A 2022 Guide to Holiday Events in Charlotte
Including outings in surrounding towns
Southern Christmas Show
The festive showcase returns to Charlotte on Thursday, November 10, and will run through Sunday, November 20. More than 450 vendors will be there for you to browse and shop as you take in the seasonal sights all around you. $14-$24 (kids 6-12, $7).
Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade
The parade’s been a Charlotte tradition since 1947, but this is only the second time it’ll take place at night, on Thanksgiving eve. Don’t worry—there will be plenty of lights. Wednesday, Nov. 23, 6 p.m. Tryon Street, uptown. Tickets start at $25 (kids under 2 are free).
NOV. 18-JAN. 8
Drive through nearly four miles of Christmas lights with synchronized music on the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Then hop out for photos with Santa, a live nativity scene, rides, s’mores making, and gift vendors. Drive-in movies on select nights. Charlotte Motor Speedway. $40 per car.
NOV. 21-JAN. 1
Explore millions of lights, ice skating, family activities, live entertainment, food and drink, holiday gift shops, games, and rides. Carowinds. Tickets start at $32.99.
NOV. 23-JAN. 6
Light the Knights: Charlotte Christmas Village
The village includes a regulation-size ice rink, snow tubing, holiday lights, live entertainment, holiday treats, shopping, Santa, and more. Truist Field. Tickets start at $10.
Stroll through an enchanting display of gingerbread creations by professionals and amateurs alike. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. The Ballantyne Hotel. Free.
Jazz Room Holiday Edition: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Swing
Duke Ellington’s arrangement of the Tchaikovsky holiday classic. Booth Playhouse. Tickets start at $38.
Charlotte Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. Belk Theater. Tickets start at $30.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
3 and 7:30 p.m. Spectrum Center. Tickets start at $39.
Clara’s Trip: A Cirque And Dance Nutcracker Story
After stumbling at a Christmas party, Clara LeBlanc makes a trip to the hospital and learns she has a broken ankle. That night, friends and characters invade her dreams. Tims vary. Booth Playhouse. $25-$45.
Charlotte Symphony: Cirque de Noël
The circus meets the symphony in a show that combines holiday music and acrobatics. 7:30 p.m. Knight Theater. Tickets start at $10.
NOV. 19-DEC. 30
Celebration of Lights
Christmas lights, community group performances, a holiday market, the Winterland Express train, a double-decker carousel, and more. Sunday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Village Park. Free.
Kannapolis Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m. Downtown Kannapolis. Free.
NOV. 11-DEC. 23
The Polar Express Train Ride
Well, are you coming? Take a trip on The Polar Express with hot chocolate, cookies, your very own sleigh bell, a reading of The Polar Express, and carols from the movie’s soundtrack. North Carolina Transportation Museum. Tickets start at $34.
DEC. 2-3 and DEC. 9-10
A German-themed Christmas market with a tree lighting, shopping, lights, music, ice skating, food, crafts, and more. 450 S. Salisbury Ave. Free.
McAdenville has been known as “Christmas Town USA” since it hosted its first holiday light display in 1956. Over the years, the town’s Christmas festivities have been featured on television and in magazines, including Good Morning America and Southern Living.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m. Dynamo 31 Building, 102 Main St. Free.
Christmas Light Display
5:30-10 p.m. Downtown.
Yule Log Parade
5:30 p.m. 100 Main St. Free.
Miracle on Main Street
Tree lighting, caroling, live music, food trucks, vendors, and more. 6-9 p.m. Downtown. Free.
Christmas Carriage Rides
6-9 p.m. Downtown, in front of First Presbyterian Church. Tickets start at $25.
Enchantment in the Garden
Stroll through a community garden filled with luminaries and holiday music. 5-9 p.m. Mount Holly Community Garden. Free.
Christmas Electric Parade: A Festival of Lights
Friday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m. Downtown. Free.
Winter Fest & Tree Lighting
Friday, Dec. 2. A tree lighting, plus pictures with Santa, holiday inflatables, s’mores making, a sledding hill, and more. 6-9 p.m. Chestnut Square Park. Free.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 4 p.m. Downtown. Free.
NOV. 28-JAN. 1
Festival of Trees
Walk through a display of decorated Christmas trees. Stowe Park. Free.
Christmas Movies in the Park
Friday, Dec. 2: Elf
Friday, Dec. 16: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7 p.m. Stowe Park. Free. cityofbelmont.org
Saturday, Dec. 3. Carriage rides, hayrides, a carousel, and more. 1-9 p.m. Downtown. Free.
Carriage rides, ice skating, historic tours, caroling, workshops, performances, a gingerbread house contest, and more. Downtown. Free.
Rock Hill Christmas Parade
Friday, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m. Downtown. Free.
Lighting of the Tree
Thursday, Dec. 1, 5-8:30 p.m. Walter Y. Elisha Park. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. Downtown. Free.
Town Tree Lighting
Friday, Dec. 2, 6-9 p.m. Free.
Christmas in Huntersville
Saturday, Dec. 3. Carolers, ice sculptures, children’s rides, performances, face painting, holiday characters, letters and pictures with Santa, local vendors, and more. 2-8 p.m. Downtown. Free.
Lake Norman Yacht Club Christmas Flotilla and Parade
Saturday, Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Viewing sites: Lake Norman Yacht Club and Hello Sailor. Free.
Northern Lights of Lake Norman
Saturday, Dec. 10, 5 p.m. Viewing site: Apps & Taps. Free.
Lake Norman Christmas Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 17, 5:30-7 p.m. Viewing sites: Blythe Landing, Ramsey Creek Park, and Duke Energy Explorium. Free.
Christmas in the City
Sunday, Dec. 4. A parade, tree lighting, vendor market, and more. 5-8 p.m. Downtown and CaroMont Health Park. Free.
Christmas in Davidson
Holiday light shows, entertainment, live nativity scene, music, food, shopping, and more. 6-9 p.m. Downtown. Free.
North Mecklenburg Holiday Parade
Saturday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. Downtown Davidson to downtown Cornelius. Free.
North Carolina Christmas Festival
Saturday, Dec. 17. Pictures with Santa, toy giveaway, ornament decoration, and more. 1-5 p.m. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. Free.
Lake Wylie Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Viewing site: Papa Doc’s Shore Club. Free.
Sunday, Dec. 11, 3 p.m. Downtown. Free.
It’s Time for Hanukkah
Porch Southern Fried Chanukah
Sunday, Dec. 18
Latkes, fried chicken, candle lighting, singing, arts and crafts, and more. Geared toward families with young children. 5:30 p.m. Temple Beth El. Price TBD.
Nightly Candle Lighting
Dec. 18-25, 6 p.m. Virtual. Free.
Chanukah Shabbat & Congregational Dinner
Friday, Dec. 23
Shabbat is at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m.
Temple Beth El. Price TBD.
Chanukah Under the Stars
Sunday, Dec. 25
A family program, menorah lighting, dinner (registration required), and more.
6-8 p.m. Temple Israel. Price TBD.