As the holidays draw near, you can discover plenty of local celebrations, activities, and festive fun to welcome in the season.

Holiday Bingo & Festive Fun – December 1

Show your holiday spirit and win prizes for bingo, as well as other festive contests. Free and open to all ages. From 2-4 p.m. at Grove Street Community Center, 36 Grove St.

Lake Julian Festival of Lights display.
Watch the lights twinkle over Lake Julian and listen to seasonal music while driving through this magical wonderland.

Lake Julian Festival of Lights – December 2-23

A magical display with animated and stationary lights. This amazing three-week celebration of the Christmas spirit can’t be missed. Open from 6-8 p.m.

  • Walk through the display on December 2 & 3. Pets and cars are not permitted during the walk through. Walk-through admission is $5 per person; children 16 and under free of charge.
  • Drive through December 4-23. The loop trail takes about 10 minutes to drive. Admission: $10 passenger vehicle; $25 large vans; $50 motor coaches/buses.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at Lake Julian Park is located at 37 Lake Julian Road, Arden, NC 28704.

Holiday Lights & Cozy Movie Night – December 8

Take a stroll under festive lights and enjoy a free movie on the big screen with light refreshments. Open to all ages. From 6-8 p.m. at Burton Street Community Center, 134 Burton St.

Holiday Trivia for Young Adults – December 8

Do you know your holiday facts? Bring a team of friends or come solo for a free, friendly competition! Open to ages 18-39. From 6-8 p.m. at Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, 285 Livingston St.

Breakfast with Santa – December 9

A holiday tradition for local families, Santa hosts a special breakfast with games, crafts, and a visit from the jolly man himself. Cost: $10. For ages 2-9 with adult. From 9-10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon at Stephens-Lee Community Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave. Advance registration required; go to

Holiday Cookie Contest – December 13

Utilize your baking skills to create the best holiday cookie in a friendly competition with prizes for the top three contestants. Complimentary hot chocolate and apple cider for spectators, too. Free and open to all ages. From 1-2:45 p.m. at Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, 285 Livingston St.

Ugly Sweater Party for Older Adults – December 16

Calling all adults ages 50 or better: Eat, drink, and be merry in the tackiest holiday sweater you can find. To participate in the gift exchange (not required), bring a new item wrapped or in a gift bag. Free. From 3-8 p.m. at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, 121 Shiloh Rd.

Meet and Greet with Santa – December 17

Write Santa a letter, stamp it with real wax, and hand deliver it to Santa. Free. From 1-3 p.m. at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, 121 Shiloh Rd.

For more details on any of these events, please visit