Lake Norman Holiday Season Activities


Whether you wait to decorate for the holidays until after Thanksgiving or you stay up until midnight on Halloween instead to “free the tree” this holiday season, we’ve got great news for you!

The Lake Norman area is home to many fun, family-friendly activities perfect for making memories you’ll never forget. Though we are all busy with the many hats we wear as business owners, designers, etc., it’s essential to take time to celebrate this wonderful holiday season. Here at The Molo Group, we believe in working hard and also playing hard! We’re giving you the scoop on all the winter fun, from Christmas lights to a night out skating to visiting Santa with your pup!

Birkdale village holiday activities

Holiday Events at Birkdale Village

Breakfast with Santa Claus

Saturday, December 18th

What’s better than pancakes, you may ask? Pancakes with Santa, of course! On December 18, join Santa at Red Rocks for a festive family breakfast. Each table will get a personal visit from Santa himself! When you purchase your ticket you can choose an 8:30 or 9:15 time slot and doors open promptly at whatever time you choose. To make the event even more special, all proceeds benefit Hinds’ Feet Farm.

With programs in Huntersville and Asheville, Hinds Feet Farm is dedicated to serving people living with brain injuries. Grab the family, dress warmly in case there is a line at the door, and enjoy a magical morning with Mr. Clause himself! 

Christmas in Davidson

Christmas in Davidson

December 2nd - 4th

Want to feel like you stepped on set to a Hallmark movie? Christmas in Davidson is undeniably the perfect event for you! One of the area’s most beloved holiday traditions is Christmas in Davidson. The event takes place in downtown Davidson and includes festive decorations, local vendors, and plenty of family fun. Not only is this a fantastic event to attend, but it also allows you to scratch off part of your gift list for the holiday season. This year, the annual event will take place December 2nd-4th from 6-9 pm. Though a schedule has not been published yet, you can rest assured there will be plenty of opportunities to get in touch with the holiday spirit. Check out their website to stay updated on events, vendors, and more.


McAdenville - Christmas Town USA

Christmas Town USA

December 1st - 26th

Did you know our area is home to “Christmas Town USA?” You read that right! Step into the town of your dreams when you visit this iconic area. The tradition began in the 1950s and has been delighting people from all over ever since. If you’ve never been, imagine elves took over the entire town! You’ll be delighted by an entire lit-up and decorated town from December 1st through the 26th for FREE. The lights are on display beginning at 5:30 pm and lasting until 10 pm. You can drive through the town, walk it with your friends or family, and enjoy the sights and sounds of an authentic Christmas dream.


Ice Skating - US National White Water Center

US National White Water Center Ice Skating

November 11th - mid February 2022

Starting November 11th, you can live out your snow globe dreams by enjoying ice skating at the US National White Water Center. This one-of-a-kind event welcomes people of all ages and skill levels. This year they are even opening up a new ice skating trail in the Upper Pond; if you happen to miss skating during the holidays, no fear! Ice skating is open through February. This is the perfect event to jump-start your New Year’s Resolutions and get outdoors with friends and family.

dogs running

We Believe Santa 5K Trail Race & Dog Jog

We Believe Santa 5K Trail Race & Dog Jog

Through December 9th: Pre-registration
December 10th: Packet Pick-up and 5K

On December 11th, invite your pups in on the holiday fun! In addition to ice skating, the White Water Center is also hosting a festive 5k. Run, jog, or walk this race in your best holiday gear. From Santas to reindeer and everything in between, this will be worth attending to see the outfits! In addition, if you go all out, there’s a prize for the best dressed. Bring your favorite four-legged friend along and enjoy burning a few extra calories just in time for eggnog and pie!


The Polar Express Train Ride

The Polar Express Train Ride

November 12th - 13th, 19th - 21st, 26th - 28th
December 3rd - 5th, 9th - 12th, 14th - 23rd

All aboard this famous memory maker! This event may be our favorite because it’s encouraged to wear your pajamas! The Polar Express Train Ride is sure to delight any child (or child at heart!). With various dates in November and December, this ride brings the classic Christmas story of the Polar Express to life. With music from the motion picture soundtrack, hot chocolate and goodies, and even an appearance from Santa himself, this event will bring out the delight of the holiday season.

speedway christmas drive-thru light display

Motorway Christmas

Motorway Christmas

November 19th - January 16th

Do you want to enjoy Christmas joy from the comfort and warmth of your car? Motorway Christmas is calling your name! From Friday, November 19th to Sunday, January 16th, the Charlotte Motor Speedway puts on a spectacular holiday light extravaganza. This beloved tradition offers guests over four million lights. Gather up your family, put on the heat, and drive your way through this 4-mile spectacle. And yes, you can do this one in your jammies too!


Charlotte Ballet Nutcracker

Nutcracker Ballet

Various dates from December 3rd - 23rd

Experience a holiday classic this season. The Nutcracker Ballet is thrilling audiences at the Belk Theater this year. Dating back to a story from the 1800s, the Nutcracker has been wowing people for years. You and your family can experience the magic of the costumes, dances, music, and more with various dates from December 3rd through 23rd. The Nutcracker Ballet is sure to be a spectacular, memorable outing for all ages.


