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Visit Winston-Salem

Holidays are Different in Winston-Salem

Historic holidays in Winston-Salem are filled with the spirit of nostalgia, the warmth of hearth Moravian cooking, the twilight of candlelight tours and excitement of holiday celebrations for the entire family. Delight in the sights and sounds that come along with the holiday season in Winston-Salem. The city's historic attractions are 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

Delve into more than two centuries of history when you spend your holiday season in Winston-Salem. Outside of festive celebrations and holiday happenings around the city, the historic homes of Winston-Salem's founding fathers take on the spirit of the holidays and traditions that date back to the mid 18th century. On any given day this season, find these historic homes adorned in holly, magnolia leaves, iridescent lighting and traditional beeswax candles that represent the warmth of the holidays. Below are three of Winston-Salem's historic homes-turned-attractions that invite you to celebrate this cherished time of year. 

 

“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 more than a century. The 22 peculiar rooms are gaily decorated with floor-to-ceiling garlands, glowing lights and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in every room -- that's more than a dozen trees in one house. 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 is open in Aunt Dealy's cottage, located behind the Folly. 
Admission: $10/adults, $6/children ages 6 - 18. Children 5 and under are free.

Click here to learn more. 

Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Celebrate the simple sights, sounds and aromas of the holidays as the Moravians did in the 18th and 19th centuries. As you stroll the cobblestone sidewalks of Old Salem, a historic district founded by Moravians in 1766, you are greeted by the friendly faces of costumed interpretors inviting you into numerous historic buildings. Through one door you may be greeted by the warmth of hearth cooking as a fresh pound cake is baked over hot coals. Through another, you way notice the pleasant smells of a crackling fire as beeswax candles are dipped and prepared for the season's Christmas Lovefeast. Educate yourself of Moravian livelihood while on an evening stroll by candlelight when you RSVP for the wildly popular 18th and 19th Century Candlelight Tours at Old Salem. Try your hand at hearthside cooking class or craft your very own holiday wreath as the Moravians would have done centuries ago one of their seasonal workshops. Around Winston-Salem you may notice a peculiar star that hangs above many doorways. This symbolic holiday adornment is the 32-point Moravian star. Take a visit to the Old Salem Gift Shop to select a make-you-own Moravian star kit or choose from various Moravian themed tin and glass ornaments. See below for Old Salem's holiday events as they are listed in chronological order. 

Click here to learn more.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art
The 1917 historic home of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds, R.J. was the founder of Reynolds Tobacco Co., shines especially bright during the holidays. Garnished with nandina berries (Katharine's preference over today's common mistletoe), a Southern touch of magnolia leaves and Christmas trees in nearly every room, this home-turned-art museum presents the perfect holiday setting. Hear the sounds of the original Aeolian organ (played every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) throughout the house while admiring one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeast. Discover what life was like for the Reynolds children as their gifts and winter wardrobes are on display. Reverent foodies appreciate taking a look at the holiday menus that were handwritten by Katharine. 

Click here to learn more. 

A Chronological Listing of Special Holiday Events:

The chronological listing of special events is designed to help you plan your holiday getaway to Winston-Salem. Wildly popular candlelight tours, stunning theatrical performances and breathtaking festivals make up this year's historic holiday lineup. Happy Holidays from Visit Winston-Salem! For a full listing of events please visit our events calendar at visitwinstonsalem.com/events.

 

Old Salem Museums & Gardens Christmas by Candlelight Walking Tours 
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.

18th Century Candlelight Tour Dates:
November 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 - Tours begin at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

19th Century Candlelight Tour Dates:
December 5, 6, 12, 18, 19, & 20 - Tours begin at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

These tours sell out every year so get your tickets early. CLICK HERE to purchase your ticket. 

 

Reynolda Village Holiday Stroll
November 22
An evening guided carriage stroll is just what you deserve as the holidays kick into full gear. The shops are open later for a start to your holiday shopping and children enjoy their visits with Santa Claus and the melodious tunes of strolling carolers. 

 

Tanglewood Park's Festival of Lights
November 22 - January 1; 6 - 11 p.m.
Website

Every year from mid-November until January 1, visitors come from near and far to witness the Southeast's largest holiday light display. For the past 23 years, 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 -- be sure to bring a blanket to snuggle up in. 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.

2014 Festival of Lights Special Events:

  • The Souper 5K (Saturday, Nov. 8): Help support the Manna Meals soup ministry. Join the fun to help feed those in need.
  • Paws in the Park (Monday, Nov. 10) This new event offers animal lovers a first-ever  opportunity to bring their four-legged friends with them for a walk through the enchanted Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights. 
  • Make-A-Wish Walk for Wishes (Saturday, Nov. 15) Be among the first to view the Festival of Lights while helping make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
  • FOL Golf Tournament (Sunday, Nov. 16): Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by a noon shotgun start on the Championship Course with awards immediately following play. The entry fee is $60 per person or $50 for Tanglewood members. Find a friend and click here to find out more and sign up.
  • Arts for Life Roll & Stroll (Friday, Nov. 21): The perfect event for bike riders, stroller pushers, and wagon rollers through the majestic lights benefitting Arts for Life.
  • Running of the Lights (Wednesday, Dec. 31): Start off the New Year with a race through the Festival of Lights at midnight.
  • Throwback Nights: Special weeknights are designated Throwback Nights and offer discounted admission. Click here to see the schedule and themes.

