For many Charlotte families driving through the neighborhoods of town in search of Christmas lights and decorations to ooh and aah over is an annual Christmas tradition. Every neighborhood has that one house that goes above and beyond the rest, even if it’s not full-blown ‘‘Christmas Vacation’ style Clark Griswold.’

Some neighborhoods are better than others for seeing the lights. McAdenville in Belmont is the most popular in the area with EVERY home decorated with lights. It also has the most traffic. 

Here are a few Charlotte neighborhoods with a good reputation for impressive light displays (and less traffic).

Queen Family Christmas

3943 Black Sycamore Drive(Montibello neighborhood), Charlotte, NC 28226

Lights and inflatables galore! There’s even music on the weekend. The display is a fundraiser for the Charlotte Rescue Mission. There is even a live nativity on December 18th, 2021, from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Harbin Family Christmas Lights

10223 Summer House Court, Charlotte, NC 28210

Accepts donations for Make-A-Wish

Ardrey neighborhood

Subdivision in Ballantyne, not far from Blakeney.

Nearly every one of the Charleston-style homes around Ardrey are decked out in Christmas decor. You can drive around, or park and take a stroll through the charming neighborhood.


6315 Baltray Rd, Charlotte 28278

This house has a light show that is synchronized to music. Just look for the sign in the yard and tune your car radio to the radio station on the sign.  

Hillside Avenue in Myers Park

The annual tradition of hanging Christmas balls made of chicken wire and lights is quite impressive. The tall trees take on a magical appearance with the lights! There are a lot around but there is a particularly high concentration is on Hillside Avenue around Chelsea Drive. Donations to Loaves and Fishes are encouraged.  Follow Hillside on Facebook.

Want to get in on the fun. Here are some tips for lighting your house like a pro:

  • Use LED lights. Yes, they are more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last way longer. They are also super efficient which reduces energy costs and are made of acrylic so they are harder to break. Not to mention LED lights are safer: they don’t get hot to the touch.
  • Make sure extension cords and light strings are made for outdoor use, are in good condition and there are no exposed wires, broken sockets, or other safety hazards.
  • Before you hang the lights, measure the area you plan to hang them in so you know you have enough strands! 
  • When you’re ready to hang them start with the highest point and work your way from side to side and then down. Do any railings, shrubs, and bushes last.

If you want to try and win your neighborhood display, here’s some good advice.  

Of course, you can always leave the lights to the professionals and venture out for lights! Charlotte has some amazing Christmas displays with millions of sparkling lights to choose from such as Carowinds Winterfest, the Charlotte Motor Speedway or Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Yes, you’ll have to pay to see those but at least you don’t run the risk of causing a blackout or falling off a ladder.