Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on November 2, 2023.
Inside this guide, we share more info about Speedway Christmas, dates and times, ticket info, and more things to do in the area. Here’s a breakdown of each section below:
- What is Speedway Christmas?
- Christmas Village
- Movie Nights
- Dates and Times
- How to Buy Tickets (Vehicle Pass, Express Lane, Bus Pass)
- Ticket Prices
- When to Visit (and How to Avoid Crowds)
- More Speedway Christmas Tips
- More Charlotte Motor Speedway Events
- More Things to Do in Concord and Cabarrus County (NC Travel Guides)
What is Speedway Christmas?
Speedway Christmas is a spectacular drive-thru Christmas light display at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, about 20 minutes north of Charlotte.
You will hear it referred to as both the “Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights” and the “Concord Motor Speedway lights.”
It operates rain or shine, but Charlotte Motor Speedway will announce any severe weather-related changes on Twitter.
On select dates from November through January, you get to drive on the same race track that NASCAR’s best drive on during the Coca-Cola 600 each Memorial Day Weekend.
The 4-mile course will take you past 4 million flashing lights. Those lights flash along with music that plays from a radio station dedicated to Speedway Christmas.
Read More: Day Trips from Charlotte
The Christmas Village
About halfway through the amazing light display, you’ll see signs for the Christmas Village inside Speedway Christmas. You have the option of continuing on without stopping, but we highly recommend you park and walk through the village.
There is an indoor and outdoor section of the Christmas Village, and both are worth seeing.
Inside, there’s a series of vendors selling souvenirs, free crafts for you and the kids, pictures with Santa, and food for purchase. There’s even a large screen inside, which shows the night’s movie and has seats available on a first-come-first-served basis.
We’ll share more info about Speedway Christmas movies shortly.
Outside, a series of fire pits are surrounded by chairs and wait for you to come and sit with some hot chocolate and a s’mores kit, with both available to purchase.
Read More: Restaurants in Concord and Cabarrus County
On select nights, Speedway Christmas will play one holiday-themed classic movie on its big screen and inside the Christmas Village. While we wait for this year’s schedule, here’s a selection of movies aired in the past for Fox Charlotte Movie Nights :
- Home Alone 2
- Christmas Vacation
- The Grinch
- Christmas with the Kranks
- A Christmas Story
Read More: Movies Filmed in North Carolina
When is Speedway Christmas?
Speedway Christmas is open from Friday, November 17, 2023, through Sunday, January 7, 2024.
You should also expect Speedway Christmas to be closed on Christmas Eve. Santa’s a little busy that night.
Read More: Unique Things to Do in North Carolina
How to Buy Speedway Christmas Tickets
The ticket price (per vehicle) depends on which days you plan to visit and if you choose a:
- General Admission Vehicle Pass (up to 15 people)
- Vehicle Pass with Express Lane
- Bus Pass (up to 60 people)
Vehicle Passes will enter via the General Admission Entrance (Main Entrance) at 5555 Concord Parkway S.
If you purchase a Vehicle Pass with Express Lane, here are your driving directions:
- Enter Speedway Christmas at 5197 Morehead Rd (Entrance P).
- Follow signs from Entrance P to Gate 25 light show entrance.
Advance tickets will be Ticketmaster-verified, and you can either print them or access them via the Ticketmaster mobile app. Make sure the email address you use to purchase the tickets matches the email address attached to your Ticketmaster account.
Drive-up tickets are available and recommended if you don’t know the night you plan to visit. Cash or credit cards are accepted for drive-up tickets.
While we await this year’s ticket prices, here’s a breakdown of 2022/2023 Speedway Christmas prices:
Check the official website and back here for 2023 ticket prices.
Monday to Wednesday Tickets
- Vehicle Pass: $30
- Bus Pass: $140
- Note that Express Lane and Christmas Village are Closed during these dates.
Thursday to Sunday Tickets
- Vehicle Pass: $40
- Vehicle Pass with Express Lane: $70
- Bus Pass: $175
December 19 to 21 Tickets
- Vehicle Pass: $40
- Vehicle Pass with Express Lane Access: $70
- Bus Pass: $170
^All ticket prices are subject to North Carolina sales tax.
When to Visit (and How to Avoid Crowds)
We’ve heard multiple reports from people who’ve endured hours-long waits to get in and enjoy the Concord Speedway Christmas lights. This is an extremely popular event with huge demand, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid crowds:
- Arrive at 6:00 PM or not long after, especially on weekends.
- We suggest you consider a visit on Sundays through Thursdays, as fewer people will visit compared to those peak days.
- Finally, we suggest an Express Lane Pass if you really want to beat the crowds. The route from the entrance gate to the start of the light show is much shorter from the Express Lane entrance than the entrance for everyone else.
More Speedway Christmas Tips
- Once you arrive at Speedway Christmas, you’ll wait in line at either the General Admission Entrance or the Express Lane Entrance and check in with your ticket. Remember to print your ticket or have it ready via the Ticketmaster App.
- While driving through, please turn off or dim your headlights.
- There will also be multiple chances for you to pass slower cars. Signs will indicate whether or not you’re in a passing zone.
- You can be that slower car, as there is no need to rush through Speedway Christmas.
- Dogs are allowed in cars while driving through Speedway Christmas. However, dogs are not allowed to enter the Christmas Village.
- Motorcycles are not permitted to enter Speedway Christmas due to insurance regulations.
Ready to Experience Speedway Christmas?
We were hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway when visiting Speedway Christmas. However, whether or not we’re invited in future years, we will certainly be back for more.
Personally, it’s hard to get over the excitement of driving our car on an actual NASCAR race track. Without this, the epic light display, the Christmas Village, and everything else at Speedway Christmas makes this one of the most interesting things to do in North Carolina.
Before we get ready for our next Speedway Christmas experience, we’d love to hear from you.
Have you ever been to this bucket list-worthy event? What did you think of it? If you’re looking forward to visiting, what questions do you have? We’ll be happy to answer them in the comments, by email, or in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group.
Read More: The North Carolina Bucket List
More Charlotte Motor Speedway Events
Beyond Speedway Christmas, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s tracks host some of the biggest events in racing. Here are five big ones held at the Quad Oval (Oval), zMax Dragway, and the Clay Oval known as the Dirt Track.
- World Short Track Championship (Halloween Weekend)
- NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Oval (Memorial Day Weekend in May)
- NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway (September)
- Bank of America Roval 400 at the Oval (October)
- World of Outlaws Finals at the Dirt Track (November)
Read More: Awesome Breweries in Concord
More Things to Do in Concord and Cabarrus County (NC Travel Guides)
Beyond Speedway Christmas, we’ve created more NC travel guides that cover Concord, Cabarrus County, and more! Here are a few of them: