To be clear, when I say crazy – I mean crazy about Christmas.
Listening to Christmas music in October? Check.
Giddy at the sight of Christmas decorations on Nov. 1? Yep.
Already watched Elf? You bet.
If you’re one of these people, The Southern Christmas Show is where you belong.
Every year for 12 magical days in November more than 100,000 people head to the Park Expo & Conference Center to browse Christmas decorations, peruse local arts and crafts, sample food and drink items and get an overdose of holiday cheer.
- Dates: Nov. 8-18
- Hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Tuesdays and Sundays it closes at 6 p.m. On Saturday Nov. 17 there are also VIP hours from 8-10 a.m.
- Tickets: $15 at the door, $13 online and $19 for the VIP hours on Nov. 17. Buy them here.
- Parking: $8 cash only if you park at The Park Expo and Conference Center.
I go every holiday season and it never gets old. Here’s why I love it:
The Christmas decorations seriously get me in the spirit.
I get to taste a bunch of local wine at the Explore NC Wine shop.
You can try samples from wineries from all over the state. Treehouse Vineyards and Dennis Vineyards are a few familiar names.
There are 450+ vendors, many local and regional.
David French is at the show selling his paintings and prints of well-loved spots around Charlotte.
I chatted with him as he was working on a painting of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, and his prints are buy one get one for the Southern Christmas Show only.
Wit & Whimsy Paperie is selling their super cute letterpress paper goods. They even have an antique letterpress at their booth where you can make your own ornament for free.
The show is a great place to find unique holiday gifts.
Like this adorable Charlotte print from Green Blanky Studio.
Or these lovely potted succulents and plants from Oakdale Greenhouses.
This beautiful handmade mug by Jenny Cartee Pottery.
Or this to-die-for Amish apple butter.
And this hilarious Elf on the Shelf parody.
There are also local gifts for dog and cat owners.
Daily Mews Café is representing for all the crazy cat owners out there.
Pet Wants Charlotte is also there with dog treats, toys and even Panthers gear.
After working up an appetite with all that shopping, you can enjoy some delicious food.
Helmut’s Strudel is a popular choice but I always have to get the warm almonds from Bavarian Roasted Nuts.
Other food vendors include:
- Spoon’s Barbecue
- Lil Orbits Mini Doughnuts
- Jumpin’ Java and Bakery
- Sandwich Max
Plus, there are TONS of free samples throughout the show.
You can’t leave without trying some NC fudge.
You’ll also want to try these vendors:
- Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese Royale – Booth 2549
- Deweys Bakery (they’ve got Moravian cookies) – Booth 2030
- Nothing Bundt Cakes – Booth 2600
- Darby Creek – Booth 2213
- Herb’s Honey – Booth 3022
There’s a bunch of cool stuff for kids, like visiting Santa.
Or checking out the model train.