Load up the car and check out the lights

When it comes to lights, some families go for simple, some like to Griswold it up. Whatever your preference, there are spectacular lights around town put on by local families that are worth driving by.

Looking for the biggest, best Christmas lights in the Charlotte area for the 2016 Christmas season? Charlotte on the Cheap has this great list for tracking them down. All these displays, often synchronized to Christmas music, are put on by regular people, at their own expense, and it takes an incredible amount of time and creativity. So visit and let them know you appreciate it. If a radio station is listed, tune your car radio to that station to listen to the coordinated music. Please be considerate of these folks’ neighbors. If a website or Facebook page is listed, make sure to visit and check out the hours, start dates, and any additional information that you need to know. Some families show videos and pictures of their works in progress as well.

1 - McAdenville

The famous Christmas lights will be turned on Thursday, December 1st, 2016, and will be lit every night through December 26th. The above link also includes information on the lighting ceremony December 1st, and the Yule Log Ceremony and parade December 16th. McAdenville is in Gaston County, a short drive from Charlotte. The lines can be long to get into the town. Follow this link for some information on avoiding the lines.

2 - Garden Oak Holiday Lights

4026 Garden Oak Drive, Indian Trail, NC 28079 in the Brandon Oak Subdivision

Tune in to 94.5 FM. Donations collected for The National Foundation for Cancer Research

3 - A Sweitzers Christmas

1001 Sunnyview Circle Matthews, NC 28105

Tune in to 107.3 FM

4 - Fountainbrook Fallatts

1028 Fountainbrook Dr. Indian Trail, NC 28079

Accepts donations for Union County Christmas Bureau

5 - Zimnowski Light Show

15419 Hugh Mcauley Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078

Tune in to 87.9 FM

6 - Harbin Family Christmas Lights

10223 Summer House Court

Accepts donations for Make-A-Wish

7 - Nikitas’ Christmas Wonderland

1417 Deer Spring Court, Indian Trail, NC

Accepts donations for Hemby Children Hospital

8 - Hillside Avenue in Myers Park

The neighborhood has a tradition of creating chicken-wire Christmas balls and hanging them from tall trees. It’s very impressive.

Accepts donations for Loaves and Fishes.

9 - Sherwood Forest Drive (off Colony Road)

Several big displays in neighborhood, especially 7323 Sherwood Forest Drive, where Santa is outside handing out candy canes. There’s Christmas music and a collection for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Do you know of a light display that should be included in the list? Please send information to I’ll need to see a website or Facebook page so that I know the homeowner wants the information shared.