Things to Do

7 Ways to Make Spirits Bright in Charlotte

May your Charlotte holiday season be filled with happiness and good cheer by our featured partners.

Marriott Hotels

Marriott offers the gift that keeps on giving. Share the joy of holiday travel this season and choose from four Marriott International participating hotels throughout Charlotte.

WinterFest at Carowinds

The holidays have officially begun in Charlotte: Here’s to ice skating, lavish decor and plenty of delicious holiday treats. And this year seems to bring even bigger and better experiences for you and your loved ones to take part in. Buckle up. This is going to be one magical ride.

Be sure to follow @charlottesgotalot on Instagram from Dec. 1 to 8 for a week full of giveaways from the folks on our CLT Nice List.

WinterFest at Carowinds. Photo courtesy of Carowinds.

Experience the holidays on a larger-than-life scale at WinterFest.

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit at its annual WinterFest. Every year, the park transforms into a winter wonderland featuring 5 million shimmering lights, a 70-foot tree, festive shows and performances and hands-on holiday activities. Don’t miss out on the all-new Wonderland Parade, which will have dazzling displays, extravagantly decorated floats and merry performances by singers and dancers.

WinterFest will take place Nov. 24, 29 and 30 and Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 19 and 20. Admission to the event costs $26.


Photo courtesy of Charlotte Ballet's "Nutcracker." Photography by Peter Zay.

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at “Nutcracker.”

One of the most enchanting holiday traditions in the Queen City is Charlotte Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” From Dec. 6 to Dec. 23, watch as the Mouse King takes on the Nutcracker, and the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy and friends take to the stage. Whether it’s a treasured family tradition or you’re experiencing it for the first time, it will certainly be a spectacular holiday event that everyone will love.

The show will be held at Belk Theater. Tickets start at $25.


Holidays at the Garden. Photo courtesy of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Stroll through the sparkling Mile of a Million Lights at Holidays at the Garden.

Be dazzled by the holiday magic at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Beginning nightly on Friday, Nov. 29 until Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, discover the colorful lights and merry tunes throughout the garden; explore the newest natural and interactive sculpture made from interwoven sticks by N.C. artist Patrick Dougherty; and sip a cider and roast marshmallows while warming up around a crackling fire. Santa Claus will be available for professional photos (additional fee, reservations required) on Dec. 2, 9 and 16 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus will make an appearance Nov. 29 until Dec. 22, and on Christmas Eve from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $16.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $8.95 for children. Garden members can receive a 30% discount for up to four guests.


Photo courtesy of Renaissance SouthPark

Marriott offers the gift that keeps on giving.

Switch things up this year and share the gift of travel this holiday season. Book the Holiday Shopping package at any of the four Marriott International participating hotels in Uptown (Marriott City Center or Westin Charlotte) and SouthPark (SouthPark Marriott or Renaissance SouthPark) to receive a breakfast for two daily and a $50 shopping gift card for SouthPark Mall or Charlotte Premium Outlets. Sounds like a great excuse to treat yourself this time of year.


Photo courtesy of Northlake Mall.

Put a bow on it at Northlake Mall.

Calling all holiday shoppers! Buying gifts can be stressful enough but wrapping them too? Give us a break! Luckily, Northlake Mall will have its very own “Put a Bow on It” gift wrap center (located on the upper level across from Macy’s) operating every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 15 until Dec. 22, and on Dec. 23 and Christmas Eve. In addition to finding gifts for your loved ones, there will also be “Santa’s Tinsel Town,” an immersive experience complete with 12-foot ornaments, decorated trees and photo opportunities with Santa.


Breakfast with Santa at SouthPark Mall.

It’s a holiday extravaganza at SouthPark Mall.

With new stores like Casper, Morphe, Sleep Number, Warby Parker and UNTUCKit, SouthPark Mall is as good as it gets for finding a gift for even the pickiest person in your life. Plus, with a variety of holiday activities throughout the month of November and December, you may never leave. In Center Court, meet and take a picture with Santa up until Christmas Eve; bring your furry friend for photos with Santa Nov. 24 and Dec. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.; take part in Caring Santa, a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs; and go ice skating at Winter Wonderland located near Symphony Park.


Winter Wonderland at SouthPark Mall.

Ice skate in a Winter Wonderland.

SouthPark Mall is hosting its annual Winter Wonderland, an open-air, ice-skating rink at Symphony Park beginning Friday, Nov. 29. Whether it’s a treasured family tradition or a celebration, relish the magic of the season under twinkling lights and skate the day away. There will be a daily afternoon snowfall, a stocked bar, delicious eats, lice music, plus visits from Santa and other extraordinary characters.

Tickets costs $17 per two hours of skating + skate rentals and $12 per two hours of skating if you bring your own skates.