Santa Saturday! Free Photos With Santa
10635 Park Road, Charlotte, NC
See website for schedule, All ages, Free
Summary: Join us for free photos with Santa at BLACKLION, fun scenes for selfies and meet a few of Santa’s favorite friends. Personal cameras welcome!
PlayPlay! Theatre Presents: Children Of Eden
Jewish Community Center, Gorelick Hall
5007 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC
December 9-17, See website for schedule, Ages 5+, $12-$15
Summary: Based on the stories of Genesis, the age-old conflict of parents and children takes the stage in this epic, heartfelt musical by the composer of Wicked and Pippin. Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them, deal with the headstrong actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: “the hardest part of love… is letting go.”
Breakfast With Santa
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street, Matthews, NC
December 9 & 16, 9:00am – 10:30am, , Ages 2-8, $5 per person, Advanced ticket purchase required.
Summary: Enjoy breakfast, make a holiday craft, and take a picture with Santa!
430 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
December 15-16, See website for schedule, $19 and up
Summary: Featuring the resounding Hallelujah Chorus, this will be Charlotte’s grandest Messiah yet full of passion, drama and stunning beauty. Christopher Warren-Green, a self-proclaimed “Messiah junkie,” has earned an international reputation for his moving interpretations of this enduring oratorio.
Repticon Charlotte Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 Highway 49 North, Concord, NC
December 16-17, See website for schedule, All ages, $5-$10, Free for kids under 5
Summary: In February 2009, Repticon held a Valentine’s Day weekend show! The show was a smashing success. The show returned that fall and again in following years to great acclaim. This show is now a Repticon staple, much to the joy and benefit of Charlotte area herpers!
The Ballantyne Hotel
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Charlotte, NC
December 7 – 27, See website for schedule, All ages, Free
Summary: Visit The Ballantyne Hotel to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations from Thursday, December 7 through Wednesday, December 27. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered. Attendees may vote on their favorite entries with $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH), dedicated to caring for the physical and emotional needs of children and their families.
The Polar Express Train Ride
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer, NC
November 17 – December 22, See website for schedule and prices, All ages
Summary: Inspired by the run-away hit movie, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express.
14523 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte, NC
November 24 – December 30, See website for schedule, All ages, $25+
Summary: WinterFest is packed with all the sights, sounds, food and experiences of the holiday season. The state line will shine bright with over 5 million shimmering lights, a 70-foot tree and lavish displays. Live shows and strolling performers will be delighting guests and spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. Festive fun and hands-on holiday activities will be located throughout the park, and sweet aromas from special holiday dishes and desserts will fill the midways. Plus, there will be up to 16 rides open to complete your night of memory making.
Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra
100 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
November 27 – December 28, 10:00am – 8:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: A Charlotte favorite for sure. Come see the bears perform many of your favorite holiday classics.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. Seventh Street, Charlotte, NC
November 24 – December 23, See website for schedule, Ages 4 and up, $12 and up
The Herdmans are ready to wreak havoc! What happens when the “worst kids in the history of the world” find out about free food at Sunday school? Worse yet, what happens when they decide to audition for the annual Christmas pageant? This could be the worst pageant ever… if it even happens!
Charlotte Christmas Village and Christkindlmarkt
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC
November 23 – December 24, See website for schedule, All ages, Free
Summary: The aromas of specialty foods will drift across the village, from classic Austrian strudels, Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, and glazed nuts. Visitors can also enjoy hot mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate and alcoholic-free Glühwein in a souvenir village mug!
Holiday On Ice
NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Charlotte, NC
November 17 – January 7, See website for schedule, All ages, $10 admission, $4 skate rental
Summary: We’re Charlotte, North Carolina’s only outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of uptown. Whether you’re looking for a family friendly activity, a romantic night with a loved one, a unique experience or a holiday tradition, Holiday On Ice is sure to have something for everyone.
Winter Wonderland South Park
4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC
November 17 – January 7, See website for schedule, All ages, $12 for admission, $5 for skate rental
Summary: Relish the magic of the season at SouthPark’s own Winter Wonderland, Charlotte’s newest open-air ice skating rink and ultimate holiday destination. Winter Wonderland’s ice skating rink features fun for the entire family including holiday lights and decor as well as attractions, such as Santa’s Pub.
