Cape Fear Weekend Planner | What’s happening in Wilmington and beyond in November?

WILMINGTON, N.C. (CAPE FEAR WEEKEND) -

The Wilmington area is getting ready for the holidays with a month full of flotillas, light displays, and live music. Discover all the best fall events in Wilmington and beyond with our November guide to events. Here you’ll find everything you need to plan for the upcoming holiday season. With so many events happening in our area keep checking back as we will add to this list. Don’t miss out! Plan early, as some of these activities are very popular and some have limited dates and ticket availability.

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November 3rd

Jazz at the CAM: Shana Tucker

Cameron Art Museum 3201 South 17th Street Wilmington, NC 28412 | 7:00 PM

Cellist and singer-songwriter Shana Tucker is the next artist in the Jazz at the Cameron Concert Series. She describes her genre-blending musical form ChamberSoulTM as a mashup of jazz, roots, folk, acoustic pop, and a dash of rhythm and blues that emerges as melodies that reverberate in your head for days, engaging audiences of all ages through open song-storytelling in performance. Come learn why Cirque du Soleil sought her out.

November 4th

Swan Lake: World Ballet Series

UNCW Kenan Auditorium 601 S College Road Wilmington, NC 28403 | 7:30 PM

50 expert ballet dancers from 50 different countries perform the renowned Swan Lake, bringing the most well-known love story to life. Enjoy Tchaikovsky’s entrancing music while seeing the legendary Dance of the Little Swans and counting the Odile’s 32 fouettés. Enjoy the World Ballet’s innovative interpretation of this time-honored classic, which includes over 150 radiant costumes, richly detailed hand-painted sets, and more. Ballet enthusiasts, dancers, and newcomers to the genre will all enjoy this!

November 4th – November 5th

Anastasia The Musical

The Wilson Center 703 N Third Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | Saturday Matinee: 2:00 PM | Evening: 7:30 PM

Experience a magical evening as the passionate, action-packed new musical Anastasia whisks you away from the crumbling Russian Empire to the glittering exuberance of 1920s Paris. Follow the story of an orphan, a courageous young person who sets out on an adventurous quest to solve the enigma surrounding her ancestry.

November 4th – November 6th

Seaglass Monthly Market

5601 Castle Hayne Rd, Castle Hayne, NC 28429 | Friday 9 a.m. – Sunday 3 p.m. |

On the third weekend of every month, Seaglass Artisan Market hosts more than 55 local vendors for an expansive shopping experience. The wares offered range from upcycled furniture and décor to handmade soaps and skin care products. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind pieces of art or interesting vintage clothing items. Take a daytrip to Castle Hayne and plan to spend a few hours perusing through the market’s two showrooms and warehouse.

Annual Coastal Carolina Clay Guild Holiday Sale and Show

Community Arts Center, 120 S 2nd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | Sat-Sun: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Reception & Sale Fri: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Looking to shop local for holiday gifts this year? Wilmington’s Annual Coastal Carolina Clay Guild Holiday Sale and Show is a one-stop-shop for artisan ceramic art. Hosted by The Coastal Carolina Clay Guild, the free event will be taking place all weekend at the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center in downtown Wilmington.

Thirty guild members will be selling their creations and there will also be art raffled off. Join the artists on Friday night for a special reception with refreshments accompanied by live music performed by the Tallis Chamber Orchestra.

November 5th

15th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area 1000 Loggerhead Road Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Come watch as serious kite flyers share their sky art at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area for the 15th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival presented in partnership with the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce. This is the final kite event of the professional kite flying season

Ghost Hunt with Steve Gonsalves

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA 1 Battleship Road Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 PM – 3:00 AM

Come spend an unforgettable evening on board the Battleship North Carolina with Ghost Hunters’ Steve Gonsalves. On November 5th, at 6:00 PM, the lights-out investigation for paranormal activity begins. It lasts until three hours after midnight. Additionally, VIP options are offered to enhance your experience. This will undoubtedly be a spooky good time. Tickets start at $125

9th Annual Taste of Wrightsville

Bluewater Waterfront Grill 5 Marina Street Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Bluewater Waterfront Grill will host the 9th annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach on Saturday, November 5.

Weekend Meals on Wheels of New Hanover County is organizing the event and raising money for their work to provide meals to homebound seniors.

Polish Festival

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church | 11 AM - 5 PM

The festival will take place on the church’s grounds at 4849 Castle Hayne Road in Castle Hayne.

