Brr…. Sure is cold out but the excitement about all the events happening this weekend are sure to get the blood moving and will chase the cold away. Grab the kids and catch one of the awesome holiday performances. Start by heading over to Queens for the Harris Y’s Dance Company’s Nutcracker Ballet. This is Nutcracker for the ENTIRE family. Don’t forget the Smarty 12 Days of Christmas and register for the opportunity to win one of our Smarty gifts.
* Photos by Heather Liebler Photography
Harris YMCA’s 8th Annual Nutcracker Ballet
Dana Auditorium at Queens University
December 11-12, Sat., 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm; Sun., 12:00, 3:00pm
This family friendly show is choreographed with kids in mind. Performed by Performance Company dancers ages 7-17 and fully narrated. Cost is $12 and can be purchased at www.seatyourself.bizor at the Harris YMCA.
We are pleased to announce Camp SOS Holiday Style, a two-day service learning camp for children in TK through 5th grade on December 20 & 21 from 8:30am to 1:30 pm. It is sure to be loads of fun, all while offering opportunities to re-set our children’s priorities for serving others, especially during this busy season that is filled with lots of indulgence. Using a sensitive and age-appropriate curriculum, we will partner with local agencies to teach campers about community issues and utilize hands-on projects that make an impact … on those we serve and on your child. With a packed schedule of fun, fellowship and Serving OtherS, we will focus on a variety of community needs each day – the environment, the elderly, care of animals, poverty and homelessness. By utilizing a “Done in a Day” model, the campers will complete a multitude of holiday-themed service projects each day for local agencies. We will also have lots of FUN making crafts, picnicking at lunchtime, making new friends, playing games, Zumba, and much, much more! To find out more email Shana Plott (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Alicia Gagnon (email@example.com). Space is limited to 24 children and will be honored on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are due by December 13. The camp will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 6151 Sharon Road (just ½ mile beyond the Harris YMCA.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Until January 2, 6:00pm-1:000pm
Carolina Christmas is one of the largest holiday light shows in the United States, featuring 2.5 miles of LED lights, a realistic Bethlehem-themed village, NASCAR souvenir rigs for Christmas shopping, carriage rides, ice skating, marshmallow roasting pits and themed areas for children with food, music, rides and photos with Santa. Cost is $20 per car.
North Carolina Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center – Belk Theatre
December 10-12, Fri., 7:00pm; Sat., 2:00pm, 7:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm
You are invited on North Carolina Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker journey, choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Filled with wonder, magic and cheer, Nutcracker draws thousands to the Belk Theater each December. Whether treasured tradition or a new experience, a trip to the Nutcracker is essential for a splendid holiday season. Cost is $25-$79.
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
December 10-12, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 3:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm (This weekends performances SOLD OUT)
With upbeat songs and unforgettable characters, this musical version of Dickens’ classic is a holiday treat for young and old alike. Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s “Bah!, Humbug!” opinion of Christmas grates on everyone around him. But when Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner and three Christmas spirits, he realizes that he needs to change his curmudgeonly ways – just in time for Christmas Day! Enjoyed best by Elementary (7+, 2nd grade), Middle and High School ages. Cost is $18-$24.
The Littlest Angel
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
December 11-12,Sat., 11:00am, 11:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm, 4:00pm
“No swinging on the pearly gates.” “Don’t be late for the rehearsal of the Heavenly Choir.” The Littlest Angel has just arrived in Heaven and simply cannot adjust to all the new rules. When the Understanding Angel brings him a wooden box full of childhood treasures from his life on earth, he finally begins to feel a bit more at home. As the Littlest Angel gets used to life in Heaven, he changes his irresponsible ways, but it isn’t until he gives a heartfelt gift to the newborn child that he becomes truly angelic. This simple, charming story is a holiday favorite for families. Performed by the Tarradiddle Players. Best for ages 3+. One Act. Cost is $14-$18.
