Holidays are Different in Winston-Salem
Holidays are different in Winston-Salem. Celebrate the season with candlelight tours of historic homes, cookie recipes passed down through generations, a spectacular light festival and stirring theatrical performances. Delight in the sights and sounds that come along with the holidays in Winston-Salem. The city's historic attractions are gaily decorated and extend a warm invitation to you and your family. Local chefs, winemakers and brewmasters are standing by ready to present your palate with bold flavors and spices that surprise and comfort. Make Winston-Salem your home for the holidays by booking a fabulous getaway today.
Make Winston-Salem Your Home for the Holidays
Old Salem Museums & Gardens
A historic district founded by Moravians in 1766, Old Salem Museums & Gardens is nestled near downtown Winston-Salem. Step into a holiday fairy tale as you walk along the storybook cobblestone sidewalks and enter into charming historic buildings. Around the town you'll see decorations that reflect the simplistic lifestyle the Moravians cherished. Take an evening stroll by candlelight on on of their popular 18th and 19th Century Candlelight Tours, attend a holiday hearthside cooking class or craft your very own holiday wreath as the Moravians would have done centuries ago. Book your historic holiday getaway to Winston-Salem today.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
The 19th century historic home of the Reynolds family is adorned for the holidays from floor to ceiling reflecting the style of the period. Katharine Reynolds, wife of tobacco monarch, R.J. Reynolds, paid special attention into details of the home -- especially during the holidays. See how Katharine used fresh nandina berries and magnolia leaves to decorate the various rooms of the estate. Get the full Reynolda House holiday experience when you package your Reynolda holiday getaway here.
Tanglewood Park's Festival of Lights
Every year from mid-November until January 1, visitors come from near and far to witness the Southeast's largest holiday light display. More than a million twinkling lights transform over four miles of rolling countryside into a glowing winter wonderland. Ride along in your car while listening to your favorite holiday tunes or experience the lights by horse-drawn carriage or a classic hayride. Midway through your route, stop at the gift village in the red barn to browse handmade craft items, roast marshmallows and savor a barbecue dinner. Book a family getaway package that you'll never forget.
A Chronological Listing of Special Holiday Events:
Old Salem Museums & Gardens Candlelight Walking Tours - SOLD OUT
November 15 - December 21*; Every half hour from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Settled in 1766, the town of Salem celebrated the holidays with a simplistic manner that reflected the views of the Moravians. Relive the customs and traditions of 18th and 19th century Salem Christmas as the Moravians did, by candlelight. Take a guided tour through the historic district where the holidays are brought to life through the sounds of bells, the intoxicating aromas of hearth cooking and friendly interaction with Old Salem interpreters for everlasting memories.
Tanglewood Park's Festival of Lights
Through January 1; 6 - 11 p.m.
Every year from mid-November until January 1, visitors come from near and far to witness the Southeast's largest holiday light display. More than a million twinkling lights transform over four miles of rolling countryside into a glowing winter wonderland. Ride along in your car while listening to your favorite holiday tunes or experience the lights by horse-drawn carriage or a classic hayride. Midway through your route, stop at the gift village in the red barn to browse handmade craft items, roast marshmallows and savor a barbecue dinner.
Check out the festival’s website here for information on special events including the Running of the Lights (a midnight run under the lights) and the Festival of Lights Golf Tournament.
Cars, vans and trucks: $10 Monday-Thursday and $15 on weekends.
Private tractor-pulled hayrides are available for groups up to 25 at a rate of $135 plus festival admission. (Reservation only)
Horse-drawn carriage rides can accomodate up to four adults and cost $80 plus festival admission. (Reservation only)
Click here for more details.
“A Victorian Christmas” at Körner’s Folly
Through January 4; Thurs. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 1 - 5 p.m., Closed Monday - Wednesday
Located in downtown Kernersville, just 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem, Körner’s Folly has been an enchanted holiday destination for over one hundred years. The 22 peculiar rooms are decorated with floor-to-ceiling garlands, glowing lights and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in nearly every room. Claimed to be "the strangest home in America," the Folly's many rooms are spread out over three floors and seven levels. One-hour holiday tours are offered until one hour prior to closing. While visiting Körner’s Folly, remember to check out their family friendly Christmas Puppet Shows in the children's theater located inside the house. A gift shop will also be open in Aunt Dealy's cottage, located behind the Folly.
Admission: $10/adults, $6/children ages 6 - 18. Children 5 and under are free.
Photography is permitted while on the tour.
Visit www.kornersfolly.org for more information.
