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Light displays in the Charlotte area 2015

These are the best light  displays in the Charlotte area.


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Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its sixth year. Speedway Christmas will have over 3,000,000 lights with a new and greatly improved lights-to-music drive-thru section along the 3.5-mile course!

Open every Thursday-Sunday and all Christmas week, the Christmas Village includes a petting zoo, Bethlehem village, horse-drawn wagon rides, photos with Santa, and more.

We have also expanded our movie nights to every village night – Thursday through Sunday! Come see Christmas classics like “A Christmas Story” and “Frozen” on a giant 16,000-square-foot high-definition TV! Click here for more information.

2.Christmas at The Library

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Listed below are the main activities available to help you make the most of your Christmas at the Library visit. In addition to the Christmas-only activities, the Billy Graham Library’s ongoing attractions are available for extended hours during Christmas. Come earlier in the month to beat the crowds. Click here for more information.

Open December 1 – 23, 2015
Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Christmas Activities begin at 5 p.m. Both admission and parking are free.

Live Nativity
See a real life representation of the birth of Jesus, including shepherds, a camel, donkey, lambs, and other animals. This free attraction is located between the Library entrance and the Graham Family Homeplace. Come pet the animals at the same location from noon to 2 p.m. Please don’t pet or feed the animals during the evening nativity scene.

Live Nativity Hours:
Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Cost: Free, no tickets needed

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
Experience the ambiance of Christmas at the Library from a horse-drawn carriage. Purchase tickets in the Library parking lot, then get on board for a 15- to 18-minute ride around the BGEA Headquarters and Library grounds. Each carriage comfortably seats four adults.

Carriage Ride Hours:
Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Last ride at 8:45 p.m.)
Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Last ride 9:45 p.m.)

Cost: Adults – $7, Children under 12 – $3

Tickets cannot be purchased in advance and entire party must be present.

Carriage Rides
Story Time
Bring the little ones to the Billy Graham Library patio for a special time of reading from Christmas books available in the Ruth’s Attic Bookstore. Kids of all ages are welcome, but this free event is especially recommended for those under age 12. The patio is covered and heated so everyone stays warm.

Story Time Hours:
Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Cost: Free, no tickets needed

Story Time
Christmas Dinner
Celebrate the season with a wonderful Christmas dinner with family and friends. This traditional holiday meal features turkey and carved ham with maple Dijon glaze, cranberry cornbread stuffing, other savory dishes, and an assortment of festive desserts. Dinner will be served just behind the Library in the BGEA headquarters, with parking available or shuttle bus transportation provided from the Library. Reservations are recommended; limited seating is available. Groups of 100 or more may reserve a private dinner on Wednesdays, Dec. 1-23. A deposit is required.

Dinner Times:
December 1-23
Every Thursday and Friday, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 5th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 & 19: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Cost: $18.95 per adult, $8.95 per child twelve and under (no charge for children three and under)

Make a Reservation: Call 704-401-3269.

Christmas Carolers
From “Joy to the World” to “O Holy Night,” songs of the season can be heard live each night of Christmas at the Library. This activity includes a variety of performances by different groups. A list of carolers is provided at the information desk upon entering the Library.

Cost: Free, no tickets needed


3.WBT Holiday on Ice

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News Talk 1110 WBT & 107.9 The Link’s Holiday On Ice presented by CoolRenewal CoolSculpting Spa is Charlotte, North Carolina’s only outdoor ice skating rink. We’re the city’s “Rockefeller Center” where you can skate under the stars in the heart of Uptown.

Our very own winter wonderland is complete with a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus. Forget the lines! Come skate with us and have your photo taken with Santa & Mrs. Claus thanks to Monroe Crossing Mall!

We are seasonal event that runs from Nov. 20th – Jan. 3rd. Our normal operating hours are Wednesday-Friday, 5pm-10pm and Saturday-Sunday, 10am-10pm.

Whether you’re looking for a family friendly activity, a romantic night with a loved one, a unique experience or a holiday tradition, Holiday On Ice is sure to have something for everyone.

Purchase your tickets and grab your of skates from our Skate House, lace up, and hit the ice in our Winter Wonderland to your favorite holiday and popular music.

