Unique stores put the fun back into shopping

Lionel store

The Lionel store near Charlotte Motor Speedway has trains on display

Put the fun and adventure back in holiday shopping at these uniquely University City stores!

Shop for your nature lovers deep in a forest. Play with trains at the Lionel Train factory store. Browse through all things 49er at the campus Barnes and Noble. Get NASCAR gifts right at the speedway!


The gift of nature

If you have someone who loves nature, you may find the perfect gift at the Nature Center Reedy Creek Nature Preserve and park, 2900 Rocky River Road just a mile east of Harris Boulevard.

The center sells a variety of nature-themed books and small items, including many for children. While you’re there, tour the nature displays and talk to the center staff about upcoming nature programs for kids and adults.

The center is open 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 pm Sundays. Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. 980-314-1119   Website


The home of Lionel trains

Lionel storeThe Lionel Retail Store located near Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only store directly owned by the 116-year-old train maker.

Located at the world headquarters of Lionel, the Lionel Retail Store offers Lionel trains, train accessories, the official die-cast of NASCAR®, and a friendly environment for the entire family.

The store is open 10 am-6 pm Mondays-Saturdays at 6301 Performance Drive SW, Concord. 704-886-2703   Website


All things UNC Charlotte 49ers at campus Barnes and Noble

Most UNC Charlotte students will soon be gone for holiday break, but the campus Barnes and Noble bookstore is open through Dec. 21 with the most extensive selection of 49er clothing and keepsakes anywhere!

This is also a well-stocked campus bookstore, so even if you don’t bleed 49er green and gold, you’ll enjoy browsing for books and electronics.

The store is located in Pop Martin Student Union, on Craver Road near Cameron Boulevard. A big parking deck is next door. Directions

Store hours through Dec. 15: 7:30 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday; 10 am-5 pm Saturday; noon-5 pm Sunday

Store hours Dec. 16-21: 8 am-5 pm daily. Closed Dec. 22-31 (web orders will be processed as usual).

Shop online at the store website. For information, call 704-687-7050.


Someone you know love racing? Visit the speedway gift shop

The Charlotte Motor Speedway Gift Shop offers a large collection of NASCAR, NHRA, Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track Charlotte-branded memorabilia.

Located in the second floor of Smith Tower, the gift shop is open 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 pm Sundays.704-455-3202   Website

Gift idea: Sign up for e a tour! Two tours are available that will give you and your guests an inside look at the speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track. Tour details and tickets.

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