Christmas in Charlotte | North Carolina

While you might not think about North Carolina as being super Christmas-y, given that we rarely have a white Christmas, there is actually PLENTY to do to celebrate the holiday season. If you’re planning to celebrate Christmas in Charlotte this year, here are some of our favorite, can’t miss Charlotte Christmas events – as well as things to do nearby!

Best Christmas Events in Charlotte pin

Singing Christmas Tree

Charlotte Singing Christmas Tree

The Singing Christmas Tree has been a Charlotte tradition for decades. In fact, this year marks the 68th annual performance of the Carolina Voices Singing Christmas Tree. This year, they’ll be performing at the Halton Theater on the Main Campus of Central Piedmont Community College!

Tickets range from $13-$50. The show is seventy minutes of fun and is sure to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit! And back this year, the popular Singing Christmas Tree for Kids show is offered on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are still available for all of the shows:

  • Fri December 9, 2022 – 7:30PM
  • Sat December 10, 2022 – 11AM (Kids), 3PM, 7:30PM
  • Sun December 11, 2022 – 1:30PM (Kids), 4PM

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

If you’re looking for Christmas lights in Charlotte, then Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the perfect place! From November 18 – January 8, Charlotte Motor Speedway is transformed into an amazing drive-through light show with over four million twinkling lights, many of which are synchronized to music. On weekends (Thurs – Sun), check out the infield Christmas Village with vendor displays, fire pits, a movie theater, and visits with Santa!

Purchase tickets online and if you’re planning to visit on a Friday/Saturday night, consider upgrading to the Express Lane which allows you to bypass much of the line.

  • Fri November 18, 2022 – Sun January 8, 2023 – 6-10PM
  • Closed December 24
  • Tickets range from $30-40 depending on the day of the week; Express Lane is $70

WinterFest at Carowinds

WinterFest at Carowinds Christmas lights in Charlotte

Gather the whole fam for a sleigh-full of fun as Carowinds transitions into a winter wonderland at WinterFest. The park is covered in millions of lights, there’s a 70-foot Christmas tree – one of the largest in the area, and the whole park is bursting with Christmas spirit. From holiday-themed shows to deliciously festive foods, there’s something for everyone at WinterFest. Check out this post from our first visit to Carowinds WinterFest!

  • Select nights from Monday November 21, 2022 – Sun January 1, 2023
  • Tickets start at $33 – purchase ahead of time, online for the most savings
  • Military and passholder bring-a-friend deals are also available
  • 2023 Carowinds Season Passes (on-sale now) include unlimited admission to WinterFest 2021

Christmas Town USA

The quaint town of McAdenville, on the outskirts of Charlotte, is known throughout the country as Christmas Town USA. Every year, the town transforms into a Christmas wonderland with homeowners covering their houses in lights. For nearly 70 years, visitors have flocked to McAdenville to drive the 1.3-mile route through the town to see the Christmas displays.

  • Wed December 1, 2022 – Sun December 26, 2022
  • 530-10PM EVERY night

Holidays at the Garden

Daniel Stowe Holidays at the Garden Christmas lights in Charlotte

Located at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Holidays at the Garden is a beloved Christmas tradition. The garden is transformed with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and is a magical experience. Stroll through the light displays at your own pace and while you’re there, don’t forget to grab dinner from one of the food trucks!

  • Wed – Sun evenings from Fri November 25, 2022 – Sat December 31, 2022 – 5-9PM (closed Christmas Eve/Day)
  • Purchase tickets online – limited tickets may be sold onsite depending on availability
  • Adults – $20; Senior 60+ – $18; Children 2-12 – $10; Members receive a 25% discount

Ice Skating at National Whitewater Center

Ice skating totally screams holiday activity and the rink at the Whitewater Center is the largest around. It covers over 24,000 sq feet and has four distinct skating areas, including two ice trails. The newest addition is the skating trail in the Upper Pond.

  • Ice skating is available from mid-November – mid-February
  • Tickets are $25; otherwise, ice skating is included in the All Access Day and Annual Passes

Christmas at the Library

Billy Graham Christmas at the Library Charlotte Christmas Events

Every year, the Billy Graham Library puts on an impressive holiday event. Christmas at the Library features a live nativity, story-time, carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides (additional charge), an optional Christmas dinner, and the Journey of Faith tour (that is also offered during daytime hours).

  • Mon November 28, 2022 – Fri December 23, 2022
  • Mon – Thur 5-9PM
  • Fri – Sat 5-10PM
  • Advance reservations are required and are going quickly

Kersey Valley Christmas

Kersey Valley Christmas

While it’s not technically IN Charlotte, Kersey Valley Christmas near High Point/Greensboro is TOTALLY worth the drive! We were invited to check out all of the Christmas fun they’re offering and I have a feeling this event will be an annual tradition for our family. One of my favorite aspects is that aside from photos with Santa/the Grinch, your admission ticket includes unlimited access to all of the activities!

Smiling Kids at Kersey Valley Christmas Christmas lights near Charlotte

And they have LOTS of activities to choose from!! The Kersey Valley Express Train Ride and John Deere pulled Christmas Wagon Ride both offer views of the million-plus Christmas lights on the property. But they take totally different routes so make sure to do both!!

