Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, at 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont, is worth the short 15-minute drive from Charlotte, especially during the Christmas season. From November 18th, 2016, through January 1st, with the exception of Christmas, the light displays will start at 5 p.m. and continue through 9 p.m. The garden itself is open starting at 9 a.m. all those days, except for Thanksgiving, when it opens at 5 p.m.
The light display is beautiful. It is integrated into the garden, and makes the fountains, trees and landscape magical.
There will also be children’s crafts, live entertainment, a campfire with s’mores, horse drawn carriage rides, a model train display, coffee, cocoa and dinner for purchase.
Children can visit with Santa from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, then daily from 6 to 9 p.m. from Dec. 19-23. Mrs. Claus will also visit the Garden on select nights from 6 to 9 p.m. including Monday through Wednesday Nov. 28 – Dec. 21 and also Dec. 22 – 24.
The Children’s Holiday Discovery Trail and either karaoke or live music will entertain guests each night.
Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from Southern Breezes Carriages from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 31 (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) and also Dec. 19-21. Carriage rides are $6/adult, $4/child 3-12, and free for children under 3. The Garden Tram will be available for rides when the carriages are not available and rides are free with admission from 6 to 9 p.m.