Delight in the sights and sounds of over 265 years of historic holiday traditions in Winston-Salem. This holiday season, explore historic homes and museums by candlelight, witness an enchanting performance of UNCSA’s The Nutcracker, marvel at over a million twinkling lights at Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights, and nibble on traditional Moravian holiday treats including whisper-thin cookies and decadent sugar cake. Make Winston-Salem your “home away from home” this holiday season with special hotel getaway packages here.
Calendar of Top Holiday Happenings:
- 1-31: Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights
- 3: First Friday Gallery Hop
- 3-4: Sawtooth Artists Market
- 4: Candle Tea on the Square (Old Salem)
- 4: 38th Annual Mistletoe Run
- 4: Salem Saturdays at Christmas
- 4: Cobblestone Farmers Market
- 4: Christmas by Candlelight Tour at Körner’s Folly
- 4: Christmas at Bethabara
- 4: Drive-Thru Santa at Truist Stadium
- 4: Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade
- 5: Kernersville Christmas Parade
- 5: Spectacular Blooms with Santa
- 5: Drive-Thru Santa at Truist Stadium
- 5: Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
- 5: Graylyn Santa Experience
- 5: Dear Santa at Providence Manor House Inn
- 7: “Handel’s Messiah”
- 7: Drive-Thru Santa at Truist Stadium
- 10: Caroling Fridays at Reynolda
- 10: Holiday Swing & Salsa
- 10: Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
- 10-19: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
- 10-19: “The Nutcracker”
- 10-19: “Nativity According to the Gospels”
- 11: Salem Saturdays at Christmas
- 11: Cobblestone Farmers Market
- 11: Kernersville Yuletide
- 11: Christmas by Candlelight Tour at Körner’s Folly
- 11-12: Graylyn Santa Experience
- 12: Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
- 12: Drive-Thru Santa at Truist Stadium
- 17: Caroling Fridays at Reynolda
- 17: Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
- 18: Salem Saturdays at Christmas
- 18: Jingle Jog 5K Run/Walk
- 18: Cobblestone Farmers Market
- 18: Fox 8 / Old Dominion Holiday Concert
- 18: Christmas by Candlelight Tour at Körner’s Folly
- 18: Salem Night at Old Salem
- 18-19: Graylyn Santa Experience
- 19: Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
- 31: Running of the Lights
Beloved Annual Holiday Events
(listed in alphabetical order)
Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park
Through Jan. 1, 2022
Tanglewood Park’s rolling countryside transforms each holiday season into a shimmering Winter Wonderland with more than a million twinkling lights aglow. Entering its 30th season, the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park is open nightly from 6-11 p.m. through January 1. Attendees drive through the winding countryside route taking in the spectacular sights of more than 80 displays while listening to festive tunes with original compositions from the UNC School of the Arts students.
This popular holiday event can have wait times of up to 4 hours. We suggest visiting on a weeknight when crowds aren’t as large. For those wishing to experience FOL in a new light, make reservations for a horse-drawn carriage ride or tractor-pulled hayride by contacting Tanglewood Stables at 336.766.9540.
Location: Tanglewood Park, 4061 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, NC 27012
Festival Entrance Rates:
Entrance fees are paid at the gate. Cash or credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, and Discover only).
- Family Vehicle (Cars, Vans, Trucks): $20 cash; $23 credit card
- Commercial (Vans, Limos, Minibus): $45 cash; $48 credit card
- Motorcoaches & Buses: $115 cash; $118 credit card
Discounted admission nights occur on:
- Monday, Nov. 15
- Tuesday, Nov. 16
- Monday, Nov. 22
- Tuesday, Nov. 23
Family (cars, vans, trucks): $10 cash, $13 credit card
Commercial (vans, limos, mini-buses): $25 cash, $28 credit card
Motorcoaches and buses: $80 cash, $83 credit card
- *Due to safety concerns, riding through Festival of Lights in the back of a pick-up truck or in/on a trailer that is connected to a vehicle is prohibited.
A historic boutique hotel in Winston-Salem, Graylyn Estate elevates your holiday getaway with rich traditions, festive decor, family-friendly activities, and even butler service. Built in 1932 by the then-president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Bowman Gray, the 85-room estate sits on 55 acres on the pristine Reynolda Mile, just five minutes from downtown Winston-Salem.
