In Ballantyne: The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge will host several holiday events this season.
Holiday Afternoon Tea featuring seasonal loose leaf tea blends and a selection of tea sandwiches, pastries and holiday treats will be served 1-5 p.m. in the hotel lobby, Wednesday-Sunday through Jan. 2, with the exception of Dec. 25.
Cost is $36 adults, $18 children, plus tax and gratuity. A champagne tea is available for $45 per person. Reservations are required by calling 704-248-4100.
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A dazzling display of gingerbread creations is featured in Gingerbread Lane through Dec. 27. Patrons can vote on their favorite entries with a $1 minimum donation per vote. Proceeds benefit Levine's Children's Hospital. Santa Claus will make periodic visits to Gingerbread Lane throughout the holiday season.
At the Veranda and Gallery Bar, customers can get cozy with hot chocolate 2-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Dec. 27, with the exception of Dec. 25. Liqueur additions and a selection of garnishes also are available.
For information, visit www.theballantynehotel.com.
Students volunteer: More than two dozen Wingate University undergraduate and graduate students recently volunteered with Operation Christmas Child.
Students packed about 300 shoeboxes with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies. Additional students worked at the organization's warehouse in south Charlotte to prepare shoeboxes to be shipped around the world.
Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization in Boone, distributes more than 2 million boxes to children in more than 150 countries each year.
Carolina Place Mall
Reserve time with Santa: Want to avoid long lines to visit with Santa? Carolina Place Mall in Pineville is offering “My Time With Santa” reservations through Dec. 24. Customers must purchase a photo in order to book a reservation. Guests who do not want to make a reservation can pre-purchase a photo package to save 30 percent or just show up to visit with Santa at Dillard’s Court at Carolina Place. No purchase is required.
”Scrooge the Musical”: Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts will present “Scrooge the Musical” through Dec. 20 in Fullwood Theatre in the Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St. East in Matthews.
Like the film of the same name, “Scrooge the Musical” follows the plot of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” in which miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
June Bayless directs the show, with choreography by Ron Chisholm and musical direction by John Smith.
Shows area: 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19; and 2 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 students and seniors, $10 children 10 and under. Box office hours are 2:30-4:30 p.m. through Dec. 20. Details: 704-846-8343 or visit www.matthewsplayhouse.com.
Charlotte Premium Outlets
Outlet store closing: Hartstrings, a children’s clothing retailer, will close its store at Charlotte Premium Outlets in January.
The closure is part of the retailer’s companywide liquidation. The Charlotte Premium Outlets store is the only Hartstrings in North Carolina.
Blakeney Shopping Center
Holidays at Blakeney: Blakeney Shopping Center at Rea and Ardrey Kell roads in south Charlotte will host Holidays at Blakeney 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18-19.
Festivities include photos with Santa, carriage rides, crafts, holiday movies on the green and more. For information, visit www.shopblakeney.com.
Public hearing: The North Carolina Department of Transportation will host a public hearing in January or February for a proposed project that includes an extension of Rea Road east of Providence Road, and a widening of existing N.C. 84 in Weddington.
The meeting date and location have yet to be determined, but Weddington officials want area residents informed of the early 2016 meeting to encourage public involvement. Meeting dates and location will be announced at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Project maps can be viewed by Weddington town hall.
Santa on tour: In a partnership between the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department and the North Pole, Santa will tou neighborhoods in Waxhaw through Dec. 19.
Santa's hectic schedule won’t allow stops, but he has been driving by to wave and wish folks a Merry Christmas since Dec. 13. His visits begin at 6:30 p.m. nightly and include drives through 31 neighborhoods.
To find out if your neighborhood is next, contact the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department at www.waxhawvfd.org.
Leigh Pressley is a freelance writer: email@example.com.