My seven-year-old daughter came home proclaiming “Monday is President’s Day…how will we celebrate?” The public and some private schools give us this day off school to remember Washington, Lincoln, and other men who have served as president. The educator in me feels the need to discuss our forefathers via book and have a small discussion on who our president is and where he lives etc. Now… what to do with the rest of the day?
My girls and I always look forward to a school holiday. We try to plan something special on these days. I often give them three choices and they have to agree on the plan. We start our day by hanging in our jammies relishing the fact that we don’t have to be out at the bus stop in the dark or anywhere else at anytime. I usually “make” breakfast meaning I might scramble an egg or flip a pancake instead of the usual cold cereal or frozen waffle. Sometimes we plan to meet friends at the Y for a quick workout. My kids like to have a little play-date with the friends they don’t get to see everyday. My seven-year-old can now go to the fun zone at the YMCA. She enjoys air hockey, Wii, or doing crafts with her buds. It is key to get there at the same time as their buddies – then it is a win/win for everyone. Age plays a big factor in “day-off field trips”. When the girls were younger, we spent the morning at the library. The Matthews library has computers, a real caboose you can tour, and a great lawn for a picnic lunch (Subway is within walking distance if you didn’t pack a lunch). Add in a trip to Brewster’s Ice Cream and you have filled the day. We have really good friends who live in Huntersville. On our days off we often try to get together with them by meeting in the middle since we live in south Charlotte. We have taken the light rail to uptown and then met our Huntersville peeps at the Discovery Place. A picnic on the Green is also fun (Fuel pizza is conveniently located right there). I bring a Frisbee, jump rope, or soccer ball to entertain in the grass. We mill around looking at all the tall buildings. There is something Ferris Bueller-ish about being uptown on a workday. Concord Mills is also in between Huntersville and south Charlotte. This is not my favorite field trip but a day off is a good time to shoe shop at Stride-Rite outlet or get some good deals at Gap and Gymboree Outlet. I recommend meeting a friend. This crowded funky mall by myself with my children and the ridiculously expensive carousel can only lead to frustration. (I am guilty of bribing my kids with a ride after I check out a few stores!). If the weather is good, we pack up bikes and scooters and go to Freedom Park. I then save my workout for running with them around the lake. For an extra special field trip – a visit to the Nature Museum (connects to the Freedom Park “duck pond”) can be educational as well.
Here are some other fun ideas for you to plan on any school holiday/teacher workday:
– Bowling can be fun at the right place and the right time. We have been to Sports Connection in Ballantyne and AMF Lanes in Matthews. Both venues seem to be family friendly on a weekday.
– My children think it is fun to go to a movie on a school day. We take a trip to Target to pick out special candy to bring in with us.
– Painting pottery is a good way to really have a conversation with your children while working on a project. The finished product reminds them of a fun day off with mom.
– Indoor swimming is always a treat in mid-winter…for my self sufficient swimmers. It is not a treat for me to be in my bathing suit in mid-February but to each her own.
– Charlotte at Play looks like an entertaining venue for little ones – so close to Cluckers (home of the best grilled chicken pita in Charlotte)
– Ice-skating is fun but I recommend going with friends so one mom can watch little ones when they get tired after one lap around the rink while you go around and around with your oldest. Wear tall socks and gloves.
– Having two girls makes it fun to go get toes painted at the nail salon. They don’t charge much just to paint and the finished product reminds us of a fun day together.
– We have created our own fashion shoot – the girls got hair cuts then had pictures made at Portrait Innovations.
– Sometimes my girls are just as happy to paint, play games, and relax at home with no schedules or time restraints so I try to provide that as an option as well.
– If dad has off too than we might be inclined for a mini road trip to the Columbia or Asheboro Zoo, Lazy 5 Ranch or even skiing in Boone at Sugar Mountain.
After carefully reviewing all of these fun-filled options, we have decided to try roller-skating this Monday. My girls have never been but are excited. I haven’t been since the days of Xanadu, feathered hair, and friendship pins…wish me luck.
Happy President’s Day….however you celebrate it. What are your plans?