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! Grab your family and enjoy being together this weekend. There are plenty of activities to choose from. You can also get back to good ol’ family fun by getting on your bikes and hitting the Greenway Trail or head out to the Whitewater Center. Enjoy the season, hug your kids, get out and enjoy!
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
December 18-23, See website for performance times
Renowned director Neil Goldberg, creator of the groundbreaking Broadway hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, re-imagines the holiday season with Cirque Dreams Holidaze. An international cast of over 30 multi-talented and brilliantly costumed artists come to life and perform astonishing feats of disbelief. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen powerfully sculpting, penguins spinning and puppets dancing. Cost is $20.
The Ballantyne Hotel
Through December 25, 9:00am-5:00pm
Enjoy an enchanting 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, dedicated to caring for the physical and emotional needs of children and their families.
Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink
zMAX Dragway, near entrance to Speedway Christmas
Ongoing, Mon.-Fri. 4:00pm-10:00pm; Sat.-Sun. 10:00am-10:00pm
Skating is available for all ages with lessons or free skate. Cost is $12; skate rentals included.
Cookies With Santa at Chick-Fil-A Cotswold
December 22, 10:30am-11:30am
Visit with Santa, decorate a box for Santa’s cookies and make the magical reindeer food. Cost is free.
Matthews Community Center Theater
December 22, 3:00pm & 7:00pm
Celebrate the holidays with Charlotte City Ballet’s Holiday Enchantment, featuring selections from the Nutcracker and other classics. Shows at 3 and 7 pm. After the 3 pm show, meet the ballerinas and enjoy our Nutcracker Cafe with cupcakes from Cupcake Delirium. Tickets available from Carolinatix. For more information on Charlotte City Ballet, see our website at www.charlottecityballet.org. Cost is $12.
Children’s DIY Holiday Village Workshop
Small Hands Big Art
December 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm
In this festive workshop, children will create an enchanting keepsake 3D holiday village that will impress even the grinchiest of grinches! In the evening workshop, children are encouraged to wear comfy PJs (that can get a little messy, of course) to help unleash their creativity! Drop off, ages 4+. Cost is $35/child + $15/siblings.
Santa’s Little Helpers Elf Workshop
Small Hands Big Art
December 22, 4:00pm-5:30pm
Inspired by the little helpers who report to the big boss at the ‘Pole, in this festive workshop children will create a unique elf & super fancy elf workshop that will become a cherished part of your family’s holiday tradition. Drop off, ages 4+. Cost is $35/child + $15/siblings.
A Very Gospel Christmas
Dilworth Elementary School
December 23, 6:00pm
Citylight is throwing Charlotte’s greatest Christmas Concert, A Very Gospel Christmas, and all are invited. On December 23rd at 6pm, the Citylight Worship Team will be performing your Christmas favorites with a unique gospel twist. From a specialized telling of the Christmas story “Incarnational Joy,” to an instrumental violinist & a soulful saxophonist performing classical and jazz features. The night will continue at Citylight’s new Ministry Center for a afterparty of treats, cheer, and fun.
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 21-23, Fri., 11:30am; Sat., 11:00am, 1:00pm; 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 21-23, Fri., 1:00pm, 3:00pm; Sat., 3:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm, 4:00pm
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 21-23, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2:00pm, 7:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm, 7:00pm
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
Check for times
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, 8:00am
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
Price: Admission: $9.00, Skate Rental: $3.00
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!
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+.