Holiday Events & Programs in the Piedmont Nov. 27-Nov. 30. N.C. Symphony, Raleigh. Cirque de Noel. The circus meets the symphony! Stunning aerial feats flying high above the orchestra, mind-boggling contortions, and jaw-dropping juggling acts—all choreographed to your favorite holiday music performed by the North Carolina Symphony. Come early to meet Santa! Fee. Nov 29, Dec. 1, 6-8, 12-22. N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer. Polar Express. Enjoy a virtual trip to the North Pole set to a movie soundtrack on the Polar Express. Hot chocolate and cookies aboard the train, and singing, dancing and reading “The Polar Express,” what could be better? Afterwards visit Candy Cane Lane for a picture with Santa. Times and prices vary. Dec. 7. Historic Stagville, Durham. Jonkonnu at Stagville. Enjoy and participate in a traditional Jonkonnu Christmas performance with West African influenced music and drums around the evening campfire! Afterwards, experience a lantern-lit tour of the historic Horton Grove quarters with guides telling stories of Stagville's enslaved people at Christmastime. Enjoy refreshments and games. 5:15-7:14 p.m. Fee, tickets on sale now. Dec. 7. House in the Horseshoe, Sanford. Colonial Christmas. Step back in time this holiday season during the “Colonial Candlelight Tour” at the historic Alston House. Guides, dressed in colonial attire, will lead groups through the candlelit home adorned with 18th century styled decorations. After the tour, enjoy warm cider by the campfire and sing along to your favorite holiday carols. Fee. Dec. 7. Reed Gold Mine, Midland. A Golden Christmas. Enjoy holiday cheer and history too! See how miners in the early 1800’s would have celebrated the holidays and the Germanic origins of some holiday traditions that have lasted through today. The program will include demonstrations, locally produced crafts, refreshments, and a hayride to Mansion Hill and candlelight tours of a gold mine. Free, $2 hayride fee for ages three and over. Dec. 7. Alamance Battleground, Burlington. German Christmas in Colonial Carolina. Experience the traditions, foodways and culture of German communities including sauerkraut, stollen, scherenschnitte (German paper cutting), 18th century music and learn about German settlers in North Carolina. 1-3 p.m. Fee. Dec. 8. N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Pop-Up Art: Bright Lights. Celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights! View the Museum’s Hanukkah lamps and create your own sculptural lantern to take home. Noon. Free art-making. No reservations necessary. Dec. 10, 13, 14, 23. N.C. Symphony, Chapel Hill, Southern Pines, Raleigh, respectively. A Classic Holiday Pops. Start your season out on the right note! Join the Symphony for a spectacular evening featuring beloved traditional and popular music, including music from The Polar Express and The Nutcracker—plus a sing-along celebration of the season. Times vary. Fee. Dec. 11. N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh. History à la Carte: How the Candlelight Tour Saved Historic Oakwood. Learn how the annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour not only became an immensely popular holiday tradition for Raleigh but how it also managed to save the historic Oakwood neighborhood! 12-1 p.m. Free. Dec. 12, 14. N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. The Music of Black Nativity. This gospel music experience, a production of the Justice Theater Project, takes us on a journey back to the Bethlehem of Mary and Joseph, resplendent in African costumes and uplifting songs of worship. Different showtimes for both days. Fee. Dec. 12. State Capitol, Raleigh. Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House. The festivities begin on Capitol Square at 5 p.m. with luminaries and holiday music. There will be music performances by the Raleigh Concert Band and dance by Alicia's School of the Performing Arts. The governor and dignitaries will make their way to the South grounds at 6:15 p.m. to officially begin the ceremony. The lit tree will be visible the length of Fayetteville Street. The Junior Woman’s Club will give away cookies and hot chocolate – and even Santa is scheduled to make an appearance! From Thursday, Dec. 12th – Saturday, December 14th (from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) the Capitol will have holiday music in the rotunda! Free. Dec. 12, 13, 14, 15. Executive Mansion, Raleigh. Annual Holiday Open House. View extraordinary holiday decorations, enjoy seasonal music from local performing groups as you visit “the people’s house.” Dec. 12th from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13th - Saturday, Dec. 14th, the Mansion will also be open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and on Sunday, December 15th from 1-4 p.m. No reservations needed. Free. Dec. 13. N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Family Night: Winter around the World. Experience the “winternational” celebration of the season! Discover family traditions from North Carolina and around the globe. Create art, enjoy free access to Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism, and have a special visit with Santa. Free, tickets required. Dec. 14. N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh. Hands-on History: Holiday Ornaments. Drop in with your family and learn about holiday decorations from the past, then make one (or two) together to take home. 1-3 p.m. Free. Dec. 14. Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, Sedalia. Christmas in Canary. Celebrate the Holidays - 1940s style! Enjoy the halls of Canary Cottage decked with vintage Christmas decor, sample tasty treats from days past, create a holiday craft of your own, and visit with Santa! 2-6 p.m. Fee. Dec. 14. Bennett Place, Durham. Christmas in the Piedmont. Discover how families observed a modest Christmas during the Civil War. See cooking demonstrations and what live was like for soldiers in the field. A daylong bake sale, craft activity for youth, a visit from St. Nick and letter writing to Santa complete the day. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fee. Dec. 14. Bennett Place, Durham. Christmas Candlelight Tours. Take a special guided farm tour under the glow of candlelight to learn how soldiers and civilians experienced the holidays during a time of war. Tours will go out approximately every 20 minutes and are limited to 15 people per group. There will be a bake sale and complimentary hot apple cider at the visitor center. 6-9 p.m. Fee, ages under five, free. Proceeds benefit site preservation. Dec. 15. N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh. Raleigh Flute Choir Concert. This chamber ensemble of professional flutists from central North Carolina will perform creative arrangements of seasonal favorites and some original works. Utilizing the entire flute family, from a tiny piccolo to an eight-foot contrabass, the ensemble has played across the country. 2 p.m. Fee. Dec. 14, 15, 20 and 21. N.C. Zoo, Asheboro. Believe. Enjoy holiday daytime fun AND see the animals with ice treats at this family-friendly event. Get in the holiday spirit with holiday decor, music, and seasonal menu items. Fee. Dec. 22. Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. Holiday Hike. Get ready for Christmas with a 1.5-mile holiday-themed hike. No grinches allowed as we search for mistletoe and boughs of holly.3 p.m. Free. Dec. 31. N.C. Symphony, Raleigh. New Year's Eve: Vienna with a Twist. Welcome the new year with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and jazzy Big band classics that will put the swing in your New Year’s Eve! Plus, the time-honored tradition of Viennese waltzes will make this a night you’ll remember well into the new year.8 p.m. Fee.