Of course it’s too early but now you can plan ahead.
The city’s largest holiday shopping event celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Location: The Park Expo & Conference Center, 800 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte NC 28205
Date: Daily November 9 – 19
Time: Sunday – Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: $3 kids 6-12, $9.50-$12 adults
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens will transform into a winter wonderland with more than 600,000 lights and illuminated displays aglow throughout the grounds. They’ve also got live music performances, a holiday gift shop and activities for kids.
Location: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont NC 28012
Date: Daily November 17 – December 31 (closed Christmas Day)
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Price: $8.95 kids 2-12, $13.95 seniors 60+, $14.95 adults (buy online to save $2)
10,000 gallons of water turn NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza into an ice rink throughout the holiday season.
Location: NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28202
Date: Opens for the season November 17 at 5 p.m.
Price: $10 admission, $14 admission + skate rental
The classic children’s book comes to life with a magical train ride to the North Pole. The interactive show last about 70 minutes and passengers receive hot chocolate, a sweet treat and a silver bell souvenir.
Location: NC Transportation Museum, 411 S. Salisbury Avenue, Spencer NC 28159
Date: November 17-18, 24-26; December 1-3, 8-10, 14-22
Time: Trains run 4-8:30 p.m. Check the schedule here
Price: $30-$40 kids, $36-46 adults
Knock out your holiday gift buying with 60+ of the region’s best vintage and handmade retailers setting up shop at The Fillmore. They’ll also have coffee and food vendors on site to keep you charged.
Location: The Fillmore, 820 Hamilton Street, Charlotte NC 28206
Date: November 18
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Price: $7 early bird entry at 10 a.m., $2 general admission
Location: Bank of America Stadium, corner of Mint and Graham Streets
Date: November 22
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
The annual tradition celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.
Romare Bearden Park becomes a European-inspired Christmas market with food and gift vendors, live performances and plenty of Glühwein, a warm spiced wine.
Location: Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Mint Street, Charlotte NC 28202
Date: November 23 – December 24
Time: Open daily at 11 a.m.
Small Busines Saturday is the local response to big box retailers’ Black Friday mayhem. South End will be celebrating 200+ local businesses with self-guided maps, pop-up markets and free trolley rides throughout the district.
Location: South End
Date: November 25
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Shop handmade pottery, jewelry, quilts, clothing, candles and more from 150+ artisan vendors at the gorgeous Dairy Barn at Anne Springs Close Greenway.
Location: Anne Springs Close Greenway, 288 Dairy Barn Lane, Fort Mill SC 29715
Date: November 25
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Price: $5 parking per vehicle
Take a self-guided walking tour through the most beautifully decorated private homes in Charlotte’s quaintest neighborhood. You’ll find carolers, bell ensembles and horse-drawn carriage rides along with tasting stations and free samples at select stops. Hands down one of my favorite Charlotte traditions.
Location: Fourth Ward
Date: December 1-3
Time: 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday
Soul Food Sessions, a pop-up dinner series spotlighting black chefs, is back with a holiday blow out featuring food stations from 12 chefs, four craft cocktails and live music from Groove 8. Proceeds benefit Soul Food Sessions’ scholarship program.
Location: Project 658, 3646 Central Avenue, Charlotte NC 28205
Date: December 8
Time: 7-11 p.m.
The Ballantyne hosts an annual gingerbread house competition for amateurs, pros and kids. The houses will be on display most of December and are free to view. Bonus: Stop by between 2-5:30 p.m. 12/8-27 for a spiked hot chocolate, cider or or spiced wine at Veranda for the grownups. Or schedule a Holiday Afternoon Tea in the lobby (available Tuesday-Sunday in December from 1-4 p.m.; $49 for adults, $29 for kids).
Location: The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, Charlotte NC 28227
Date: December 7-27
Time: Any time
Price: Free; visitors can make $1 votes for their favorite houses with all proceeds benefitting Levine Children’s Hospital
A traditional German-inspired Christmas market with dozens of local vendors and plenty of beer.
Location: The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road, Charlotte NC 28217
Date: December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16
Time: 4-9 p.m. Fridays and 2-9 p.m. Saturdays
Put a dent in your gift list at dozens of women-owned businesses set up at Sugar Creek Brewing. Don’t want to deal with crowds? Buy a preview ticket for $25 and shop the night before with a maximum of 100 other shoppers.
Location: Sugar Creek Brewing, 215 Southside Drive, Charlotte NC 28217
Date: December 9
Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Price: VIP early entry $10 9 a.m. – noon; free general admission 12-5
The classic holiday performance features fresh sets and costumes debuted in 2016.
Location: Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28202
Date: December 9-23
Header photo of Holidays at the Garden via Facebook