Tryon Palace Welcomes Holiday Season with Tours, Movies, Santa Claus

Holiday Kickoff Weekend to be held Nov. 27-29

Tryon Palace officially opens for the holiday season Nov. 27-29 with Holiday Kickoff Weekend, a three-day event filled with holiday tours, music, movies and a visit from Santa Claus. 

A new year of holiday decorations will be revealed Nov. 27 as Tryon Palace officially begins offering its daily Christmas tours. Visitors will have an opportunity to take in the sights and aromas of the Governor’s Palace, Kitchen Office, historic homes and the North Carolina History Center. The grounds will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, through Jan. 3. The Commission House will be open for special holiday tours at 2 p.m. every Monday, Friday and Saturday. All daytime holiday tours are included with the purchase of a One Day Pass.

Santa Claus will greet children and be available for photos in the North Carolina History Center during Holiday Kickoff Weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Mrs. Claus will join Santa Friday and Saturday for face painting as well. There is no cost associated with meeting Santa or Mrs. Claus.

Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to thank service men and women by writing a letter or drawing a picture to wish them a happy holiday season. All letters will delivered to active duty members of the military before Christmas, courtesy of Blue Star Moms.

Other events at the North Carolina History Center include a free performance by the Down East Dulcimers from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 27, a screening of the 1954 Christmas classic “White Christmas” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, and the children’s animated favorite, “Polar Express,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. After the “Polar Express” screening, children will meet the Polar Express conductor and receive a special Christmas bell. Both movies will be held in Cullman Performance Hall and tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 12 and under, and free for Tryon Palace Foundation members.

The Tryon Palace Museum Store will offer a 10-percent discount on all purchases throughout the weekend; offer excludes sale and consignment items.

Beginning Nov. 27 and continuing through Dec. 19, all visitors who bring an unwrapped toy as a donation to Toys for Tots will receive a 10-percent discount on regular admission One Day Passes, which include holiday tours. 

Tryon Palace’s free exhibit, “Child’s Play: Celebrating the History of Toys and Games,” will be open free in the Duffy Gallery at the North Carolina History Center. Ranging from 18th-century ivory dominoes and 20th-century model trains to homemade toys and tech toys, this exhibit will feature a variety of objects both old and new. Child’s Play will remain open through Jan. 10. 

Tryon Palace’s holiday kickoff event also occurs during the last available weekend to purchase discounted tickets to the 35th annual Candlelight Christmas Celebration, held on the Saturday evenings of Dec. 12 and 19. After Monday, Nov. 30, tickets will increase to $20 for adults and $10 for youth.