Ballantyne Hotel- Gingerbread Lane

Gingerbread Lane

December 3rd - 26th

Calling all creatives! The Ballantyne Hotel is continuing its adored gingerbread tradition. Each year, people are encouraged to stop by and enjoy “Gingerbread Lane,” a stunning display of gingerbread houses as part of a competition. From Friday, December 3 through Sunday, December 26, you can view the creations for free and choose to vote for $1 an entry.

The money from voting supports Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. The hotel also offers stunning decorations, a restaurant, and accommodations for a truly magical experience.

holiday tea

Ballantyne Hotel- Holiday Tea

Holiday Tea

Every Thursday - Sunday in December

Olaf’s Tea

January 22nd & 23rd, 29th & 30th

While visiting the hotel, you may want to enjoy holiday tea! With various dates, there’s plenty of time to scratch this one off your Christmas to-do list. Holiday tea is offered each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of December. For an extra “cool” twist after the new year, you can participate in Olaf’s Tea on January 22, 23, 29, and 30. Because reservations are needed, make sure to plan accordingly!

Trans Siberian

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Trans Siberian Orchestra

December 11th

Ready to rock your way into Christmas? Trans Siberian Orchestra will deliver! This rock show hosted at the Spectrum Center has been a fan favorite for years. Jam your way into the holiday season with stunning music, an epic light show, and more. This year, fans get an extra memorable experience as the exhibit is celebrating its 25th anniversary. There are two shows to choose from on December 11, and tickets are on sale now!


Santa and Grinch Photos with your Dog - Lucky Dog Bark & Brew

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew Christmas Pictures

Charlotte Lakes Drive Location: November 28
Charlotte Thrift Road Location: December 4
Cornelius Statesville Road Location: December 11

Is there anything better than taking Christmas photos of your dog? Actually, yes, there is! At Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, you can get pictures taken of your furry family members with Santa or the Grinch, and the $10 donation goes to Carolinas Big Hearts Big Barks, a rescue for large breed dogs. With multiple locations in Charlotte and Cornelius, this is a new tradition in the making. Make sure you register using the link on their website, so you don’t miss out on this barking good time!

zootastic park christmas wonderland

Christmas Wonderland at Zootastic Park

Zootastic Park

November 19th - January 1st

Ready to get wild this Christmas? Zootastic Park, located in Troutman, is hosting their Christmas Wonderland of Lights this year. From November 19 through January 1, the whole family can enjoy over 4 million Christmas lights, take a picture with a baby kangaroo, stop to see Santa, and more! After driving through the lights, you can choose from a variety of Christmas and animal related activities. For pricing information on each activity, be sure to check out their website!

light up cornelius

Light Up Cornelius

Lawn of Cornelius Town Hall

November 27th

Light up the night with some local fun! On November 27 from 4-7 PM, the town of Cornelius is offering a free family-fun event for the holidays. Located on the lawn of Cornelius town hall, this event will provide music from local performers, craft vendors, carriage rides (with real horses!), photos with Santa, and more! The outdoor event has plenty of space for families and Make the most of your start to the holiday season with this fun outdoor event.

northern lights lake norman boat parade

Lake Norman Boat Parades

Northern Lights of Lake Norman

December 11th

Celebrating the holidays doesn’t have to happen just on land! The 3rd annual boat parade is a unique celebration that goes to a good cause. If you’re a boater wanting to participate in the parade, you can register using the link below. Instead of a registration fee, organizers are asking for a donation to be made to either Tunnel to Towers Foundation or Hope of Mooresville. These organizations make a great difference in our community and beyond. If you’re interested in viewing the parade, it starts “…north of the 150 bridge in the main channel outside of the Apps and Taps & Toucans area” according to their page. To view a map of the parade and see where it goes, check out the map on their Facebook page linked below. Don’t miss this unique event!

LKN Lighted Christmas Boat Parade

December 18th

Don’t worry, the Lake Norman area offers multiple light events on the water for the holiday season! On December 18th at 5:30, you can bundle up and enjoy this spectacular event. This family friendly parade on the water also partners with Little Smiles to collect toys for children at the Levine Cancer Center. Though there are limited spots at the Duke Explorium, you can get an amazing view from Blythe Landing Park and Ramsey Creek Park! This event is a well-loved event with a large fan following, so plan to arrive early to secure your spot. 


Light the Knights and Charlotte Christmas Village

Light the Knights and Charlotte Christmas Village

November 24th - December 23rd

Last but not least, the 6th year of Charlotte Christmas Village is here! In partnership with the Knights baseball team, this event is a crowd favorite, and for a good reason. Every year, the Christmas Village brings a mouth-watering European menu, beautiful Christmas displays, and shopping perfect for buying those last-minute gifts. Sip on some hot chocolate while you walk through Truist field and take in the beauty of Christmas Tree Lane and the many displays of lights, trees, and more. You can get gifts from around the world for everyone on your list. Don’t forget if you have a mug from a previous Christmas Village event, and you can bring it with you for a discount on a cup of Gluhwein!

The Lake Norman and Charlotte areas are hosting some of the best holiday events. Whether you want to get active with ice-skating or want to cozy up in your car and enjoy the lights, there’s something for everyone. After such a long and bumpy year, the team here at The Molo Group hopes you take time to step back from the daily grind and soak in the joy and beauty of the season. 

Do you know of other events in the area we should add to our list? Tag us on social media!

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