There is a flurry of upcoming holiday activities to partake in and sights to see in Hope Mills and the surrounding area. Whether you prefer big, festive parade crowds or quiet, one-on-one walks, Cumberland County has something for everyone this holiday season.
• Nov. 24 A Dickens Holiday in downtown Fayetteville is a family favorite, presented for its 18th year by the Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Downtown Alliance. Festivities will run from 1 to 9 p.m.; the traditional candlelight procession starts in front of the Arts Council at 5 p.m. To learn more, visit www.theartscouncil.com/things-to-do/a-dickens-holiday.
• Dec. 1-30 Christmas Lights at Denton Ridge on Ramsey Street starts with a tram ride accompanied by Christmas music and lights. Stops include a live Nativity scene, an old-timey country store, Mrs. Claus’ bake shop and a museum of early 1900s farming equipment. Marshmallow roasting and free photos with Santa are also available. Open every weekend Dec. 1-30. Entry is $10 per person. For more information, visit www.dentonridge.com.
• Dec. 1-23 Christmas in Paradise at Paradise Acres in Hope Mills features, in addition to lights, a holiday buffet, live Nativity scene, train rides, inflatables, fried moon pies, marshmallow roasting and the Clauses. Admission is free. Open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 1-23. Call (910) 424-2779 for details.
• Dec. 1, 2, 8, 22, 29 Nothing adds excitement to an evening like a hockey game. With five home games this month, it is easy to come out and support your local team. All local games are at the Crown. Learn more about the team and purchase tickets at www.marksmenhockey.com.
• Dec. 1-17 “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is a beloved Christmas tradition at Cape Fear Regional Theatre. This comedic classic tells the story of the awful Herdsman kids and how they wreakhavoc on a local production of the Christmas story.
For tickets and information, visit www.cfrt.org.
• Dec. 1-2 Enjoy a Renaissance-style dinner featuring a four-course meal in a banquet hall setting. Characters in period costume sing Christmas carols to keep everyone in good spirits. The festive event, titled Yuletide Feaste, starts at 7:30 p.m. at Haymount United Methodist Church. Call (910) 630-7100 or (910) 364-9710 for details.
• Dec. 2 The Hope Mills Christmas Parade starts at 3 p.m. at Hope Mills Middle School and ends at Rockfish Elementary School. Christmas in the Village will follow directly, featuring free train rides, hot cocoa, cookies, a visit with Santa and an outdoor Christmas movie at the Hope Mills Town Hall, 5770 Rockfish Rd. Call (919) 426-4109 for details.
• Dec. 2 Enjoy Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s “A Carolina Holiday” at Methodist University at 7:30 p.m. The symphony will play traditional and popular holiday music, accompanied by the children of Fayetteville Academy Chorus for many selections. Visit www.fayettevillesymphony.org to purchase tickets.
• Dec. 2 Runners, don’t miss the 7th Annual Green Beret Jingle Jog at 102 Ann St. Proceeds benefit fallen heroes, gold star families, Op X-mas Cheer and wounded warrior programs. Call (813) 446-8125 for information.
• Dec. 3 Celebrate the holidays Victorian style at the Holiday Jubilee at the 1897 Poe House from 1-5 p.m. This free event features a concert by Fayetteville’s own Coventry Carolers. The Coventry Carolers will perform on the front porch of the Poe House at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Poe House will be decked out in Victorian-era decorations, and there will be workshops and activities for children along with cookies and cider. Santa will be there, too. Free admission. Call (910) 486-1330 to learn more.
• Dec. 3 At 5 p.m., Fayetteville State University Choir and Band will present “Great Joy,” a holiday spectacular, at Seabrook Auditorium. Call (910)672-1528 to purchase tickets.
• Dec. 4-17 “It’s a Wonderful Life” opens at Gilbert Theater Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 17. This classic production is based on the 1946 comedy-drama produced and directed by Frank
Capra starring Jimmy Stewart. Watch local talent bring this timeless tale of hope to life. Visit www.gilberttheater.com to purchase tickets.
• Dec. 7-21 Christmas in the Park at Arnette Park adjacent to the Cape Fear River. Enjoy a half-mile stroll on a paved walking trail and take in the sights and sounds of Christmas. Other features include local musicians, a Christmas Express train, food vendors, a marshmallow pit, Santa, and an outdoor movie screen with holiday films. Tickets cost $10 per vehicle. Open every day Dec. 7-21, 6-9 p.m. Call (910) 433-1547 for details.
• Dec. 7-30 Holiday Lights in the Garden at Cape Fear Botanical Garden offers a mile-long walk to admire the decoration of the garden’s natural winter plant life and structures. Other attractions include a synchronized light show, Santa photos, s’mores and free kids’ crafts. Entry is $5-12 depending on age and membership. Open Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 7-30. Learn more at www.capefearbg.org.
• Dec. 7-9 Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents “Behold, a Folk Christmas Cantata” at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The production features musicians and actors with music from Andrew Peter son’s “Behold the Lamb of God” and the Oh Hellos. Find out more at www.sweetteashakespeare.com.
• Dec. 9 Givens Performing Arts Center presents “Holiday Extravaganza” featuring the performing groups, students and faculty of UNC Pembroke. Virtually all the university’s ensembles and choirs will gather to perform uplifting renditions of holiday favorites starting at 8 p.m. Call (910) 521-6361 for tickets and information.