Agenda Weekender: 75+ things to do this weekend, including Panthers football, holiday markets and multiple ugly sweater parties

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Show off your best ugly Christmas sweater to your Uber driver this weekend.
Use code CLTAgenda17 for $20 off your first ride.
(And for a quick bite, try out UberEATS with code CLTAGENDAEATS to get $5 off your first two orders.)


Weekend Forecast

Friday: 50. Partly cloudy. 0% chance of rain.
Saturday: 53. Mostly sunny. 0% chance of rain.
Sunday: 55. Afternoon showers. 50% chance of rain.

Friday, December 15

Food & Drink

Holiday Tea at The Ballantyne: Enjoy a selection of seasonal teas and tea sandwiches, desserts and live entertainment. Tuesday through Sunday until December 31. 1-4 p.m. $29-$49. Details.

Hot Chocolate, Cider & Toddies at The Ballantyne: Get cozy with the season’s warmest drinks. 2-5:30 p.m. through December 27. Details.

Cookies, Cocoa and the Polar Express at Coffee Cone Café: Get festive with $1 treats and a screening of the classic holiday film. 7-10 p.m. Free. Details.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at The Rogue: Rock your ugliest holiday sweater and party with drink specials, a $50 raffle giveaway and more. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

Holiday Sweater Party at The Brickyard: Dress to impress for a chance to win their creative sweater contest, plus enjoy 2 DJs and and $5 holiday shots. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

Christmas Vacation at Blackfinn Ameripub: Celebrate Christmas National Lampoon-style with a DJ and specialty cocktails. 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Details.

Ugly Sweater Party at Fox & Hound: They’ll have a crowd-judged Ugly Sweater Contest karaoke, an antler toss and other festive activities. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

Experience

Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden: Bask in the glow of more than 600,000 lights spread across the grounds while you shop, enjoy live music, roast marshmallows and let the kids loose on the Holiday Discovery Trail. 5-9 p.m. daily through December 31. $0-$14.95. Details.

Charlotte Christmas Village at Romare Bearden Park: Enjoy mulled wine, warm doughnuts and German pastries while you shop 29 vendors. See the full Agenda guide here. Thursday through Sunday until December 24. Free. Details.

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Drive under 3.5 miles of 3,000,000+ lights before visiting the Christmas Village and enjoying a movie on the Speedway TV. 6-10 p.m. daily through December 31. $20-$175. Details.

Weihnachtsmarkt at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: Shop 40+ vendors at the 6th annual German-style Christmas market, complete with wooden huts, mulled wine and more. See the full Agenda guide here. Friday and Saturday. Free. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker at Belk Theater: Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping candy canes and the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy. Through December 23. Details.

Les Misérables at Ovens Auditorium: If you haven’t seen the Broadway masterpiece yet, now is your chance. Friday (8 p.m.), Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 & 7 p.m.). $25+. Details.

A Soulful Noel at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square: This original musical performance reminds us of the true reason for the season, starring Grammy-nominated group The Hamiltones. Friday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.). $20. Details.

Bechtler By Night at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: An on-staff art teacher will lead you through an hour-long painting activity of a winter scene while you sip on a Holiday Mule. 5-9 p.m. Free. Details.

Super Muslim Comedy Tour at Booth Playhouse: Spend an evening laughing with a league of super funny Muslims from across the country 6-9 p.m. $20. Details.

Handel’s Messiah at Knight Theater: The Charlotte Symphony Chorus will perform a grand and passionate Messiah. 7:30 p.m. $20. Details.

Bowties and Bitterness Improv – The Reunion Show at Charlotte Comedy Theater & Training Center: Founder Keli Semelsberger will be teaming up with Senior Cast member Jack Davis in a 2-person show that promises to be dark but witty. 8-9:30 p.m. $12. Details.

Ragbag Productions with Stray Cat Sideshow at Petra’s: Enjoy sideshow performances and plenty of PBR. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. $7. Details.

Shopping

Sip ‘n Stroll The Boutiques at Ballantyne Village: Enjoy a bubbly beverage and a special discount at Cheeky Bean, Nouveaux Couture Consignment and GoldKloth Boutique. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Details.