Saturdays with St. Nicholas at Old Salem
Through December 21; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Hang out with St. Nicholas and all of Old Salem’s friends during their Saturdays with St. Nicholas event each Saturday through December 21. Enjoy a fun-filled day of family activities including "Herr Kater's Christmas" heirloom puppet show, storytelling of "The Night Before Christmas," historic neighborhood tours, treats from Winkler Bakery and holiday shopping for kids and adults.
Tickets are $7 for ages 2 and up and include all activities, a souvenir photo and a holiday snack. Tickets are only available at the Frank L. Horton Center located in Old Salem. Visit the site for further details.
Breakfast with Santa Claus at Graylyn International Conference Center
Through 22*; 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
How many times have you dined with Santa Claus in a mansion? Graylyn International Conference Center offers you the chance to do just that. Enjoy a lovely morning meal followed by a photo opportunity to have your picture taken with Santa, because no one is ever too big for Santa's lap.
$19.95/adults, $9.95/children ages 5 - 12, Free/children under 5 (Prices do not include tax and gratuity)
Limited Availability. Please call 800.472.9596 to reserve your space.
*Breakfast Dates (8:30 - 10:30 a.m.):
Sunday, Dec. 1
Sunday, Dec. 8
Saturday, Dec. 14
Sunday, Dec. 15
Saturday, Dec. 21
Sunday, Dec. 22
Candle Tea at Old Salem
December 5, 6, 12 & 13; Hours:: 1 - 8:30 p.m.
December 7 & 14; Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
A Moravian tradition dating back two centuries, Candle Tea is the opening event of Old Salem's Christmas season. Learn about what holiday life was like for early Moravians and sing carols to the tunes of the 1797 Tannenberg organ in the spirit of the holidays. Be enlightened on the history of the making of the iconic beeswax candles and their importance to the annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Lovefeasts. While in Old Salem, enjoy a warm cup of Moravian coffee and a piece of freshly baked sweet sugar cake from Winkler Bakery. Also on display during the holidays is a fascinating putz of the Historic Old Salem district. This impressive miniature town shows impeccable attention to detail and is a favorite of visitors each year.
$5 / adults; $1 / children ages 12 and under. Candle Tea tickets must be purchased at the Single Brothers' House, separately from general Old Salem admission.
Candlelight Tours at Reynolda House Museum of American Art
Thursday, Dec. 5 - Saturday, Dec. 7
Having an empire built on the successes of the tobacco industry, the Reynolds family celebrated the holidays in a fashion so fitting to the era of the 1920's. Take a Candlelight Tour of the historic Reynolda House Museum of American Art and learn why Katharine Reynolds, wife R.J. Reynolds, decorated the estate with nandina berries instead of traditional holly. See how the family dined for the holidays on Katharine's beautiful china, which is on display in the kitchen original to the home. To set the pace for the evening music is played on the original Aeolian organ in addition to live music each night. Family Christmas cards and letters are also on display from the museum archives.
Admission: $18/general, $12/students and members
Time: Every half hour, 4:30 - 7 p.m.
Visit reynoldahouse.org for more information.
North Carolina Black Repertory Company presents: Langston Hughes’ ‘Black Nativity’
December 6 - 8 & December 13 -15
In its 13th year, North Carolina Black Repertory Company’s (NCBRC) production of ‘Black Nativity’ is just as “marvtastic” as ever. This high-energy gospel musical rendition of Langston Hughes’ classic reinvention of The Christmas Story has been aweing NCBRC audiences since 2001. Rhythmic drums inspire you to tap your feet and get out of your seat in holiday cheer. Tickets for ‘Black Nativity’ are on sale now. Visit the NCBRC website for ticket prices and showtimes.
Deck the Halls Arts & Craft Sale
December 6 - 21; Mon. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Deck the Halls Arts & Craft Sale, hosted by the Sawtooth School of Visual Art, is located inside the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem. The annual event features a variety of artwork handcrafted by Sawtooth faculty, students and regional artists. This event provides a venue for established and budding artists to sell their work and have the proceeds help fund the school's arts-based programs. Including pottery, jewelry, baskets, paintings, ornaments, photography, sculptures, wreaths, glass, quilts, pillows and soaps.
Free admission. Visit Sawtooth.org or call 336.723.7395.
Magnolia Wreath Workshop at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden
Saturday, Dec. 7; 2 - 4 p.m.
Head on over to Kernersville, a short 15-minute drive from Winston-Salem to the beautiful Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens for their Magnolia Wreath workshop in the ballroom. Learn how to create a wreath using fresh magnolia and other winter foliage on an 18" form. Bring a roll of your favorite ribbon and learn how to make a bow for the perfect finishing touch.
