Family-Friendly Christmas Activities Near the High Country

Christmas is a joyful time of year. As parades and Christmas tree lightings may be canceled in the High Country, we wanted to compose activities for families that were all within driving distance.

Tanglewood Festival of Lights – (Clemmons, NC) Festival of Lights is open nightly, Friday, November 13th, 2020 through Friday, January 1st, 2021 from 6PM to 11PM.

High Country Lights – (Galax, VA) High Country Lights is an animated light show featuring over one hundred thousand Christmas lights choreographed to your favorite sounds of the season on a low-power radio transmitter – 95.9FM. It’s hosted by Galax Visitor’s Center and Galax Parks and Recreation Department in Felts Park. The show can be seen nightly starting at 6:00 p.m, November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021. It ends at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday. Admission is free.

Speedway Christmas – (Concord, NC) Mark your calendars, grab your popcorn and get ready for a night at the movies at America’s Home for the Holidays. Open Nov. 21 through Jan. 17, Speedway Christmas presented by Count On Me NC will liven up the Southeast’s largest drive-thru

Pinnacle Speedway in Lights – (Bristol, TN) The region’s most dazzling holiday light show returns to Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway. The Pinnacle Speedway In Lights, Powered by TVA, kicks off its 24th season with more lights and a route that offers visitors the chance to take a lap around “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Holiday light seekers will circle the concrete oval as part of their festive drive and also may visit the Christmas Village, which returns to its popular infield location.

Tweetsie Christmas – (Blowing Rock, NC) Tweetsie Railroad will welcome guests for Tweetsie Christmas to celebrate the magical holiday season and end the year on a high-country note. Families are invited to make the breathtaking trip to the North Carolina mountains to commemorate their holiday traditions festively and safely.

Festival of Lights at Chetola – (Blowing Rock, NC) Close to 30,000 holiday illuminations light up Chetola beginning at dusk on Sunday, November 29, and running through the end of Blowing Rock Winterfest, January 28-31, 2021. As you drive or walk around Chetola Lake, view glittering ice skaters, a Nativity scene, a colorful train, Rudolph’s “Holiday Catch”, and much more.

Winter Wonderlights – (Greensboro, NC) Greensboro Science Center invites you to celebrate safely with loved ones at Winter Wonderlights. Featuring 12 magical realms of joyful sounds and shimmering lights such as dancing fountains, woodland wonders, a gingerbread barn, carousel dreams and more, this walk-thru experience is ticketed and timed to ensure proper social distancing. Check the calendar before buying tickets – most Mondays and Tuesdays are discounted, and you’ll find Santa and live music from the Greensboro Opera most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum – (Asheville, NC) Experience Asheville’s BRIGHTEST holiday tradition at Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. This year, guests are invited to take a dreamy ride through the Arboretum’s enchanted forest and attend Winter Lights safely within their own vehicles. In light of COVID-19, the Arboretum has converted its popular event into a drive-thru show with per-car ticketing, allowing guests to navigate through a one-mile stretch of the Arboretum’s campus and see unique exhibits covered in thousands of holiday lights. As the Arboretum’s largest fundraising event of the year, proceeds generated from Winter Lights will directly support the Arboretum’s mission-driven programming.

The Polar Express – (Bryson City, NC) All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible roundtrip ride! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Piedmont Winterfest – (Greensboro, NC) Bundle up and head to Piedmont Winterfest in downtown Greensboro, taking place at LeBauer Park. Glide down an ice slide and let your kiddos go wild in the snow play box. There’s even an ice rink, which lets you rock those figure eights. To really show off your moves though, lace up your skates on Friday and Saturday nights for dance music with synchronized disco lights at the rink.

Carowind’s Taste of the Season – (Charlotte, NC) Christmas event is an outdoor dining experience with a sleigh-full of family activities. Purchase a Tasting Card to choose among 30 samples of holiday sweets and savories. Feast your eyes on dazzling holiday décor, enjoy seasonal shows, and wrap up your Christmas shopping. What’s more, select family rides are open to deliver the ear-to-ear smiles and belly laughs you can always count on from Carowinds.

Barter at the Moonlite Drive In – (Abingdon, VA) Keep the tradition alive this holiday season by celebrating with your whole family at Barter Theatre at the Moonlite Drive In. These two classic Christmas shows are performing November 20th through December 23rd. Tickets are on sale now!

Christmas Town USA – (McAdenville, NC) Trees will be lit in the downtown area from the PHARR FAMILY YMCA on Main Street (N.C. Highway # 7)
to the SPRUCED GOOSE RESTAURANT on Wesleyan Drive (Near the lake)

Watauga County Parks and Recreation Drive-Thru Christmas Parade

Beech Mountain Christmas Parade and Festival