We know that being a mom is much more than a job. It’s a full-time-never-get-a-break-don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth-no-means-no-lifestyle filled with ups and downs, laughs and tears and memories by the minute. Sure, it can be confusing and completely overwhelming at times, but hey, that’s why we’re here.
The two Jen’s originally created this site, and now a team of moms with different views will add to this daily blog. Our goal is to make this the ultimate resource for Charlotte moms and moms-to-be on a variety of activities, events and motherhood-related topics (best deals on hip new products, navigating the school systems, kids eat free, etc). This is a place for us to share as well as our readers, and we don’t pretend to know everything here. But, we’ll try our best to provide you with plenty of info we’ve learned through research, trial and, unfortunately, error.
What’s Courtenay’s story? I want to know more about Jen. I think I know Krista from somewhere, but where? Find out everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you didn’t) about our talented and insightful bloggers who know an awful lot about kids’ stuff and the latest goings on around town. We’re moms, wives, co-workers, friends, people in the know and, best of all, your guides on this crazy little thing we call Charlotte Smarty Pants.
Happy Wednesday Smarties! It is going to be another great weekend in the QC. If you are not up for one of the many activities at ImaginOn, Dhildren’s Theatre, Discovery Place or Daniel Stowe, head out for the Holiday Lights Tour of Charlotte. There are many incredible displays all around town and you can always hit Zootastic, Carolina Christmas at the Speedway or the granddaddy of them all – McAdenville. Get out and Enjoy!
Santa’s Ride for Toys, Isabella Santos Foundation and Flywheel Ballantyne
Decenber 15th, noon
ISF and Flywheel Ballantyne have partnered to host Santa’s Ride for Toys, a healthy and fun way to spread the holiday spirit of giving. Flywheel will be providing a total of two classes, one spin class and one barre class, on Saturday, December 15th at noon. The minimum donation to participate is $25.00 or a toy of equal value and ISF will be matching all cash donations. Donations will be used to buy toys for Levine Children’s Hospital for the holidays. Limited space available, R.S.V.P at Charlotte@flywheelsports.com.
Matthews Playhouse, Matthews Community Center
December 14-16, Fri., 8:00pm; Sat., 2:00pm, 8:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm
Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including… Show more Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas. White Christmas is an uplifting musical worthy of year-round productions.
Christmas Concert Benefiting Thompson Child & Family Focus
December 15, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Ring in the holidays with Gina Robinson’s annual Christmas Concert benefiting Thompson Child & Family Focus. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available by calling 704-287-5257. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy.
Painting with a Twist
December 15, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Please join us for a special holiday event. Holiday teas, lite bites provided for your enjoyment. Take time out of your hectic holiday preparations to spend time with a special someone. We will talk you step by step through this masterpiece to add to your own holiday decor or give as a special gift! You must register for this event.
Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church
December 15-16, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Come visit Bethlehem during Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church’s annual Live Nativity, Saturday and Sunday December 15th and 16th. Held on the front lawn of the church, the presentations begin at 6:00 pm and 7:00pm, and are a neighborhood tradition telling of the timeless Christmas birth, through the acting of our children and youth, and enhanced with live animals. 8001 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210.
Christmas is a Feeling: A Children’s Holiday Celebration
Sharon Presbyterian Church
December 15, 1:00pm
The young voices of the Charlotte Children’s Choir will warm your hearts with the holiday spirit, for the entire family! The Charlotte Children’s Choir offers the best in music education and choral performance for the past 27 years!
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
December 15, 3:30pm-5:30pm
A yearly favorite, Santa’s Workshop allows some lucky little ones to spend some time with the jolly old elf himself. Activities will include a sing-along, story time and a ride on the Garden Express tram. Garden elves will be on hand to help children create a special gift for someone on their list, decorate cookies and more. A professional photographer will be available to take pictures. Reservations Required – Call 704-829-1252. Cost is $20 for Garden members, $25 for non-members.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
December 14-16, Fri., 7:00pm; Sat., 2:30pm, 7:00pm; Sun., 2:30pm
Theatre Charlotte’s holiday tradition is back for the sixth consecutive year! This version captures the magic and mystique of the Dickens original. At the opening, Charles Dickens is presenting a reading of his popular “A Christmas Carol.” As he begins, the story unfolds on stage around him: the classic tale of hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghost of his late partner, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. These spirits gradually warm old Scrooge’s heart, as well as ours. Cost is $25.
Christmas at the Billy Graham Library
Billy Graham Library
Ongoing, Mon.-Thurs. 5:00pm-9:00pm; Fri.-Sun. 5:00pm-10:00pm
Live nativity, shopping, carolers, story times, horse-drawn carriage rides and much more.
