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CLT Happenings: 21 things to do this weekend in Charlotte

The first weekend of December will be busy in the Queen City.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s officially the Christmas season, and that means there are plenty of things to do to get you in the holiday spirit this weekend in the Queen City. 

See what’s happening!

Friday, Dec. 3

Food Truck Friday

Come out for good eats, live music and fun for the whole family at various Food Truck Friday events happening all over the Queen City. Come out to get your grub on at Food Truck Friday at Cabarrus Brewing Company, University City Food Truck Friday, or Food Truck Friday at Sycamore Brewing. Times vary by location.

Christmas Tree Lighting @ Optimist Hall

Christmas is in full swing, and what better to celebrate than see the Christmas Tree Lighting at Optimist Hall? The event includes live music, smores roasting, a BYO hot chocolate bar, and, of course, great food selections from the hall’s food vendors. The tree lighting kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3. The event is free and open to the public. Find more information here.  

Saturday. Dec. 4

StarMed Community Holiday Party @ Eastland Clinic

Bring the family out to a day of holiday fun at StarMed’s Eastland Clinic. The free event features live music, food trucks, prize raffles, and more. It all goes down Saturday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find more information here.

Sunday, Dec. 5


Come out to Hot Taco for one of the best shows of the holiday season. Your admission includes the fabulous drag show where you can choose to indulge in delicious brunch offerings. The show starts at noon Sunday, Dec. 5. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.

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Happening All Weekend

The 67th Annual Singing Christmas Tree @ Gateway Village

The spirit of Christmas comes to life at the Singing Christmas Tree event, happening this weekend at Gateway Village. Featured guests at this year’s 70-minute production include the Chris Thompson Cultural Ensemble dancers, Grey Seal Puppets and the fabulous Tree Band. Showtimes vary by day. Find more information here.

Jingle City Bar @ The Tavern Charlotte

Get into the holiday spirit with weekend fun at Jingle City Bar. Opened to bargoers and kids alike, this pop-up bar is interactive, family-friendly, and festive, featuring holiday music and movies, festive interactive experiences, and food selections. The event is open every weekend, from now until Dec. 24. Times vary by day. Tickets start at $5 and can be purchased here.

Ice Skating @ Whitewater Center

Come out to test your ice skating skills at the Whitewater Center. This year, the Whitewater Center will debut a brand new ice skating trail in the Upper Pond. Tickets for ice skating start at $25. Find more information here.

Speedway Christmas @ Charlotte Motor Speedway

Start your engines and fire up that holiday spirit, local holiday tradition Speedway Christmas is back! It's one of the largest holiday light displays in the Southeast, with a four-mile driving path featuring four million lights. The display will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day until Jan. 16. Tickets start at $30 per car and can be purchased here.

Christmas Town U.S.A. @ McAdenville

It’s officially Christmas time again, and that means McAdenville is all lit up for visitors near and far to see. Bring your friends and family out to the 66th year of the spectacular light festival. See displays daily, from now until Dec. 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Find more information about the free event here.

Winterfest @ Carowinds

Bring your family and friends out to celebrate the holiday season at Carowinds’ Winterfest. The season-long festivities will feature specialty shops, holiday-themed games, the season's best live shows, and of course, Carowinds’ epic thrills. Winterfest runs from Nov. 13 to Jan. 9, 2022. Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased here.

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Immersive Van Gogh @ Camp North End

Come out to experience the lauded Immersive Van Gogh exhibit at Camp North End. The exhibit features 500,000 cubic feet of monumental projections animating Vincent van Gogh’s oeuvre. The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit has been extended through Jan. 2, 2022 by popular demand, so you can enjoy it all season long. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased here.

Markets + More

Queen City weekends always provide a surplus of vendor markets for Charlotteans to get their pick at fresh and locally sourced products, including several holiday markets. This weekend’s open markets include:

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