Happy almost Thanksgiving Smarties! If you have guests this weekend there is a lot to choose from! Head out to the Carrousel Parade, do a little ice skating, head up to the speedway to take in the lights or take in the Nutcracker in Matthews. Giving thanks for all our city offers each and every day! Get out and enjoy.
Belk Carolina’s Carrousel Parade
November 25, 10:00am
Uptown Charlotte will be alive with award-winning marching bands; colorful floats; rhythmic step and drill teams; crowd-pleasing clowns, stilt-walkers and mascots; roaring engines; trotting horses and lots of excitement as the Belk Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade marches down Tryon Street on Thanksgiving Day. The parade will start at 10 A.M. on Thursday, November 25. It steps off at 10th Street and North Tryon and ends at the Levine Center for the Arts at South Tryon Street. WBTV (Channel 3) will televise the parade at 4 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day. The parade has been the kick-off to the holiday season in this region since 1947 and is recognized as the fourth largest Thanksgiving parade in the United States. In 2009, over 110,000spectators came to uptown Charlotte to see the parade and approximately 220,000 watched the WBTV broadcast of the event. Come see the parade and don’t forget to bring donations of canned or non-perishable food to the Second Harvest Donation Stations.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
November 22-January 2, 6:00pm-1:000pm
Enjoy a 2.5-mile drive-through a Christmas light park and village featuring more than a million LED lights; then visit the themed areas which include a “North Pole Express Delivery”, petting zoo, rides, storytelling and choirs at a live nativity scene, photos with Santa and more. Cost is $20 per car.
Green Gingerbread House
November 26-December 29
The hotel’s Green Gingerbread House, complete with moss roof, LED lights and all organic culinary components, will be available for viewing in the Lobby. The eco-friendly house is 10’ x 14’ in size, constructed of recycled wood and nails, and designed in charming Tudor style. Cost is free.
Historic Latta Plantation
November 26, 10:00am-4:00pm
Begin the Christmas season by stepping back into an 1860s Christmas. The plantation will be decorated for a time period Christmas. Visitors will learn about 1800s Christmas traditions and meet a Victorian St. Nick in the plantation house, see open-hearth cooking in the kitchen, and a slave Christmas in the cabin. Cost is free with regular site admission.
WBT Holiday on Ice
The Green uptown
November 24-January 8, Wed-Fri, 5:00pm-10:00pm; Sat., 11:00am-10:00pm; and Sun., 11:00am-7:00pm
Tucked away in Uptown Charlotte’s most scenic park is the area’s only outdoor ice rink. There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than skating with your friends and family among the holiday decorations in uptown. Join us for skating and holiday cheer at WBT’s Holiday on Ice… on the Green in Uptown. Skates available from child’s size 9 and up. Cost is $7; skate rental $3, season tickets are available.
Holiday Lights at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
November 26-Dec. 31, Sun.-Thurs.,5:00pm-9:00pm; Fri. and Sat., 5:00-10:00pm
The holiday tradition continues at the Garden! Christmas has never been brighter with more than 600,000 lights, old fashioned trains, visits from Santa Claus, carriage rides, holiday carols, baked treats, and other holiday fun! Share this holiday magical experience with your family and friends! Cost is $12, adult; $6, ages 4-12
Matthews Community Center
November 27-28, Sat., 7:00pm; and Sun. 3:00pm
Holiday Happiness begins with The Nutcracker at the Matthews Community Center. Presented by Matthews Ballet and Dance. Cost is Adults, $5; 12 and under, $3.
“The Light Before Christmas”
Discovery Place – IMAX
November 26-January 2
A holiday tradition revisits Uptown Charlotte as “The Light Before Christmas” returns to Discovery Place’s The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre, taking audiences on a whimsical adventure just in time for the season. Produced in stop-motion animation by Evergreen Holiday Classics and Tandem Motion Picture Studios, released by Cinema Group, “The Light Before Christmas” is the delightful tale of young Katie and her brother Makean, who lose their way in a Christmas Eve blizzard only to be rescued by the Candleman, an old sage who imparts wisdom, hot chocolate, a warm cottage and stories. In an effort to raise the children’s spirits with a bit of holiday magic, The Candleman opens a weathered book and begins to read the classic tale, “The Night Before Christmas.” To their astonishment, Katie and Makean find themselves magically transported into the poem, where they experience the wonder and delight of Santa’s visit to their home, complete with an elf and full team of reindeer. Hoping not to be seen, the children sneak from their bedroom and watch wide-eyed as Santa carefully fills the stocking and tucks gifts under the glittering Christmas tree. “The Light Before Christmas” is a film suitable for all ages. Cost is $8 for ages 14-59, $7 for ages 2-13 and 60+ and are free for children younger than 2.