If there is one thing I’ve always loved about the holiday season, it’s piling in the car and going to see holiday light displays. No matter if it’s at the Speedway or tucked into a residential neighborhood, my husband and I make it our annual tradition to see as many displays as possible and challenge ourselves to find new ones each season. So lucky for you we’ve scoped out the best and brightest (literally) 2017 Christmas Lights for you to enjoy this December. We’ve included the big ones AND our favorite residential displays, so keep scrolling through!
Holiday Lighting Events
Holidays at the Garden – Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Dates: November 17th – December 31st, 2017
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont, NC
Get into the holiday spirit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The garden is transformed into a winter wonderland, with more than 600,000 lights and illuminated displays, along with live music, model train displays, roasted marshmallows and holiday shopping at The Garden Store.
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Southern Breezes Carriages will also be providing horse-drawn carriage rides from 5:30 – 8:30pm Thursday through Sunday evenings until December 31.
Zootastic Park’s Christmas Wonderland of Lights
Dates: Now through January 1
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$7.00 per person.
448 Pilch Road, Troutman, NC, 28166
Enjoy a Christmas Wonderland of Lights at the zoo! There are photos with Santa and baby animals, pony rides, tiger feeding, s’mores, and a petting zoo.
Celebration of Lights & Winterland Express
Date: Now through 12/30
Time: 6 – 9 PM Sunday – Thursday and 6 – 10 PM Fridays & Saturdays
Cost: Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free; tickets to ride the train and carousel are $2.00 per person per ride
Celebrate the holidays all month long in Kannapolis with the Celebration of Lights. The Celebration of Lights takes place at Village Park nightly with over 250,000 lights, a carousel, and the Winterland Express.
You can roast marshmallows and make s’mores or visit with Santa in his studio. Stop by and watch a 30 minute performance from the Kannapolis Singing Bears each hour on the hour.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show at Phillips Place in Southpark
Dates: December 7, December 14 and December 21, 2017
Show times: 6:30pm and 7:30pm
6800 Phillips Place Ct, Charlotte, NC, 28210
The Hampton Inn & Suites at Phillips Place will be transformed into a 6 story canvas with dramatic digital 3-D holiday effects with 2 shows each night. Allong with the light show will be a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, holiday stilt walkers and elves, complimentary hot chocolate from Dean & Deluca and free goodie bags for the first 300 kids PER SHOW!
Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots Charlotte.
Dates: Now – Dec. 30, 2017 (select nights)
Cost: As Low As $25
Carowinds has transformed into a Winterfest for their inaugural holiday series, including more than 5 million lights, a 70-foot tree, lavish displays, live shows, strolling performers and special holiday dishes and desserts. Plus 16 rides will be open throughout the event. Don’t miss the cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, we’ve heard it’s great.
Christmas Town USA
Dates: Now through December 26
The small town of McAdenville has been transforming in Christmas Town USA for over 60 years now! Walk or drive the two-mile route at no cost and enjoy more than 400 decorated tree, festive wreaths, and of course, Santa and his sleigh.
Billy Graham Library Christmas
Location: 4330 Westmont Drive
Dates: Now through December 23rd
Times: Mondays through Thursdays, from 9:30am to 9pm, and Friday and Saturday, from 9:30am to 10pm. Closed Sundays. Christmas activities begin at 5pm.
Cost: Admission and parking is free
Enjoy a live nativity scene, along with Christmas light displays and carolers. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available through the light displays for an additional cost.
Dates: Now through December 31
The 3-mile Speedway Christmas and all-new Boulevard of Lights is one of the largest holiday light shows in the region with over 3,000,000 lights. The show offers a spectacular in-car light viewing experience and you can tune into 101.3FM to enjoy the holiday lights-to-music experience along the way. More than 30 stock car light displays will fill the front stretch grandstands, along with six giant stop lights. Other exciting attractions continuing this year will include a realistic-themed Bethlehem Village, a Festival of Trees, NASCAR souvenir rigs for Christmas shopping, marshmallow roasting pits, Santa’s workshop, photos with Santa, themed areas for children, food and music.
Building on the family-friendly holiday atmosphere, this year’s Speedway Christmas fans can sit in their cars and cozy up to movies on the giant Speedway TV every Thursday-Sunday. Movies will begin at 6:30 PM each night, with a second showing immediately after. Tune to 105.1 FM to listen to the movie in your vehicle.
Location: Harrison United Methodist Church, 15008 Lancaster Hwy, Pineville
Tradition show: 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Rocking show: 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Residential Christmas Light Displays
The residential holiday displays happen to be some of my favorites. My husband and I have an annual tradition of piling in the car, grabbing a hot latte and seeking out the newest or best displays in our area. Lucky for us, one of these happens to also be on our street each year.
By now everyone knows of the light orbs on Hillside Drive. But man do these neighbors do it bigger and better every single year. Word of advice: turn off your headlights and use the fog lights as you drive down the street and be sure to bring a few cans of non-perishable food items to donate (or donate cash). On the weekends donors get free hot chocolate!
Sherwood Forest Drive (off Colony Road)
I think everyone knows about the South Charlotte Santa and it’s easily one of my favorites each year. Each night Mr. Miller dresses up as Santa and hands out candy canes to the thousands of people who line up to see his light display. Even the neighbors have gotten in on the light action! Any donations go to the St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital.
Park Crossing Holiday Hayride – December 10th
One Sunday in December, the Women’s League of Park Crossing (located on Park Road near South Meck High School) holds a holiday hayride, complete with Santa and hot chocolate. The entire neighborhood gets involved, including lining the streets with luminaries and cranking up the lights.
After you enjoy the hayride, head across Park Road to Cameron Wood where you’ll find several families that do Christmas lights right. Each year the neighborhood hosts a contest for best light displays and these 3 homes duke it out for first place. 10223 Summer House Ct, 9103 Covey Hollow Ct, and 9245 Deer Spring Ln.
Location: 10223 Summer House Court, Cameron Wood
Accepts donations for Make-A-Wish
4026 Garden Oak Drive, Indian Trail, NC 28079
Brandon Oak Subdivision
Donations collected for The National Foundation for Cancer Research
1028 Fountainbrook Dr. Indian Trail, NC 28079
Accepts donations for Union County Christmas Bureau
1001 Sunnyview Circle Matthews, NC 28105
Callonwood Christmas House
1100 Arringill Lane
Stallings, NC 28104
Donations collected for Levine Children’s Hospital
Stafford Park Neighborhood, Keswick Lane, Rock Hill, SC
When: December 8-9
Providence Country Club
12725 Long Cove Rd,
Over 65,000 lights this year. This is the last year for this home, they are retiring and downsizing.
Location:1001 Rosewater Ln, Indian Trail, SC
Location: 15419 Hugh Mcauley Rd. Huntersville, NC
1417 Deer Spring Court, Indian Trail, NC
Accepts donations for Hemby Children Hospital
Neighborhood: Winding Walk, Concord
Send them a PM on Facebook for the exact address
Times: Sunday to Thursday – 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday – 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Villages of Denver
Location: 7661 Natalie Commons Dr. Denver, NC 28037
Show Times: December
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 9pm
Friday – Sunday: 5pm – 10pm
Bargar Family Lights
7829 East Berkley Rd. Denver, NC 28037
Fay Family Lights
7662 Natalie Commons Dr. Denver, NC 28037