Searching for Serendipity in Beautiful North Carolina
Sunset on Cape Fear River
Welcome to ncgypsy.com, a travel sampler featuring things to do and see in North Carolina. The categories above are loaded with info about various cities and sites throughout the state so please take your time perusing the pages. Your feedback is always welcome! Feel free to drop a line with comments, suggestions, or just to say hello via the Contact link at top. Also use the links upper right at the top to follow ncgypsy.com on Twitter and to 'Like' us on Facebook.
While you're here, be sure to check out the Festival and Events tab at top. There you'll find a list of links to statewide listings of events for the current week. Use that section to plan your weekend. Thanks for visiting ncgypsy.com - enjoy!
Enjoy Special Holiday Activities and Events Throughout the State in December
RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources offers a bounty of holiday celebrations this season. Families will find festive fun to fit any budget at art and history museums, historic sites and from the North Carolina Symphony. Events free unless fee is indicated. Please visit www.ncculture.com for more information.
Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, Dec. 8. Winter on the Western Frontier. 10 a.m. See camp life and how soldiers in 1755 labored through the harsh winter constructing a fort. Musket and cannon firing demonstrations. 438 Fort Dobbs Road, Statesville. Free.
Mountain Gateway Museum, Christmas Nativity. Dec. 13 and 14. Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The grounds will be luminary lit as the museum hosts the community live Nativity scene on Mauney Field. Plans include sheep and other animals, depending on weather and animal temperament. Refreshments will be served in the museum. 501 S. Water St., Old Fort. Free.
President James K. Polk Historic Site, Dec. 14. Christmas in Mecklenburg County with the Polks. 11 a.m. Learn about the food and customs of Christmas 1902! Buildings will be decorated in 19th century style. 12031 Lancaster Highway, Pineville. Free.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Dec. 14. Victorian Candlelight Christmas. 4 p.m. See Christmas traditions from the Victorian Era, and how they remain part of celebrations today. Decorations to the hilt, live music and Santa. Plus, make a Victorian ornament to keep. 52 N. Market St., Asheville. Admission information at http://www.nchistoricsites.org/wolfe.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Dec. 21. Christmas on the Mountain with Sheila Kay Adams. 6 and 7:30 p.m. Enjoy Appalachian storytelling, banjo music and song from prize winning performer Sheila Kay Adams. 52 N. Market St., Asheville. Admission information at http://www.nchistoricsites.org/wolfe.
North Carolina Transportation Museum, Santa Train, Dec. 14, Dec, 21. 10 a.m. Children and their parents make a daytime trip to the roundhouse shop as Ol' Saint Nick hands out candy canes and oranges - an old railroad Christmas tradition. Make a take-home craft and more. 411 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. Admission information at http://www.nctrans.org.
N.C. Transportation Museum, Cookies & Cocoa with Santa. Dec. 14, 20, 21. 10 a.m. Children will hear a Christmas story aboard the train and before meeting Santa Claus in the Roundhouse. Cookies and cocoa will be served and children can make a craft and send a postcard to Santa. 411 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. Admission information at http://www.nctrans.org/.
Duke Homestead, Dec. 13. Christmas by Candlelight. 7:30 p.m. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during evening tours of Duke Homestead and enjoy period decorations, caroling, dancing and more. 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham. Free.
Museum of the Cape Fear, Dec. 8. Holiday Jubilee. 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. This annual holiday event features concerts by the local group, Coventry Carolers. Victorian Christmas Stories, cooking on the Poe House stove, a Victorian Santa and the chance to weave a Christmas bracelet or bookmark will add to a joyous holiday season. 801 Arsenal Ave., Fayetteville. Free.
Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, Dec. 8. Christmas Open House at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum. 1 p.m. Celebrate the season with choirs, children's crafts, visits with Santa, refreshments and holiday family fun. 6136 Burlington Road, Gibsonville. Free.
Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, Children's Activities at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum. Dec. 10 to 21. 9 a.m. Readings of Christmas favorites, "Elf on a Shelf"and "How the Grinch StoleChristmas." Crafts available upon request. Call 336-449-4846 to make reservations. 6136 Burlington Road Gibsonville. Free.
State Capitol, Dec. 12. State Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Festival. 5 p.m. Luminaries and musical performances will launch the holiday season on the State Capitol grounds as the governor and first lady light the state Christmas tree. The Junior Woman's Club of Raleigh will host a festival with music and children's activities on Union Square, and also available in museums and on Bicentennial Plaza. One E. Edenton Street, Raleigh. Free.
