15 things to do Thanksgiving weekend, including WinterFest, Sycamore’s South End Tree Lighting After Party and Small Business Saturday

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Holidays in the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden: Daniel Stowe’s annual Holidays in the Garden event kicks off this weekend and will run until Jan. 6, 2019. It includes about a mile of lights – some synchronized with music – a Christmas village display, visits from Santa and more. Explore the gardens and then sit by a fire pit to roast marshmallows and sip on something warm. 5-9 p.m. Varies. Details.

Black Friday Food Trucks at Blakeney: Food trucks will be available on-site at Blakeney Shopping Center for shoppers to enjoy during Black Friday. As select retailers open their doors at 6 a.m., The Breakfast Catering Company & Food Truck will be available to dish out breakfast fare while Rollin’ Roast Mobile Coffee Bar will provide coffee. The first 25 people to post on social media from the event with #ShopBlakeney will get free food from one of the trucks. 6-10:30 a.m. Free admission. Details.

Hoppy Holidays Release at NoDa Brewing Company: NoDa is releasing its holiday IPA and is celebrating with live music, the TIN Kitchen food truck and brewery tours. Hoppy Holidays has 6.5% ABV and is brewed with spruce for an extra festive flare. Noon to 10 p.m. Free admission. Details.

WinterFest at Carowinds: Expect more than 5 million lights, a 70-foot Christmas tree, live shows, performers, festive foods and more. You can also skate on Flake Lake for an additional cost or ride some of the 16 open rides. 5-10 p.m. Varies. Details.

Black Friday Blow Out at Resident Culture: Take care of your turkey hangover with $6 glasses prosecco and mimosas, music, 25 percent of Resident Culture merchandise and a can drop from their stash. Noon to 11 p.m. Free admission. Details.

That’s What She Said Improv Comedy Show at Charlotte Comedy Theater & Training Center: See this all-female comedy troupe perform live. 8-9:30 p.m. $10. Details.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Inaugural Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Ballantyne: Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with The Ballantyne at its inaugural tree lighting in the lobby while enjoying caroling, hot chocolate, cider and cookies and visiting with Santa. The complimentary event is a way to thank the community for its support and commemorate a monumental year for the hotel on the heels of its inspiring redesign. 5-6:30 p.m. Free. Details.

South End Small Business Saturday

South End Small Business Saturday at South End: There will be three pop-up markets where you can shop from local businesses and vendors. You don’t have to worry about driving from spot to spot, they’ve got a free shuttle to take you to each market. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. Details.

South End Tree Lighting After Party at Sycamore Brewing: After the 5:30 p.m. tree lighting at Atherton Mill, head to Sycamore to sip on seasonal brews or Wild Blossom Cider and lounge by the fire pits. Gyro Twins Truck will also be there. 6-11 p.m. Free admission. Details.

Santa’s Workshop at Blakeney: Get your photo taken with Santa and visit his workshop. 1-6 p.m. Free admission. Details.

Pie & Cider Pairing at Red Clay Ciderworks: Let the pros walk you through four different pairings of cider and pie. 7:30-9 p.m. $19. Details.

Small Business Saturday at Lenny Boy: Drink local beer while you shop from local artists and vendors. 1-6 p.m. Free admission. Details.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Hot Stuff Pop-Up Market: Holiday Edition at Petra’s: Shop from local vendors and artisans selling anything from pottery to kombucha. Lady Go-Go’s food truck will also be there, and there will be Bloody Marys and mimosas. 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. Details.

Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium: Cheer on the Panthers as they take on the Seahawks. 1 p.m. $62+. Details.

Pet Photos with Santa at SouthPark Mall: This is your last chance to bring your furry friend for photos with Santa. 7-9 p.m. Free. Details.

Header photo by Craig Neil McCausland and via Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

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