Per the announcement, the event will offer:

  • Authentic Polish food
  • Drinks, including the “St. Stan’s Baltic Porter,” an authentic brew created for the festival
  • Live polka music
  • Dancing
  • Cash prize raffle

NC Spot Festival

14221 U.S. HWY 17 in Hampstead | 9:30 AM - 10:30 PM

Those wishing to attend can look forward to:

  • Fried spot plates
  • A wide variety of local vendors
  • Local food trucks
  • Live music, including Chillin’ Dixie, Cayden MaCray, Fryd on the Boat, Christian Brinkley and Southern Torch
  • Inflatables from Bounce House Wilmington
  • Axe throwing from Axes & Allies (Sunday)
  • Beer and wine, including Salty Turtle Beer Company
  • Opening ceremonies at 10 a.m

Admission will be $5 for those age 7 and older. Children under the age of 7 will get in for free, per the announcement. Money raised by the festival will support eastside schools in Pender County. Event organizers have stated that chairs will be permitted, but outside coolers and pets will not. Additionally, they said that this year’s festival will have a larger kids area compared to past events.

Comedian Caitlin Cook

Dead Crow Comedy Room | Lush Lounge 511 N Third Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM Spend the evening laughing with Caitlin Cook, a writer, director, producer, singer, and well-known comic around the world. On Sirius XM, her three musical comedies are frequently played. That else do you know who uploaded a song every day throughout the pandemic and racked up more than 100,000 Tik Tok subscribers?

General Admission: $18 | VIP:$28

November 5th and 6th

Festival Latino

Ogden Park 7069 Market Street Wilmington, NC 28411 | 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Come take part in the exciting multi-cultural weekend celebration as Festival Latino returns, which will have great music, family entertainment, and delicious food. The Kids Fiesta Area, a food patio with delectable cuisine from across Latin America, live Latin music, dance instruction, a variety of vendors selling various goods, and more will all keep the little ones occupied for hours. For all the most recent developments, kindly check their social media.

November 9th

Burning Boat Festival (OTH)

1 N Water Street Wilmington, NC 28401

Enjoy this one-of-a-kind One Tree Hill (OTH) fan recreation of the Tree Hill Burning Boat, which was a key element of the show’s first and final seasons and continues to draw fans of all ages from throughout the world. This boat will be recreated on the Riverwalk at the foot of Market Street for a brief period for fan photo ops as part of A Week in Tree Hill 4- A Celebration of Giving, a series of sold-out ticketed events, and is modeled after the ancient ritual of putting past regrets in a boat that would then be forgotten. Boat will be available for photos Nov. 5th – Nov. 13th

Special Public Event Nov. 9th speaker 3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Comedian David Sedaris

UNCW Kenan Auditorium 601 S College Road Wilmington, NC 28403 | 7:30 PM

David Sedaris has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost humor writers with his caustic wit and sharp criticisms. He is a master of satire and one of the most perceptive authors working today because of his exceptional ability to cut through political correctness and cultural euphemisms. David’s books have sold over 10 million copies, and his articles frequently appear in The New Yorker and have twice been chosen for inclusion in The Best American Essays.

November 11th

Elderhaus at the Lake’s Veteran’s Day Celebration

Elderhaus at the Lake, 1950 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401, USA | 10:30 AM -11:30 AM

Elderhaus at the Lake will be honoring our Veterans. This year special guest, founder and former CEO, Linda Pierce will be attending. The NC Patriot Riders will be presenting Branch Flags for each of the Veterans.

November 12th

5th Annual Veterans Day Parade & Celebration

Hanover and N Third Streets Wilmington, NC 28401 | 11:00 AM

Wilmington’s 5th Annual Southeast North Carolina Veteran’s Parade is one of the best at honoring all veterans! Watch captivating marching bands and ensembles from all throughout Southeast North Carolina. For the most recent information on the parade route, please check social media. The public is invited to a meeting at Market Street and Second Street following the march. Along with the sizable historical BB55 North Carolina Battleship Replica on display, there will also be informational booths available. After the parade, stop by to get a close look at this sizable Battleship replica and learn more about Wilmington’s rich history. Every kid who donates $1 to the “Save the BB55 Battleship Replica Fund” will get an ID card designating them as an Honorary Admiral of the BB55!

