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.
Charlotte Christmas Village
November 26, 2021 – December 23, 2021
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.
Christmas at the Cafe
December 18, 2021
This holiday season, Community Members Cafe is hosting a free, all-ages get-together where you’ll be able to join in on a bunch of festive activities. From making gingerbread houses to decorating cookies, you’re bound to leave more joyful than you came in.
Jingle City Pop-Up
November 26, 2021 – December 24, 2021
If themed parties were always your favorite growing up, you might want to travel uptown to see what’s going on at Jingle City. This 18-day event is one big over-the-top Christmas party like you’ve never seen before. Take advantage of the many insta-worthy photo opportunities while you enjoy the festive atmosphere of this winter wonderland..
Holidays at the Garden
November 26, 2021 – January 3, 2022
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.
Festival of Trees
November 29, 2021 – January 3, 2022
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.
December 1, 2021 – December 26, 2021
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.
Christmas Cookie Crawl
Who doesn’t love free desserts? For one day only this holiday season, visit participating local shops and restaurants to get free pre-packaged Christmas cookies. There are only a limited number of spots available, so register now to reserve your spot.
December 3, 2021 – December 24, 2021
Experience this lively festival and winter market with an endless amount of events to keep you entertained all month long. From holiday movie screenings to a Christmas-themed poetry slam, there’s something unique for everyone to enjoy. If you have some extra room in your schedule, stop by Christmasville for an unforgettable experience?
Holiday Centerpiece Workshop
December 20, 2021 – December 21, 2021
When it comes to holiday décor, why not take the DIY route to add that personal touch? The Flower Bar is offering a wreath building workshop, where you’ll be guided by a design professional to create a wreath you’ll be able to use for years to come. The hardest part will be deciding whether or not you want to keep your beautiful creation for yourself, or gift it to a friend or family member instead.
November 19, 2021 – January 16, 2022
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.
Elf Movie Screening & Party
December 18, 2021
If you’re looking to stay cozy inside, stop by Dave & Buster’s for a one-of-a-kind movie screening experience filled with props, singing, and a visit from Santa himself. Afterwards, you can release your inner child and run wild throughout the arcade, where you’ll have an abundance of games to keep you busy for hours.
Night For Joy
December 18, 2021
For the kids, and the kids at heart, enjoy the spectacle of over a thousand Christmas lights while you get to meet one of your cherished Disney favorites. Take a holiday-themed photo with a Disney princess, walk through many of the displays on site, and feel instantly transported to a magical winter wonderland.
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); Community Members Cafe (Christmas at the Cafe); Jingle City Bar (Jingle City Pop-Up); Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (Holidays at the Garden); City of Belmont (Festival of Trees); Visit Belmont (Christmastown USA); Visit York County (Christmasville); Charlotte Motor Speedway (Speedway Christmas); Lights For Joy (Night For Joy).