A lot of holiday festivals have been cancelled or changed drastically this year because of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one of the most beautiful things about the holiday season — the Christmas light displays. Whether you walk outside or you drive in your car, there are plenty of opportunities to feel like a kid again this holiday season in and around Charlotte — while staying safe.
Now through January 17, 2021, with the exception of Christmas Day, head out to Speedway Christmas. You can drive through the infield and enjoy 800 displays of Christmas cheer made with four million holiday lights. The lights are synchronized to music so tune in to 101.3 FM while you drive to enjoy the show. Come by Thursday through Sunday any week and you can watch a drive-in holiday movie on the big screen, too! Learn more here.
Light the Knights at Charlotte Christmas Village
Head out to Truist Field to enjoy Light the Knights at the Charlotte Christmas Village on select dates December 4 through December 23. The start time varies, but the fun ends by 10:00 p.m. each night. Tickets cost $7 per person before 5:00p.m. and $10 after 5:00 p.m. You can shop for gifts from unique vendors or walk through the ballpark concourse and enjoy the thousands of lights, trees, and displays. Learn more here.
Sherwood Forest Drive
Want to see what happens when a neighborhood comes together filled with the Christmas spirit? Head to Sherwood Forest Drive in Olde Providence South. The homeowners have outdone themselves with their holiday decorations. Make sure to put the window down while you drive through so you can enjoy the holiday music! Even better, they’re collecting donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so if you’ve got a little extra, give to a worthy cause. Find more neighborhoods to drive through and enjoy this Christmas.
Lights at Whitewater Center
The Whitewater Center invites you to enjoy a different kind of light show this holiday season. From 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night, walk the half-mile walking trail through the forest and experience a series of immersive light installations designed by Meredith Connelly, a Charlotte artist. You’ll see 173 sculptures inspired by nature. While not specifically Christmas lights or decorations, you’re sure to feel the holiday spirit while taking in the sights. Learn more here.
Now through December 26, 2020, enjoy the lights and display of the McAdenville Christmas between 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Drive through downtown from Pharr Family YMCA on Main Street to the Spruced Goose Restaurant located on Weslayan Drive. This year, there are no lights around the lake, but it still makes for a nice evening drive. Learn more here.
Kannapolis Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express
Head to the town of Kannapolis for a night of Christmas and wonder, now through December 30. It’s free to walk through the park and take in the Celebration of Lights. Families and groups can reserve tickets (by the row) for a ride on the Winterland Express. Tickets cost $6 per row and fit three children or two adults. Enjoy the lights, listen to the music, take your own pictures with Santa, and eat roasted marshmallows! Learn more here.
Holidays at the Garden
Through January 3, every Wednesday through Saturday, you can take in the lights and the gardens at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont. Tickets cost $14.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors, and $7.95 for children two to 12, while kids under two get in free. Stroll through the gardens between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and enjoy the Christmas lights, sing along with the music, roast marshmallows, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks, and enjoy the holidays in a new way. Learn more here.
Winter Lights at North Carolina Arboretum
Enjoy a winter wonderland from the safety of your own vehicle at the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum. Price per car starts at $25 (reserve your ticket in advance for the best price). Drive through until January 10 between 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. each night. Enjoy the lights, the displays, and the wonder of it all. Learn more here.
This Christmas season might not look like holidays past, but you can still enjoy the lights and cheer, even in a socially distanced kind of way!