Looking for Christmas Activities in Charlotte NC?
The holiday season in Charlotte is a time of enchantment and wonder, where the city comes alive with festive spirit and joyful celebrations. From dazzling light displays to heartwarming community events, Charlotte offers a plethora of activities to make your holiday season truly special.
Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, there’s no shortage of magical experiences awaiting you in the Queen City. Here, we’ll explore the most captivating Christmas activities that Charlotte has to offer, ensuring that your holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and cherished memories. Let’s unwrap the magic of Christmas in Charlotte, NC.
Christmas Activities in Charlotte NC & Nearby
We have all the holiday-themed events and more for you to enjoy.
1. Southern Christmas Show | November 9 – 19, 2023
Address: The Park Expo & Conference Center, 800 Briar Creek Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205
The Southern Christmas Show at the Park Expo and Conference Center is North America’s grandest holiday event and promises to dazzle with an array of treasures.
With countless vendors, the venue becomes a winter wonderland, featuring everything from collectibles, home goods, and exquisite jewelry to captivating art pieces.
This show is a haven for gift seekers, offering vintage ornaments, unique figurines, and holiday home decor to create a cozy atmosphere. Dazzling jewelry adds a touch of glamour to your holiday attire, and inspiring art pieces await art enthusiasts.
2. Light the Knights Festival & Charlotte Christmas Village | November 24, 2023 – January 1, 2024
Address: Truist Field, 324 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Running from November 24th to January 1st at Truist Field, the Light the Knights Festival is a joyous family affair.
The baseball stadium is magically turned into a complete Christmas village, aglow with lights. You’ll be able to enjoy ice skating and tubing as well.
Visitors of all ages can browse and shop at the many vendor booths and enjoy activities like ice skating and snow tubing while creating cherished holiday memories.
3. German Christmas Market at OMB | November 24 – December 17, 2023
Address: 4150 Yancey Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217
An annual delight at OMB Brewery, the German Christmas Market infuses merriment into the season. This festive gathering features local holiday vendors, shopping opportunities, warm fireside nooks, a dazzling array of Christmas decorations and lights, music, and much more to kindle your holiday spirit.
4. Christmas Town USA | December 1 – 26, 2023
Address: McAdenville, NC
Only 25 minutes from Charlotte, McAdenville is renowned for its enchanting holiday transformation. The town becomes a Christmas village adorned with millions of twinkling lights, igniting each night with a dazzling light show, music, and festive decorations.
Marking the start of this beloved tradition is the Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 1st at 5:30 p.m., while on December 14th, enjoy the Yule Log Parade at 5 p.m., a tradition that began in 1949.
The lights are open to the public nightly; traffic can be very heavy, especially on the weekends. Also, make sure to follow signs to enter; they block certain streets, and your GPS might try to take you in those ways. The bridge at Highway 7 and Hickory Grove RD is closed if you are traveling from the Belmont and Mt. Holly area. The main entrances are from Highway 7 (from the Gastonia area only), I-85, and U.S. Hwy 29-74.
5. Christmas in Mint Hill | Parade & Tree Lighting
Address: Downtown Mint Hill, NC
Annual Christmas Parade followed by festivities, including tantalizing food trucks and entertainment, at the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. And guess what? Santa has confirmed his visit to delight all the children of Mint Hill. This event takes place on Saturday, December 2nd, between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. They ask you to please leave your furry friends at home for this event.
Santa even comes bearing a special gift—a mailbox with a direct line to the North Pole, accessible at Town Hall from December 1st to December 15th. It’s a season of joy and enchantment for all in Mint Hill.
6. A Huntersville Christmas | December 1 & 2
Address: Veterans Park, Huntersville NC
Mark your calendars for a double dose of holiday cheer. On Friday, December 1st, from 6 pm to 9 pm, kick off the festivities with the Town Tree Lighting. Then, continue the celebrations on December 2nd, from 3 pm to 8 pm, with “A Huntersville Christmas.” It’s a weekend of timeless holiday traditions and merriment that you won’t want to miss.
