Here are 10 “Small Town” Holiday Events to Escape to This Weekend

Think the Holiday Hustle and Bustle have gotten too commercial and crowded? Yearning for a little Bailey Family Christmas a la Bedford Falls? While we don’t know where you’ll find the angel Clarence this weekend, we did search around for some small town holiday events within driving distance if you want to make a family getaway.

(If you just want to enjoy It’s A Wonderful Life, without leaving the area, head to the Matthews Playhouse this weekend for their production of everyone’s favorite Christmas tale)

McAdenville Yule Log Parade and Ceremony
Thursday, December 10. 5:30 to 6 pm

While known for their Festival of Lights / Christmas Town USA, “another Christmas Tradition in McAdenville is the Yule Log Parade, an event that began in 1950. Each year, residents and visitors follow the Yule Log 
which is pulled by children on a sled through 
town to Legacy Park located on Elm Street in downtown McAdenville.
Once the log is positioned in the open fireplace it is ignited.  
Following the lighting of the Yule Log, the Christmas Town Festival will begin.The festival is a fun night for all, filled with music of the season provided by area schools and church choirs entertainment will continue until 8:45 P. M. And yes…Santa will be in attendance too.

A Classic Christmas in Mooresville
Friday, December 13, 6 – 8 pm

A Classic Christmas in Mooresville will bring you Santa Visits, Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, a Life Size Snow Globe, Victorian Carolers, Ice Skating, Petting Zoo, Unique Shopping & Dining, Hot Cocoa, Popcorn, Cotton Candy, S’mores, Crafts & more.

  • Wagons load & unload at the Mooresville Christian Mission (266 N. Broad St.), a donation of non-perishable food items or cash is suggested.
  • Santa will be in JF Moore Park at the corner of Main St & Center Ave., along with traditionally lighted Christmas Trees.
  • Ice Skating*, Petting Zoo, S’mores, Hot Chocolate & a Craft will be found off of Center Avenue near 132 E. Center Ave.
  • Popcorn, Cotton Candy, 3D glasses & many other treats will be found along Main & Broad St., Center & Moore Ave.
  • Life Size Snow Globe will be on Moore Ave. near Main St.
  • Fees:
    Ice Skating: $5 per person (4 & under free)
    S’mores Kit: $1 per kit
    Hot Chocolate $2

Salisbury Santa, Grinch & Antique Fire Trucks
Saturday, December 14 10 AM – 3:30 PM

Spend the day in downtown gathering first at Gateway Park (corner of Depot & E. Innes St.) for photos with Santa and the Grinch from 10am to 1pm. Then, enjoy free rides on antique fire trucks with Santa and the Grinch from 1:30p.m. to 3:30pm.

Albemarle Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 14 10:30 am

Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Albemarle at the Albemarle Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14th. Parade starts at 10:30 am; parade route runs through First, Second, and South Streets. While you’re Downtown, be sure to keep warm with a hot beverage from one of our eateries, and shop our retail stores for last-minute gifts. PARADE WILL TAKE PLACE RAIN, SNOW OR SHINE!

Concord’s Holiday Happenings
Saturday, December 14 11 AM – 2 PM

Head to Downtown Concord for a festive day of holiday cheer. Free horse-drawn wagon rides for young and old, alike. Children can participate in a Gingerbread Candy Hunt where they visit participating businesses along Union Street collecting edible decorations to create a gingerbread house to take home. Cost of Gingerbread Candy Hunt is $10 per child – reservations strongly suggested (limited time slots available). Register online: Pre-registration will end at noon on Friday, December 13. Any remaining spots will be sold on a first come, first serve basis at check-in. Event is rain or shine (candy stops are indoors).

China Grove, Christmas in the Grove
Saturday, December 14 5–9 PM

5th Annual Christmas in The Grove, December 14th, 5pm-9pm. Sledding, hot chocolate, horse drawn wagon rides, petting zoo, caroling, ornament making, cookie decorating and lots of other fun activities. The organ students from the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and Salem College will give 2 concerts at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 5pm and 7pm. Downtown shops will be open late. Presented by Farm Bureau Insurance China Grove

Kannapolis Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 14 at 6 pm

Kannapolis holiday festivities continue with the 81st Annual Cannon Pharmacy Kannapolis Christmas Parade on Dec. 14, 2019. Starting at 6 p.m., the parade begins at the intersection of Main St. and Dale Earnhardt Blvd. Thousands come out each year for this event, so make sure you get your spot early

Kannapolis Winterland Express & Celebration of Lights
Through December 30

The Winterland Express train runs every evening from November 24th – December 30th (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 6-9 p.m., Sundays – Thursdays, and from 6 – 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays. Ride the train thru the park, enjoy over 250,000 Christmas lights, make s’mores and more. Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free; tickets to ride the train and carousel are $2 per person per ride. Again, this year, kids of all ages will be able to visit Santa in his studio each night. The park will also feature performances from the Kannapolis Singing Bears, who will entertain the family with a 30 minute Christmas Carol performance each hour on the hour. On various nights local community groups and musicians will perform your favorite Christmas songs. Children will also have an opportunity to create ornaments and engage in the children’s zone.

Camp Wesley Walk Thru Bethlehem
Friday & Saturday, December 13 & 14

An outdoor, interactive Christmas drama, a lively, interactive, family friendly Biblical-era  ~ walk thru drama and marketplace with activities, food and music. Admission is free. The marketplace offers snacks and beverages for sale. Parking is available on the property. The event is held outdoors, so please dress warmly.  Walk Thru Bethlehem is a FREE event and operates by donated materials and funds.
Camp Wesley is centrally located between Mooresville, Kannapolis, Davidson and Salisbury between Hwy 3 and 152. 

Midland NC A Christmas to Remember at Midland Farms
Saturday, December 14, 4 – 8 pm

Ticketed Event. From fun games & crafts to a live Nativity Scene and the sharing of the Christmas Story, this will be an event you surely do not want to miss. As the sun goes down, embrace the beauty of a wonderful light display throughout Midland Farms. Be sure to visit our farm store, complete with great souvenir gifts and farm raised products. Our goal is to make this a “Hallmark” Christmas for you and your family this season

Bonus: Ride the Polar Express
Daily thru 12/22/19

All Aboard” The Polar Express at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C. Inspired by the run-away hit movie, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express.

Set to the music of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then enjoy singing, dancing, and a reading of The Polar Express. 


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