State Capitol, Dec. 12-14. Holiday Open House. 10 a.m. The gaily decorated State Capitol will host performing groups sharing concerts of holiday music during the open house. One E. Edenton Street, Raleigh. Free.
N.C. Museum of History, Dec. 12. Capitol Tree Lighting. 5 p.m. Make a paper angel chain at the craft table at the museum until 7:30 p.m, before the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Also take advantage of $5 admissions that night for The Tsars' Cabinet and Windows into Heaven exhibits. Ages six and under free to the exhibits. Program free.
Alamance Battleground, Dec. 14. A Gingerbread Christmas. 11 a.m. Learn about the seasonal uses of gingerbread and enjoy light refreshments, including hot, spiced cider. 5803 South N.C. 62, Burlington. Free, but donations are welcome.
House in the Horseshoe, Dec. 14. Colonial Christmas at House in the Horseshoe. 11 a.m. Visit the decorated Alston House for a wonderful spread of food, apple cider and refreshments to the sound of period music. Musket and cannon demonstrations also. 288 Alston House Road, Sanford. Free.
Bennett Place, Dec. 14 and 15. Christmas in the Carolinas During the Civil War. 10 a.m. A traditional 19th century Christmas with decorations, caroling, cooking, games and a visit by Ole St. Nick will be shared by civilians and soldiers. 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham. Free.
N.C. Museum of Art., Dec. 15. Holiday Concert featuring the Raleigh Flute Choir. The annual performance by the Raleigh Flute Choir beautifully blends the entire flute family, piccolo to contrabass. Enjoy classic holiday tunes and pieces selected to appeal to the entire family. East Building Auditorium, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh. Admission information at http://www.ncartmuseum.org.
Duke Homestead, Dec. 15. Family Christmas Festival. 1 p.m. A perfect Christmas event for families with young children. Spend the afternoon celebrating at Duke Homestead. 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham. Free.
Tryon Palace, Through Jan 5. Seasons of Delight. Enjoy the changing drama of the four seasons during daily tours of the palace and gardens from wheat and fall fruits, winter hoarfrost, spring fantasia to fresh fruits and greens in and out of the palace and historic homes. 610 Pollock St., New Bern. Admission information:
Historic Bath, Dec. 8. Christmas Open House. Noon. Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmases past with decorated Colonial and 19th century buildings and live music on harpsichord and recorder, as well as fresh pressed apple juice and hearth baked gingerbread. 297 Carteret St., Bath. Free.
N. C. Symphony, Dec. 10. Holiday Pops in New Bern. 7 p.m. We made the list, checked it twice. Holiday Pops is oh-so-nice! Don't miss the sure to sell out concert. Enjoy favorites such as "Silver Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more. "Yule" be glad you did! New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 S. Front St., New Bern. Admission information at www.ncsymphony.org.
Fort Fisher, Dec. 10. Holiday Open House. 10 a.m. Enjoy seasonal refreshments, decorations and entertainment throughout the day, all of which are sure to delight. 610 Fort Fisher Blvd. South, Kure Beach. Free.
N.C. Symphony, Dec. 11. Holiday Pops in Tarboro. 8 p.m. Holiday Pops is oh-so-nice when the N.C. Symphony comes to town! Hear favorites such as "Silver Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more. Keihin Auditorium, Edgecombe Community College, 2009 W. Wilson St., Tarboro. Admission information at www.ncsymphony.org.
Historic Halifax, Dec. 12. Holiday Lantern Tour. 6 p.m. Enjoy a lantern-lit tour of two historic buildings decorated in the style of two centuries ago. Visit the 1760 Owens House and the Tap Room tavern. Refreshments in the tap room are $15 and space is limited. Proceeds benefit the historic site. Information at (252) 583-7191. 25 St. David St., Halifax. Free.
N. C. Symphony, Dec. 12. Holiday Pops in Jacksonville. 7 p.m. Holiday Pops is oh-so-nice when the N.C. Symphony comes to town! Hear favorites such as "Silver Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more. "Yule" be glad you did! 365 Commons Dr. S, Jacksonville. Admission information at www.ncsymphony.org.
Historic Edenton, Dec. 13. Carolina in the 1767 Courthouse. Dec. 13 and Dec. 14. 6 p.m. Join in an evening of community Carolina at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse on East King Street. Free.
Museum of the Albemarle, Dec. 13. Jingle Bells are Rocking. 10 a.m. For ages 3-5 with adult. Preschoolers will decorate houses with adult supervision from 10 to 11 a.m. and learn some architectural terms and the history of gingerbread at Christmas. $22 per house. Register at (252) 335-1453. Supply fee.
