35 Family Friendly-Events and Activities in December

Celebrate the holidays all month long with holiday lights, ice skating, and Old Saint Nick
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Dec. 1

City of Belmont Christmas Parade. North Main St., Belmont. All ages. Free. 3:30 p.m. Come early to find parking and a viewing spot for this popular parade. See local businesses and catch some candy! members.montcrossareachamber.com/events/calendar.


Dec. 2

Little Critter Play Days. Stevens Creek Nature Center, 15700 Thompson Rd. Ages 4-6. $5. 1-3 p.m. Dropped-off explorers hear a story before setting off on a nature adventure related to the book. parkandrec.com.

McDowell Campfire. McDowell Nature Preserve, 15222 S. York Rd. All ages. Free. 6-7:30 p.m. Cozy up with friends and family by the fire, and learn about fire safety. Registration is required. parkandrec.com.


Dec. 3

Huntersville Tree Lighting. Veterans Park, 201 Huntersville-Concord Rd., Huntersville. All ages. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Pre-register to see the Huntersville Christmas tree lit up for the holidays. huntersville.org/393/A-Huntersville-Christmas.


Dec. 4

Holiday Memories Meal. American Girl, 4400 Sharon Rd. Ages 8 and older. $26. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dress in your holiday best for a two-course meal with friends and dolls. Select Dec. 4, Dec. 5 or Dec. 6. americangirl.com.

Latta Nature Preserve Collect-A-Kit Crafting. Latta Nature Preserve, 6345 Sample Rd. Ages 5-11. $4. 2-4 p.m. Each participant receives a craft kit to make art in the great outdoors. Registration is required by Dec. 2 for this self-led program. parkandrec.com.


Dec. 5

Drive-In Christmas Concert. Forest Hill Church, 8120 Kensington Dr., Waxhaw. All ages. Free. 6-8 p.m. waxhaw.com/834/Modified-Fall-Winter-2020-Events-Calenda.

Holiday Trees for Wildlife. SEED Wildlife Garden at Wing Haven, 260 Ridgewood Ave. Recommended for ages 10 and younger. 1-3 p.m. $20 per family. Create edible ornaments for wildlife, craf take-home ornaments, complete a holiday scavenger hunt, and listen to seasonal stories. Register in advance. winghavengardens.com. 

Winter Wonderland Holiday Market. Anne Springs Close Greenway, 2573 Lake Haigler Dr., Fort Mill. $6, ages 12 and younger free, $5 additional for special event parking. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Purchase a ticket to reserve your spot to shop for everyone on your list. ascgreenway.org.


Dec. 6

It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas Parade. Chestnut Square Park, 320 Chestnut Pkwy., Indian Trail. All ages. 4-7 p.m. Bring the family to watch the parade and enjoy crafts, hot cocoa, and games. indiantrail.org/132/Community-Events.


Dec. 10

Winter Wonder Family Hike. Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Rd. All ages. Free. 10-11:30 a.m. Bundle up and head out for a guided, 3-mile walk in the woods. parkandrec.com.


Dec. 11

Kids’ Night Out. Anne Springs Close Greenway, 104 Adventure Rd. $30. 5:30-9 p.m. Play “snowball” dodgeball, drink hot chocolate, decorate an ornament, and enjoy other winter-themed fun. ascgreenway.org.


Dec. 12

We Believe: Santa 5K and Dog Jog. U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy. All ages. $32, plus $6 for parking. 11 a.m. Dash through the woods in this holiday themed race. Pups and Santa costumes encouraged! usnwc.org. 

Winter on the Western Frontier. Fort Dobbs, 438 Fort Dobbs Rd, Statesville. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, $2 donation suggested. Get a glimpse of what daily life was like for the garrison of Fort Dobbs. fortdobbs.org.


Dec. 13

Carolina Panther’s Football. Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St. All ages. Cost varies. 1-5 p.m. Watch the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos from the stadium or the comfort of your own couch. panthers.com.

Drive-Thru Christmas Parade. Downtown Waxhaw, E. N. Main St., Waxhaw. All ages. Free. 3 p.m. Watch a holiday parade from the comfort, safety and warmth of your own car. waxhaw.com/834/Modified-Fall-Winter-2020-Events-Calenda.


Dec. 15

Menorah Lighting. Downtown Waxhaw, E. N. Main St., Waxhaw. All ages. Free. 5 p.m. Come watch the lighting of the menorah, presented by the Ballantyne Jewish Center. waxhaw.com/834/Modified-Fall-Winter-2020-Events-Calenda.


Dec. 19

Digi-Bridge #STEAMSaturdays. Innovation Alley, 1026 Jay St. Grades 2-8. $35. 9-10:30 a.m. Try LEGO Robotics on Dec. 5 and 19, or register for 3D Designing and Printing on Dec. 12. Classes are limited to 10 students, with one student per table. digi-bridge.org.


