There is so much for which to be thankful around the Home of American Golf … and no better time of the year than Thanksgiving to count our many blessings. One thing for which we are particularly thankful is the wide array of holiday festivals and celebrations all over the Sandhills each and every year. Please make it a point to attend as many as possible, and invite friends and family to visit. Here are a few of our very favorites:
This will be the second year of Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Hoads Children’s Garden in the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. Bring your children for a visit and storytelling time, as well as face painting, a craft to make, reindeer food, and, of course, cookies and hot chocolate. Snap your own pictures with Santa in plenty of time for your Christmas cards. Event is free, but registration is required and space is limited. Please indicate how many children you are bringing and which visitation time you plan to attend.
This 23rd annual event at the Pinehurst Resort’s Carolina Hotel has expanded to an annual display of more than 100 trees that has raised more than $200,000 each year for Sandhills Children’s Center — which provides a vital community program to children birth through 5 years old with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, hearing impairments, vision impairments and other developmental delays. For a small fee, you can support the cause and bid on these amazing and creatively decorated trees. The Carolina Hall is transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland that is sure to delight the young … and the young-at-heart.
Historic Luck’s Cannery will be the site for this 12th-annual celebration — a collector’s paradise of unique art pieces, pottery for your home decor and much more. The indoor show features a potter’s market, demonstrations, children’s activities and food trucks — along with a silent auction, a Sunday beer garden and a live jazz band. More than 50 of the Seagrove potters that earn their living making pottery in the local community will be participating in one of North Carolina’s most spectacular pottery events. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door.
We strongly suggest setting your alarm on Thanksgiving morning for one of the oldest traditions not only in Moore County, but all of North Carolina. Hunting with the pack is by invitation only, but spectators may watch on opening day as the hounds come across the field, followed by the riders. For more than 100 years, this event has cycled through some of the most iconic locations in Moore County’s storied equestrian history. Donations will also be accepted for the Walthour-Moss Foundation, an outstanding resource for the equestrian community utilized by riders from across the state. Arrive early for parking and enjoy some communal tailgating.
Once a year, the Village of Pinehurst comes alive with holiday cheer at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Evening at Tufts Memorial Park includes on-stage musical performances, cookie decorating, photos with Santa Claus and a mailbox for letters that Santa will take back to the North Pole. Enjoy the holiday spirit from 5 until 7:30 PM and the official lighting of the tree is scheduled for 6:30 PM. Admission is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Canned goods and non-perishable food items will be collected for the Sandhills Chapter of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Parking made easy with free shuttles to the event.
Historic downtown Southern Pines is well versed in putting on a memorable parade, replete with high school and college bands, dance teams, magical floats created by local organizations and Moore County businesses, holiday music, and of course … Santa Claus. From 11 AM until 1 PM, the procession will run down the west side of Broad Street to Massachusetts, across the railroad tracks, then back down the east side of Broad Street. Sponsored by the Southern Pines Business Association and co-sponsored by the Southern Pines Recreation and Parks Department.
Don’t be a Scrooge … step back in time this holiday season during the “Colonial Candlelight Tour” at the historic Alston House, which dates back to the mid-1700s and still bears the bullet holes from the Revolutionary War. Historic re-enactors dressed in colonial attire will guide groups through the candlelit home, adorned with 18th-century styled decorations, from 5 until 8 PM. Following the tour, enjoy warm cider by the campfire and sing along to your favorite holiday carols.
Get into the holiday spirit early. The Moore County Historical Association and Friends of the Bryant House and McLendon Cabin host this annual event without admission charge, so visitors can enjoy experiencing how early settlers celebrated Christmas. Festivities kick off at 1 PM, with music by Sharon McDonald and David McDonald. The Cabin is lit with a warm and inviting fire, and the Bryant House is adorned for the holiday with local greenery and berries. Handmade ornaments decorate the Christmas tree, and homemade cookies and hot cider are available. The Union Pines High School orchestra wraps up the fun day with a medley of holiday tunes.
Celebrate Christmas in the spirit of yesteryear at this historic home and farm that date back to the 1820s, when the Sandhills area was known as “the Pine Barrens.” The farmhouse will be decorated in the fashion of the period, while the pack house will also be open, so kids can enjoy activities such as writing letters to Santa with feather pens and making bird feeders. The museum includes an extensive exhibit on the Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, one of the last cavalry engagements of the Civil War, which took place just 8 miles from the farm.
Head into Christmas Eve on the right note with this highly anticipated musical event at Pinecrest High School. Join the NC Symphony for a spectacular evening featuring beloved traditional and popular music — including music from The Polar Express and The Nutcracker — plus a sing-along celebration of the season. Many of the Holiday Pops concerts sell out each year, so make plans early to join this remarkable jubilee.
Please visit our Calendar of Events to view all our holiday celebrations!