Saturday, February 13th, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., bring your fairies, elves, and gnomes, and other small magical creatures to Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, at 6211 Sample Road in Huntersville, for the annual Fairy House Festival. They’ll learn how to build fairy houses and gnome homes on a special wooded trail that is known for its high year-long population of fairies. There will be storytelling, children’s crafts, activities, and games — all focused on fairies and nature. Fairy, gnome, and other appropriate costumes are encouraged but not required. Food vendors will be on site. No registration required. The Fairy House Festival is a popular annual event. If you have kids, don’t miss it! More details coming soon.
The first weekend of every month, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers get into many museums nationwide for free. Saturday, February 7th, and Sunday, February 8th, 2016, take advantage of this opportunity. Also, call individual museums for their hours. As of this posting the following Charlotte museums are included. If you are reading this post at a later time make sure to check the link yourself.
Mint Museum Uptown
Mint Museum Randolph
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Levine Museum of the New South
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Bring a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card for admission. Excludes special exhibitions, fundraising events and ticketed shows.
Experience the Scottish New Year tradition of First Footin’ at Rural Hill on Friday, January 1st, 2016 at 11 a.m. Participants will walk the borders of the property, stopping together to listen to stories of history and folklore. The walk is between 2 and 3 miles, so dress comfortably. Following the “First Footin’” will be a dramatic reading of the story “Stone Soup” and a luncheon. The event is free, but please bring something share for the luncheon.
10:00 – First Footin’ Five Miler Trail Run begins (There’s a charge for the trail run and you must register in advance.)
11:00 – Step off for the First Footin’ Walk around the farm grounds
12:00 – Stone Soup Blessing and Gathering
List of Items Needed:
•Fresh or canned vegetables for the soup
•Soft Drinks, Tea, or Favorite Beverage (non-alcoholic)
•Bowls, Plates, Napkins, Eating Utensils
4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, N. C. 28078-8342
Once a month (or more) the artists at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N. Tryon Street, open their studios to the public. The next Open Studio Saturday is November 14 2015, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is a chance to meet the artists and talk with them about their work. This is a free event.
Our Artists-in-Residence – Ivan Toth Depeña, Juan Fuentes, Stephen L. Hayes Jr., Vicente Hernández, Mei-ling Hom, and Mobile Mural Lab – open their studio doors to you and your family to talk about their work and creative process. Some may even have hands-on art experiences waiting for you!
You’re also welcome to explore our three contemporary art galleries. Our current exhibition, Simulacra by 2015 Alumna Artist-in-Residence Anne Lemanski, is located in our Dickson Gallery on the first floor. 2015 Alumnus Affiliate Artist Erik Waterkotte’s exhibition Sightlines, Incidents, and Echoes is also on view on the first floor. Our second and third floor galleries, where our artist studios are located, are filled with art by our current Artists-in-Residence.
The Yiasou Greek Festival, one of Charlotte’s most popular and longest-running festivals, will be back, Thursday, September 10th, 2015, to Sunday, September 13th. It’s still a bargain at $3 (free for kids 12 and under) but bring some bucks for the delicious food, the highlight of the festival for many people. Other activities include tours of the church; music and dancing; Children’s Play Land with rides, face-painting and games; a Greek cultural exhibit; and lectures on classical Greek culture. Kids (and adults) can even get their picture taken with a Spartan warrior.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
600 East Boulevard
September 10th 11:00 AM – 09:00 PM
September 11th 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
September 12th 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
September 13th 12:00 PM – 08:00 PM
The annual Gospel Shout! concert is back. It’s presented by Levine Museum of the New South and Center City Partners and is held at United House of Prayer for All People, 2321 Beatties Ford Road. Shout Bands are a United House of Prayer original, and they have their roots right in this area. The music of these high-energy trombone-led bands is something you ought to experience. There will also be a capella singing.
The concert is Tuesday, September 15th, 2014, at 7:30pm, and it’s free. Come early (starting at 6pm) and get a soul food dinner at the church cafeteria for $10.
Kids who are self-conscious about reading to people love to read to dogs. And the trained therapy dogs who visit the library love it too. Reading to dogs is a great way for kids to maintain and develop their reading skills over the summer. Paws to Read is a free ongoing program, but you need to sign up at the library for the session you’d like your child to attend. Some fill up quickly. You can see all the upcoming Paws To Read sessions here and learn how to register.
The program takes place at several branches of the library, including University City, Steele Creek, Davidson, Mountain Island, Morrison, Matthews, Mint Hill and Independence.
IKEA is offering the IKEA Family Card at its Charlotte store. It’s free to get the card and it gets you a lot. You’ll receive emails with the special IKEA FAMILY discounts and they’re often substantial. In addition there are some other benefits. I love that I can get a free coffee any time I visit. Follow this link to sign up.
√ Get discounts on many of your favorite items in the store
√ Save on IKEA FAMILY products with your membership card
√ Be entered for a chance to win a $100 IKEA Gift Card every time you scan your card at checkout
√ Take a break and enjoy free coffee or tea every time you visit our restaurant
√ Give your kids more Småland time—30 extra minutes (capacity-depending)
√ When you join – get ONE (1) FREE FROZEN YOGURT with a purchase of one at regular price at the IKEA Bistro. Offer valid for 30 days from date at bottom of printout. One time offer only.
Another benefit: IKEA Family card holders can get BOGO tickets to the Kannapolis Intimidators minor league baseball games during the month of June, 2015. Just show your IKEA Family card at the box office when you buy tickets. To see information the Intimidators’ deal and others, click here.
Summer reading programs can help kids stay interested in books through the summer. Here are three programs that offer kids (and, in one case, adults) rewards for reading a certain number of books or for a certain number of hours. Follow each link for more details on how to participate.
The Last Word, a used book and media store in the university area, rewards kids age 12 and under with $5 in store credit for every 10 books they read, up to $20. You can just write the titles of the books on a piece of paper. You don’t need a special form, although they have some, in limited quantities, at the store. The program runs from June 1st, 2015, through July 31st. More details.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers programs for kids and adults of all ages. There are four different programs, broken down by age. Readers earn prizes for reading, as well as entry in drawings to win bigger prizes. They can also “read down” their library fines. The program runs from June 15th through August 15th, and registration is open now. More details.
Barnes and Nobles’ summer reading program lets kids in grades one through six choose a free book when they read eight books. More details. You can also find some tips for parents and lots of book recommendations on the same website.
Radiant Life Fellowship Church presents Movies in the Park at North Mecklenburg Park, 16131 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. The movies are free and so are the popcorn, drinks, bug spray and sunscreen. There will be pre-movie activities like cornhole, frisbee, football, and kids’ games with prizes. There even will be a family pass given away for Great Wolf Lodge. Food trucks will be on site. The park opens at 6 p.m. for the festivities, and the movies start at dusk.
June 5: Big Hero 6
August 28: Cinderella