Museum of the Albemarle, Dec. 13. Gingerbread Workshop. Children of All Ages. 3:30 p.m. Children from aged one to 100 can decorate houses from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and learn some architectural terms and the history of gingerbread at Christmas. $22 per house. Register at (252) 335-1453. Supply fee.
CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, Dec. 14. Deck the Halls - Christmas Open House. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join our costumed interpreters in decking the halls in traditions of Christmas past. Visit with Santa and learn about Christmas Traditions during the Civil War. Light refreshments provided. 100 N. Queen St., Kinston. Free.
Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, Dec. 15. An 18th Century Christmas. 5 p.m. This seasonal program shares period life for Brunswick residents at Christmastime. Costumed interpreters will provide tours of St. Phillips Church and Historic Brunswick Town. Learn to craft a Moravian star, create stenciled ornaments and enjoy colonial era refreshments. 8884 St. Phillips Road SE, Winnabow. Free.
Tryon Palace, Dec. 14 and 21. A Candlelight Masquerade. 5 p.m. An 18th century candlelight celebration to delight visitors and transport them to a world of costumed performers, magicians, daring feats of agility, dancing, the palace by candlelight, and a fireworks finale. 610 Pollock St., New Bern. Admission information at www.tryonpalace.org.
N. C. Symphony, Dec. 17. Holiday Pops in Weldon. 7:30 p.m. We made the list, checked it twice. Holiday Pops is oh-so-nice! Don't miss the sure to sell out concert, Enjoy favorites such as "Silver Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more. "Yule" be glad you did! The Centre at Halifax Community College, 100 College Dr., Weldon. Admission information at www.ncsymphony.org.
N. C. Symphony, Dec. 19. Holiday Pops in Wilmington. 7 p.m. Holiday Pops is oh-so-nice when the N.C. Symphony comes to town! Hear favorites such as "Silver Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more. "Yule" be glad you did! Kenan Auditorium, UNC-Wilmington, 601 College Rd., Wilmington. Admission information at www.ncsymphony.org.
About the NC Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Photos courtesy of N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
Source: N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
Take Questions on the Affordable Care Act
Russia in Raleigh
RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Symphony, and Carolina Ballet have announced a special admission option called Russia in Raleigh. With Russia in Raleigh, you can take part in an exciting collaboration of discounts to numerous Russian-related events in the capital city. To take advantage of the deals, attend a Russian-related event at one site; you’ll then receive a discount (up to $20) on a second Russian-related event at another site.
Highlights of the events follow.
Russia in Raleigh presents a wonderful opportunity to learn about and enjoy various aspects of Russian culture. So, view two Russian exhibitions, enjoy a symphony performance, or watch a ballet; however, take advantage of the offerings before Wednesday, March 5. Check it out today!
Source: NC Museum of History
Holiday Open House at NC Governor's Mansion the 2nd Weekend of December
RALEIGH -- North Carolina's Executive Mansion-- the "people's house" -- will open its historic doors once again for the beloved annual Holiday Open House to be held Dec. 12 to 15.
Visitors are invited to tour the home, take in the decorations, and enjoy seasonal musical entertainment by local performing groups. The first floor of the Mansion will be decorated with North Carolina-grown Christmas trees, floral and mixed evergreen arrangements, a whimsical gingerbread house, and ornate mantle displays.
The hours of the Open House are: Thursday, Dec. 12, noon-8 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-4 p.m. Admission is free and reservations are not needed or accepted. Visitors should enter at the main gates on Blount Street.
The fine Victorian-style mansion, home to North Carolina governors since 1891, was once described by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as "the most beautiful governor's residence interior in America." Built from native materials, the Executive Mansion has been occupied by 29 governors' families.
The Executive Mansion is located at 200 North Blount St. in Raleigh. Gov. Pat McCrory is the 29th governor to live in the Mansion. He is the 74th governor of North Carolina since statehood.
Source: N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
McAdenville is Christmas Town USA
It's easy for Santa to find McAdenville, North Carolina. Each December, the entire town is aglow with holiday lights, a long time tradition that continues to delight residents and visitors. Click on the image above to learn more about Christmas Town USA.
Mary B. Regan Artist Residency Award Deadline Set for January 15, 2014
Out and About: The People of North Carolina
Nothing tells you more about a place than the people in it. I love watching others do their thing, especially when they're having a good time. Below are some of the many photos I have taken of people while out and about in NC. Some live and work here, others were just passing through, but all of them made my own experience even better. The slideshow runs automatically, move your cursor toward the top of a photo for buttons to pause, advance, or go back.