Happy Wednesday Smarties! This is going to be a fantastic holiday weekend. The Smarty Holiday Swag Bag is here and you are not going to want to miss the incredible giveaways. Enter to win and make your holiday a little bit brighter. This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, shop local and support our hard working, small business owners. Santa Train, Polar Express, Carolina Christmas, The Nutcraker and more arrive this weekend. You will find something for even your grumpiest house guest. Get Out and Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving.
The Polar Express in IMAX
Using state-of-the-art CGI and performance capture technology to create a unique blend of realism and fantasy, The Polar Express tells of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. This holiday-themed film, based on the classic Caldecott medal-winning children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg, is directed by Oscar® winner Robert Zemeckis and stars two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks.
Santa’s Workshop I: Reindeer Games
Painting with a Twist
November 23, 9:00am-11:00am
Drop the kids with us, we’ll help them create a masterpiece and you’ll get some Black Friday shopping done. Partner with Santa’s Workshop II and that gives you 5 hours to shop while the kids have a blast with us! While we welcome painters of any age, this is recommended for people aged 5 and up. Artists provide assistance to painters, but younger painters might also need the help of their guardian. Parents can join the fun and paint, or watch their young budding artists as they paint! Cost is $25 per participant.
Santa’s Workshop II: Shiny Christmas Ornaments
Painting with a Twist
November 23, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Drop the kids with us, we’ll help them create a masterpiece and you’ll get some Black Friday shopping done. While we welcome painters of any age, this is recommended for people aged 5 and up. Artists provide assistance to painters, but younger painters might also need the help of their guardian. Partner with Santa’s Workshop I and that gives you 5 hours to shop while the kids have a blast with us! Parents can join the fun and paint, or watch their young budding artists as they paint! Cost is $25 per participant
Drop n’ Shop
Romp n’ Roll, Harrisburg
November 23, 9:00am-12:00pm
Romp n’ Roll will keep the kids entertained with gym, art, and music play while you enjoy the sales! Open to the Community; Ages 2-5 (potty training not required); Reservation Required
Kid’s Night Out
Romp n’ Roll, Harrisburg
November 24, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Every kid deserves a special night out…and so do you! That’s why we created Kids Night Out. Parents get an evening to themselves while the children get to run and play with our energetic instructors and enjoy a pizza party dinner at Romp n’ Roll. Ages 2-5 (potty training not required); Reservations Required
WBT Holiday on Ice
NASCAR Hall of Fame
November 21-January 6, Wed.-Fri., 5:00pm-10:00pm; Sat.-Sun., 10:00am-10:00pm
Price: Admission: $9.00, Skate Rental: $3.00
WBT Holiday on Ice is back for the 2012 holiday season! The rink is now located at the corner of MLK Blvd and Brevard on The NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, and we are more than 30% larger. That means more skating room for you to cut up the ice! Holiday on Ice will continue its tradition bringing Charlotte the coolest surface in the city, an outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Uptown. It’s a holiday tradition for us to continue with you, your friends, and family. And we hope to see you there!
Holiday Lighting Ceremony & More
Historic Downtown Waxhaw
November 23, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Over 75,000 lights will illuminate Waxhaw on November 23rd! Join us for our annual lighting ceremony and enjoy the magic of Christmas! Stop by to play in the snow or a few reindeer games while you wait to see Santa Claus! There will be a live performance of holiday music, free carriage rides, hot drinks and fun for all ages! After the hustle and bustle of the biggest shopping day of the year, top it off with some old-fashioned family fun!
Christmas Wonderland of Lights
November 21-25, Wed.-Sat., 6:00pm-10:00pm; Sun., 6:00pm-9:00pm
Join us for the 4th Annual Christmas Wonderland of lights presented by McDonald’s, one of the Carolinas Largest Light Shows. With over 2 million lights, and a computerized light show set to music this will be a memory your entire family won’t forget. Along with the lights, Santa will be visiting nightly until Christmas Eve, we have petting zoos, pony rides, concessions, roasting pits to make smores, a candy shop, general store, and much, much more.
Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas! by Chip Davis
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center: Belk Theater
November 23, 8:00pm
Due to its overwhelming popularity, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas is back in Charlotte for the Holiday Season! Mannheim Steamroller is the work of producer/composer Chip Davis. Davis hit the jackpot in 1984 when his first attempt at holiday music, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, became a huge success (over 5 million copies sold) thanks to a new age-y take on “Deck The Halls.” Christmas music (and holiday music in general) became a staple of Steamroller’s subsequent releases, with seven Christmas-themed albums and two Halloween-focused records coming out over the course of the next 15 years. Since the mid-’90s, Mannheim Steamroller have been widely recognized as the biggest purveyors of holiday music in the industry.