$50/person (Includes materials)
Workshop is limited to 12 students. Register by December 2 by calling 336-996-7888.
Wake Forest University Annual Lovefeast
Sunday, Dec. 8; 8 - 9:30 p.m.
Every first Sunday in December, the largest Lovefeast service in the country occurs at Wake Forest University in Wait Chapel. This unique celebration honors the traditions of the Moravian community in Winston-Salem. The Chapel is adorned with Christmas decorations, traditional Moravian sweet buns and creamed coffee is served by dieners (German for servers) and handmade beeswax candles are given to all who attend, illuminating the Chapel as the lights are dimmed. Music is provided by the Wake Forest Concert Choir, Handbell Choir, Flute Choir and the Messiah Moravian Church Band throughout this special service that seeks to remove social barriers and celebrate the rights of all people, not just the Moravians.
Wake Forest's Lovefeast started with the initiative of a Moravian student, Jane Sherrill Stroupe in December 1965. That year 200 students gathered for the traditional meal. Since then wake Forest Lovefeast has grown to be the largest in America and a favorite tradition of Wake Forest and the Winston-Salem community.
Triad Stage Presents: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
December 10 - 22*
Triad Stage of Greensboro, N.C. is bringing their adaptation of the timeless Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Tale, to the Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem. In a life-changing ride through the past, present and future, Ebenezer Scrooge must learn what it means to be a decent human being. Bold acting and spectacular design help to create an experience the audience won't forget. Feelings of Yule-tide cheer, hope and wonder are aroused in this favorite holiday story. This collaboration of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and Triad Stage of Greensboro for the holidays is the first of many collaborative efforts to come.
Show dates and times:
Tuesday, Dec. 10 (Preview night)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 (Preview night)
Thursday, Dec. 12 (Preview Night)
Friday, Dec. 13 (Opening night)
Sunday, Dec. 15 (Matinée)
Sunday, Dec. 15
Tuesday, Dec. 17
Wednesday, Dec. 18
Thursday, Dec. 19
Friday, Dec. 20
Saturday, Dec. 21
Sunday, Dec. 22 (Matinée)
Sunday, Dec. 22
Click here for tickets
St. Philips Anniversary Lovefeast at Old Salem
Thursday, Dec. 12; Noon - 1 p.m.
The Christmas Lovefeast at St. Philips African Moravian Church commemorates the first service held in the brick church built in 1861. St. Philips is North Carolina's oldest, standing African-American church. The honorary day features beautiful holiday music in addition to serving Lovefeast buns and tea.
Free admission. No RSVP required.
For more information please call Cheryl Harry at 336.721.7299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art Presents: Holiday Pops Concert: Carolina Brass
Thursday, Dec. 12; 7:30 p.m.
From the elegance and grace of classical pieces to the hard-driving sound of the Big Band era, Carolina Brass takes audiences on a musical sleigh ride through favorites of the season. Formed in 1977, the group engages its audience with humor and virtuosity, which is infused throughout their performance.
$15/adults, $10/students and members
Supper with Santa at the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem
Friday, Dec. 13; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy a holiday-themed pizza dinner, craft making, cookie decorating and storytime with the kids at the Children's Museum in downtown Winston-Salem. Take home a keepsake photo of your child on Santa's lap and a fun-filled goody bag.
Registration is required.
Make your recervations by calling 336.723.9111 Ext 203 or email Christine Simonson at email@example.com.
University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Presents: The Nutcracker
Showings December 13-22*
For nearly 50 years the University of North Carolina School of the Arts' (UNCSA) exceptionally talented students, experienced faculty and nationally-recognized special guests work to bring theater, music, design and lighting all together to produce the heralded production that so many visitors look forward to year to year. This year’s Nutcracker features two dance superstars on special nights December 13 and 19. Gillian Murphy, principle dancer for American Ballet Theatre and UNCSA almuna, will be the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Gonzalo Garcia, the principal at New York City Ballet, will act as her Cavalier Prince. Performances take place at the Stevens Center of UNCSA in downtown Winston-Salem on Fourth Street.
For ticket prices and packages visit the UNCSA Nutcracker website here.
Friday, Dec.13 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m.
Körner’s Folly Candlelight Christmas Tours
Saturday Dec. 14 & 21; 6 - 9 p.m.
A candlelight tour at the Folly means enjoying the holidays at your own pace. Körner’s Folly is offering self-guided Candlelight Tours on Saturday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 21. The tours begin at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Located 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem, the Folly has been given high remarks over the years for its unique structure and one-of-a-kind decor. Nearly each of the 22 rooms contains its own decorated tree along with floor-to-ceiling garlands, turning the Folly into a true storybook setting.
