Dec 18, 2023 - News

Weekday Planner: 56 things to do in Charlotte through New Year’s Day

The Light the Knights Festival is back for another year and bigger than ever. Expect ice skating, snow tubing, a walk-through tunnel of lights, a holiday market, photos with Santa and more. Get tickets.

Monday, December 18

Countdown to Christmas

The Union at Station West | 10am-2pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: A week of free family-friendly events leading up to Christmas. Monday kicks off the festivities with a craft day from 10am-2pm.

Comedy Open Mic: Krampus Edition

Triple C Brewing | 7:30pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: It’s a crowd work open mic where the audience is encouraged to engage with comics while they’re on stage.

Tinseltown at Billy Sunday

Billy Sunday | Now through Dec. 31 | Free | Details

Why you should go: Billy Sunday has transformed into a holiday pop-up called Tinseltown. It’s open Monday-Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday 4pm-midnight, Saturday noon-midnight, Sunday noon-10pm.

Go deeper: 9 Christmas pop-up bars coming to Charlotte in 2023

Speedway Christmas

Charlotte Motor Speedway | 6-10pm through Jan. 7 | $35+ | Details

Why you should go: This four-mile drive-thru display features five million lights synched with holiday music that you can listen to on your car radio. Pro tip: Go on a weeknight for quicker entry.

Winter at Whitewater

Whitewater Center | Times vary | Prices Vary | Details

Why you should go: Winter at Whitewater is now open for the season with activities such as ice skating, pond hockey, winter races and a Christmas tree lot. Check details for times and pricing for each activity.

Ice Skating at Camp North Pole

Camp North End | 12-10pm through Jan. 7 | $10-$15 | Details

Why you should go: Camp North End’s new ice skating rink will run through the winter. Hours vary depending on the day, so double-check before you visit.

Go deeper: Holiday guide: 26 festive things to do in Charlotte this winter

Tuesday, December 19

Hand Embroidered Ornaments Class and Mixer by SkillPop and DishCourse

Madison Perk Coffee Bar | 5:30 | $60 | Details

Why you should go: Two events in one — start with a DishCourse mixer to meet six new friends, then head to a festive embroidered ornament class with SkillPop.

Wine Social 

The Bottle Tree | 6pm | $45 | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy 3oz tastings of four wines paired with an hors d’oeuvre and a brief education about the wines.

Holiday Movie Night

Broken Promises | 8pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Broken Promises in South End is playing Christmas movies every Tuesday night during the month of December.

Mad Miles Run Club

YVY Training (Camp North End) | 6:30pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Mad Miles is open to people of all ages and paces. The free club meets every Tuesday, regardless of the weather. There’s no registration required; just show up ready to move and groove (every run turns into a dance party afterward).

Go deeper: I hate running but I’ll exercise with Mad Miles Run Club

Wednesday, December 20

Skateboard Painting Workshop

Monday Night Brewing | 6-8pm | $20 | Details

Why you should go: For $20, you’ll get a blank wooden skateboard to paint (with an instructor) and a pint of your choice.

Ugly Sweater Party

Wooden Robot The Chamber | 7pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Grab a cold one and craft some Christmas ornaments (in your tackiest sweater, of course). 

Books on The House Giving Tree

Urban District Market | 4-10pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Pick an ornament off the giving tree that’ll list a book you can donate to Books on the House, a nonprofit and mobile book collective. 

Cirque de Noel 

Knight Theatre | 7:30pm | $10+ | Details

Why you should go: The circus meets the symphony in this acrobatic holiday show. Performances run through December 23. 

Thursday, December 21

The Night of the Cat 50th Anniversary Screening

Independent Picture House | 7pm | $5| Details

Why you should go: The 1973 Charlotte film returns for a one-night-only screening to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Weekly Trivia with Fat Burrito Food Truck

Pilot Brewing | 7pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: It’s free trivia with eats from the Fat Burrito food truck, raffles and prizes up for grabs.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Jazz Edition

Middle C Jazz | 5pm | $40-$50 | Details

Why you should go: Celebrate the holidays with live Jazz interpretations of A Charlie Brown Christmas favorites including “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmastime is Here.”

