Mark your calendars: 18 must-do December events

Mark your calendars: 18 must-do December events
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It’s a power packed December. Here’s your list of 18 top events.

Charlotte Christmas Village

Now through Dec. 24 | Corner of 7th Street and North Tryon| 11 a.m. | Free | Details

Why you should go: There will be plenty of treats to buy, Gluhwein to drink and holiday spirit to soak in. Expect live performances throughout the month and visits from Santa and kids crafts on the weekends. 


Now through Dec. 31 | Carowinds |  5-10 p.m. | $26+ | Details

Why you should go: Expect more than 5 million lights, a 70-foot Christmas tree, live shows, performers, festive foods and more. You can also skate on Flake Lake for an additional cost or ride some of the 16 open rides.

Holidays in the Garden

Now through Jan. 6 | Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden |  5-9 p.m. | Varies | Details

Why you should go: It includes about a mile of lights – some synchronized with music – a Christmas village display, visits from Santa and more. Explore the gardens and then sit by a fire pit to roast marshmallows and sip on something warm. 

Speedway Christmas

Now through Dec. 31 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | 6-10 p.m. | $25-$30 per car | Details

Why you should go: The 3.75-mile course will be decked out with more than 3.5 million lights. There’s also a 50-foot ferris wheel, family friendly Christmas movies projected on a big screen, fire pits for marshmallow roasting and more.


Nov.30 through Dec. 26 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | 5:30 p.m. | $25-$30 per car | Details

Why you should go: You can drive or walk around the area which has more than 160 decorated and decked-out homes, 265 evergreen trees with 500,000 lights. There’s also going to be a Christmas Town Festival Dec. 13 with music, a parade and hot chocolate and kettle corn.  

Poptopia Holidays: A Pop-Up Shop 

Dec. 1 | Foundation for the Carolinas | 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Free | Details

Why you should go: A ton of local vendors will be there selling a curated selection of jewelry, clothing and more. Admission is free, so you can peruse shops and stay tuned for special surprises. 

Dr Pepper ACC Championship Football Game

Dec. 1 | Bank of America Stadium | 8 p.m. | $27+ | Details

Why you should go: Watch Pitt and Clemson compete for the title of Atlantic Coast Conference champions.

Charlotte’s 250th Anniversary Celebration

Dec. 3 | Uptown | 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Free | Details

Why you should go: There will be plenty of free activities and cake to go around to celebrate our Queen City’s Birthday.

A Christmas Story, The Musical

Dec. 4-9 | Ovens Auditorium | Varies | $25+ | Details

Why you should go: Sure it’s on TV for 24 hours straight starting Christmas Eve, but the musical brings this classic to life. You can expect to see the iconic leg lamp, bunny pajamas and more.

Gingerbread Lane

Dec. 6-26 | The Ballantyne | All day | Free | Details

Why you should go: Walk through rows of homemade gingerbread houses and donate at least $1 if you want to vote on your favorite. It’ll be magical. 

Gingerbread Lane

The gingerbread houses at The Ballantyne’s Gingerbread Lane are legit


Dec. 7-23 | Belk Theater | Varies  | $25+ | Tickets

Why you should go: A show people of all ages can love, “The Nutcracker” ballet follows the original story, and the dancing, costumes and music are all incredible. Plus, there will be sensory friendly showing at 1 p.m. on Dec. 13.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Dec. 8 | Belk Theater | 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. | $47+ | Details

Why you should go: The group has been touring for 20 years and visiting 65 cities this year, including Charlotte, for their annual Christmas performance. You’re going to want to make going an annual holiday tradition.

Plaza Midwood “Running of the Balls” 5K

Dec. 14 | Resident Culture Brewing Company | 7-8 p.m. | Free | Details

Why you should go: A festive and fit event, you’ll run through the neighborhood under trees decked out in Christmas light balls. Loop back around to the brewery for a post-race mixer. You can also purchase a shirt for $20 to commemorate the event and as a contribution to charity.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Dec. 15 | Spectrum Center | 7 p.m. | $108+ | Details

Why you should go: The Lakers (and Lebron James) will visit the Hornets.

Santa at OMB

Dec. 15 | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery | 10 a.m. & noon | $20-$25 | Details

Why you should go: Visit with Santa, take photos and enjoy some of OMB’s special holiday releases. There will also be 45-plus vendors and more.

Charlotte Holiday Girl Tribe Pop Up

Dec. 15-16 | Girl Tribe Laboratory | 2 p.m. | $Free | Details

Why you should go: Support local female entrepreneurs (more than 90 will be there), get some holiday shopping done, and enjoy some snacks and cocktails. Plus, there will be holiday surprises and VIPs get a fun bag and other treats.

Monday Night Football Panthers vs Saints

Dec. 17 | Bank of America Stadium | 2 p.m. | $67+ | Details

Why you should go: Cheer on the Panthers as they take on the Saints.

The Avett Brothers

Dec. 30 | Bojangles Coliseum | 8:15 p.m. | $49.50+ | Details

Why you should go: Treat yourself to some tickets and spend the second to last day in 2018 doing something really cool.

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