What is there to do in Charlotte this weekend? Here’s our experts’ picks on everything from entertainment – movies to music to theater – to food and wine, beer and restaurants. And shopping, of course...
Shen Yun makes its fourth annual appearance in Charlotte Dec. 30-31 at Belk Theater, doing a show billed as “a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture” expressed through music, dance and visual projections. The score blends Western and Eastern influences to tell ancient legends and modern heroic tales. – LT
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After holding their annual New Year’s Eve concerts around the state, and after their monster 2013 ball dropper at Time Warner Cable Arena (literally – a disco ball crashed through the stage before the headlining set started), Concord’s Avett Brothers return to Bojangles’ Coliseum. That’s the venue that launched the band’s post-major-label career, coinciding with the 2009 release of “I and Love and You,” and it’s likely to be a marathon set. – CD
Get outside and take a deep, fresh breath as you say goodbye to 2016 with an educational walk around the Paw Paw Nature Trail at Discovery Place Nature, with a museum naturalist, at 10:15 a.m. Walk is included with regular museum admission. Or, kids can ring in the new year mid-day (on the Eve) at Discovery Place Kids Huntersville. Morning activities include creating noisemakers and decorations, and at 11:45 a.m. they’ll gather in the museum’s “town center” for a dance party, countdown and balloon drop. Celebration is included with museum admission. – CB– CB
If you want to laugh your way into the New Year, your best bet locally is to catch Jeff Dye’s stand-up show at The Comedy Zone. Though many can’t wait to forget 2016, the 33-year-old comedian actually caught his big break this year: He was cast as the fifth wheel to celebrity veterans Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman on NBC’s reality series “Better Late Than Never.” Shows are at 7 and 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, although if you’ve already got plans, he’ll be here all weekend ... –TJ
If you’re not into long lines and throwing elbows to find a corner of the bar where you and your crew can hang out, the CLT New Year’s Eve party at Romare Bearden Park is what you’ve been searching for. Enjoy live music and fireworks, and it’s totally free. The celebration goes from 8 p.m. to midnight. – LL
You love their St. Patty’s Day pub crawl? Join Rich and Bennett on New Year’s Eve at Prohibition. The ticket includes top-shelf liquor, beer, wine, champagne, a balloon drop, a DJ, plus free tickets to their 2017 St. Pat’s and Halloween bar crawls. For $75, that’s a good deal. If you want to get in early (at 8 p.m.) tickets are $85. – LL
Oh yeah, you’re going to need a Bloody Mary right about now. At Evoke’s $55 Come to Your Senses Hangover Brunch – 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Le Meridien Hotel – you can pay $1 more and get a Bloody Mary that looks like something Benicio del Toro would dream up: Bacon, shrimp, olives and more, topped off with a crab claw. If they wave a hand with eyes in the palm, we’re out of here. – KP
If your resolution is “get more classy brunch buffets in my life” (and whose isn’t?), put 5Church on your list. The New Year’s brunch is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a lineup that includes octopus ceviche, bourbon French toast, smoked salmon and caviar toast and crab cakes with jalapeno beurre blanc. If you were there late for the New Year’s Eve bash, that ought to wake up your taste buds. $35 per person, $21 for persons 12 and younger. – KP
In case you need cleansing after a lively New Year’s Eve, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden offers a “Hair of the Dog Hike” at 11 a.m., free with general admission. There will be a Bloody Mary bar starting at noon for an additional cost. (Dogs are not allowed.) – CB
Charlotte’s own bestselling novelist Kathy Reichs will talk about “Speaking In Bones” on North Carolina Bookwatch (UNC-TV) at 5 p.m. – DP