In addition to holiday tunes filling the halls, flames crackling in fireplaces, wreaths adorning gates, garland winding staircases, and poinsettias all around, Graylyn decorates seven distinct Christmas trees that pay homage to a Gray family tradition. Today, it’s a favorite among Winston-Salem visitors and locals alike.
Santa Experience at Graylyn
December 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Schedule an unforgettable family portrait session gleaming of historic charm and holiday cheer at Graylyn. The Santa Experience includes festive family activities, photo opportunities with Santa himself, and a delicious holiday meal. For pricing and to make a reservation, click here.
Check out our special packages page for Graylyn and other hotel offerings here.
- Location: Graylyn, 1900 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC, 27106
Kernersville Museum Presents: A Hometown Christmas
Through Jan. 8, 2022
Conveniently located just 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem is the charming and historic Kernersville Museum. Their Hometown Christmas event promises to bring the magic of your favorite holiday movies to life right in the heart of downtown Kernersville. The popular synthetic ice rink returns this year along with a display of live decorated Christmas trees scattered throughout the property. Holiday photo op anyone?!
While here, be sure to pick up a live, fresh Christmas wreath for sale in the village. Perfect for your front door or mantel, the 12-inch wreaths are available for $25 and 16-inch wreaths are $35.
The Museum is open for tours Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The holiday village is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., starting November 26.
With three stories, seven levels, and 22 lavishly decorated rooms, Körner’s Folly is often called “the strangest home in America.” And every year at this time, it is also a beautiful showcase of historic holiday charm. Körner’s Folly is nestled just 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem and offers self-guided tours to see the Victorian-inspired trees, garlands, and decor starting November 26.
- Location: Körner’s Folly, 413 S. Main Street, Kernersville, NC 27284
NC Black Repertory Company presents “Nativity According to the Gospels”
Dec. 10-19, 2021
“Nativity According to the Gospels” tells the story of Christmas with an infusion of gospel music, dance, and spoken word. Directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Mabel P. Robinson with musical director, Tony Gillion, this Winston-Salem holiday classic is an invigorating theatrical performance, filled with vibrant costumes and Afro-centric dance. Tickets are available here.
- Location: HanesBrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101
- Performance Schedule:
- Friday, 12/10: 7 p.m.
- Saturday, 12/11: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Sunday, 12/12: 3 p.m.
- Friday, 12/17: 7 p.m.
- Saturday, 12/18: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Sunday, 12/19: 3 p.m.
- Tickets: $26 adults; $23 students; $18 children under $18
*Saturday matinee special: $21
Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Discover 18th and 19th-century Moravian traditions as you stroll the charming streets of Old Salem Museums & Gardens, lined with more than one hundred original historic buildings and structures, where the fragrances of pine bough decorations greet you. Be transported to 1766 as you are greeted by the friendly faces of costumed interpreters inviting you to tour and explore centuries-old buildings in the historic district. Savor our Moravian history one bite at a time by indulging in Moravian sugar cake, whisper-thin Moravian cookies, and freshly baked holiday treats. Pick up centuries-old recipes to share around your holiday table at Winkler Bakery.
Be sure to make your way to Heritage Bridge for the perfect photo opp. Dozens of Moravian stars hang from the bridge making it a beautiful sight during the day or in the evening hours. See the chronological listing of events below for more information about holiday happenings in Old Salem.
Salem Night: Softly the Night is Sleeping
Saturday, Dec. 18; 1 – 7 p.m.
Salem Night at Old Salem encourages visitors to slow down and reflect on family and friends. Enjoy this once-a-season special candlelight evening of open, warm, and inviting Moravian holiday experiences. From singing in the Single Brothers House to pianoforte concerts in the Boy’s School, and baking in the beehive ovens in the Miksch House and Winkler Bakery, the historic district is alive with a renewed presence of the holiday. Old Salem’s retail stores are open for any last-minute gifts you may need (or pick up something for yourself).