A Christmas Carol
December 9-12, Thurs.-Fri., 7:00pm; Sat., 2:30pm and 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm
Adapted by John Jakes from the novel by Charles Dickens This version captures the magic and mystique of the Dickens’ original. At the opening, Charles Dickens is introduced to the audience, ready to present a reading of his popular “A Christmas Carol.” As he begins, the story unfolds on stage around him: the classic tale of the hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas and is visited by the ghost of his late partner, Jacob Marley. Marley urges scrooge to change his ways. This visit is followed by the appearances of three other ghosts-the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. These spirits gradually warm old Scrooge’s heart, as well as ours. Recommended for the entire family. Cost is $7-$20.
Christmas at the Library
Billy Graham Library
December 1-23, 5:00pm-10:00pm
Bring the entire family for a joy-filled experience featuring a live nativity, horse-drawn carriage rides, twinkling lights, exquisite decorations, the merry sound of carolers, and tours of the Library. Cost is free, carriage rides are $5 adults and $2children.
Holiday Lights at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Until Dec. 31, Sun.-Thurs.,5:00pm-9:00pm; Fri. and Sat., 5:00-10:00pm
The holiday tradition continues at the Garden! Christmas has never been brighter with more than 600,000 lights, old fashioned trains, visits from Santa Claus, carriage rides, holiday carols, baked treats, and other holiday fun! Share this holiday magical experience with your family and friends! Cost is $12, adult; $6, ages 4-12.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
December 11, 2:30pm-4:30pm
Santa will set up workshop again at the Garden and spend time with some very lucky children! Santa will read a story and spread Holiday cheer through a Holiday sing-a-long. Garden elves will also be on hand to help children create a special gift for someone on their list, help decorate cookies and much more. Children will also have the opportunity to be photographed with Santa, explore our holiday train display and much more. Greg Briley Photography will be onsite taking pictures of children and families with Santa. Additional fees apply. Please call 704-829-1252 for reservations, they are required and space is limited. Cost is Members, $15; Non-members, $18. Fee includes admission for the evening for Holiday Lights.
Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra
December 1-31, Mon.-Fri., 10:00am, 11:00am, noon, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm; Sat.-Sun., hourly from 8:00am-6:00pm
Leonard Bearstein and his animatronic orchestra are back at Founders Hall with an updated program and fresh take on holiday classics. The program features a compilation of time-honored songs.
A Huntersville Christmas
December 11, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Huntersville’s newly renovated downtown will be transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland for this one evening. This year is extra special because we will have a true Winter Wonderland, complete with SNOW! For the first time EVER, Huntersville Parks and Recreation is bringing in an estimated 12 tons of snow for children and their families to frolic and enjoy – for this one night only! We have partnered with Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville and are asking families to bring a small donation of canned goods (soups, broths, fruit, vegetables), or gallon sized tea bags to donate to Angels and Sparrows. There will be decorated boxes at all event sites to collect donations. Please help us spread the holiday spirit to others in need this time of year. This year’s celebration features many activities, including: pony rides, a clown bounce, carousel, train rides, rapid slide, Bi-Plane ride, a kiddie-chair swing ride, and a hay ride. As always, children can meet Santa at the Fire Department, where they can also write letters to Santa and have their faces painted. The Davidson Jugglers will also be on hand! For older children and teens there will be a rock climbing wall and bonfire at the Caboose/Huntersville Market. Crafts will be organized by Discovery Place Kids, who’s also holding a coloring contest during the event at the new Discovery Place Kids museum in Huntersville Town Center.
NC Transportation Museum, Spencer
December 11-12, Sat., 10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 11:45am, and 2:30pm and 3:15pm; Sun., 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3:00pm and 3:45pm
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. Cost is $7; free ages 2 and under.
Cookies and Cocoa with Santa
NC Transportation Museum
December 11, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm
Take a 25 minute 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. Cost is $10. Children 2 and under are free but must ride on your lap. Advance reservations are required.
Family GPS Treasure Hunt
Latta Plantation Nature Center
December 11, 10:30am-noon
Ever heard of the high tech treasure hunt known as Geocaching? Bring the family and come learn what this exciting outdoor hobby is all about. Then, use a handheld GPS unit to navigate a course and find a real cache.