Dec. 21

Nature Detectives: Snowman Adventures. Latta Nature Preserve, 6345 Sample Rd. Ages 4-6. $6. 1:30-3 p.m. Uncover the mysteries of snowmen through stories, crafts, and activities. Registration by Dec. 20 is required. parkandrec.com.


Dec. 22

Homeschool Day at the Carolina Raptor Center. Carolina Raptor Center, 6000 Sample Rd., Huntersville. All ages. $8-$12, children under 3 are free, included with admission to Raptor Trail. 9 a.m.-noon. Learn about raptors through STEM activities. Buy tickets online to reserve your spot. carolinaraptorcenter.org.


Dec. 26

Undeck the Hall. NASCAR Hall of Fame, 400 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. All ages. $27, ages 12 and younger free with paying adult with promo code “CHEER.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “Undeck” the Hall by selecting NASCAR-themed items from the decorated trees. nascarhall.com.



Through Dec. 24

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord. Free. Santa’s Wonderland offers photos with Santa through a Magic Santa Shield. Advanced reservations are required. cabelas.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland.


Through Dec. 30

N.C. Transportation Museum in Lights. N.C. Transportation Museum, 1 Samuel Spencer Dr., Spencer. All ages. $8 per car. See website for dates, 6-10 p.m. Experience the museum’s first-ever drive-through light show along the 1.25-mile route. nctrans.org.


Through Dec. 20

Candy Cane Train. N.C. Transportation Museum, 1 Samuel Spencer Dr., Spencer. All ages. $10-$14, ages 2 and younger free. See website for tickets and safety guidelines. Ride a decorated train and enjoy additional décor and festivities at the station, including hot chocolate, letters to Santa, and cookies. nctrans.org.


Carowinds’ Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Food Festival. Carowinds, 14523 Carowinds Blvd. All ages. $30+. See website for tickets and hours. Hear holiday tunes, stroll the reindeer treat trail, and sample your favorite holiday treats. carowinds.com.


Through Jan. 17

Speedway Christmas. 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord. All ages. $25-$30 per car. 6-10 p.m.; closed Christmas Day. This drive-through light show features more than 4 million lights. Every Thursday-Saturday, stay for FOX 46 WJZY Movie Nights on the giant Speedway TV.


Through Dec. 31

Holiday Light Show. Town Hall, 413 N. Main St., Mooresville. All ages. Free. Visit Mooresville’s Town Hall lawn to see a light show of 150,000 dancing lights set to music. downtownmooresville.com.


Through Dec. 23

Charlotte Christmas Village. Truist Field, 324 S. Mint St. All ages. $7 for Village, $10 for Light the Knights. Thurs., 3-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 21-23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit the Christmas village and enjoy hot prepared foods, take-away snacks and treats, drinks, and gifts. The “Light the Knights” experience begins in full on Dec. 10. milb.com/charlotte-knights/ballpark/Christmas.


Through Dec. 19

South End Small Business Saturday. Atherton Mill and Market, 2000-2140 South Blvd. All ages. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come to Atherton Mill and Market on Nov. 28 and Dec. 12, as well as The Design Center Dec. 5 and 19 to buy goodies for everyone on your list. southendclt.org/events/small-business-Saturday.


Through Jan. 3

Holidays at the Garden. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Rd., Belmont. All ages. $8-$15, children ages 1 and younger free. 5-9 p.m. Stroll the garden to view the lights, purchase snacks or dinner from a food truck, or roast a marshmallow over the fire. Santa, the Orchid Conservatory ,and the Lost Hollow Children’s Garden are not available this year. Purchase tickets in advance online. dsbg.org.


Through Dec. 23

Christmas at the Library. The Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Dr. All ages. Free admission. 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Christmas activities, such as story times, live nativity and carolers, begin at 5 p.m., and both admission and parking are free. Carriage rides cost $4-$8. Friday and Saturday hours go until 10 p.m. billygrahamlibrary.org.


Dec. 1-12

Christmas in Davidson. North Main St., Davidson. All ages. Free. Daily, noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. See the falling snow, doggie fashion show, stilt walkers, ugly sweater contest, glowing luminaries, and drive-in movies while you enjoy food and shopping. You may even see Santa driving around on a golf cart! christmasindavidson.com.


Dec. 1-26

Christmas Town USA. Downtown McAdenville, Main St., McAdenville. All ages. Free. Daily, 5:30-10 p.m. Drive or stroll through the Christmas Town USA light display. The town will not hold an in-person 5K, tree lighting ceremony, or yule log ceremony this year. mcadenville-christmastown.com.


Dec. 4-31

Christmas Cards in the Park. Veterans Park, 106 N. White St., Fort Mill. All ages. Free. Walk through Veteran’s Park to view life-size Christmas cards. fortmillsc.gov.


Dec. 4-12

Huntersville Holiday Market. Veterans Park, 201 Huntersville-Concord Rd., Huntersville. All ages. Free. Fri., 4-8 p.m.; Sat., 2-8 p.m. Come support local businesses and shop for gifts, food, and drinks. Kids can meet Santa! holidays. huntersville.org/393/A-Huntersville-Christmas.