Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Soak up some holiday cheer with dazzling light displays, festive fountains, “blossoming” cherry trees and magical topiaries at this Belmont tradition. Roast marshmallows by the fire, sip a warm beverage or grab a bite from one of the food trucks.
The details: Evenings through Jan. 3; adult tickets are $14.95; other price options are available. Advance tickets are recommended; dsbg.org
U.S. National Whitewater Center Ice Skating & Lights Walking Trail
Walk along the half-mile illuminated trail and experience a series of immersive light installations by artist Meredith Connelly. The multisensory works are inspired by natural features such as webs, vines and crystals. Or, lace up your skates and glide along the 17,000 square-foot rink. An on-ice Airstream trailer serves hot and cold beverages.
The details: Through February. “Lights” is available 6-10 p.m. daily. The walking trail access is free (with parking fee). Ice skating is included with the purchase of an activity or all access pass; for hours check the activity schedule at usnwc.org
Charlotte Christmas Village
Get a taste of a traditional European-style Christmas market at the fifth annual Charlotte Christmas Village, in a new location this year at Truist Field in uptown. Shop for gifts and enjoy traditional German fare, plus some “spirited” holiday treats. Be sure to try Glühwein, a warm, spiced wine served in Germany and Austria during the holidays.
The details: Through Dec. 23; tickets are $7-$10; cltchristmasvillage.com
Carowinds Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Experience
The beloved amusement park reopened for the first time this year with a “sleigh-full” holiday experience. This outdoor event features sweet and savory treats, festive activities, seasonal shows, Christmas shopping and more. Be sure to check out the Reindeer Treat Trail, where Santa’s reindeer share favorite treats at nine stations in Christmas Carousel Park.
The details: Select dates through Dec. 20. Reservations are required; prices vary; carowinds.com
Afternoons on the Grounds at Charlotte Museum of History
Explore the 8-acre property that is home to Charlotte’s oldest homesite. The self-guided outdoor experience includes a digital guidebook that recounts the stories of the people who lived and worked at the 1774 Alexander Rock House, plus videos and resources to dig deeper into Charlotte’s past. Bring a picnic and don’t miss the ringing of the American Freedom Bell at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The details: Dec. 5, noon-5 p.m.; cost is $10 per vehicle; charlottemuseum.org
Christmas Town USA
This annual holiday tradition has been drawing visitors for more than 60 years. Each year, the quaint town of McAdenville transforms into a magical winter wonderland with festive light displays and cozy Christmas decor. Though a bit scaled back this year, Christmas Town USA still promises wonder, joy and cheer with this spirited seasonal celebration.
The details: Evenings Dec. 1-26; ChristmasTownUSA.org
Skyline Drive-In at Camp North End
On Thursdays during December, pile the family in the car and enjoy a drive-in movie. Titles include Frozen (Dec. 3), Little Women (Dec. 10) and Elf (Dec. 17).
The details: Tickets are $30 per car — reservations are required. Takeout from CNE’s food and drink vendors is available; camp.nc/events
In Vivid Color at Mint Museum Uptown
Featuring works by four contemporary artists (Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, Jennifer Steinkamp and Summer Wheat), this exhibition aims to challenge viewers to consider how they perceive the environment and the things within it and how the environment is constantly changing and shifting from both physical and mental perspectives.
The details: Through Feb. 28; mintmuseum.org
Southern Artists exhibition at Jerald Melberg Gallery
This invitational group exhibition features paintings, sculptures and works on paper by 16 artists and includes works on loan from Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hampton III Gallery and Hodges Taylor Gallery.
The details: Through Jan. 2; jeraldmelberg.com
Jackie Gendel and Adrianne Rubenstein exhibition at SOCO Gallery
Peruse new works by artists Jackie Gendel and Adrianne Rubenstein. The exhibition is in conjunction with Tif Sigfrids, a contemporary art gallery in Athens, Ga., and includes works on canvas and on paper.
The details: through Dec. 31; socogallery.com
HOME exhibition at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art
This group exhibit explores the meanings and feelings of home and place in society and features works by David J. Butler, Crista Cammaroto and J. Stacy Utley.
The details: through Feb. 13; eldergalleryclt.com SP
— compiled by Amanda Lea