CHARLOTTE — From popular attractions draped in sparkling lights to romantically lit gardens and parks, the Charlotte area shines bright during the holiday season.
Here are a few of our favorite places to enjoy the magic of Christmas.
Please be sure to use the links provided to check for last-minute updates before you go.
Ballantyne’s Backyard — Stroll along an outdoor walking trail filled with more than 1 million illuminated lights, dozens of oversized snow globes, hundreds of decorated trees, a snow tube slide, and a Christmas village complete with boutiques, shops and a rotating roster of food trucks during the Carolina Holiday Light Spectacular at Ballantyne’s Backyard. Open Dec. 15-31. Link
Billy Graham Library — During “Christmas at the Library,” visitors can see a beautiful display of lights and a live nativity, plus enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, story time for kids and carolers. On display through Dec. 23. Link
Carowinds — The largest theme park in the area is decked out for the holidays during “WinterFest.” See millions of holiday lights, plus live shows, festive décor and a holiday parade. There’s also an ice rink and select rides are open. Open through Jan. 1. Link
Charlotte Motor Speedway — See more than 4 million twinkling lights along a 4-mile course around the iconic racetrack during “Speedway Christmas.” The Christmas Village is back this year where visitors can get out of their cars and enjoy holiday activities including photos with Santa. Christmas-themed movies will be shown on the giant 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV Thursday through Sunday. Open through Jan. 16. Link
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden — Roast marshmallows by a roaring fire, see twinkling lights, grab a bite from the food trucks, sip a warm or cold beverage and soak up the season’s cheer during “Holidays at the Garden” at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Open through Dec. 31. Link
McAdenville — The quiet little town of McAdenville in Gaston County has transformed into “Christmas Town, USA,” which has been consistently ranked in the top 5 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Public Holiday Lights Display. See hundreds of trees covered in lights and homes and yards decorated for the holidays along the 1.3-mile route. On display Dec. 1-26. Link
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium — See thousands of twinkling lights, more than 35 themed Christmas trees and other festive décor during Sea Life’s “Sea of Lights,” which is on display Dec. 1 - Jan. 8. Link
Truist Field — The Charlotte Knights will light up Uptown with its annual walk-through holiday experience. “Light the Knights” features tens of thousands of lights throughout the ballpark along with Christmas trees, holiday displays, snow and appearances from Santa. This year, the event also features an NHL regulation-size ice rink and six-lane snow tubing slope in left field. Open through Jan. 6. Link
Village Park — Get into the holiday spirit in Kannapolis at the “Celebration of Lights” in Village Park. See 250,000 lights, roast marshmallows or make s’mores and visit Santa. Visitors can also catch a train ride on the Winterland Express and see the Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra, who called Founders Hall in Uptown Charlotte home for 20 years. The attractions are open nightly through Dec. 30. Link
Worth the road trip
Biltmore — Asheville’s most famous address has transformed into an unforgettable Yuletide destination for “Christmas at Biltmore.” By day, the rooms of Biltmore House shimmer, beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, ribbons, garlands and thousands of twinkling lights. In the evenings, flickering candlelight, glowing fireplaces and live music transport you back in time to the first Vanderbilt family Christmas in 1895. On display through Jan. 8. Link
Riverbanks Zoo — Stroll through a dazzling display of twinkling lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Open select nights through Dec. 30. Link
Tanglewood Park — See miles of lights and dozens of festive displays during the 31st season of “Festival of Lights” at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons. Open through Jan. 1. Link
WATCH: Charlotte Knights bring ice skating and snow tubing to Truist Field
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