ADMISSION: 
- Family: Cars, vans and trucks: $15
- Commercial: vans, limos and mini-buses: $35
- Motorcoaches and buses: $100
- 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.

 

Reynolda Gardens Holiday Plant Sale
December 3; Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
A visit to Reynolda House Museum of American Art during the holiday season certainly peeks ones interest indecorating their own home for the holidays. Find many of the plants that Katharine Reynolds used to decorate the estate during the winter months and be inspired to recreate a piece of history in your own home. A variety of holiday plants, including cyclamen, poinsettias, bulbs, and Christmas cactus, are available for sale in the original 1913 greenhouse.

 

Reynolda House Candlelight Tours
December 4 - 6
Admission: $20; $15 for members and students

Embrace the holiday traditions of the Reynolds family when you embark upon a historic candlelit tour of the home. The hour-long tour features stories from a Reynolds family holiday, a joyful children's chorus, period decorations of nandina berries and magnolia leaves and light refreshments. Enjoy the sounds of the season that are played on the original Aeolian organ.
Call 336.758.5150 to purchase your ticket.  

 

Black Nativity presented by: National Black Repertory Company
December 5 - 7 and 12 - 14*
One of America's most beloved holiday gospel musicals, this annual production by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company is a foot-stomping, hand-clapping theatrical performance. The play, written by Langston Hughes, is filled with brilliantly colored costumes and Afro-centric dance that the entire family is sure to enjoy. The director and choreographer is Broadway veteran, Mabel Robinson and the cast includes some of the best talent in the Triad area. Each year audiences are captivated by this wonderful holiday classic.
Ticket prices start at $17. 
 
*Show times
Friday, Dec. 5: 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7: 3 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 12: 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 13: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 14: 3 p.m.

For more details on North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC) visit ncblackrep.org.

 

Christmas Lovefeast at Wake Forest University
Sunday, Dec. 7; 8 - 9:30 p.m.
The largest Moravian Lovefeast in North America, this Christmas service is held on Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University. It seeks to strengthen the spirit of unity and good will. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the service at Wake Forest, though it was first brought to North Carolina by the Moravians in 1753. 
Free admission.

Click here to learn more. 

 

Anniversary Lovefeast at St. Philips African Moravian Church
Thursday, Dec. 11; Noon - 1 p.m.
The Christmas Lovefeast at St. Philips African Moravian Church is held annually to commemorate the first service held in the church on December 15, 1861. St. Philips is North Carolina's ikdest standing African-American church. Today visitors receive a welcome to St. Philips in the replica of the original Log Church built in 1823. Unlike many Lovefeasts that serve Moravian coffee, this one serves Moravian Lovefeast buns and tea. 

Free admission. Learn more here.

 

UNC School of the Arts: The Nutcracker
December 12 - 21; Showtimes vary.*
Website

A production of "enormous power and artisitic excellence," (YES! Weekly) UNC School of the Arts' The Nutcracker production is a timeless holiday tradition in Winston-Salem. A performance featuring a student cast from the No. 6 drama school in the world, as ranked by The Hollywood Reporter, and the Triad's largest Nutcracker orchestra, the this show is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and often times a sell out. Audiences are amazed and enchanted at the vivid sets and costumes and the by the immaculate level of talent that is showcased.
Each year the production features special guest artists that are to be announced as a later date.

*Showtimes:

  • Friday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Ticket prices start at $24 / person and are on sale now. Click here to purchase.

 

Körner’s Folly Candlelight Tours
December 13 & 20; 6 - 9 p.m.

Head just 15 minutes East of Winston-Salem and find Körner’s Folly. Their family-friendly self-guided candlelight tours feature live holiday music. Spend the evening meandering through 22 decked out rooms of Victorian era decor. 

Admission is $10/adults ad $6/children ages 6-18. Children under 6 admitted free. 

 

West End Holiday Homes Tour
Sunday, Dec. 14; 9 a.m. - Noon

One of Winston-Salem's most eclectic neighborhoods, the historic West End District, is fully decorated in the beauty of the holidays. Explore this downtown neighborhood on the biennial Holiday Homes Tour and admire these turn-of-the-20th-century Victorian style homes. 
Admission: $15 in advance and $18 the day of the event. 

Purchase your ticket online here.
Or, pick up from either of these Winston-Salem locations:
Whole Foods
Old Winston Social Club
1502 Fabrics

Visit www.WestEndHomesTour.com for more details.

 

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.

 

 


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