The Ice Park
The Speedpark at Concord Mills
8461 Concord Mills Blvd., Charlotte, NC
November 17 – January 15, See website for schedule, All ages, $12 for ice time and skate rentals
Summary: The Speedpark at Concord Mills offers Go-karting, junior karts, two seaters, single seaters, 4 tracks, Newly renovated 18 hole miniature golf, Bungee jump, 110 for fun slide, game room, spider web & ice skating ring.
Christmas Town USA
December 1-26, See website for schedule, All ages, Free
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy, Concord, NC
November 19 – December 31, See website for schedule, All ages, $25-$30 per car
Summary: Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its eighth year. Speedway Christmas will have over 3,000,000 lights with a new and greatly improved lights-to-music drive-thru section along the 3.5-mile course!
Bank of American Stadium
800 S. Mint Street, Charlotte, NC
333 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC
YMCA of Greater Charlotte Event Calendar
19 Locations throughout the Greater Charlotte Area
Summary: Most people know their neighborhood “Y” because of its incredible sports, camps and fitness programs but the “Y” has so much more to offer. Spend some time (it will take a while) on the website and learn about all the opportunities the “Y” provides. I promise, you will be amazed.
Free Wednesday Evenings At The Mint Museum
The Mint Museum – Randolph
2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC
The Mint Museum – Uptown
500 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
Every Wednesday from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, All ages
Summary:Enjoy free access to both Mint Museum locations every Wednesday night.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays At Chuck E. Cheese
Charlotte and Concord locations (click here for a map of locations).
The first Sunday of every month July – December, 9:00am – 11:00am, All ages, Free
Summary: Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun filled visit.
Bank of America’s Museums On Us Day
Various locations around Charlotte
The first Sunday and Saturday of every month, All ages, Free
Summary: Now in its 20th year, this distinctive program offers Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit and debit card holders the opportunity to visit more than 150 of the most popular cultural institutions in the United States free of charge on the first full weekend of every month.
301 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Step into a world where science is brought to life through interactive exhibits and explosive experiments during daily programs. Connect with the past and visit the future with groundbreaking exhibitions, larger-than-life IMAX Dome films and hands on activities that let you explore more. Plan your visit today. Click on the links below for detailed information on special events, featured exhibitions, featured shows and IMAX.
Featured Exhibitions: For information on all exhibitions click here.
Featured Shows: For information on all featured shows click here.
IMAX: For information on all featured movies and showtimes click here.
Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville
105 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Explore the theme of I CAN at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville. The children’s museum features developmentally-appropriate experiences that encourage imagination and offer the opportunity to build confidence while testing skills by trying new things. The exhibits, themed around a small town, allow children to learn through play.
Theme Areas: For a complete description of all nine theme areas click here.
Featured Shows: For a complete listing of all featured shows click here.
Current and Upcoming Events: For all current and upcoming events click here.
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road, Charlotte, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Bring little ones for just an hour or the whole day and experience wildlife through live animal exhibits and interactive education programs. The Museum is easy to navigate with fun surprises around every corner. Kids can roam The Great Hall and visit Beginnings, an area filled with young animals and information on their lifecycles.
ImaginON: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC (704) 416-4630
See website for hours of operation
Summary: This collaborative effort between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a 102,000-square-foot facility recently ranked by Livability.com as the No. 1 children’s library in the United States. ImaginOn features two state-of-the-art theaters, a dedicated library space for kids 11 and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multimedia production studio, and interactive exhibit space.
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road, Huntersville, NC (704) 875-6521
Summary: Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors. As a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CRC relies on public financial support to fulfill our mission. Supporters can release a raptor, adopt a bird, make a charitable donation, purchase a membership or sponsor a capital improvement project. CRC’s environmental education programs reach approximately 40,000 students each year. Our Raptor Trail hosts more than 35,000 visitors a year. Visit our calendar page for event times or just come and enjoy our nicely maintained trails and see all the amazing birds of prey.
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 East Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC (704) 866-6900
Summary: The natural wonders of North America and North Carolina coupled with the rich history of our region are all reflected in The Schiele’s exceptional exhibitions and diverse programming. Whether you’re indoors or out, with the kids or your colleagues, by bringing you a lot closer to nature, The Schiele will bring you a little closer to yourself.