Columbus County Veterans Celebration Parade

Downtown Whiteville | 11 AM

The parade will begin at Smith Street and turn onto Madison Street and exit Madison Street. Parade will be followed by wreath laying ceremony in the former Lewis Smith Shopping Center.

Ballet Hispanico

UNCW Kenan Auditorium 601 S College Road Wilmington, NC 28403 | 7:30 PM

Widely acknowledged as one of America’s cultural treasures and leading Latinx dance organizations, Ballet Hispánico is an intersection between artistic excellence and advocacy. Join this New York dance troupe in Kenan Auditorium for a performance that champions and amplifies Latinx dances, providing a place of honor for their cultural dance history as well as influential modern dance.

Curated On Castle Vintage Market

Open Lot @ 6th & Castle, 604 Castle Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, USA | | 10:00am - 2:00pm

Join us for Curated On Castle, Wilmington’s Only All-Vintage Outdoor Market, every 2nd Saturday March-November from 10am-2pm!

Find us in the heart of the Castle Street Antiques District, in the open lot at 6th & Castle Streets across from Michael Moore Antiques and adjacent to Luna Caffe.

Neon Bike Brigade Fundraiser for Ocean Cure

Carolina Beach Lake Park 400 South Lake Park Boulevard Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 3:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Get your wheels turning at the Carolina Beach Lake Park where we will have live music, food and beer/wine provided by local vendors to purchase. Deck out your bike in glow in the dark and neon gear. At sunset the brigade route begins, ending with a celebration at SeaWitch Cafe & Tiki Bar.

Open to all ages and biking abilities. Kids under 5 Free

Event Details:

3:00PM: Check in at Carolina Beach Lake

5:30PM: Bike Brigade Line Up

6:00PM: Bike Brigade Begins

Finish Line/After Party at SeaWitch

The Groove Market at Waterman’s Brewing

Waterman’s Brewing 1610 Pavilion Place Wilmington, NC 28403 | 11 AM – 3 PM

This market will be hosted outdoors, and artists will be selling handmade goods like candles, jewelry, pottery, beauty products & more!

There will be live music on the patio, 30 local vendors and tons of handmade products ✨

Grab a mimosa to sip on while you do some local shopping 🛍 🥂

Brahms: Symphony No. 4 + Amit Peled

Wilson Center, 703 North 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Amit Peled will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C and Bruch’s Kol nidrei on the Wilson Center stage with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. This concert will also feature Symphony No. 4 by Brahms.

Mallory Creek Craft Fair

Mallory Creek Craft Fair, 115 Grace Point Drive, Winnabow, NC 28479 | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Mallory Creek will be having a Craft Fair at 115 Grace Point Dr .There will be lots of vendors selling there hand made crafts

ACCESS of Wilmington All-Star Disco

Windell Daniels Hall at Union Station, 502 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Put on your boogie shoes as we dance the night away in support of ACCESS of Wilmington and our programs providing adapted sports, recreation, and fitness programs to over 650 children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Bid on sports memorabilia, golf outings, vacation packages and more in our online ALLSTAR Auction!

Annual Holiday Bazaar

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1401 College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Wesley Memorial United Women in Faith Annual Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale featuring homemade goodies and crafts. White Elephant sale of household items, toys, books and gently used holiday items. Handmade crafts for gifts and holiday decor. Homemade chicken salad by the pint. Credit cards accepted. All proceeds benefit local and global missions.

10th Annual Holiday Craft Show - American Legion Post 129

American Legion Post 129, 1500 Bridge Barrier Road, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

A wide selection of vendors for your holiday shopping. We will also have snacks and beverages for purchase.

November 13th

USCT Park: Opening Day

Cameron Art Museum 3201 South 17th Street Wilmington, NC 28412 | 10 AM – 5PM

Join the festivities as the US Colored Troops (USCT) Park opens its doors at the Cameron Art Museum. Wayfinding signs at the famous Battle of Forks Road battlefield describe how 1,600 United States Colored Troops helped the Union take control of Wilmington, and a life-size statue honors their valor (Boundless). The brand-new park will offer a tranquil setting for introspection, solace, and education regarding the significant part the USCT played in the Civil War. This day will be jam-packed with free events for people of all ages that feature storytelling, music, and USCT reenactors.

