If you are looking for a holiday destination that will get you in the Christmas spirit, Greensboro, North Carolina may be the way to go.
Greensboro is full of exciting things to do. It is home to the Greensboro Science Center and the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park which features displays of the American Revolution. Visit the Bog Garden wetlands area to get a taste of nature.
The city is a fun place to visit any time of year, but it really lights up for the Christmas season. Here are some things you can do when you’re in town.
Light the Night
Light the Night is a two-day event that takes place over the course of a weekend in early December. Guests can come by to enjoy a laser light show displayed on the wall of the MLK Parking lot, right next to the new Greensboro Selfie mural. There will also be live musical entertainment brought to you by several local performers.
The Balloon Regatta is a drive through event. Guests are welcome to cruise through the city center to check out 17 of the city’s most famous parade balloons while enjoying live entertainment. The route runs from the Greensboro Children’s Museum down Church St. to the depot. Visitors are welcome to join in the fun by decorating their cars.
Note, the Balloon Regatta is taking place during COVID times in lieu of the actual parade. It is hopeful that the pandemic will end so a full parade can take place next Christmas.
Sonic Forest is a display set up at Martin Luther Dr. at Hamburger Square. Guests can walk through to check out the interactive installation that features 15 8 ft. tall trees that talk and play music while changing through a colorful palette of LED lights. The event starts in late November and ends shortly before Christmas. It is open from 9 AM to 10 PM.
Santa at the Carolina Theater
If you are set on visiting Santa, the Carolina Theater is the place to do it. Santa will be there every weekend in December from 2 to 5 PM. Visits are free, but reservations must be made in advance. After seeing Santa, you can check out the many shops and restaurants in the downtown area.
Tinsel Town happens in Lebauer and runs most of the month of December. It features 50 uniquely decorated trees, and it is meant to promote community.
Trees are purchased and decorated by local corporations, groups and families. You can walk through and vote on your favorite. The group that owns it will receive a donation.
Piedmont Winterfest is Greensboro’s skating rink. It opens for the winter season only. Come down to glide across the ice.
Peppermint Alley happens at 120 W Lewis St. next to the Boxcar Arcade. Families can stroll through to enjoy the decorations.
Downtown Merry Madness Passport
The Downtown area is full of shops and restaurants. You can make the most of your experience there by downloading the Merry Madness Passport.
Once you download the passport, you simply check in on social media or post pictures of yourself visiting participating businesses. This will earn you points. Once you earn six points, you will be prompted to fill out a survey so you can claim your prize.
Your 6 points will also automatically get you entered in a drawing to win a grand prize which includes a $100 gift certificate to a downtown restaurant of your choosing and a $50 gift certificate for your favorite retailer.
Family Portraits at Community Picture Day Outdoor Studio
What better way to remember your vacation than by getting a professional portrait done? The opportunity will present itself at the 500 block of S. Elm St. where you can find holiday themed backdrops including Christmas, New Years and Winter Wonderland. It’s perfect for individuals, families and groups. This is a one-day event that typically takes place right before Christmas.
Holiday Window Decorating Contest
Downtown businesses are encouraged to join in the Holiday Window Decorating Contest. Stroll by to see what they will come up with this year. You can also vote for your favorite.
Winter Wonderlights at the Greensboro Science Center
The Greensboro Science Center is an aquarium, zoo, museum and adventure park all in one. During the Christmas season, stop by the Greensboro Science Center Zoo exhibit to be immersed in the 12 realms of the walking light display. You can experience three musical light shows and take a ride on the Greensboro Rotary Carousel. On certain nights, you will also be able to catch the Christmas Carolers and Santa himself.
Country Christmas at McLaurin Farms
The McLaurin Farms does Christmas right with a drive through or hayride light display that you can visit any time in December. While there, you can mail a letter to Santa, make Christmas ornaments and feed the animals. You can also do meet and greets with several Christmas characters including the Grinch, Olaf from Frozen and, of course, Santa.
Sunset Hills Christmas Balls and Running of the Balls
Sunset Hills is a Greensboro neighborhood that goes all out for Christmas with balls that light up the sky. The night run takes place on a 5 K course that winds through the area. While participating, runners can take in residents’ 50’ tall trees decorated with 1’ wide Christmas balls.
The festivities include bands and choral groups, and hot chocolate and cider are served. All proceeds benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.
If you are planning on getting out of town for Christmas, Greensboro is the perfect city to visit. There are so many seasonal things to see and do. What sounds most appealing to you?