30+ Wonderful Things to Do in North Carolina in November (Updated for 2022)

Last Updated on September 7, 2022

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November in North Carolina is the last full month of fall and sets up the festive winter season. There are tons of local holiday and Christmas events kicking off, leaving plenty of things to do in North Carolina in November.

Read More: Winter Things to Do in North Carolina

With the help of readers and members of North Carolina Travel Facebook Group, we’ve come up with over 30 local events throughout the state.

In case you’re looking for something specific, we’ve separated this guide into two sections. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Things to Do in North Carolina in November (Various Themes)
  • Things to Do in North Carolina in November (Holiday and Christmas Events)

As we’ve done with previous monthly roundups, we’ve ordered these November events by starting date and alphabetized by city.

Also, you can scroll down to the second section or keep reading about the first of many fun things to do in North Carolina in November!

Read More: October in North Carolina

Things to Do in North Carolina in November (Various Themes)

Note that many November events in NC may decide to cancel or alter times/dates, sometimes at the last minute. Please visit the links we’ve provided to each individual event to confirm details and also, to lend your support in cases of cancellation.

Note: If you represent a tourism bureau, destination marketing organization, or PR agency and want placement here, please visit this page for more info.

NGK NTK World of Outlaws World Finals, Concord (November 2-5)

The first of our things to do in North Carolina in November is one of the loudest!

Rev your engines and get ready for the best dirt racing event in the country. World of Outlaws Finals at the Charlotte Motor Speedway brings the best in the sport to Cabarrus County.

Grab yourself a 3-day Pit Pass or camp for the weekend alongside the track, this clay-slinging race weekend is bound to be wicked fast!

Read More: Things to Do in Concord and Cabarrus County

Carolina Renaissance Festival, Huntersville (November 5-6, 12-13, and 19-20)

Huntersville’s annual Carolina Renaissance Festival continues from October and takes place every weekend until November 20.

Nearly 1,000 artists will fill the 25-acre village, along with music, theater, and food. Don’t miss the Tournament Jousting, falconry demos, or their Living Mermaid exhibit, either!

Read More: October in North Carolina

Southport Wooden Boat Show, Southport (November 5)

Celebrate Southport’s heritage and maritime history at the Southport Wooden Boat Show. Festival-goers can view wooden boat exhibits, hop on a boat ride, or enjoy some of the many hands-on activities for children.

WNC Pottery Festival, Sylva (November 5)

Among all these great things to do in North Carolina in November, the WNC Pottery Festival is one that you can’t miss! With over 40 master potters from 16 states, this is one of the top arts event in this part of North Carolina.

With live throwing and firing demonstrations and even a “throw down” on Friday before this November event begins, there are lots of ways to get your clay on!

NC Pecan Harvest Festival, Whiteville (November 5)

Celebrate North Carolina’s pecan growers at the NC Pecan Harvest Festival! Located in downtown Whiteville, the festival includes live music, a pecan run, a parade, food, and a car show.

Tickets can also be purchased to tour the historic homes of Whiteville during the festival. If you have kids aged 8-17, you can enter them in the Pecan Harvest Festival Cooking Contest!

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)

Whirligig Festival, Wilson (November 5-6)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November

Head out to Wilson for two days of fun at the Whirligig Festival. Stroll through the bucket list-worthy Vollis P. Simpson Whirligig Park while enjoying tons of food, arts, and free fun from over 200 vendors.

It’s a great time for everyone in the family (especially the kids) and you might just see us there, too!

Read More: Unique Things to Do in North Carolina

Outer Banks Marathon, Nags Head (November 11-13)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November Outer Banks Marathon Road Image

Beginning on the largest sand dune on the East Coast, the Outer Banks Marathon brings runners from across the state to complete! The event includes a marathon, half marathon, 5k, 8k, and different race options for all runners. With beautiful scenery all around you during your run, it’s no wonder this event is incredibly popular.

Read More: Off-season On the Outer Banks

Cucalorus Festival, Wilmington (November 16-20)

Film buffs and artists converge in Wilmington for the Cucalorus Festival every November. This is one of the most vibrant things to do in North Carolina in November, with over 90 films from around the world showcased. Genres and themes range from social justice, horror, and indie.

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Wilmington

Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair, Winston-Salem (November 18-19)

Since 1963, Winston-Salem has showcased the quality craftsmanship and handwork of more than 100 artisans at the Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair.

With exhibitions ranging in media from clay, wood, glass, fiber, and metal, you’ll find some of the best artwork from across the country during this event.

Read More: Delicious Restaurants in Winston-Salem

Pottery Festival, Seagrove (November 19-20)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November Seagrove Pottery Image

With the largest collection of potters in a concentrated area, Seagrove is home to a variety of styles, colors, and studios. See this pottery on display at the Pottery Festival!

The festival has been bringing people from all over the world since 1982 to celebrate the local area potters. Browse the festival and speak to the craftspeople who made them, all while searching for the piece that speaks to you!

Read More: Things to Do in Asheboro and Randolph County

Small Business Saturday, Statewide (November 26)

Things to Do in Fayetteville NC Leclaires General Store Inside Image
Leclair’s General Store in Fayetteville.

