19 holiday events in Charlotte that kick off as early as this weekend

19 holiday events in Charlotte that kick off as early as this weekend
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Charlotte is barreling full speed into the holiday season with several festive traditions ramping up as early is this Friday.

If you’re a Grinch like me, give it up. It’s here. There’s nothing we can do.

Holiday on Ice

Date: Friday, November 18 – Sunday, January 8
Time: check the calendar for exact dates and times
Location: NASCAR Hall of Fame, 400 E. MLK Jr. Boulevard

Uptown’s seasonal outdoor skating rink will open this week and run through January. Tickets are $10 (for unlimited skating) and skate rentals are $4.

Holidays at the Garden

Date: Friday, November 18 – Sunday, January 1
Time: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (lights illuminate nightly at 5 p.m.)
Location: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont, NC

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is tricked out with more than 600,000 twinkling lights. They’ve also got carriage rides, holiday treats and live entertainment. Tickets are $14.95 for adults, $13.95 for seniors and $8.95 for kids 2 – 12.

South End Tree Lighting

Date: Saturday, November 19
Time: 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Location: Atherton Mill, 2000 South Boulevard (in front of Big Ben)

It’s a family-friendly affair with hot chocolate, coffee, performances and even an appearance from Santa. The tree will light up at 6 p.m.

Speedway Christmas

Date: Saturday, November 19 – Saturday, December 31 (see schedule for exact dates)
Time: 6 – 10 p.m.
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Parkway S, Concord, NC

Check out the intricate light displays from the comfort and warmth of your own car on a holiday drive through the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Admission is by vehicle and ranges from $20 – $175 per car, van or bus.

Vintage Charlotte Winter Market

Date: Sunday, November 20
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: The Fillmore, 820 Hamilton Street

Shop more than 60 of the region’s best handmade and vintage vendors. Several local food vendors will also be on site, including Hart’s Soda Shop, Bleu Barn Bistro and New Wrap Order. $7 early bird entry at 10 a.m. and $2 general admission after 11 a.m.

Carolina Panthers Tree Lighting

Date: Wednesday, November 23
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint Street

Sir Purr, the TopCats, PurrCussion, Black & Blue Crew and Santa will be on site to celebrate the 3rd annual lighting on the stadium tree. They’ll have activities for kids (face painting, balloon artists, etc.) and food trucks for all.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Date: Thursday, November 24
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: N. Tryon Street

I consider this the official start of the holiday season so step away from the kitchen and catch the action. This longstanding Charlotte tradition that first marched through the city in 1947.

Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade 1

Charlotte Christmas Village

Date: Thursday, November 24 – December 24
Time: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tu – W, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Th – Sa, noon – 6 p.m. Su
Location: Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Church Street

Romare Bearden Park will transform into a traditional German holiday market from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve. They’ll have food and gift vendors, beer, mulled wine and live entertainment.

NoDa Brewing’s Hoppy Holidays Release Party

Date: Friday, November 25
Time: noon – 10 p.m.
Location: NoDa Brewing North, 2921 N. Tryon Street

They’re opening early on Black Friday to release their seasonal holiday brew and serve as the recovery zone for anyone who braves the early-morning shopping madness.

via Facebook

via Facebook

Winter Wonderland Craft Fair

Date: Saturday, November 26
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Anne Springs Close Greenway, 288 Dairy Barn Lane, Fort Mill, SC

More than 150 artists and crafters will set up booths at the Dairy Barn for a day of exclusively hand-made shopping. Parking is $5 per car.

Hot Stuff Holiday Pop Up Market

Date: Sunday, November 27
Time: 12:30 – 5 p.m.
Location: Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Avenue

Shop unique gifts and handmade goods from 20+ local vendors. Best part? Hot tamales from The Masa Casa.

Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra

Date: Monday, November 28 – Sunday, December 25
Time: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: Founders Hall, 100 N. Tryon Street

If a symphony orchestra performed by animatronic bears isn’t part of your holiday tradition, what have you been doing all these years?

Leonard Bearstein

via Facebook

Poptopia Holidays

Date: Monday, November 28 – Saturday, December 3
Time: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. all week; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday
Location: Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 N. Tryon Street

National retailers and small local businesses will set up shop in the Sonia & Isaac Luski Gallery for a week of holiday shopping. Not Just Coffee will provide free coffee during the day and Assorted Table Wine Shoppe will have wine during evening receptions.

Foundation for the Carolinas

Festival of Trees

Date: Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4
Time: see schedule for exact times
Location: Hotel Concord, 14 N. Union Street, Concord, NC

This annual fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County offers four opportunities to celebrate: Deck the Halls Gala ($125) on 12/2, North Pole Party ($10 for kids, free for adults) on 12/3, Tree Viewing (donations accepted) on 12/3 and a buffet holiday lunch ($12 for kids, $25 for adults) on 12/4.

NoDa All Arts Market

Date: Friday, December 2 – Saturday, December 3
Time: 6 – 10 p.m. Friday, 12 – 6 p.m. Saturday
Location: Behailu Academy, 451 E. 36th Street


Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour

Date: Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4
Time: 5 – 9 p.m. Fr – Sa, 1 – 5 p.m. Su
Location: Historic Fourth Ward, corner of 9th and Poplar

This is hands down my favorite Charlotte holiday tradition. Tickets are $30 and give you access to gorgeous and festive home tours, tasting stations and live caroling entertainment. Strongly recommend.


Photo via Austin Caine

OMB Christmas Market

Date: December 2-3, December 9-10, December 16-17
Time: 4 – 9 p.m. Fridays, 2 – 9 p.m. Saturdays
Location: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road

For three weekends in December, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will transform into a traditional German market with gift vendors, mulled wine and plenty of seasonal brews.

Girl Tribe Holiday Pop Up

Date: Saturday, December 10
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Sugar Creek Brewing, 215 Southside Drive

Support dozens of women-owned businesses and put a dent in your holiday shopping list. General admission is free or pay $5 for early VIP access from 10 a.m. to noon.

Girl Tribe Pop Up - Fall 2016

Uptown Santa Bar Crawl

Date: Saturday, December 10
Time: Registration is 3 – 5 p.m. at Lucky’s
Location: Lucky’s Bar & Arcade, 300 N. College Street

18 locations will offer $3 beers, $4 shots and $5 cocktails all day. Tickets are $10 before 11/20, $17 through December 10.

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