Christmas in Charlotte Kersey Valley Christmas

The Kiddie Zipline and Cow Train were a hit with Ellie and the bigger kids loved the jumping pillows and the 200ft Dual Super Mega Ride*n*Slide. If you’re not visiting with littles and you skip the activities that are geared towards little ones, there’s still plenty of fun at the Kersey Valley Christmas experience!

  • Select nights from Fri November 25, 2022 – Fri December 23, 2022
  • Fri – Sat 530-10PM
  • Sun 530-9PM
  • Dec 19 – 23 530-9PM
  • Tickets are $35.94 (including tax + service fee) for ages 4+
  • Senior tickets (65+) are available for $24.67
  • BOGO tickets are available for military with ID at the ticket booth

What’s your favorite Christmas in Charlotte tradition? We’re always excited to check out new places (or new to us!) so leave your suggestions in the comments!

WinterFest at Carowinds

Now that Halloween is over for another year, here in North Carolina, it’s time to get ready for WinterFest at Carowinds!  Every year, the park is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland covered in 5 million twinkling lights, and the transformation is breathtaking– I never thought that our local amusement park could pull off such a magical feat!

Magic at WinterFest

The night begins with the tree lighting show at 5:30pm, at the giant, 70-foot Christmas tree.  A full cast of singers and dancers, as well as Snoopy and his friends, countdown to the opening of the park and then the tree lights up and the Christmas-y family fun begins!

WinterFest Rides

Even though the big roller coasters are not open during WinterFest (due to the cold temps!), many of the attractions are still open and running.  Of course, we ALWAYS ride the carousel since it’s Ellie’s fave!

The swings in the County Fair area of the park are always a hit as well!  It’s so much fun to go on the rides in the dark and see all of the Christmas lights throughout the park.

WinterFest Snacks

Carowinds really upped their game in the seasonal snack department last year and I cannot wait to see what they add this year!!  Our kiddos LOVED decorating the giant Christmas cookies from Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen.  You do have to pay extra for them but at $14 for 4 ginormous cookies and unlimited frosting/toppings, we found it to be an excellent deal!!

Plus, they have to-go boxes if you can’t finish eating your creations– they’re REALLY big!  They made for a great snack throughout the night.

WinterFest Fun

The Christmas lights adorn nearly every tree in the park, as well as many of the walkways, and they do a great job getting you into the Christmas spirit!  They also make a great background for your Christmas card photos!

There is a really fun petting zoo that our crew adored!!  Lots of goats, plus donkeys and a camel!!

We all had a great time at WinterFest last year and cannot wait to go again this season!  It is easily one of our favorite places for Christmas fun in the Charlotte area!

Things to Remember When You Visit WinterFest

  • WinterFest at Carowinds is a ticketed event unless you have a Gold or Platinum season pass.  If you buy your Gold Season pass now, it includes unlimited visits to WinterFest in 2018, plus admission to Carowinds for ALL of 2019- such a great deal!!
  • Tickets start at $26+tax and vary depending on the night you’re attending.  Check online for the latest deals!
  • This year, WinterFest kicks off on November 18 and runs Fri-Sun through December 9.  Starting December 14, WinterFest runs every night through the end of the year (except December 24-25).
  • Lots of people dress up for Christmas-y fun at Carowinds- we either wear Christmas-y shirts or sweaters!
  • Check the weather because it can get REALLY cold once the sun sets!

What’s your favorite holiday event in your city??


The Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds

Every fall, Carowinds hosts the Great Pumpkin Fest on the weekends from mid-September through Halloween.  Camp Snoopy is transformed into a fabulous, fall festival with activities for kids of all ages to participate in providing a nice contrast from the Scarowinds activities that are offered at night for the older crowd.

There is a hay bale maze, a foam zone, and a variety of games and crafts to choose from.  One of our favorite spots is the cute, little pumpkin patch, full of cute, little pumpkins- every kid is able to pick out their own pumpkin to take home!

Though not actually a part of the Great Pumpkin Fest, one of our favorite things about Carowinds in the fall is the cooler weather!  Our kids love that they’re able to wear long sleeves, jeans, and even jackets as the days get cooler- and waiting in lines is so much more bearable when it’s not hot and humid.

The kiddos can go trick-or-treating through Camp Snoopy- and they can even wear their costumes!  Every day there are two costume parades with the Peanuts Gang in their Halloween costumes, too.

While the Great Pumpkin Fest is running in Camp Snoopy, the others areas of the park are abuzz with their usual activity.

We typically start our day at Camp Snoopy for the Halloween fun and then spend the afternoon exploring the rest of the park and going on all of the thrill rides.

And we always stop at the North Carolina – South Carolina state line for a picture on our way out of the park!

Things to Remember When You Go to the Great Pumpkin Fest

  • The Great Pumpkin Fest is included in your daytime admission ticket (or season pass).
  • In 2018, it runs on the weekends from September 15 – October 28, from 11a-5p

What’s your favorite fall activity in your city??






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