13WhatsUpThere 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.

• 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 wreak havoc on a local production of the Christmas story. For tickets and information, visit www.cfrt.org.

• Dec. 4-17 “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Gilbert Theater 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 occurs 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 Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” and the Oh Hellos. Find out more at www.sweetteashakespeare.com.

• Dec. 7 Multimodal Congestion Management Plan Public Meeting No. 2 at Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Center from 6-8 p.m. Open house starts at 6 p.m., presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. Several potential transportation alternatives will be presented to address transportation issues in Hope Mills. The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners may be attending the meeting, and there could be a possible quorum. To learn more about the study, visit www.HopeMillsPlan.org. For more information, contact Joel Strickland of the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization at jstrickland@ co.cumberland.nc.us or (910) 678-7622.

• Dec. 8-10 Nothing says Christmas like a performance of the “The Nutcracker.” Join the NC State Ballet (Dec. 9-10, www.crowncomplexnc.com) at the Crown to see Tchaikovsky’s iconic two-act ballet. Or, join The Dance Theatre of Fayetteville (Dec. 8-10, www.dancetheatreoffayetteville.com) for a more acrobatic take on the classic show.

• Dec. 9 Fayetteville’s Rotary Christmas Parade brings the spirit of Christmas into downtown. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and features bands, floats and more. Free to attend. Learn more at www.rotarychristmasparade. com.

• Dec. 9-17 Santa and his sleigh will be in downtown Fayetteville. Enjoy a carriage ride with the jolly elf, and take in the charming sights and sounds of Fayetteville during the holidays. Call (910) 223-1089 for tickets and information.

• Dec. 10 Have you ever wondered what the lofts above the Hay Street restaurants and shops look like? Don’t miss the Downtown Candlelight Loft Tour. This self-guided tour lets you peek inside the historic living spaces (and some newer ones, too). Call (910) 223-1089 to reserve your spot.

• Dec. 14-17 The Crown hosts Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream,” a production that will entertain Disney fans of all ages. Visit www.crowncomplexnc.com for tickets and information.

• Dec. 16 Ryan’s Reindeer Run in downtown Fayetteville is not only a fun way to get some exercise, it is a celebration of life. Come dressed in holiday costumes, bring your friends and family and run – because you can. Register at active.com or www.ryansreindeerrun.com.

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