Guest Post brought to you by Dara Brewton:
Dara is a blogger, mother, and wife…not always in that order. She can be found at her Charlotte family-lifestyle blog, like sara but with a d, when she isn’t too busy making lists!
Charlotte, NC is a fantastic place to visit any time of year, but during the holidays it can be truly spectacular. There are so many fun things to do and see for visitors of all ages (or for those of us that live here!) I have compiled a pretty extensive list here for those of you that might find yourself passing through:
No holiday celebration could be complete without an easy stroll (or ride) through Christmas Town USA! McAdenville, NC is just a few exits south of Charlotte on 85 but feels like it is million miles away from an urban area. The tiny town consists of only a few miles of roads, but during the month of December it turns into a winter wonderland! The town itself decorates the trees, light posts, and public buildings, and nearly all of the resident’s take part by decorating their own houses and yards. The lights are on 7 days a week starting at 5:30 from Dec 1-26. There is no fee/admission to view the lights, but the line can get excessively long so plan accordingly.
Want a view with a little more…speed? Drive the 3.7-mile course of the Charlotte Motor Speedway to view the more than 3 million lights on display! Your admission also includes fun family activities like a petting zoo and pictures with Santa. The speedway is open nightly in December, except for Christmas day. This line can also be a bit daunting but they do offer express passes for an upcharge.
Another great way to enjoy some magical lights is at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The Holiday in the Garden celebrations start in November and last through the New Year! The garden is decorated with over 600,000 lights, and Santa is on site to visit with the children on the weekend days. There is also live music, carriage rides, marshmallow roasting, and a model train display to enjoy.
It is probably a Christmas crime to not see the Nutcracker at least once in your life, and lucky for us Charlotteans, The Charlotte Ballet with a little help from the Charlotte Symphony puts on a production every year!
In the heart of Uptown Charlotte you will find an outdoor ice-skating rink! The rink is only there for a short time each year (hey! This is the south!), but it is a popular favorite for kids and adults!
The Leonard Bearstein Symphony is Charlotte tradition! The animatronic bear orchestra performs several times daily at Founders Hall during the holiday season. They play various Christmas songs in 45-minute sets throughout the day, and it is pretty cool and only a little creepy.
For about a month, Romare Bearden park in Uptown Charlotte is transformed to a quaint European village market each and every weekend. There are food vendors, family activities, live performances, hand-made items for sale, and visits from Santa!
Another uniquely Charlotte holiday experience is the Singing Christmas Tree from Carolina Voices. They have been putting on this show for over 60 years. The tree stands 32 feet tall and holds 100 singers. It is a holiday spectacular!
So now that you know all about our holiday celebrations, when are you coming for a visit?!?
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