How to See Speedway Christmas (Sparkling Lights, Movies, and More!)

Last Updated on December 6, 2021

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Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord is one of the most unique and creative displays of Christmas lights in North Carolina.

On select nights from November through January each year, the NASCAR track is transformed into an epic light display, with 4-million lights, a Christmas village, movie screenings, and more!

Speedway Christmas Ticket Info

The magic of these lights and the fun inside Speedway Christmas makes this one of the best places for families in North Carolina, especially during winter.

Inside this guide, we share more info about Speedway Christmas, dates and times for 2021 and 2022, ticket info, and more things to do in the area. Here’s a breakdown of each section below:

  • Speedway Christmas at a Glance
  • 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 (Related Posts)

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (the Best Holiday Events!)

Speedway Christmas at a Glance

Speedway Christmas

Speedway Christmas is a spectacular drive-thru Christmas light display at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, about 20 minutes north of Charlotte. It operates rain or shine, but Charlotte Motor Speedway will announce any severe weather-related changes on Twitter.

During this event 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 3.75-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.

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The Christmas Village

Speedway Christmas Village NC

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.

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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.

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Movie Nights

Speedway Christmas Movie Nights

On select nights, Speedway Christmas will play one holiday-themed classic movie on its big screen and inside the Christmas Village. Here’s the schedule for Fox Charlotte Movie Nights through From November 19 through January 2:

  • November 19 to 21: Home Alone 2
  • November 25 to 28: Christmas Vacation
  • December 2 to 5: The Grinch
  • December 9 to 12: Christmas with the Kranks
  • December 16 to 26: Elf
  • December 30 to January 2: A Christmas Story

Read More: Movies Filmed in North Carolina

When is Speedway Christmas? (Dates and Times)

Speedway Christmas Overlook at Charlotte Motor Speedway NC

With some exceptions, Speedway Christmas is open from Friday, November 19, 2021, through Sunday, January 16, 2022.

The event is closed to the public from December 6 to 8 for private events. Speedway Christmas will also close on December 24 to honor Christmas Eve.

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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), a Vehicle Pass with Express Lane, or a 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.

You can purchase tickets in advance via the Speedway Christmas official website.

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.

Ticket Prices

Here’s a breakdown of 2021-22 Speedway Christmas prices:

Monday to Wednesday Tickets

  • Vehicle Pass: $30
  • Vehicle Pass with Express Lane Not Available
  • Bus Pass: $140

*These tickets are valid from November 22 to 24, 29 to 30 AND December 1, 6, 13 to 15, and 27 to 29 ONLY. They are NOT valid the week of Christmas from December 20 to 22.

Thursday to Sunday Tickets

  • Vehicle Pass: $40
  • Vehicle Pass with Express Lane: $70
  • Bus Pass: $170

**These tickets are valid from November 19 to 21, 25 to 28, December 2 to 5, 9 to 12, 16 to 19, 23, 25 to 26, 30 to 31, and January 1 to 2. They are NOT valid on December 24.

December 20 to 26 Tickets

  • Vehicle Pass: $40
  • Vehicle Pass with Express Lane Access: $70
  • Bus Pass: $170

January 3 to 16 Tickets***

  • Vehicle Pass: $30
  • Bus Pass: $140

***The Express Lane is closed during these dates and times.

^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 Speedway Christmas. 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’re really wanting 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

Speedway Christmas Creative Light Display North Carolina
  • 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

zMax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway NC

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.

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