Skip to Main Content

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.

Illuminate Art Walk

Downtown Raleigh comes to light again this year with Illuminate Art Walk presented by Wake Tech. Parts of Downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street and Glenwood South districts transform with large-scale, interactive and light-based art pieces that are unique and family-friendly. A highlight of this year's month-long event is Chimes presented by Opendoor, an internationally recognized art piece that has traveled globally. Chimes will take over half of City Plaza in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. Installations shine nightly from December 3 to January 7. The art walk is free to the public and self-guided.


THE RINK Presented by UNC Health

Come enjoy the thrill of ice skating in a winter wonderland created in the heart of downtown Raleigh! THE RINK presented by UNC Health 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. Visit the website for tickets and hours of operation. Nov 20 - Jan 1. 


Downtown Raleigh Menorah Lighting - Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:30pm

Celebrate Chanukah with a free Menorah lighting ceremony, led by Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts presented by Chabad Young Professionals. There will be warm drinks, fresh latkes, and traditional donuts for attendees to enjoy. 


Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree

The Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree stands tall and shines brightly in Lichtin Plaza outside the Duke Energy 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. 


Merry Moore Market

Raleigh Night Market is taking over Moore Square this holiday season for 4 weekends of holiday fun. Shop local from over 50 local vendors each night. Activities include holiday crafts for kids, Carol-oke, live music, visits with Santa and more! 11/19 and 11/20, 11/26 and 11/27, 12/3 and 12/4, 12/10 and 12/11.


WRAL First Night Raleigh - Dec 31, 2021

The day’s festivities fill venues from museum lobbies to church sanctuaries to street corners across more than 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh on December 31, offering entertainment for all ages. Festivities begin with the early afternoon Children’s Celebration. The Evening Celebration comes alive with performances in 30+ downtown Raleigh locations, featuring interactive art installations, drama, magic, music, comedy and dance. The night is capped off with music on the outdoor Main Stage, the famous Raleigh Acorn Drop, and a spectacular fireworks show.