Holidays at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
November 23-December 31, noon-9:00pm
The sights and scents of a winter’s eve will envelop guests as Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden celebrates this special season. Our holiday display promises surprises aplenty with a new festive display of Christmas trees, a lighting display with 500,000 lights, and a touch of warmth offered by tasty s’mores enjoyed beside a glowing fire. Also, you can still enjoy favorites such as the Orchid Tree, visits with Santa and live entertainment. Cost is $12, adults; $6, children 4-12; $11, Seniors, 60+.
Charlotte Checkers 5K and Fun Run
Time Warner Cable Arena
November 24, 7:45am
The Charlotte Checkers are hosting a 5K and Fun Run at Time Warner Cable Arena. Sponsoring this race are our partners at The Lake, The Kat and 96.1. This race benefits the CCCF. Toss the skates, lace up the shoes and run off the Turkey!
The Nutcracker Presented by Matthews Ballet
Matthews Community Center
November 24-25, Sat. 7:00pm; Sun. 2:00pm
The Matthews Ballet performs this holiday favorite. Cost is $3-$5.
NC Transportation Museum
November 23-24, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm
Boarding at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center, kids and their parents can enjoy a daytime train ride to the Roundhouse with Santa and his elves. Ol’ Saint Nick and his helpers will be handing out candy canes and oranges – a Southern RR tradition! Later, stepping off the train at the Master Mechanic’s Office, families can stop by the Gift Shop, or the Wagons, Wheels & Wings exhibit area to make a craft to take home. Enjoy what has become a seasonal tradition for many or make a new tradition to celebrate a railroad Christmas with history and heritage at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer! Cost is $10-$14 and children under 3 are free.
Carolina Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway
November 23-December 1, 6:00pm-11:00pm
Carolina Christmas has something to put a smile on every face. From millions of lights, to driving on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway to shopping in the Emporium, the attractions at the Carolina Christmas Village will delight visitors of all ages. Carolina Christmas will feature:
Drive-Through Light Park and Drive-The-Track Experience
Our spectacular drive-through Christmas light park features more than three million LED lights in themed display areas. During your drive through the course, fulfill your need for speed on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the unique drive-the-track experience Carolina Christmas offers!
Lowes Patriotic Alley
Lowes pays tribute to the men and women who have served and are serving our country.
Rudolph’s Flight School
Upon entering Carolina Christmas, children will be enrolled in Rudolph’s Flight School. Kangaroo Express will present them with their own set of reindeer antlers.
The Coca-Cola Igloo will be in the infield of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The igloo will feature the Emporium, Santa’s Workshop, Festival of Trees, Photos with Santa, the North Pole Express Delivery and a warm refreshments café.
Holiday Shopping Emporium
Bring your shopping list and check it twice!
Visit Santa’s Elf Workshop and watch his little helpers make Christmas toys.
Festival of Trees
Come see the creativity of local businesses and non-profit organizations as they decorate Christmas trees with their own flavor and flair.
Coca-Cola Photos with Santa
Have your child’s photo taken with Santa and bring it home in a Carolina Christmas frame for only $10.
Great Wolf Lodge North Pole Express Delivery
Bring the kids and send a postcard to Santa!
Warm up in the Coca-Cola Igloo with hot refreshments in the café.
New Life 91.1 Bethlehem Village and Live Nativity
Listen to the choirs, storytelling and experience reenactments at the live nativity scene, complete with animals.
Bank of America S’mores Pits built by Johnson Concrete
Satisfy your sweet tooth and stay cozy with the holiday tradition of roasting marshmallows and making S’mores.
Children can enjoy a live merry-go-round!
Bojangle’s Village Petting Zoo
Pet and feed the animals in the Village.
Some activities in the Christmas Village have an additional cost.
Cost is $20 per car.
November 23-24, 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. Free with regular site admission (free to members).
Plaza-Midwood Community Christmas Tree Lighting and Live Nativity
Kilgo United Methodist Church
November 24, 5:00pm, tree lighting at 6:15pm
We will have music from our house band, Chateau Royale, live animals, ornament decorating, and more!
Great for the whole family! We even have camels too!!
The Ultimate Christmas Show
November 23-25, Fri. 8:00pm; Sat. 1:00pm, 8:00pm; Sun. 1:00pm, 5:00pm
The fruitcakes of the Reduced Shakespeare Company take you on an irreverent yet heartwarming trip through the holidays in “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).” It’s festive, funny, physical family fun as these Three Wise Guys send-up and celebrate your favorite winter holiday traditions. Let the RSC rekindle the joy, inner-child and familial dysfunction inside us all! Cost is $29.50.