Sign in
EN - Things To Do

North Carolina's 'Christmas Town USA' Is Pure Holiday Magic & It's Totally Free

More perfect than a small town in a Hallmark Christmas movie. 🎄

If you ever wanted to step through the screen and wander into those magical small towns you see in the Hallmark holiday movies, then this place has to be on your bucket list.

Christmas Town USA, also known as McAdenville, North Carolina, is a real-life storybook-come-true place three hours from Raleigh.

Narcity spoke with Steve Rankin from the Christmas Town Committee to find out more about this enchanting place and how you can see it this year.

Editor's Choice: This Breathtaking Holiday Light Festival Will Illuminate Halifax Next Month

What is Christmas Town USA?

On December 1, the lights get turned on and nearly every household in the small town of fewer than 1,000 residents gets illuminated in magic.

It first started back in 1956 and grew and grew. Now, people come from all over to drive or walk through the town and see the lights each year.

“We just want people to come and enjoy, there’s nothing like it anywhere,” said Rankin. "It’s a sight to see."

"I’ve lived here all my life, [...] my mom and dad were both raised here and it’s home," he said. "I take a lot of pride in our Christmas lights here."

Is Christmas Town USA Happening In 2020?

In a year where so much is different, you will still be able to come to this corner of North Carolina for holiday magic.

Many of the events have been canceled this year, like the Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Yule Log Parade.

Some places that are usually lit up are going to be dark this year so that people aren't gathering.

But the biggest dose of magic comes from seeing all of the houses lit up and that's not changing, although some will be scaling it back a bit.

"It’s a sight to see, it’s just a small community giving back to the public that wants to come and see our lights as many times as you want," said Rankin.

How much does it cost?

"What sets our little town apart from everyone else is that we do not charge anything," said Rankin.

"You can come walk through or ride through as much as you want and not pay a penny — even the parking is free."

Locals use their own decor and foot their own electricity bills to bring the town to life during the holidays, "just to see the joy of the people coming through at Christmastime," he said.

"Christmastime is a time to give and we certainly give in McAdenville," he said.

Christmas Town USA

Price: Free

When: December 1 to December 26; Monday to Friday: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 5:30 to 11 p.m.

Address: McAdenville, NC

Why You Need To Go: Check out a Christmas town from the movies — in real life!

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

Stay Informed
Get Raleigh's latest and greatest stories every day straight to your inbox.

If you're looking forward to an "icy" and "flaky" winter, you're in luck, because that's what the Farmers' Almanac Extended Winter Forecast is predicting for Ontario.

This year is coming in cold, with well-below-normal temperatures predicted in Central Canada and a "brutally cold" Christmas and Boxing day across Ontario.

Keep Reading Show less

Erin O'Toole Wants To Make Your Christmas Shopping Cheaper By Scrapping GST In December

All purchases at retail stores would be GST-free for a month.👇

With a federal election just around the corner, Canada's major political parties are beginning their election campaigns and making policy promises to Canadians.

On August 16, the Conservative Party announced that part of their "recovery plan" is to remove GST on retail purchases for the whole month of December.

Keep Reading Show less

We can all agree the Rocky Mountains deserve a spot on every Canadian bucket list. But it can be hard to determine what you need to do and see while you're there. 

We've rounded up a list of things to see in Banff and nearby that are basically a rite of passage for visiting the area. If you've checked off all or most of these places on your list, you can pride yourself on knowing that you've hit up the most iconic spots around. 

Keep Reading Show less