MINT HILL, NC – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are out of session on Monday, February 20, in observance of Presidents Day, and several local charter schools have an early dismissal on Friday, February 17 as well.
The bad news: if you need childcare for Monday, you may be hard-pressed to find a facility that will take kids who aren’t already enrolled. Most of the childcare facilities I spoke with include CMS days off in their aftercare program, limiting attendance on those days to children already enrolled in their afterschool program.
The good news: there are lots of great opportunities for local family fun over the Presidents Day weekend, and there are even a few places where parents might catch a few hours’ break.
Stevens Creek Nature Preserve is offering several programs to get the whole family outdoors over Presidents Day weekend. On Friday, February 17, start the weekend off right with a hot, gooey s’more by a warm crackling fire at “Friday Fire and S’mores.” This drop in program runs from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; it is free and appropriate for all ages. On Saturday, February 18, at 9:15, hit the trails with Certified Yoga Instructor Yogibelle, who will lead a one-mile fitness hike before 10:00 am guided flow yoga at the Nature Center. This program for ages 10+ is just $7 per person and is appropriate for all fitness levels. BYO mat, blocks and straps.
On Sunday, February 19, consider participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a massive community science project conducted every February. Anyone can count birds in their backyard or at a local park, but you can also bring your flock to the Nature Center for a casual bird hike. The hike begins at 8:00 am; preregistration is required, but it is free. The Great Backyard Bird Count Hike is appropriate for ages 7+.
If you’re in need of childcare for Monday, February 20, Achieve Martial Arts in Matthews offers camps on holidays, teacher work days and school breaks. Camps run from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm and cost $50 per day. Visit their website at https://achievenc.com/ or call (980) 245-2059 for more information.
Friday is a “normal day” at Charlotte All Stars, a gymnastics, cheerleading and tumbling gym located off Monroe Road in Matthews, and that means Little Bit Fit Time. A year-round program, Little Bit Fit Time runs every Monday through Friday from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm for preschool-aged children (crawlers through TK). Adults must accompany their children for Little Bit Fit Time; children enrolled in kindergarten or older are not able to attend. Pre-registration is required, and CAS recommends you register early as the gym often fills to capacity going into a holiday weekend. To register, visit https://www.charlotteallstars.net/ and click the “activities” tab. Little Bit Fit Time is $6 per child.
On Monday, in addition to Little Bit Fit Time, CAS will also offer “Schools Out Open Gym.” This is a drop-off program for school-aged children (five and older) that runs from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Parents are not required to stay (those who do are asked to remain in the parent room), so this is a great option for parents who want to keep their kids active while they take a short break. Like Little Bit Fit Time, School’s Out Open Gym is bound to book up, so register soon! Registration is $10 per child.
Urban Air Adventure Park located at the intersection of Lawyers and Wilgrove-Mint Hill Roads, will be open regular hours on Friday, February 17 (4:00 pm – 9:00 pm), Saturday, February 18 (11:00 am – 9:00 pm), and Sunday, February 19 (12:00 pm – 8:00 pm). On Monday, February 20, they’ll be open all day from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm! Tickets range from $14.49 for basic attractions to $24.99 for ultimate attractions; there are also options for parent and toddler passes. As always, members jump free. With free wifi and plenty of seating, Urban Air can offer parents a brief break while their kids jump. Visit https://www.urbanair.com/ for more information, and don’t forget your jump socks!
Playland is another great option for parents looking for a break! Located in Indian Trail, Playland is a local, family-owned indoor playground with a multi-level soft play structure designed for kids ages 3-12 and a separate area just for infants and toddlers. With free wifi, delicious locally roasted coffee, and even massage chairs, you can kick back and relax (or knock out a few hours’ work) while your kids burn off some energy. Reservations are required for weekends and holidays; reservations for the days surrounding Presidents Day Weekend will be available starting Wednesday, February 15. They’re sure to book up fast, so mark your calendar to reserve your space online at https://playlandnc.com. Prices range from $11.99 – $13.99 per person; children 11 months and under as well as two adults per family are free. Socks are required!