Vintage Charlotte Pop-Up 

201 Camp Road (Camp North End) | 10am-7pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Knock out your holiday shopping with handmade and vintage retail from 90+ local and regional creatives. The pop-up is now open daily from 10am-7pm through Dec. 23.

Light the Knights Festival

Truist Field | noon-1opm; Through Jan. 1 | $10-$40 | Details

Why you should go: Expect ice skating, snow tubing, shopping and holiday treats at the ballpark. It’s open 5-10pm on Thursday, but hours vary depending on the day — double-check the schedule before you go. 

Friday, December 22

Mau P at Trio

Trio Nightclub | 9pm (doors) | $55 | Details

Why you should go: You may be familiar with his debut single “Drugs from Amsterdam,” which has over 130 million streams on Spotify.

Ornament Workshop

PlantHouse Charlotte | 6:30pm |$26 | Details

Why you should go: Celebrate the season with an air plant ornament workshop.

Wednesday Night Music Bingo

Fonta Flora Brewery | 7-9pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Head to Fonta Flora in Optimist Hall for free trivia hosted by DKO entertainment. 

Free Day Passes at Skiptown

Skiptown | 1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Have guests (and their pups) in town? Skiptown is offering free day passes Friday through Sunday.

Saturday, December 23

Ralph Lauren Coffee Truck

Phillips Place | 9am-6pm | Varies | Details

Why you should go: Ralph’s Coffee Truck is serving its coffee blends, including Ralph’s Roast, decaf and espresso plus tea, pastries, and cookies in the Phillips Place courtyard for a limited time.

Charlotte Funny Bus Tour

The Market on 7th Street | 4pm | $35 | Details

Why you should go: You’ll go on a BYOB tour with live comedy, music and games through various Charlotte neighborhoods.

The Nutcracker

Belk Theatre | 2pm & 7pm | $97+ | Details

Why you should go: It’s the last night to experience the holiday classic performed by the Charlotte Ballet and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. There will be two performances on Saturday: 2pm and 7pm.

Sunday, December 24

Cirque du Soleil: Bazzar

Charlotte Motor Speedway | 1pm | $204+ | Details

Why you should go: It’s a popular touring acrobatic show form the Cirque du Soleil team.

Bluegrass Jam Circle hosted by Charlotte Folk Society

Petty Thieves Brewing | 5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Bring your instrument and join the circle or just sit back and listen.

Carolina Holiday Lights Spectacular

Ballantyne’s Backyard | 5:30-8pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Explore an outdoor walking trail jam-packed with Christmas magic, including over one million holiday lights, hundreds of Christmas trees, several larger-than-life installations and interactive elements. 

Go deeper: 14 must-see holiday light displays in Charlotte

Monday, December 25

The Color Purple Movie Premiere

Cinergy Dine-In Cinemas | 7-10pm | $35-$50 | Details

Why you should go: Join for the debut screening of The Color Purple with guest appearances. Your ticket comes with food, swag and a photo opp on the purple carpet.

McAdenville’s Christmas Town USA

Downtown McAdenville | 5:30-10pm through Dec. 26 | Free | Details

Why you should go: Visitors can drive or walk along the 1.3-mile route and peruse the town’s local vendors and restaurants while taking in the dazzling displays and twinkling lights.

Light the World Giving Machine 

Promenade on Providence | Through Jan. 1 | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Giving Machine, a giving-focused vending machine, returns to Charlotte this year in support of three local charities.

Tuesday, December 26

A Very Tiki Christmas Pop-Up

El Thrifty Social | 11am-11pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Hoping to stretch the holiday vibes? El Thrifty Optimist hall has turned into a tropical-inspired pop-up through the end of December.

Go deeper: 9 Christmas pop-up bars coming to Charlotte in 2023

Beetlejuice The Musical

Belk Theatre | 7:30pm | $35+ | Details

Why you should go: The popular musical runs at Belk Theatre through New Year’s Eve.

Ice Skating at Camp North Pole

Camp North End | 4-9pm through Jan. 7 | $10-$15 | Details

Why you should go: Camp North End’s new ice skating rink will run through the winter. Hours vary depending on the day, so double-check before you visit.

