Christmas comes to Concord! I spent the weekend enjoying lots of Christmas fun in Concord, North Carolina so I thought I’d share some ideas on things you can do as a family, on a date or even by yourself in the Concord/Cabarrus County area.
No matter what you choose, you will have a great time!
Speedway Christmas Lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway
If you’re a NASCAR fan, you know that Concord, North Carolina is where racing lives. It’s home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and right now for Speedway Christmas, it’s completely decked out with over 3 million lights on a 3.5-mile driving course which takes you right onto the track itself.
Turn off your headlights and tune your radio to a preset station as you wind your way through a festive holiday light show synchronized to music. It’s really pretty spectacular! (Video snippet below.)
About halfway through the drive (on many of the nights), you can park and walk into a Christmas village where you’ll find a living nativity, petting zoo, Santa Claus, marshmallow roasting, a festival of trees and snacks galore.
In the background, Christmas movies play on the big 16,000 square-foot HDTV screen. Elf was playing the night I drove through.
Speedway Christmas is open nightly November 21 – December 30. Closed Christmas Day. Check the website for details and to order tickets.
Feel the Thrill Tour – Charlotte Motor Speedway
So this isn’t exactly Christmas-themed, but if you’re in the area for Speedway Christmas, the ‘Feel the Thrill’ is a tour well worth taking earlier in the day. This non-racing enthusiast is now enthused about racing after taking the tour, so that should indicate its value. I’m actually dying to get to a NASCAR race now!
There were about seven of us on the tour, and the highlight of course, was experiencing a ride on the speedway itself. You can’t help but get an adrenaline rush from speeding along the track and experiencing the banking. We only went 60 miles per hour, and it felt soooo fast. I can’t even imagine how 100-200 mph feels. Nuts.
We stopped about halfway through the tour to stand in the winner’s circle. Woohoo!
Here’s a fun fact: The grandstand seats are painted so that when the camera pans over them, all the seats look occupied. Who knew?
Our guide told us so many interesting behind-the-scenes facts about what the drivers and crew go through. It was fascinating! Visit charlottemotorspeedway.com for more information.
Great Wolf Lodge – Concord
So getting back to the holidays… you’ll want to stop into Great Wolf Lodge and discover the magical world of Snowland. Kids and adults will delight in the daily snowfall inside the Grand Lobby during the Clock Tower Show. I visited a few days early, so they were still busy setting up all the decorations and lights. Nonetheless, it was beautiful there already!
Dinner inside the life-size gingerbread house will make your cub’s Christmas, and if you’re looking for a date night option, the Lodge Wood Fired Grill is really, really good! We enjoyed fresh cocktails, sea scallops, filet mignon and quesadillas. We were expecting standard restaurant fare, but it’s several notches above ordinary. The experience far exceeded our expectations . It was truly impressive!
Ice Skating and Christmas Shopping at Concord Mills
Considered The Carolinas’ largest shopping and entertainment destination, Concord Mills is well worth a stop. I made some really good headway on my shopping list there. It has everything from dollar stores, Old Navy and Forever 21 to Vera Bradley and Michael Kors.
You can also take a break from shopping by visiting the Sea Life Aquarium where you may spot Scuba Claus or go ice skating at the Speedpark’s ice rink November 19 – January 18.
Dine at the Speedway Club
The view overlooking the race track and the warm and attentive wait staff make dining at The Speedway Club a very special experience. We were fortunate enough to be there as the holiday-themed Egg Nog Jog 5k fun run was kicking off, so we could see the costumed runners making their way through the twinkling lights of Speedway Christmas.
After a dinner of Cherry Coca-Cola Beef Brisket and Grilled Ribeye steaks, we enjoyed a delicious ginger cake and a spectacular view of the holiday fireworks.
For more ideas on Christmas fun in Concord North Carolina check out VisitCabarrus.com.