It's the most wonderful time of year. Nowhere is that more obvious than the picturebook town of New Bern, North Carolina. Not only is New Bern the setting of one of the most beloved book-to-movie adaptations, but the city is also full of historical buildings. What better way is there to feel the holiday spirit than to see the columns on antebellum homes wrapped up like giant candy canes?
So, what are the Christmas things to do in New Bern NC? We've got our list and we’re checkin’ it twice… So, Ho ho ho, let's dashaway all!
New Bern Christmas Parade
You can't get through the Christmas season without loading up the crew to appreciate some amazing and creative floats in the parade. In addition, there will be multiple marching bands from schools, representation from local civic groups, and even the big man with a beard! What's better than seeing Santa with the kids? Not having to get up super early, this is an afternoon affair.
Havelock Christmas Parade
Most cities just get one parade, here we have access to two! Every year, the Havelock option is themed and presented through a stream of floats that delight our senses. The parade route starts at US 70 on North Shepard Street and continues through to Cunningham Boulevard.
Santa Paws Parade
Okay, did we say two parades? There are really three but this one is a little different and, perhaps, a little cuter. Welcome to a string of fur friends that are cuddly and happy to celebrate the times with you. In one of the best holiday events, Santa comes first on a special bicycle with dogs trailing behind. To get involved, meet at South Front Street and Craven Street. Before the walk with Santa begins, there's a photo and greet session.
Our first stop on this jingle bell rock tour is one of the most popular places around, Tryon Palace. Starting around Thanksgiving, and going midway through December, is the Palace Holiday Decor. This is a tour of the Governor's palace with a focus on the spread of tangible holiday cheer around the home. Also going on, starting the first week of December, is the Holiday Home Tour. This walk-around covers more buildings beyond the palace. The tour includes the Stanly, Dixon, and Commission houses.
If you've been to Europe during the holidays or have been interested in attending a Christmas market, New Bern is ready. Brought to you by Beary Merry Christmas, the Mistletoe Market is open every week starting after Thanksgiving. Here's a list of some of what you can expect to see and experience on Mistletoe Corner during market hours on Craven Street:
Annual Coastal Christmas Flotilla
When you're close to the ocean, holiday celebrations would not be complete without a trip to the water to watch a flotilla. This has been a tradition for almost four decades in the heart of New Bern. Starting just before sunset at Union Point Park. These elaborately decorated boats parade down the river. Just to put on a spirited show for onlookers. So come dressed warmly and we'll take care of the rest with vendors who have hot cocoa and snacks.
Canterbury Christmas Light Ride
Take in the childlike wonder of a town with Christmas lights from the seat of your bicycle. This slow ride through town is brought to you by Flythe's Bike Shop. The trip enables you to show your own holiday spirit by decorating your bicycle and grouping up with your New Bern neighbors. This tour will take you down Canterbury Road. It is encouraged to bring two non-perishable canned items to donate to the food drive.
Holidays with the Symphony
One of the most memorable holiday traditions. Is bringing the family to see the North Carolina Symphony perform. A themed melody of Christmas favorites. For one night only each year, the state symphony travels here. To transport everyone to a place of musical merriment. If you aren't feeling the vibes before you go in, you'll definitely be all about the holidays as you exit.
Christmas Bird Count
Since the dawn of the 21st century, the National Audubon Society has been running a bird census. Starting midway through December and into the first few days of January, many volunteers come together to get a peek at the local birds. With the beautiful and unique landscape due to proximity to major bodies of water, we have a great opportunity to sign up and report the birds here. Birds you can expect to see:
Just like the rest of the year, there's always something exciting going on in New Bern. However, there's just something a touch more magical about the most wonderful time of the year locally. Whether you're traveling to shop at the Mistletoe Market or you're from New Bern and want to hang out with fun dogs, there's an opportunity for all interest levels to soak up the season.