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Holiday lights

02 December . 2019

We wouldn't be Riverlights without the LIGHTS!

There’s tons of things we all love about the holiday season, but one of the season's most simple pleasures for many of us is the decor. The lights, garland, the elaborate trees, and gingerbread houses; it’s these things that remind each of us that life is beautiful when it’s a little tacky, when it glows, and when it smells like cedar. Wilmingtonians love to celebrate and the holidays are our favorite excuse to do so. From the historic area all the way to the beaches, there are endless destinations you can visit to see the best holiday decor in New Hanover County and we've rounded up some of our favorites: 

  • One of the most notable holiday havens in Wilmington for light displays is Airlie Gardens. Each year from December 6th to the 22nd, Airlie Gardens hosts Enchanted Airlie, an array of intricate light displays with music and a visit from Santa each evening. This 67-acre garden is decked out during the month of December for guests to walk through during the evening hours to immerse themselves in the spirit of the holidays.
  • Another prominent luminous experience for Wilmingtonians and holiday visitors to the city is the holiday flotilla at Carolina Beach on December 7th. Bundle up and head to the beach to watch boats intricately decked out in holiday lights coast down the Intracoastal Waterway as judges decide whose lights wowed the crowd the most. The flotilla is a beloved staple during the winter season that you can’t miss.
  • After you enjoy the flotilla, head a little further south to Fort Fisher where the Fort Fisher Aquarium is adorned each year with decorated trees displayed throughout the aquarium for the Cape Fear Festival of Trees from mid-November to the beginning of January. Learn about aquatic creatures while you enjoy some seasonal illumination to get you in the seaside holiday spirit.
  • If you prefer to see charming homes lit up while on the run, sign up for the Dashing Thru the Glow 5k, located here in the Riverlights community on December 7th from 4 to 9 p.m. https://its-go-time.com/riverlights-dashing-thru-the-glow/
  • Hot cocoa and Santa more your speed? Join us for our Ho Ho Homes for the Holidays event on December 14th at the Lakehouse from 2-5 pm.  Featuring Santa, cookies, hot chocolate and cocoa provided by Spill Coffee Co, gifts for all, and homes that will make your "nice list", there's never been a better time to explore Riverlights! Plus: our residents go all out, making us proud to be called RiverLIGHTS. 
  • And join us in Marina Village at Riverlights all December long to enjoy our holiday light display in Live Oak Commons, and our favorite year round light display: the sunset view from our iconic boardwalk. 
  • To find other holiday light displays throughout the Cape Fear region, visit: http://www.wilmingtonchristmaslights.com/map