DEC. 28-JAN. 1 Morehead City
Countdown events on Crystal Coast
2012 ends with a five-day, all-ages festival on the Crystal Coast Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Beaufort, N.C., Pine Knoll Shores and Newport. New Years Eve will feature a Crab Pot Drop countdown in Morehead City with live music and fireworks. New Years Day events include a Penguin Plunge and sand-sculpting contest both at Atlantic Beach and a ranger-led tour of Fort Macon State Park. There is admission charged for some events; discount cards are available online. For a full schedule of events, go to www.crystalcoastcountdown.com..
DEC. 31-JAN. 1 Wilmington area
Toast 2012-2013 at the coast
New Years events for adults and kids are on tap in the Wilmington area. The New Years Noon Countdown at the Childrens Museum (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) features crafts (streamers, noisemakers), singing and dancing with a countdown to 12 oclock at the museum, 116 Orange St., Wilmington. Admission: $8; $7 for 60 and older and for military with ID; younger than 1, free. Details: www.playwilmington.org.
From 9 p.m. Dec. 31 until 12:30 the next day/year, the Island of Lights New Years Eve Countdown Party, Street Dance & Fireworks Extravaganza features the lowering of a giant lighted beach ball at midnight, plus fireworks shot over the ocean. The free-admission event is at Kure Beach Pier, K Avenue, Kure Beach. Details: www.islandoflights.org/newyears.html.
JAN. 1 Asheville
Discount season coming to Biltmore
Jan. 1 through March 31 a slower time at Biltmore Estate is also when your visit there can cost less. Seasonal specials include lowest admission of the year, beginning at $35 when purchased seven days (or more) in advance online or over the phone. Tickets include a free audio guide of Biltmore House and, for a limited time, access to additional rooms in the house. Visitors 16 and younger also get in free with an adult admission. Details: www.biltmore.com.
JAN. 2-4 Hendersonville
Experience communicating in Braille
At downtown Hendersonvilles kids museum, Hands On! A Childs Gallery, World Braille Day will be celebrated Jan. 2-4. Visitors can learn to write their names in Braille, experience Braille books, and find out how six dots changed the world. Admission to the museum, 318 N. Main St., is $5. Details: www.handsonwnc.org.
John Bordsen, firstname.lastname@example.org
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