The official travel resource

Holiday Fun in Charlotte

From light displays to classic holiday productions and special events for the whole family, there's no better place to celebrate the holidays than Charlotte. Our list’s festive events, spanning every kind of entertainment, are sure to make the season merry and bright.
A Charlotte winter tradition, the annual WBT "Holiday on Ice" skating rink, outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Uptown Charlotte is located at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd and Brevard.
A Charlotte winter tradition, the annual WBT "Holiday on Ice" skating rink, outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Uptown Charlotte is located at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd and Brevard.

Family Festivities

Christmas at the Library
Stop by the stately Billy Graham Library filled with spirited, imaginative events. Enjoy tea, treats and a plush stuffed animal parting gift at the Teddy Bear Tea. Make an encore visit for family fun at Christmas at the Library. Horse-drawn carriage rides, a live nativity scene and holiday story time are among the celebrations. billygrahamlibrary.org

T’was the Night Before…
Join in universal holiday fun at ImaginON: The Joe and Joan Martin Center with a playful Children’s Theatre of Charlotte production that weaves together stories and music celebrating the spirit and traditions of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. It’s a veritable melting pot of cultural festivities. ctcharlotte.org

Holidays at the Hall
Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame for breakfast with Santa or UnDeck the Hall, where guests remove NASCAR trinkets from the trees, taking one home until all are gone. Also, enjoy ice skating with WBT Holiday on Ice all month and holiday movies in the High Octane Theater each weekend in December. holidaysatthehall.com

WBT Holiday on Ice
Holiday on Ice brings the coolest surface in the city to the heart of Uptown. Located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, the rink has more than 7,000 square feet of ice. With skates available for rental or the option to bring your own, Holiday on Ice is a cool treat for the novice or seasoned skater. wbt.com/shows/holiday-on-ice

The Train to Christmas Town
Hop aboard a hot cocoa and cookie-filled, 30-minute train ride along the Piedmont Northern Railway to the tune of a “the Train to Christmas Town” reading. Surprise guests include characters from the story, plus Santa! traintochristmastown.com

Winter Wonderlands

Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour
Take a self-guided tour through historic homes in Fourth Ward, all intricately decorated for the season. Drink in the city’s beauty on a complimentary horse and carriage ride and revel in performances by local choirs. fofw.org

Christmas at Biltmore
Experience a most beloved family tradition. Take in the Biltmore Estate, adorned to the nines with hundreds of wreaths, dozens of trees and poinsettias as far as the eye can see. christmas.biltmore.com

Holiday Tea and Shopping at the Duke Mansion
Enjoy an hour of shopping a collection of gifts from local boutiques followed by a refined high tea featuring tea sandwiches and holiday treats at the gorgeous, seasonally-festooned Duke Mansion. dukemansion.com

Holidays at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s annual tradition invites guests to experience its winter wonderland through the New Year. Enter the grounds to be greeted by a half a million lights and a breathtaking Christmas tree created with live florals. Enjoy carriage rides, visits with Santa and live entertainment. dsbg.org

McAdenville, Christmas Town USA
McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town USA, shines bright with holiday lights and decorations strung from every home, building and tree in sight. Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights turn this small mill town into a spectacular holiday display. Visitors stroll down Main Street surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas. mcadenville-christmastown.com

Speedway Christmas
Head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for one of the largest holiday light shows in the U.S., which features more than 3,000,000 lights. And as though that weren’t enough, there's the Christmas Village with a realistic Bethlehem-themed setting, horse-drawn rides, photos with Santa, movie nights, food and music. charlottemotorspeedway.com

Shining Performances

The Nutcracker
The classic story of “The Nutcracker,” performed by more than 100 Charlotte Ballet dancers and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, dazzles with its elaborate costumes and familiar music. The show, which is a must-see each season, features breathtaking snowfall and runs at Belk Theater. charlotteballet.org

Charlotte Symphony: Magic of Christmas
Let the Charlotte Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony Chorus and a number of special guests get you into the holiday spirit with this moving performance, on deck at Belk Theater. charlottesymphony.org

The 61st Annual Singing Christmas Tree
The perfect show for the whole family, watch the 32-foot Christmas tree, powered by the voices of the MainStage Choir and accompanied by dancers and special guests, sing classic holiday favorites at Knight Theater. carolinavoices.org

The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour
The Grammy-award winning performer and his grand 18-piece orchestra perform at Ovens Auditorium. Setzer combines his signature guitar and vocal styles with a big-band horn section for unbeatable acoustics. ovensauditorium.com

Holiday Jazz at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The romantic sounds of holiday classics translated by jazz will have couples feeling the love like two turtle doves. Ring in the season with mid-century art and music at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. bechtler.org/Programs/Jazz-at-the-bechtler

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
A cirque performance, Broadway musical and holiday spectacular rolled into one mesmerizing production, this variety show of sorts is full of talent and merriment. With an international cast of more than 30 global artists, the show features flipping gingerbread men and soaring reindeers accompanied by hundreds of spectacular costumes. cirqueproductions.com

Holiday Feasts & Sweets

Bar Cocoa
When you need a little something sweet to offset holiday stress, Bar Cocoa in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte in Uptown has you covered. Better to give than to receive? Take a class at the Cocoa Lab to whip up holiday treats for your favorites. barcocoacharlotte.com

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
Hosting friends and family this holiday season? Fill your table with an unforgettable feast when you sharpen your culinary skills and study gourmet recipes at Chef Alyssa’s cooking classes. chefalyssaskitchen.com

Merry Markets

Weihnachtsmarkt
Tour The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s German-style Christmas market. Imbued with an authentic taste of Europe, the market features an array of delectable baked goods, local crafts and other extraordinary knickknacks, which make thoughtful tokens of affection. oldemeckbrew.com

Downtown Christmas Village in Belmont
Transport yourself back to a historical small town Christmas as you stroll through holiday bedecked Main Street in Belmont. Browse local shops filled with gifts for everyone on your list, enjoy splendid performances from carolers and visit with Santa at City Hall. cityofbelmont.org

Christmas in Davidson
Join in the annual holiday tour of Main Street in downtown Davidson. Shop the Holiday Village of vendors on the Village Green and visit Ten Thousand Villages at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Congregation, which stocks beautiful items from more than 30 developing countries. christmasindavidson.com