Read More: Great Things to Do in Huntersville, NC
7. A Classic Christmas in Mooresville | December 8
Address: Downtown Mooresville, NC
At A Classic Christmas in Mooresville, create lasting family memories during this cherished annual celebration. Explore the offerings of local artisans, savor festive cuisine, wrap up your last-minute shopping, and enjoy holiday-themed performances by local talents.
The event includes Victorian carolers, holiday shopping, and the opportunity to capture timeless moments with Santa. It’s a traditional Classic Christmas brimming with festive joy. Takes place between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on December 8th.
8. Kannapolis Christmas Parade | December 9
Address: Downtown Kannapolis, NC
Experience the magic of the Kannapolis Christmas Parade, starting at 6 p.m. in downtown Kannapolis on December 9th. This special nighttime parade winds through the streets of downtown Kannapolis, offering a captivating spectacle that typically lasts until 7:30 p.m.
9. Carolina Holiday Light Spectacular | December 8 – December 30, 2023
Address: 11611 North Community House Road, Charlotte, North Carolina
This December, the Carolina Holiday Light Spectacular is set to return, creating magic in the backyard of the Ballantyne Hotel. This enchanting outdoor walking trail and light show promise to ignite your holiday spirit.
With over one million sparkling lights, colossal holiday displays, music, and holiday treats, the trail offers an unforgettable experience. The event welcomes visitors from December 8th to December 30th, ensuring plenty of opportunities to bask in the holiday glow. Admission starts at just $15 during the weekdays.
10. Celebration of Lights & Winterland Express
Address: Village Park, 700 West C Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081
Get ready to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit all month long at the Celebration of Lights in Kannapolis. With over 250,000 dazzling lights, this enchanting event at Village Park runs nightly from November 18th to December 30th, 2023 (closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day).
Stroll through the park to admire the radiant displays or hop aboard the Winterland Express for a chance to spot all 12 Days of Christmas. Beyond the lights, each evening brings more delights, including marshmallow roasting, s’mores, Santa visits, and heartwarming performances by the Kannapolis Singing Bears.
The Winterland Express operates from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Best of all, park admission and light viewing are free, and tickets for the train and carousel rides are just $2.
11. Charlotte SantaCon | December 9, 2023
Address: Slingshot Social Game Club + Various Venues, 332 West Bland Street Charlotte, NC 28203
SantaCon is a bar crawl event that takes place in hundreds of cities throughout the world, including one in Charlotte. Countless merrymakers don their finest Santa attire for a festive stroll through uptown Charlotte, complete with visits to bars, joyful caroling, and indulging in delectable food. Tickets are required and can be purchased online. This is a 21+ event.
12. The 69th Annual Singing Christmas Tree | December 10, 2023
Address: Central Piedmont Community College |1206 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204
For 69 years, the Singing Christmas Tree has remained a cherished holiday tradition in Charlotte. Prepare to be serenaded by the melodious voices of the MainStage Choir, perched atop a specially designed 32-foot Christmas tree, as they bring your favorite holiday songs to life.
The performance is a sensory delight, with twinkling lights, captivating theatrics, and lively dance routines by the talented artists of the Miller Street Dance Academy. This event is ideal for families, making it the perfect addition to your annual Christmas traditions. You can find tickets here.
13. The North Carolina Christmas Festival | December 16, 2023
Address: Gold Hall 1, Cabarrus Arena, 4751 NC Highway 49 North, Concord, NC 28025
The North Carolina Christmas Festival, hosted at the Cabarrus Event Center, is a free celebration in Concord. The festival includes free photos with Santa, a generous toy giveaway for all children, complimentary gift wrapping, Christmas-themed games and crafts, and an abundance of holiday treats and beverages.
In the true spirit of the season, don’t forget to don your most ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater.’ It’s highly encouraged!
