Happy December Smarties! So far December starts off with a bang. Our city really knows how to pack a weekend with tons of great events. Children’s Theatre has a great play and Santa’s Bag – my kids loved this last year and can’t wait to go this weekend. If your kids love trains, the drive to the Transportation Museum is worth it – Santa and Trains, could you ask for more? Overall, a very smarty weekend, get out and enjoy!
“If You Take A Mouse to the Movies”
McColl Family Theatre-ImaginOn
December 4-29, Check website for performance times
This regional premiere is a larger-than-life production based on Laura Joffe Numeroff’s holiday-themed tale. It’s Christmas Eve and the famously bossy Mouse simply cannot wait to go to the movies. But if you take a mouse to the movies, well, who knows what will happen next? For preschool and elementary ages. Cost is $18-$24.
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
December 2-5, Wed.-Fri., 9:30-noon and 4:30-7:30pm; Sat., 9:30-4:30pm
ENCORE!, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s volunteer auxiliary, presents this shopping experience where children under 12 can browse through a wide variety of inexpensive, pre-wrapped gifts and select something for everyone on their list. With volunteer “elves” guiding them, even the youngest children get the fun of picking out a special present all on their own. A separate boutique area with fun gifts and crafts caters to older shoppers, including tweens and teens looking for presents to give their friends.
Birthday Blessings and Monkey Joe’s
Bring your kids out to any of the four Charlotte-area Monkey Joe’s locations on December 4 to bounce for Birthday Blessings and area homeless children. 20% of the day’s proceeds from each location will benefit the 501c(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, inspire and encourage homeless children, while providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to both adults and youth. $5 admission, $2 pizza and lots of Monkey Joe’s giveaways!
Dale Halton Theater, Central Campus CPCC
December 04, Fri., 7pm; Sat., 1:30 and 5:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm
Charlotte Youth Ballet presents the holiday storybook ballet, choreographed with professional, international guest artists. Families purchasing four or more tickets can participate in autograph sessions and backstage tours. Cost is $16-$20.
NC Transportation Museum
December 5-, 6 Sat., 10, 10:45 and 11:30am, 1, 1:45, 2:30 and 3:15pm; Sun., 1:30, 2:15, 3 and 3:35pm
Meet Santa Claus as he trades his sleigh for a locomotive! Take a 25-minute train ride with Santa and his elves, as Santa hands out oranges and candy canes, a Southern Railway tradition. Children will hear classic Christmas tales and have fun making holiday ornaments in the Roundhouse. Tickets only available on the day of the event. Cost is $7, free for kids 2 and under on lap.
Cookies and Cocoa with Santa
NC Transportation Museum
Weekends, daily, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30pm
Take a 25-minute evening train ride to the Roundhouse to share hot cocoa and cookies with Santa. After kids have told Santa their fondest Christmas wishes, they can visit the storytelling and activity area to hear Santa’s elves read Christmas tales, with a coloring area and more. Must buy tickets in advance. Cost is $10, free for kids 2 and under on lap.
“The Real Christmas Story”
NarroWay Theatre, 3346 U.S. 21/Carowinds Blvd., Fort Mill, S.C.
Various dates and times, check website for dates and times.
This live theater and dinner tradition unfolds the biblical Christmas story. There’s also snowfall at every performance, favorite Christmas songs and even a visit from St. Nicholas. Cost is $9.95-$29.95.
Twas the Days before Christmas at Ballantyne Village
Ballantyne Village, 14825 Ballantyne Village Way
Enjoy extended shopping hours, dining and activities. On Saturday, activities include: ornament making, 2-5pm; family photo-op, 2-7pm; free hot chocolate at Kilwin’s, 2-9pm; free hot cider at Dilworth Coffee, 2-9pm; Salvation Army Brass Quartet, 5-7pm; carriage rides 6-9pm; Opera Carolina Chorus, 7-9pm. Presented by Ballantyne Village, K104.7 and The Salvation Army. Cost is – Donations encouraged for Salvation Army.
Christmas at the Library
Billy Graham Library
December 1-23, 5:00pm-9:00pm
A live Nativity offers a glimpse at the first Christmas, complete with live animals. There’s also horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, story time and a special exhibit featuring Graham family Christmas cards through the years. Cost is Free admission; carriage rides $5 adults, $2 kids.
Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge
Enjoy a magical collection of gingerbread houses throughout the holiday season. Attendees may vote on their favorite gingerbread house with $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children’s Hospital.
McAdenville Exit 22 off I-85, west of Charlotte and east of Gastonia
Mon.-Fri., 5:30-9:30pm; Sat.-Sun., 5:30-11pm
McAdenville transforms into Christmas Town USA for the 54th year. See the lights and listen to residents caroling. You have to see these lights – make it your family tradition.
Charity Gift-wrap Donations
Center Court, SouthPark Mall
Daily, 10am-6pm (noon-6pm on Sundays)
Volunteers from the North Carolina Chapter of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the Girl Scouts Hornets Nest Council will wrap presents to raise funds for their respective nonprofit organizations, as well as the Simon Youth Foundation. Cost is $3-$10.
Raptor Center Book Fair and Story Time
December 05, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm
Join The Carolina Raptor Center for readings from “Snow Moon, Owl Moon” and “The Wind Masters.” See a barn owl, peregrine falcon, great horned owl and screech owl.
Wachovia-Wells Fargo Family Saturday: Petite Prints
Mint Museum of Art
December 5, 10:30am-2:30pm
Stop by the Mint Museum’s classroom art studios and enjoy art-making as a family. Make itty-bitty relief prints using foam, ink and paper and use them to embellish gift tags, note cards and bookmarks. Then go on a scavenger hunt for mini-masterpieces in the museum exhibits. Cost is $10, kids free with paying adult.
Home Sweet Homes with Habitat Charlotte
December 5, 11:00a to 3:00p
Habitat Charlotte is holding our Third Annual ‘Home Sweet Homes,’ Gingerbread House competition. The goal of this fun-filled, family friendly event is to create awareness about the need for affordable housing in our community. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are all invited to enter this year’s competition.
Magic of Christmas
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
December 5, 8:00pm
Don’t miss an all new Magic of Christmas as the Charlotte Symphony’s beloved Albert-George Schram leads this yuletide treat for the first time! With the Oratorio Singers, the Charlotte Children’s Choir, and the Noel Freidline Jazz Quintet, Magic of Christmas is a favorite holiday tradition.
Santa’s SleigHAY Ride & Photos on the Farm
Harris Farms, Harrisburg, NC
December 5, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Harris Farm sleigh rides and photos with Santa. Visitors can see baby calves, goats, Santa’s elves Mrs. Claus. Pets are welcome.
Check out our new Smarty Giveaway! What a great way to start the holiday season! Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is giving one lucky reader a family four pack to their newest production, Laura Numeroff’s, “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies”. This giveaway will run through December 6th, so enter now for your chance to win. <a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M6JTTKN
” target=””_blank””>Click Here to enter.