Christmas in Fayetteville and Winter Fun, Too!

Last Updated on April 13, 2021

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Fayetteville is beautiful throughout the year, but if you happen to visit during Christmas, you’ll still find plenty to do.

If you’ve ever spent a winter in North Carolina, you know that it’s not a complete snowy wonderland found on the Hallmark Channel.

And that’s especially true if you get closer to the coast and nearby spots like Fayetteville. Since we’ve spent some time in the area, here are some fun ways to enjoy Christmas in Fayetteville and during the rest of winter.

We’ve enjoyed multiple weekends in Fayetteville and shared more about it here. This post is part of our series on awesome places to stay in Eastern North Carolina.

Winter Things to Do in Fayetteville

Christmas and Holiday Events in Fayetteville

The holidays are a special time of year. The Cool Spring Downtown District gets all lit up with festive lights, meaning you’ve got to take a stroll through there.

Holiday Jubilee at the Poe House

Fayetteville NC 1897 Poe House

The 1897 Poe House gets decked out and hosts its annual Holiday Jubilee. On December 8, Check it out and join the fun that includes carolers, festive and historic decor, and Santa Claus! 

We also included Holiday Jubilee (and a few more events you’ll see in a bit) in our guide covering things to do in December!

Carriage Rides

If you feel even more fun, Downtown Fayetteville goes above and beyond offering horse-drawn carriage rides during its Dickens Holiday on November 29!

From December 7-22, you can enjoy a carriage ride through downtown with Santa, too! “Ho ho ho” your way around town in style!

No matter which option, grab a hot chocolate from The Coffee Cup and enjoy the sites of Downtown Fayetteville in warmth!

Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Winter in Fayetteville Cape Fear Botanical Gardens Image

Cape Fear Botanical Garden would top our list any weekend (especially when going outside), but its “Holiday Lights in the Garden” event makes it one of our favorite ways to enjoy Christmas in Fayetteville!

Bring the kids when the sun goes down for a mile-long stroll of beautiful festive lights, hayrides, a visit from Santa, and S’mores roasting over the fire pit.

We love this botanical garden so much, that we included it in our Spring Things to Do in North Carolina & featured Holiday Lights in the Garden in our guide covering Christmas lights in North Carolina.

Christmas in the Park

From December 6-22, head out to Arnette Park and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. During Christmas in the Park, you can take a walk on a 1/2 mile path and see lights, roast marshmallows, ride a Christmas Express Train, and much more. 

More Ways to Enjoy Christmas and Winter in Fayetteville

Shop Local

Events in Fayetteville NC Every Weekend Farmers Market Image
Shop local at the City Market, even during the winter!

We love to shop local and Fayetteville has plenty to peruse. Whether it’s browsing the City Market at the Museum vendors or the shops on Hay Street, Fayetteville has an incredible local scene.

Speaking of farmer’s markets in Fayetteville, don’t forget about Dirtbag Ales on Sundays. Buy something local while enjoying their dog park, playground, and beers from one of our favorite breweries!

Rude Awakening Coffee Shop

Saved from demolition, Brady’s Soda Shop is now the iconic Rude Awakening Coffee Shop. The back patio is most certainly something to write home about and many people have done just that.

It’s open until midnight, so you can enjoy a latte anytime!

Shop Local Even More

Fayetteville NC LeClaires General Store Image
Inside Leclair’s General Store. This place rules!

Tucked away in the Haymount District of Fayetteville is not your average general store. Leclair’s General Store is thoughtfully filled with a beautiful collection of antiques, art, and oddities that make you want to start a Pinterest board.

Sip some wine or a nitro cold brew while you browse and take home something that sings to your soul.

The Wine Cafe

Before you head to your hotel for the night, make sure to stop by The Wine Café and Angie will help you select the perfect bottle to relax and take home!

Float Away

A visit to Floating Shanti tops all other relaxing ways to enjoy Christmas and beyond during winter in Fayetteville. Here, you can literally float in a calm space with the minerals your body craves.