No reservations required.
$10/adults, $6/children ages 6-18, Children ages 5 and under admitted free
Reynolda House Museum of American Art Presents: A Christmas Memory Play
Sunday, Dec. 15; 3 p.m.
Children and adults are sure to be warmed by this longstanding Reynolda House tradition. Robin Voiers performs William Voiers adaption of award-winning author Truman Capote’s autobiographical story of his childhood holidays spent with his cousin. This heartwarming story reminds all of the importance of spending time with family and loved ones and carrying on your own traditions. For nearly 30 years, "A Christmas Memory" has been a favorite of visitors spending their holidays in Winston-Salem.
$15/general admission; $10/members and students
Call 336.758.5150 for ticket purchases.
December 17 & 18; 7:30 p.m.
Centenary United Methodist Church
646 W. Fifth Street
Winston-Salem Symhpony's annual holiday classic Handel's Messiah kicks off Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Conducted by Maestro Robert Moody, Handel's Messiah is widely regarded as music's most affecting message of faith. This Winston-Salem holiday favorite has been performed by the Symphony for the past six years. Guest artists this year include Kathryn Mueller, soprano; Daniel Stein, tenor; David Trudgen, counter-tenor; and Troy Cook, bass. Sixty magnificent voices of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale will also perform.
Tickets range from $10 - $45 and can be purchases by phone at 336.464.0145 or online at WSsymphony.org.
Children's Theatre of Winston-Salem Presents: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
December 21 & 22
The cast may be miniature but they're big in with talent. Have a laugh or two, but more than likely, a few in this loosely-adapted version of the classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol. Featuring Twin City Stage's own Norman Ussery this performance is one the entire family will enjoy. Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.
Admission $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Call 336.725.4531 or visit childrenstheatrews.org for more details.
Kwanzaa in Winston-Salem
December 26 - January 1
Kwanzaa was first celebrated in Winston-Salem in 1977, over ten years after the holiday’s inception in 1966. An initiative to unite families and communities, as well as to educate, the beginnings of Kwanzaa in Wnston-Salem had much to do with the East Winston Branch Library as well as concerned and dedicated organizations and citizens. Today it has grown into a city-wide celebration with special events on each of the seven Kwanzaa nights (representing seven principles) in seven different settings around Winston-Salem. See below for the Kwanzaa event schedule for Winston-Salem and visit www.triadculturalarts.org for more information.
All Kwanzaa events listed are free and open to the public.
Thursday, Dec. 26 - Umoja (Unity)
Living In Harmony With Those Inside and Outside My Circle
Location: The Urban League, 201 West 5th Street, Winston-Salem
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 27 - Kujichagulia (Self Determination)
Doing All That Is Set Before Me
Location: Delta Arts Center, 2611 New Walkertown Rd, Winston-Salem
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 28 - Ujima (Collective Works and Responsibility)
Never Leaving My Brother or Sister Unaided
Location: Emmanuel Baptist Church, Shalimar Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Time: 4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 29 - Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Using My Talents in Cooperation with The Talents of Others So Together We May Prosper
Location: Carl Russell Recreation Center, 3521 Carver Road, Winston-Salem
Time: 3 - 6 p.m.
Monday, December 30 - Nia (Purpose)
Finding My Path and Purpose Through Prayer, Meditation and Spiritual Readings
Location: Grace Presbyterian Church, 3901 Carver School Road, Winston-Salem
Time: 6 p.m.
Contact: 336-722-4399 or 767-7530
Tuesday, December 31 Kuumba (Creativity)
Freeing Myself to Experience New Ideas, New Viewpoints, New Philosophies, New Understandings
Location: Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem
Time: 1 p.m.
Wednesday, January 1 Principle: Imani (Faith)
Sweeping Away Fear of the Unknown, Past Regrets, Concerns for the Future and Meeting Each Day with Active Faith
Location: Alpha and Omega Church of Faith, 1445 N Gray Ave, Winston-Salem
Time: 4 p.m.
Contact: 336 -748-4787
Contact Triad Cultural Arts online at www.triadculturalarts.org or by phone at 336.757.8556.
Peter and the Wolf Concert at Old Salem
Friday, December 27; 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Enjoy a musical performance of the beloved classic musical fairy tale "Peter and The Wolf," featuring the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players Woodwind Quartet and percussion. The musical performance is located in the Gray Auditorium inside the Old Salem Visitor Center.
Tickets are $5 each. Order tickets online at www.oldsalem.org/peter-and-the-wolf.html or pay at the door.
