Please submit your event information online. Go to events.charlotteobserver.com and click on “Add Event.” The submission deadline for print is two weeks in advance of the event date.
Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas captures the beauty and atmosphere of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Iceland during the holidays, weaving a tapestry of music, dance, poetry, and stories that hearken back to the ancient Celtic celebrations associated with the Winter Solstice and Christmas. An entertaining and thought-provoking family holiday experience. $30 adult premium; $24 adult general; $24 wheelchair; $12 student. Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-321-7275. 7:30-10 p.m. Dec. 28.
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12th Annual Puppies for Patients:
Give blood and share some puppy love with children in area hospitals this holiday season. Join Community Blood Center of the Carolinas for the 12th Annual Puppies for Patients program through Dec. 31. Donors who give blood during this time will be able to sign a tag that will then be attached to a stuffed toy puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals and care facilities. To sign up, visit www.cbcc.us or call 704-972-4700. Free. Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. 704-972-4700. www.cbcc.us. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 28.
Male Caregiver Support Group:
Men experience being a caregiver differently than women. They benefit when they have a place to share their unique experiences. Come to a free group that provides support and resources for men who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. RSVP requested, 704-909-2070. Care for loved ones is available during the meeting with advance notice. Bring your own lunch; beverages are provided. Free; RSVP requested. The Ivey Memory Wellness Day Center, 6030 Park S. Drive, Charlotte. 704-909-2070. www.theivey.com. 12-1:15 p.m. Dec. 28. .
Learn to Square Dance:
Looking for something to do? Come have some fun, meet new people, make new friends, and learn to square dance — even with two left feet! Exercise your mind and body. $5. Baker’s Place, 2843 Williams Road, Matthews. 704-576-0318. 7-9 p.m. Dec. 29 and Jan. 5.
Talks & meetings
Red Boot Coalition Meeting:
Weekly, one-hour meetings, where participants practice listening without an agenda and sharing openly with one another. Participants will then take these skills out into the world to create more constructive leadership. Free. theredbootcoalition.org. Another Broken Egg, 3920 Sharon Road, Charlotte. 980-207-2582. www.anotherbrokenegg.com. 7:15-8:15 a.m. Dec. 30.
Caregiver Support Group - Alzheimer’s and Dementia:
A facilitated support group to get emotional support, make new friends, address concerns and share the experiences of being a caregiver for someone with dementia. RSVP requested, 704-909-2070. Care for loved ones is available during the meeting with advance notice. Bring your own lunch; beverages are provided. Free; RSVP requested. The Ivey Memory Wellness Day Center, 6030 Park S. Drive, Charlotte. 704-909-2070. www.theivey.com. 12-1:15 p.m. Jan. 3 and 4.
Women’s group welcome:
New Friends of Carolina, a social group open to all women new or native to the Carolinas, will hold a welcome coffee for new and prospective members Matthews Woman’s Club Service League, 208 S. Trade St., Matthews. www.matthewswomen.org. 11:15 a.m. Jan. 5.
The Vanishing Holiday: Twelfth Night:
Ron Vinson, executive director of the Presbyterian Heritage Center in Montreat, will discuss the origin and prominence of Twelfth Night from its medieval continental origins through Shakespeare’s 1602 play, to observances in Colonial Carolinas. Once the annual peak of parties, gift-giving and weddings, Twelfth Night was gradually absorbed and squeezed out during the 19th century. This presentation will also include illustrations and an opportunity to hear medieval carols and Colonial tunes about the celebration of Twelfth Night. Free. James K. Polk State Historic Site, 12031 Lancaster Highway, Pineville. 704-889-7145. www.nchistoricsites.org. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 7.
Almost New Year Walk:
Jump-start your New Year resolutions with a walk through Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. We will talk about the health benefits of spending time in nature as we walk and burn some energy. Must call 980-314-1119 to register. Ages 10 and older. Free. Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve, 2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 10-11 a.m. Dec. 31.
First Day Hike:
This New Year’s Day, bundle up and enjoy the winter beauty of McDowell Nature Preserve on this family-friendly hike. Registration is required. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1.5 miles on uneven terrain (not stroller friendly). Please bring a water bottle. Free. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 1:30-2:30 p.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 1.
First Hike of the Year:
Come out and hike Big Oak Trail for the first hike of the year at Reedy Creek! Must call 980-314-1119 to register.Ages 8 and older. Free. Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve, 2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte. 980-314-1119. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 2-3 p.m. Jan. 1.