There’s something symbolic about letting go of gravity and floating in a tub of magnesium-enriched water. Rejuvenate yourself with a soak and then center your mind with a private yoga session or massage.

Not only will your body feel refreshed from the winter elements, but so will your mind.

Up Your Brunch Game

We won’t lie to you. We often travel for food. And…we specifically travel for brunch.

Circa 1800

Restaurants in Fayetteville Circa 1600 Brunch Image

Circa 1800 is a place where we can brunch every weekend morning, especially around Christmas in Fayetteville! Offered on both Saturday and Sunday, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

From a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar to the signature Chicken and Waffles, Circa 1800 prides itself on locally sourced ingredients. Sip on North Carolina draft beers or Craft Pickle Martini with North Carolina spirts.

Brunching with Circa 1800 not just the perfect way to spend a winter morning, it’s one of the best restaurants in Fayetteville. We also think it’s one of the top breakfast restaurants in all of North Carolina!

Fayetteville Marksmen Games

Also mentioned in our guide to winter in North Carolina, hockey comes alive in Fayetteville with Marksmen games! Come out and cheer on the home team as they battle SPHL rivals for supremacy. 

Stay Inside and Learn Military History

Fort Bragg being nearby means there are plenty of ways to celebrate our military history.

Special Operations and Airborne Museum

Spend an entire morning strolling the US Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum. It’s one of North Carolina’s best museums, with plenty to do inside and out.

The main exhibit starts with the history of airborne and special operations from the 1940s to current units.

If you want to know more before heading to the museum, check out Diary of an Airborne Ranger by Frank Johnson.

Brave the Cold at Veterans Park and Constant Vigilance

Go across the street to Veterans Park and take in the dog tag chandelier, made of 33,500 tags dedicated to North Carolina veterans. Take a moment to soak in Iron Mike, the 3,235-pound statue dedicated to all past, present, and future paratroopers.

Another place to take pause is in front of is the bronze statue of Constant Vigilance, the first memorial for K9 soldiers killed in action.

Ready to Enjoy Christmas Fayetteville and Winter, Too?

If you’ve traveled to North Carolina before, you know, you know that winter is filled with fun seasonal events. Add that to all the cool permanent attractions in Fayetteville, and you’ve got an awesome little city worth visiting.

Seriously, add “Christmas in Fayetteville” to your list of winter things to do in North Carolina and you won’t be disappointed!

Disclosure Note

Special thanks to Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for providing us with complimentary accommodations, admission, and meals throughout our stay. All opinions within this article are our own.

12 thoughts on “Christmas in Fayetteville and Winter Fun, Too!”

  1. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Fayetteville, but these are all fun ideas! Mmmm I’m always a sucker for coffeeshops and it would be fun to explore the botanical garden 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • It’s such a fun place all year round! But it’s especially cool when you can find a place to explore during the winter too! Happy New Year to you as well, Liz!

  2. I’ve only ever traveled through Fayetteville; I’ve never actually stopped for a visit. But it sounds like there are so many fun things to do that I might have to plan to spend the day there the next time we’re traveling through! I would love to visit and honor the Constant Vigilance statue, as well.

    • It’s definitely worthy of a weekend or more! Especially for the food! We’ll have a post on that coming up soon! Thanks for stopping by Nikki!

  3. Hi Christina!! Thanks for shining such an awesome spotlight on the things we have here in Fayetteville. Always happy when you come for a visit.Circa is one of my faves and who can resists a visit to LeClair’s 😉

    • Hi Tiffany, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You’re a great example of that awesome community in Fayetteville. Looking forward to continuing visiting and spreading the word about your great town!

  4. We recently moved to Fayetteville,NC,this is so helpful especially since we don’t have any friends or family out here to show us around. We’re a family of 7(5 kids)originally from nyc and I’m so excited for the change of pace and getting to know our new hometown


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