Whether you’re planning to stay in or venture out, there are plenty of ways to get in the holiday spirit this weekend. From a drive-thru Santa experience to festive concerts you can stream from home, here are 30+ things to do this weekend.
OPENINGS TO EXPLORE
Botiwalla Indian Street Grill – Open now with Grand Opening Dec. 17
Botiwalla Indian Street Grill will follow up its popular Atlanta location with a new spot in Optimist Hall. They’re open now from 11 am – 4 pm and then will begin regular hours on Dec. 17 11 am – 9 pm every day. What’s on the menu? Try their lamb burgers, grilled chicken, lamb, and paneer wrapped in naan with fresh herbs and more flavors inspired by Indian street food and Irani cafes.
Steak 48 – Opening Dec. 18
A new steakhouse promising a “modern update to the classic American steakhouse experience” will open in the heart of SouthPark on Friday, December 18. Steak 48, which also has locations in Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia will boast 11,500 square-feet for dining, including dining suites with view of the exposed kitchen through floor to ceiling glass walls. Find them at 4425 Sharon Road within the new mixed-use development Apex SouthPark.
Kounter – Open now
Kounter, a new spot brimming with Civil Rights history, opened on Dec. 15 in Rock Hill. The kitchen is run by Rock Hill native Chef Rob Masone, and features the same counter where in 1961, the “Friendship Nine” staged a sit-in at the then-segregated lunch counter. Menu highlights include a few favorites from Chef Masone’s Kre8 Twisted Eats like the Kre8 Crisps, as well as creative takes like chicken and waffle sushi and upscale American dishes including seared scallops and lobster gnocchi.
Rice & Spice Thai Street Food – Open now in South CLT
Visit or grab takeout from Rice & Spice Thai Street Food, new to South Charlotte. In addition to chef’s specialties like the Phucket Delight (pictured), the menu features a variety of popular Thai and Vietnamese dishes inspired by Chef Peter Sripan’s childhood and training at the Thai Royal Culinary School and experience working alongside the chef of The Royal family. Options include Fried Rice, Wok-Fried Noodles, Noodle Bowls, Curries and more street food favorites. Find them at 8314 Pineville-Matthews Road, Suite 901.
We try to screen each entry below to make sure safety protocols are in place. If the venue or situation doesn’t look like safe to you, please avoid it and let us know as we will discontinue promotion. Please use safe or even overly safe practices if you do go to a gathering…masks on, hands washed or sanitized frequently, glasses or sunglasses when possible, and maintain plenty of distance.
12 Beers of Christmas
Dec. 14 – 26 | D9 Brewing Company
Get your own cup of holiday cheer at D9 Brewing Company, where they’ll be releasing an exclusive holiday beer every day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Each beer will only be on tap for one day so start your planning now!
Tacky Sweater Run at NoDa
Dec. 16 | 5:30 pm | NoDa Brewing Company
Don your best (or worst!) holiday sweater for this staggered start run along 1, 3 or 5 mile routes. Loop back to the brewery for post-run beers.
Skyline Drive-In: Elf
Dec. 17 | Camp North End | 7 pm
Don’t miss the next edition of Skyline Drive-in, where Camp North End transforms into a 60-car drive-in movie theater. This time, they’ll be showing the holiday favorite, Elf. Tickets are $30 per car with a portion of proceeds benefiting organizations including Crisis Assistance Ministries, Salvation Army Center of Hope, Second Harvest Food Bank and Roof Above.
Night Out at Mint Museum Uptown
Dec. 18 | 6-9 pm
Plan a Friday night out at Mint Museum Uptown to hear live music from the Bradford Ray Bailey Duo while you tour the galleries. Be sure to reserve your timed ticket in advance.
Drive-Thru Santa Experience
Dec. 19 | Blakeney Shopping Center
This Drive-Thru Santa Experience will feature socially-distanced visits with Santa along with festive entertainment from his helpers. Along the route, fun stilt walking elves, juggling acts, big brass live jazz music, and acrobatic entertainers will be sure to dazzle your family car side. $10 per car. Ticket proceeds benefit Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center.