Christmas Market at Sycamore Brewing: They’ll have over 30 vendors, live Christmas music by The Clydes, food trucks, special beer and hot cider releases and an appearance from Santa. Be sure to bring a cash or toy donation to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte. 5-10 p.m. Free. Details.

Find + Covet Holiday Party at Covet Atelier: They’ll have a gift box bar where you can customize a curated gift box with Carolina-made goodies, a wreath making station and plenty of festive refreshments. 6-9 p.m. Free. Details.

Holiday Sip ‘n Shop at Bold Missy Brewery: Come get last minute gifts while you support local female-owned businesses. 7-9 p.m. Free. Details.

Do Good

Charlottean of the Year Ceremony at Levine JCC: Help welcome Charlottean of the Year 2017 and Oasis Guest Speaker Dorothy Counts-Scoggins. 10-11 a.m. Free. Details.

Kids

The Polar Express Train Ride at the NC Transportation Museum: This interactive show lasts about 70 minutes and comes complete with a sweet treat, hot chocolate and silver bell. Through December 22. $30+. Details.

Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne Hotel: Check out the hotel’s immense display of beautifully decorated gingerbread houses. Vote for your favorite with a $1 vote, with proceeds benefitting the Levine Children’s Hospital. Every day through December 27. Free. Details.

Woodland Wildlife at McDowell Nature Preserve: Kids can get up close and personal with the animals and predators of North Carolina. 1:30-2:30 p.m. $5. Details.

Candy House Construction at Free Range Brewing: They’ll provide all necessary supplies and clean up the mess afterward, so all you have to do is show up and get creative. 4-7 p.m. $15. Details.

The Wacky, Tacky, Cackalacky Ugly Sweater Party at Carowinds: Wear an ugly sweater for discounted admission to WinterFest. If you’re extra proud of your sweater, you can enter their contest for a chance to win a four pack of 2018 Gold Season Passes. 5-10 p.m. $20. Details.

Fitness

Box and Brew at The Unknown Brewing Company: Take a break from the holiday stress with a fun workout where you’ll learn proper boxing technique, then cool down with a beer afterwards. 7:30-8:30 p.m. Details.

Sports

NBA Basketball at Spectrum Center: Cheer on the Hornets as they take on the Miami Heat. 7 p.m. $15+. Details.

Saturday, December 16

Food & Drink

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day at Charlotte Regional Farmers Market: Two stands will be passing out free samples of chocolate covered bacon while the rest highlight all things chocolate covered. Yum. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Details.

A Second Year of Friends and Beer at Legion Brewing: Celebrate the brewery’s 2nd anniversary with brunch, a toy drive and plenty of limited beer releases. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Free. Details.

Sexy Santa Party at Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery: Receive $5 off an appetizer if you bring a toy to donate. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

3rd Anniversary Party at Rhino Market and Deli: Enjoy pourovers, a tap takeover, live music and plenty of vendors to celebrate three years of business. 12-5 p.m. Free. Details.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Group Screening at Buffalo Wild Wings: Enjoy food, prizes and the film with fellow Jedi enthusiasts 12-6 p.m. Free. Details.

Founders CBS Tapping at The Brass Tap: Try a glass of the ultra-rare beer, made with chocolate, coffee and maple syrup bourbon barrels. 12-10 p.m. Free. Details.

4th Annual Chili Cook Off at The Unknown Brewing Company: Put your own chili recipe to the rest – or just indulge in unlimited samples before voting on your favorite. Proceeds will benefit Purple Heart Homes. 2-6 p.m. $10. Details.

4 Courses with Meridith Leigh at Heirloom Restaurant: Meet the meat guru herself and have the opportunity to get your copy of The Ethical Meat Handbook or Pure Charcuterie: The Craft & Poetry of Curing Meats at Home signed in house as you enjoy a 4-course meal. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $55+. Details.

British Christmas Party at Jackalope Jack’s Restaurant & Bar: Enjoy a full spread of mince pies, sausage rolls and more accompanied by live music, karaoke and cider. 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

Tacky Sweater Party at Helles & Dunkel: They’ll have Blue Moon, Fireball and Tito’s on special to help you get the courage to participate in a costume contest with prizes. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Details.

