of 34.2 million trees growing on 23,530 acres. North Carolina Fraser Fir has been judged the “Nations Best” by the National Christmas Tree Association and chosen for the White House eight times (more than any other species). Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Watauga and Jackson counties produce 88 percent of North Carolina's Christmas trees. Contact the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association for more information. (800) 562-8789
Mountains: various locations

Pocosin Arts Folk School Creative Diversions
Now through Dec. 31, 2007
The “Influences of Traditional North Carolina Art and Craft” exhibit explores the craft tradition of the pocosin region of eastern North Carolina. See works in hand-spun fiber, clay, ceramics, photography, woodworking and more. (252) 475-1500
Coast: Manteo, NC

Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore Estate
Now through Dec. 31, 2007
Enjoy the magic of America's largest home filled with candlelight, blazing fireplaces and live holiday musical performances. Let Biltmore's extraordinary holiday décor, including more than 30 Christmas trees and miles of garland, inspire and rejuvenate your holiday spirit. (800) 411-3812
Mountains: Asheville

The Polar Express, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Nov. 9 – Dec. 29, 2007
The Polar Express comes to life in the Great Smoky Mountains when the train departs the depot for a special visit to the North Pole. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening & reading along with the magical story. Departs 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (800) 872-4681
Mountains: Bryson City, NC

Tanglewood Festival of Lights
Nov. 10 – Jan. 1, 2008
Experience the Southeast's largest holiday light show featuring more than a million lights, 180 displays, 72 of which are animated. The Holiday Gift Village features a large gift shop, concessions and the giant marshmallow roaster. Hay rides and carriage rides available by reservation. 6-11 p.m. (336) 778-6300
Piedmont: Clemmons, NC

Star of Bethlehem
Nov. 17 – Jan. 1, 2008
The longest running Morehead Planetarium show has been revamped with a digital-age look that wows both kids and adults. Admission is $5.25 for adults, $4.25 for children, students and seniors. (919) 962-1236
Piedmont: Chapel Hill, NC

National Gingerbread House Competition, Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa
Nov. 20 – Jan. 5, 2008
More than 300 uniquely designed gingerbread houses will be on display. Awards will be given Nov. 12. Visitors can view all of these amazing houses Nov. 20 through Jan. 5. The event is free and open to the public. (828) 252-2711
Mountains: Asheville, NC

Thanksgiving Turkey Treat, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Nov. 22 – 25, 2007
Hit the slopes at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort to work off that Thanksgiving meal. For one low price, visitors can ski/ride the four days of the Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 22-25, 2007 for just $109. Offer expires Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007 at 5 p.m. (828) 898-4521
Mountain: Sugar Mountain, NC

60th Annual Carolinas' Carrousel Thanksgiving Parade & Festival
Nov. 22, 2007
The Carolinas' Carrousel Thanksgiving Parade & Festival draws approximately half a million people from the 22-county metro area surrounding Charlotte. The parade begins at 1 p.m. and also airs on WBTV, Channel 3 (CBS). (704) 250-0250
Piedmont: Charlotte, NC

Holiday Decorations at Fearrington Village
Nov. 22 – Jan. 1, 2008
Innovative holiday decorations including grapevine balls, tin soldiers, teddy bears, wreaths and uniquely decorated trees will adorn the village during the season. (919) 542-2121 or (800) 277-0130
Piedmont: Pittsboro, NC

American Music Jubilee Christmas Show
Nov. 23, 2007
Now in its 10th season, this two-hour extravaganza puts visitors in the spirit of the season. Beautiful melodies will give way to peals of laughter as humorous songs are mixed in with comedy routines to round out an evening of fun. (919) 202-9927 or (877) 843-7839
Piedmont: Selma, NC

Midnight Madness at Carolina Premium Outlets After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale
Nov 23 – 25, 2007
Midnight Madness first started at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield about six years ago. Now this shopping event has become a tradition nationwide. Stores open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving night to kick off the holiday shopping season with extended hours and added savings for early shoppers. Nearby hotels have joined in the spirit by offering special deals. Contact these nearby inns for Midnight Madness Shop & Stay packages: Selma Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn and Jameson Inn. Don't miss the biggest sale of the year and get your holiday shopping finished early. (919) 989-8757
Piedmont: Smithfield, NC

33rd Annual Craftsmen's Christmas Classic Arts & Crafts Festival
Nov. 23 – 25, 2007
View original designs/work from more than 500 artists/craftspeople from across America. Watch these craftspeople demonstrate their art, too. Choose gifts for every style, taste and budget—items range from traditional to contemporary. (336) 373-7474
Piedmont: Greensboro, NC

Carolina Designer Crafts Fair
Nov. 23 – 25, 2007
Since 1970, the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild has provided a profitable marketplace for the finest contemporary crafts in the Southeast. More than 100 members of the guild showcase their best work at this annual fair held on Thanksgiving weekend. (919) 460-1551
Piedmont: Raleigh, NC

