CHARLOTTE – Winter is right upon us, and so is winter break. This year, things are looking as normal as our “new normal” can be with social distancing and the use of masks along with a few other precautions. This holiday season has a ton of activities and happenings around the area. Whether you are looking for time to spend with the whole family or a date with someone special, the holiday spirit is here to celebrate.
Undeck the Hall at the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a special event that gives guests an opportunity to select a unique gift from decorated trees. Each gift is NASCAR-themed: appeal, gear, autographed souvenirs, and much more. New to the event this year is an activity where you can design and build a new race car. During the experience, participants get to explore what it is like to be a pit crew member along with learning how to create energy. This and other experiences are throughout the hall; plus, do not miss a photo op with Disney·Pixar’s Lightning McQueen. The event is held on December 28 and 29 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Information is available at https://www.nascarhall.com/plan-a-visit/events/undeck-the-hall.
Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway returning for its 12th year is one of those activities that is just unforgettable. The event is presented by Continental Tire and Tire Pros. It features more than four million lights along a 3.75 mile course that is a remarkable sight to see. The creative displays are synchronized to Christmas-themed music. The show is open from Friday, November 19, through Sunday, January 16 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Purchase online passes and find route information at https://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/events/speedway-christmas/.
Zootastic Park Christmas Wonderland of Lights will be celebrated from now through January 1. The days include Sunday through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm along with Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The experience includes a drive thru with over 4 million lights on display, and at the end of the tour, a special greeting from Santa. Along with Santa there are other photo ops that include a baby kangaroo. Included with the experience is a fun event that allows you to roast marshmallows and enjoy hot cocoa along with train, carousel, and pony rides. Fill your night with magic: to plan your experience visit http://www.zootasticpark.com/christmas-wonderland.html.
Carowinds’ Taste of the Season is a special event held by one of the best amusement parks in the area. The holiday celebration is a food festival that allows participants to enjoy a sample of tempting treats and create magical memories. It is an outdoor experience that will leave your taste buds as happy as the smiles on the faces of the whole family. To reserve your spot today visit https://www.carowinds.com/events/taste-of-the-season.
Festival of Trees at Stowe Park and Historic Downtown Belmont will be celebrating its 4th year. It is an event that allows you to take a stroll through Stowe Park to enjoy the decorated trees all around. Businesses along the route participate in decorating, making the experience truly a sight to see. They have even created an app to download to enhance the experience and give information about each tree. Go to https://www.cityofbelmont.org/festival-of-trees to learn more.
Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker is a great way to enjoy an outing at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Performance dates include December 3 through the December 23 with showings available on Saturday in the afternoon and evening. This is an unforgettable experience that is a magical journey that you do not want to miss. To purchase tickets visit https://www.blumenthalarts.org/events/detail/the-charlotte-ballets-nutcracker.
Polar Express at the NC Transportation Museum is one of the most magical experiences of the season. It is inspired by the holiday hit movie and brings it to life right before your eyes. The magical trip around the North Pole includes hot cocoa and cookies that are enjoyed along the ride. During the experience, participants can enjoy a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic, The Polar Express. When passengers disembark the train at the North Pole, they’ll have an experience they won’t forget with Santa where he presents the first gift of Christmas. Then when the ride is complete each passenger who BELIEVES will get their very own sleigh bell. More information and ticket sales can be found at https://www.nctransportationmuseum.org/the-polar-express-train-ride/.