Home Alone in Charlotte at Kanvas Gallery and Lounge: Celebrate the holiday season with some 90s nostalgia in the name of charity. Expect small bites, drinks and plenty of raffle prizes. 10% of proceeds will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte and Queen City Unity. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $6-$15. Details.

Experience

Repticon at Cabarrus Arena & Events Center: Experience the area’s only premium reptile and exotic animal show. Saturday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). $10+. Details.

Holiday Magic Jubilee at The Arboretum Shopping Center: They’ll have face painting, trackless trains, horse carriage rides and, of course, Santa. 6-8 p.m. Free. Details.

Christmas Hickory Tavern Car Meet at Hickory Tavern: Take a look at cool cars while you enjoy food and cold drinks. 6-11 p.m. Free. Details.

Learn Things

Holidays at the Homesite at Charlotte Museum of History: Learn how the holiday season was celebrated in the Carolina Backcountry, complete with demonstrations, tours and games. 12-4 p.m. $10. Details.

Mixology with Bob Peters at Earl’s Grocery: Bob, of Punch Room fame, will be mixing up and teaching you how to make cocktails to help you celebrate (and get through) the holidays. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Free. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

Scrooge Winter Showcase at The Ballroom at Quail Hollow: Experience the classic holiday tale like you’ve never seen before. Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.). $40. Details.

Holiday Caroling at NoDa Bodega: Enjoy evening of caroling in your ugliest sweaters. 6 p.m. Free. Details.

Tis the Season: Holidays from Around the World at Dana Auditorium: Come hear familiar carols and traditional seasonal selections from around the world, as well as more contemporary works inspired by the holiday season from professional and amateur musicians. 7-10 p.m. Free. Details.

Shopping

Super Flea at NoDa Company Store: Shop art, jewelry, comics, records and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Details.

NoDa Starving Artist Market at Canvas Tattoo & Art Gallery: Shop great vendors – and get some new some ink while you’re at it. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Details.

Jingle Jam & Holiday Arts Market at The Third Place: Enjoy live music all afternoon, shopping and food and drink. 1-8 p.m. Free. Details.

Holiday Sip and Shop at Foxcroft Wine Co.: Sample 15+ fine sparkling wines while you check off the rest of your gift list. 2-5 p.m. $5. Details.

Holiday Extravaganza at Swarovski: They’ll have refreshments, stylists on hand and a gift-with-purchase promotion 3-8 p.m. Free. Details.

Do Good

Santa Paws with Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks at Lucky Dog Bark & Brew Charlotte: Show up in your holiday best for pictures with Santa, provided by Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue and free with a donation. You must be 21 and over and all dogs must be fixed, friendly and current on vaccinations to come play. 1-4 p.m. Free. Details.

Kids

Teddy Bear Tea at The Westin: Kids will enjoy a high tea (with bottomless mimosas for the parents), tea sandwiches and dessert, plus a cookie decorating station and a Build-A-Bear teddy bear to take home. Saturday and Sunday, 12-3 p.m. $28-$55. Reserve your spot by calling 704-335-2103 or e-mailing Stephanie Hunt.

Think It Up Challenge: Paint a City at Discovery Place Science: Use conductive material to light up a town in this engineering activity. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Included in admission. Details.

Donuts with Santa at RiverGate Shopping Center: Hang out and enjoy a balloon artist, music, crafts with Santa’s helpers and more. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Free. Details.

Gingerbread Story Time at Sas Cupcakes: Let your kids enjoy a fun story before decorating a few graham cracker houses and christmas cupcakes. Pre-registration required. 10:30-11:15 a.m. $5. Details.

Visit with Santa at 9704 Mallard Creek Road: The Coalition for Cultural Compassion is celebrating diversity and the spirit of the season with hot chocolate, festive music and kids’ crafts and activities. Stick around for a live performance of the Nutcracker at 1 p.m. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Details.

Kids’ Sugar Plum Brunch at Amélie’s French Bakery Uptown: Enjoy brunch, tea, lemonade, desserts and mimosas for the adults plus a Nutcracker ballerina performance, storytelling, Santa, ornament making and more. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $25 per child, $40 per adult. Details.

