November 30–December 2
Arc of Rowan County Festival of Trees
F&M Trolley Barn
165 E. Liberty St., Salisbury
Friday 7-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m.
A tree sponsored by Salisbury Pride is again among the featured displays at this 15th annual fundraiser for The Arc of Rowan, a private non-profit serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

November 30-December 24
Charlotte Christmas Village / Christkindlmarkt
7th St. & N. Tryon St., Charlotte
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Uptown’s Old World Europe -inspired seasonal market moves to a new home from its former site in Romare Bearden Park. Traditional German and Austrian food and drink will be available, along with special children’s programming, a variety of entertainment on the performing arts stage, and free visits with Kris Kringle (check out the Christmas Village website for Santa’s hours). No charge for admission. Open until 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Closed Mondays except Christmas Eve, when hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

November 30-December 26
Christmas Town USA
McAdenville, NC
5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5:30-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Celebrating more than six decades in operation, McAdenville’s famous Christmas Town drive-through / walk-through displays include more than 160 decorated homes as well as hundreds of lighted evergreen trees in the town’s common areas. Admission is free.

November 30-December 31
Speedway Christmas
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S., Concord
6-10 p.m.
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s drive-through light show with musical accompaniment broadcast through 101.3 FM. Christmas Village open Thursdays-Sundays features an all-new Ferris wheel attraction as well as food, games, photos with Santa and more. Admission prices are as follows: Monday-Wednesday, $20 per car (maximum 10 passengers), $40 per van (maximum 36) and $140 per bus (maximum 175); Thursday and Sunday, $25 per car, $50 per van and $175 per bus; Friday and Saturday, $30 per car, $50 per van and $175 per bus. Express passes may be purchased for an additional $20. Tickets are available at the gate, online or by phone; online and phone orders reflect Friday-Saturday pricing. Various promotional and other discounts also available. Closed Dec. 25. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is accepting toys on Dec. 6, 13 and 20 from 6-10 p.m. as part of their Explorers Christmas Project. Donate a toy and receive a $5 discount on admission from 6-10 p.m. They will also be collecting toys at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink at SouthPark Mall, 4400 Sharon Rd., on Dec. 11, 5-7 p.m., 18 and 19, 4-7 p.m.

November 30-January 1
27th Annual Tanglewood Festival of Lights
Tanglewood Park
4061 Clemmons Rd., Clemmons
6-11 p.m. nightly, with the exception of Dec. 31, when the show will close at 10 p.m.
Drive through the Festival of Lights and experience revived annual favorites alongside new offerings including interactive musical displays, featuring original compositions by students of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ Music Technology program. Admission is $15 for family vehicles including cars, trucks and minivans; $35 for commercial full-size vans, limos and minibuses; and $100 for motor coaches and full-size buses. Payment is accepted in cash or credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover only). Guests of the Manor House Bed & Breakfast on the park grounds receive complimentary Festival admission. Long wait times should be expected, particularly on weekends.

November 30–January 5
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Biltmore Estate
1 Lodge St., Asheville
Live music performed by choirs and soloists lend additional atmosphere to Biltmore’s evening Christmas decorations, which also include dozens of Christmas trees illuminated by candle and firelight. The self-guided experience includes admission to Antler Hill Village with its restaurants, shops and attractions. Tickets $70-$90, with special packages available to guests of either of the two hotels located on the Biltmore grounds. Closed Dec. 24-25.

November 30-January 6
Holidays at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd., Belmont
5-9 p.m.
An abundance of light displays including a musical topiary, quaint building installments and model train displays, live concerts, shopping, an activity-filled children’s discovery trail, photos with Santa and more can be found nightly at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden throughout the holiday season. Holidays at the Garden admission $14.95/adults, $13.95/seniors 60+ and $8.95/children when tickets are purchased online; prices are higher at the gate. Closed Christmas Day. Tuesdays 4-5 p.m. the Garden is reserved for children with autism spectrum conditions and other special needs and their families who wish to visit with Santa in a more relaxed environment. Free reservations for these sensory-friendly visits can be made online or by calling 704-829-1294.

December 1-2
Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus: ‘There’s No Business Like Snow Business’
Binkley Baptist Church
1712 Willow Dr., Chapel Hill
7 p.m.
1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
2 p.m.
TGMC combines classic carol, secular blockbusters, dancing, refreshments and raffle prizes, while collecting canned goods and other essential items for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Saturday’s show in Chapel Hill is free, though donations are appreciated and guests are still asked to RSVP. Admission to Raleigh show $10. Tickets available online.

