What is there to do in Charlotte this weekend? everything from food and wine and beer and restaurants to music and entertainment and movies and shopping.
NOW THROUGH DEC. 24: Christkindlmarkt offers German and German-esque edibles (think bratwurst and sauerkraut to Austrian strudel and gingerbread), plus beer and Glühwein (mulled wine; both non- and alcoholic versions), and arts, crafts and entertainment in a “Charlotte Christmas Village” in Romare Bearden Park uptown, open through Christmas Eve (except Mondays).
DEC. 2: Jewelry lovers can get their fix 6-10 p.m. at the ADORN jewelry show at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. The annual juried contemporary jewelry show and sale features unique wearable jewelry art from more than 20 regional, national and international artists. The show is curated and juried by McColl Center for Art + Innovation alumna artist-in-residence Claudia Griffin. Admission is free. – CB
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DEC. 2: Dilworth Artisan Station hosts studio spaces rented by a number of under-the-radar artists, and we consider it one of the best-kept art secrets in Charlotte. During its annual Holiday Open House 6-9 p.m., more than two dozen artists will open their doors (at 118 E. Kingston Ave.) to guests while also providing wine and music. We’re especially excited to walk through Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy and the studios of talented artists like Christopher Clamp, Paul Hastings, Dottie Leatherwood and Marcy Gregg. (Willing to go farther? Winthrop University hosts its 27th Annual Pottery Sale noon-6 p.m. the same day. It’s off the beaten path for most of Charlotte's collectors, but not to be missed.) – GC
DEC. 2: Casey Affleck has gotten Oscar buzz as an emotionally closed-off janitor forced to come out of his shell when he’s named guardian of his nephew in “Manchester By the Sea.” Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan has delivered a dark film that lets in a little light at the end. To cheer up, see the documentary “The Eagle Huntress.” There a Mongolian girl proves she’s as adept a hunter as the men of her clan, who are slow to accept that idea.
DEC. 4: The next episode of Order/Fire, the documentary series featuring local chefs, hits screens at Free Range Brewing. This time, the star is Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit, who splits his time between Charlotte and Cleveland. Social hour starts at 1 p.m., with the viewing at 2 p.m. and food at 3, featuring Whalen specialties including Confit Chicken Wings and Pork Belly Tacos. You can also buy $10 raffle tickets for a party for 25. Proceeds go to Women’s Cancer Research at the Levine Cancer Institute. -- KP
The home team
DEC. 2: Queens University poet Morri Creech, a Pulitzer finalist, and award-winning Charleston poet Richard Garcia, will do a free reading (sponsored by Charlotte Lit) at 6:30 p.m. at the Robert Langford Studio (720 Governor Morrison St.). – DP
DEC. 9-11: The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has been changing quickly under new president/CEO Mary Deissler, and one of her directives was to revamp “Magic of Christmas.” This year (its 20th), Santa will conduct a holiday singalong and be available be selfies in the lobby. (Are those “elfies”?) Snow will fall in the Belk Theater, and old favorites from conductor Albert-George Schram to Charlotte Children’s Choir to Loch Norman Pipe Band will perform.
DEC. 2-4: Forty-six-year-old Jamie Kennedy (yes, the guy many of us remember as the high-school age film geek from 1996’s “Scream” is 46!) is doing five performances over three nights at The Comedy Zone, with the first at 8 p.m. Friday. Just don’t belch loudly during his routine -- a woman at a show of his in Connecticut tried that last month and wound up being roasted by Kennedy (and kicked out by security). www.cltcomedyzone.com. -- TJ
DEC. 5: Lift a toast to the repeal of Prohibition at the Cellar at Duckworth’s uptown. To honor the 83rd anniversary of the 21st amendment, which overturned the 18th amendment (who says politics was simpler then?), Duckworth corporate mixologist Ron Oleksa came up with three cocktails inspired by the 1920s: The Corpse Reviver #2016 (gin, Chartreuse, Amaro Montenegro and an absinthe rinse), Not So Silent Mary Pickford (fruity, frothy and a little spicy, with Mount Gay silver rum, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, triple sec and housemade grenadine) and the Brooklyn Bridge (a cross between a Manhattan and a Brooklyn, with Knob Creek rye, Amaro Montenegro, dry and sweet vermouths and a lemon twist). Toss them back in the basement, which has claims (or legends – who knows?) to Charlotte speakeasy history. Cocktails are $13 to $15. -- KP
DEC. 2-11 and 7-23: Theatre Charlotte has now done “A Christmas Carol” for 10 years, which isn’t excessive: Dickens’ novella, which gave us “Scrooge” as a synonym for a skinflint, has been around for 173. This year, it runs Dec. 2-11. But enough of uplift! Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, which is still having trouble working out city-county permits for its new Freedom Drive home, is taking “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” on the road. Deck the halls with vows unholy at ... are you ready? McBride-Bonnefoux Center for Dance uptown, Dec. 7-23.
DEC. 4: Dust off your acid-washed jeans and that Members Only jacket: Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, Coolio and Rob Base are teaming up for the “I Love the ’90s Tour” at Spectrum Center. (This show was originally scheduled for Sept. 23, but was called off due to the protests and subsequent riots that broke out uptown in the wake of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.) www.timewarnercablearena.com. -- TJ
DEC. 8: Take a deep breath along Gingerbread Lane, the annual gingerbread house competition at The Ballantyne Hotel. Creations range from simple to breath-taking. (A few years ago, it included an entire French cathedral, stained glass and all). It’s free to visit, although you can vote on your favorite for $1 a vote. The money raised goes to Levine Children’s Hospital. The display stays up until Dec. 28. -- KP
Master(s) at work
DEC. 7: “Mark O’Connor: An Appalachian Christmas” is the first local concert by the O’Connor Family Band since the much-honored fiddler and violinist wife Maggie moved to Charlotte this summer. The band, a sextet, features son Forrest and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law Kate; it will play American-style music with a holiday hue. The show is at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. -- LT
DEC. 8: Christmas isn’t Christmas around here without a visit from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the holiday progressive-rock juggernaut that that has brought its pyrotechnics and heavy-metal guitar solos to our arena for the past many Decembers. The Wall Street Journal has called TSO “part narrated Dickensian tale, part 1970s Pink Floyd concert”; we call it the antidote to that overplayed holiday-pop playlist. www.timewarnercablearena.com. -- TJ