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Holiday Happenings

This season just flies by, doesn't it? And you have every intention of not getting bogged down with less important things so you can focus on family and such.. but you also have to worry about the housework and trying to get ahead at the office and the errands and planning the dinners and attending the parties

and ALL THE THINGS.

Now take a deep breath. I have already done the time consuming work for you!

I found all the awesome holiday happenings local to Surf City, Hampstead, and Topsail area. I have listed them below. Now, you just have to select which ones you want to do and add them to your calendar. I included what the event is, the location, the time, and the cost!

It's always easier to make room for the family fun things once they are on the calendar.

So read!

Then schedule!

Then relax (or make dinner, send that email, rush to that meet... whatever you need to do).

Here we go...

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24

Santa Clause in Mayfaire

WHAT:

Santa Arrives at Mayfaire in Wilmington is available for visits and photos. Activities for kids also included.

WHEN: Monday - Saturday 11:00am - 2:00pm, 3:00pm - 7:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 5:00pm

WHERE: 830 Inspiration Drive Next to Ulta in Mayfaire

COST: $24.99+

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

WHAT:

A tour through the always fun, educational, and interesting, Fort Fisher Aquarium. It's sprinkled with trees and holiday decor, and of course all the sea creatures are in festive cheer (no?).

WHEN:

Nov 20 - Dec 31

9:00am - 5:00pm

WHERE:

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher 900 Loggerhead Road Kure Beach, NC 28449

COST:

$10.95 - $11.95 per person

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Date Night at Hullabaloo

WHAT: Date night, girls night out, or just some relaxing quiet time. No need to feel guilty about ditching the kddos because they will be busy having fun with other kids their age and some of the best childcare staff around. Pizza and juice are included.

WHEN:

5:30pm - 8:30pm

WHERE:

Hullabaloo

16747 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

$18 per child

$13 per child for annual members

$5 reservation deposit required (call or go online)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Topsail Island Holiday Boat Flotilla

WHAT:

It's like driving around looking at Christmas lights, except you stand still and the Christmas lights float past you. On boats. It's a spectacular experience that you must enjoy if you even dare to consider yourself a local or a beach lover. It's an annual festivity and marks the start of the Christmas season if you wait until after Thanksgiving.

WHEN:

5:30pm (just after the sun goes down)

WHERE:

Intracoastal Waterway. Starts at Surf City at the Channel Bend development and continues all the way past the south end of Topsail Beach. Where can you view it the best? Private docks. Soundside beaches. Assembly Building. You will miss any views if you try to view it from Soundside Park, so don't even waste time there.

COST:

Free

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Lake Linda's Christmas Lights

WHAT:

Musical, animated light show behind Bojangles on Highway 17 between Hampstead and Surf City. It's a longer drive than you might think with TONS of lights displays. Kids and adults are big fans of this incredible display. The whole thing is put together by locals who just have tons of Christmas spirit and love to spread their cheer. If you turn your radio to 89.5 FM, you'll be able to here the music for the lights. It's also a location to drop of Toys for Tots and rumor has it that Santa loves the display so much that he frequently makes an appearance!

WHEN:

After dark, November 24 through - ? (Christmas at least, but maybe until the New Year)

WHERE: 218 Old House Road, Hampstead NC 28443

Behind the Bojangles in Hampstead

COST:

Free (but consider donating a toy for Toys 4 Tots)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Surf City Summer Market Black Friday Event

WHAT:

Local vendors selling all the cool things you wish you were skilled enough to make, or had the time to even try to make. Good thing these crafty folks are willing to share their talents for a small fee! You don't want to miss these hand crafted gifts. Santa will also be around for photos. Toys for Tots drop off location.

WHEN:

10:00am - 3:00pm

WHERE: Cedar on the Green

17077 Hwy 17

Hampstead

COST:

Free (but consider donating a toy for Toys 4 Tots)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Topsail Beach Tree Lighting

WHAT:

Christmas tree lighting. There might not be that much to it, but it's just one of those things that your kids will always remember doing. Bundle up for the super mild temperatures and pretend it's snowing. Put hot cocoa in the mug and come out for a good ol' American tradition.

