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The holidays are here! I don’t know about you, but if you feel like us, they crept up quietly and we can’t believe they are already upon us. Fortunately, we have you covered for all your Locals We Love this season and where you will find us:

Herons is excited to offer a special White Truffle Kaiseki Dinner available nightly during the month of December. The illusive white truffle is often called the “white diamond of Italy” and can only be harvested certain months of the year. Incredibly difficult to find, this rare and delicate truffle is one of the most coveted ingredients in the world and provides a sensory experience unlike any other. Reservations must be made one week in advance of the desired date, and tickets can be purchased at 919.447.4050. More information can be found here.

Start your New Year’s Eve celebration in Herons as James Beard Semifinalist, Chef Steven Greene prepares a special four course dinner with selection of entrée as you reflect on the year past and prepare for the year to come. Full menu available here, reserve your table at 919.447.4050.

The countdown has already begun for 2017! We are looking forward to our annual celebration and welcoming back The Soul Psychedelique to help us ring in the new year. Enjoy premium spirits and a wide array of food stations including crab claws, smoked duck, artisanal cheeses from local dairies, and an incredible pastry bar filled with Nutella crunch bars, strawberry champagne cheesecake tarts, and Umstead Ferrero Roches. With a grand finale countdown and confetti cannon at midnight, we can’t wait to dance the night away. Tickets are all inclusive and can be purchased at 919.447.4050 with more details available here. Inquire about overnight accommodations as well and make an evening of it.

Though we don’t see the same frigid temperatures as the north does, we do have our own Rockefeller-style outdoor ice rink for skating! Head downtown to the city center for Raleigh’s only natural outdoor rink. Tickets are $10 per person and include skate rental, though skaters are permitted to bring their own. This is one the locals take advantage of every year, you don’t want to miss it! Schedule available here.

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival is another huge hit here at the Koka Booth Amphitheater. These larger than life lanterns light up the amphitheater and are available for viewing Tuesdays through Sundays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 3 to 17. This year there will be cultural performances and artisanal crafts too! Details available here.

If you have ever driven down Blount street you have probably seen the North Carolina Executive Mansion, but chances are you have never been through those large iron gates surrounding the property. Well, if you ever wanted to, you can go Thursday, December 8 through Sunday, December 11th. This holiday open house is decorated with North Carolina grown Christmas trees, floral arrangements, and mantle displays. Admission is free and reservations are not needed, so while you are wandering around downtown Raleigh, head on by for a viewing. More information can be found here.

Another Raleigh landmark is the historical Mordecai house, the oldest house in Raleigh on its original location. This December 10th and 11th they host their annual Holiday Open House. Tour the home to see how the Mordecai family would have celebrated the holidays over the decades. Each room features a different time period, from colonial times through World War II. This free event begins at 10:00am on Saturday and 1:00 pm on Sunday. More details here.

Every Raleigh local – myself included – have seen Ira David Wood III’s version of A Christmas Carol at least once. Now in its 42nd year, it has been named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast and is perfect for everyone. Tickets prices range from $30 to $82, details can be found here.

Prefer the ballet over the theater? Then be sure to get tickets to the Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker, performing between December 3rd through December 24th at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and DPAC. Get your tickets here.

Compliments of the house: Enjoy sitting fireside in our lounge with friends, listening to live music and make memories to last. The holidays are meant to be shared with those you love, let The Umstead be the backdrop for your holiday gatherings.

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