A few ideas for making Holiday memories

Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we can’t think of a better season to make some special holiday memories with your loved ones! Charlotte (and the surrounding area) offers lots of holiday cheer for residents. Here are a few ideas for making holiday memories:

The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville Experience Asheville’s brightest holiday tradition at Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. Open nightly through December 31, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m., Winter Lights is an outdoor holiday light exhibit placed throughout the Arboretum’s nationally-known gardens. Walk through a winter wonderland and listen to the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes, or enjoy a cup of holiday-inspired cocoa, cider or beer. Reservations are recommended; please check website for available seating times. All tickets are date-specific and must be purchased in advance; tickets are not sold at the gate.

Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock

Chetola Resort features a sparkling display of lights each winter season! The “Festival of Lights” is free and open to the public, and you are invited to enjoy thousands of dazzling illuminations throughout the resort. As you drive or stroll around Chetola Lake, you can view glittering ice skaters, “Rudolph” reeling in a big fish, strolling carolers and many more captivating holiday scenes. The “Festival of Lights” runs through Sunday, January 28, 2018. The displays illuminate at dusk each evening.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Belmont

The Garden glows with holiday spirit from the twinkling trees to the sparkling fountains and is transformed into a natural winter wonderland filled with unique festive décor including a towering tree of orchids, more than 600,000 lights, and illuminated displays. Each night, visitors will enjoy live music, holiday shopping in The Garden Store, crackling fires to warm cold hands or roast a marshmallow, and the Children’s Holiday Discovery Trail of activities. Model train displays created by the Metrolina Model Railroaders can be found throughout the Garden. Horse-drawn carriage rides and Garden Tram rides will be available (times vary and charges may apply).

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Nov. 17-Dec. 30 @ 5 p.m.6500 South New Hope Rd., Belmont, NC 28012

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will be illuminated with over 600,000 sparkling lights, transforming it into a natural winter wonderland. Festive attractions will include model train displays, holiday shopping live music, and warming fires. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available on specified nights for a fee of $6/Adult, $4/Child (3-10). On nights when the carriage rides are not available the Garden Tram will be available and rides will be free with admission. Ticket prices will vary, so check the website for information.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte

Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway with over 3,000,000 lights with a lights-to-music drive-through section along the 3.5-mile course that is open every night of the week. In addition, the Christmas Village, which includes a petting zoo, Bethlehem village photos with Santa, and more, will be open Thursday-Sunday and all Christmas week (Closed Christmas Day).

Speedway Christmas fans can also sit in their cars and cozy up to FOX 46 Movie Nights on the giant Speedway TV every Thursday-Sunday. Find the movie schedule online.

Tanglewood Festival of Lights, Clemmons

Take the family for a drive through the Tanglewood Festival of lights to see the delightful holiday displays and over one million twinkling lights. They suggest seeing the attraction on Mondays-Wednesdays because the lines will shorter than during weekends. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Tanglewood during specified days.  Admission is priced by the carload, $15 for a family car. See the website for information about tractor-pulled hayrides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and other information.

Carowinds WinterFest, Charlotte

The popular theme park will be transformed into WinterFest now through December 30th. The park will be decorated with more than five million glittering lights, glowing displays, a 70-foot Christmas tree, strolling performers, and live entertainment. There will be up to 16 rides open for a fun night. Purchase tickets online to save money on admission.

McAdenville Christmas LightsDec. 1-26 @ 5:30 McAdenville, NC 28101

McAdenville is a sparkling gem of a town that calls itself Christmas Town U.S.A. for its festive holiday decorations and charming community atmosphere. Take a drive to see the holiday lights, free and open to the public. If possible, go during a weekday, when there is less likely to be a line. They recommend arriving early, finding a place to park and walking through the town so you can enjoy the lights and decorations at a leisurely pace.

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