Parks, Recreation
  and Cultural


Heart of the Holidays

Heart of the Holidays Celebration

Kick off the season with a full day’s worth of holiday cheer in historic Downtown Cary!
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Letters to Santa

Santa’s Mailbox is located at Town Hall starting on November 23. We’ve made special arrangements with Santa Claus for the Town Hall to be a drop-off site for letters to Santa Claus! Have little Johnny and Suzie enjoy this annual tradition as we prepare for Santa’s flight over Cary. Drop off your letters in the Santa Mailbox before December 12 and your child will hear back from our jolly friend in red! Make sure to include your child’s name and address on each letter.

Official Town of Cary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Town Hall Campus by the Town Tree | 6 p.m.

Welcome in the holiday season with the official Christmas Tree Lighting for the Town of Cary. This festive night features actors, singers, and musicians from the community. We’ll also unveil the “Cary Community Christmas Tree” inside Town Hall. Over 120 community groups provide handcrafted ornaments to be displayed inside the tree – a true representation of the diversity of Cary.

5th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

Inside Downtown Cary Businesses

Create a gingerbread house yummy enough for an elves’ visit! The houses will be on display in Downtown Cary on December 5. Winning houses will be on display during December at the Cary Arts Center. Registration forms are due by November 25; completed gingerbread houses due on December 4. 

Use the Gingerbread House Competition Location Map to find all of this year's amazing gingerbread house creations in various Downtown Cary businesses on Saturday, December 5th. Don't forget to cast your vote for your favorite gingerbread house at the Ole Time Winter Festival on December 5th along West Chatham Street from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

First, second, third and People's Choice will be on display at the Cary Arts Center and the Honorable Mentions on display at The Cary Theater from December 8-18. 

4th Annual Gifting Tree Project

Downtown Cary around Town Hall Campus

You are invited to participate in a Christmas Tree Decorating Contest in Downtown Cary with a charitable twist! Represent your family, organization, school, business or more as we surround Town Hall Campus with festive trees. The public is invited to vote and the winning tree will have a donation (provided by the Gifting Tree Project sponsor, The Mayton Inn) to the nonprofit group of their choice. 

The Gifting Trees will be on display around Cary Town Hall Campus. The public can vote for their favorite tree, which will win a donation provided by The Mayton Inn to their nonprofit of choice. 

2015 Gifting Tree Project Participants 

Presented By: 

Gifting Tree Sponsor 2015


The winner of the 2015 Gifting Tree Project is:

Cat Angels Pet Adoptions, for the second year in a row!

Cat Angels Pet Adoptions is a no-kill cat and kitten rescue and adoption agency located in Cary.  All of their adoptable animals are spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, microchipped, healthy, and ready to find their forever homes.  For more about Cat Angels, visit

The People’s Choice winner will receive $500, courtesy of The Mayton Inn. Cat Angels Pet Adoptions will use this donation toward veterinary care for the cats in their shelter.

Cat Angels________________________________________________________

Santa’s Workshop

Herbert C. Young Community Center | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (age 10 & under accompanied by an adult)

Children enjoy a variety of craft stations where they can make a gift for someone special and enjoy a visit with the white bearded guy from the North Pole! While at Santa’s workshop, support the Cary Teen Council’s food drive by sending each child with two non-perishable food items OR a cash donation. All contributions will be given to a local charity. There will be a 20-minute break at 11:30 a.m. so Santa can feed his reindeer. For more information, please call (919) 460-4965.

Films @ The Cary

The Cary Theater | 10 a.m., 7:30 p.m., & 9:30 p.m. 

Enjoy some of your favorite holiday classics! Movie tickets are $5.

10 a.m. – Arthur Christmas
7 p.m. – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
9 p.m. 
 Home Alone 

For more, visit The Cary or call (919) 462-2051.

Cary Players presents Dashing Through the Snow

Cary Arts Center
Saturday, December 5 | 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Get in the holiday spirit with a colorful caravan of eccentric guests who deck the halls of the Snowflake Inn B&B in this side-splitting, family-friendly comedy by authors Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. Additional shows on December 3-6. For more information and to order tickets online visit

Page-Walker Holiday Open House

Page-Walker Arts & History Center | 4-6 p.m.

Get into the holiday spirit with some old-fashioned Christmas fun at the Page-Walker’s Holiday Open House. Learn about Victorian holiday traditions while touring the 1868 historic hotel. Listen to Victorian Carolers and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Taste holiday treats and view historic rooms decorated for the season by the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel. Try hands-on crafts for the kids too! For more information, please call (919) 460-4963. 

Art Exhibit Receptions

Cary Photographic Artists | Cary Arts Center | 2-4 p.m.

Getting to Know Me: LeTouquet & Town of Cary Children’s Cultural Exchange | Cary Town Hall
 2-4 p.m.
Serenity in the South: H. Lee Dawson | Herbert C. Young Community Center | 2-4 p.m.

Heart of Cary Association’s 12th Annual Ole Time Winter Festival

Downtown Cary | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Celebrations begin with the Heart of Cary’s 12th Annual Ole Time Winter Festival held on West Chatham Street in Downtown Cary. Festival goers can enjoy arts & crafts, entertainment, food, activities, and more. Santa will be there. Start (or finish) your holiday shopping!  For more information, visit Heart of Cary.

For more information about any events in the Heart of the Holidays Celebration, call (919) 469-4061 or email Ryan.O'