It’s the Ho Ho holiday season! We are so lucky to live in a city that is so festive. We have rounded up some of the best winter activities in the Charlotte area. Our 2022 Winter Guide is packed with Santa sightings, tree lightings, and other holiday fun. Keep checking back because as more events are planned we will be adding them here. This is your one-stop for all things holiday fun in the QC. A special thank you to our friends at Atrium Health Levine Children’s for making this guide possible.
If all the holiday festivities leave you or your family feeling less than jolly, Atrium Health Levine Children’s is here to get you back to feeling merry & bright. Check out their blog to help direct you on whether your pediatrician, virtual care, urgent care, or emergency department is the best fit for your symptoms.
From our Macaroni Kid family to yours, we wish you a happy, fun, and healthy holiday season!
Season’s Top Pick
December 2, 2022
7 PM to 8 PM
Everyone is invited to shine a light on the kids at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital and share love with our community. We’ll shine flashlights and light luminaries, and the patients will shine back. Hosted by WBTV’s Molly Grantham, this is an evening of light, love, and a lot of fun! There will be speakers, a scavenger hunt and a station to make cards for kids in the hospital.
The 68th Annual Singing Christmas Tree, Halton Theater
Tickets start at $13
Carolina Voices presents a celebration of holiday entertainment at The 68th Annual Singing Christmas Tree! The warm sounds of the season will fill the CPCC Dale F. Halton Theater with soaring voices (on a specially-designed tree!) performing all your favorite Christmas music! Bring the whole family for one of Charlotte’s longest-running Christmas productions!
Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
November 18-December 22, 2022
Tickets start at $16
The Herdmans are ready to wreak havoc! What happens when the “worst kids in the history of the world” find out about free food at Sunday school? What if they decide to audition for the annual Christmas pageant? This hilarious and heartfelt musical comedy, adapted from Barbara Robinson’s classic story, will have your family laughing and crying as we celebrate the holidays.
The Nutcracker, Halton Theater
Tickets start at $15
Enjoy a family-friendly performance of The Nutcracker presented by the Harris YMCA Dance Company this holiday season. Celebrating our 20th anniversary, we have many show options to choose from at the perfect value for a family tradition!
Charlotte Ballet: Nutcracker, Belk Theater
Tickets start at $30
Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker! This unwavering holiday spectacular is complete with extravagant sets and costumes, the treasured Tchaikovsky score and, of course, a magnificent snowfall on the Belk Theater stage.
Tickets start at $20
A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season as it returns for another spectacular tour.
Southern Christmas Show at Park Expo
Tickets start at $40
It’s a Charlotte classic and a holiday must.
November 23-January 6
Tickets start at $10
Lights, snow, Christmas trees, holiday treats, ice skating, and the new Atrium Health Levine Children’s Snow Tubing Hill. Shop in the Christmas Village for unique handmade gifts and more! Tickets are required.
OMB’s Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) is a truly unique experience unlike any other in the Charlotte area. We transform our Biergarten into a German-style Christmas Village with traditional huts for shopping, holiday music, and tons of lights.
November 26, December 3, and 10, head to South End and shop more than 40 local vendors, get your picture taken with Santa and enjoy locally made treats.
Christmas Tree Lightings and Celebrations
Town of Weddington Christmas Tree Lighting
November 22 at 5 PM
Food trucks, singing, and loads of family fun, culminating in tree lighting.
69th Annual Union County Christmas Parade
November 20 at 2:00 PM
The Union County Christmas Parade in downtown Monroe. This long-held tradition is an exciting opportunity for families, friends, businesses, and local governments to gather in the spirit of community and holiday celebration. The Alliance for Children hosts the parade each year as its fundraiser to support programs that have a lasting impact on our youngest children.
Check back for details!
December 2 at 6:30 PM
The parade begins at Oakland Ave and ends at Fountain Park.
Make memories in downtown Rock Hill for the 2022 Rock Hill Christmas Parade!
