From the warm glow of a hand-dipped beeswax candle at Old Salem’s Candle Tea to the shimmer of more than a million twinkling lights at Tanglewood Park’s annual Festival of Lights, Winston-Salem knows how to turn on the cheer during the holiday season. Read on to learn about three of our favorite holiday traditions to experience during your next visit, plus get tips for mastering three different styles of holiday decor from the experts charged with decorating some of Winston-Salem’s top attractions.

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A tradition for over 50 years, UNC School of the Arts’ (UNCSA) annual nine-show run of the classic ballet The Nutcracker is not your average school play. According to The Hollywood Reporter, these students are among the best in the world. Held in the historic 1929 Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem each December, this must-see show draws more than 10,000 patrons each year. Find out why it’s such a magical event and how to make the most of your experience in downtown Winston-Salem.

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A historic luxury boutique hotel in Winston-Salem, Graylyn Estate elevates your holiday getaway with rich traditions, festive decor, family-friendly activities, and even butler service. Built in 1932 by the then-president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Bowman Gray, the 85-room estate sits on 55 acres on the historic Reynolda Mile. Now owned  by Wake Forest University and operated as a conference center and hotel, Graylyn is definitely worth a visit during the holidays.

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Whether by two feet, two wheels, or even four hooves, there are numerous ways to take in the stunning fall foliage around Winston-Salem. Our location in central North Carolina delivers comfortable, cool temps as early as September—and with them, a colorful canopy of changing leaves that peaks in October and lingers into November. Here are four of our favorite ways to bask in fall’s beauty during your next visit.

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