Awesome Raleigh Christmas Lights and Displays

Beautiful Christmas Lights and Displays in Raleigh, NC

It’s the holiday season in Raleigh, NC and we have been on the hunt for fun Christmas Lights and displays around the city! In this Raleigh Christmas Lights and Displays guide, you will find some of the best places to see Christmas lights, displays, decorations, events and Christmas trees around Raleigh! 

Raleigh Christmas Lights and Decorations at the Performing arts Center downtown

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Raleigh Capitol Christmas Tree

To start out our Raleigh Christmas lights and displays list, what better place than to start off at the North Carolina Capitol!

If you missed the Christmas Tree lighting, you could still head to the Capitol to enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations.

Address: 1 East Edenton St., Raleigh

Capitol Raleigh Christmas tree and lights

Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts Christmas Tree

Located right in downtown Raleigh, the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts puts up a pretty lovely artificial Christmas tree with light decorations.

Once it starts getting dark, the center itself has green and red Christmas lights going up the columns. They also added a fun Christmas Ornament that lights up!

Address: 2 E South St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Raleigh Christmas Lights and christmas tree at performing arts center. Woman in black dress in front of tree
Christmas ornament downtown Raleigh light

Raleigh Convention Center Christmas Ornaments

Close to the Performing Arts Center, walk over to the Raleigh Convention Center, where you will find a colorful Christmas Ornament display.

They put up the display every year to enjoy, and it kind of reminds me of a mini version of the one in NYC. It is definitely one of the best Christmas decorations in downtown Raleigh!

Address: 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Raleigh Christmas Ornaments Convention Center. Woman leaning on them in red shirt and white pants

Illuminate Art Walk in Downtown Raleigh

This year downtown Raleigh added fun new Christmas lights with the Illuminate Art Walk! These fun and interactive lights are totally free to see and are placed mainly down Fayetteville Street and some in Glenwood South!

Enjoy a “Sip and Stroll” through the 16 different decoration stations to enjoy. The Illuminate Art Walk is completely free to do and a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit in Raleigh.

Illuminate Art Walk in Downtown Raleigh Mushroom lights

The Rink Presented by UNC Health

Another really fun and decorated area to check out in downtown Raleigh is The Rink presented by UNC Heath at Red Hat Amphitheater.

Besides ice skating, they have set up a cozy station with firepits and lounging areas, fun decorations for insta-worthy photos, and a 20 ft Christmas tree. 

Additionally, they are offering a snack/ alcohol spot and other games, such as cornhole. It is recommended to get your tickets ahead of time online. 

Admission approx price: Skaters: $15 Non-skaters: $6. Tickets are selling out fast.

Address: 500 South McDowell Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

Lafayette Village

Want to feel like you are walking through France while also enjoying some Christmas lights and decorations? Head to Lafayette Village, which does the cutest Christmas decorations and has a Christmas Tree you can pose with!

While there, you can visit Simply Crepes, one of my favorite places to eat in the Triangle! There are tons of other stores and restaurants to explore!

Address: 8450 Honeycutt Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615

Lafayette Raleigh Christmas Decorations.

North Hills Christmas Decorations

Speaking of shopping Centers, North Hills in Raleigh also does some pretty nice Christmas Lights and decorations to enjoy! Oh, and while you are there, you can do some holiday shopping or enjoy lunch or dinner. I happen to really like their Christmas tree decorations! 

Address: 4158 Main at North Hills St., Raleigh, NC 27609

Angus Barn Christmas Decorations

Looking for a restaurant decked out in Christmas lights and decorations in Raleigh? Look no further than Angus Barn! It actually reminds me of Rolf’s in NYC!

They are known as a fantastic steak house, have an award-winning cellar, and cigar bar. Lucky for me, it’s just a couple of minutes from where I live! 

They get extremely booked up for the month of December, so it is best to make a reservation in advance if you want to eat here!

Address: 9401 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27617

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival (Cary) 

Ok, so technically, the Chinese Lantern Festival is not traditional Christmas lights, nor is it located in Raleigh, but close enough! Plus, the Chinese Lantern Festival is a fun thing to do, and there are lights!

If you haven’t been yet, you can add it to your NC bucket list items to do, as it’s a pretty big deal in these parts. 

The event is located at the Koda Booth Theater, and they do it every year.

They have live stage performances and new light displays. There are also lots of really good food as you walk through the lights. 

Tickets go fast, so make sure to get yours if you plan on visiting. Ticket information can be found here.

Address: 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary, NC

Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary NC

Downtown Cary

Since we are talking about Cary and Christmas lights near Raleigh, I’d also suggest checking out the decorations and lights in Downtown Cary. They usually have a Christmas Tree up, they decorate the Cary Art Center, and all down S Academy Street.

If you haven’t been to Cary during the holidays, definitely check this area out! 

Address: 319 S Academy St, Cary, NC 27511

Cary NC Downtown Christmas tress and decorations

Fenton Skate the Square

Also located in Cary is the new and buzzing Fenton Shopping plaza and this year they have a Skate the Square where you can go ice skating outside. There is also lots of great shopping, murals, Christmas decorations, and food.

Additionally, there are also some really nice Christmas lights in Apex called the Holt Road Christmas Lights.

Raleigh Christmas Lights & Decorations: Wrap-up

This covers some of the best Raleigh Christmas Lights, Displays, and Decorations to see this year.

Find more North Carolina Travel Guides here!

Did I miss any of your favorite places to see Christmas lights in Raleigh, or have any questions? Let me know in the comments below! 

Enjoyed this Raleigh Christmas Lights Guide? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Raleigh Christmas lights
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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