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 3, 2016

Letters to Santa

Santa’s Mailbox is located at Town Hall starting on November 21. 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 10 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.

5th Annual Gifting Tree Project Presented by Mayton Inn Logo
Downtown Cary along Academy Street
Stroll along Academy Street and vote for your favorite Gifting Tree from December 3-28. To pick your favorite, scan the QR code displayed with the tree. The creators of the winning tree will have a donation made in its name to the non-profit of its choice. 2016 Gifting Tree Map

Vote for your favorite Gifting Tree.

Santa’s Workshop

Herbert C. Young Community Center | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (age 10 & under accompanied by an adult)
To participate, please bring two non-perishable food items or a cash donation to support the Cary Teen Council’s food drive. 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! All contributions (food items or cash donation) 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.

6th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

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

Create a gingerbread house yummy enough for an elves’ visit! The houses will be on display in Downtown Cary businesses. 2016 Gingerbread House Map

First, second, third and People's Choice will be on display at the Cary Arts Center and the Honorable Mentions on display at The Mayton Inn from December 6-16. 

Cary Players presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Cary Arts Center | 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
What happens when the toughest kids in town takes over the annual Christmas pageant?  A heart-warming comedy for the whole family!. Additional shows on December 1-5. 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. Enjoy holiday treats, make a holiday craft with the kids, and see the building beautifully decorated for the season.  For more information, please call (919) 460-4963. 

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.

Additional holiday activities scheduled for December 9 & 10:

Arbolito de la Esperanza: Tree of Hope Lighting
December 9 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Herbert C. Young Community Center

Kick off the Estrella de la Esperanza (Star of Hope) campaign; bring your donations of food, toys and money for families in need. The tree lighting is preceded by a traditional celebration with a potluck dinner of Latin American holiday dishes and local musicians who perform traditional holiday songs.

Grinch Candy Cane Hunt
December 10 | 1-2 p.m. | Fred G. Bond Metro Park

Outsmart the Grinch who has discovered that elves have hidden red and white candy canes at Bond Park, 801 High House Rd. Find them before the Grinch turns them green. Pre-registration required; fees apply. 

For more information about any events in the Heart of the Holidays Celebration, call (919) 319-4560 or email Ryan.O'