Just because it’s starting to get cold outside, there’s no excuse for not getting out of the house this December. The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to fill your social calendar and have some good fun with family and friends. If you’re looking to get out of town, see our ideas for “holi-daytripping” above. But, if you want to stay close to home, check out these events and attractions right in the heart of the Charlotte area.

Christmas Past

Lovers of history and those who want a taste of what past holiday traditions were like have great events to look forward to this year.

Christmas with the Polks
Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
President James K. Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy., Pineville
Head down to Pineville for for a Christmas with the Polks. Learn about food and customs from an 1802 Christmas, with a living history vignette main home of President James K. Polk’s family. Each building will be decked in Christmas fare.

Candlight Christmas
Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m.
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Rd., Huntersville
Another great Christmas treat from the 19th Century. Tour historic Latta Plantation at night, meet the animals in the carriage barn and learn more about life during an 1820s Christmas. Admission is $8, with children five and younger free.

Red, Green and Bluegrass
Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
Museum of the Waxhaws
8215 Waxhaw Hwy., Waxhaw
This holiday benefit for the Museum of the Waxhaws features the Levine Museum of the New South’s Dr. Tom Hanchett, along with Donny Murray and Tom Estes performing a musical history of Bluegrass in the Charlotte area. A cash bar will be available, with heavy hors d’oeuvres serves. $50 per person. Tickets available online at museumofthewaxhaws.com or by phone.

Outdoors and Light Shows

Just Be Claus
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center presents its first ever “Just Be Claus” holiday festival. Activities kick off with a Santa 5K Trail run, followed by a bonfire and live music.

Christmas Town USA
Through Dec. 26,
Downtown McAdenville
The town of McAdenville comes to life with Christmas cheer as neighbors turn their historic mill town into Christmas Town USA. Light displays Monday-Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 5:30-11 p.m.

Speedway Christmas
Through Dec. 30
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S., Concord
The Charlotte Motor Speedway brings back its annual light show, with more than three million lights, an infield Christmas Village and a unique opportunity to drive the speedway track! Admission is $20 per car, with group rates for vans and buses available.

Holiday on Ice
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
WBT sponsors its annual outdoor ice-skating rink at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. The 7,000-square feet sheet of ice provides plenty of family fun as you partake a view of the city skyline. $9/$12 for admission and skate rentals. Open Wednesday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

More events

Check out more great holiday events from Charlotte’s very own LGBT arts groups, plus other December events, in our QEvents listing at goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com/events/.