Go deeper: Holiday guide: 26 festive things to do in Charlotte this winter

Wednesday, December 27

Winter at Whitewater

Whitewater Center | Times vary | Prices Vary | Details

Why you should go: Winter at Whitewater is now open for the season with activities such as ice skating, pond hockey, winter races and a Christmas tree lot. Check details for times and pricing for each activity.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Knight Theatre | 2pm & 7pm | $24.50 | Details

Why you should go: It’s a hip hop twist on the holiday classic with performances at 2pm and 7pm.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Bank of America Stadium | 5:30pm | $75 | Details

Why you should go: North Carolina and West Virginia will face off in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. 

Thursday, December 28

Bold and Beautiful Showcase

Protagonist Beer | 7pm | $5 | Details

Why you should go: Drink beer, eat pizza and enjoy a lineup of some of Charlotte’s top comics.

Birkdale on Ice

Where | When | Free | Details

Why you should go: Lace up your skates and hit the ice skating rink at Birkdale Village.

Carowinds’ Winterfest

Carowinds | 5-10pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Catch dazzling light displays, live shows and hands-on activities like cookie decorating. 

Board Game Night

Hi-Wire Brewing | 6:30pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Meet people, make friends and have a good time at Hi Wire’s board game night, hosted with Making Friends is Hard Charlotte.

Friday, December 29

Cosmic Charlie: Grateful Dead Cover Band

Visualite Theatre | 7:30pm | $20 | Details

Why you should go: Expect acoustic and electric sets of Cosmic Charlie playing Grateful Dead favorites.

Miracle Bar Holiday Pop-Up 

Backstage Lounge | 4pm-midnight | Free | Details

Why you should go: It’s a first-come, first-served holiday pop-up bar in Backstage Lounge behind SouthBound. 

HOL! at Blackbox Theatre

Blackbox Theatre | 10pm | $17.50+ | Details

Why you should go: See French EDM artist HOL! live at Blackbox. 

Bohdi Love Yoga Race

Resident Culture South End | 7pm | $5-$20 | Details

Why you should go: It’s a yoga flow that’ll feel like a rave with house music and body paint.

Saturday, December 30

Dueling Pianos at Tap and Vine

Tap and Vine Ballantyne | 9pm | $10 | Details

Why you should go: It’s an evening of piano duels for $10.

Trio’s NYE Weekend feat. Loud Luxury

Trio Charlotte | 9pm (Doors) | $45 | Details

Why you should go: Known for their hit single “Body,” the LA-based dance music duo is making a stop in Charlotte for Trio’s NYE Weekend lineup. 

Rooftop Yoga with Habitual Roots

Devil’s Logic Brewing | 10:30am | $10 | Details

Why you should go: Your $10 ticket includes the class and a beer or kombucha of choice.

The Brewery Comedy Tour

The Barrel Room at Triple C | 7:30pm | $13-$20 | Details

Why you should go: It’s a night of comedy, wine, beer and good times.

Sunday, December 31

CLT NYE 

Tryon Street at Levine Avenue of the Arts | 8pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: It’s a family-friendly NYE event with live music, a Queen City crown lighting and a huge firework display at midnight.

NYE Trail Race at Whitewater 

Whitewater Center | 11:30pm | $37-$47 | Details

Why you should go: A race through the woods with two race options: a 5K or five mile run that will overlap with the year’s end and the beginning of the new year.

The Music Yard’s Disco Desert NYE 

The Music Yard | 7pm-2am | $30+ | Details

Why you should go: Expect three stages with a mix of performances from bands and DJs. There’s champagne and a complimentary dinner buffet for VIPs and tables.

Monday, January 1

Free Soup Day

Free Range Brewing | 11am | Free | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy tons of free soups from chefs around Charlotte, plus breads and treats, all for free. 

Vision Board Party

NoDa Brewing Company (North End) | 6:30-8:30pm | $15 | Details

Why you should go: Your $15 ticket comes with all supplies needed to create your own vision board for the new year.

New Year’s Day 5K

8956 J M Keynes Drive | 10am | $40 | Details

Why you should go: Start 2024 on the right food with a 5K presented by University City Partners that’ll also feature an 11am kid’s dash for $12. 

Check out more upcoming events on our Event Board. Hosting an event? Reach more Charlotteans through an Event Listing, which includes placement on our Event Board and in our weekday newsletter. Have a scoop about a cool event? Submit your event.

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