Planning a night out this December? Why not make it an extra special night on the town? A get excited, get a little dressed up and get in the spirit kind of night. With Nutcracker at the center of it, you’re sure to have a spectacular evening. Whether a date night, a girls’ night or another special evening, you can pair the performance with food, festivities and libations that will kick off or wrap up your Nutcracker experience in a fun and distinct way!
Step 1: Get your Nutcracker tickets today! The earlier you purchase tickets the better seats and pricing you’ll find.
Step 2: Check out a few of our favorite things in Uptown to make it a full day or evening.
Take a cue from Nutcracker’s re-envisioned sets and costumes, and try one of uptown’s newer establishments for pre or post show dinner, drinks, coffee or dessert.
- Stoke Restaurant and Stoke Bar at Marriott Center City is among uptown’s freshest new additions. Stoke features a sleek interior, open kitchen and creative menu, and the creativity isn’t limited to the food. Stoke Bar features a hard-to-resist selection of craft cocktails plus local beers on tap.
- Coco and the Director, also at Marriott City Center, is more casual but equally cool offering lighter fare, awesome pastries and coffee. The coffee shop, bar and restaurant, which opened in August of this year, are fresh and fun, and a new favorite among locals. On December 15, you can even take in A Christmas Story (plus free popcorn!) on their big screen starting at 5:30 p.m. before heading to Nutcracker. One if not all of the Marriott’s new concepts should be on your agenda for before of after the show.
- Essex Bar & Bistro is another new spot near the theater. With views of the square, an internationally-inspired, bistro-style menu, and extensive cocktail list, it’s a great place to get a taste of the uptown experience before or after the ballet.
There’s no shortage of fantastic restaurants in uptown Charlotte, and many have mastered pre and post show service, especially those located near Belk Theater.
- Aria Tuscan Grille in Founders Hall is accessible at the corner of Trade and College, with views of uptown’s vibrant nightlife. But you can exit directly into and cross Founders Hall to reach the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center lobby. With an inviting and elegant space and menu, Aria delivers a warm setting and experience for couples and friends alike.
- The Spanish restaurant Malabar, located just a block from the theater on Tryon Street (in front of the Hearst Tower), is another great option. Smaller and more intimate, it offers an interesting menu with a variety of tapas style items and Spanish wines.
- If you’re looking for a truly upscale evening full of holiday glitz and glamour to wrap around your Nutcracker performance, cross College Street to the Ritz-Carlton either before or after the show. The Ritz-Carlton is decked out with dazzling holiday decor inside and out, along with its swanky settings for dinner at BLT Steak, desserts at Bar Cocoa and drinks in the Lobby Lounge and at The Punch Room on the 15th floor.
Give yourself time to enjoy uptown’s festive ambiance and energy. From decor to street musicians, you’ll find holiday cheer at most every corner.
- Take a walk down Tryon Street, or better yet, go for a ride – a carriage ride. Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours picks up at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets. You don’t need a reservation but they do recommend you call for a weekly schedule, which they leave on a voicemail – 704.301.5111
- Get an early start and begin your evening in the afternoon at Romare Bearden Park. The Charlotte Christmas Village, which debuted after Thanksgiving, is a European-inspired market with Christmas and local merchandise, arts & crafts, food, beer and entertainment (open Tuesday – Wednesday 11 AM – 7 PM; Thursday – Saturday 11 AM – 9 PM; Sunday noon – 6 PM).
Your night out and the holidays will be over before you know it. Don’t forget to take photos! Look for the Nutcracker-themed backdrops in the lobby for photos at intermission or after the show. There will even be a Snapchat geo-filter at the theater! And if you share on your social channels, be sure to tag Charlotte Ballet!
Ready to plan your date? Snag your Nutcracker tickets now!