The holidays may be the only time of the year that you have all of your family members in one place at one time, so we know how important it is to take advantage of that and capture a family picture. We also know that if you’ve got a big family it can be extremely hard to get everyone on the same page just for a photo, so it’s crucial to have everything planned out beforehand. With all of that in mind we’ve put together a list of places that can provide the perfect backdrop for a family photo that everyone will love.
The Ballantyne Hotel is beautiful any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. There are Christmas trees galore, roaring fireplaces and mantels draped with garland around just about every corner — giving you plenty of options to choose the perfect background for your family photo. While you’re there, your whole family can explore the hotel’s popular Gingerbread Lane display. We also suggest staying for the Ballantyne’s afternoon tea, where you can warm up by the fireplace sipping tea and indulging in delicious sandwiches and pastries.
Another festive location for a great family photo is the Billy Graham Library. Take your pick between the library’s famous barn or the silo, which boasts a larger than life wreath for your snapshot. After you get the perfect shot, your family can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and the live nativity scene that has an actual camel! As an extra special treat, Christmas carolers will serenade you as you meander through the grounds.
Okay — we know this isn’t in Charlotte, and it does involve a road trip, but hear us out: the Biltmore Estate is one of America’s most visited places for a reason — actually many reasons — and it’s somewhere everyone should visit at least once, especially out-of-towners. So why not kill two birds with one stone by taking a memorable family trip together and knocking out that family picture at one of the most beautiful places in the country? (We won’t tell anyone if you try to play it off as “your weekend home.”) There’s no shortage of places to pose, including in front of the house, next to the 55-foot Norway spruce on the front lawn and, our personal favorite, the marble lions that greet you at the front door. You can also have your picture taken by a professional inside the house!
Not sold by just the name? You should be, because the small town of McAdenville, NC, has earned the honor of being named Christmas Town USA year after year for its impressive nightly light display. For 61 years, thousands of twinkle lights have lit up the homes and streets of McAdenville, drawing countless visitors — it’s truly a sight to see! You may need to use a flash to capture the full effect of all the colorful lights in your family picture, but it’ll definitely be one of the most festive photos around. We even like the idea of everyone wearing ugly sweaters to make it really over-the-top!
Built in 1915, Historic Duke Mansion is a Charlotte staple and perfect for family photos. We personally could stay there all day taking pictures of everything and think the house is one of the most stunning places in the entire city. Plus, the mansion’s four-and-a-half acres are full of beautiful gardens, sculptures and fountains that can also be used as backdrops.
The eclectic Firebird statue located outside of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is probably one of the most distinctly Charlotte landmarks you can find. The 17-foot sculpture that’s covered head-to-toe in mirrored glass has quickly become one of the Queen City’s must-visit sights and most popular places to photograph. It’s a great idea for large families — plus, you won’t find it anywhere else in the world!
No matter where you take your family photo this holiday season, we hope it’s magical. Say cheese!
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