Battleship Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

1 Battleship Road Wilmington, NC 28401 | Half Marathon & 10K Start: 7:00 AM | 5K Start: 7:10 AM

Prepare for the run through historic downtown Wilmington by participating in a half marathon, 10K, or 5K. One of the first USTA-certified half marathons in the South, the Battleship Half Marathon first took place in 1998. A lovely historic downtown, the Battleship North Carolina, two bridges, and picturesque Greenfield Park are all traversed by runners. This is a run, party, and location you won’t soon forget. Whether you participate in the marathon or just cheer on the competitors as they pass through some breathtaking countryside. Enjoy the course’s video on their social media.

November 16th – November 20th

Cucalorus Film Festival

Downtown Wilmington |Nov. 16 – Nov. 20 | Details

Movies buffs should get psyched because the Cucalorus Film Festival is back in person this year with a line up of over 100 indie films premiering in various locations around downtown Wilmington. Genres range from emotional dramas to thrilling horror to generally weird pieces. Screenings will be happening all week at Thalian Hall and Jeno’s Playhouse starting on Wednesday and ending on Sunday.

Individual screening tickets are $10 and can be used to get into individual events. Full access festival passes are $200 and they come with some special perks.

November 18th

Comedian Nate Craig

Dead Crow Comedy Room | Lush Lounge 511 N Third Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM

Nate Craig, an internationally traveling actor, writer, and comedian, will have you laughing all night long. He starred in Maniac as Phil and appeared in Roast Battle and World’s Dumbest as a cast member. Nate has several comedic projects that are now streaming in addition to his newly released stand-up show Preferred Customer. He has appeared on Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast, You Made it Weird, and the Best of the Bob & Tom Radio Show, among other podcasts. He has written for a variety of comedic television programs, including Ridiculousness and A Prairie Home Companion. Come see why Nate is a well-liked paid regular at renowned venues like Largo, Hollywood Improv, and NY Comedy Cellar (LA).

November 19th

Darwin’s Smile: Cucalorus Film Festival

Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts 310 Chestnut Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 PM

Experience a brand-new one-woman show composed, co-authored, and performed by the famous Isabella Rossellini as the Cucalorus Film Festival’s main attraction. Through a range of animal personalities, including Charles Darwin, this wonderfully compelling show explores how empathy may be utilized to comprehend animals. In her long, well-known acting, modeling, and film career, Rossellini made a memorable appearance in the Wilmington-shot independent/cult classic Blue Velvet. Come observe how animal emotion expression reveals the similarities between humans and other species. This is the headlining presentation of Cucalorus

Kure Beach Holiday Market

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion 105 Atlantic Avenue Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

At the Kure Beach Holiday Market, you may get a head start on your holiday shopping while also supporting regional artisans. While perusing the goods made by gifted artists and craftspeople, you may take in the stunning ocean scenery, a DJ, and a variety of food trucks. Anyone would want to shop by the seaside, right?

Tidewater Camellia Club Fall Show & Sale

New Hanover County Arboretum 6206 Oleander Drive Wilmington, NC 28403 | Plant Sale Begins 12:00 pm| Viewing of Blooms: 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Activities: 1:00 AM - 3:00 PM

November 21st

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

November 21st – January 2nd

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher 900 Loggerhead Road Kure Beach, NC 28449 | Daily 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM

The annual Cape Fear Festival of Trees is back at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser put on by Lower Cape Fear Hospice. They have been doing this fundraiser since the early 1980′s. Take joy in strolling around the aquarium with over 50 different decorated trees displayed. Each tree is sponsored by a local business or individual, and all have different themes. This event is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Admission to see the festival of trees is just your admission to the aquarium. However, advanced tickets must be purchased.

November 24th

Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot

321 Causeway Drive Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 8:00 5K Begins | 8:10 AM One Mile Starts | Awards begin 9:15

The Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot is a great way to lose weight before Thanksgiving. Come prepared for a Timed 5K or One Mile Run/Walk on the stunning Wrightsville Beach Loop. Wear your best Thanksgiving attire. Everybody can have fun, eat, and win prizes on Thanksgiving!

November 25th

Downtown Holiday Tree Lighting

3500 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 5:30 p.m. | Details

Head downtown for live music by the Wilmington Sax Quartet starting at 5:30 pm, and enjoy free hot chocolate while supplies last. The countdown for the annual Holiday tree lighting will begin at 6:28 pm. Kick off your holiday season with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus after the official tree illumination. Admission is free for this event.