Fitness

Healthy UCity Race Series: Run Run Rudolph 5k & 10k at University Research Park: Beyond the race, enjoy a fully stocked hot chocolate bar and a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Charlotte Running Co awarded to the best dressed male and female runner. A portion of each registration will be given to the Dirt Diva’s Project Angel. 8 a.m. $30-$50. Details.

Santa Run 8K and Snowman Dash at Romare Bearden Park: Run through Uptown as Santa, an elf or a reindeer and cool down with a stroll through the Christmas Village. 9-11 a.m. $45 (includes a costume). Details.

David Shannon 5K & Fun Run at Myers Park High School: Come run a 5k or 1-mile route on the trails followed by music, a photo booth, games and more. The Breakfast Food Truck will be on site for post-run fuel. 10 a.m. $15+. Details.

We Believe Santa 5K at The US National Whitewater Center: Jog through the trails in your best santa costume for a chance to win a look-a-like contest. 12-1 p.m. $37. Details.

Sunday, December 17

Food & Drink

NFL Sunday at Craft City Social Club: Cheer on the Panthers while you enjoy $3 domestics, $5 craft beers and 2-for-1 BBQ ribs. 11 a.m. Free. Details.

Brunch at Red Clay Ciderworks: Enjoy cider-based cocktails, PepperBox Doughnuts and breakfast from the Breakfast Food Truck. 12-3 p.m. Free. Details.

Black & Blue Blaze Tailgate at Blue Blaze Brewing: Enjoy discounted pitchers, lawn games, s’mores, fire pits and a 12-foot projection of the game. 12-8 p.m. Free. Details.

Double Door Inn Anniversary Party at Neighborhood Theatre: The Double Door Inn may be no more, but that doesn’t mean its 45th anniversary should go uncelebrated. They’ll have 3 live bands and a showing of the documentary made about the iconic establishment. 7 p.m. $10. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

The Charlotte Singers at The Ballantyne Hotel: Enjoy the festive sounds of The Charlotte Singers in the lobby. 4-5 p.m. Free. Details.

The Nutcracker: Remix at Dana Auditorium: Enjoy the range of styles, including jazz, contemporary and tap, that The Charlotte Performing Arts Academy will bring to the classic holiday story. 5 p.m. $15. Details.

Shopping

Holiday Market at Charlotte Art League: Shop over 30 local vendors to complete (or add to) your holiday shopping list. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Details.

Last Minute Holiday Market at Crown Station: Shop local vendors, take in some art and warm  up with some coffee cocktails. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Details.

Do Good

Donations for Libations Toy Drive at Abari Game Bar: Donate a toy and receive a complimentary beverage while you listen to live music and watch holiday moves. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Donation-based. Details.

Fitness

Power Yoga at Athleta: Tiffany Sneed will be teaching Carolina Yoga’s signature C3 Power Flow. BYO yoga mat, water bottle and towel. 9 a.m. Free. Details.

Sports

Hockey at Bojangle’s Coliseum: Watch the Checkers take on the Laval Rocket. 1 p.m. $18+. Details.

NFL Football at Bank of America Stadium: Cheer on the Panthers as they take on the Green Day Packers. 1 p.m. $90+. Details.

We’re excited for…

16th Annual Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium: The champions of the ACC and SEC divisions will face each other at Bank of America Stadium for the 16th year in a row. December 29.

Science on the Rocks: Wizarding World at Discovery Place Science: Embrace the magic of Hogwarts and try your hand at games like Quidditch Ping Pong and test your knowledge with TriWizard Trivia. Enjoy a Butterbeer Slushie, Chinese Fireball popcorn and Bertie Bott’s Ever Flavor Beans plus a Wizards Duel Costume Contest. Adults only. January 19. 

Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour: The 4th Annual Kitchen Tour is a 6-home, self-guided tour and features the latest in kitchen design, plus tasting by local chefs, youth orchestra performers and more. March 16-17.

See all the upcoming events here.

Cover photo via The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.
Alivia McAtee contributed to this story.

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Kylie Moore
Writer doubling as a travel, wine, and Oxford Comma enthusiast.