Small Business Saturday will be on November 26 this year. To celebrate this holiday, there are several Shop Small Saturday events happening throughout the state.

No matter where you live, downtown small businesses will have something special planned. Don’t forget about general stores throughout our state, like Leclair’s in Fayetteville, Mast in several locations, and Heritage Farms in Goldsboro.

If your city has anything exciting going on during this special day, please let us know about it! 

Read More: Why and How to Support Local Businesses

Things to Do in North Carolina in November (Holiday and Christmas Events)

This next section offers the best holiday and Christmas-themed things to do in North Carolina in November.

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina

The Polar Express Train Ride in the Smokies, Bryson City (November 10-January 1)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Enterance

Feel the holiday magic with a warm cup of cocoa along the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad! The Polar Express Train Ride has been taken by over 90,000 North Pole lovers per year!

The 75-minute train ride starts in Bryson City, reenacts the classic story, and rumor has it that Santa himself makes an appearance!

Read More: January in North Carolina

Ashe County Christmas Tree Farms Choose & Cut Season, West Jefferson (Mid-to-Late November-December)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November Christmas Tree Farms

Choosing and cutting your own Christmas tree is a popular family tradition. For those getting ready to celebrate the holiday season, it’s one of the best things to do in North Carolina in November.

We love Christmas tree farms and there are dozens of them in Ashe County! 12 farms in Ashe County offer Choose and Cut.

Merry Merry Market, Greensboro (November 16)

The best artisans from the Triad assemble in Greensboro during the Merry Merry Market. This exclusive boutique holiday shopping market guarantees that you’ll find the perfect gift for everyone on your list! It costs $5 to enter and parking is free.

Check it out at the Revolution Mill Colonnade Events Center.

Read More: Must-Eat Greensboro Restaurants

Festival of Trees, Pinehurst (November 16-20)

Stand in a sea of holiday delight at the 26th annual Festival of Trees in Pinehurst! The Carolina Hotel parking lot will be filled with over 100 trees of various sizes decorated each in a unique way.

Visit for the silent auction, gift shop, raffle, and tap your toes to live entertainment.

Read More: Things to Do in Southern Pines

Meadow Lights, Benson (November 18-December 31)

Meadow Lights in Benson is the largest and oldest Christmas event in Eastern North Carolina. The 30-acre land is decorated with a stunning display of lights, 10 acres of which can be viewed from a train ride.

Hop on the carousel or grab some old-fashioned candy from the old country store before you enjoy the beautiful twinkling lights!

Read More: Interview with Redneck BBQ Lab Owner Jerry Stephenson

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, Cary (November 18-January 8)

Cary NC Chinese Lantern Festival Image

Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary lights up again when the Chinese Lantern Festival returns. The cultural festival features all-new displays and evenings filled with music, hot cocoa, and more fun.

Ticket Info is available here.

Read More: The Mayton in Cary (+ 7 Things We Love About Staying Here!)

Speedway Christmas, Charlotte (November 18- January 1)

Things to Do in North Carolina in November Speedway Christmas Charlotte Motor Speedway NC

With more than 4 million lights twinkling around the 3.75-mile course that includes the oval and the ROVAL, Charlotte Motor Speedway invites you to celebrate the season at Speedway Christmas!

Drive through this iconic track and turn on 101.3 FM and enjoy the festive lights. Stop by the Christmas Village which includes a 100 ft slide, carousel, Ferris wheel, and fun for the whole family.

Read More: The Best Restaurants and Awesome Breweries in Concord and Cabarrus County

Christmas on Main, Andrews (November 19)

Kick off the holiday season in Andrews with Christmas on Main! With over 100 craft vendors, a bake sale, a car show, and live entertainment, this holiday event is full of family fun.

Stop by for photos with Santa, watch the children’s Christmas play, or smile as the tree is lit!

Read More: 100+ Places to Visit in Western North Carolina

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, Hickory (November 19)

Take in the holiday glow in Downtown Hickory! The annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting kicks off the holiday season in this awesome town. Join the parade or come for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus; these are memories that will last a lifetime.

A few more Christmas parades in North Carolina take place in November, including Raleigh on November 19. Most parades, though, will take place in December.

Read More: Visiting the Henry River Mill Village

National Gingerbread House Competition, Asheville (November 21)

Omni Grove Park Inn Asheville NC National Gingerbread Competition

One of the most exciting things to do in North Carolina in November is to see the Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition. The winner of this interesting event in Asheville receives a monetary prize and their creation is displayed throughout the following year in the Vanderbilt Wing.

During the Gingerbread House Competition season, the Omni Grove Park Inn donates a portion of parking proceeds to the local community and nonprofits.

Read More: 50+ Great Things to Do in Asheville (Downtown, Biltmore, and More!)

Downtown Lights Up! – Holiday Lighting, Goldsboro (November 22)

Downtown historic Goldsboro kicks off the holiday season with Downtown Lights Up! Flip the switch and watch the lights with a visit from Santa, real snow, hot cocoa, and trolley rides.

