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You don’t need to travel far to experience all the fun there is to be had over the winter season. In fact, you may be surprised to learn how much there is to do right in your own community. To ensure that you’re spending more time making special memories with your loved ones than putting together an itinerary, we’ve rounded up the best markets, light shows and festivals to attend. Grab your friends, family and pets, and explore all there is to see across the Carolinas over the holidays.

Holidays at the Garden

Belmont, NC | November 24 – December 23, 2023

Spend an evening at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as you take in the magical display of lights, set to the tune of your classic wintertime favorites. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks available, or roast a marshmallow beside their roaring fire.

Charlotte Christmas Village

Charlotte, NC | November – December, 2023

Just ten minutes away from Landings at NoDa, the Charlotte Christmas Village is the place to be if you’d like to experience an old-fashioned German Christmas Market. Satisfy your holiday cravings with authentic German food and drinks like schnitzel, bratwurst, spiced cider and so much more. You won’t want to miss out on this rare opportunity. 

Speedway Christmas

Mint Hill, NC | November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Speedway Christmas is one of North Carolina’s most anticipated holiday traditions, and for good reason. Over four million lights line the four-mile course, along with hundreds of creative displays and decorations synchronized to Christmas-themed music. Just under 20 minutes outside Mint Hill, consider stopping by to marvel at this truly spectacular display.

Christmastown USA

Belmont, NC | December 1 – December 31, 2023

Just 10 minutes outside of Belmont, witness McAdenville’s Christmastown village — something you’d think was pulled out of a children’s novel. Every year, this small town transforms into a festive, twinkling wonderland, welcoming thousands of patrons with its warm and cozy atmosphere. Take a lazy drive along Main Street for some laid-back and low-key holiday fun.

Holiday Floral Workshop

Fort Mill, SC | November 2024

When it comes to holiday décor, why not take the DIY route to add that personal touch? Petal Pushers is offering a floral workshop, where you’ll be guided by a design professional to create a beautiful arrangement. The hardest part will be deciding whether or not you want to keep your creation for yourself, or gift it to a friend or family member instead. 

Festival of Trees

Belmont, NC | November 27, 2023

Take a stroll through Stowe Park and the Historic Downtown Belmont during the 4th annual Festival of Trees to see a festive display that wont disappoint. Brightly lit and beautifully decorated Christmas trees will fill the streets of Belmont, so be sure to bring the whole family along.

Feeling a little hungry after a night out on the town? Check out these one of these celebrity-owned restaurants to take your dining experience to the next level.


Images courtesy of; Rove (Charlotte Christmas Village); Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (Holidays at the Garden); City of Belmont (Festival of Trees); Visit Belmont (Christmastown USA); Charlotte Motor Speedway (Speedway Christmas).


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