Holiday Events Across Charlotte: 2021

Concerts, lights, gingerbread displays and more
Candy Cane Copy
WinterFest at Carowinds (©Carowinds)

Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical” (Nov. 16-21)

Belk Theatre at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. $25-$95.50. The beloved tale takes musical form and brings some of the holiday’s most recognized tunes to brilliant life in this Broadway-style extravaganza.


Charlotte Symphony Holiday Concerts (Nov. 26-27, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 29)

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. 7:30pm, prices range by performance. Celebrated conductor Christopher Warren-Green takes audiences on three holiday journeys: “Home Alone in Concert,” Nov. 26-27, Belk Theater; “Magic of Christmas,” Dec. 10-11, Knight Theater; “Cirque de Noel,” Dec. 29-30, Belk Theater.


Belmont Festival of Trees (Nov. 29)

Historic City Hall, 115 N. Main St., Belmont. 6:30pm. Free. Watch the city’s tree lighting ceremony, then take a jaunt through the Festival of Trees.


Unknown

A decked-out home in McAdenville (courtesy McAdenville, NC)

Christmas Town USA (Dec. 1-26)

McAdenville. Free. Visit the town that’s been voted as having one of the best light displays in the nation in a poll conducted by USA Today. Thousands of lights and dramatic displays dot the 1.3-mile route along Main Street, a tradition that dates back to the ’50s.


The Winter Wonderland Shop (Dec. 2-4)

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, 300 E. 7th St. Free admission. Gifts range in price from $1 to $7. The Winter Wonderland Shop exhibits the spirit of kindness: Children up to 12 years old can shop on the Wells Fargo Playhouse stage for low-cost, pre-wrapped gifts to give their loved ones, amid a wintery scene filled with snowflakes. Thu., 10am-5pm; Fri.-Sat., 10am-6pm.


ChristmasVille (Dec. 3-24)

Throughout Rock Hill. More than 70 events to welcome the holidays, including horse-drawn carriage rides, historic tours, strolling Dickens carolers, holiday movie nights, the Fezziwig Hop and much more.


5 Celebration Of Lights At Village Park In Kannapolis Nc Photo Courtesy Of Visit Cabarrus Copy

Kannapolis’ Festival of Lights (©Vist Cabarrus)

A Kannapolis Christmas (Nov. 20-Dec. 30)

Kannapolis shows off its revitalized West Avenue with a Christmas celebration that kicks off with the Annual Tree Lighting and Festival of Lights on Nov. 20 (6pm) and continues through the month of December with Winterland Express train rides ($2) and a visit from Santa. Plus, the ever-popular dazzling nighttime parade returns on Dec. 11 (6pm).


Gingerbread Lane (Dec. 3-26)

Ballantyne Hotel, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy. Free. Enjoy a stroll through Gingerbread Lane and cast your vote for your favorite creation for a $1 minimum donation; donations benefit Levine Children’s Hospital. Inside the Carolina Room.


Christmas in Davidson (Dec. 2-4)

Downtown Davidson. 6-9pm. Free. Support local businesses and enjoy a socially-distanced hometown holiday. Attractions are yet to be announced.


A December to Remember at Promenade (Dec. 11 and 18)

Promenade on Providence, 10844 Providence Road. 3-5pm. Free. Bring the family for a visit with Santa—sign up online for a time slot and to enjoy a carriage ride around the shopping center. The Dec. 18 event also includes cookie-making and crafts with Mrs. Claus.


3 Sea Of Lights At Sea Life Aquarium In Concord Nc Photo Courtesy Of Visit Cabarrus Copy

Sea of Lights at Concord Mills (©Visit Cabarrus)

Sea of Lights at Concord Mills (Nov. 17-Jan. 3)

Concord Mills is North Carolina’s largest retail outlet center. It’s home to the only Lionel retail store that sells classic toy train sets. Also inside is the SEA Life Aquarium, home to Sea of Lights—the aquarium’s habitats will be adorned with festival holiday lights. Outside, practice your ice skating skills at The Speedpark and its 4,000-square-foot ice rink.


