Nov 12, 2018 - Things to Do

The Southern Christmas Show is for crazy people and I’m one of them

To be clear, when I say crazy – I mean crazy about Christmas.

Listening to Christmas music in October? Check.

Giddy at the sight of Christmas decorations on Nov. 1? Yep.

Already watched Elf? You bet.

If you’re one of these people, The Southern Christmas Show is where you belong.

Every year for 12 magical days in November more than 100,000 people head to the Park Expo & Conference Center to browse Christmas decorations, peruse local arts and crafts, sample food and drink items and get an overdose of holiday cheer.

The details:

  • Dates: Nov. 8-18
  • Hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Tuesdays and Sundays it closes at 6 p.m. On Saturday Nov. 17 there are also VIP hours from 8-10 a.m.
  • Tickets: $15 at the door, $13 online and $19 for the VIP hours on Nov. 17. Buy them here.
  • Parking: $8 cash only if you park at The Park Expo and Conference Center.

I go every holiday season and it never gets old. Here’s why I love it:

The Christmas decorations seriously get me in the spirit.

Check out Christmas Tree Lane to see trees from the Christmas tree decorating competition.
Door decorating competition entry from Dollightful – Booth 110

I get to taste a bunch of local wine at the Explore NC Wine shop.

You can try samples from wineries from all over the state. Treehouse Vineyards and Dennis Vineyards are a few familiar names.

Shadow Springs Vineyard is offering samples of hot apple mead.
Explore North Carolina Wine – Shop No. 29

There are 450+ vendors, many local and regional.

David French Originals – Booth 1010

David French is at the show selling his paintings and prints of well-loved spots around Charlotte.

I chatted with him as he was working on a painting of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, and his prints are buy one get one for the Southern Christmas Show only.

Wit & Whimsy Paperie is selling their super cute letterpress paper goods. They even have an antique letterpress at their booth where you can make your own ornament for free.

Wit & Whimsy Paperie – Booth 212
Wit & Whimsy Paperie – Booth 212

The show is a great place to find unique holiday gifts.

Like this adorable Charlotte print from Green Blanky Studio.

Green Blanky Studio – Booth 1008

Or these lovely potted succulents and plants from Oakdale Greenhouses.

Oakdale Greenhouses – in the atrium between Freedom and Independence halls
Big Dreams Boutique – Booth 3512

This beautiful handmade mug by Jenny Cartee Pottery.

Jenny Cartee Pottery – Booth 1015. Her pottery is made in Western NC.

Or this to-die-for Amish apple butter.

Touch of Amish – Booth 2119. They’ve been coming to the show for 34 years.

And this hilarious Elf on the Shelf parody.

Swoozies – Booth 2129. The ladies at Swoozies said this has been one of their top sellers at the show.

There are also local gifts for dog and cat owners.

Daily Mews Café is representing for all the crazy cat owners out there.

Daily Mews – Booth 2007. Their cat cafe and boutique is located off Monroe Road.

Pet Wants Charlotte is also there with dog treats, toys and even Panthers gear.

Pet Wants Charlotte: The Urban Feed Store – Booth 2405. You can find their store in South End.

After working up an appetite with all that shopping, you can enjoy some delicious food.

Helmut’s Strudel is a popular choice but I always have to get the warm almonds from Bavarian Roasted Nuts.

Helmut’s Strudel – Booth 3204
Bavarian Roasted Nuts – Booth 3604

Other food vendors include:

  • Spoon’s Barbecue
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Lil Orbits Mini Doughnuts
  • Jumpin’ Java and Bakery
  • Sandwich Max

Plus, there are TONS of free samples throughout the show.

NC Fudge – Booth 2010

You can’t leave without trying some NC fudge.

You’ll also want to try these vendors:

  • Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese Royale – Booth 2549
  • Deweys Bakery (they’ve got Moravian cookies) – Booth 2030
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes – Booth 2600
  • Darby Creek – Booth 2213
  • Herb’s Honey – Booth 3022

There’s a bunch of cool stuff for kids, like visiting Santa.

If you take a photo with Santa, proceeds go to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Or checking out the model train.

The show is going on now through Nov. 18, so snag your tickets and get your Christmas crazy on.


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