Holiday Bucket List for the Carolinas
‘Tis the season for getting out and having some fun! Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and start some new traditions when you try one or all of these festivities.
Holiday things to do in Charlotte
Dates: Nov 22nd – Dec 24th
Location: Corner of 7th Street & N. Tryon Street
Indulge in Austrian strudels, Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, glazed nuts, hand twisted pretzels, and gingerbread and wash it all down with hot mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate and alcoholic-free Glühwein in a souvenir village mug! Pay a visit to Santa on select days throughout the Village season and witness the Annual Uptown Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec 3rd!
Dates: Nov 22nd – Jan 5th
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Admission: $20-$50 per car depending on day
The 10th edition of Charlotte’s spectacular drive-through light show features more than 4 million lights over a remarkable,3.75-mile course
Location: U.S. National Whitewater Center
Admission: Single Activity Pass ($20), All Access Pass ($59 Day Pass; $219 Annual Pass)
Skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center. Skate up to the bar and sip on craft beer, hot chocolate, or coffee. Also at the Whitewater center, walk the half-mile trail that will lead you through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the forest.
Dates: Dec 6th – 23rd
Location: Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Head to the Charlotte’s Belk Theater for a magical evening of sugar plums and snowflakes set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score.
Dates: Now – Dec 22nd
Location: N.C. Transportation Museum
Admission: $37 kids, $43 adults
Inspired by the holiday favorite, the movie comes to life as you and your family take a magical trip on The Polar Express™ Train Ride! Wear your pajamas, sip on hot chocolate and munch on cookies served on board and join in on the magic of Christmas!
Holiday happenings in Greensboro/Winston Salem
Date: Dec 6th, 7:00pm
Location: Downtown Mebane
Witness the parade of 100 floats created by businesses, churches, car clubs, school groups and other fantastic participants and groups!
Dates: Dec 7th-8th, 12pm-4pm
Location: 293 East Front Street, Burlington, NC 27215
Walk through five homes on West Davis Street in the Historic District of Burlington, circa 1905 to 1935. This self-guided tour has volunteers stationed along the way to answer questions and point out interesting architectural and historical details. Check out the optional Brunch Package provided in partnership with Burlington Beer Works.
Dates: Dec 6th- Jan 26th
Location: Downtown Greensboro, 536 South Elm Street
Downtown in December features 5 different events: Festival of Lights, Holiday Parade, Santa at the Biltmore Hotel, Piedmont Winterfest, SantaCon Bar Crawl. With over 40 years of tradition, these events are sure to satisfy ever member of the family and get you in the holiday spirit all season long.
Dates: Now through December 28th
Location: Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Admission: Kids (free), Students ($16), Adults ($35)
Slow down during the Holiday season and stroll through downtown during this daytime, town-wide event that is great fun for the kids and the perfect place to buy handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list.
Holidays in Asheville
Dates: Now- Jan 5th
Location: The Biltmore Estate
Daytime Admission Pricing: $69 – $99
All tickets include self-guided tours of The Biltmore Estate, the gardens, Antler Hill Village with more lights, and the Winery for a complimentary wine tasting.
Dates: Now – Jan 4th
Location: The Omni Grove Park Inn
Admission: Free ($25/car parking fee)
Come see the amazing creations at the annual National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville.
Dates: December 7th, 10am
Location: Downtown Hendersonville
Kick off the Holiday season with this traditional hometown Christmas parade as it travels along Main Street from Five Points to Caswell Street. Sponsored by the Hendersonville Merchants & Business Association. This year’s theme is the “The Magic of Christmas”
Date: Dec 20th, 5pm- 8pm
Location: Historic Downtown Hendersonville
Take a festive hayride through Historic Downtown Hendersonville below the twinkling lights and holiday decorations.
Dates: Now- Jan 5th
Location: Tryon International Equestrian Center
Drive through an ultimate Christmas light show synchronized to holiday music. There are two miles of animated lights to the beautiful Tryon Resort. On weekend nights, you can visit the Winterfest Village and Santa’s House.
Holiday happenings in High Country
Dates: Thanksgiving Day – Christmas Eve.
Location: Christmas Tree farms in North Carolina
Start or continue your family tradition of finding the perfect Christmas tree this holiday season.
Dates: December 6th-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, & 27th-28th
Location: Tweetsie Railroad
Admission: Adults ($44), Children age 3-12 ($38), Children 2 and under (Free)
Take a magical ride on the nighttime train ride with light displays, visit Santa in his Gingerbread House, witness a live A Christmas Variety Show, and play in the Giant Snow Globes!
Dates: Now- Jan 31st
Location: Chetola Resort
A holiday tradition in Blowing Rock, the public is invited each year to enjoy thousands of dazzling lights throughout the resort.
Date: Dec 24th, 1-4pm
Location: Appalachian Ski Mountain
Come try to spot Santa on the slopes on Christmas Eve! Celebrate the holiday season on the snow at App Ski Mountain.
Holiday activities in Raleigh
Dates: Dec 8th, 15th, and 22nd from 12pm- 4pm
Location: The Carolina Inn
Explore the 60+ artisan displays throughout the festive market, sip on mulled wine and munch on hot pretzels at the first ever Holiday Market Bier Garten!
Dates: Dec 5th, 5:30pm
Location: Downtown Clayton
Parking Shuttle Price: One non-perishable food item for Clayton Area Ministries
Enjoy an evening of music, holiday cheer, a business open house, a live Nativity, train rides and a chance to see Santa!
Dates: Now- Jan 1st
Location: The Carolina Inn
Dates: Dec 10th, 7:30pm
Location: Memorial Hall
Enjoy seasonal music from The Polar Express and The Nutcracker, plus a sing along!
Holidays in Greenville
Date: Dec 5th-7th
Location: Greenville Convention Center
Admission: Adults ($6) Senior Citizens 60+ ($5) Children under 12 (free) Parking ($5/vehicle)
With over 350 vendors on-site during this 3 day fair, witness the Greenville Convention Center transform in a winter wonderland shopping experience!
Dates: Dec 7th, 6pm-7:30pm
Location: Downtown Greenville
For over 75 years, the Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade has attracted thousands of locals and visitors alike to view the holiday floats and activities! Come be apart of this classic Holiday tradition!
Dates: Dec 21st- Jan 26th
Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Admission: Adults ($8), Children, age 6 and under ($6), Skate Rental ($3)
Lace up your skates and enjoy a friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy ice skating while listening to music and socializing with family and friends. Get a free skate rental when you donate 5 canned goods or a case of water to assist STAGE partners, Loaves and Fishes and Habitat for Humanity.
Dates: Dec 7th & 14th
Location: Chimney Rock
Admission: Adult ($17), Youth ($8)
Come witness Santa Claus practice for his big night as he rappels down the Chimney at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then be available for visits and photos along with local poet, Eddie Cabbage, who will help kids put together their Christmas wish lists using his vintage typewriter and pieces of parchment paper.