Agenda Weekender: 45 cool things to do this weekend in Charlotte including Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne

Agenda Weekender: 45 cool things to do this weekend in Charlotte including Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne
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Working through your holiday bucket list? Let Lyft take care of the rides.

Lyft to any participating Charlotte brewery this weekend and show the bartender your receipt for a 50% off code for your ride home.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6

58. Cloudy. 10% chance of rain.

Food & Drink

Eight + Sand Grand Opening at 135 New Bern St.: They’re giving out free cookies and free hot chocolate from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to celebrate opening. They’ll also debut their new seasonal menu and brunch specials — plus festive holiday decorations will be up. 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Free. Details.

OMB’s Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend at OMB: OMB’s annual Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend is back with 40-plus vendors for you to shop from. Expect tons of lights, Gluhwein (spiced wine pronounced “Gloo-vine”), holiday music, hot cocoa, festive food, fire pits, and tons of beer. It’s open every Friday-Sunday from December 6-22. 4 p.m. Free. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker at Belk Theater: One of the most beloved holiday traditions in the city, the “Nutcracker” is a Christmas classic that never gets old. The show runs Friday-Sunday, with the last show on December 23. 7:30 p.m. $25+. Details.

Experience

Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge: 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. But you can pay $1 to vote for your favorite house, with all proceeds benefitting Levine Children’s Hospital. All day. Free. Details.

McGill’s Winter Wonderland at Rosie’s Wine Garden: They’ve got lights, hot chocolate, and s’mores now through December, plus you can still purchase the usual wine and beer. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots if you’re feeling generous. 4-10 p.m. Free. Details.

WinterFest at Carowinds: They’ve got a 70-foot tree, 5 million twinkly lights, live shows, performers all around, and festive hands-on activities — plus some of the usual rides. Festive deal: I’m a sucker for reusable cups, so I’m eying the $12 WinterFest mug which gets you free hot cocoa the first time + $1 refills after. 5-10 p.m. $20+. Details.

Winter Wonderland at SouthPark Mall: The open-air ice rink has returned for another season. If you have your own skates, it’s $12 for two hours and it’s $17 for two hours of skating and skate rental. Santa will be there 5:30-7:30 p.m. to read books, lead sing-a-longs, and get your Christmas list. 3 p.m. to midnight. $12-$17. Details.

The Polar Express Train Ride at N.C. Transportation Museum: I remember the first time I saw “The Polar Express” in theaters and I’m not sure I’ve experienced greater magic. So treat your inner child (or actual child) to a holiday train ride. Rides are every weekend, Friday-Sunday, from mid-November through December. 4 p.m. $37 kids, $43 adults. Details.

Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe, 6500 S New Hope Road, Belmont: Stroll through the gardens and see a mile of lights. Roast a marshmallow by a crackling fire, shop, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus (select nights), and listen to holiday music, too. 5-9 p.m. $14.95+. Details.

Whitewater Center Ice Skating at U.S. National Whitewater Center: This new ice skating rink includes 17,000 square feet of ice on the Upper Pond of the whitewater river, and it’ll have three areas (free skate, winter sports and a 600-foot ice trail). The skating area will also have a skate-up bar where you can buy craft beer, hot chocolate, and coffee. While you’re there, check out the half-mile walking trail of holiday lights. $20 for single activity pass. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Details.

Holiday Light Trail at USNWC: This isn’t your average holiday light show. Artist Meredith Connelly created tons of immersive light installations inspired by nature that line the half-mile walking path. 6-10 p.m. Free, $6 for parking. Details.

Charlotte Christmas Village – Christkindlmarkt at Corner of 7th Street & North Tryon Street: The annual European-inspired Christmas Market is back. Expect the usual speciality foods, Glühwein in a souvenir village mug, cider, hot chocolate, vendors, photos with Santa, and holiday performances. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. Details.

The Roaring 20s Holiday Ball at QC Social Lounge, 300 N. College St., #105: Put on your best Gatsby costume for a night of entertainment, music, craft cocktails, and dancing at QC Social Lounge. 6-11:30 p.m. $40-$75. Details.

Sports

ACC FANFEST at Charlotte Convention Center: Festivities include a 40-yard dash and passing accuracy station, live DJ, entertainment, photo ops, Battle of the Bands, and mascot appearances. 5 p.m. Free. Details.