Nature Story Corner:
Settle in and get comfortable as we read a variety of nature based stories. Stories may be accompanied by puppets and audience participation as we learn about the wonders of nature. After the story we will hike into the forest to do an activity based on the story. Must call 980-314-1119 to register. Ages 3 to 6. Free. Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve, 2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte. 980-314-1119. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 10 -11 a.m. Jan. 2.
Babes in the Woods:
Tuck your little one in a stroller and join one of our educators for an easy walk along our paved nature trail. Relax, chat, and experience what nature has to offer this month in a casual, social setting. In case of inclement weather, meet inside the Nature Center for indoor playtime. Registration is required. Meeting place will be at the Four Seasons trail-head below the nature center parking lot. Free. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 10-11 a.m. Jan. 2.
TGIF at McDowell:
Come to McDowell Nature Preserve on Friday afternoons for a variety of fun and nature based educational activities, from hikes, games, crafts, exploring, etc. Meet new friends in a exciting new setting. Registration is required. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Free. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27.
Hiking for Mindfulness: Winter Landscapes:
If you were asked to draw a tree, what would it look like? Join McDowell Nature Staff for an adults-only session on mindfulness in nature, focused on the wintertime landscape. Registration is required. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1.5 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring a water bottle. $1. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 7.
Join McDowell Nature staff to prowl some of our trails in search of the elusive owls. Registration is required. This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1 to 2 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring a water bottle. Free. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 5-6 p.m. Jan. 7.
Biodiversity Hike: Crowder’s Mountain State Park:
Join us for our annual trek to Crowder’s Mountain State Park. We will enjoy a brisk hike making stops along the way to discover the beauty of this local treasure. Participants must be able to hike 5- 7 miles on uneven terrain. Meet at Reedy Creek Nature Center and take van to location. Must call 980-314-1119 to register. Ages 16 and older. $5. Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve, 2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 7.
Sunday Nature Happenings:
Join a naturalist from the McDowell Nature Center on select Sundays for a drop-in nature program. Each program will feature a different nature activity such as an animal encounter, family hike, scavenger hunt, craft and more. Dress for the weather and bring your sense of adventure. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Please bring a water bottle. Free. McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, 15222 York Road, Charlotte. 704-588-5224. charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Inside+The+Department/Divisions/Stewardship+Services. 3-4 p.m. Jan. 8, 22 and 29.
Mecklenburg Audubon Meeting:
Monthly two-hour meeting of fellowship, education and inspiration for those who love birds and wish to explore the issues that affect them. See meckbirds.org for details. Free. Tyvola Senior Center, 2225 Tyvola Road, Charlotte. 980-314-1320. www.mecklenburgcrc.org/Tyvola-Senior-Center. 6:45-9 p.m. Jan. 5.
Beginning Watercolor class:
This class, geared to beginning watercolor artists, will begin with the basics of paper, paint, brushes and what happens when we work with water. Students will receive a combination each week of demonstration time and one-on-one assistance. New projects begin every few weeks. This class will be ongoing on Wednesday mornings. $125 per month. Nancy Couick Studios and Gallery, 10100 Park Cedar Drive, Charlotte. 704-541-6944. www.nancycouick.com. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 28.
Kim Keever & Felicia van Bork:
Jerald Melberg Gallery presents two solo exhibitions:Large-scale photographs by Kim Keever, who meticulously constructs miniature topographies in a 200-gallon tank, which he fills with water and brings to life with colored lights and the dispersal of pigment.Monotype collages by Felicia van Bork, which she assembles from torn and cut pieces of her own monotype prints. The contrasting fragments evoke natural vistas, often populated by non-objective protagonists. Free Admission. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 28, 29, 30 and 31, Jan. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Home-school ceramics pottery classes:
Students merge energy, creativity and imagination with studio equipment to produce functional clay projects. $75. Matthews resident; $80 others. McDowell Arts Center, 123 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-321-7275. matthewsfun.org. 10-11:45 a.m. Jan. 4.
Home-school mixed media class:
Explore art history, drawing & painting, clay and glazes, and experience new technology. $80 resident, $85others; 10 0er ent sibling(s) discount. Ages 8 and older. Maximum 10 students. Questions: 704-618-2222, email@example.com. McDowell Arts Center, 123 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-321-7275. matthewsfun.org. 12:30-2 p.m. Jan. 4.