The Charlotte area is home to several excellent Christmas lights displays, ranging from a small town of less than 700 people (that both Yahoo! and Time Magazine call one of the best displays in the nation), to the oval of a NASCAR super speedway. Here's what you need to find the best Christmas lights around Charlotte and brighten your holiday season.
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The Town of McAdenville
The town of McAdenville is easily the largest light display around, and so popular that you may need this guide to visiting.
Just 15 miles west of Charlotte, a trip through the tiny town is a holiday tradition for many locals, and has been for more than 50 years. The town of McAdenville alone puts up over 500,000 lights, and the vast majority of residents decorate their own houses to an extreme degree as well.
McAdenville has garnered lots of national recognition, with Time Magazine and Yahoo! counting it among the top 10 destinations in the nation for Christmas lights. Good Morning America has broadcast live from the town, as have countless local news stations.
Since the entire town makes up the light display, there is no charge to see the McAdenville lights. You're just driving through a public city on regular roads.
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Christmas at the Billy Graham Library
At the Billy Graham Library, visitors can see a live Nativity that offers a glimpse into the awe of that first Christmas night, complete with live animals. You can also enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through one of Charlotte's most beautiful light displays and hear heartwarming sounds of caroling and holiday music. There will be Christmas story time for kids of all ages (Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.) and a chance to pet live animals (daily, 12 to 2 p.m.). Carriage rides are available for a fee.
Christmas at the Billy Graham Library has quickly become one of the premier holiday celebrations in Charlotte. The library itself is a beautiful place, but when it's decorated for Christmas on the inside, a dazzling light display outside, the live Nativity, carolers, carriage rides, and more—it's one of the area's best displays.
Lines for the library can get a little long, especially the closer you get to Christmas. Check it out earlier in the month, when lines will be a little shorter.
Billy Graham Library: 4330 Westmont Dr., Charlotte, NC 28217
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Speedway Christmas and the Boulevard of Lights is one of the largest holiday light shows in the region. The route at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 3.75 miles, offering a spectacular in-car LED light viewing experience of more than 3.5 million lights.
Other exciting attractions include a realistic Bethlehem Village, a 50-foot tall Ferris wheel, marshmallow roasting pits, Santa’s workshop, photos with Santa, themed areas for children, food and music.
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Holidays at the Garden
Quickly becoming one of the area's premier holiday traditions, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will present Holiday Lights at The Garden. Holiday Lights will showcase about a half million lights, a breathtaking Christmas tree created with hundreds of orchids, carriage rides, live entertainment, and even a visit from Santa.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden: 6500 South New Hope Rd., Belmont, NC 28012