December 1
A Golden Christmas
Reed Gold Mine
9621 Reed Mine Rd., Midland
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Reed Gold Mine’s Christmas celebration includes a guided candlelight tour to allow patrons to experience how 19th-century miners would have marked the holiday. The day will also feature demonstrations, local crafts, refreshments and more, as well as the chance to shop for quilts, lace, traditional toys, and other goods created by local artisans. Tickets $3/adults and children 3 and older. Kids 2 and under admitted free.

December 1
Harvey B. Gantt Center Jazzy Holiday Benefit Gala
Charlotte Convention Center, Crown Ballroom
501 S. College St., Charlotte
6 p.m.
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture closes out 2018 with its annual black-tie benefit and awards gala, this year paying tribute to Northwest School of the Arts, retired educator Dorothy Counts and actress Karyn Parsons. Individual tickets are $350 and include admission, 4-course dinner, dessert, artistic performances, live music and dancing.

December 2
Menorah Lighting Celebration at SouthPark
Circle Court in SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Rd., Charlotte
5-7 p.m.
The endpoint of Chabad of Charlotte’s Menorah Car Parade, which will have departed around 3:30 p.m. from 6619 Sardis Rd., this year’s festivities at SouthPark center on a giant menorah constructed of Lego bricks. Kids’ Lego building activity 5-6 p.m. followed by menorah lighting at 6 p.m. Traditional Hanukkah treats, music, prizes and more continue until 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

December 4-9
‘A Christmas Story: The Musical’
Ovens Auditorium
2700 Independence Blvd., Charlotte
8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday
The beloved 1980s flick following Ralphie Parker’s quest for the air rifle of his dreams, brought to the stage in a Tony-nominated musical by the creators of Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land. Tickets $24-$94.50. Out on the Town affinity club members are invited to a pre-show party with free drinks and appetizers on Dec. 6, 6:30-8 p.m., at Ovens’ second floor hospitality room. RSVP to to reserve a place.

December 5
Grand Strand Pride Holiday Dinner Party
Martin’s Restaurant
7200 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, S.C.
7 p.m.
All-inclusive four-course dinner to benefit the nonprofit Grand Strand Pride. Tickets $35 through Dec. 4. Reservations required.

December 7-8
One Voice Chorus: ‘Love Came Down’
Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
234 N. Sharon Amity Rd., Charlotte
7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30p.m. Saturday
The Queen City’s queer-inclusive chorus devotes its annual holiday program to love in all its forms. Evening shows $25 general admission, $20 student with valid ID. Saturday matinee $15 general admission, $10 student.

December 7-9
‘Clara’s Trip: A Cirque and Dance Nutcracker Story’
Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Clara LeBlanc trips at a holiday party. She finds herself in the hospital that night, friends, family and get-well gifts dancing in her head as she dreams. Tickets $35-$50.

December 7-16
‘A Christmas Carol’
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Rd., Charlotte
8 p.m. premiere Friday, Dec. 7; thereafter, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Theatre Charlotte’s 12th annual presentation of the beloved Charles Dickens adaptation. Rated G. Tickets $28.

December 7-19
‘Miracle on 34th Street’
Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance
1047 Northwest Blvd., Winston-Salem
8 p.m. Dec. 7-8, 12-15 and 17-19;
2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16
A musical adaptation of the beloved tale about a young girl who attempts to convince her cynic mother that she’s found the real Santa Claus in a Manhattan department store. Tickets are $18/adults, $16/ students and seniors 62 and older.

December 7-23
‘The Nutcracker’
Charlotte Ballet
Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday with added 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 21, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Clara meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and witnesses the war between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King in this iconic holiday piece. Tickets $25-$125. Charlotte Ballet will also stage a modified sensory-friendly performance 1p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. For more information, or to purchase tickets at $15 per person, contact 704-348-5752.

December 7
Salisbury Pride Holiday Drag Show
The Fish Bowl
127 E. Innes St., Salisbury
8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Hosted by Jamie Monroe and Cierra Desiree Nichole-Land, with featured performers including Dakota Rain, Jayden James Starr, Kassandra Hylton and more, plus a surprise special guest. Music by DJ Bear Trax. A $10 donation will be accepted at the door.

December 8
Yoga for Queer POC Liberation
Queen City Yoga Studio
8514 McAlpine Park Dr., Charlotte
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Soul Liberation Yoga & Wellness hosts this beginner-level class as a casual safe space for queer people of color to engage with yoga philosophies, breathing techniques, and poses suitable for all bodies. There will also be time for open discussion so that participants may connect with one another. This event is free and open to those who identify as queer people of color.

