Posted on 11/1/2023 by Southern Shores Realty

Outer Banks Holiday Happenings

Yes, the Outer Banks is the ultimate summer vacation destination. BUT, with its beautiful beaches, great food, entertainment, and laid-back community the OBX is also a popular year-round vacation destination. What’s not to love about spending the holidays on the Outer Banks? Stroll through majestic light displays, visit with Santa and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. Breathe in the fresh salt air and enjoy the peace and serenity of time spent at the beach this holiday season. Your Outer Banks holiday vacation is sure to be merry, bright, and full of good cheer! To help you plan your Outer Banks holiday vacation we have compiled a few of our favorite holiday happenings here on the beach.

Holiday Markets

OBX summer farmers markets are full of fun and immensely popular! So, holiday markets are eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors looking to find all the best local treasures. Markets are full of local artists, crafts, and sweet & savory treats all with the spirit of the holiday season in the air! Holiday markets are the perfect place to find holiday gifts for yourself and that special someone. From jewelry to pottery, photography to candles Outer Banks holiday markets offer food and festive holiday fun for everyone!

Dowdy Park Holiday Farmer’s Market

Dowdy Park, 3005 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC 27959

November 11th, 25th and December 9th, 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

November 30th,  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

First Flight Holiday Markets

Aviation Park, 103 Veterans Drive, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

November 18th and December 16th, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

December 12th,  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Soundside Holiday Market

The Soundside Event Site, 6800 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC 27959

December 3rd, 10th, 17th 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The 12 Bars of Christmas

It’s a holiday themed restaurant take-over across the Outer Banks! Restaurants are popping up with new names, new themes, new events and new menus designed specifically for the holiday season. An example? Sure! Ever been to The Outer Banks Brewing Station? It’s great! Well, this holiday season you can visit the Christmas Vacation Station! Same location with a fun and festive holiday twist! Mama Kwan’s? That’s so summer season – it’s Mama Klaus’s this season. From November 30 - December 31 be sure to pop out to a pop up or 12 to celebrate and enjoy the fun of the holiday season!

Each location features holiday themed décor, food, drinks, music and events! Fun and festive activities are planned throughout December including holiday markets, childrens crafts, contests, live music, and visits with Santa. Find a complete list of pop-up locations and events on the 12 Bars of Christmas website.

Christmas in Corolla

 Christmas charm and family fun is waiting for you in Corolla this holiday season! Outdoor ice skating, Candlelight Christmas Tours, the Corolla Christmas Village and the Annual Christmas Craft Village make Corolla a stop you don’t want to miss during the holidays on the Outer Banks.

The fun begins on November 24, 2023 with The 8th Annual Corolla Christmas Craft Village from 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. This is a one-day art show featuring food vendors, arts and crafts, fine arts, handmade cosmetics, baked goods and other treasures from local artists and vendors. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance to hear Christmas wishes and offer a photo opportunity.

Also beginning November 24, 2023, Historic Corolla Village is transformed into Corolla Christmas Village on Friday and Saturday evenings. Light displays, holiday vendors, food and good cheer abound at the Corolla Christmas Village. While visiting be sure to check out the very special ice skating rink! Wait, ice skating rink? On the Outer Banks? Yes! Ice skating at Historic Corolla Park begins November 24 through December 31, 2023. Plan your visit to take a spin on the new outdoor skating rink made of Glice synthetic ice! Skating and skates are provided free of charge. Skating is first come, first served Fridays and Saturdays from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ice skating is also available December 19, 21, 26 & 28 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Finally, Whalehead’s Candlelight Christmas Tours are held Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tours include a special tour of the traditionally decorated historic mansion, a live musical performance, and a holiday treat at the conclusion of the tour. Find more information in the link below. Reserve early as tours fill up quickly.

For more information visit Christmas in Corolla online.


Strolling along  garden paths guided by the glow of holiday lights is an Outer Banks tradition not to be missed. Enjoy the historic Elizabethan Gardens in a whole new way as the garden paths are illuminated with holiday lights transforming the gardens into an enchanting wonderland. Plan your visit around one of the live music or family focused evenings or stroll on your own as you are transported to a fantasy land. WinterLights is open evenings throughout November and December. For more details and to purchase tickets visit The Elizabethan Gardens are located at 1411 National Park Drive Manteo, NC 27954. 

Kites with Lights, at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, is an outdoor light show unlike any other! Watch as large 19-to-30 foot kites take to the sky high above the dunes at Jockey's Ridge.  Kites are lit up in the spirit of the holiday season! Join the festive fun November 25, 2023 from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.  This is a free event and includes the official lighting of the Jockey’s Ridge State Park Solar Christmas Tree at 5:00 p.m.  Jockey’s Ridge State Park is located a t 300 W. Carolista Rd., Nags Head, NC 27959.

Convinced? We thought so.  Holidays are always a special time with family and friends. Make more memories on the Outer Banks this holiday season. Find the perfect home for the holidays on the Outer Banks on our website.  (Bonus: Partial week stays available!)

For a complete list of upcoming events on the Outer Banks click here. 

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