Do you have friends and family visiting for Thanksgiving Day Weekend? Looking for something to do to get out of the house? Here are 8 free suggestions. More will be added!
And scroll down past our featured events for a list of every free event we have on the calendar from Wednesday, November 27th, through Sunday, December 1st, 2019.
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Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Mint Museum Uptown, 500 South Tryon Street
Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road
Guests in town Wednesday night? Both locations of The Mint Museum are free to visit Wednesday evening. (And every Wednesday evening.) Also: The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture is free to visit on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s right across the street from Mint Museum Uptown, so you can make an evening of it.
Thursday, November 28th, 2019
This is the 72nd year for Charlotte’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s back to traveling south again, after a couple years of traveling north. It’ll set off from Tryon Street at 9th Street at 9 a.m., and head south on Tryon to Stonewall Street. Dozens of live entertainment artists will be performing at the stage on S. Tryon Street, between Stonewall Street and Levine Avenue of the Arts. The parade, of course, is free to attend, but you can also purchase tickets for some prime seating.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Except Christmas Eve, when it’s open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Thursdays through Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (On Thanksgiving, come by after the parade. It will be open until 5 p.m.)
Sundays: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mondays: Closed (except December 23rd, when it’s open 11 am. to 7 p.m.)
7th Street and N. Tryon Street
Charlotte Christmas Village is at 7th and Tryon, right on the Thanksgiving Day Parade route. The German-inspired market includes gift booths, a German bakery, bratwursts, live entertainment, trivia games and much more. Santa will be visiting the village and parents can take pictures of their kids with Santa for free. Follow the above link for the schedules for Santa and for the music.
Friday, November 29th, 2019
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
6211 Sample Road, Huntersville
Latta Plantation Park is always a great place to bring the family. Within the park is Carolina Raptor Center and Historic Latta Plantation, as well as Latta Plantation Nature Center, and Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, which includes 16 miles of trails and places to launch kayaks onto Mountain Island Lake. On Friday, Instead of spending the biggest shopping day of the year in crowded shops, go against the grain and get outside this year. Learn tips and tricks for fire building to keep you warm all winter while enjoying a variety of activities, or just cozy up by the fire and relax. They’ll be roasting marshmallows until they’re gone, but feel free to bring a picnic blanket, camp chair, snacks or non-alcoholic beverages of your own.
Saturday, November 30th
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Historic South End
The Historic South End celebrates Small Business Saturday in a big way. There will be pop-up markets throughout the neighborhood, with a free trolley to take you between them. Follow the above link for lots of information on those three spots. Make sure to stick around for the South End Tree Lighting at Atherton Mill at sundown.
Saturday, November 30th, 2019
NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, 400 East MLK Blvd.
At the tree lighting, there will be live music, family fun, and visits by Santa. While you’re there, enjoy Uptown’s only outdoor ice skating rink, Holiday on Ice, which costs $12 if you bring your own skates, and $16 if you rent skates.
Saturday, November 30th, 2019
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius
Cornelius takes its annual tree lighting celebration up a notch. There will be free horse and carriage rides, visits from Santa (bring your camera!), arts and crafts, a model train display, s’mores, concessions, entertainment and a vendor village.
Every night from November 23rd to December 30th (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Sunday to Thursday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Village Park, 700 West C Street, Kannapolis
Kannapolis is another nearby city that takes its Christmas celebration seriously. All season, Village Park will be filled with dazzling lights displays. It’s free to walk through, to check out the huge model train display and to meet Santa (and take pictures.) The Winterland Express train ride is $2.