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A Guide to Some of the Local Favorites
In Chapel Hill / Durham / NC Triangle

 Holiday Lights in Carolina!


* Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights (near Raleigh, NC)

* Lights on the Neuse (Clayton, NC)
* Tanglewood Festival of Lights (Clemmons, NC)
* Meadow Lights (Benson, NC)


Also Candelight /Holiday Events at Historic NC sites:
Duke Homestead
* Historic Hillsborough by Candlelight,
* Historic Old Salem
(scroll down for 2016 details/dates)



     Come on out and enjoy the spactacular lights, lights, lights! Thousands and millions of brilliant lights, (but without the noise, noise, noise, so even the grinchiest of grinches can’t help but be delighted). Read below for details.


Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms

Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights – Youngsville, NC (near Raleigh)

Nov. 24th- Dec. 31, 2016
OPEN 7 Nights a Week!
Sun-Thurs. 5pm to 9pm
Fri & Sat 4pm-10pm

     During the annual Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights, the local farm that is legendary for its fall pumpkin festival and farm fun year-round (birthday parties, picnics, events all year, train rides, super-slide, farm animals) is transformed into a magical celebration of Hometown Christmas Cheer and a huge holiday lights display!

The Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms features:


  • Festival of Lights
    (Covered wagon hayride through the Festival of Lights)
  • Pictures with Santa
  • Bonfires
  • Smores/Hot Chocolate/Apple Cider
    for sale at the Apple House Concession
  • Great Food at their Chuckwagon Grill
  • Old Fashioned Candy Store
  • Train Rides - on a REAL Choo Choo Train!
  • HUGE Jumping Pillow
  • Barrel Racers
  • Giant Slide

  •   Even the Hill Ridge hay wagons and their train have been decked out with beautiful Christmas lights! Celebrate the holidays with your friends and family at Hill Ridge Farms! For ticket info, days/hours, visit

    Hill Ridge Farms has PLENTY of parking, a charming country store and indoor restaurant/concessions, beautiful indoor facilities/bathrooms, pathed walkways / wheelchair accessible.


    Hill Ridge Farms

    703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville, NC 27596
    (919) 556-1771

    Lights on the Neuse – Clayton, NC

         The Boyette Family Farms offers this fun holiday lights event every year, featuring a one-mile long, old-fashioned tractor-pulled Christmas Hayride through a magical lights display extravaganza, and a visit to the Christmas Barn and 3D Christmas house. Santa's Sweet Shoppe offers old-fashioned Christmas candy, hot chocolate, coffee, kettle corn and Smores kits that you purchase and cook yourself at the picnic area. You can also have photos taken with Santa. Tickets include the Christmas Lights Hayride and admission into the Christmas Barn and 3D Christmas House. Visit the website for ticket info/hours.  Open weekends November 23 – December 24, and on a few weekdays. Visit  for complete schedule.)

    Lights on the Neuse
    1620 Loop Rd., Clayton, NC.
    (919) 553-0016.

    Tanglewood Festival of Lights – Clemmons, NC

         Recognized as one of the top 20 holiday lights displays in the Southeast United States, and one of the 100 best in North America, Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights features a spectacular variety of whimsical and charming displays, with over a million individual lights! The Tanglewood lights display is over four miles long, with more than 100 displays, from horses galloping over a field, to a fireworks display in synchronized holiday lights, to a pirate ship blasting cannon balls into the water and making a lighted-display splash … The choreography of lights and the variety of scenery and animation is amazing. (For added cheer, tune your radio to 99.5 WMAG to hear festive holiday music for as you drive through the Festival of Lights.) You can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride to view the lights from the comfort of a carriage drawn by a Percheron horse.

         The Tanglewood Gift Shop in the Red Barn offers holiday crafts and woodwork made by local artisans and food, coffee and hot chocolate. The Red Barn offers marshmallows for roasting over the bonfire, and photos with Santa are available. The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is open nightly November 17 - January 1, from 6pm - 11pm. Admission is per vehicle. (For shorter wait times, visit on weekdays rather than weekends.) Tanglewood Park is located ten minutes west of Winston-Salem, right off I-40 in Clemmons, NC, at
    4201 Manor House Circle, Clemmons, NC 27012.

    Visit Historic Old Salem - All Dressed Up for the Holidays

         When you go to see the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, plan an afternoon visit to nearby Old Salem and tour the beautiful historic town, with townsfolk dressed up as the Moravian settlers would have dressed and lived almost 250 years ago.  Stop by the Winkler Bakery (circa 1800) for fresh-baked bread and treats (still baked in a wood-fired stove just as they were baked in Old Salem centuries ago).  When dusk falls, head over to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights for a joyful holiday tradition!

    Meadow Lights – Benson, NC

         A little over an hour’s drive from Chapel Hill, Meadow Lights is the oldest and one of the largest (more than 30 acres) Christmas light show in eastern North Carolina, lighting up the holidays in Carolina for more than 40 years!  Meadow Lights operates three trains through acres of their lights displays, featuring a giant rocking horse as it rocks back and forth; tin soldiers marching in formation; a race car getting ready to zoom … and countless more dazzling scenes, all lit up in sparkling, choreographed lights.

