It’s Official: Holiday Spirit Shines On Coastal NC with Enchanted Airlie Opening

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New this year: Changes in ticketing options, fresh exhibits (including tree starbursts, Candy Land and a meadow of flowers) and festive commemorative ornaments available for purchase in the gift shop.

Enchanted Airlie in Wilmington NC

Driving around town looking for the best outdoor light display marks a bright spot in many families' list of holiday traditions.

This year, instead of filling up the car's tank with gasoline in the hunt for the most extravagant holiday sparkle, Enchanted Airlie invites people to stuff their bellies with hot chocolate and listen to holiday music while touring the gardens' glowing and interactive display of lights.

Voted one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events and featured on Trekaroo's Christmas in North Carolina list, Enchanted Airlie prepares to kick off the day after Thanksgiving – Nov. 29.

Besides a growing list of light show exhibits, Enchanted Airlie mainstays – hundreds of holiday flowers, a visit with Santa Claus and a massive display featuring more than 250,000 LEGOs – make it a night overflowing with holiday memory-making possibilities.

To keep the memories alive year after year, a first-ever Airlie Gardens ornament is available for visitors to buy at the gift shop. The metal keepsake, which features Airlie's famous pergola, makes a great gift to grab while at Enchanted Airlie.

Also new this year are the ticket options, which include the following:

  •     Carload Ticket (3+ persons and 1 vehicle) $22 – This is the most economical option, as it covers admission for every person in one vehicle. All guests must arrive in the same vehicle. Large passenger vans or buses are not allowed with this option. For groups coming in large vans or buses, please contact Airlie Gardens for special reservations.
  •     Couples Pass (2 persons and 1 vehicle) $15 – The ticket includes admission for two people over the age of 4. Each person must be in the same vehicle.
  •     Single Admission (1 person and 1 vehicle) $10 – This option is for people coming alone, or coming alone with a child under 4. Admission is for one person over the age of 4.

Enchanted Airlie runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 21, Thursday through Saturday, as well as Wednesday, Dec. 18 and Sunday, Dec. 22. There are two time slots per evening: 5-7 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available online at

Airlie Gardens is a 67-acre public garden located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Established in 1901, the garden is a cultural and ecological component of New Hanover County and North Carolina history that features formal gardens, wildlife, historic structures, walking trails, sculptures, views of Bradley Creek, 10-acres of freshwater lakes, the celebrated 466-year-old Airlie Oak, more than 100,000 azaleas and countless camellia cultivars. The garden is made possible with the generosity of public grant funds, the commitment of the New Hanover County Commissioners, the cooperation of previous owners the Corbett Family and the support of local residents. For information about Airlie Gardens, visit

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