Shopping

Vanguard Factory Sale at Vanguard Furniture, Conover: Get up to 70 percent off suggested retail prices at Vanguard Furniture Factory Sale. And get deep discounts at the Robert Abbey Fine Lighting Factory Sale, too. Cash only. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free to attend. Details.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7

51. Partly cloudy. 20% chance of rain.

Food & Drink

OMB’s Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend at OMB: OMB’s annual Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend is back with 40-plus vendors for you to shop from. Expect tons of lights, Gluhwein (spiced wine pronounced “Gloo-vine”), holiday music, hot cocoa, festive food, fire pits, and tons of beer. It’s open every Friday-Sunday from December 6-22. 2 p.m. Free. Details.

Birdsong 8 Year Anniversary Party! at Birdsong: To celebrate turning 8, Birdsong will have live music all afternoon, vendors, food, and of course lots of beer. If you want to skip lines, you can buy the $15 pre-sale package which gets you an anniversary pint glass and four beer tokens. All day. Free, $15 pre-sale bundle. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2019 at Spectrum Center: Plan to get chills listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform “Christmas Canon” and their other holiday classics live. 3 p.m. $49+. Details.

Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker at Belk Theater: One of the most beloved holiday traditions in the city, the “Nutcracker” is a Christmas classic that never gets old. The show runs Friday-Sunday, with the last show on December 23. 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. $25+. Details.

Tosco Music Holiday Party at McGlohon Theater: Tosco Music’s annual holiday concert is back to ring in the season with a community celebration of holiday music! More than a dozen performers will showcase diverse local and regional talent and an eclectic mix of musical genres. Expect holiday classics and traditional Christmas carols with audience singalongs throughout the night. 7:30 p.m. $16.50-$35.50. Details.

Experience

Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge: 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. But you can pay $1 to vote for your favorite house, with all proceeds benefitting Levine Children’s Hospital. All day. Free. Details.

McGill’s Winter Wonderland at Rosie’s Wine Garden: They’ve got lights, hot chocolate, and s’mores now through December, plus you can still purchase the usual wine and beer. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots if you’re feeling generous. Noon to 11 p.m. Free. Details.

WinterFest at Carowinds: They’ve got a 70-foot tree, 5 million twinkly lights, live shows, performers all around, and festive hands-on activities — plus some of the usual rides. Festive deal: I’m a sucker for reusable cups, so I’m eying the $12 WinterFest mug which gets you free hot cocoa the first time + $1 refills after. 2-10 p.m. $20+. Details.

Winter Wonderland at SouthPark Mall: The open-air ice rink has returned for another season. If you have your own skates, it’s $12 for two hours and it’s $17 for two hours of skating and skate rental. 11 a.m. to midnight. $12-$17. Details.

The Polar Express Train Ride at N.C. Transportation Museum: I remember the first time I saw “The Polar Express” in theaters and I’m not sure I’ve experienced greater magic. So treat your inner child (or actual child) to a holiday train ride. Rides are every weekend, Friday-Sunday, from mid-November through December. 4 p.m. $37 kids, $43 adults. Details.

Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe, 6500 S New Hope Road, Belmont: Stroll through the gardens and see a mile of lights. Roast a marshmallow by a crackling fire, shop, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus (select nights), and listen to holiday music, too. 5-9 p.m. $14.95+. Details.

Whitewater Center Ice Skating at U.S. National Whitewater Center: This new ice skating rink includes 17,000 square feet of ice on the Upper Pond of the whitewater river, and it’ll have three areas (free skate, winter sports and a 600-foot ice trail). The skating area will also have a skate-up bar where you can buy craft beer, hot chocolate, and coffee. While you’re there, check out the half-mile walking trail of holiday lights. $20 for single activity pass. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Details.

Holiday Light Trail at USNWC: This isn’t your average holiday light show. Artist Meredith Connelly created tons of immersive light installations inspired by nature that line the half-mile walking path. 6-10 p.m. Free, $6 for parking. Details.

Charlotte Christmas Village – Christkindlmarkt at Corner of 7th Street & North Tryon Street: The annual European-inspired Christmas Market is back. Expect the usual speciality foods, Glühwein in a souvenir village mug, cider, hot chocolate, vendors, photos with Santa, and holiday performances. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. Details.

Sports

ACC FANFEST at Charlotte Convention Center: Festivities include a 40-yard dash and passing accuracy station, live DJ, entertainment, photo ops, Battle of the Bands, and mascot appearances. 5 p.m. Free. Details.

2019 ACC Football Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium: Even if your team doesn’t make it to the championship, we’re all rooting for the ACC come time for the National Championship (right?). And the winner of the of the ACC Championship has won it all the last three of six years. 7:30 p.m. $41-$256. Details.

