30 Things to Do this Winter in Charlotte
Don’t hibernate until spring. These winter events and activities will keep you busy all season.
by Arielle Patterson Dec 02, 2023
Camp North End
This article is brought to you by Camp North End.
Charlotte’s mild weather and array of activities make the city an ideal destination for a winter getaway. Discover the whimsy of winter in the Queen City at these memorable events and seasonal activities.
Explore Camp North End
Create your own adventure at Camp North End this winter season! Bundle up by the heaters and fire pits after enjoying the first-ever ice skating rink at Camp North Pole, seven days a week from Nov. 22 to Jan. 7, 2024. Plus, enjoy hot drinks and tasty treats from 16 food and drink spots, 12 shops and art collectives, and more than 50 murals, all connected by 76 acres of cozy outdoor space to explore.
Attend a Winter Concert
Concert venues in Charlotte are still jamming in the winter months, with national headliners like Doja Cat, Tool and Gladys Knight making their way to the Queen City. Catch these performances, along with local and regional acts, on stages across the city this season. Read about more live music acts coming to Charlotte in the winter concert guide.
Go Ice Skating
Glide across the ice, and maybe try a few jumps and spins, at Truist Field, Camp North End and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Truist Field is transformed into an NHL-sized rink during the Light the Knights Festival. Head to the all-new ice skating rink near Ford Factory at Camp North End. Take to the ice at one of the four skating areas at the Whitewater Center for a free skate or adult pond hockey league.
Go Beyond the Red Carpet at The Mint Museum
The Mint Museum Uptown’s newest exhibition is “Beyond the Red Carpet: Iconic Awards and Artistic Collaborations,” an immersive installation that spotlights the artistic and artisanal aspects of some of the most celebrated awards like the American Music Award and iconic Golden Globe. This exhibition is on display from Dec. 2-Feb. 18, 2024.
Watch the Charlotte Checkers Battle on the Ice
The Charlotte Checkers season is in full swing in winter, as the minor-league team takes on competitors in the American Hockey League. Browse the Checkers’ schedule to find out what home-game promotions are happening, like themed jerseys and discounted ticket nights, at Bojangles Coliseum.
Cheer on the Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets take center court at Spectrum Center throughout the winter season. This season, the No. 2 pick from the 2023 NBA draft, Brandon Miller, joins LaMelo Ball and this budding Hornets team. Mark your calendar for the Anniversary Night games that feature special jerseys, player honors and freebies for fans.
Drink and Dine on a Heated Rooftop
Don’t let the cooler temperatures stop you from enjoying Charlotte’s rooftop bars and restaurants. Aura Rooftop is outfitted with a heated canopy through the end of February, while Merchant & Trade boasts standing heaters so you can stay warm while sipping cocktails overlooking Uptown.
Toast to the Season with a Winter Beer
Charlotte breweries are trading pumpkin beers for full-body stouts, dark lagers, red ales and more. The winter season brings the return of NoDa Brewing’s Hoppy Holidays IPA, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Yule Bock and Birdsong Brewing’s Mexicali Stout. Get a Charlotte Brewery Pass to save money as you explore the Queen City’s beer scene.
Revamp Your Wardrobe at a Local Boutique
Start 2024 off with a refreshed wardrobe. Browse the racks at a thrift store or trendy boutique for new pieces that fit your style. Find apparel, jewelry, sneakers and more at local shops and boutiques in Charlotte.
December Events & Activities
Watch Teams Compete at the ACC Football Championship
The undefeated Florida State Seminoles take on the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, but weekend events include Fan Fest on Friday and Saturday that features tailgate games, photo opportunities with mascots and giveaways.
Celebrate the Holiday Season in Charlotte
The Queen City sparkles a little brighter during the holiday season. From dazzling light displays at Carowinds’ WinterFest and Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens’ Holidays at the Garden to parades on land and on the water, check out these 30 ways to celebrate the holidays in Charlotte.
See a Holiday Show
‘Tis the season for merry performances and holiday sing-alongs. Throughout December, family-friendly holiday shows take center stage at venues across Charlotte. “The Nutcracker” is a holiday tradition, and Charlotte Ballet presents this whimsical show from Dec. 8-23.
Get Your Holiday Shopping Done
Charlotte has the stores that will help you cross everyone off your holiday gift list. Get to know the Charlotte shopping scene, from traditional and outlet malls to shopping centers throughout the city. This Queen City Gift Guide can help you find the perfect local gift or experience for someone in your life.
Celebrate Basketball Culture at the Jumpman Invitational
The Jumpman Invitational features men’s and women’s basketball match ups between Florida vs. Michigan and UNC vs. Oklahoma at Spectrum Center. The men’s games are Tuesday, Dec. 19, while the women tipoff on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
Undeck the Hall at the NASCAR Hall of Fame
The day after Christmas, Tuesday, Dec. 26, visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame to “Undeck” the Hall. This holiday tradition allows fans to pick a racing-themed gift from under one of the decorated trees. In previous years, lucky fans have walked away with signed memorabilia, racing tickets, autographed T-shirts and diecast cars.