Salem Saturdays at Christmas
November 27 – December 18 (Saturdays only); 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Salem Saturdays at Christmas are great fun for the entire family. Stroll along Main Street, visit decorated historic buildings, and sit and chat by the fire with costumed interpreters. A Moravian Christmas in Winston-Salem is filled with hands-on demonstrations, live music, and carriage rides. A slight nip in the air, an abundance of pine and magnolia leaves, the smell of beeswax candles, decorated pyramid trees, and baked goods from the dome bake ovens at Winkler Bakery await this holiday season.
- Location: Old Salem, 900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Step back in time to 1917 for a festive visit to Reynolda, located only 10 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. The gardens, village, and house that comprise the historic estate of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds are decorated for the season beginning November 16 and offer a variety of experiences for the entire family. Celebrate the holiday season as the Reynolds family did with era-inspired decorations, performances, and activities.
Admire the multiple wreaths and ornamented Christmas trees, swags of fresh garlands, and hand-stamped Christmas cards, all researched from the family archives to reflect a true 1917 Christmas, just as the family experienced it. This year, an inspired collection of nearly 400 early 20th century figural glass ornaments will be on display. Historic holiday celebrations include guided house tours, caroling Fridays, special shopping days, holiday performances, overnight packages, and many hands-on family DIY activities. Learn more about select events below:
Through the Years: Christmas at Reynolda
Enjoy a specialized tour of the historic 1917 home of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds with an emphasis on the holiday traditions of the Reynolds and Babcock families that lived here through archival photographs and stories. Celebrate the season with a festive glimpse of Reynolda’s Christmases past.
- Dec. 5: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Dec. 10: 2-3 p.m.
- Dec. 12: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Dec. 17: 2-3 p.m.
- Dec. 19: 2-3 p.m.
The nostalgia of the season continues in the adjacent Reynolda Village and Gardens. Holiday events at Reynolda Gardens include wreath decorating workshops at The Barn in Reynolda Village and a holiday plant sale. Explore and admire the original architecture and history of each of the preserved farm buildings, which are now filled with unique boutique shops and restaurants. Warm up with a handcrafted made-to-order doughnut or hot chocolate in what used to be the main barn or savor a crepe at the old blacksmith’s shop. Enjoy stress-free holiday shopping in what used to be the cattle shed, smokehouse, and many other charming cottages and buildings throughout the Village.
Kick-off your holiday season with a stroll through historic Reynolda Village on November 19 from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy carolers, free carriage rides, and the beautiful decorations throughout the Village. Visit your favorite shops to get first dibs on their holiday selection, and treat yourself to delicious fare from our restaurants. Keep an eye out for a very special guest! (Hint: he always wears red.)
Admission to the gardens and the village is free year-round. Reserved tickets are required to tour Reynolda House Museum of American Art. View the full holiday program lineup at reynoldahouse.org/holidays.
- Location: Reynolda House, 2250 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Spectacular Holiday Blooms at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden
Through Jan. 2, 2022
Even in the height of winter, the gardens at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens (PJCBG) are in full bloom. Known for its spectacular tulip display each spring, PJCBG lights up with an equally stunning display of lit tulips during the holiday season.
Now in its third year, volunteers and garden staff have worked tirelessly to handcraft more than 6,500 blooms from recycled plastic bottles, each one radiating holiday cheer. Enjoy a stroll through the dazzling wisteria lights, get lost in the illuminated trees along the patio terrace, and find more surprises as you stroll to the Performance Stage.
Experience the evening light display every Thursday – Sunday evening (weather permitting) from 5:30 – 9 p.m., starting November 26.
* Spectacular Holiday Blooms will be closed Dec. 23-26, 2021; Dec. 31, 2021; and Jan. 1-2, 2022.
UNCSA presents “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 10-19, 2021
Experience the lush score, vivid staging, and magnificent performances that make UNC School of the Arts’ “The Nutcracker” a cherished holiday tradition in Winston-Salem. This student-run production features world-class guest artists, a full symphony Orchestra (largest in the Triad), and of course, the school’s highly acknowledged dance department. Purchase tickets here.
- Location: Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Performance Schedule:
- Friday, 12/10: 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, 12/11: noon and 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday, 12/12: 2 p.m.
- Wednesday, 12/15: 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, 12/16: 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, 12/17: 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, 12/18: noon and 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday, 12/19: 2 p.m.
- Tickets: Starting at $25