9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Christmas Day. The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway. theballantynehotel.com
Visit Ballantyne Hotel to see more than 40 gingerbread houses on Gingerbread Lane. It’s free to visit, and with a minimum donation of $1 you can vote on your favorite house. The donation goes to Levine Children’s Hospital.
Town Creek Under the Stars
6 p.m. Friday. Town Creek Indian Mound, 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead. 910-439-6802. nccultureevents.com
Get a chance to observe celestial bodies from a location unencumbered by light pollution. Stargazers are encouraged to bring their own telescopes and binoculars, but a telescope will be available. Some people say the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end Friday, so this event will focus on the celestial waypoints that the Mayas used to develop their calendar. Warm refreshments will be available. The event is free but you must RSVP by emailing email@example.com or by calling 910-439-6802.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday. Sugaw Creek Recreation Center, 943 W. Sugar Creek Road. parkandrec.com
Families are invited to this free holiday celebration. Door prizes, games, refreshments and entertainment will be provided.
Christmas at the Library
5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive. 704-401-3200. billygrahamlibrary.org
Enjoy the live Nativity scene, carolers and Christmas story. Horse-drawn carriage rides are $7 ($3 for kids under 12.) There’s a $10 parking charge after 3 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops’ Santa’s Wonderland
Various hours through Monday. Bass Pro Shops, Concord Mills. basspro.com
Bass Pro Shops has transformed itself into a winter wonderland with free games, activities and crafts for kids, as well as free 4-by-6-inch pictures with Santa. Visit the website to see all the different activities, games and crafts.