Looking for the biggest, best Christmas lights in the Charlotte area for the 2018 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 start shortly after Thanksgiving. Some families show videos and pictures of their works in progress as well.
Do you know of a light display that should be included in the list? Please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
November 30th 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 Friday, November 30th, 2018, 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 13th. 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.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord
November 18th to December 31st, 2018, 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 Twelve Days of Christmas
Thursdays through Saturdays, from November 29th to December 22nd
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
McGill Rose Garden, 940 N. Davidson Street
For the first time, McGill Rose Garden is decorating for the holidays and inviting the public to stroll the decorated garden. Hot chocolate, s’mores and other items will be available for purchase.
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 23rd through January 6th, with the exception of Christmas Day
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
$7.95 to $16.95
For 2018, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s Christmas light display includes an all-new musically-orchestrated topiary display. 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.
Zootastic Park Christmas Wonderland of Lights
385 Ostwalt Amity Road, Troutman
November 21st, 2018, through January 1st, 2019
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 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. Santa will be there as well after Thanksgiving, until Christmas Eve. You can purchase photos with Santa and a baby kangaroo. Or you can take your own photo with Santa (no kangaroo) at no additional charge.
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.
Garden Oak Holiday Lights
4026 Garden Oak Drive, Indian Trail, NC 28079
Brandon Oak Subdivision (94.5 FM)
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)
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.
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 2018.
4035 Sherbrooke Dr
Tune radio to 89.5 FM
Weekdays 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Weekends 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Starting December 16, the street is lined with candles and their lit every night starting at 7 p.m.