14. Run Run Rudolph 5K/10K | December 16, 2023
Address: 10101 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262, USA
Get ready for a fantastic family adventure at the Run Run Rudolph race in University Research Park. Starting at 8 a.m., this event is sure to make your day merry and bright. And guess what? There’s a special treat – a hot chocolate and donut bar that’s fully stocked!
But here’s the fun part: there are awards for the best-dressed guys and gals, so make sure to put on your most awesome Christmas-themed outfit. It’s going to be a jolly good time for the whole family! Register Here.
15. Winterfest at Carowinds
Address: 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273
Winterfest at Carowinds is the ultimate holiday celebration in Charlotte and quite possibly the whole of North Carolina! It’s a magical experience that transports you to a Christmas village brimming with holiday wonder.
You’ll be dazzled by millions of twinkling lights, enchanting Christmas decorations and displays, ice skating, live entertainment, festive culinary delights, charming gift shops, thrilling rides, and the captivating nightly Christmas parade. Winterfest is where the holiday magic truly comes alive!
Winterfest is open on select nights starting November 17th, 2023, until January 1st, 2024.
16. US National Whitewater Center Ice Skating
Address: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28214
The US National Whitewater Center stands as one of Charlotte’s most cherished destinations, attracting countless visitors each year. This outdoor haven boasts an array of over 30 recreational activities, including 50 miles of hiking trails, whitewater rafting, climbing, deep water solo, mountain biking, and much more.
But when the holiday season arrives, the Whitewater Center transforms into a magical realm. The upper pond becomes a grand ice skating rink, welcoming participants of all ages and skill levels. With two ice trails and two free skate zones adorned with twinkling lights, this wintery wonderland is open from mid-November through mid-February, promising seasonal joy for all.
17. Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas | November 17 – January 7, 2024
Address: 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Speedway Christmas is a spellbinding drive-thru holiday light display that promises an enchanting experience. Drive along the 4-mile course, including portions on the track itself, and behold a breathtaking spectacle of over five million twinkling Christmas lights and festive decorations, all set to joyous tunes.
After your journey, gather around cozy fire pits to savor hot cocoa and scrumptious s’mores. Inside, you can even meet Santa, catch holiday movies, and savor delicious food. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit! Fridays and Saturdays will be very busy, and you might want to purchase your tickets ahead of time. They are open rain or shine from 6 p.m to 10 p.m.
Read More: Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights
18. Nutcracker with the Charlotte Ballet | December 3-23, 2023
Address: Belk Theater, 130 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
The Nutcracker is a heartwarming Christmas tradition celebrated by families worldwide. The Charlotte Ballet presents an exquisite Nutcracker performance, a labor of love rehearsed for months on end. You can revel in the enchanting show daily from December 3rd to December 23rd, creating cherished holiday memories with loved ones.
19. Holiday at the Gardens | Daniel Stowe Gardens
Address: 6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012
Be captivated by the beautiful lights, festive decor, cozy fire pits, s’mores, hot cocoa, and the delightful strains of holiday music. And when hunger strikes, food trucks are at your service.
This year, they are open between November 24th and December 23rd, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. They’ll be closed on Mondays. Make sure to secure your time entry tickets online, as at-the-door tickets will be limited. It’s a magical holiday experience waiting to be explored!
Full article for Holiday at the Gardens here.
20. Gingerbread Lane at Ballantyne Hotel | December 11-24, 2023
Address: 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28277
The Ballantyne Hotel, a five-star luxury haven, offers lavish spa services and exquisite accommodations, along with a calendar brimming with events. This winter, embark on a delightful visit to Gingerbread Lane, a captivating holiday spectacle.
Gingerbread Lane is a wonderland of gingerbread creations crafted by skilled bakers. Guests can cast their votes for their preferred display and indulge in scrumptious gingerbread cookies and comforting hot chocolate.