Saturday with Santa: Hayride with Santa
McDowell Nature Center
December 11, 11:00am-12:30pm, 2:00pm-3:30pm
Piedmont prairies provide a great place for Santa to land his sleigh and let Rudolph and his reindeers unwind, discover this special place with Santa as your guide. Free hot chocolate included to help you keep warm, toy donations go to a local charity.
Saturday with Santa: Santa’s Friends
McDowell Nature Center
December 11, 12:45pm-1:45pm
Santa meets many animals in his travels around the world but his favorite live in your backyard. Come hear Santa talk about his many encounters with local wildlife. Free hot chocolate and photo opportunities with Santa and friends included, donations are encouraged and go to a local charity. Registration is required.
Pottery Barn Kids Nutcracker Event for St Jude’s
December 11, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Pottery Barn Kids, SouthPark
Would your little ballerina like to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy? Celebrate the holidays and support St. Jude Children’s Hospital at Pottery Barn Kids third annual “Meet the Ballerinas” event. Capture the magic of the season in a photo of your child with the Sugar Plum Fairy (bring your camera) and receive a gift from her and her ladies. Space is very limited. Advance reservations recommended. Cost is $5 minimum donation per child. All proceeds go to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Don’t forget to read our second post today about our Smarty Days of Christmas Giveaway #4 – a $50 gift certificate from our friends at Cotswold Marketplace!
Camp SOS sounds great – but CMS kids are still in school on the 20th and 21st.
I have to agree I was VERY dissapointed that such a phenomenal opportunity is not even available to the majority of Charlotte children who attend CMS schools. I am curious to know what schools are out these days. As far as I know it seems to be all the private schools?
Don't forget the Harris YMCA also has an adorable Nutcracker Camp December 27,28,29 and 30 from 9am-1pm for girls age 3-10 years old! You can do one day or all four. $25 for members and $35 for program members.
Downtown Waxhaw has their annual Christmas parade this Sunday at 3pm (I think that's the right time.) It's straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Tons of floats, santa, etc. My husband's going to take our little girls while I'm at another event.
Thanks to all for your interest in Camp SOS. A quick note to address the comments regarding it catering only to private school students. No, that is definitely not the case! While this ONE session takes place while CMS is still in school, it is our fourth time offering Camp SOS. Two summer sessions served kids from public and private schools and one Camp SOS Kindergarten, which primarily served new CMS kindergartners during their ease-in week at the beginning of the school year. As moms of a combined four CMS students, we will continue to welcome children from all educational backgrounds and have some big plans in the works for expanding our program throughout the year. Stay tuned!
Has anyone attended the Santa's workshop at Daniel Stowe? We have tix for next weekend and just wondered how it was. Thanks!
The dates you have for The Littlest Angel are not correct FYI. We have tickets for Dec 23.:-)
My 8-yr-old son (CMS) attended SOS this summer. He went to the first session and loved it so much that he went back to the second session. I'm not sure where kids could have all these offerings in one place! My son impressed me every night when we talked about what they'd done that day — visiting with and showcasing their talents to seniors in a retirement community; packing birthday party favor bags for homeless kids; giving supplies to the animal shelter. I am so glad that my son had fun and made new friends, but really love that he found the service projects interesting and important. He really seemed to get–and have fun with–the concept of serving others. He has since decided to keep some spare paper lunch bags in the car so if he sees a homeless person, he can offer some good food and necessities. I think the women who started this are really on to something! To the anonymous comments about scheduling: SOS was started by two moms who acted on a good idea. It's a labor of love and I imagine they wish they could clone themeselves and offer multiple programs simultaneously to meet all needs. I'd watch for more programs in the future because it is so worth it. I work fulltime and my son attends a variety of camps during the summer. Their camp day was actually longer than the half-day camps, which definitely helped with childcare logistics. SOS topped our list of camp favorites!
I was surprised to hear CMS is still in after the 17th…my children go to public schools in Union County and finish up on the 17th.