Soooooo much family fun is on deck this week – Menorah and Christmas tree lightings (and a lighted boat parade – whuuut?!), Happy Birthday to Charlotte, art tours, winter wildlife and more.


SOUTHPARK MALL – Caring Santa 12/2 & 12/9

December 2 from 9:30-11 a.m. and December 9 from 8:30-10 a.m. Caring Santa is a private event designed for children and young adults with special needs and their families to have an opportunity to visit Santa and have their photos taken. SouthPark will make necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event. The event will be held during private mall hours in Center Court. In order to provide a calmer sensory-friendly environment, families are asked to enter the West Plaza Entrance between The Container Store & California Pizza Kitchen. Guests can register in advance on Eventbrite.


StoneCrest Menorah Lighting

Monday, December 3, 5:00 p.m.

Witness the lighting of a gigantic ice menorah while enjoying music, fun activities for the kids, latkes and donuts.



CLT 250 Anniversary Celebration
Uptown Charlotte

Monday, December 3, 11:30 a.m.

Marking the official anniversary of the city’s founding 250 years ago; enjoy fun activities at libraries, schools and the Square at Trade and Tryon. And, yes there will be cake.



Downtown Mooresville’s Holiday Light Spectacular
Town Hall Lawn

Monday, December 3 – 31

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats throughout the evening.



Winterland Express and Celebration of Lights
Village Park, Kannapolis

Tuesday, December 4 – 30, 6:00 p.m.

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights, Santa visits, marshmallow roasting and more. Train and carousel rides cost $2; most other activities are free.



Speedway Christmas
Charlotte Motor Speedway

Tuesday, December 4 – 31, 6:00 p.m.

Holiday light displays illuminate one of the world’s most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light show. New this year is a 50-foot Ferris wheel in the infield village area.



Signing Santa
Northlake Mall

Tuesday, December 4, 9:00 a.m.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing children are welcomed to see Santa at this special event and sign their wish lists using American Sign Language. Each child gets one free photo and treat-filled goodie bag. Lunch will be provided, as well. Interpreters will be on-site during this private event.



Belmont Christmas Parade

Tuesday, December 4, 3:00 p.m.

Marching bands, professional floats, decorated vehicles of all descriptions and a wide assortment of other entries parade through downtown Belmont.



A Christmas Story: The Musical
Ovens Auditorium

Tuesday, December 4 – 9

Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.



Michael Sherrill Retrospective Exhibit
Mint Museum Uptown

Wednesday, December 5 (through April 7)

The Mint Museums is free on Wednesday evenings. Experience the delicately rendered sculptures of Michael Sherrill as he seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.



A Homeschool Christmas at Latta Plantation
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

Thursday, December 6, 10:00 a.m.

Learn about early American Christmas traditions in the Latta house. Smell open-hearth Christmas baking in the kitchen, and visit the farm animals. Children can make a Christmas craft to keep.



Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne
The Ballantyne

Thursday, December 6 – 26

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.



Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show at Phillips Place in South Park
Phillips Place

Thursday, December 6 – January 3, 6:30 p.m.

The Hampton Inn and Suites at Phillips Place is transformed into a six-story canvas with dramatic digital 3-D holiday effects. Also enjoy a special visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, holiday stilt walkers and elves, goodie bags for the first 300 kids per show, balloon artist, facepaintings and 100% chance of snow. Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots Charlotte.



Cocoa with Santa
Cornelius Art Center

Friday, December 7, 10:00 a.m.

Meet Santa, and make ornaments, paintings and more.



Pajama Storytime and Activities Featuring The Polar Express
Barnes and Noble, Morrison Plantation

Friday, December 7, 6:00 p.m.

Join us for this beloved Christmas story featuring a young boy who is welcomed aboard on a magical trip to the North Pole where he gets to make his Christmas wish. Get free hot chocolate and a cookie from our Café, and don’t forget to wear your favorite cozy pajamas.



South End Gallery Crawl
South End Galleries

Friday, December 7 (through February 1), 5:00 p.m.