December 3 at 11:00 AM
The parade features local schools, officials, churches, businesses, scouts, queens, and of course, Santa & more! Filming of the parade for Comporium Channel 115 takes place in front of the Fort Mill Fire Station at 121 Tom Hall Street. Emcees for the event, David Ward, local Historian, and Rachel Richardson, CN2 News, will introduce each entry as they pass this location.
December 11 at 3:00 PM
The parade features local school marching bands and entries and floats by hundreds of businesses and members of the community.
December 3 at 5:00 PM
Join the town of Mint Hill, downtown, for a special nighttime parade featuring local businesses, organizations, bands, and of course, Santa. The parade will travel down Matthews-Mint Hill Road from Bain School to the Mint Hill Library. Santa will leave after the parade and return to Town Hall for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
December 4 at 4:00 PM
Celebrate the season with Indian Trail's annual Christmas Parade. Enjoy some hot cocoa, games, crafts, and a parade you won't forget!
Get into the holiday spirit at Waverly! Enjoy a visit with Santa, hot chocolate/cookies and Holiday cheer!
December 10 and 17
3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Join us for a December to Remember! Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and take a carriage ride! The first 200 people will also receive a cookie and craft. Carriage rides are by reservation only and weather dependent.
5:00-10:00 PM daily
Bring your friends and family and immerse yourself in the wonder of the season with over a million Christmas lights along a half-mile walking trail. $28 for trail and $12 for the Alpine Slide.
November 18 at 6:00 PM
The free family event will feature face painting, cookie making, train rides, pictures with Santa, and much more! Be sure to join us for all the festivities!
Menorah Lightings & Hanukkah Celebrations
7804 Rea Rd, Charlotte
An unbelievable Chanukah experience for preschoolers through teens. Look out for NEW and exciting games and fun this year!
~ Chanukah Crafts
~ Photo Booth
~ Dance Dance Revolution
~ Chanukah Snacks and so much more!
(Children over 2 are $10 and accompanying adults are FREE; Children under 2 are free)
Unite with Light at SouthPark Mall
Join in song on this official first night of Hanukkah with Chabad of Charlotte. The 8th Day will be performed, and there will be food and beverage. Tickets are required.
Stonecrest Menorah Lighting
Free fun for the family, join Ballantyne Jewish Center as they light the Hanukkah Menorah along the Rea Road side in the fountain area. There will be donuts, latkes, and crafts for the kiddos.
Miscellaneous Holiday Lights & Fun for the Family
Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health
November 18, 2022 - January 8, 2023
6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Tickets start at $40
We love the speedway lights! It gets crowded so plan to be in the car for a while. We like to go on New Year's Eve, after the holiday, when it's less crowded and still as much fun.
November 21, 2022 - December 1, 2023
Tickets start at $32.99
Check out the lights, stay late for the parade, and rent an "igloo" for hot cocoa and treats! Carowinds is converted into a winter wonderland and holiday light spectacular.
Mid-November through mid-February
Tickets start at $25
Every Fall, the Upper Pond of the whitewater system converts into a one-of-a-kind ice skating experience open to all ages and experience levels.
Gingerbread Lane at the Ballantyne Hotel
Check back for details!
Come for the houses, stay for the cocoa! Dress up or down, this is one of our family favorites during the holidays.
Town of Matthews Gingerbread Display
Check back for details!
Go, see, and vote! Check out the local talent when it comes to Gingerbread houses.
Select evenings in November and December
Tickets are on sale on November 1
This is a not-to-miss experience for the kiddos. I love it!
5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Some of the best light displays in the Carolinas, you won't want to miss it. Park nearby and walk or drive through. If you walk, however, you'll be able to hit the side streets. It's a family favorite.
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tickets are $6 for adults, plus $5 parking
Bring in the holiday season by stopping by the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market. Much like the Fall Market, they will be featuring local artists and vendors.
November 11-12, 18-20, 25-27, and December 2-4, 8-11, 13-23
Tickets start at $40
Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers are entertained by a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic, The Polar Express. Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers deboard to watch Santa present the first gift of Christmas. Before exiting the train at Candy Cane Lane, all passengers who BELIEVE will receive their own sleigh bell.