Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly daytime activity, luxurious four-course dinner or fun night on the town, here are 11 things to do in Charlotte to ring in the new year.
Cost: $10 per person
For partygoers with early bedtimes, Discovery Place will open at 9 a.m. on Monday. Kids can make decorations and noisemakers at stations throughout the museum. Then, everyone will gather for a dance party and countdown to a balloon drop at midday. Discovery Place is at 105 Gilead Road in Huntersville.
Cost: $14.95 per adult, $13.95 per senior, $8.95 per child 2-12 years old, free for children under 2
In its 14th year, Holidays at the Garden is a lights display with activities and live music. On New Year’s Eve from 5 to 9 p.m., families can wander through the gardens and experience New Year’s traditions from around the world. The gardens are located at 6500 S. New Hope Road in Belmont.
Cost: $16 per person for admission and skate rental
Skate the day away and then coast into the new year at Charlotte’s outdoor ice rink. Holiday on Ice, located outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the heart of uptown, is open from 10 a.m. until midnight on New Year’s Eve. The rink is at 400 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Cost: $39 per person, $27 for people under 48 inches tall or 62 years and older
Thrillseekers can ring in the New Year at Carowinds — ranked earlier this year among Time’s 10 best amusement parks in the country. With holiday decorations, arts and crafts, ice skating and rides, there will be plenty to do before the park closes at 1 a.m. Carowinds is at 14523 Carowinds Boulevard in Charlotte.
Festivities kick off at 8 p.m. on the Levine Avenue for the Arts with a DJ and local food trucks. Later in the night, there will be live music from Mo Money, the house band for the Carolina Panthers. At midnight, Charlotteans will close out 2018 with the lighting of the Queen City crown and a fireworks display.
Food and drink
The owners of NoDa restaurants Crepe Cellar, Growlers Pourhouse, and Haberdish crafted a New Year’s Eve party for Charlotte’s foodies. The celebration starts with a cocktail hour where revelers can carry their drinks between each eatery and hear live DJs. Then, they’ll enjoy a four-course dinner with drink pairings at the restaurant of their choice. When the ball drops, there will be a champagne toast followed by an after party at Growlers. The party is on North Davidson Street.
This Korean-influenced southern BBQ restaurant is bringing in professional dealers for roulette, blackjack, and craps. Players can gamble to collect raffle tickets and have the chance to win prizes, including a $100 Seoul Food gift card, Beats headphones, and a GoPro. Appetizers and champagne also are included in the ticket price. The restaurant is at 1400 S. Church Street in Charlotte.
Looking for a more laid back celebration? Some of Charlotte’s beloved breweries and bars are hosting parties with live bands, local food trucks, photo booths, and — of course — champagne toasts at midnight. Call ahead to your favorite spots to confirm their New Year’s Eve plans.
The Charlotte Symphony’s first New Year’s concert will feature a program of Strauss waltzes and favorites by the great American composer Gershwin. After the 9 p.m. performance, audience members can stay for dessert, champagne and dancing at the Knight Theater, at 430 S. Tryon St in uptown.
Cost: $450 per VIP bay
Gather a group of six friends for dinner, drinks, and unlimited golfing from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. When the clock strikes midnight, lay out on the lawn for fireworks. VIP bays were still available as of Thursday afternoon, and they come with a carving station and a bottle of bubbly. Topgolf is located at 8024 Savoy Corporate Drive in Charlotte.
Cost: Tickets start at $49.50
The Avett Brothers are returning to their home state to give 2018 a grand send off. There will be two shows starting at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday at 2700 East Independence Boulevard. The American folk rock band will likely play tracks from their new Grammy-nominated album “True Sadness.”