The holiday place to stay, Mount Holly is two shakes of a jingle bell from the Charlotte Douglas airport and its location on I-85 makes it the optimal destination for friends and family to stay while visiting the Charlotte area.
Mount Holly’s holiday season calendar is stacked with festive events, and there are plenty of fun things to do in the Charlotte area. Within a matter of minutes from the Mount Holly hotels (Fairfield Inn & Suites Charlotte Belmont and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charlotte Airport Belmont) you can be in Charlotte, the Whitewater Center, and – for Christmas superfans – McAdenville (a.k.a. Christmas Town, USA). Let the enchanting town of Mount Holly make you and your loved ones feel at home with its rare combination of small-town charm and proximity to big-city happenings!
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For those searching for unique last-minute gifts, the Merry Market at Grand Hall is the place to find them! Mount Holly kicks things into holiday gear immediately after Thanksgiving, on Saturday, November 26, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Find wares and decor made by more than 50 regional artisans. You can purchase tickets here.
Downtown Mount Holly springs to bustling holiday life with the “Miracle on Main Street” event at 6 PM on December 2. Followed by the official tree-lighting ceremony, revelers can feast from one food truck to another as live music builds an upbeat atmosphere.
Even in December, visitors can enjoy the local flora and fauna. The Enchantment in the Garden event takes place from 5 to 8:30 PM on Saturday, December 10, in the Mount Holly Community Garden. More than 50 exquisitely adorned garden beds will be available for viewing, in addition to food vendors, musicians, and photo ops with Santa Claus!
Beep beep! (or whatever urgent noise a sleigh makes) The Electric Christmas Parade features a caravan of illuminated floats parading through town on Friday, December 16, at 6 PM. Other exhilarating events include horse-drawn carriage rides (offered December 12-14), visits from Santa in the Grand Hall, interactive selfie stations, and even some winter fun with a snow machine!
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Avoid the Charlotte holiday traffic and treat your family to an adventurous stay in Mount Holly, where there are many kid-friendly and pet-friendly locations to enjoy the great outdoors. Covering nearly 25,000 square feet divided into four skating rinks, the U.S. Whitewater Center offers an unforgettable ice skating experience from mid-November to mid-February. You can even sip on hot chocolate from a rink-side Airstream when you need a rest!
The Chutes at Crowders Springs offer another crowd pleaser – snowless tubing. This year, its new location boasts a 40% larger incline than the previous spot! After a day of slipping and sliding, gather your family around the on-site bonfire to rest and enjoy Christmas tunes in the background.
Several well-kept trails and parks connect nature with the city. Tuckaseege Park – fondly referred to as “Tuck Park” – houses a playground, skate park, dog park, and a picnic shelter area. The 1.2-mile River Hawk Greenway connects Tuck Park to the Mount Holly Municipal Complex, while the Dutchman’s Creek Trail starts at the Municipal Complex and leads hikers to River Street Park. The River Street Park offers a 9-hole disc golf course, a sand volleyball pit, and a kayak/canoe access point and adjacent pier. Either option is an excellent place for biking around with friends and family members of all ages.
Downtown, visitors can peruse one-of-a-kind boutiques, art galleries, and food markets for gifts or provisions. Pick up fun and funky memorabilia at Mount Hollywood Vintage and select seasonal treasures from Vintage Nest, a long-time local merchant known for its holiday-themed decor.
For those seeking faith-based experiences, the Create in Us Art Studio regularly hosts holiday-themed craft workshops. On Thursday, November 17, for example, they’ll be designing winter/Christmas wooden cut-outs!
Indeed, you’ll need some time to relax and unwind throughout the holiday frenzy. Book a heated stone massage at William Henry, a luxurious local spa, or pick up some difficult-to-find regional beverages at The Summit Beer Shop.
Add These Mount Holly Restaurants to Your Nice List
It’s Christmas in the Carolinas, so in lieu of roasting chestnuts by the open fire, we’re proud to offer a starlit dinner overlooking the waters of the Catawba River at J.R. Cash’s Grill & Bar, the most upscale of Mount Holly’s dining options. Sip on a Christmas-themed cocktail as you dine on savory, honey butter croissants, slow-roasted prime rib, and loaded mashed potatoes, all staples of a decadent holiday dinner.
Further inland, the Brightstar Drive-In Grill’s neon signs will pull you toward its iconic LottaBurger with fries or tater tots – just one bite is all we want for Christmas!
Get your breakfast fix at JackBeagle’s, where Beagle Biscuits are served all day long, or Catawba Coffee Co. In addition to flavorful brews, the joint sells macaroons, holiday-themed cookies, and other scrumptious baked goods.
Finally, we couldn’t steer you through Mount Holly without making a stop at one of their special dessert emporiums: Pop-Maize-N and Queen Bee Bakery. The former is a local gourmet popcorn retailer specializing in rare flavors like golden cookies and cream, banana pudding, and loaded baked potato flavored popcorn. Gift a flavor to your host, and buy three or four for the family – you can even vote on which one reigns supreme!
Speaking of reigning supreme, the Queen Bee Bakery concocts some of the most impressive sweet treats we’ve seen in the Carolinas. Specializing in cupcakes, cakes, and other delectable desserts, your family has no choice but to purchase a sampling of the greatest hits. We’re talking caramel apple cupcakes, pumpkin spice cakes, and peppermint bark, among a slew of other holiday creations.
The Holiday Place to Stay
Mount Holly’s two hotel accommodations offer complimentary breakfast and proximity to I-85 and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charlotte Airport Belmont maintains a pool and is close to nearby attractions like the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The Holidays at the Garden event runs from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 31 (excluding certain days) and features a sparkling lights display, s’more-making fire pit, food truck rodeo, and gift shop. Children under two years old get in for free and children ages 2-12 cost only $10 per ticket.
Some rooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Charlotte Belmont have a view of the Whitewater Center zip lines! Recently renovated in 2020, this hotel offers access to a year-round hotel pool, outdoor fire pit, and free cable with channels like HBO and Showtime to watch holiday flicks. These accommodations are less than two miles from the free holiday-themed Movie in the Park series happening on Main Street in Belmont on the following Fridays: November 25, December 2, and December 16.
Of course, this holiday story would be incomplete if we left out Mount Holly’s appealing closeness to McAdenville, better known as Christmas Town, USA! Quite possibly the best winter wonderland to ever exist, McAdenville transforms into the biggest light show in the country. While a walk through Christmas Town is the ultimate way to enjoy this bedazzling spectacle, you can also drive the family through it. Expect 30-45 minutes to drive the entire loop.
Whether you’re visiting or hosting friends and family in the Charlotte area or simply looking for a unique location to form a new holiday memory with your loved ones, Mount Holly promises a season full of palpable holiday spirit.
Beyond its shops, eateries, and enchanting trails, Mount Holly’s accommodations are mere minutes from major travel arteries like I-85 and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. With a range of activities enjoyed by all age groups and abilities, Mount Holly is a special place you’ll find reasons to return to in the coming seasons.