The South End Gallery Crawl is a signature neighborhood event that happens on the first Friday evening of every month. Individual gallery hours vary.



Tweetsie Christmas
Tweetsie Railroad

Friday, December 7 – 29, 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more. Advance tickets required.



Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)Weihnachtsmarkt: Christmas Market
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Friday, December 7 – 15

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s annual Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market, will feature vendors, food, spiced wine, world-class beer and plenty of holiday cheer.



Spelling 2-5-5
Wells Fargo Playhouse

Friday, December 7 – 16

Simon is a terrific speller, but Simon’s brother, Jake, who has autism, unwittingly reveals he is also a gifted speller in a way that’s uniquely his. Sibling rivalry takes center stage as Simon faces choices about his role as the protective big brother and his desire to win the televised spelling bee.



Clara’s Trip: A Cirque and Dance Nutcracker Story
Booth Playhouse

Friday, December 7 – 9

Clara LeBlanc trips at a holiday party and is whisked off to the hospital to learn that her ankle is broken. That night her friends and get-well gifts swirl in her dreams. This show is the perfect family event during the holiday season.



Huntersville Half Marathon and Huntersville Holiday 5k
Birkdale Village

Saturday, December 8, 8:00 a.m.

The Huntersville Holiday 5k is now going to be held on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The Huntersville Half Marathon will remain on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. With this change it will allow runners to have the option to do both events if they are up for the challenge.



1st Annual Charlotte Children’s Business Fair
Spirit Square – Blumenthal Performing Art

Saturday, December 8, 10:00 a.m.

At this pop-up market, participants will be given a chance to promote their own service or product; support child entrepreneurs of all ages as they launch their very own start-up businesses.



Holiday Trees for Wildlife
Wing Haven

Saturday, December 8, 10:00 a.m.

Celebrate the season by creating edible ornaments for wildlife, crafting take-home ornaments, taking in a holiday scavenger hunt, listening to seasonal stories and enjoying festive refreshments.



Super Saturday: Holiday Harps
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center

Saturday, December 8, 2:00 p.m.

Harpists from the Charlotte Symphony Guild will play holiday music, and audience children will be invited to play on the harps in-between select pieces.



Winter Backyard Birds
Reedy Creek Nature Center

Saturday, December 8, 3:00 p.m

Learn about the backyard birds that call Mecklenburg County home for the winter.



Lighted Boat Parade
The Peninsula Yacht Club

Saturday, December 8, 5:00 p.m.

The 22nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade is a lake-wide event that is open to the public. Santa arrives via fireboat at 6:00 p.m. with the parade to follow.



Tosco Music Holiday Party
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square

Saturday, December 8, 7:30 p.m.

This special holiday family event features holiday classics, traditional Christmas carols, songs about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and singalongs.



Animal Tracks
Discovery Place Nature

Saturday, December 8, 12:30 p.m.

Winter is a great time of year to observe signs left by animals. Learn about animal tracks, and make a print to take home.



Magical Morning: A Sensory-friendly Santa Experience
NASCAR Hall of Fame

Sunday, December 9, 8:00 a.m.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame has teamed up with Autism Charlotte to create Magical Morning, a sensory-friendly event for families living with autism or other special needs. Each child can meet Santa in a calming and quiet atmosphere. Pre-scheduled Santa times allow for little to no waiting. Participants can also watch a Christmas movie in the theatre with the lights up and the sound down.



Sensory Storytime
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library

Sunday, December 9, 3:00 p.m.

This story time is filled with stories, songs and activities specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues or other developmental disabilities.



Teddy Bear Tea
The Westin

Sundays, December 9 + 16, 11:00 a.m.

Bring teddy for high tea with bottomless mimosas for adults, a special kids menu, tea sandwiches and a festive dessert display. Also enjoy private pictures with Santa, story-time with Mrs. Claus, a fully stocked cookie decorating station and an ornament craft station. Every child can adopt a Build-A-Bear Teddy Bear before leaving. Make your reservation via phone or email.


*Images sourced from Facebook/ website of events listed or free sources.