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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And here Charlotte North Carolina, we know how to celebrate. From magical light displays to festive holiday markets, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season. So whether you’re looking for some family fun or a romantic evening out, check out our list of the top 10 things to do this holiday season around Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

1. Southern Christmas Show: Expect 450-plus merchants selling crafts, holiday decor and, yes, there’s an entire room where you can sample wine from NC vineyards. Insider tip: don’t leave the show without a warm cone of Bavarian Roasted Nuts.

2. Charlotte Christmas Village: The Charlotte Knights aren’t only about baseball. The Charlotte Christmas Village and Light the Knights will transform Truist Field with holiday light displays, decorated trees, and a delectable selection of European fare. Can you taste the bratwurst, schnitzel, and sauerkraut? A walk through the Christmas Village to shop for handmade ornaments, holiday decor, and jewelry. Save room for some Glühwein, a traditional mulled, spiced wine served in Germany and throughout Europe during the holidays. The Village Bakery serves authentic Bavarian hot pretzels, strudel, and Kinderwein—the kid’s version of Glühwein.

3. The Nutcracker Ballet: The Charlotte Ballet returns to Belk Theater December 3-23 for a beloved holiday tradition — the Nutcracker Ballet! Travel with Clara on a whimsical journey to the magical kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other characters include Fritz, Clara’s naughty younger brother, the mischievous Mouse King, and, of course, The Nutcracker. This is one of those iconic Charlotte holiday events you just can’t miss. Tickets run from $25 – $114. Times vary with performances at 2:30, 7:00, and 7:30 pm.

4. Carowinds Winterfest: Carowinds introduces WinterFest, an all-new immersive holiday entertainment tradition, opening this Friday, November 24. WinterFest transforms the park into a winter wonderland adorned with more that five million holiday lights, a 70-foot Christmas tree and festive décor displayed throughout the park. WinterFest activities include a tree lighting nightly, live holiday shows and strolling performers, ice skating, up to 16 family rides, a special holiday menu and falling snow. WinterFest will be open select evenings through December 30.

5. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Christmas Market: For four weekends in November and December, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will transform into a German-inspired Christmas Market, known as Weihnachtsmarkt. OMB Christmas Market features vendors selling gifts and baked goods from open-air booths

6. Ice Skating at Whitewater Center: Starting November 11, the US National Whitewater Center turns into a winter wonderland! For the third year in a row, try ice skating at their Whitewater Pond.

7. See the Lights at Christmas Town USA: McAdenville, a tiny 600-person town located less than 30 minutes west of Charlotte, transforms into Christmas Town USA. Residents set up more than 500,000 lights creating a citywide display that attracts national attention — it’s been going on for 64 years.

8. The Ballantyne Hotel [Gingerbread Lane]: Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vote for your favorite gingerbread house with a $1 minimum donation to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital from December 3-26. Hot chocolate is available for purchase from the Gingerbread Hut.

9. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve and Other Stories: A one-of-a-kind, high-energy concert experience arrives at the Spectrum Center on December 11! This year Trans Siberian Orchestra celebrates 25 years of success with their landmark album Christmas Eve and Other Stories. Their tour stop in Charlotte includes two shows.

10. The Fourth Ward Holiday Sip & Stroll: Nothing brings out the holiday spirit like a stroll through Charlotte’s Historic Fourth Ward. A self-guided tour takes you to some of the neighborhood’s beautifully decorated Victorian-era homes. Walkable streets make it easy on your feet. Throughout the walking tour, you’ll sample tasty holiday foods and beverages and listen to live seasonal music. Make sure to take a carriage ride!

Whether you’re looking for family fun or a romantic evening out, Mecklenburg County has something for everyone this holiday season! So make plans now to check out our top 10 things to do this holiday season in Charlotte NC!

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