Reasons to go out into the cold

By Molly Harrison | Monday, December 6, 2010
Celebrate Christmas 1850s style at Island Farm on Sat.

It's rather wintry all of a sudden, don't you think? * I'm writing this on Sunday night and I'm not ashamed to say that I've just turned a 24-hour cycle in my pajamas. I've been inside all day, praising the invention of the heat pump. Of course there was that half-hour I was outside with my three-year-old who just couldn't wait another minute to ride her birthday bicycle a few times around the block. I just threw the down coat over the pajamas and circled the block knowing no other fool would be out in this northwest wind. * I don't know about where you are, but we're freezing over here on the west side of the island. * Looks like we're going to have a lot more of the same this week, but I'll get dressed and do something with my hair on Monday. I promise....

Actually, there's quite a bit to motivate me out the door and into the cold this week. * One of my favorite Outer Banks places, The Elizabethan Gardens, is hosting a totally new holiday event known as WinterLights. For ten nights in December, the gardens will be illuminated with special light displays and illuminated garden creatures, floral displays, holiday decorations and trees. The kickoff of WinterLights, called Grand Illuminations, is on Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. and there will be music, hot cocoa and fire pits for roasting marshmallows. The WinterLights show will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this week as well, and then several other days throughout the month. Call (252) 473-3234. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for youth ages 6 to 17 and $4 for kids ages 5 and younger...

On Thursday at The Elizabethan Gardens, master decorators and wedding planners Wes and Kim Stetson will be hosting a Home and Gardens Workshop called Learn the Art of Wreath Making. The gardens will provide the wreath base, cuttings and pins. You bring ribbon, ornaments or whatever else you'd like. The class is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $25. Call (252) 473-3234 for information...

The weekend - which is forecast to be slightly warmer by the way - is busy up and down the banks. * Starting at the top: Corolla has its 4th Annual Park Illumination Celebration and Holiday Tour on Saturday. Gather on the north lawn of the Whalehead Club for hot chocolate and carols while the cedar tree in Currituck Heritage Park and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse are simultaneously illuminated. The Whalehead Club will be open for tours so you can see their 1920s-era holiday décor. The event starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m...

In KDH, catch a performance of The Nutcracker by Outer Banks Centre for Dance. It's at First Flight High School at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (252) 480-0506. * Also, KDH Cooperative Gallery is hosting two Workshops for Kids to make their own gifts. The kids will be making mosaics, handmade wrapping paper and cards. The workshops are on December 11 and 18 and cost $30 for two-day sessions. Ages 5 and 6 go from 10:30 a.m. to noon, while ages 7 and older go from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Call (252) 441-9888 to register...

Over on Roanoke Island, I'm looking forward to Christmas Past on Island Farm. It's a chance to experience 1850s-style holiday traditions. They'll have a guided candlelight tour (no electricity back then, you know), a bonfire, wassail, carols and costumed interpreters presenting vignettes of Christmases past. The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 (children 5 and younger get in free). This is the last day to visit the farm until next spring. Call (252) 473-6500...

Other stuff happening on Roanoke Island this weekend: At Roanoke Island Festival Park, Elizabeth City State University will present a Christmas Choir at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Indoor Theater. Admission is free. * Dare County Arts Council is hosting Printmaking: A Fun Primer with N.C. artist Chris Davenport on Saturday and Sunday. Call (252) 473-5558. * Santa's Workshop at the N.C. Aquarium is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon or 2 to 4 p.m. Kids will enjoy crafts, stories, games, live animals and a visit from Santa...

On Hatteras Island, it's the Hatteras Village Christmas Parade on Saturday. It begins at Teach's Lair Marina at 2 p.m. and continues north to the Civic Center, where there will be cookies and hot chocolate after the parade. * Saturday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Civic Center is the 2nd Annual Seafood Dinner Fundraiser to benefit Hatteras Island Food Pantry and Hatteras Meals, Inc. Call (252) 995-4131...

The UNC Cancer Network is presenting the Christmas Musical O Holy Night at three local churches this week. * Friday it's at Liberty Christian Church in Colington, Saturday it's at First Assembly of God in Manteo and Sunday it's at Whole Ministries Center in Wanchese. All shows start at 7 p.m...

Here are a few other notes about things to do this week: OBXmas Benefit and Art Show shopping event at the Outer Banks Brewing Station on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. Rajun Cajuns and Lindsay Perry will play live music to follow at 8 p.m. * Register now for N.C. Aquarium Day Camps on Monday, December 20 and Tuesday, December 21 or Tuesday, December 28. Call (252) 473-9040. * UNC Health Care and The Outer Banks Hospital are having a free community Lunch and Learn Workshop on Lymphedema Precautions and Preventions on Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Call (252) 449-9184 to register...

In your downtime - if you have any in this season - check out the rest of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. The By Day and By Night sections are full of more things to do, and the Shopping, Restaurants and Coupons sections are full of great deals to be had...

Stay warm. Shop locally. Don't drink and drive from that holiday party. Peace out...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.