Shopping

Mistletoe Market 2019 at Camp North End: Shop from 30-plus local vendors, roast marshmallows by the fire, warm up with a holiday movie at the German-inspired beer haus, see a parade of dogs in sweaters, and indulge in some holiday fun. 5-10 p.m. Free. Details.

Vanguard Factory Sale at Vanguard Furniture, Conover: Get up to 70 percent off suggested retail prices at Vanguard Furniture Factory Sale. And get deep discounts at the Robert Abbey Fine Lighting Factory Sale, too. Cash only. 7 a.m. to noon. Free to attend. Details.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

53. Partly cloudy. 10% chance of rain.

Food & Drink

OMB’s Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend at OMB: OMB’s annual Weihnachtsmarkt Weekend is back with 40-plus vendors for you to shop from. Expect tons of lights, Gluhwein (spiced wine pronounced “Gloo-vine”), holiday music, hot cocoa, festive food, fire pits, and tons of beer. It’s open every Friday-Sunday from December 6-22. Noon. Free. Details.

Arts & Entertainment

Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker at Belk Theater: One of the most beloved holiday traditions in the city, the “Nutcracker” is a Christmas classic that never gets old. The show runs Friday-Sunday, with the last show on December 23. 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. $25+. Details.

WDAV’s ‘Small Batch’ featuring Callisto Quartet at Free Range Brewing: Your $12 ticket includes a limited edition pint glass filled with a beer and a seat to see the award-winning Callisto Quartet live. 4 p.m. $12. Details.

Experience

Gingerbread Lane at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge: 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. But you can pay $1 to vote for your favorite house, with all proceeds benefitting Levine Children’s Hospital. All day. Free. Details.

McGill’s Winter Wonderland at Rosie’s Wine Garden: They’ve got lights, hot chocolate, and s’mores now through December, plus you can still purchase the usual wine and beer. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots if you’re feeling generous. Noon to 7 p.m. Free. Details.

WinterFest at Carowinds: They’ve got a 70-foot tree, 5 million twinkly lights, live shows, performers all around, and festive hands-on activities — plus some of the usual rides. Festive deal: I’m a sucker for reusable cups, so I’m eying the $12 WinterFest mug which gets you free hot cocoa the first time + $1 refills after. 4-10 p.m. $20+. Details.

Winter Wonderland at SouthPark Mall: The open-air ice rink has returned for another season. If you have your own skates, it’s $12 for two hours and it’s $17 for two hours of skating and skate rental. Santa will be there 3:30-5:30 p.m. to read books, lead sing-a-longs, and get your Christmas list. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. $12-$17. Details.

The Polar Express Train Ride at N.C. Transportation Museum: I remember the first time I saw “The Polar Express” in theaters and I’m not sure I’ve experienced greater magic. So treat your inner child (or actual child) to a holiday train ride. Rides are every weekend, Friday-Sunday, from mid-November through December. 4 p.m. $37 kids, $43 adults. Details.

Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe, 6500 S New Hope Road, Belmont: Stroll through the gardens and see a mile of lights. Roast a marshmallow by a crackling fire, shop, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus (select nights), and listen to holiday music, too. 5-9 p.m. $14.95+. Details.

Whitewater Center Ice Skating at U.S. National Whitewater Center: This new ice skating rink includes 17,000 square feet of ice on the Upper Pond of the whitewater river, and it’ll have three areas (free skate, winter sports and a 600-foot ice trail). The skating area will also have a skate-up bar where you can buy craft beer, hot chocolate, and coffee. While you’re there, check out the half-mile walking trail of holiday lights. $20 for single activity pass. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Details.

Holiday Light Trail at USNWC: This isn’t your average holiday light show. Artist Meredith Connelly created tons of immersive light installations inspired by nature that line the half-mile walking path. 6-10 p.m. Free, $6 for parking. Details.

Charlotte Christmas Village – Christkindlmarkt at Corner of 7th Street & North Tryon Street: The annual European-inspired Christmas Market is back. Expect the usual speciality foods, Glühwein in a souvenir village mug, cider, hot chocolate, vendors, photos with Santa, and holiday performances. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Details.

Fitness

Rí Rá 5K Santa Run at 208 N. Tryon St.: Don’t miss Charlotte’s only all-Santa race. Your ticket includes a Santa suit, holiday cookies, and a post-race pint. All profits from the race will benefit the Charlotte Irish American Center (CIAC), a nonprofit, multipurpose cultural and sports facility. 1 p.m. $40. Details.

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