Family is the key to a beautiful holiday season, and in Rowan County we’re providing as many family friendly opportunities for you to create lasting holiday memories. In fact, we’re so excited for you to spend time with your family this holiday season that we’ve created a guide packed full of kid friendly activities for the holiday season! Get your calendars handy, because we’re about to fill your holiday schedule!


Brunch with Santa: Santa may like cookies and milk while he’s delivering toys, but for his brunch he likes pancakes! Children and their families are invited to have brunch with Santa at the Salisbury Civic Center. Food, crafts, games, photos and more! All ages are welcome. Pre-registration is required. 

December 1, 2018


Cleveland Christmas Parade: There’s no better holiday tradition than an old fashion Christmas parade! Join the Cleveland Lions Club for the 46th annual Cleveland Christmas Parade.

December 1, 2018


Town of China Grove Tree Lighting: Grab some hot chocolate and sing along to Christmas carols during the 3rd annual China Grove Tree Lighting.

December 1, 2018


Celebration of Lights & the Winterland Express: Village Park in Kannapolis has been completely transformed into a winter wonderland! More than 250,000 holiday lights will illuminate the night as children ride the Winterland Express Train, make s’mores, watch performances by the Kannapolis Singing Bears, make ornaments and more!

November 24 – December 30 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)


Polar Express Train Ride: All aboard the Polar Express at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. Enjoy a train ride bound for the North Pole to see Santa deliver the first gift of Christmas. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate included! Don’t delay, tickets sell out early.

November 17 – December 22


Gingerbread House Workshop: The Rowan Museum in Downtown Salisbury has assembled gingerbread houses for your family to decorate! Make your gingerbread house a gingerbread home!

December 2


A Christmas Story: Piedmont Players Youth Theatre presents the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. Watch the story of Ralphie Parker and his quest to find a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under his Christmas tree.

December 6-9 and 13-15


Historic Gold Hill Christmas in the Village: Visit Historic Gold Hill for an old fashioned Christmas with light refreshments in the Village Shops, photos with Santa, hayrides to the barn, live music, marshmallow roasting and more!

December 7-9


80th Annual Kannapolis Christmas Parade: This special nighttime parade travels through the streets of downtown Kannapolis! This year’s parade is sponsored by Cannon Pharmacy.

December 8


Arctic Express with Steve Somers: Children are invited to a magical ride on the Arctic Express with conductor (and magician) Steve Somers. Passengers will learn about winter holiday traditions from around the world.

December 8 & 11 *note each date has a different location


Waterworks Visual Arts Center’s Children’s Workshop: Come create holiday crafts at Waterworks Visual Arts Center! Ages 4-6 will have the opportunity to make pop-up holiday puppets, while ages 7-12 make clay ornaments. Space is limited. Call ahead to reserve your spot.

December 8


Jingle Bell Magic with Steve Somers: Magic tricks, storytelling and music! Witness a snowball come to life, listen to the enchanting tale of Ernie the Elf and meet Snowball Bunny, a live rabbit from the North Pole!

December 13


Christmas in the Grove: There’s a 100% chance of snow in China Grove! Bring your plastic sled for a fun night of sledding, food, hot chocolate, s’mores, firepits, horse draw wagon rides, caroling and of course, Santa!

December 15


Nutcracker Ballet: The annual holiday favorite about Clara and her magical journey will be presented at Catawba College.

December 15 & 16


Santa + Grinch Antique Firetruck Rides: Visit Santa and the Grinch and take a ride in their antique firetruck in Downtown Salisbury! Once you finish, talk a walk around Downtown Salisbury for some Christmas shopping or a warm meal! 

December 15


Tea with Mrs. Claus: Mrs. Claus has planned a special visit to the North Carolina Museum of Dolls, Toys and Miniatures. Join her for tea, cookies, photos and more!

December 15


33rd Annual Old Stone House Christmas: Experience a Christmas like our Rowan County ancestors would have known 200 years ago! Guests will enjoy learning about customs and participating in crafts, musket firing, woodworking, weaving, candle making, open fire cooking, music, children’s games, goats, chickens and more!

December 29-30