A Grinch-y Christmas
Dec. 19 | 11 am | Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios: Charlotte Quail Corners
Looking for a fun way to get the kids in the holiday spirit? In this cooking mini-camp, they’ll learn to make a number of festive bites, including Grinch Kabobs with Grinch Smoothies, Roast Beast Sliders and Grinch Cookies.
Communities in Concert with The Darrin Jackson Encounter
Dec. 18 | Camp North End
Hear The Darrin Jackson Encounter live at Camp North End at this Communities in Concert performance presented by Music Everywhere CLT. Free and open to the public.
Moonlight Movies: The Grinch
Dec. 19 | METROPOLITAN | 5 pm
At the Metropolitan, the whole family can enjoy a meet or greet with The Grinch, popcorn, cookies, Grinch-inspired masks, festive tunes and a screening of The Grinch. All proceeds benefit Levine Children’s Hospital.
Dec. 20 | 11 am | Brewers at 4001 Yancey
Wrap up this not-so-great year with a Grinch inspired menu, beer specials, ugly sweater contest, exclusive glassware and more.
Dec. 22-23 | 7th St. Public Market
Finish up your shopping with a market featuring several local businesses. The first 25 shoppers 21 and up will receive a free mini bottle of bubbly. Validated parking for up to 90 minutes.
Birdsong Brewing Beer Dinner
Dec. 22 | 6:30 pm | Queen City Craft and Gourmet
Indulge in breakfast for dinner as Queen City Craft and Gourmet and Birdsong Brewing Co. team up for a beer pairing dinner featuring five courses and five brews. Call 980.339.5610 to reserve your seat.
Book your own Theater Tour or Ghost Tour
Looking for something new to enjoy over the holidays? Book a private theater or ghost tour for up to 10 people supporting Blumenthal Performing Arts. New dates and times have been added throughout the month of January. Learn more about theater tours here and ghost tours here.
Broadway in Lights Ornament Design Contest
Through Dec. 17
Let your creativity and holiday spirit shine by entering the Blumenthal Broadway in Lights Ornament Design Contest. Create your own Broadway-themed ornament and submit a photo of your masterpiece for the chance to win gift card prizes.
Country 103.7’s Country Christmas Concert
Dec. 16 | 8 pm
Settle in at home to listen to Country 103.7’s “Country Christmas Concert” to benefit Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Expect performances by Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice, Jimmie Allen, Runaway June and more.
JAZZ ROOM Holiday Edition
Dec. 18 | 8 pm
Tune in to Facebook Live or YouTube Live to enjoy this annual tradition at home featuring the festive sounds of JAZZ ROOM favorites and reimagined holiday classics. This benefit concert supports JazzArts Academy scholarships, local musicians and upcoming JazzArts virtual programs. A $10 donation per person is requested from those who are able to give.
An Intimate Evening with an R&B Powerhouse
Dec. 18 | 6 pm
Livestream this soulful concert by 13-time GRAMMY-nominee, singer, actress and songwriter Ledisi as she performs songs from her new album, “The Wild Card.”
Experience the classic album in the spirit of The Vince Guaraldi Trio in person at Middle C Jazz or livestream the performance led by Charlotte native, Sean Mason.
Jim Brickman presents Comfort & Joy at Home
Dec. 20 | 1 pm
Round out your weekend by streaming a live concert experience featuring Grammy-Nominated Songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman as he performs classic holiday carols and festive original hits in a benefit for the Blumenthal. Proceeds from each ticket purchased to the live event will benefit Blumenthal Performing Arts.
Cookie Decorating Essentials
Dec. 22 | 7 pm
Prep your holiday dessert table by learning how to craft custom decorated sugar cookies from self-taught cookie decorator and owner of Oakwood Cookie Co, Taylor Whitworth. $24.
Holiday Crêpes from Scratch
Dec. 22 | 7 pm
Learn how to whip up a French culinary favorite in this SkillPop class taught by Chef Rosana. You’ll learn the tips and tricks of making crêpes as well as how to make two special sauces to accompany them.
South End Small Business Saturday(s) – Last ONE!!
Dec. 19 | The Design Center | 10 am – 3 pm
This season, Small Business Saturday isn’t limited to just one day. Pop-up vendors will join the South End retail scene every Saturday from November 28 to December 19 to make your holiday shopping a breeze.
