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Christmas & Candlelight

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 two of the Foy Family’s favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, come share in two Victorian-themed candlelight weekends through the Manor House to celebrate our preservation efforts.

Each of the eight rooms of the Manor House will be decorated by theme and color with 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 this special event. Regular ticket prices apply. Tours limited to 15 guests. Call 910-686-9518 for reservations.


Friday & Saturday Evenings, November 27th & 28th

Guided Candlelight Tours begin at 5 p.m., and run on the hour @ 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.

Friday & Saturday Evenings, December 4th & 5th

Guided Candlelight Tours begin at 5 p.m., and run on the hour @ 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.


Saturday, December 5th from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

victorian-christmas-presentsThe grounds will be open for a special day & evening for families near and far seeking a local shopping experience, including a variety of local Arts & Crafts, items to compliment hearth and home, kettle corn, hot cider, wagon rides, inflatables, and a few of your neighbors and their families and friends.  The animals will be in full regalia and available for nose-rubbing and picture taking.  

Shhhhhh… we hear Santa will also be making an appearance at the gazebo!

South Topsail Elementary School Choir, led by Samantha Rodgers, will grace the air with the sound of music.

Interested vendors, please contact Laura Leigh Bransford at for more information.


Spaces are available. Christmas Vendor Application 2015.


Spaces are available. Christmas Concession Vendor Application 2015.


Spaces are available. Christmas Food Vendor Application 2015.

All proceeds benefit historic Poplar Grove, a non-profit 501(c)3 Public Charity as of January 2015.  Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to conservation, education, and preservation. Your support ensures a quality experience for all families.


“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.

Daytime Operating Hours

Poplar Grove will be closed during the week of Thanksgiving, and will open only for self-guided tours at a reduced rate on Saturday & Sunday, November 28th -29th and Saturday & Sunday, December 5th-6th.  The grounds, outbuildings, Manor House, Gift Shop, Basket Gallery & Animal Sanctuary will be open on these two weekends only.

Sunday Family Portraits

November 29th & December 6th, bring your family to the Manor House for a special portrait on our front porch or inside our front parlor in front of the tree!

Keep visiting our website as this event draws near…