Nov 24, 2020 - Things to Do

10 things to do with your family this Thanksgiving weekend

uptown holidays

uptown holidays

This guide is proudly presented by Speedway Christmas, in partnership with Count on Me NC. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Charlotte Motor Speedway’s drive-through holiday light show is back and it features more than 4 million lights over a 3.75-mile course. Speedway Christmas also includes drive-in holiday movies (“Home Alone” this week!) and an outdoor ice skating rink. Check out the schedule and get tickets.

Whether you’re doing a small family gathering or sticking with your household, here are 10 family-friendly (and safe) things to do Thanksgiving weekend.

[Agenda related guides: 14 spots to get a Thanksgiving meal16 festive things to do in Charlotte this holiday season]

thanksgiving day parade

(1) Watch the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade

This year’s Thanksgiving Day parade is going virtual. There won’t be crowds lining the streets of Uptown Charlotte, but you can still enjoy this annual tradition from home. The parade will be broadcast on WBTV and feature “best of” segments from previous years including floats and marching bands.

Details: November 26. 4-5 p.m. Free.

(2) Run the 32nd Annual Charlotte Turkey Trot

You’re either a turkey trot family or you’re not. If you are, there’s still time to sign up for the annual race. This year, the race will be virtual, meaning you pick your own route and start time.

Details: November 26. $20-$25.

(3) Go ice skating at the Whitewater Center

The ice skating rink includes 17,000 square feet of ice and an on-ice Airstream trailer serving craft beer, hot chocolate, and coffee. After you finish skating, check out the light installation. This half-mile walking trail features otherworldly immersive light installations by Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly.

Location: The Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.

Details: Now through mid-February. Ice skating: noon to 11 p.m. Lights: 6-11 p.m. $59 Day Pass, $20 Single Activity Pass. The Lights walking trail is free and open to the public (parking is $6).

[Related Agenda Story: Ice skating is back at the Whitewater Center this month — plus an immersive light trail]

skating at whitewater center charlotte

(4) Shop local at the VTGCLT Pop Pop-Up Store 

Pick up handmade and vintage wares from more than 90 of the best local and regional creatives. For your shopping convenience, VTGCLT is offering morning shopping appointments and curbside pickup for all products.

Location: The Metropolitan shopping center

Details: November 27-29. Appointments available.

[Agenda related story: Gift guide: 45 local items for everyone on your list under $100

(5) Stroll through the Charlotte Christmas Village

Head to this European-inspired Christmas Market in Uptown Charlotte to shop for unique, handcrafted gifts and enjoy specialty foods like Austrian strudels, bratwurst, and gluhwein.

Location: Truist Field

Details: November 27 to December 23. $7 regular admission, $10 for a combo ticket.


(6) Hop in the car and head to Speedway Christmas

Put on some Christmas pajamas, pack the hot cocoa, and load up your car. The magic of holiday lights never gets old, and getting to see it all safely from the car is a major plus this year.

Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway

Details: Now through January 17. $20-$30 per car.

(7) Head to Carowinds for Taste of the Season

This outdoor food festival lets guests taste holiday dishes from 30 stations around the park. Expect holiday decor and seasonal shows, too. Plus, select rides will be open. Reservations will be required for all guests to adhere to social distance standards.

Location: Carowinds

Details: Now through December 20. $30+.

(8) Shop Small Business Saturday

This holiday season, celebrate the small businesses that make Charlotte so vibrant. Head to South End’s Small Business Saturday event or pop into your favorite small businesses. You can swing by CupLux for 50 percent off holiday drinks and 20 percent off gift cards, too.

(9) See a holiday drive-in movie

Hounds Drive-In’s double features this weekend are “The Croods 2” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” on one screen and “Frozen” and “The Santa Claus” on the other.

Location: Hounds Drive-In, 114 Raven Circle, Kings Mountain

Details: November 26-28. $20 a car.

(10) Enjoy Holidays at the Garden

Thousands of lights will illuminate Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for the annual Holidays at the Garden event. Sing along to your wintertime favorites, and roast marshmallows by the fire while you soak in the season’s cheer.

Location: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Details: November 27 through January 3. 5-8 p.m. Adult $14.95; senior (60+) $12.95; child 2-12 $7.95; child under 2 free.

Check out more upcoming events on the Agenda Event Board. Hosting an event? Reach more Charlotteans through an Event Listing, which includes placement on our Event Board and in our newsletters’ Classifieds section.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more