CONCORD — From Murphy to Manteo, North Carolina offers special traditions for the holidays. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little speedway sparkle.
If you love light displays and 75-foot Christmas trees whose lights change along with the music, then the Speedway Christmas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is for you. The gates open for the 10th season starting Nov. 5 and run through Jan. 5, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Speedway Christmas boasts the largest drive-through light show in the Southeast with more than 4 million lights spanning a 3.75-mile course. It’s a sparkling, festive drive that patrons can enjoy while listening to Christmas music on 101.3 FM.
Santa will be going on safari this year in a themed display of wild animals from the African plains, and there are reindeer games to be played and a petting zoo at Santa’s Workshop.
In addition to the light displays, there is the Christmas Village where families can get photos with Santa, enjoy a variety of foods and have access to fire pits perfect for making s’mores.
Movie Nights sponsored by FOX 46 WJZY are also planned to begin at 6:30 each evening, with family-friendly feature films like Home Alone, A Christmas Story, The Polar Express and more.
A new 100-foot slide is available to ride at this year’s Christmas Village, as well as a Merry Go Round and a 50-foot Ferris wheel. The village will be closed on Christmas but otherwise will operate nightly from Dec.12-29.
Discounts on tickets include $5 off for Military/First Responders/Educators. Attendees can also bring a bottle or can from a Coca-Cola product and receive a $5 discount on purchases at the gate.
To support Toys for Tots, each Thursday night, patrons bringing a new unwrapped toy will receive $5 off at the gate.
Concord has more than light displays to offer this holiday season. Just a little over two miles to the west of Speedway Christmas is the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park that transforms during the Christmas season into Snowland.
Families can visit with Santa Claus and take part in a number of activities at the resort such as arts and crafts, Snowland Storytime and the Snowfall Celebration, an interactive show that includes sing-alongs and dance numbers inside the grand lobby.
Each night, kids can participate in Frosty Fest, a series of activities such as Feed the Snow Monster, Reindeer Antler Toss, Pin the Nose on Mr. Snowman, and a Frosty Fest Family Dance Party.
For more information on Speedway Christmas, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com and for more information on Snowland, visit greatwolf.com.