Welcome to 2024! Santa might have parked his sleigh and headed to a much-deserved vacation, but for those wintering in the Charlotte area, there is plenty to do in January. Check out our list of the top things to do in January in Charlotte.
We’re highlighting several major events this month. But then, scroll down for our huge calendar of things to do in Charlotte, and surrounding areas in January. This calendar will be updated all the time.
Of course, we focus on the “free and cheap” here, so many of these events are absolutely free.
Before making plans for a restaurant, trampoline park, concert or spa treatment, make sure to check Groupon for a deal! You can often save 50% or more.
Three Kings Day and Twelfth Night Celebrations
On January 6, 2024, celebrate the end of the holiday season with a 12th Night celebration at Charlotte Museum of History, and a Three Kings Day celebration with Levine Museum of the New South, at VAPA Center. We also have some information on where to get Rosca de Reyes.
High Seas Miniature Golf, 10001 Charlotte Highway, Indian Land, South Carolina, has transformed into an elaborately designed pirate-themed holiday paradise. It will be going through mid-January. $15 for adults and $10 for kids ages 4-12.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of Christmas lights yet, Speedway Christmas is open through January 7, and you can be assured of shorter lines this time of year. Drive the oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway and soak in the lights!
Family Day at McColl Center
On January 13, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. McColl Center, 721 N Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, is hosting Family Day. Guests of all ages can try gelatin printing to bring the stories of Grimm’s Fairy Tales to live, and then tour the galleries. Free event.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrations
Honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at one of many events around Charlotte, including the return of the MLK Day Holiday Parade in Uptown Charlotte.
Sam on Someday
Sam on Someday is an ongoing music series that brings together some of the best musicians from Charlotte and North Carolina, as well as touring musicians, for one-night-only performances.
The events are hosted by Sam Tayloe of Time Sawyer. He started the series as live-streams during the pandemic, as a way to stay in touch with fans and the music community, but the series really came into its own when it became a live, in-person event. It takes place at a variety of venues in Charlotte.
Sam on Someday a genre-busting experience where a rapper, a banjo player, a folk singer, a violinist and a blues guitarist might share the stage and create something completely new together.
The next Sam on Someday will be at Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Avenue, Charlotte, NC, on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at 5 p.m. Age 21+
Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 the day of the show. There’s a discount for musicians. If you’re a musician, use the promo code CLTfam and get tickets for $8.
Outdoor Ice Skating
It’s not the cheapest thing in town, but if you’ve got a hankering to slide across the ice, there are five outdoor ice skating rinks in the Charlotte area: Light the Knights at Truist Field (through January 1), Founders Holiday Ice Rink in Rock Hill (through January 15), Whitewater Center (through mid February), and Birkdale Village (through January 28.) The newest ice rink, a very affordable option at just $15, is at Camp North End until January 7.
Canyon Night Trail at Whitewater Center
Winter at Whitewater includes ice skating and pond hockey, but also the brand new Canyon Night Trail. It opens once it gets dark, until closing. Canyon Night Trail features a half-mile walking trail and play structures like swings and see-saws that are big enough for visitors of all ages. In addition, the two 600-foot suspension bridges, which normally require an activity pass, are included at no cost on the Canyon Night Trail. Available through mid-February. Parking is $12. Whitewater Center is at 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC.
Wednesday Night Live at Levine Center for the Arts
Every Wednesday night, from 5 to 9 p.m., the three museums that are part of Levine Center for the Arts (Mint Museum Uptown, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture) are free to visit. In addition, each week there will be a special performance or activity at one of the museums.
Free Programs at Mecklenburg Nature Centers and Preserves
If you’re not perusing the activities calendar of Mecklenburg County’s Nature Centers and Preserves you’re missing a whole world. We’ve highlighted some of the guided hikes, animal encounters, kids’ activities, campfires, and more.
Independent Picture House
Check out a flick at Independent Picture House, a non-profit community cinema that screens diverse, foreign and independent films.
Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week
This twice-annual event features specially priced prix fixe meals at dozens of Charlotte’s best restaurant. it’s a great chance to try a new restaurant or visit a favorite. January 19 to 28.