12-14-11-celebrate at one.jpgIf you are searching for ways to get in the holiday spirit this year, look no further. With all of the festivities that Fayetteville has to offer, you and your family are sure to have a Christmas to remember. Whether you’re attending Christmas in the Park, Christmas at Lu Mil Vineyard, Christmas on the Farm, Holiday Lights in the Garden, Kinwood-by-the-Lights or viewing Methodist University’s lights, there will be many decorations to see, and many performances to enjoy.

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation celebrates this year’s Christmas in the Park at Arnette Park, off of Old Wilmington Road. Come see the dazzling 30-foot Christmas tree and view the beautiful scenery and Christmas decorations while strolling down the half-mile walking trail. Enjoy music, dancing, food vendors, arts and crafts, a fi re pit, live entertainment, and photos with Santa.

Christmas in the Park takes place Wednesday, Dec. 8 through Dec. 22 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission is $2 per person and $5 for a picture with Santa.

Another family-friendly Christmas event takes place at the Lu Mil Vineyard, just south of Cumberland County, in Dublin, N.C. Experience Christmas with a Drive Thru Festival of Lights, take the Kids to Kiddie Land, get some last minute shopping done at the Lu Mil Outlet Shops and grab a bite to eat at the Country Buffet. There is also an antique shop, free wine tasting, nativity scenes, visits from Santa and live entertainment.

The event began Nov. 25, and will remain open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Dec. 23 from 6-10 p.m. Admission for the Drive Thru Festival of Lights is $10 per car, $20 per van, $40 per bus (12 or more passengers) and the Country Buffet is $10 per person.

In addition to the park and the vineyard, visit Gillis Hill Farm for “Christmas on the Farm.” Come hear the story of the first Christmas and Jesus’ birth with Bethlehem Remembered, narrated by the old shepherd (and puppet) named Uncle Aaron. After the show, take a wagon ride through historic Gillis Farm and a stop for hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and more at the Ole Grist Mill. There is a bon-fire at the end of the wagon ride.

“Christmas on the Farm” can be enjoyed on December 18 and 19 at 6:30 p.m., by reservations only. It costs $6 per person. Call 867-2350 to book your reservation now!

If you have a green thumb and love Christmas time, Cape Fear Botanical Gardens is the place for you. Visit the garden this December (Thursday through Sunday nights; 5-8 p.m.) for the unveiling of Holiday Lights in the Garden at the Wyatt Visitors Pavilion Complex.

Explore the winter wonderland fi lled with beautiful lights and decorations, view the gardens’ current exhibit, David Rogers’ Big Bugs, listen to live music on select nights and get your child’s photo made with Santa on Sundays. The Garden Gift Shop is open for souvenirs and Christmas gifts, while Café Cart serves seasonal refreshments each evening.

Admission to Holiday Lights in the Garden is $8 for non-member adults or $4 for member adults, $2.50 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 and under.

Other lighted communities that Fayetteville has to offer are the “24th Annual Kinwood-by-the-Lights” and Methodist University’s holiday lights. Celebrate Christmas with a tour through Kinwood Estates, Kinwood-By-The-River and Kinwood Oaks Developments, or take in the beautiful sight of Methodist University’s festive campus from 6 to 9 p.m. on December 17. If it starts to rain, no worries, the date will be moved to December 18th. For more information on these events call 630-7043.

Photo: Lu Mil Vineyards Sparkles during the annual Christmas Lights Drive Thru. This and many other special events are ongoing this holiday seasons

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