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Winter holiday activities in and around Charlotte

Plenty of things have been canceled in 2020, that's no secret. But still, there are plenty of holiday activities to keep you and your family holly and jolly.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The holiday season looks a bit different for many in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you're looking for holiday cheer, there are still plenty of options in the greater Charlotte area. 

Family-friendly activities

Ice-skating and light trail at the Whitewater Center

The ice skating rink at the U.S. National Whitewater Center includes 17,000 square feet of ice and an on-ice Airstream where you can purchase hot and cold beverages. It's worth noting: To skate, the Whitewater Center says you need an assigned time slot. This can be secured online, over the phone or in person. 

Also at the Whitewater Center is the 'Lights' exhibit, a half-mile walking trail featuring light installations by Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly. The exhibit is available from now through mid-February, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. 

Ice rink & drive-in movie nights at Speedway Christmas

New to the Speedway this year, you can now go ice skating on a 5,400-square-foot outdoor ice rink. The ice rink is open daily through Jan. 17. Monday through Thursday, you can hit the rink from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and weekends from noon to 10 p.m. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway is planning to have extended hours Dec. 19 through 24, from noon to 11 p.m., but that'll depend on COVID-19 mandates. Currently, the rink closes nightly at 10 p.m. to follow state COVID regulations. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway has three movies on the schedule this season: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation from Dec. 10 to 14, Frozen 2 from Dec. 17 to 24, and A Christmas Story from Dec. 26 and 27. 

Holiday drive-in movies at StoneCrest

StoneCrest at Piper Glen is offering free holiday drive-in movies on a handful of nights this year -- the movies are free if you show a receipt from one of the Piper Glen merchants from purchases made the day of the movie.

Advance registration is required since attendance is limited. You can sit in your car and listen through the FM transmitter, or sit in chairs in front of your car, but when you're outside of your vehicle StoneCrest asks guests to wear a mask. 

On Dec. 30, they'll round out the series with a showing of It's A Wonderful Life. StoneCrest recommends checking back often, in the event spots open up for a previously sold-out showing. 

Drive-through Light Displays

Lights on 13th Street in Newton 

Over 10,000 lights all synchronized to music. You can tune to 93.9FM or listen to their outdoor speakers and get into the holiday spirit. The lights are on from 5:30 to 11 p.m. every night until Jan. 1.  

The Zimnowski Light Show in Huntersville (15419 Hugh Mcauley Road, Huntersville) 

The Zimnowski light show features over 40,000 pixelated lights that are all sequenced to music. Their show runs 7 days a week from 6 to 10 p.m. You can listen to the show by tuning into 101.3 FM.  

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

From now through Jan. 17, you can visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway for their drive-through light show featuring more than 4 million lights over 3.75 miles. Tune in to 101.3 FM for Christmas music as you drive.

The Hard Family Display in Concord (1641 Shadow Creek St. Concord) 

This arrangement of thousands of LED Lights and Pixels are all synched to music that you can listen along on 91.5 FM. Shows run from 5:30 till 10 p.m. every night with longer hours on the weekends until Jan. 1. 

Lights on Indian Beach in Concord (9592 Indian Beech Ave NW. Concord) 

This holiday light show features over 17,000 lights with singing bulbs all set to music. Set your radio station to 87.9 FM to join the fun. They are rocking Sunday through Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., then from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

A Sweitzer's Christmas in Matthews (1001 Sunnyview Circle in Matthews) 

The shows are Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. Just turn your radio to 107.3 FM and enjoy the 30-minute show.

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Did we miss your favorite holiday activity in the Charlotte area? Send us a text at (704) 329-3600.