It’s a holiday treat that promises enchantment and delight at The Ballantyne Hotel. Gingerbread Lane will be open daily, December 11th – 24th, 2023, from 11 am to 7 pm.
21. Birkdale Village | Birkdale on Ice
Address: Birkdale Commons Pkwy & Sam Furr Rd, Huntersville, NC, 28078
Get ready for a family adventure at Birkdale on Ice, an outdoor skating rink located at the heart of Birkdale Village, right in The Plaza. This marks their second year, and from November 18th to January 28th, 2024, you can enjoy outdoor skating with skate rentals available.
For added convenience, you can book your skating time in advance, and if available, walk-up tickets will be offered. Don’t miss out – tickets go on sale November 6th!
But that’s not all – Birkdale Village has more holiday magic in store. Join in the festivities with The Lighting of Birkdale Village on November 18th from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and don’t forget to plan a visit to meet Santa at Birkdale between November 19th and December 24th; booking times are available. It’s a winter wonderland of joy and merriment!
22. Christmas in Davidson | November 30, December 1 & 2
Address: Downtown Davidson, NC
Experience the holiday season with three magical nights at Christmas in Davidson, a tradition since 1988. As Davidson‘s largest and most beloved event, it’ll instantly immerse you in the holiday spirit.
Hop on the trolley, stroll Main Street, start early shopping, explore the Giving Tree Village, and enjoy diverse entertainment. Don’t miss the breathtaking Live Nativity or Santa and Story Time with Mrs. Claus.
Local businesses offer reindeer food, art projects, live music, and more. Savor fine dining, try treats from vendors, and enjoy live entertainment and fine art at South Main Square. Christmas in Davidson is three nights of pure holiday joy.
23. Blumenthal Performing Arts | Oven Auditorium | Belk Theater | Knight Theater
Address: 130 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Opened in 1992, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center stands as a breathtaking non-profit arts stage. It serves as a global hub for artists, actors, dancers, and creatives from around the world, coming together to celebrate the art.
As Christmas approaches, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is set to dazzle with an array of holiday shows and other remarkable performances. Prepare for a season of artistic brilliance that’s sure to captivate your heart and spirit.
- Christmas with the Petersens | November 29, 2023
- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas with Chip Davis | December 2, 2023
- The Hip Hop Nutcracker | December 26 – 27, 2023
- A Magical Cirque Christmas | December 27 – 28, 2023
24. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Address: 300 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
At the pinnacle of children’s performing arts in the Queen City, The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a haven for young talents. Their exceptional theater programs cater to ages 2-18, nurturing young performers and providing the chance to shine on the live stage.
As winter arrives, get ready to be charmed by a lineup of captivating shows. The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte invites you to a season of theatrical enchantment that’ll leave audiences of all ages in awe.
- The Best Christmas Pageant | November 17 – December 22, 2023
- Winter Wonderland Shop | November 30 – December 2, 2023
25. Christmas at the Library | Billy Graham Library
Address: 4330 Westmont Dr, Charlotte, NC 28217
Experience the enchantment of Christmas at the Library from December 1st to December 23rd, 2023, where the festive spirit comes alive during these special hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
This event offers a delightful array of activities to enjoy. Witness the Live Nativity, visit the Petting Zoo, take a memorable Horse-drawn Carriage Ride, and savor the joy of Story Time. For a sumptuous Christmas Dinner, be sure to make reservations.
The sounds of Christmas Carolers will fill the air as you savor delectable Holiday Goodies, including delectable treats like Mother Graham’s pound cake, cinnamon rolls, hot apple cider, and much more. Don’t miss this wonderful celebration at the Library!
