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The best Christmas light displays in the Charlotte area for 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrate the holidays with these beautiful light displays in the Charlotte area.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Looking for the biggest, best Christmas lights in the Charlotte area for the 2019 Christmas season? Here’s what you have to look forward to.

This list includes professional displays, town events, and private homes.

The displays in private homes, often synchronized to Christmas music, are put on by regular people, at their own expense, and it takes an incredible amount of time and creativity. So visit and let them know you appreciate it.

Note: We’ve removed some displays because the homeowner was getting too much traffic and asked to be removed.

Some are collecting money for charitable causes. If a radio station is listed, tune your car radio to that station to listen to the coordinated music. Please be considerate of these folks’ neighbors.

If a website or Facebook page is listed, make sure to visit and check out the hours, start dates, and any additional information that you need to know. Most of these displays started shortly after Thanksgiving. Some families show videos and pictures of their works in progress as well.

For more great events and deals that won't break your budget, visit Charlotte on the Cheap

Do you know of a light display that should be included in the list? Please send information to jody@charlotteonthecheap.com. I’ll need to see a website or Facebook page so that I know the homeowner wants the information shared.

Professional and city or town Christmas light displays in the Charlotte area

McAdenville Christmas
December 2nd through December 26th
Monday-Friday: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

McAdenville’s famous Christmas lights will be turned on Monday, December 2nd, 2019, and will be lit every night through December 26th. The above link also includes information on the lighting ceremony November 30th, and the Yule Log Ceremony and parade Thursday, December 12th. McAdenville is in Gaston County, a short drive from Charlotte. The lines can be long to get into the town. Follow the above link for some information on avoiding the lines.

There are at least 500,000 lights for you and your family to enjoy.

Speedway Christmas
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord
November 22nd, 2019, to January 5th, 2020, with the exception of Christmas Day
Monday-Wednesday: $20 per car
Thursday and Sunday: $25 per car
Friday and Saturday: $30 per car

Drive through the infield and see 800 displays made up of more than 3 million holiday lights. The lights are synchronized to Christmas music that you can listen to on your car radio, on 101.3 FM. On Thursdays through Sundays, plus all Christmas Week (with the exception of Christmas Day, when the attraction is closed) the Christmas Village will also be open. Christmas movies will be projected onto the big screen and you can watch from your car or a lawn chair. Walk through the Bethlehem-themed village and enjoy food from a number of vendors. Santa will be available for professional photos, and, new this year is a 50-food ferris wheel (additional charge.)

McGill’s Winter Wonderland
Tuesdays through Sundays, November 26th to December 29th, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Tuesday to Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
McGill Rose Garden, 940 N. Davidson Street

In 2019, for the second time, McGill Rose Garden is decorating for the holidays and invited the public to stroll the decorated garden. Hot chocolate, s’mores and other items were available for purchase.

RELATED: Homeowners association tells family their Christmas decorations are out too early

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Kannapolis Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express
November 24th through December 30th, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Village Park, 700 West C Street, Kannapolis
Sunday-Thursday: 6 pm. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 6 .m. to 10 p.m.
Free to walk through the park; $2 for Winterland Express Train

You can walk through the park for free and take in the impressive display of Christmas lights, or take the Winterland Express for $2. The attraction also features music, Santa visits (take your own picture for free), marshmallow roasting and more.

Holidays at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont
November 30th through January 5th, with the exception of Christmas Day
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
$7.95 to $18.95

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s Christmas light display is an annual favorite, with approximately one million lights. Wander through the extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens, and enjoy the towering orchid tree, live music, fires where you can roast a marshmallow and much more. Santa will available for professional photos with families on select evenings. There are other times when Santa will be available for photos with your own camera, and there’s no extra charge for that. Follow the above link to see Santa’s schedule.

Zootastic Park Christmas Wonderland of Lights
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road, Troutman
November 22rd and 23rd, and then every night from November 27th, 2019, through January 4th, 2020
Sunday-Thursday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Drive through the light display and walk through part of the animal park. For an additional cost there will be carousel rides, a ferris wheel, train rides, pony rides, tiger feeding, giraffe feeding, feeding at the barn and a s’mores pit. Check back soon to find out Santa’s plans.

Lights at Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Starting November 19th, 2019
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Free (parking is $6.)

Lights is a half-mile walking trail through the forest that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations designed by Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly.

It includes honeycombs, vines, crystals and other natural features.

Meredith Connelly has worked with lighting and technology for almost a decade. Her installations have been on display at art museums, galleries and private collections throughout the region.

These are not Christmas lights–they are something more. 

You will not need an activity pass to access the lights. Note: Ice Skating will be available at the Whitewater Center as well, but it will require a Single Activity Pass ($20.)

RELATED: Lace up: The ice skating rink at U.S. National Whitewater Center opens

WinterFest at Carowinds
300 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte
Open through December 31
Daily tickets start at $26 before fees, and different packages are available

Carowinds' WinterFest includes millions of shimmering lights in their Celebration Plaza, as well as Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree Lot, Mrs. Claus' Kitchen Cookie Decorating, and dozens of other winter attractions.

Christmas light displays on houses in the Charlotte area

Note: Any addresses included here have been made publicly available by the homeowner on a website or Facebook page. However, if a homeowner lets us know that they don’t want to be listed, we’ll take your address off this list.

Arndt Christmas Lights
14904 Carbert Lane, Huntersville
December 1st to 31st
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fantetti Christmas Light Show
263 Palaside Drive NE, Concord
Every night from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. through December 25th, 2019
26-minute show of over 100,000 lights synchronized to Christmas music. All donations benefit Griffin K9 Rescue. 

Hammond Family Light Show
508 Chamberlain Court, McAdenville
Sunday to Thursday: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Garden Oak Holiday Lights
4026 Garden Oak Drive, Indian Trail, NC 28079
Brandon Oak Subdivision (94.5 FM)
From the Saturday after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve
School nights: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Non-School nights: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Donations collected for The National Foundation for Cancer Research 

Hard Family Christmas Lights
1641 Shadow Creek St , Concord
5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Listen on 91.5 FM

A Sweitzers Christmas
1001 Sunnyview Circle Matthews, NC 28105 (107.3 FM)
Starting December 6th, 2019
Sunday through Thursday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Shows will last approximately 20 minutes.

Zimnowski Light Show
15419 Hugh Mcauley Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078 (87.9 FM)

Harbin Family Christmas Lights
10223 Summer House Court
Accepts donations for Make-A-Wish

Hillside Avenue in Myers Park
The neighborhood has a tradition of creating chicken-wire Christmas balls and hanging them from tall trees. It’s very impressive. We don’t have specific information about what’s happening in 2019, but it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll enjoy driving or walking down Hillside Avenue.
Accepts cash or food donations for Loaves and Fishes. Follow Hillside on Facebook.

Sherwood Forest Drive (off Colony Road)
There are usually several big displays in neighborhood, especially 7323 Sherwood Forest Drive. In past years, Santa was outside handing out candy canes. There was Christmas music and a collection for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. We’ll update when we learn what’s going on in 2019.

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