Blakeney Santa Photo Experience (Dec. 3, 11 and 19)

Blakeney, Ardrey Kell and Rea roads. 980-474-1660. Free. See Santa Claus in his custom-built house on the Village Green. See website for schedule.

Blakeney Stories with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Dec. 4, 12 and 17)

Blakeney, Ardrey Kell and Rea roads. 980-474-1660. Free. Santa and Mrs. Claus read holiday stories and sing popular holiday tunes. Then comes hot cocoa and cookies! See website for schedule.


The Polar Express Train Ride (Nov. 12-Dec. 23)

North Carolina Transportation Museum, 1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer. 4-10pm. $32-$325. The Polar Express Train Ride, inspired by the run-away hit movie, features a train ride to the North Pole with dancing chefs, cookies, hot chocolate, Santa and a presentation of the first gift of Christmas.


Charlotte Christmas Village (Nov. 24-Dec. 23)

Uptown Charlotte, 406 N. Tryon St. Free admission. A German-inspired Christmas market that includes traditional German foods, homemade crafts and gifts and local musical performances. Discover thousands of lights, trees and displays as you walk through the snowtastic winter wonderland. Santa will be in the village every day! See website for a full schedule.


Gwl

Once again, Santa will greet visitors to Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge. (©Visit Cabarrus)

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge (Nov. 28-Jan. 5, 2022)

Great Wolf Lodge, 10175 Weddington Road, Concord. Baby, it’s cold outside, but you don’t need cocoa to keep you warm (unless you want to) inside the warm and cozy Great Wolf Lodge. See it turned into a magical winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights, daily snowfall in the lobby and visits from Santa.


WinterFest (Nov. 13-Jan. 9, 2022)

Carowinds, 14523 Carowinds Blvd. $24.99; upgrades with cookie decorating, ice skating and igloo rentals are available. Carowinds is transformed into a winter wonderland with spectacular holiday experiences such as live shows, holiday-themed games, thousands of lights and a nightly parade. See the website for hours.


Christmas Wonderland of Lights (Nov. 19-Jan. 1,2022)

Zootastic Park, 385 Ostwalt Amity Road, Troutman. $10, ages 2 and younger free. Drive through over four million Christmas lights, say hi to Santa, then take a photo with him and a baby kangaroo. Check out the animal feedings, carousel rides and train rides. Snacks will be available for purchase. Sun.-Thu.,6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.


Holidays at the Garden (Nov. 26-Jan. 2, 2022)

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 New Hope Road, Belmont.5-9pm. $7.95-$14.95. Sing along to holiday tunes as you stroll among lighted topiary displays, rolling lights and twinkling cherry trees. Food trucks serve up festive food and drink.


Ice Rink At The Nascar Hall Of Fame

The Ice Rink At the Nascar Hall Of Fame returns for 2021. (©NASCAR Hall of Fame)

Holiday on Ice (Coming soon)

NASCAR Hall of Fame, 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $12-$16. Uptown Charlotte’s outdoor ice rink returns to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Stay tuned to the website for date and entertainment announcements.


Founders Holiday Ice Rink (Nov. 19-Jan. 17, 2022)

Downtown Rock Hill, 205 Saluda St. $15 for skate rental and 90 minutes on the ice.


Clara’s Trip: A Cirque & Dance Nutcracker Story (Dec. 16-19)

Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. $20-$40. The Nutcracker gets an update in this contemporary feast for the eyes and ears.


Speedway Christmas

Speedway Christmas features 4 million lights along a 4-mile course. (©Visit Cabarrus)

Speedway Christmas (Nov. 19-Jan. 16, 2022)

Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Pkwy. S., Concord. 6-10pm. Four million lights strung up along a 4-mile course, synchronized to Christmas music. Don’t miss the holiday movie nights. Ticket prices vary by date, but are $30-$40 per car.