13 Most Popular Holiday Events Near Charlotte, NC

Photos of Christmas Tree and Charlotte NC City

13 Most Popular Holiday Events Near Charlotte

Holiday traditions are a fantastic way to get in the spirit of the season, and there is no shortage of holiday events here in Charlotte. From pop-up markets to holiday parades, you'll find plenty to do from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Whether you're looking for kid-themed fun or it's just the two of you, find something in Charlotte for everyone! Check out these popular holiday happenings.

#1- Thanksgiving Parade

Kick-off the holiday season on Thanksgiving Eve with a Charlotte tradition. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade will occur at night for the first time in2021! In addition to sparkling lights, enjoy seasonal entertainment from a variety of marching bands, dance teams, and choral groups. Don't forget the one-of-a-kind segwaloons— a treat you'll find only in Charlotte. The parade steps off Wednesday, November 24, at 6 pm from 200 S. Tyron Street. It's free to attend, but a $25 ticket guarantees you and your family a curbside seat.

#2- Charlotte Christmas Village

The Charlotte Knights aren't only about baseball. The Charlotte Christmas Village and Light the Knights will transform Truist Field with holiday light displays, decorated trees, and a delectable selection of European fare. Can you taste the bratwurst, schnitzel, and sauerkraut? A walk through the Christmas Village to shop for handmade ornaments, holiday decor, and jewelry. Save room for some Glühwein, a traditional mulled, spiced wine served in Germany and throughout Europe during the holidays. The Village Bakery serves authentic Bavarian hot pretzels, strudel, and Kinderwein—the kid's version of Glühwein. 

The Christmas Village opens November 26, 2021, and runs through December 23, 2021. For $35, you'll enjoy unlimited visits. Purchase your tickets online or at the stadium ticket window. And for those who believe, Santa will visit the Village every day!

#3- Southern Christmas Show

Although the Thanksgiving Parade officially kicks off the holiday season, the Southern Christmas Show offers a preseason taste of holiday cheer. The theme for 2021 is "A Sweet Christmas." Don't miss the opportunity to shop for sweet treats, holiday gifts, and seasonal decor from 440 vendors. An added treat is the walk-through Christmas Tree Lane, where you'll breathe in the aroma of freshly-cut and decorated trees sourced from the North Carolina mountains. On the LeafFilter entertainment stage, enjoy choral performances, dance, and instrumental holiday music. 

This year, the show runs November 11-21 at Park Expo and Conference Center in Charlotte. Ticket prices start at $13 for adults, $5 for children 6 - 12, and children ages five and under get in FREE.

#4-The Nutcracker Ballet

The Charlotte Ballet returns to Belk Theater December 3-23 for a beloved holiday tradition — the Nutcracker Ballet! Travel with Clara on a whimsical journey to the magical kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other characters include Fritz, Clara's naughty younger brother, the mischievous Mouse King, and, of course, The Nutcracker. This is one of those iconic Charlotte holiday events you just can't miss. Tickets run from $25 - $114. Times vary with performances at 2:30, 7:00, and 7:30 pm.

#5- Winterfest

Perhaps, you've only visited Carowinds during the warmer months. If so, you've missed out on a Charlotte holiday festival created especially for families. Come for Winterfest, a holiday extravaganza filled with holiday spirit. Admire the millions of sparkling lights and festive décor. Participate in hands-on activities for the entire family, live entertainment, and a menu of holiday-style foods. Many of your favorite rides will be open as well. 

A new addition to the festival for 2021 is the nightly Wonderland Parade. You might even get a glimpse of Santa Claus himself! The magic begins on select nights from November 2, 2021, through January 2, 2022. Ticket prices start at $24.99.

#6- Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve and Other Stories

A one-of-a-kind, high-energy concert experience arrives at the Spectrum Center on December 11! This year Trans Siberian Orchestra celebrates 25 years of success with their landmark album Christmas Eve and Other Stories. Their tour stop in Charlotte includes two shows. Purchase your tickets for either the 3 pm. or the 7 pm. performance. Seeing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live is a memorable way to start your winter holidays off right. Tickets start at $49.

