Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | Dec. 10-16

·6 min read

Editor’s note: CharlotteFive has limited coverage of in-person, indoor events to help prevent community spread of COVID-19. Masks are now required in Charlotte and many venues for indoor spaces or close settings.


Sip some DeLorean Fuel at Vaulted Oak Brewing. The first in the brewery’s “No Roads Series,” this pale ale will benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Expect notes of pear, melon and lychee. $2.50+. 3726 Monroe Road.

Visit the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit before it’s gone. Recently extended through Jan 2. due to popular demand, the Camp North End exhibit will give visitors the chance to take a look inside the mind of Vincent van Gogh through iconic paintings including “Mangeurs de Pommes de Terre” (“The Potato Eaters”) and “Nuit étoilée” (“Starry Night”). $24.99 for kids, $39.99 for adults. Masks are recommended. Ford Building, Camp North End, 300 Camp Road.

Make plans to see the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit through Jan. 2.
Make plans to see the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit through Jan. 2.


Shop local at the University City Night Market. This family-friendly, open-air shopping event includes a wide selection of retail vendors with handmade crafts, art, jewelry, clothing and more. There will also be live music and holiday beverages throughout the evening. 6-9 p.m. Free. Shoppes at University Place, 8929 J M Keynes Dr.

Look for the perfect gift at the Winter Wonderland Girl Tribe Co. Pop-Up. This two-day event at the Charlotte Convention Center will feature a collection of 100+ women-led businesses. Expect items from specialty boutiques, artists and makers throughout the space, including clothing, jewelry and handmade goods. 10 a.m.-noon for VIP, noon-5 p.m. (noon-4 p.m. Sunday) general admission. $5+. 501 S. College St.


If you’re looking for a spot to snap a holiday pic with your pooch, Santa will be on hand at Skiptown on Saturday, Dec. 11 from noon-4 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 12 from noon-3 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19 from noon-4 p.m. Pictures are $15, and ornaments are an additional $12. 222 Rampart St.

Visit the first Charlotte-area location of bb.q Chicken. This well-known Korean food restaurant recently opened in the Arboretum with fried chicken, complete with more than 10 sauce and seasoning options. In addition to chicken, sample sides such as fried dumplings and corn salad or K-Food menu items like Ddeok-Bokki Rice and Kimchi Fried Rice. 8206 Providence Road.

Enjoy crispy Korean fried chicken and a variety of sauces and seasonings at bb.q Chicken in the Arboretum.
Enjoy crispy Korean fried chicken and a variety of sauces and seasonings at bb.q Chicken in the Arboretum.


Switch up your workout with a new CoreCLIMBER class from CORE 704. Offered alongside existing CoreFORMER classes, CoreCLIMBER will be held in a new studio next to the CORE 704 South End location. Each 30-minute full-body workout will take place on a customized, resistance-based machine to increase heart rate, burn fat and strengthen muscles in a low-impact cardio workout. All fitness levels are welcome. $15 drop-in classes are available from Dec. 13-31. 2729 South Blvd., Suite B.

Try a new CoreCLIMBER class from CORE 704 in South End.
Try a new CoreCLIMBER class from CORE 704 in South End.

Stock up on winter reading at Book Buyers before it closes its current location. As a result of Plaza Midwood redevelopment, this longtime family-owned used bookstore will be relocating to a space about 2 miles away from its current spot, which will remain open through Christmas. 1306 The Plaza.


Secure your tickets for the Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular. This all-new production will feature acrobats, aerialists and holiday songs performed by the cast of Cirque Musica at Ovens Auditorium. Dec. 14. 7:30 p.m. $25+. 2700 E. Independence Blvd.

Decorate cookies in The Barrel Room at Catawba Brewing Co. Led by Alyssa Barefield and HC Bell, this Sweet Spot Studio event will offer a video tutorial for different designs that you can make for classic cookie shapes. All cookies are gingerbread-flavored and can be made gluten-free. All participants 4 and older must be registered, but children under 3 may decorate with a parent. 4-7 p.m. $20. 933 Louise Ave. #105.

Decorate gingerbread cookies with Sweet Spot Studio at Catawba Brewing Co.
Decorate gingerbread cookies with Sweet Spot Studio at Catawba Brewing Co.


Take a lunch break at Tipsy Taco. This Stonecrest Shopping Center staple will now offer budget-friendly lunch specials under $10 on Monday-Friday. Options include the burrito supreme with chips and salsa, pick-any-two tacos, chicken quesadillas and more. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday. 7708 Rea Road.

Check out the $10 lunch specials at Tipsy Taco.
Check out the $10 lunch specials at Tipsy Taco.

Celebrate the holidays, alcohol-free. Learn tips from Molly Ruggere, an alcohol freedom coach and founder of Counterculture Club, so you can make the most of holiday celebrations without compromising. Ruggere recommends alternative beverage options, such as Updog Kombucha and Ritual Zero-Proof Non-Alcoholic Spirits, as well as setting boundaries and having an exit strategy.


Test out the new holiday menu at Spindle Bar. The Optimist Hall favorite will be serving specials including “Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal” (eggnog, bourbon, whole egg, cream, nutmeg) and “Santa I Know Him” (vodka, pomegranate, ginger, sparkling wine), among more. 1115 N. Brevard St.

Enjoy an iconic North Carolina beverage at your favorite local spots. Cheerwine, founded in nearby Salisbury, NC, is partnering with Charlotte chefs to celebrate the return of its Holiday Punch. Locally, you can find specialty Cheerwine treats from Anthony Denning of Another!? Food Truck (Cheerwine blondie with Cheerwine buttercream), Chris Coleman of The Goodyear House (chocolate Cheerwine buche de Noel), Jossie Lukacik of Sweet Spot Studio (chocolate cherry bundt cake) and Sam Allen of Wentworth & Fenn (chocolate chip Cheerwine banana bread). Multiple locations.

Mark your calendar

Spend New Year’s Eve at a late-night performance from Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, complete with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a ball drop and special host Delighted Tobehere. Proof of vaccination and photo ID required. 9 p.m. $71.71 + Hadley Theatre, 2132 Radcliffe Ave.

Celebrate the New Year with an evening of music featuring American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle. The ticket includes a post-concert party at Belk Theatre with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, dancing on stage and more. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required. $66+ 7:30-11 p.m. Dec. 31. 130 N. Tryon St.

Start the New Year with a healthy outing at the Charlotte New Year’s Day 5K and Fun Run. The popular event will return this year along the LYNX rail line in University City. After the run, there will be a celebration complete with brunch, craft beer, mimosas, hot cider and music. The race, presented by Atrium Health, raises awareness about hunger challenges in Charlotte and proceeds will benefit Hope Street Food Pantry. Jan. 1, 2022. 10 a.m. $30-$45. All registered participants will receive an all-day pass to ride the LYNX.

Gather friends and family for the Charlotte New Year’s Day 5K and Fun Run.
Gather friends and family for the Charlotte New Year’s Day 5K and Fun Run.
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