Winston-Salem comes alive with enchanting Christmas traditions during the holiday season. From the historic charm of Old Salem to the dazzling lights of the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, the city offers a delightful mix of traditional and modern festivities for both young and old.
Christmas in Winston-Salem
Our journey begins in the heart of Winston-Salem, where time seems to stand still during the holiday season. Christmas in Old Salem is a step back in time to experience the traditions of the Moravian settlers who founded this historic town.
As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll be enchanted by the authentic Moravian decorations that adorn the buildings, showcasing the simplicity and beauty of the season.
The Moravian cookies are a holiday staple that you cannot miss! These flavorful treats have been made for centuries, and you can find them throughout Old Salem. Savor the rich flavors while enjoying the crisp winter air and the sights and sounds of carolers filling the streets with festive melodies.
Candle Tea Lovefeast
One of the most heartwarming traditions in Winston-Salem is Candle Tea. This annual event invites visitors to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Moravian community.
Held at several locations across the city, Candle Tea offers candlelight tours of beautifully decorated historic buildings and the opportunity to participate in a Lovefeast – a Moravian custom involving coffee and sweet buns.
The ambience created by the soft glow of candlelight and the harmonious singing of traditional carols makes Candle Tea a truly magical experience. As you sip your coffee and savor the sweet bun, you’ll feel the spirit of Christmas come alive in the company of fellow visitors and friendly Moravian hosts.
Candle Tea is a beloved tradition that embodies the spirit of giving and togetherness, making it a must-visit during your Winston-Salem Christmas adventure. Be sure to check the schedule and locations in advance to plan your visit accordingly.
The Nutcracker at UNCSA
For those seeking a dose of artistic brilliance during the holiday season, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) offers an annual performance of ‘The Nutcracker‘ that is not to be missed.
This timeless ballet is brought to life by exceptionally talented performers and production teams, creating a magical experience for audiences of all ages.
UNCSA’s rendition of ‘The Nutcracker’ is a spectacle to behold, complete with stunning costumes, breathtaking choreography, and a set that transports you to the enchanting Land of Sweets. The production’s attention to detail and dedication to the art form are evident in every graceful movement and musical note.
Whether you’re a fan of ballet or simply looking to immerse yourself in a captivating performance, attending ‘The Nutcracker’ at UNCSA is a quintessential Christmas activity in Winston-Salem. Be sure to book your tickets in advance and arrive early to soak in the festive atmosphere.
Tanglewood Festival of Lights
The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is a true holiday spectacle that illuminates the winter nights in surrounding Winston-Salem. Located just outside the city, Tanglewood Park is transformed into a winter wonderland adorned with millions of twinkling lights and elaborate holiday-themed displays.
As you drive through the park, you’ll be mesmerized by the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into each light arrangement. From whimsical characters to larger-than-life holiday scenes, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights offers a visual feast that captivates visitors of all ages.
In addition to the breathtaking light displays, Tanglewood Park offers various family-friendly activities and attractions. You can take a magical carriage ride, visit Santa’s Workshop, or enjoy hot cocoa by the bonfire. The festival is the perfect place to create lasting holiday memories with loved ones.
When planning your visit to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, be sure to check the schedule and ticket information, as this beloved tradition is popular among both locals and visitors.
Christmas Parades and Festivals
Winston-Salem knows how to celebrate the holiday season in style, and the city’s Christmas parades and festivals are a testament to that spirit. Throughout December, you can find a variety of festive celebrations that cater to all ages and interests.
One highlight is the Winston-Salem Holiday Parade, a beloved annual event featuring colorful floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Families line the streets to catch a glimpse of the festive procession and get into the holiday spirit.
Winston-Salem hosts several holiday festivals, so keep an eye on The Downtown Winston-Salem events calendar to stay up-to-date on all the festivities in the area.
Holiday Shopping in Winston-Salem
If you’re in search of the perfect Christmas gifts or unique holiday finds, Winston-Salem has you covered. The city boasts a vibrant shopping scene with a wide range of options to explore.
One standout shopping destination is Reynolda Village, a picturesque area featuring boutique shops, galleries, and charming restaurants. Here, you can browse for unique gifts, art, and home décor while enjoying the festive decorations that adorn the village.
Another must-visit location is the Hanes Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the region. With a diverse selection of stores, you can easily find gifts for everyone on your list. Plus, the mall’s holiday decorations and events add to the merry atmosphere.
For those who appreciate handcrafted goods and supporting local artisans, Winston-Salem hosts various holiday markets and craft fairs throughout the season. Keep an eye out for these events to discover unique treasures and support the local community.
No holiday experience is complete without indulging in delicious Christmas dining and treats, and Winston-Salem offers a delectable array of options. Local restaurants embrace the season by crafting special holiday menus that showcase the flavors of the South.
For a true Southern holiday feast, consider dining at one of the city’s esteemed restaurants. You can savor dishes such as roasted turkey with all the trimmings, creamy mashed potatoes, collard greens, and homemade cornbread. Be sure to try the classic sweet potato casserole, a beloved Southern delicacy.
Winston-Salem also knows how to make dessert! The city’s bakeries and dessert shops feature seasonal delights such as pecan pies, fruitcakes, and, of course, Moravian sugar cake – a local favorite. Pair your sweet treats with a warm cup of cocoa or a glass of eggnog for the ultimate holiday experience.
If you love a good brunch, some Winston-Salem restaurants offer festive brunch menus with mouthwatering options such as Christmas ham benedict and gingerbread pancakes. These brunch spots provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy a leisurely meal with loved ones during the holiday season.
Winston-Salem Christmas Experience
As our journey through Winston-Salem’s Christmas traditions draws to a close, we hope you’ve been inspired to embrace the magic of the holiday season in this charming Southern city.
Whether you’re captivated by the history of Old Salem, enthralled by the Nutcracker’s grace, or enchanted by the twinkling lights of Tanglewood, Winston-Salem offers a cornucopia of experiences for everyone.
The city’s commitment to preserving timeless traditions while embracing modern celebrations ensures that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From the serenity of Candle Tea to the excitement of holiday parades and the joy of family-friendly activities, Winston-Salem welcomes you to create unforgettable memories this Christmas.
As our journey through Winston-Salem’s Christmas traditions ends, we hope you’re as captivated by the city’s holiday spirit as we are. From the time-honored traditions of Old Salem to the dazzling displays at Tanglewood, this charming Southern city truly knows how to make winters warm.
Plan your visit, explore our Christmas traditions, and create memories that will last a lifetime while staying at our Winston-Salem Historic Inns.