#7- The Fourth Ward Holiday Sip & Stroll

Nothing brings out the holiday spirit like a stroll through Charlotte's Historic Fourth Ward. A self-guided tour takes you to some of the neighborhood's beautifully decorated Victorian-era homes. Walkable streets make it easy on your feet. Throughout the walking tour, you'll sample tasty holiday foods and beverages and listen to live seasonal music. Make sure to take a carriage ride! The 2021 tour dates and times are December 2 - December 4 from 5-9 pm. Ticket prices are $30-$40.

#8- Holidays at the Hall

Nascar fans, rejoice! Visiting the Nascar Hall of Fame is fun anytime, but they deck the plaza with thousands of white lights during the holidays. Even the holiday trees have Nascar-themed items. Capture a virtual photo with Santa or take your holiday photos in front of the Hall's impressive 39-ft tall tree. On December 26 at 10 am, participate in the Undeck the Hall event. With paid admission, each guest can choose a gift from one of the decorated trees. 

General admission tickets are $27. As a special gift to holiday visitors age 12 and under, admission is FREE from November 11 through January 1, 2022. Open 10 am - 5 pm daily but closed on Tuesdays.

#9- Ice Skating at Whitewater Center

Starting November 11, the US National Whitewater Center turns into a winter wonderland! For the third year in a row, try ice skating at their Whitewater Pond. In 2021, ice skating will expand to 24,000 sq. ft., thanks to two new trails for skaters to enjoy. Now skaters have four distinct areas to choose from. One provides access to the Upper Pond. For guests who prefer enough space to practice their figure eights, there are two free-skate areas. 

An Airstream trailer sits in the center of the converted pond, where you can skate up to order hot and cold beverages. Daily passes cost $25 and include skate rental. You can also book two-day and annual passes. Skating sessions begin at 10 am. and end at 10 pm.

#10- Holiday Parades in Mecklenburg County

Several towns in the Charlotte area will host holiday parades in 2021. On December 4 at 1 pm, watch the 39th Annual North Mecklenburg Holiday Parade. The parade route begins in Davidson and ends in Cornelius. Santa will make an appearance at the end of the parade. 

Save some of your energy for the Mint Hill Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, which also takes place December 4. The parade starts at 5:30 pm. Afterward, everyone will meet Santa at the Mint Hill Town Hall for the official tree lighting.

Across the Mecklenburg County border, the Belmont Christmas Parade marches November 30, 2021 at 3:30pm. The route goes through downtown Belmont.

Kannapolis Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 11, 2021 at 6pm. It travels through downtown.

#11- Chanukah Celebrations

Several organizations are putting together events to honor Hanukkah for 2021. On Saturday, November 21, kids can build their own menorah and enjoy Chanukah treats at the Hanukah Workshop in Davidson. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Chanukah Wonderland will be on November 24, 26, and 28 from 10 am-1 pm on each day. Held at Stonecrest Shopping Center, tickets are required for those ages 2 and up. It has lots of family-friendly activities like a scavenger, holiday crafts, and Hanukkah snacks. You can also find Menorah Lightings on different dates and times in Matthews, Waxhaw, Charlotte, and Huntersville. 

#12- Kannapolis Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express

Running from November 20-December 30, Celebration of Lights is hosted at Village Park in Kannapolis. The walk-through holiday lights event has over 250,000 lights. Unlike many other light displays, this one is free! Visits to Santa are also free. Riding the Winterland Express and the carousel does charge a fee. The Celebration of Lights is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

#13- Speedway Christmas, Concord

The stock cars take a break during the holiday season at Charlotte Speedway in Concord. Instead the four-mile course lights up under the glow of over four million lights. The whole drive-through Speedway Christmas display is set to music. This is one of America’s largest light shows! 

Not only do you get to drive on the track, but the infield is now a family-friendly Christmas Village with a 100-foot walkway of lights and a 100-foot slide. Come to enjoy Christmas movies, a carousel, and more fun, family-friendly activities. 

Admission is by vehicle. Monday to Wednesday tickets run $30, and Thursday to Sunday tickets cost $40. Tickets during the December 20-26 peak are $40. There is an express lane option. 

Holiday Events in Charlotte

Charlotte has it all during every season of the year! With so many fun and family-friendly events, you're sure to fill your holiday calendar quickly. Find more North Carolina holiday events and festivals on our EZ Home Search Real Estate Blog. Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!

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