WHEN:

6:00pm

WHERE:

Topsail Beach

820 S. Anderson Blvd.

COST:

Free

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 26

Kris Kringle Christmas Craft Show

WHAT:

Local arts and crafts for unique gifts, supporting small businesses and locals with talent.

WHEN:

9:30am - 4:30pm

WHERE:

Topsail Beach Assembly Building

720 Channel Boulevard

Topsail Beach

COST:

Free

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3

The Santaland Diaries

WHAT:

Panache Theatrical Productions brings The Santaland Diaries back home to Level 5, N. Front Theatre (formerly City Stage) in downtown Wilmington, NC. This hilarious and not politically correct look at the holidays features Robb Mann as Crumpet and The Not Ready for Christmas Carolers. The story, written by David Sedaris and adapted by Joe Mantello, follows a disgruntled elf named Crumpet and his misadventures working for the Macy's Santaland. Please note: The Sunday show begins at 3pm.

WHEN:

Thurs - Sat 8:00pm

Sunday 3:00pm

WHERE:

N. Front Theatre 21 North Front Street Wilmington

COST:

$15

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3

Every Christmas Story Ever Told

WHAT:

Big Dawg Productions presents Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) at Cape Fear Playhouse in Wilmington. Instead of performing Dickens' holiday classic for the billionth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told -- plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. Please note: The Sunday performance is a matinee beginning at 3pm.

WHEN:

Thurs - Sat 8:00pm

Sunday 3:00pm

WHERE:

Cape Fear Playhouse 613 Castle Street Wilmington, NC 28401

COST:

$15.00 - $22.00

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

Ballet for Young Audiences

WHAT:

Ballet for Young Audiences at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington, NC, features 60-minute narrated versions of classic tales. Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

WHEN:

Thursday (Sleeping Beauty) 7pm

Friday (The Nutcracker) 4 and 7pm

Saturday (The Nutcracker) 10am

WHERE:

Thalian Hall 310 Chestnut Street Wilmington, NC 28401

COST:

$10.00 - $20.00

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

Santa's Work Shop

WHAT:

Spend the morning with Santa Clause! Your little cutie pies can take pictures with the man in red himeself, there will be fun holiday crafts that you will treasure forever, and a really neat storyteller who will be weaving tales about pirates and elves and dinosaurs. It's happening at Hullabaloo, which is an incredible indoor play space for little kids, right here in Hampstead!

WHEN:

9:00am-11:00am

WHERE:

Hullabaloo

16747 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

$5 if you preorder the tickets

$8 at the door

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2​

Drop in Care at Hullabaloo

WHAT:

Drop off your littles to play at Hullabaloo while you go shopping, prepare for a party, or spend quality time with your spouse or friend. You must make a reservation by Friday.

WHEN:

Every weekend, now through December 23

Saturdays 9-5

Sundays 1-5

WHERE:

Hullabaloo

16747 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

$9/hour

$15/child +1 sibling

$19/child +2 siblings

$23/child +3 siblings

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

A Merry Little Christmas Festival

WHAT:

Pretty Christmas decorations, candle light tours through the manor house, and an arts and crafts show. There's also a letter writing station and a bonfire for yummy smores.

WHEN:

Fridays & Saturdays

December 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16

5-9pm

COST:

$5 for general admission

$15 for the candlelight tour

$2 for the wagon rides

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

Jingle Bell Ball

WHAT:

Fancy pants fun time! Dress up in the gorgeous dud you wish you could wear more and support a great cause. The Jingle Bell Ball supports the Historical Society of Topsail Island. You'll enjoy a catered meal and dancing. There's also a cash bar.