The Littlest Angel
ImaginOn, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
December 14-16, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 11:00am; Sun., 2:00pm
Back by popular demand, this family classic returns to warm our hearts during the holiday season. The Littlest Angel, new to heaven, is having trouble following all the rules and fitting in with her more experienced brethren. When the Understanding Angel brings her a wooden box full of childhood treasures from her life on earth, she finally begins to feel more at home. Can she change her irresponsible ways and become truly angelic? Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s Tarradiddle Players perform in this charming holiday favorite. Cost is $16. Best for ages 3+.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
ImaginOn, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
December 14-16, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 1:00pm, 3:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm
The Herdman kids are back in this holiday family comedy. The Herdmans are the meanest, nastiest, most inventively awful kids in the history of the world … which is precisely why they were cast in the annual church Christmas pageant! Mayhem – and fun – meet the Christmas story head-on in this hilarious treat for kids young and old. Celebrate the season at this heart-warming classic that teaches the true meaning of the season. A true treat for all ages, Pageant will have you rolling in the aisles. Cost is $20. Best for ages 5+.
December 14-16, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2:00pm, 7:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm
Charlotte’s favorite holiday tradition – Nutcracker – celebrates the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Bring your family and friends along for this holiday voyage featuring choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, live music from the Charlotte Symphony and over 100 performers. Be there as the Nutcracker Prince triumphs over the evil Mouse King and as the Sugar Plum Fairy entertains Clara, her Nutcracker Prince and the audience with dazzling dancing sweets. Nutcracker is recommended for all ages. Wondering at what age your child is ready to attend a performance? A good gauge is if they’re able to sit through a movie. Cost is $25-$79.
The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre – Discovery Place
The Polar Express – Runs through January 1, 2013
Back by popular demand for an exclusive limited engagement, this cherished holiday tale based on the classic children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg is directed by Oscar® winner Robert Zemeckis and stars two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks. Using state-of-the-art CGI and performance capture technology to create a unique blend of realism and fantasy, it tells of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra
Until December 29
One of Charlotte’s favorite traditions is returning to Founders Hall this holiday season – Leonard Bearstein and his animatronic orchestra. Times are: Monday – Friday, 10 and 11 a.m.; noon; and 1, 2, 5 and 6 p.m. Saturday – Sunday, hourly from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Performances are free and times are subject to change.
Carolina Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Until January 1, 6:00pm-11:00pm
Carolina Christmas has something to put a smile on every face. From millions of lights, to driving on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway to shopping in the Emporium, the attractions at the Carolina Christmas Village will delight visitors of all ages. Some activities in the Christmas Village have an additional cost. Cost is $20 per car.
Christmas Town USA
Until December 31, Mon.-Fri. 5:30pm-9:30pm; Sat.-Sun. 5:30pm-11:00pm
The lights are back and this is the event that launches many Carolina Family holidays.
WBT Holiday on Ice
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Until January 6, Wed.-Fri., 5:00pm-10:00pm; Sat.-Sun., 10:00am-10:00pm
WBT Holiday on Ice is back for the 2012 holiday season! The rink is now located at the corner of MLK Blvd and Brevard on The NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, and we are more than 30% larger. That means more skating room for you to cut up the ice! Holiday on Ice will continue its tradition bringing Charlotte the coolest surface in the city, an outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Uptown. It’s a holiday tradition for us to continue with you, your friends, and family. And we hope to see you there! Cost is $9.00, Skate Rental: $3.00.
Christmas Wonderland of Lights
Until December 29, Wed.-Sat., 6:00pm-10:00pm; Sun., 6:00pm-9:00pm
Join us for the 4th Annual Christmas Wonderland of lights presented by McDonald’s, one of the Carolinas Largest Light Shows. With over 2 million lights, and a computerized light show set to music this will be a memory your entire family won’t forget. Along with the lights, Santa will be visiting nightly until Christmas Eve, we have petting zoos, pony rides, concessions, roasting pits to make smores, a candy shop, general store, and much, much more.
Holidays at the Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Until December 31, noon-9:00pm
The sights and scents of a winter’s eve will envelop guests as Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden celebrates this special season. Our holiday display promises surprises aplenty with a new festive display of Christmas trees, a lighting display with 500,000 lights, and a touch of warmth offered by tasty s’mores enjoyed beside a glowing fire. Also, you can still enjoy favorites such as the Orchid Tree, visits with Santa and live entertainment. Cost is $12, adults; $6, children 4-12; $11, Seniors, 60+.