December 8
SAGE Raleigh Holiday Party & Potluck
St. John’s Metropolitan
Community Church
622 Maywood Ave., Raleigh
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Join the capital chapter of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and St. John’s MCC for food, fun and fellowship. Buffet will be served at 2 p.m. with the main course provided. Attendees are asked to bring favorite homemade side dishes or dessert. The festivities include door prizes and other surprises. RSVP to Joseph Wheeler at to reserve a seat. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in volunteering are asked to email with “holiday potluck volunteer” in the subject line.

December 8
The Gray Holiday Party
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St., Charlotte
8 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Gantt Center’s festive year-end fundraising event, named in honor of contributors Felicia and Herb Gray, features food and drink, live music, DJ-spun tunes, dancing and more. Tickets $60. Ages 21+.

December 8
Tosco Music Holiday Party
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St., Charlotte
7:30 p.m.
This special seasonal edition of the Charlotte staple Tosco Music Parties will feature group singalongs and over a dozen local and regional artists performing songs of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Tickets $15.50-$34.50. 10 percent discount for students and groups of 10 or more. Call 704-348-5752 for further information on group pricing.

December 8
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve’
Spectrum Center
333 E. Trade St., Charlotte
3 and 7:30 p.m.
Celebrating not only the Christmas holiday but its own 20th season on tour, Trans-Siberian Orchestra promises audiences its signature rock-classical crossover, no-holds-barred music and light show extravaganza. “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” program tells “[the] timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater.” Tickets $47.50-$69.50.

December 8-9
Twirl to the World 10th Annual Holiday Party and Fundraiser
314 N. College St., Charlotte
10 p.m.-2:15 a.m.
Presented by the Hearts Beat as One Foundation. Doors open at 9 p.m. for event hosts and sponsors, with general admission beginning at 10 p.m. Special guest DJ Grammy nominee Tony Moran. Minimum donation $20 along with a new, unwrapped toy or book, or $30 without. $30 tickets available for purchase online or at the door; $20 admission with gift must be presented at the venue. 100 percent of proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations including the Humane Society of Charlotte, Time Out Youth, Campus Pride and more.

December 12
Cirque Musica presents ‘Wonderland’
Ovens Auditorium
2900 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte
7:30 p.m.
Orchestral renditions of holiday classics meet innovative acrobatics and aerial performance. Tickets $50-$85. All ages.

December 14-16 and 21-23
Charlotte Symphony Pops: Magic of Christmas
Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
430 S. Tryon St., Charlotte
Various Times
The symphony and resident chorus perform staple holiday sing-along tunes as well as selections from ”The Polar Express” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” and the world premiere of a new carol written especially for the Charlotte Symphony. Be on the lookout for Santa and other festive characters who might just come to enjoy the show. Ticket prices vary by date and time but start at $19-$29 for most performances.

December 16
Charlotte Pride Band Annual Winter Concert
Temple Beth El
5101 Providence Rd., Charlotte
3 p.m.
The concert will feature the Charlotte Pride Band’s brass and woodwind ensembles and will include two selections b the entire band. Admission is free. The event is made possible through the support of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund.

December 18
‘Shimmer, Shine… Success!’ Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Gala
The Westin Charlotte
601 S. College St., Charlotte
6:30-9:30 p.m.
The CLGBTCC invites members and guests alike to celebrate the victories of 2018 and rally for the year ahead. Honorees and special guests will include Mayor Vi Lyles and Equality NC Executive Director Kendra Johnson. The Chamber vows to “keep the business brief,” though, the better to enjoy live music, dancing and hors d’oeuvres. Festive business attire is requested. Ticket prices are $50 for Chamber members, $75 for non-members.

December 23
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Ovens Auditorium
2900 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte
3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The legendary touring company Moscow Ballet arrives in the Queen City with its signature spectacular. Standard admission $30-$70. Other cities on the tour are: Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Winston-Salem in N.C. and N. Charleston in S.C.

December 23
Imani Metropolitan Community Church Christmas Play
‘O Come Let Us Adore Him!’
Imani MCC
3602 C-View St., Durham
10 a.m.
Imani MCC’s annual Christmas play is free and open to the public. For more information, call 919-682-0154.

December 29
Kwanzaa Celebration
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St., Charlotte
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event offers hands-on art and craft activities as well as performances, samples and wares from local businesses of color, and discussions exploring and celebrating the Seven Principles at the heart of Kwanzaa.