If you have questions about our hours or any on-site activities please contact us at:704-390-3766. Get more details about Holiday On Ice and all of our events at

3. Christmas Train


Hop aboard a hot cocoa and cookie-filled, 30-minute train ride along the Piedmont Northern Railway to the tune of a “the Train to Christmas Town” reading. Surprise guests include characters from the story, plus Santa! Click here for more information.

Holidays at the Hall

Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame for breakfast with Santa or UnDeck the Hall, where guests remove NASCAR trinkets from the trees, taking one home until all are gone. Also, enjoy ice skating with WBT Holiday on Ice all month and holiday movies in the High Octane Theater each weekend in December.

Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour

Take a self-guided tour through historic homes in Fourth Ward, all intricately decorated for the season. Drink in the city’s beauty on a complimentary horse and carriage ride and revel in performances by local choirs.

Christmas at Biltmore

Experience a most beloved family tradition. Take in the Biltmore Estate, adorned to the nines with hundreds of wreaths, dozens of trees and poinsettias as far as the eye can see.

Holiday Tea and Shopping at the Duke Mansion

Enjoy an hour of shopping a collection of gifts from local boutiques followed by a refined high tea featuring tea sandwiches and holiday treats at the gorgeous, seasonally-festooned Duke Mansion.

Holidays at the Garden

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s annual tradition invites guests to experience its winter wonderland through the New Year. Enter the grounds to be greeted by a half a million lights and a breathtaking Christmas tree created with live florals. Enjoy carriage rides, visits with Santa and live entertainment.

McAdenville, Christmas Town USA

McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town USA, shines bright with holiday lights and decorations strung from every home, building and tree in sight. Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights turn this small mill town into a spectacular holiday display. Visitors stroll down Main Street surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas.

Speedway Christmas

Head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for one of the largest holiday light shows in the U.S., which features more than 3,000,000 lights. And as though that weren’t enough, there’s the Christmas Village with a realistic Bethlehem-themed setting, horse-drawn rides, photos with Santa, movie nights, food and music.

Shining Performances

The Nutcracker

The classic story of “The Nutcracker,” performed by more than 100 Charlotte Ballet dancers and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, dazzles with its elaborate costumes and familiar music. The show, which is a must-see each season, features breathtaking snowfall and runs at Belk Theater.

Charlotte Symphony: Magic of Christmas

Let the Charlotte Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony Chorus and a number of special guests get you into the holiday spirit with this moving performance, on deck at Belk Theater.

The 61st Annual Singing Christmas Tree

The perfect show for the whole family, watch the 32-foot Christmas tree, powered by the voices of the MainStage Choir and accompanied by dancers and special guests, sing classic holiday favorites at Knight Theater.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour

The Grammy-award winning performer and his grand 18-piece orchestra perform at Ovens Auditorium. Setzer combines his signature guitar and vocal styles with a big-band horn section for unbeatable acoustics.

Holiday Jazz at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

The romantic sounds of holiday classics translated by jazz will have couples feeling the love like two turtle doves. Ring in the season with mid-century art and music at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

A cirque performance, Broadway musical and holiday spectacular rolled into one mesmerizing production, this variety show of sorts is full of talent and merriment. With an international cast of more than 30 global artists, the show features flipping gingerbread men and soaring reindeers accompanied by hundreds of spectacular costumes.

Holiday Feasts & Sweets

Bar Cocoa

When you need a little something sweet to offset holiday stress, Bar Cocoa in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte in Uptown has you covered. Better to give than to receive? Take a class at the Cocoa Lab to whip up holiday treats for your favorites.

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

Hosting friends and family this holiday season? Fill your table with an unforgettable feast when you sharpen your culinary skills and study gourmet recipes at Chef Alyssa’s cooking classes.

Merry Markets


Tour The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s German-style Christmas market. Imbued with an authentic taste of Europe, the market features an array of delectable baked goods, local crafts and other extraordinary knickknacks, which make thoughtful tokens of affection.

Downtown Christmas Village in Belmont

Transport yourself back to a historical small town Christmas as you stroll through holiday bedecked Main Street in Belmont. Browse local shops filled with gifts for everyone on your list, enjoy splendid performances from carolers and visit with Santa at City Hall.

Christmas in Davidson

Join in the annual holiday tour of Main Street in downtown Davidson. Shop the Holiday Village of vendors on the Village Green and visit Ten Thousand Villages at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Congregation, which stocks beautiful items from more than 30 developing countries.

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