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Christmas Candlelight Tours

The candles will be lit, the stockings will be hung, the puzzles will be out, the candy canes unwrapped, the black walnuts cracked, and Santa on his way … 


Expanding our Christmas experience to include three weekends of the grounds of Poplar Grove all lit up and twinkling under the stars, come out and share with your family a special occasion to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

A camp fire will be blazing for roasted marshmallows, a Naughty Children’s Workshop in the Blacksmith Studio, a mail box for posting those letters to Santa, $2.00 wagon rides through the Abbey Nature Preserve, and opportunities for the family to snuggle up together for an outdoor movie night. We will be running concurrently “A Christmas Story,” “The Polar Express,” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Admission to the grounds is $5.00 per person from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for the first three weekends in December. 

In addition to this outdoor experience, Candlelight Tours will be offered through the eight rooms of the Manor House, each room with a live specially decorated by theme and color Christmas tree, including natural flora and greenery inspired by the Foys’ Colonial through Victorian family history – with a few contemporary flourishes to echo the family’s four centuries in coastal North Carolina.

Advanced tickets are required for candlelight tours.

Don’t forget to shop local at the Christmas Arts, Crafts & Gift Show — a two-day shopping experience featuring local arts and crafts vendors. Get in the Christmas spirit by meeting Mr. & Mrs. Claus, finding that something special for the stockings, home and hearth. See below for more information.

All proceeds benefit historic Poplar Grove, a non-profit 501(c)3 since 1996.  

Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to conservation, education, and preservation.

Your support ensures a quality experience for all families, big and small, for generations to come.


Thursday, Friday & Saturday Evenings

December 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 8th, 9th & 10th, and 15th, 16th & 17th

Guided Candlelight Tours begin in the Manor House on the hour at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.

Tours limited to 15 guests. Admission price is $15.00 per person, includes the festivities on the grounds, and refreshments in the courtyard after the tour. Advanced reservations required. Call 910-686-9518 x103 for more information.

Book now!


“Christmas and Thanksgiving were two big holidays,” remembers Robert Lee Foy, Jr., “All the Foy family would be here for Thanksgiving. We had a big meal, turkey, ham, chicken. It was a very big time. We had a corn bread dressing, sometimes Oyster Dressing.

Cchildren sleighhristmas was almost a repeat of Thanksgiving on the meal. The house was decorated with a live tree, and it was decorated with cookies that were in the shape of Santa Claus, and men and women. The house was decorated with holly and yaupon and smilax, and the banisters were draped with smilax, and over the doors they hung the holly and yaupon.

They made wreaths. You took moss and wrapped it around a wire and stuffed your pine needles and pine cones and holly, and it made a pretty wreath. The mantles would have holly and yaupon and candles. There was a homemade wreath on the front door. They used berries for color and clusters of pine cones for decorations” (Interview, 1979).

Robert Lee Foy, Sr.’s second wife, Grandma Lee, remembers frozen eggnog, ambrosia, and the camellia bush out front as large as the 3rd story of the Manor House. Christmas morning was in the front parlor, and she had a card table set up with a puzzle (Interview, 1979).

The tenant farmers at Poplar Grove would have likely celebrated some form of Jonkonnu, an African American celebration of song and dance, and noted as early as 1824 in Edenton, North Carolina. The practice continued even after Emancipation and Reconstruction and celebrated in Wilmington among the African American community until 1898. There are performances at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina, each December.

Keep checking our website as the event draws near!