Christmas at Körner's Folly Toyland-Childhood Memories
Nov. 23 – Jan. 6, 2008
Körner’s Folly, known as the “strangest house in the world,” will be decorated for the holidays. The eccentric structure started 126 years ago by a dapper painter offers 22 rooms spread out over three floors and seven levels, with ceiling heights ranging from six feet to 25 feet. All rooms are decorated for the holidays, many with a “Toyland” theme. Christmas at Körner's Folly offers a new gift shop and extended holiday hours 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Sunday 1-8 p.m. (336) 996-7922
Piedmont: Kernersville, NC

Enchanted Airlie
Nov. 23 – Dec. 22, 2007
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the holidays, Airlie Gardens invites visitors to tour the 67 acres of walking trails, formal gardens and sculptures. Carolers and musicians stroll the grounds at this musical celebration under the stars. Two time slots are available from 5-7 p.m and 7-9 p.m; advanced tickets are required. Enjoy free hot cocoa and start holiday shopping. (910) 798-7700
Coast: Wilmington, NC

New Bern Occupied
Nov. 23 – 24, 2007
Join us for a Thanksgiving weekend at Tryon Palace. Travel back to Union-occupied New Bern and see how soldiers and civilians experienced the Thanksgiving holiday during a period of war and strife. (252) 514-4900 or (800) 767-1560
Coast: New Bern, NC

Thanksgiving Stecoah Artisans Studio Tour
Nov. 23 – 24, 2007
Take a self-guided driving tour of artisans’ studios in Graham County. Watch artisans make pottery, farmstead cheese, stained glass, bee's wax candles, original paintings, folk art, photography, jewelry, furniture, baskets and more; refreshments served. (828) 479-3364
Mountains: Robbinsville, NC

FENCE Barn Tour
Nov. 24, 2007
Visit six of the most beautiful equestrian sites in the Foothills area, all especially decorated for the holidays! All proceeds benefit FENCE (Foothills
Equestrian Nature Center) nature education and outdoor recreation programs. This self-guided tour is a great way to welcome in the holiday season! (828) 859-9021
Mountains: Tryon, NC

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla
Nov. 24, 2007
Festivities begin at Wrightsville Beach at 10 a.m and last until 4:30 p.m. The Flotilla at 6 p.m. features a lighted parade of sailboats, motorboats, and yachts decorated for the holidays that cruise along Banks Channel. Fireworks follow the parade. (910) 256-2120
Coast: Wrightsville Beach, NC

Storytelling Festival
Nov. 24, 2007
Tall tales and spellbinding stories return to FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center) with nationally-known storytellers. This is a great way for the family to enjoy the togetherness of the Thanksgiving holiday a little longer. Free refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon. (828) 859-9021
Mountains: Tryon, NC

Thanksgiving Wood Kiln Opening
Nov. 24 – 25, 2007
A favorite of visitors to the High Country, Traditions Pottery is owned and run by a family related to the Seagrove potters. At 9 a.m., visitors watch potters unload the wood kiln. They’ll bring out face jugs featuring Santa, wizards and cry babies; Rebekah pitchers, candlesticks, sculpted chickens, vibrant red pottery and more will also be available. Free admission. (828) 295-5099
Mountains: Blowing Rock, NC

Festival of Trees at Pinehurst Resort
Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2007
Festival of Trees will return to the beautiful Carolina Hotel of Pinehurst Resort, transforming it from a golfer’s paradise to a winter wonderland filled with thousands of twinkling lights and brilliant ornaments. The annual benefit, held to raise money and awareness for Sandhills Children’s Center, will feature the decorating talents of area merchants, organizations and individuals. (910) 692-3323
Piedmont: Village of Pinehurst, NC

Oriental Folk Festival: the everybodyfields & Arlington Priest
Nov. 30, 2007
From Tennessee, the everybodyfields is a group that makes music channeled through decades of folk and country traditions inspired by Appalachia. Arlington Priest, a duo from Georgia will open the evening with folk tunes. (252) 249-2736
Coast: Oriental, NC

Carolina Ballet – “The Nutcracker”
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2007
A fantasy classic captures the irrepressible imagination of a child's world in which all things are possible. Based on E.T.A. Hoffman's more macabre “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” the original work was Tchaikovsky's third and last major ballet. (919) 843-3333
Piedmont: Chapel Hill, NC

Natural scenic beauty, adventure and relaxation, a dining experience for every taste, rich history and warm Southern hospitality come together in North Carolina. Call 1-800-VISIT NC or go to to plan your next getaway.

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Raleigh Gingerbread House Competition

There will be a Raleigh Gingerbread House Competition with significant prizes this year. Entries are welcome from adults, kids, professionals, and groups. The public is welcome to tour the display from 11/27/09 through 1/3/10. More information is available at