Run Run Rudolph
Choose from a 5K or 10K route in this “virtual” race where you run on your own and upload your distance and time. The first 100 participants will receive a custom Run Run Rudolph Christmas ornament, and all participants will receive a 2020 Run Run Rudolph hoodie.
Explore new neighborhoods, public art and particular pathways of Charlotte that can only be discovered on foot through digital walking tours (plus additional content!) from the team at OrthoCarolina and Sustain CLT. Watch their Instagram and Facebook pages for updates and simple ways to join #WALKCLT.
Letters to Santa Uptown
Thursdays – Sundays, December 3 – December 19
Trade and Tryon at Bank of America Plaza
Starting December 3rd, children of all ages will have the opportunity to drop off letters to Santa in a designated mailbox (provided by Lowe’s) at the heart of Uptown Charlotte at Trade and Tryon at Bank of America Plaza. Once a child places their letter into the interactive mailbox, they will hear music and a special message from one of the Santa’s elves. Each child’s letter will be read and each child will receive a response from the North Pole. A holiday attendant will host the mailbox during operational hours. Stationery, envelopes and pens will be available for letters to be written on site but please feel free to bring your own letter from home. Just make sure that the return address is listed so each child can receive a response! Masks and social distancing are required when visiting the mailbox.
Letters to Santa
Through Dec. 19 | Blakeney Shopping Center
Santa might be social distancing this year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get snail mail. Visit the North Pole Mailbox on the Village Green at Blakeney along with your return address to receive a special surprise from the Big Man himself.
University City Night Market Week 4
Dec. 19 | Shoppes at University Place | 6-9 pm
University’s family-friendly, open-air marketplace continues this week with local vendors, small businesses and live entertainment. All events are open to the public and free to attend for all ages.
Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) at OMB
Weekends through Dec. 20 | Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Experience the Annual Olde Mecklenburg’s Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) weekends through December. Social distancing guidelines, masks and temperature checks help keep the environment safe.
Ongoing event | METROPOLITAN
Celebrate the season with over a month of festive activities including the VTGCLT pop-up shop, Letters to Santa and the Metropolitan Merry Midtown Market this weekend. Other events include holiday movie screenings and photos with Santa.
Charlotte Christmas Village
Nov. 27 – Dec. 23 | Truist Field
The Charlotte Christmas Village returns this year with a partnership with the Charlotte Knights and a new home at Truist Field. Enjoy unique shopping and a traditional European menu including bratwurst, schnitzel, strudel, gluhwein, hot cider, beers, and hot chocolate. There is ticketed admission to the stadium to create the safest environment possible for guests. Starting Thursday, December 10, the event will expand with Light the Knights, a new walkthrough holiday experience at Truist Field featuring tens of thousands of lights.
Gingerbread Lane at the Ballantyne
Dec. 4 – Dec. 27 | The Ballantyne Hotel
Visit The Ballantyne to experience the annual display of gingerbread creations from Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 27. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. All proceeds benefit Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Masks are required for all participants and social distancing will be observed.
3rd Annual Festival of Trees
Nov. 30 – Jan. 3 | Downtown Belmont
In Downtown Belmont and Stowe Park, see community decorated trees as part of the Third Annual Festival of Trees. The festival kickoff will immediately follow the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 30 when participants can stroll from City Hall to Stowe Park and enjoy caroling and other special treats.
Charlotte Motor Speedway | Through Jan. 17
The 11th edition of Charlotte’s spectacular drive-through light show features more than 4 million lights over a 3.75-mile course that includes most of the oval as well as the infield. New this year, bring the family for ice skating at The Rink at Speedway Christmas and cozy up to FOX 46 WJZY Movie Nights on the giant Speedway TV every Thursday-Sunday.
N.C. Transportation Museum In Lights: A Drive Thru Experience
N.C. Transportation Museum | Various dates through Dec. 30
Head to the N.C. Transportation Museum for a holiday light show guests can enjoy from the safety of their own cars. Along the 1.25-mile route, see the museum’s historic structures and antique railroading equipment, and enjoy socially-distanced photos with Santa, s’mores and a visit to the gift station.