Friday Four: AWESOME summer fun tips for all!

It’s here!  SUMMERTIME!!!! Find something great to do with this comprehensive list of activities, playgrounds, museums and more. Yes, I have much more than 4 but I signify my top 4! Lucky you! Just bookmark it and come back as needed.

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1. Go see Cirque du Soliel’s ‘Quidam’ at the Time Warner Cable Arena July 3-7  Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.  Click Here to purchase!

Quidam had its world premiere in Montreal under the Big Top in April 1996. Since then, the production has toured on five continents and been experienced by millions of people. In December 2010, Quidam embarked on a new journey, performing the same captivating production, but now in arenas throughout North America. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters.
Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world—the world of Quidam—where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.  You’ll see contortionists, aerial acrobats, hand balancing and more! 
Show Schedule 

Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 6 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 7 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

For more information visit timewarnercablearena.com
See a preview of the show here.

Here’s a bunch of recurring events.

2. Monkey Joe’s: It’s off Woodlawn and Park Rd.

Play time! Name Your Price Mondays is the best!

Play time! Name Your Price Mondays is the best!

 Let the kids jump and bounce on huge inflatables. Parents can take it easy and plug into the free wi-fi. www.monkeyjoes.com

Airport Overlook Park. Pack a lunch and come here to watch the planes take off and land at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Off Old Dowd Road near the intersection with Besser Drive.

3. UNC Botanical Gardens: Consists of the 7-acre Van Landingham Glen, 3-acre Harwood Garden and eight-room McMillan Greenhouse complex.Outdoor gardens open during daylight hours daily. Located on the UNCC campus, at the corner of Mary Alexander and Michael Craver Road. 704-687-2870.http://gardens.uncc.edu

flowerPlaza Fiesta: This giant, two-story play place near Carowinds — billed as the largest indoor play center in the southeast — has tons of slides, tunnels and other features for kids to climb, swing and crawl through. 3700 Avenue Of The Carolinas. www.plazafiestacarolinas.com/site/

Crowders Mountain State Park. About 25 miles west of Charlotte, this park will

challenge the experienced as well as the novice climber. It offers 12 miles of scenic, and somewhat strenuous, hiking trails with a view at the top that’s worth the climb. 522 Park Office Lane in Kings Mountain. 704-853-5375. www.ncparks.gov.

4.  Public spraygrounds. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s five jcspraygrounds feature sprays, nozzles and spouts that spray water for children to run through and frolic under. Open seven days a week in the summer, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Several have playgrounds next door, making them a perfect place to spend hours. Locations: Nevin Park, 6000 Statesville Road; Cordelia Park, 2100 North Davidson Street; Latta Park, 601 East Park Avenue; Veterans Park , 2136 Central Avenue; and West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2400 Kendall Drive. (704) 336-3854. www.parkandrec.com.

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Charlotte Museum of History. The museum, which is always free on Sundays, offers a glimpse into colonial life and has rotating exhibits. 3500 Shamrock Drive. 704-568-1774. www.charlottemuseum.org.

The Energy Explorium at Lake Norman. Located at McGuire Nuclear Station, the Explorium features hands-on exhibits and interactive games designed to introduce kids to the wonders of electricity and nuclear power. They can even use the power of a treadmill to operate a TV. The explorium also offers a mile-long nature trail, a picnic area, and a large deck that overlooks Lake Norman, the Cowans Ford dam and two nuclear silos. No admission fee. 13339 Hagers Ferry Road in Huntersville. 704-875-5600. www.duke-energy.com

Northlake Mall kids’ play areas. At Northlake Mall’s Warner Bros. Looney Tunes Play Area (across from Dick’s Sporting Goods on the lower level), kids can climb, crawl and jump on their favorite Looney Tunes characters. The mall also has a kids’ activity area in the middle of its food court. They’ll have fun with distorted mirrors, tic-tac-toe and tabletop sand art while you relax at a nearby table. 6801 Northlake Mall Drive. 704-921-2005. www.shopnorthlake.com

Storytime at the library. Each branch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library has dozens of local programs, including weekly story times for different age groups and themed special events such as cooking with books programs, “Fancy Nancy” parties and more. www.plcmc.org/programs (Many libraries outside Mecklenburg have similar programming.) (Just don’t put anything down. Their lost and found is awful AND they are  ridiculous about accountability.

Summer-time is calling!

Summer-time is calling! TeHun runs to the call of duty! Wheeeeeee!

