Looking to fill your social calendar? We’ve got the rundown on what to do and explore.
DECEMBER & JANUARY
Ice Skating in the Park
Thursday to Sunday through March
The Highlands Parks & Recreation managed Ice Skating in the Park is a highlight in the winter months on the plateau. Come enjoy this fun, family-friendly adventure. Coffee and hot chocolate available for purchase. Thursdays 3:30 to 8:00 p.m., Fridays 3:30 to 10:00 pm, Saturdays 1 to 10:00 p.m. & Sundays 1 to 5:00 p.m. Closed December 24 and 25. Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park, 411 Pine Street, Highlands. $5 with or without skates.
Bluegrass Wednesdays with Nitrograss at The Ugly Dog Pub.
Come and enjoy dinner and music with beloved bluegrass band, Nitrograss. Table Reservations required ($10/seat). Call to reserve your table. 828.526.8364. Seating starts at 6:00 p.m. Music from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Ugly Dog Pub, 294 S. 4th Street, Highlands.
Thursday Night Trivia at The High Dive. Test your trivia skills at Highland’s funkiest watering hole. The High Dive opens at 4 p.m. Trivia begins at 7:30 p.m. Thirsty Thursday includes pints for $3.50 and pitchers for $12. The High Dive, 476 Carolina Way, Highlands. 7:30 to 10 p.m.
MET Performances at The Highlands PAC
December 9, January 6 & January 27
You will not want to miss the MET performances at the Highlands PAC. All shows in MLT. On December 9, FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS. Sung in Spanish and inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mexican composer Daniel Catan’s 1996 opera tells the enchanting story of a Brazilian opera diva. Show at 12:55 p.m. On January 6, NABUCCO. Ancient Babylon comes to life in a classic MET staging of biblical proportions. Show at 12:55 p.m. On January 27, CARMEN (BIZET). Acclaimed English Director Carrie Cracknell makes her MET debut, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day. Show at 12:55 p.m. Highlands PAC, 507 Chestnut Street, Highlands. To purchase tickets, go to www.highlandsperformingarts.com. Tickets $26.07.
Appalachian Writer’s Roundtable
Every 3rd Thursday
Are you a writer, poet, journalist or just someone who likes putting words on paper? Then this group is for you! Meetings in the Regional Room at the iconic City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Enjoy a new discussion topic every month on the craft and art of writing, covering character creation, plot, setting, grammar, syntax and much more. Sponsored by the North Carolina Writer’s Network. 5 p.m. City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson Street, Sylva, North Carolina. Free and open to public.
Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade
What happens when the bands, camels and floats arrive in Highlands? An amazing small-town Christmas Parade you will not want to miss. Gather all your friends, family and neighbors and join the merry making on Main Street for this long-standing Highlands Christmas tradition. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., so don’t be late! Organized and hosted by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visit Highlands, NC. Free and open to the public.
Cashiers Christmas Parade
The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to plan and produce the Cashiers Christmas Parade! This year’s theme is “Bright Lights, Big Christmas.” The one-mile parade route starts on Highway 107 South from Cashiers School Road and heads North toward the Cashiers Crossroads, where participants are announced to the crowd. The parade then turns left to head west on US Hwy 64 and ends at the intersection of Frank Allen Road and the Cashiers Community Center. Arrive early to park! 3 to 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Home for the Holidays
Various dates & times from December 8-24
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Mountain Theatre Company’s beloved annual holiday spectacular. A whole new show has been created this year featuring a ragtag group of elves coming together to put on a holiday show to raise Christmas spirits. Fun for all ages, this festive seasonal music review promises dazzling costumes, high energy choreography, and is sure to fill audiences with plenty of good, old-fashioned holiday cheer. Presented by Mountain Theatre Company. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit mountaintheatre.com. Performances at the Highlands PAC, 507 Chestnut Street, Highlands. Show times vary. Tickets range from $58 to $70.
Santa in the Park, Letters to Santa and Photo Opportunities
Saturdays in December
Santa will appear in the park each Saturday (weather permitting) to hear wishes from children and pets of all ages. Santa will also periodically sneak into the park to retrieve letters placed in a special mailbox from the North Pole! Stop by the park any time to drop off letters or see the festive decorating of Santa’s sleigh by his elves. Be sure to bring your camera! Please also make sure all pooches visiting Santa are on a leash. Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park, 411 Pine Street, Highlands. Free.
Fireside at The Farm, A holiday evening with Mike Kinnebrew
Settle into the magical ambience of The Farm and relax to holiday music with the charming and treasured singer-songwriter Mike Kinnebrew. Kinnebrew’s music can best be described as Indie folk fueled by the soulful inspiration to engage in the war with art itself. Attire is Mountain Chic. 6 to 8 p.m. The Farm at Old Edwards Inn, 336 Arnold Road, Highlands. $25 Cover Charge for guests of Old Edwards Inn and Half-Mile Farm Hotel. $40 Cover Charge for the public. Cash bar and complimentary light bites.
Highlands Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America strives to honor and remember as many fallen heroes as possible. To honor our veterans, become involved by sponsoring remembrance wreaths, volunteering on Wreath Day or inviting your friends and family to attend with you. The Ceremony will be held at the Highlands Recreation Park and Civic Center at 600 North 4th Street at 12:00 p.m. Following the Ceremony at the Civic Center, shuttles will take volunteers to and from the cemetery to lay veteran wreaths. Free and open to the public.
Christmas on Ice in Franklin
The sights and sounds of the season and so much more are celebrated in a Christmas Spectacular on Ice. Combining storytelling, music, dancing, and a troupe of skilled actors and athletes, this live ice-skating event is sure to delight and excite audience members of every age. The magic of Christmas leaps from the stage in this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $37. Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, 1028 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC.
Snow Fest at 4118
Presented by Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visit Highlands, NC. Snow Fest is back and better than ever! Bring friends and family for guaranteed winter fun in the park. Outdoor activity is just the ticket to fight off those winter blues. Enjoy a snowball toss, ice slides, s’mores and more, including The Highlands Ice Rink. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park, 411 Pine Street, Highlands. Free.