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Feeling festive? Head downtown, Raleigh.

The Christmas countdown is officially on and we’re just 19 days away from seeing what Santa left under the tree — head downtown to see the lights or hit the ice to get into the spirit. 🎄

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People visiting the illuminated Sonic Runway.

Get into the seasonal spirit in downtown Raleigh.

Photo provided by Downtown Raleigh Alliance

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It’s time to get in the holiday spirit, fa-la-la-Raleigh. If you’re anything like us, you’re ready to supercharge your cheer. Enter: Downtown Raleigh.

From shopping local retailers to experiencing holiday attractions that only happen during the most wonderful time of the year, Downtown Raleigh is the place to savor the season. What special activities, you ask?

Here are a few on our holiday bucket list:

🛍️ Shop + sip

Did you know? More than 90% of Downtown Raleigh’s stores are locally-owned (read:— there are more local + independent stores in our downtown than anywhere else in the Triangle). That means the area is not only the perfect spot to snag local gifts, but it also allows the holiday dollars you spend to go right back into the community.

Pro tip: Word has it, that will definitely land you on the nice list this year.

Downtown Raleigh also offers a host of local eats + drinks, including stellar dining experiences at restaurants led by award-winning chefs. If you’re looking for lighter fare to fuel your shopping trip, snack and caffeinate at one of downtown’s 20+ cafés or grab a drink from 50+ participating restaurants and bars to Sip n’ Stroll.

No time to shop in-store? No worries, there are Holiday Curbside Pickup Zones for quick stops.

Bonus: Check out this Gift Guide to see what special items downtown retailers are offering.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Sonic Runway is a light-art installation that converts audio signals into patterns of light that shoot down a 342-432 ft. corridor of 20- 25 LED lined arches at the speed of sound — created by Rob Jensen and Warren Trezevant, courtesy of Creos.

Photo provided by Downtown Raleigh Alliance

✨ Illuminate Art Walk presented by Wake Tech

It’s time to get lit. Wander through the magical collection of large-scale, interactive, light-based art pieces nestled in the grooves of downtown.

This year’s Illuminate Art Walk includes Sonic Runway, an interactive 350 ft long tunnel of concentric LED arches that visualizes the speed of sound. Think: The most Instagrammable spot of the season.

⛸️ Skate at The Rink presented by UNC Health

What’s the holidays without ice skating? Head to The Rink sponsored by UNC Health to hit the ice while taking in stunning views of the city’s skyline.

The Winter Wonderland themed ice rink has fire pits and Cozy Stations (think: outdoor lounging furniture and heat warmers) to keep you warm during skate breaks. There’s also quite the array of snacks, hot cocoa, beer, wine, and more.

Capture the moment at any of the holiday photo decoration stations that include a lighted bulb display and the 20-ft decorated holiday tree.*

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