Don’t Miss the Mayo Dump at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl
The Duke’s Mayo Bowl is the only bowl game that dumps mayo on the winning team. Watch college football contenders the North Carolina Tar Heels and West Virginia Mountaineers battle it out on the gridiron on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Bank of America Stadium.
Sip Festive Cocktails at a Holiday Bar
Keep your spirits merry and bright at one of the holiday-themed bars in Charlotte. The holidays get a tropical twist at the Sippin’ Santa pop-up at The Royal Tot, through Dec. 31. Billy Sunday’s Tinseltown, happening through Dec. 31, features cocktails and mocktails named after holiday movie quotes. BackStage Lounge is decked out from floor to ceiling in festive decorations, through Dec. 30, during the Miracle pop-up.
Ring in the New Year in Charlotte
Say goodbye to 2023 and watch the lighting of the Queen City crown at CLT NYE in Uptown. This free event features a DJ, live music and fireworks on Tryon Street at Levine Avenue of the Arts. Let the kids have some New Year’s Eve fun at noon at Discovery Place Huntersville or Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium.
January Events & Activities
Watch Hockey Outdoors during the Queen City Outdoor Classic
For the first time ever, the Charlotte Checkers will play an outdoor hockey game. The Checkers take on the Rochester Americans in the Queen City Outdoor Classic on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Truist Field. This will also be the first professional outdoor hockey game in Charlotte.
Pay Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Charlotte honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with several events. On Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, watch as more than 100 community organizations, bands, and step and drill teams march down Tryon Street in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade. There will also be a wreath-laying ceremony on Monday, Jan. 15, the birth date of Dr. King, at Marshall Park.
Rock Out with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte kicks off 2024 with edu-tainment phenomenon, “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” Kids and adults alike will be singing along to this show based on the 1970s cartoon. Performances run Jan. 13-28, 2024, with an adults-only performance on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Celebrate the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024
Watch as a new class of racing legends is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Donnie Allison, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus make up the Hall of Fame’s 14th class. NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Weekend takes place Jan. 18-21, 2024 and features a variety of events and special programming for racing fans to enjoy.
Dine on a Discount during Queen’s Feast
Don’t miss the winter edition of Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week from Jan. 19-28, 2024. During this 10-day event, nearly 100 restaurants in the Charlotte region offer three-course, prix-fixe menus ranging from $30 to $50 per person. This is your chance to enjoy your favorite restaurant at a discounted price or discover something new from Charlotte’s dining scene.
Get Tickets for an Opera Classic, “Madame Butterfly”
Opera Carolina presents one of opera’s most beloved works set to Puccini’s achingly beautiful score. “Madame Butterfly” is a powerful story of love and cultural bias. Performances are Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25, 27, 28, 2024 at Belk Theater.
February Events & Activities
Celebrate Black History Month
Celebrate Black History Month in Charlotte by recognizing and honoring the contributions of the Black community. Attend the Charlotte Museum of History’s African American Heritage Festival, browse murals that honor the Queen City’s Black history, dine at Black-owned restaurants and attend special events throughout the month.
Catch a Performance from the Dance Theatre of Harlem
The Dance Theatre of Harlem makes their way to Charlotte’s Belk Theater, Feb. 9-10, 2024, presented by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Blumenthal Performing Arts. This multi-ethnic company performs treasured classics, along with innovative contemporary works, that celebrate the belief that ballet belongs to everyone.
Sample Craft Beer at the Queen City Brewers Festival
Charlotte is well known for the city’s craft beer scene. Sample more than 40 of these breweries at the Queen City Brewers Festival, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at The Innovation Barn. Wash down your ale with a bite from one of the on-site restaurant and snack vendors.
Wear Pink for “Mean Girls” the Musical
Following its theatrical release in January, “Mean Girls,” the hit musical, makes its way to Belk Theater, Feb. 13-18, 2024. The musical is based off the 2004 movie that became a pop culture phenomenon. Experience all the quotable lines, plus show-stopping choreography and songs.
Enjoy a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner
Plan a romantic night out with your loved one for Valentine’s Day. Charlotte has several restaurants with the perfect menu and mood lighting to celebrate this holiday of love. Have a “Lady and the Tramp” moment with pasta at Stagioni. Or head to Supperland for Southern fare and craft cocktails and delectable desserts.
Laugh All Night at the Queen City Comedy Festival
The Queen City Comedy Festival, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, brings a star-studded cast of comedians to Ovens Auditorium. Experience hilarious sets from Sommore, Lavell Crawford, Bill Bellamy and Tony Roberts.