The Most Fun and Festive December Events on the Crystal Coast


The Most Fun and Festive December Events on the Crystal Coast | Sun-Surf Realty


It's the most wonderful time of the year here in Emerald Isle, North Carolina and all along the gorgeous Crystal Coast. Have you ever experienced a coastal Christmas? If not, you sure are missing out. You get all of the traditional elements of the holiday—minus the snow—but who cares when you can have sand instead? Christmas at the beach is even better when you pair it with sandy shorelines, salty ocean air, and bright blue coastal skies. 

But that's not all. You also get some of the most fun and festive events around combining holiday festivities with beach flair. Come and experience it for yourself. Check out the Crystal Coast, NC event highlights for December 2018 and start saving these dates. So much holiday fun, so little time. Remember, everything is better at the beach!


Emerald Isle Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair

December 1, 2018

9a.m.- 3p.m. @ Emerald Isle Community Center

Handmade and hand-authenticated items by local artisans and crafters are all found here. This is a great way to support local businesses and crafters. Find that unique, one-of-a-kind item for the person who has everything, or treat yourself to something special!

Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla

December 1, 2018

5:30-7:45p.m. @MHC & Beaufort Waterfronts  

The Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla features boats, yachts, oars, kayaks and commercial vessels decorated for the season. The decorated boats can be seen at 5:30p.m. on the Morehead City waterfront and at 6:15p.m. on the Beaufort waterfront.

Core Sound Decoy Festival

December 1-2, 2018

9a.m.-5p.m. @Harkers Island Elementary

The Core Sound Decoy Festival has been a coastal tradition since 1988. Held the first full weekend in December on Harkers Island, this two-day festival includes antique decoy exhibits, retriever demonstrations, a head whittling contest, and decoy competitions with categories for every kind of carver. There are fun activities for children and educational exhibits, as well as live and silent auctions.

December 2, 2018

3-5p.m. @Newport

Enjoy festive fun for the whole family at the Newport Christmas Parade. This community-run event showcases this small town's celebratory spirit and love of the holidays. Bring your family and friends and make it an annual family tradition. It's a great way to start your December seasonal fun. Come early to find your spot and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Newport Christmas Parade. 

Atlantic Beach Christmas Parade

December 7, 2018

6-8p.m. @Atlantic Beach 

Join in the holiday fun for the 12th Annual Light Up the Night Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at Oceanana and moves down West Fort Macon Road to the Circle. After the parade, you can bring your kids to meet Santa at the Fire Department. It's a Christmas parade at the beach you won't want to miss. 

Beaufort Christmas Candlelight Tour

December 8, 2018

5-8p.m. @Downtown Beaufort

The Beaufort Historical Association hosts the 11th Annual Christmas Candlelight Tour which showcases Beaufort’s holiday hospitality and provides a rare glimpse into private historic homes, several inns, bed and breakfasts as well as churches, all elegantly decorated for the season. 

Island Santa Bar Crawl

December 8, 2018

2-6p.m. @Emerald Isle

Online registration for the Island Santa Bar Crawl is up and running. Be sure to register early and purchase your event T-Shirt. Plan to stay at the EClub after the crawl for music, drinks and a food truck. All proceeds from the event go to the Eastern NC Make A Wish Foundation. 

Pine Knoll Shores Holiday Flotilla

December 8, 2018

5:30-7p.m. @Pine Knoll Shores

Lighted Boat Flotillas are a signature coastal Christmas events that are popular favorites with both locals and visitors alike. The Pine Knoll Shores Flotilla begins at Brock Basin and ends at McNeil Park. Come and see how the boats are decorated for the season. 

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Santa & A Movie in Emerald Isle

December 14, 2018

6p.m. @Emerald Isle Parks & Rec

Children of all ages join Santa for a Christmas story after enjoying milk and cookies and watching a short Christmas movie classic. Santa’s helper, Joy the Elf, will be joining in for some clown-like fun. Kids are encouraged to wear their most comfortable Christmas pajamas. Please bring a blanket for your family to sit on during the movie. Admission fee is one unwrapped gift per child.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Festival

December 15, 2018

10a.m.-5p.m. @Salty Air Open Market

Wear your ugly Christmas sweater to market! Bring the whole family and let the kids participate in a vendor’s scavenger hunt. (Hunt card are located inside the market). Return your finished hunt for bounce house admission. Santa is at the market from 10 to 2 plus there is face painting, crafts, kid’s corner, food truck, donuts and cocoa, fried dough, gluten-free baked goods, and free treats for the kids.

Pine Knoll Shores Christmas Parade

December 15, 2018

10-11a.m. @Garner Park, PKS

You could attend a different local holiday parade every weekend on the Crystal Coast during the month of December! This weekend features the Pine Knoll Shores Christmas Parade in Garner Park on Oakleaf Drive. Come and see how we ring in the holidays at the beach and how celebrate the holidays coastal style.

Old Fashioned Holiday Market

December 15, 2018

4:30-8:30p.m. @Old Beaufort Farmers' Market

Stroll the holiday market under festive twinkling lights to find all of your holiday needs and treasures. Local farmers, fishermen, bakers, artists and crafters are offering everything homegrown, homemade, handmade and wild caught. Local live bands, Santa, free gift wrapping, food trucks and more are also on-site.

Santa Paws is Coming to Town

December 22, 2018

9a.m.-noon @Emerald Isle

The Jaded Paws Rescue presents its 4th annual Santa Paws event. They invite you and your pups to get photos with their very own Santa Paws. Photos with Santa Paws are only $5, and with that you’ll receive photo rights and a digital copy. All proceeds benefit the Jaded Paws rescue and its pet food pantry. Donations are welcome, and greatly appreciated!

Christmas Pajama Party

December 22, 2018

8p.m. @Island Time Tavern, EI

Pajama parties aren't just for kids, you know. Come on out to the annual Christmas Pajama Party with live music from 4EverAll and no cover charge. The Island Time Tavern plays host and invites you to come in your best Christmas jammies for some festive fun and a holiday celebration like no other with the locals. A good time awaits, so tell your friends and save the date.

2019 Downtown Countdown

December 31, 2018

5p.m. @Downtown Morehead City

Join the "Downtown Countdown" for fireworks and fun as they ring in the New Year in downtown Morehead City. Enjoy a kids’ crab pot drop with the Morehead City Fire Department at Big Rock Landing at 6pm. At midnight they are counting down and dropping the traditional crab pot drop, which celebrates the area’s notable seafood industry and culture. The evening ends with a vibrant firework display from Sugarloaf Island, located just off of the downtown Morehead City docks. Downtown Countdown is free and open to the public.

New Year's Eve Cannon Blast

December 31, 2018

6-8p.m. @Fort Macon State Park

Celebrate the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 with a blast. Fort Macon will once again be firing off its big guns in celebration of the new year. This year there is a free concert featuring the band "FAB" starting at 6p.m. The cannons go off at 7p.m. to correspond with 12:00 UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). Feel free to bring a folding chair and picnic meal similar to the summer concerts and make yourself comfortable. It's perfect for families who want celebrate new year's eve with the kids because it happens earlier in the evening.

These are just some of the many December 2018 events for Emerald Isle and beyond. Find the complete list of area happenings, local events, and holiday festivals on the Crystal Coast NC events page. Happy December!


What's your favorite Crystal Coast event for the month of December?

We want to know!

The Most Fun and Festive December Events on the Crystal Coast | Sun-Surf Realty


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