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Your Guide to Holiday Events in Charlotte

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It seems like overnight we went from spooky decor and trick or treating to Thanksgiving recipe-collecting and Christmas carols. It’s official, whether we’re ready or not, the holidays are here!

The holiday season means there will be a ton of fun things to do around Charlotte every weekend, and we’re here to gather some of those and create one awesome holiday guide for you!

From pop-up holiday markets to ice skating rinks, and Winterfest to Christmas at the Speedway, we’re so excited to get a head start on the holiday season! Be sure to check in on this blog from time to time, because we’ll be adding and updating events as they start to pop up all month long.

Now, who’s ready to put up their Christmas tree?!

Who’s ready to shop ’til you drop?! The Southern Christmas Show is returning for their 52nd year at the Park Expo and Conference Center. With over 450 holiday vendors, we can’t help but get excited! 

Event Details
🗓 NOV 14 | 10AM–6PM
📍The Park Expo and Conference Center


Opening in mid-November, the U.S. National Whitewater Center upper pond is the place to be this season. With the option to skate on an ice trail, or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice, we can’t wait to skate the season away while we sip on some hot chocolate.

Event Details
🗓 Starting NOV 19
📍U.S. Nation Whitewater Center

📷 Carowinds

Your favorite local amusement park transforms for the holiday season, and it’s definitely a sight to see.

Carowinds becomes the ultimate holiday destination as the park gets a winter wonderland makeover. An all-new Wonderland Parade was added to this year’s already packed lineup of fun things to do.

Over 5 million lights decorate the park with hands-on family activities and the sights and sounds of the holidays waiting around every corner. Grab a bite to eat or one of their new Winterfest souvenir mugs for some hot chocolate as you make the merriest of memories this season!

Event Details
🗓 Select Days NOV 24–DEC 31

What do you get when you mix the NASCAR Hall of Fame and ice skating? You get Holiday On Ice! Located in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza in Uptown, this ice skating rink is open to skaters and non-skaters alike.

Take photos with a giant polar bear, under the Christmas tree, or in the Ceremonial Garden (which is decorated with beautiful holiday lights)! There will be holiday-themed merchandise for purchase at the souvenir stand, snacks, and of course, hot cocoa!

Admission is $12 for those who bring their own skates and $16 if you need to rent a pair.

Event Details
🗓 NOV 15-JAN 5
📍 Nascar Hall of Fame

One of the most popular breweries in Charlotte is also home to one of the most popular Christmas spots! Come down to The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for their 8th Annual Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) with experiences unlike any other in the Queen City.

Their Biergarten gets a holiday transformation into a German winter wonderland with traditional huts for shopping, food, hot cocoa, fire pits, and holiday music. Oh, and how can we forget their Gluhwein?

What would a brewery be without some seasonal beers to drink as well? Grab a seasonal favorite, our is the Yule Bock, and come on down to one of the most fun and unique seasonal experiences here and Charlotte! Prost!

Event Details
🗓 Weekends, DEC 6-DEC 22
📍 Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Now through December 31, visit the Sea Life Aquarium at the Concord Mills Mall to see all of the adorable aquatic sea creatures on display with holiday spirit!

Each zone of the aquarium will be lit up with thousands of festive lights. Scuba Claus will be there too, diving with sharks, fish, and other undersea life. Daily activities are on the schedule including letter writing to your favorite animals and finding the Shark on the Shelf. How cute is that

Check the website for specific times, but on the weekends be sure to catch Scuba Claus himself as he puts on a spectacular dive show!

Event Details
🗓 Select days DEC 7-DEC 31
📍 SEA LIFE Aquarium

If you love zoos and the holidays, this event is for you. Drive through the reindeer forest, the Christmas Wonderland of Lights, and watch an awesome light show every night at Zootastic Park!

Part of the zoo will be open to the public during this event. There will be tiger feeding, giraffe feeding, barn feeding, carousel rides, and s’mores! Plus, Santa will be there to take photos every night.

Admission is only $8 per person for people over the age of 2.

Event Details
🗓 NOV 27-JAN 4
📍 Zootastic Park

More Holiday Events

For more events, download the UNATION app or check out our website. We’ll keep updating all the best holiday events in Charlotte as we find them so you don’t have to go searching for them yourself. And don’t forget to tag @StufftoDoinCharlotte in all of your festive outings.

Happy holidays from all of us here at UNATION!


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Kayla Gil

Kayla Gil

Kayla is a City Manager for UNATION and author for the UNATION app For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Charlotte area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinCharlotte on Instagram and Facebook..

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