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  • Writer's pictureAl Friedman

Christmas on the OBX.

Updated: Nov 28, 2018

Winter Lights- Stroll along enchanted garden paths and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds transforming The Elizabethan Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland. The radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday decor and fantastical displays are a true spectacle to behold. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall and a crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide. Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6.

Parades- Who doesn't love a good Christmas Parade? The Outer Banks hosts NUMEROUS Christmas Parades through out the season and they're a true delight.

The Poulos Christmas House- A true locals favorite. Each year, the Poulos put together their very own winter wonderland. Complete with a walk in toy room, pictures with Santa, and so much more. Thousands of people stop by the home in December after the sun has gone down to view the family’s arrangement that costs a staggering $3,500 in extra energy bills every month.

Manteo Tree Lighting- The tree lighting program in Manteo, set in front of the historic old courthouse, is a musical dramatic celebration of that indefinable spirit of selfless joy that, for over 400 years, has touched the lives of Roanoke Island residents at Christmas and caused them to persevere against all odds in pursuance of their dreams.

Christmas season in downtown Manteo gets underway with two annual events. The Lighting of the Town Tree traditionally takes place the 1st Friday night in December on the Manteo Waterfront, featuring hot chocolate and holiday music sung by children of all ages.

St Nicholas at Island Farm-

Kids can meet the legendary elf himself while parents can capture some amazing photos in the interior of a warm, fire-lit farmhouse at this special event that rings in the holiday season with style. Held at the Island Farm in Roanoke Island, this afternoon Meet and Greet with Santa will be a treat for family members of all ages, with tons of activities and beautiful seasonal displays to put everyone in a holiday mood. St. Nicholas himself will arrive at the Island Farm – (one of Manteo’s favorite historic attractions) – at noon by an ox-drawn carriage. Once he has landed at the site, kids can visit with St. Nick in front of the fire at the on-site farmhouse, with photographs available to download online soon after his visit. In addition to the special one-day-only visit by Santa Claus, visitors can also enjoy an ox-drawn wagon ride around the farm’s trails in the early afternoon hours, and can enjoy piping hot cider and ginger cookies at the visitors center before exploring the scenic and seasonal farm. Fun for family members of all ages, this unique event captures the beauty of the Island Farm as well as the celebratory appearance of St. Nicholas to create an afternoon that visitors of all ages will adore.

Kites with Lights- Come out and enjoy an amazing Christmas light show in the sky featuring giant kites decked out in the holiday spirit. Free for all and priceless memories. Warm up with some hot chocolate and goodies provided by Kitty Hawk Kites. All proceeds will benefit the Beach Food Pantry.

Eat Locally- Dining at one of the Outer Banks’ many authentic restaurants is the perfect way to enjoy the holidays, and a handful of the area’s favorites are open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or both! Enjoy numerous local restaurants that throw festive parties for the holidays without the long wait!

The Christmas Shop- Are you a sucker for anything Christmas decor? If so, visiting the Outer Banks Christmas Shop is an absolute must. It's not just a store... Its an experience. Opening its doors in 1967, the Christmas Shop is heavily loved by the locals and as soon as you enter those wooden doors you will understand why. Come see what all the fuss is about.

Take a tour of the historic Whalehead Club by candlelight- Tours will be held Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tours will feature live performances on Whalehead’s original Steinway piano, caroling, refreshments and an exclusive preview of the new Starkey Room exhibit.

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