The Beary Merry Christmas tree was officially lit up on November 27, kicking off the 2020 holiday season. Photo courtesy of Open Aperture Photography for Beary Merry Christmas.

New Bern is a spectacular place to live or to visit any season of the year. Yet, the town takes on a extra-specialness during the holiday season. A month-long extravaganza, aptly titled Beary Merry Christmas (Bern means “bear”), showcases dozens of events and activities. While the pandemic caused a little rethinking of some things, New Bern is known for having the show go on! One of Beary Merry Christmas’ highlights is the downtown parade, scheduled for December 5. Due to COVID-19 protocol, it is not known if the parade will occur as of this blog writing. Here are three other enjoyable activities I look forward to each December:

Horsing Around

I have walked and driven all around the downtown area throughout the year. Why is it that Downtown New Bern takes on a special look and feeling when riding in a horse-drawn carriage? Whether you are on a romantic ride for two or a family outing, this carriage ride is sure to make you and your heart warm and fuzzy.

Window Wonderland

This Friday, December 4, the downtown shops and restaurants all come alive, literally, for the Live Window Display, 6 – 8 p.m. The entire family will love “window shopping,” perhaps with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. The competition is pretty fierce, with each establishment trying to outdo each year and each other!

Under the Mistletoe

If you really want to get a taste of the holiday season, head on over to the Mistletoe Market, held every weekend at the corner of Front and Craven Streets. Food, beverages, live entertainment and lots of vendors will be on-hand to bring you holiday cheer. The market is also a great way to find a unique gift or two. And, there is lots of mistletoe!

Beary Merry Christmas is yet another reason why New Bern is a truly magical place, all year-round!