Mecklenburg Park and Rec Programs. From fishing to birding, kayaking to outdoor movies, Mecklenburg’s Park and Recreation department has dozens of fun, free programs and festivals for kids and adults a like.www.parkandrec.com. Click on the “Get Going Guide.”

Art gallery crawls. NoDa holds free gallery crawls where you can hear live music and check out original works by artists in different stages of professional development the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month.www.noda.org.

See a free movie. Some are outside on the big screen; others play weekdays in commercial theaters. I’ll add the list here later.

Here’s a few more:

Levine Museum of the New South: This is an interactive history museum that provides the nation with the most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War southern society featuring men, women and children, black and white, rich and poor, long-time residents and newcomers who have shaped the South since the Civil War. 200 E Seventh St http://www.museumofthenewsouth.org/

Kids’ Workshops at Home Depot. Offered the first Saturday of each month between 9 HDa.m. and noon at most stores, kids will learn to hammer nails, turning screws and sanding wood while they build things such as bird houses and catamarans. Designed to teach kids do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while instilling a sense of accomplishment. No registration required. http://www.homedepot.com

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics. Held twice a month on the second and fourth Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., kids will build things such as a dune buggy, a picture frame and more. Different clinics target children of different ages. Registration is required but can be done online. www.lowesbuildandgrow.com

Davie Park: Fabulous playground, plus ball fields, horseshoe pits, hopscotch courses and a lake! 4635 Pineville-Matthews Road. 704-554-0402. www.parkandrec.com

Enjoy your summer! QCSupermom

I'm so ready for this summer!

I’m so ready for this summer!

Friday Four: CirQue Saving B’day Party Dollars!

1vonsI have alot of kids. If you have been reading my blogs you know that I have at least one in every age group from one to twenty. So maybe, just maybe, I can tell you a little something about saving money while having a birthday party.

Try decorating with lots of balloons…taped to the ceiling…no helium needed

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1. Think outside of the box- Maybe a water balloon fight, Cooking party or sleep over will work, or even a pizza and painting party. If your child is in her/his teens, think money. Big kids LOVE money! Just take a few of her/his friends to dinner and lace her/him with a few dollars.

Dig for Treasures:  Kids love to hunt for treasures (don’t we all?), and so it would be so much fun to bury them in sand and have a treasure hunt! If you don’t have a sand box, you could fill a plastic kiddie pool with sand. Treasures could be little action figures you can find at craft stores, containers of putty, coins, or you could go all out and do a pirate theme. You will need to provide each child with a bag of some sort to put their treasures in. (Get these things from the dollar store!)

2. Keep it simple- you don’t need a big menu, expensive decorations or 

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dozen kids! The kids won’t mind. Your backyard could be the best place ever to host your little one’s party. If you are lucky enough to live close a Monkey Joes, like I do. You could have the entire party there for $99*. Or you could take the entire family out for the evening to a special show like CirQue Du Soleil. (click the link to purchase tickets at discount)  It is gonna be awesome this year! ( Check out this quiz. Good luck!) that show alone is enough of a celebration. You can get a family four pack for $118.00. Click on the picture to purchase.If you’re feeling a little lucky, you have a chance to win them. I’ll have the details in Monday’s post!

I usually try to stick with a color theme instead of character theme. The local dollar tree usually has great deals on party supplies

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3. Do It your self- Come on, it’s your child and money! Borrow chairs, others people long, empty hands. Grab up close outs items at craft stores and Pinterest tips. Instead of hiring entertainment, play games.Emma Southern Cake Queen said to take a class and make your own birthday cake.

4. Party in twos- If your child has a classmate or sibling around the same age and birth date- go for it! The savings are incredible! t’s best to choose a friend who has a lot of overlap of friends with your child so that you don’t have to invite twice as many people. If they have five mutual friends and each invite another two or three friends, you’ll still have a manageable number.Makes sense right?

For my son’s party, we made a simple pinata. First, we blew up some balloons, and I had my son tape them into whatever shape he wanted. (It ended up as a giant bee.) Then, I made a paste from flour and water, dipped newspaper strips in the paste, and laid them over the balloons until I covered all but a small opening for the candy. It took about two to three days to completely dry. Then, we just popped the balloons and painted the outside of the “bee.” We filled the bee with a two-dollar bag of “Fun Mix” candy from THE STORE. It made a cute decoration for the party, but the important part was that my son got to tell everyone that he made it.

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Throwing a party should be a lot of fun and not a huge burden. These simple tricks are sure to lighten your workload and keep your party on budget!I

Till the next party, QC Supermom

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Cute ideas below-

See this one.  Pocket your dollars

Dollar Stretcher, always has great tips!