Tweetsie Christmas, Blowing Rock (November 25-27, and 30)

Tweetsie, North Carolina’s premier fun destination for train lovers, gets decked out for the holidays for Tweetsie Christmas. Ride the nighttime train surrounded by beautiful lights, say “Hello” to Santa and his Gingerbread House, and take photos inside large snow globes! If you’re hungry after riding the train at Tweetsie, then check out these restaurants in Blowing Rock and Boone!

Tickets are limited for this High Country event, so grab yours today before the train takes off.

Read More: Winter in Boone (20 Great Activities, Snow Tubing, and More!)

Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town, Blowing Rock (November 25)

Every Friday after Thanksgiving, Blowing Rock’s downtown thrums with people wanting to celebrate the season together at Christmas in the Park! With free hot chocolate, caroling, and of course a visit from Santa, there’s fun and romance for everyone.

Read More: Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock

Hangin’ with Santa & Kites with Lights, Nags Head (November 25-26)

Sure, Santa can sleigh, but did you know he can also fly a kite like a boss too? Join Santa and his elves at Jockey’s Ridge to light the Solar Christmas tree and fly large kites decorated for the holiday season for Hangin’ with Santa & Kites with Lights.

Read More: Things to Do in the Outer Banks

Santa on the Green & Cashiers Christmas Tree Lighting, Cashiers (November 26-27)

Get to know Santa a little more intimately at The Village Green, a 13-acre park in the heart of Cashiers. With glistening lights and decorations, the park becomes a winter wonderland for Christmas on the Green!

Both Santa on the Green and the tree lighting are on November 26, with the tree lighting at 5:00 pm. There will be a Mistletoe Market on both days.

Read More: Silver Run Falls near Cashiers

Light Up Cornelius, Cornelius (November 26)

Bring your camera and get ready for a rocking good time celebrating Christmas at Light Up Cornelius.

With entertainment by local performers, carriage rides, food and craft vendors, and plenty of children’s activities, this Cornelius event is a beautiful holiday tradition in North Carolina.

Winter Wonderland, Franklin (November 26 and December 3)

Watch as the town of Franklin transforms into a magical Winter Wonderland! Starting with an annual tree lighting ceremony on the square and extended business hours for the downtown businesses, there’s nothing quite like this celebration.

With free carriage rides, a candlelight service, and free miniature train rides, this family-friendly event is the perfect way to ring in the holiday season.

Read More: Wayah Bald Tower and the Best Views in Franklin

Winterlights, Manteo (November 26-27, 29-30)

Grab your sweetie and stroll through one of the most romantic displays in the South. Winterlights at The Elizabethan Gardens is a radiant glow of holiday décor and festive displays. Warm your hands at the open-air fire on the Great Lawn or check out the holiday gifts and plant sales.

Season passes are available and worth it if you’re planning to attend more than one night!

NC Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach, Wrightsville Beach (November 26)

How about a holiday parade, but on the water? The NC Holiday Flotilla has been an annual event since 1983 and adds a beachy twist on the traditional holiday twist.

Beautiful boats decorated with festive lights will glide over the coast. Enjoy live music and good food for a great experience.

Read More: The Best Beaches in North Carolina

Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Season, Boone (Late November-December 24)

Take home the perfect Fraser Fir from the High Country and the awesome town of Boone. Multiple tree farms are participating in the Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Season as well as several participating in special lodging packages!

Check out the full list here.

Read More: Hiking Roan Mountain for Beautiful Appalachian Trail Views

Mooresville Christmas Parade, Mooresville (Late November)

Celebrating together as a community since 1944, the Mooresville Christmas Parade features fantastic floats, marching bands, and plenty of family fun!

Read More: Things to Do in Mooresville

Christmas in the Country, Rocky Point (Late November-December 31)

175,000 lights illuminate a mile-long drive in Old Homestead during Christmas in the Country. Make memories and see faces light up in awe and then sip on hot chocolate together while picking out the perfect Christmas tree.

Only 15 minutes from Wilmington, this event is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays in North Carolina!

Read More: December in North Carolina

Enchanted Airlie, Wilmington (Late November-December)

Since 2005, lights have sparkled at Airlie Gardens for Enchanted Airlie, bringing guests from all across the world. This Hanover County staple will be shimmering with holiday lights, music, and special displays!

Tickets are charged by the carload, but this is a walking event so please plan accordingly.

Read More: Family-Friendly Activities in Wilmington

Ready for these Fun Things to Do in North Carolina in November?

This month might not have been as busy as October, but there are still plenty of things to do in North Carolina in November! This is the last full month of fall before we move on to December and Winter.

As always we look forward to sharing all the local events happening in North Carolina. Before looking ahead, we’d love to hear from you. Which of these events and festivals you’ll be attending? We look forward to hearing from you and sharing our fun times exploring the state during November.

Also, what things to do in North Carolina in November do you think we should add to this list? 

Note: If you’re reaching out on behalf of a business, PR agency, or DMO, please visit this page.

More Things to Do in November

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