christmas1. Christmas Tree Lightings and Parades

Kick off the holiday season with fun Christmas parades and tree lightings!

Thursday, December 5: Uptown Tree Lighting (5:30 PM)

Friday, December 6: Rock Hill Christmas Parade (6:30 – 9:00 PM)

Saturday, December 7: Christmas in Downtown Monroe (6:00 – 9:00 PM)
Fort Mill Christmas Parade (11:00 AM)
Pineville’s Tree Lighting (6:30 PM)

2. ChristmasVille

As mentioned on Tuesday, Rock Hill’s fantastic annual celebration is back and happening THIS WEEKEND, December 5th – 8th.

3. ACC Championship & Belk Bowl

OK, maybe not Christmas-y exactly, but Charlotte hosts two big college football games annually.  This Saturday, December 7th, brings the Duke Blue Devils and Florida State Seminoles to town for the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game.  The Belk Bowl will be here on December 28th, pairing a team from the ACC with a team from the American Athletic Conference.  Even if you’re not going to the games, there’s always plenty for the fans beforehand – like the ACC Night of Legends on Friday, and FanFest on Saturday afternoon.

4. The Nutcracker Ballet

Nothing says “Christmas” quite like a performance of the Nutcracker.  Catch it one of two ways – as performed by the NC Dance Theatre (December 13th – 22nd) or the Charlotte Youth Ballet (December 6th – 8th).

5. The Singing Christmas Tree

Be sure and see the 59th annual performance of the Singing Christmas Tree, as performed by Carolina Voices.  Shows are December 14th and 15th, with a special Singing Christmas Tree for kids on December 14th.

6. The Santa Train

Visit the NC Transportation Museum for a chance to ride the rails with Santa and his Elves; or visit the Roundhouse for cocoa and cookies with the big guy himself!

7. Leonard Bearstein Symphony

Visit Leonard and his animatronic Bear orchestra at Founder’s Hall for a free 45-minute program covering Christmas favorites like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

8. Christmas at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

With more than 600,000 lights illuminating the gardens, a spectacular 16-foot Orchid tree on display, hot chocolate, music and a visit from Santa, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is truly magical this time of year.

9. Christmas at the Library

Continually named one of the top events in the south, Christmas at the Billy Graham Library offers so much for families to do and enjoy – a live nativity, horse-drawn carriage rides, petting zoo, carolers and much more.

10. Holiday on Ice

Uptown’s popular outdoor ice skating rink is back, situated at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Brevard, by the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Enjoy a fun night of skating under the stars, with a beautiful view of Charlotte’s skyline.

11. Christmas Town USA

The town of McAdenville, NC is covered in lights (over 375 trees are decorated!) and is a sight to be seen.  Don’t miss the Yule Log Ceremony on December 13th.

12. Christmas at the Biltmore

Heading to Asheville for the weekend?  Don’t miss the Biltmore this time of year, beautifully decorated in eye-popping holiday decor.  While there you can enjoy music, freshly made gingerbread (and other tasty sweets), and the majestic candlelight evenings.