Enchanted Airlie

300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403 | Nightly 1-Hour Timed Tickets: 5:30pm | 6:30pm | 7:30pm | 8:30pm

Since 2005, guests from around the world have visited Airlie Gardens to take in the sparkling sights and festive sounds of the holiday season. Enjoy a self-guided walk through of Airlie Gardens and wander through 37 acres of holiday lights & music. Unfortunately, Santa will not be present this year at Enchanted Airlie.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time, and may be sold out.

Fourth Friday Gallery Nights

ACES Gallery 221 N Front Street, Suite 101 Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In 2022, take pleasure in a Fourth Friday evening when a few galleries and studios open their doors for an after-hours celebration of art and culture. Take a self-guided tour to see exhibitions of various artistic mediums, such as oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, metals, ceramics, music, mixed media, and more, on the fourth Friday of every month. The featured artist is frequently available for discussions about their work in galleries. All locations that are taking part, including the Arts Council of Wilmington, have maps accessible.

Holiday Train Expo

3500 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The annual Holiday Train Expo at Independence Mall in Wilmington, NC, features more than 12 unique layouts and over 30 trains. Watch as trains travel through a wonderland of landscapes, and holiday scenes. Delight in the magic of the Polar Express with a family photo-op.

Tickets for adults are just $6, ages 3-12 are $4 , and children under 3 are free.

Island of Lights: Lighting at the Lake

Carolina Beach Lake Park N Lake Park Blvd and Atlanta Avenue Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 7:00 PM

At the opening ceremony for Island of Lights, get into the holiday spirit. The Lighting of the Lake is preceded by a brief opening ceremony that includes elected leaders, musical entertainment, an Honor Guard show, and the National Anthem. For a joyful start to the holiday season, stroll along the mile-long path and take in the lovely illuminated displays, Santa who will be there to hear your Christmas wishes, and more.

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

Wilmington Railroad Museum 505 Nutt Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM

The museum transforms into a winter wonderland with more than 25,000 lights, musical animations and twilight model train displays and is a tradition for many families. This event is a great way to get into the holiday spirit with friends and family and a unique way to see a dazzling light display.

November 26th

NC Holiday Flotilla: Festival in the Park

Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation 1 Bob Sawyer Drive Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 10:00 – 4:00 PM

The NC Holiday Flotilla is a coastal-style holiday celebration. A big children’s play area with many inflatables, festival cuisine, arts and craft exhibitors, a judged antique vehicle display, and more are all part of the morning’s Festival in the Park. Shop for presents, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy a lavish holiday celebration. The day comes to a conclusion when the sun sets and a flotilla parade of brightly illuminated boats starts down the shoreline. This is followed by a lavish fireworks display.

Kure Beach Holiday Market

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion 105 Atlantic Avenue Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

At the Kure Beach Holiday Market, you may get a head start on your holiday shopping while also supporting regional artisans. While perusing the goods made by gifted artists and craftspeople, you may take in the stunning ocean scenery, a DJ, and a variety of food trucks. Anyone would want to shop by the seaside, right?

Holiday Train Expo

3500 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The annual Holiday Train Expo at Independence Mall in Wilmington, NC, features more than 12 unique layouts and over 30 trains. Watch as trains travel through a wonderland of landscapes, and holiday scenes. Delight in the magic of the Polar Express with a family photo-op.

Tickets for adults are just $6, ages 3-12 are $4 , and children under 3 are free.

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

Wilmington Railroad Museum 505 Nutt Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM

The museum transforms into a winter wonderland with more than 25,000 lights, musical animations and twilight model train displays and is a tradition for many families. This event is a great way to get into the holiday spirit with friends and family and a unique way to see a dazzling light display.

November 27th

Holiday Train Expo

3500 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The annual Holiday Train Expo at Independence Mall in Wilmington, NC, features more than 12 unique layouts and over 30 trains. Watch as trains travel through a wonderland of landscapes, and holiday scenes. Delight in the magic of the Polar Express with a family photo-op.

Tickets for adults are just $6, ages 3-12 are $4 , and children under 3 are free.

November 28th

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

The Wilson Center 703 N Third Street Wilmington, NC 28401 | Matinee: 3:30 PM | Evening:7:30 PM

Discover the magic as Mannheim Steamroller’s distinctive music, an American tradition for over 35 years, brings the Christmas spirit to life. Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has produced a production that combines popular Christmas music with stunning multimedia effects and is presented in a small-scale indoor environment. All ages like their holiday releases, which have come to represent Christmas, and they consistently hold the top slots on Billboard’s seasonal charts.

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