Christmas Parades near Charlotte NC
🎅 Concord Christmas Parade | Saturday, November 18th
🎅 Union County Christmas Parade | Sunday, November 19th
🎅 Mooresville Christmas Parade | Tuesday, November 21st
🎅 Belmont Christmas Parade | Tuesday, November 28th
🎅 Rock Hill, SC, Christmas Parade | Friday, December 1st
🎅 Troutman Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 2nd
🎅 Cornelius Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 2nd
🎅 North Mecklenburg Holiday Parade | Saturday, December 2nd
🎅 Mint Hill Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 2nd
🎅 Fort Mill, SC, Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 2nd
🎅 Christmas Parade Town of Indian Trail | Sunday, December 3rd
🎅 Gastonia Christmas Parade | Sunday, December 3rd
🎅 Kannapolis Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 9th
🎅 Waxhaw Christmas Parade | Sunday, December 10th
🎅 The Northern Lights of Lake Norman Lighted Boat Parade | Saturday, December 9th (canceled due to low lake levels)
🎅 Lake Norman Lighted Christmas Boat Parade | Saturday, December 16th
🎅 Lake Wylie, SC, Holiday Boat Parade | Saturday, December 16th
🎅 Mount Holly Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 16th
Where To Stay in Charlotte NC
📍The Ivey’s Hotel – Nestled in uptown Charlotte, The Ivey’s Hotel is a stunning boutique escape that promises a lavish experience. Guests are welcomed into an elegant and stylish ambiance, with impeccable decor and a charming atmosphere. They offer 24-hour room service, a continental breakfast, and a fine-dining restaurant. It’s the perfect destination for a cozy winter getaway, where you can embrace luxury and warmth in the heart of the city.
📍JW Marriott Charlotte – Discover the beauty of the JW Marriott, an exquisite hotel nestled in uptown Charlotte. This modern haven is not just clean and comfortable; it’s designed to cater to all your needs, whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or on a luxurious getaway. The hotel has private parking, a full-fledged spa and wellness center, a continental breakfast, and a sun terrace accessible to all guests. It’s a haven of comfort and style in the heart of the city.
📍The Ballantyne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte – Winter is the season for pampering, and The Ballantyne, a luxury resort and four-star hotel, is the ideal destination for indulgence. While a stay here might be a splurge, the experience is worth every dollar. Guests enjoy full access to the renowned spa and wellness center, both indoor and outdoor pools, a charming playground, elegant afternoon tea, a restaurant and bar, and more. If you seek a larger family stay or extra space for a romantic escape, consider renting The Ballantyne’s luxury lodge or cottage.
📍SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charlotte City Center – SpringHill Suites, a clean and comfortable hotel nestled in uptown Charlotte, offers a modern haven that won’t stretch your budget. Guests can enjoy a relaxed setting without breaking the bank. Perfectly situated, you’re just minutes away from Charlotte’s parks, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Discovery Place, and more. They also have a full bar and restaurant, continental breakfast, a fitness center, and convenient 24-hour room service.
Christmas Activities in Charlotte NC: FAQs
📌 What is the winter like in Charlotte, North Carolina?
The winters in Charlotte are pretty mild. Temperatures range from around 30-50 degrees.
📌 Does Charlotte, NC, get a lot of snow?
Charlotte sees an average of around 3.5 inches of snow a year.
📌 Is December a good time to visit Charlotte, NC?
If you don’t mind some cooler weather, December is a wonderful time to visit Charlotte. The city truly comes alive with the holiday spirit, and there are tons of fun winter-themed activities.
📌 What is the coldest month in Charlotte, NC?
January is usually the coldest month in Charlotte.
📌 What is Charlotte known for?
Charlotte is a bustling city in NC that is known for its restaurants, breweries, and museums, as well as sports and music venues, its abundance of parks, and the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
📌 What is the snowiest month in Charlotte, NC?
Every year, it’s different, but Charlotte sees most of its snow anytime between December and March.
As Charlotte embraces the holiday spirit, the city comes alive with excitement and a myriad of winter activities. Venture out and experience the vibrant, heartwarming Charlotte this holiday season. You can also check out things to do in Charlotte NC, during the winter article too.
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