The holiday season started early this year and for good reason.  Considering the challenges of this year, it has brought much needed cheer.  Many families decorated early, moving straight from skulls and witches to trees and elves.  And the city of Charlotte did, too, scheduling lots of activities to embrace the holiday season.  Check out these 8 very merry events going on now in Charlotte!

1. White Water Center Ice Skating Rink and Lights

Details: 17,000 square foot ice skating rink for the whole family.  There’s an on-ice Airstream that serves hot beverages.

Dates: Now through February

Cost: $20 Single Activity Pass or All Access Pass ($59 day pass; $219 Annual Pass)

Location & Hours: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte NC 28214.  Hours: 12PM – 10PM for Iceskating; 6PM – 10PM for Lights

2. Holiday Lights at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Details: Enjoy the lights throughout the gardens, grab a snack at the food trucks, sip a hot chocolate or cold beverage and be merry.

Date: Now through January 3, 2021

Cost: $14.95 – Adult, $12,95 – Senior 60+, $7.95 – Child 2 – 12, Free – Child under 2

Location & Hours: 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont NC 28012; 5:00 – 9:00 PM

3. Carowinds Taste of the Season

Details: This outdoor Holiday Food Festival features 30 sweet and savory samples to choose from, splendid holiday decor, seasonal shows, and plenty of shopping.

Dates: Select days now through December 20th

Cost: $30 – $60

Location & Hours: 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273; 12:00 – 8:00 PM

4. Visit Hillside Avenue in Myers Park to see the Christmas Lights

Details: Once the sun goes down, load into the car and pop over to Hillside Drive in Myers Park.  The neighbors string large Christmas Balls (Christmas lights wrapped around chicken wire) from the towering oak trees, and twinkling lights adorn every house.  The community collects food for Loaves and Fishes Charlotte Mecklenburg and contributions are welcome.

Dates: Nightly through December 26th

Cost: Free

Location & Hours: Hillside Avenue, Charlotte NC 28209

5. Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Details: In it’s 11th year, the Speedway Christmas is a drive-through light show featuring more than 4 million lights over a 3.75 mile course. While you’re there, tune into 101.3 FM to listen to Christmas tunes while you cruise.  Newly added, there’s also an ice skating rink for family fun. In addition, check out the Christmas-themed drive-in movie night every Thursday – Sunday!

Dates: Now through January 17th

Cost: $20 – $175 (Ice Skating Rink pass sold separately)

Location & Hours: 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027, 6:00PM – 10:00PM