Winston-Salem Symphony Presents: Plugged-In Pops! "New Year's Eve" Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 31; 8 p.m.
Ring out the old and sing in the new with the Winston-Salem Symphony at their New Year's Eve concert. The Symphony will perform selections from Broadway's Rent, Hollywood's Oscar-winning Moulin Rouge! and Puccini's immortal La Boheme. Led by conductor Robert Moody, this evening of music hits is a sure way to ring in the New Year's right.
Holiday Getaway Packages
Two Timeless Winston-Salem Holiday Traditions
Through January 1
Enjoy one or two nights at the newly renovated Historic Brookstown Inn, two adult “All-in-One” admission tickets to Old Salem Museums & Gardens including the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and the Gardens of Old Salem, two general admission tickets to Reynolda House Museum of American Art, including admission to Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University, continental breakfast featuring Moravian sugar cake, complimentary Wine and Cheese reception featuring North Carolina wines, fresh baked cookies and milk at bedtime, deluxe suite upgrade based on availability (valued at $150), a welcome gift: Brookstown Inn private labeled wine and Old Salem Winkler Bakery Cheese Stars, complimentary onsite parking at the inn and wireless internet. Children’s admission can be added to this package: Old Salem admission is $11 for ages 6-16/children under 6 years old are free and Reynolda House general admission is free for children 18 & under. To book an overnight package contact Brookstown Inn reservations at 1-800-845-4262 or book online at brookstowninn.com.
The one-night package starts at: $159 (plus tax)
The two-night package starts at: $235 (plus tax)
Light Up the Holidays in Winston-Salem
Through January 2
Enjoy the historic cobblestone streets of Old Salem by day then top off your holiday at Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights, the largest holiday light display in the southeast. Your holiday package at the Village Inn Event Center includes one guest room non-smoking with two queen beds, a full hot breakfast buffet for four, four admissions to Old Salem Museums & Gardens, a tin of Old Salem’s famous Moravian cookies and a car pass for the Tanglewood Festival of Lights!
Book your package today by calling 336.766.9121.
The package rate for one night is $199.99 (plus tax) or stay for two nights at $279.99 (plus tax).
Package is based on space availability and black out dates may apply.
Two Night Stay – Two Timeless Traditions Plus Candlelight Tour
December 5 - 8
Enjoy two nights at the newly renovated Historic Brookstown Inn, two adult reserved tickets to Reynolda House Candlelight tour, two adult “All-in-One” admission tickets to Old Salem Museums & Gardens including the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and the Gardens of Old Salem, two general admission tickets to Reynolda House Museum of American Art, including admission to Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University, continental breakfast featuring Moravian sugar cake, complimentary wine and cheese reception featuring North Carolina wines, fresh baked cookies and milk at bedtime, deluxe suite upgrade based on availability (valued at $150), a welcome gift: Brookstown Inn private labeled wine and Old Salem Winkler Bakery Cheese Stars, complimentary onsite parking at the inn and wireless internet. Children’s admission can be added to this package: Old Salem admission is $11 for ages 6-16/children under 6 years old are free and Reynolda House general admission is free for children 18 & under.
To book an overnight package contact Brookstown Inn reservations at 1-800-845-4262 or book online at brookstowninn.com.
Candlelight tour is subject to availability December 5, 6 and 7 for Reynolda House Museum of American Art.
The two-night package starts at: $270 (plus tax)
Two Timeless Winston-Salem Holiday Traditions Plus UNCSA’s The Nutcracker
December 12 - 23
Enjoy two nights at the newly renovated Historic Brookstown Inn, two adult “All-in-One” admission tickets to Old Salem Museums & Gardens including the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and the Gardens of Old Salem, two general admission tickets to Reynolda House Museum of American Art, including admission to Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University, two adult tickets for UNCSA’s The Nutcracker at the Stevens Center— seating good for orchestra side or front balcony sections (subject to availability), continental breakfast featuring Moravian sugar cake, complimentary wine and cheese reception featuring North Carolina wines, fresh baked cookies and milk at bedtime, deluxe suite upgrade based on availability (valued at $150), a welcome gift: Brookstown Inn private labeled wine and Old Salem Winkler Bakery Cheese Stars, complimentary onsite parking at the inn and wireless internet. Children’s admission can be added to this package: Old Salem admission is $11 for ages 6-16/children under 6 years old are free and Reynolda House general admission is free for children 18 & under. To book an overnight package contact Brookstown Inn reservations at 1-800-845-4262 or book online at brookstowninn.com.
Available any time with one night falling in conjunction with Nutcracker performance schedule of December 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22
The two-night package starts at: $325 (plus tax)