The holiday season cannot be completed without a tour of at least one light experience. Whether in a neighborhood like your neighborhood or through an organized display location such as the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte has a lot to choose from. So get your hot cocoa or coffee, grab the family, jump in the car and explore!
Christmas Town USA @ McAdenville: Every December, more than 600,000 people head to McAdenville, aka Christmas Town USA, where 100+ homes go all out on the holiday decorations. It’s a tradition that’s been happening for 67 years. You’ll also see more than 250 evergreens covered in half a million red, white and green lights. This year, you can grab a beverage at 115 Craft and The River Room. Lights are on seven days a week from 5:30PM-10PM, now through December 26th. Free!!
Carolina Holiday Lights Spectacular @ Ballantyne’s Backyard: Explore an outdoor walking trail jam-packed with Christmas magic, including over one million holiday lights, hundreds of Christmas trees, several larger-than-life installations and interactive elements. You’ll also find a holiday village with boutiques, shops and rotating food trucks. You can visit with Santa and see live performances Friday through Sunday. Lights spectacular runs now through December 31st, 5PM-10PM. $25 entry fee.
Light the Nights @ Truist Field: Light the Knights is a walkthrough holiday experience of over 10,000 lights, plus Christmas trees, seasonal displays (and maybe even some snow) at Truist Field. While you’re there, pick up some European fare at the Charlotte Christmas Village (through Dec. 23). The outfield is now an ice skating rink and snow tubing hill. Plus, enjoy light shows, live entertainment, holiday treats, Christmas trees, shopping, Santa, snow, and more! Now through January 6th. Costs begin at $10+.
Whitewater Center Lights @ US Whitewater Center: This isn’t your average holiday light show. It’s a brand-new sensory experience of more than 50 installations meant to represent the Whitewater story and mission. Grab a walking buddy and explore the half-mile, self-guided trail, located in the Ridge and Canyon activity areas. While you’re there, get a $25 single activity pass for ice skating. The 24,000 square feet ice rink consists has four skating areas, including two ice trails and two free skate zones. You’ll also find an on-ice Airstream serving hot and cold beverages. Now through Mid-February. Free admission, $6 Parking.
Holidays at the Garden @Botanical Stowe Garden: The annual Holidays at the Garden is back at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Enjoy dazzling lights, sparkling fountains and holiday décor as you stroll through the one-mile walk. Afterward, you can purchase ingredients to make tasty s’mores by their fire pit or grab a bite to eat at one of their numerous food trucks (check their calendar to see who’ll be there). Timed tickets can be purchased online; limited tickets are available at the door. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (60+) and $10 for children 2-12. Children under 2 are free. Members get a 25% discount. Now through December 31st, 5PM-9PM. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Speedway Christmas @ Charlotte Motor Speedway: Nothing says Christmas in the Carolinas like four million lights arranged around the four-mile race track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The show happens every night, rain or shine. Every Thursday through Sunday, visitors can enjoy a bustling Christmas village and catch holiday classics like The Grinch, A Christmas Story and Home Alone. Make sure you turn your radio dial to 101.3 FM to hear the Christmas music that goes along with the lights throughout the course. Tickets start at $30 per car on Monday-Wednesday. On Thursday-Sunday, it’s $40 per car. Consider going Sunday-Thursday for cheaper admission and to avoid out-of-towner traffic. Now through January 8th, 6PM-10PM. Closed on Christmas Eve