WHEN:

6:30pm

WHERE:

Topsail Island Assembly Building,

720 Channel Blvd.

COST:

$45 per ticket

Call Michael Nelson for more information and to purchase tickets: 910-547-8312

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

Topsail Beach Christmas Parade

WHAT:

Floats featuring local things with a big dose of holiday cheer. Very small town America. Very fun. Very festive.

WHEN:

11:00am

WHERE:

The parade starts at Emma Anderson Memorial Church and goes through the downtown area. It then turns right onto Davis Ave and ends in front of the Assembly Building.

COST:

Free

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8

Date Night at Hullabaloo

WHAT: Date night, girls night out, or just some relaxing quiet time. No need to feel guilty about ditching the kddos because they will be busy having fun with other kids their age and some of the best childcare staff around. Pizza and juice are included.

WHEN:

5:30pm - 8:30pm

WHERE:

Hullabaloo

16747 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

$18 per child

$13 per child for annual members

$5 reservation deposit required (call or go online)

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8-9

Sneads Ferry Winterfest

WHAT:

Christmas tree lighting, breakfast with Santa, plus arts and crafts. There will also be food and entertainment at the community building on Peru Road.

WHEN:

6-7 maybe. Their website domain wasn't renewed but it is happening again.

WHERE:

Community Road on Peru Road

COST:

Free

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9

Burgaw Christmas Parade

WHAT:

Super fun parade that includes floats, cars, musicians, bands, and so much holiday spirit.

WHEN:

6:00pm

WHERE:

Downtown Burgaw

COST:

Free

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9

Breakfast With Santa

WHAT:

Breakfast with the jolly man himself! Pancakes and sausage. Plus a vendor craft fair with locals and a raffle. For every 5 non-perishable items donated, you get an extra raffle ticket. Don't forget to take a photo with Santa and the Mrs.

WHEN:

8:00am - 12:00pm

WHERE:

Surf City Community Center

COST:

$5 for the meal

$3 general admission

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14

Historical Society Luncheon

WHAT:

Lunch and a speaker. Reservations are required. Email hstiluncheons@gmail.com. For more info.

WHEN:

11:30am.

WHERE:

Missiles and More Museum

COST:

$13

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15

A Night in Bethlehem

WHAT:

This historically minded activity is a great event for faith based families who want to focus on the birth of Jesus this Christmas. The idea is to travel back in time to ancient Bethlehem. You will get to see, smell, and taste what daily life was like when Jesus was born.

WHEN:

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Raindate: December 16

WHERE:

Hampstead United Methodist Church

15395 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

Free

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22

Date Night at Hullabaloo

WHAT: Date night, girls night out, or just some relaxing quiet time. No need to feel guilty about ditching the kddos because they will be busy having fun with other kids their age and some of the best childcare staff around. Pizza and juice are included.

WHEN:

5:30pm - 8:30pm

WHERE:

Hullabaloo

16747 US Highway 17 N

Hampstead

COST:

$18 per child

$13 per child for annual members

$5 reservation deposit required (call or go online)

MONDAY, JANUARY 1

Dolphin Dip

WHAT:

Well obviously, it's chip dip for dolphins. Or dolphin flavored dip? Or maybe it's just the where everyone gets crazy for a few minutes and thinks they have the cold water tolerance of a dolphin... Yep! That's the one!

Seriously, the dolphin dip is super fun. There are usually thousands of people who come. You dress up in crazy costumes and run your warm-blooded hinny into the cold ocean for a super quick dip. Wash off the old year and embrace the new!

WHEN:

Arrive at 11:00am

Swim at 12:00pm

WHERE:

Roland Avenue Beach Access in Surf City

COST:

Free. Buuuut... The proceeds of the t-shirt sales go to Share the Table, a local organization that feeds the hungry.

There ya have it folks!

I included a few fun Wilmington events, but if you are searching for Wilmington specific holiday fun, the website What's On Wilmington is an excellent resource for that. There's nothing like that for the Topsail area, so reference this list for happenings local to Hampstead/Topsail/Surf City/Sneads Ferry area.

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