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Celebrating the Holidays in Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh is home to a season's worth of special holiday experiences for you and your family to enjoy. Check out this list of highlights, or visit our event calendar for an up-to-date collection of fun things to do Downtown this December and January.

Planning some at-home holiday festivities? Pick up all the necessary bubbly and brews from Downtown Raleigh wine/bottle shops.

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November 18th - January 15th, 2023

Come enjoy the thrill of ice skating in a winter wonderland created in the heart of Downtown Raleigh! THE RINK features a natural ice skating rink with stunning views of the Raleigh skyline. Activities and amenities include: fire pits, 20ft decorated Christmas Tree, Snack bar with hot cocoa, beer, wine and sweet treats, games and more. Tickets required.


Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree

The Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree stands tall and shines brightly in Lichtin Plaza outside the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts. Bring your family for a festive photo op or just marvel at the beauty of Downtown's official Christmas tree. Located at 2 E South St. Illuminated after dark!


Raleigh's Downtown Menorah Lighting

December 11th, 2023

Join Chabad Young Professionals in celebrating the festival of lights with a beautiful Menorah lighting ceremony, led by Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, at the Martin Marietta Center for Performing Arts in Downtown. ⁣No doubt, there will be plenty of warm drinks, fresh latkes and traditional donuts to go around!


GingerBuild Houses & Hops

December 15th, 2023

Decorate your own edible gingerbread house at this special 21+ holiday event at Marbles Kids Museum.


The Dessertery

November 17th - December 23rd, 2023

Indulge yourself in a family friendly holiday themed dessert café. The Dessertery features elaborate holiday decor, all you can eat sweets + hot cocoa, and live entertainment on select nights!


WRAL First Night Raleigh 

December 31st, 2023

Thousands of residents come together on New Year’s Eve for WRAL First Night Raleigh in the heart of downtown. The night is capped off at midnight with music on the outdoor Main Stage, the famous Raleigh Acorn Drop, and a spectacular fireworks show. Some portions of the event are ticketed.


Centro & Gallo Pelón’s New Year’s Eve Dance Party

December 31, 2023

Take part in traditional Colombian New Year’s traditions while eating and dancing the night away to popular, local Latin band Tumbao.


New Year's Eve at The Willard

December 31st, 2023

Ring in 2024 with spectacular views of the downtown Raleigh fireworks. The Willard Rooftop Lounge will host their third annual New Year’s Eve bash with a American-inspired buffet, two full cash bars, live music and dance floor with Peter Lamb & the Wolves, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight.


New Year's Eve at Young Hearts Distilling

December 31st, 2023

Celebrate NYE at Downtown Raleigh's only distillery, Young Hearts! Enjoy a vast selection of curated spirits made in house and multiple fresh farm to table food stations. They will be featuring live entertainment as well as an open dance floor on our mezzanine lounge.


New Year's Eve Party at Whiskey Kitchen

December 31st, 2023

Kick off the New Year with a night full of dancing, party favors, bubbly, and great memories! Dance the night away with all your friends to the hottest beats played by their talented DJs. Indulge in delicious food and sip on your favorite cocktails as they countdown to midnight.