    ***NOTE: Be sure to GO EARLY -- Repeat: BE SURE TO GO EARLY!
    We recommend arriving a little before Meadow Lights opens (for example, if they're opening at 5pm, get there a little before 5pm, park, get your train tickets and enjoy the show as it gets dark. Get in line for the train EARLY.) This way you can avoid substantial traffic backing up as more cars arrive looking for parking spaces in the early evening.

         Meadow Lights is open for the 2016 holiday season every night from November 20 - December 31. Admission is free, but bring spending money for the train ride ($2.00) and the candy shop.

    Meadow Lights
    4546 Godwin Lake Road, Benson, NC 27504.
    (919) 669-5969.

    More Holiday Lights in Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough / NC Triangle

    What is it about the unabashedly over-the-top displays of holiday lights that bring such joyful anticipation? In our neck of the North Carolina woods, a multitude of holiday lights brighten the winter nights, bringing back that feeling of childhood excitement, awe and happiness. Cheerful garlands of lights and shooting stars festoon the streets of downtown Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham and the NC Triangle.


    Many local neighborhoods celebrate the holiday season with a riot of light displays on front lawns. It is great fun to drive around the neighborhoods to gaze at the creative bursts of light displays. For years, in Carrboro there was a classic antique flat bed truck, dressed up with lights as Rudolph (with a shiny red nose on the hood of the truck and antlers made of twigs wrapped with twinkling lights.) (Anybody have a picture? Email it to us and we'll post it here!)


         On Old 86 in Hillsborough (a few homes away from Hampton Pointe/Hillsborough Walmart shopping center) there is an (annual) amazing light display (private home) featuring a plethora of lit-up, animated Santas. There are Santas on a ferris wheel going round and round, a Santa keeping watch over a nativity scene, Santas on the roof, Santas everywhere!  (Note: There is no room to pull over on Old 86 to get a better look, we just slow down and take a gander, so we haven’t counted how many Santas take part in this cheerful holiday display.)
    It is a joy to behold! 


         Historic Hillsborough is just up the road, where the Annual Hillsborough Candlelight Home Tour takes place each year in early December.
    (Sat. December 10, 2016, 3pm - 8pm)


         Another favorite holiday candlelight celebration is the 1870 Christmas by Candlelight at the Duke Homestead, with evening tours for the whole family, featuring period decorations, caroling, and hot apple cider.
    Fri. Dec. 2 and 9, 2016
    6:45pm - 9:15pm
    (Last tour leaves at 9:15pm)
    Purchase tickets for specific tour times on the website - tours leave every 15 minutes.
    Tickets: $6 (+ tax) adults, $3 (+ tax) children
    Purchase tour tickets (schedule for specific times, every 15 minutes).



         We also have within an easy drive several dazzling light displays,
    including the Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights
    (open Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, 2016 - 7 nights a week!)
    * the Tanglewood Festival of Lights,
    * Lights on the Neuse,
    * Meadow Lights,
    festive neighborhood light displays,
    and holiday-themed candlelight tours.
     (Scroll up for NC Triangle Holiday Lights details.)

    Sponsor Messages:

    Carolina Renaissance Festival 2021
    Saturdays & Sundays
    Oct. 2 - Nov. 21, 2021


    Morehead Planetarium
    Morehead Planetarium
    Afterschool, Birthday Parties,
    Summer Science Camps,
    Planetarium Shows and Events

    The Animal Hospital
    112 W Main St, Carrboro

    1870 Farm
    1870 Farm Chapel Hill logo
    * Summer Camps
    * Farm Preschool & Kindergarten
    * Birthday Parties * Gemstone Mining
    * Meet the Farm Animals
    1870 Farm

    Spence's Farm
    Spence's Farm
    After School, Summer Camps,
    Birthday Parties, lots more!

    Immersion Island Summer Camp
    Foreign Language Resources
    and Summer Camps
    Immersion Island

    Chill Kids Family Magazine
    ChillKids Monthly Print Magazine

    LOST Chapel Hill Dog BUTTONS Bernese Mountain Dog

    Lost in Chapel Hill;
    sighted numerous times
    in Durham; Near Hwy 70
    Please Call or Text Owner
    If you see her please try to snap a photo!
    BUTTONS Lost Dog - Please Look Out for Her & Call!
    LOST DOG: Buttons of Chapel Hill
    * 70 lb Bernese Mountain Dog "Buttons"
    Black with white & brown markings
    * Wearing Pink/Black collar with tags
    *Friendly but nervous - please don't chase
    *Info available on
    *Seen in Chapel Hill AND Durham
    * EVERY SIGHTING HELPS! Thank you!


    DoorDash Chapel Hill Durham Restaurant Delivery
    Chapel Hill / Durham / NC Triangle
    Restaurants DELIVERY to Your Door
    (No Delivery Fee on First Order)


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