Things to Do

Where to See the Best Raleigh Christmas Lights


There’s nothing like the twinkle of Raleigh Christmas lights to give the city an instant festive makeover! We’ve gone on a search to find the most decked out homes, neighborhoods and attractions that can be seen in and around the city. So grab your winter coats and your loved ones and hit the road for a grand tour of the best holiday lights around.


Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration

Watch downtown come to life in all its holiday splendor during the Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration on Dec. 2nd from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s celebration will feature a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, live entertainment, a 40-foot Snowzilla Slide, holiday refreshments, a Gingerbread House contest and many more fun activities. The night will culminate with the mayor’s lighting of the 35-foot spruce tree.


46th Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour

Want your holiday lights served with a side of history? For 46 years and counting, homeowners in the Historic Oakwood neighborhood have opened up their homes for two days to visitors during the Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour. Visit Dec. 9th-10th, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to see the only intact 19th-century neighborhood in Raleigh and bask in the beautiful candlelight and holiday displays. Docents will be on site to tell the rich history of each property.


North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

Just minutes from Raleigh, Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre will be transformed into a magnificent setting for the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival Nov. 24th to Jan. 14th. Walk through more than 20 stunning, silk light displays and lanterns that have been featured around the world. Sip on holiday drinks and snack on tasty treats as you shop artisan crafts and watch Chinese performers dance, foot juggle and show off their Kung Fu skills. Make sure to snap a selfie in front of the spectacular Chinese Dragon on Symphony Lake!


State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the State Capitol and Governor Roy Cooper for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 6th at 5 p.m.. Meet friends and family in front of the North Carolina State Capitol for fun holiday activities and live music. Museums in the area will also be remaining open for extended hours.


Holiday Lights Tour Aboard the Great Raleigh Trolley

Want to see the best holiday light displays in Raleigh while staying warm and cozy? Get your tickets to the Holiday Lights Tour and get ready to sing along to holiday-themed songs while you enjoy two hours of spectacular holiday lights and Christmas displays. There’s a family-friendly tour as well as an adults-only tour later at night if you’re up for a festive party atmosphere. Of course, seasonal costumes are welcomed! The adults-only tour includes a free ABSOLUT seasonal shooter at Isaac Hunter’s Tavern and priority entrance into the best dance club in Raleigh. Tours are available Nov. 24th to Dec. 30th.


Lights on the Neuse Christmas Hayride

Leave the city behind for some rustic holiday charm at the Boyette Family Farm’s Christmas Hayride! Lights on the Neuse is a one-mile long, 30-minute, old-time tractor-pulled hayride through an extravagant lights display. From Nov. 24th to Dec. 24th, fifteen spectacular illuminated holiday scenes, made of more than a million individual lights, capture the special magic of the season. The hayride starts at “Santa’s Workshop” and ends at the “Nativity Scene,” with festive music playing throughout to keep your spirits high.


Lake Myra Christmas Lights

The Best Christmas Lights in Raleigh


Head to Lake Myra Christmas Lights at 10 S. Cypress St. in Wendell for a spectacular, drive-in style light show. The Williams family annually assembles more than 400,000 total lights, synced to holiday music to bring cheer to the community. Park or stand to watch the 30-to-45-minute show from the viewing area in front of the display. This year’s light show takes place every night Nov. 22 through Dec. 31st.


We wish you the happiest of holidays, and we hope you enjoy all of the beautiful Raleigh Christmas lights! We hope you’ll stop by Park Central Apartments for a look at the first high-rise apartment community in the Midtown District of North Hills. Visit Park Central online at to schedule a tour or call us directly at (800) 528-1282.


Hope to see you soon!


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