Moms Columns & Blogs

Daily Adventure: Pinkberry grand opening!

PINKBERRY

After dinner tonight, go check out the hot new yogurt shop opening in Phillips Place in SouthPark (6908 Phillips Place Court). From 6-10 p.m., the new Pinkberry store will provide music, freebies and more. And of course yogurt. Yum! And be sure to enter our $25 giftcard giveway to Pinkberry.

FAN FEST

This free giant fan festival opens just outside the ball park three hours before game time (4:15 p.m.). The Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest Features batting and pitching cages, t-ball stadium, “steal home” bungee run, the “side by side” super slide, the Mobile Video Game Arcade sponsored by Great Clips, a spectacular minor league baseball museum, and you can even put yourself on a free souvenir Travelodge baseball card or Sports Illustrated Kids magazine cover.

Afterward, use your VIC card or bring two Kellogg's proof of purchases and get two game tickets for the price of one.

PIRATE MOVIE MONDAYS

Celebrate the world of pirates at 2 p.m. every Monday until Aug. 22 on the Schiele Museum auditorium big-screen. A rotation of classic movies and modern-day blockbusters. $7 adults, $6 children.

BILLY GRAHAM LIBRARY

Located just off Billy Graham Parkway, this center is the place to learn about one of the great Carolinians: evangelist Billy Graham. While that may not sound too child-friendly on the surface, library staff promises its interactive exhibits will interest kids. And, it's free! Closed on Sundays.

CHARLOTTE EAGLES SOCCER

Watch our local soccer club take on the Bolton Wanderers, 7 p.m. at Transamerica Field at UNCC. The games are pretty short (about 90 minutes, with a short half-time) and they're relaxed affairs, perfect evening with the kids.

KIDS BOWL FREE

You might remember bowling as just plain goofy, but it's actually a blast when you take kids. Most lanes these days have bumpers that prevent balls from going into the gutters -- which means every kid can knock down at least one pin! Join kidsbowlfree.com, and you can get two free games of bowling every day (you do have to pay for shoe rental). This deal is only good at AMF Centennial Lanes on South Boulevard and AMF University Lanes.

Other popular alleys:-- Carolina Lanes, Matthews, 704-841-7606-- George Pappas’ Park Lanes, Myers Park; 704-523-7633-- Northcross Lanes At The Lake, Huntersville; 704-892-7177

MARTHA RIVERS PARK

The nearly 1-acre playground in this Gastonia park is a true magic kingdom. Pack a lunch and let your kids get lost amid the turrets. Free. From I-85 South or I-85 North, take exit 17 (Hwy. 321) and turn right, heading south on 321/N. Chester St.. Turn left onto E. Hudson Blvd. Turn right at light onto Neal Hawkins Road. Martha Rivers Park will be on the right, 1515 Neal Hawkins Road. Total distance from the highway is about 5 miles. (At last check, there's a Bruster's ice cream right outside the park!)

HEAD TO THE MALL

When it's hot outside, you can't beat the air-conditioned environment at the mall -- and you CAN do it without spending money. Make a game of throwing pennies in the fountain, play "I Spy" or count the number of people wearing crocs or pushing strollers (bonus points for twins!). Don't forget to check out the free kids' play areas. Carolina Place and NorthLake malls both have children's play areas.

WING HAVEN

Check out "A Time To Garden," a kids' event at the 3-acre Wing Haven Gardens sanctuary in the heart of the city. During the summer there are always plants to water, weeds to pull, and vegetables to harvest in the Children’s Garden. Drop by on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and noon to help in the garden. In addition to dirty fun, we’ll also read a story, make crafts, and cool off with lemonade! 248 Ridgewood Avenue. 704-331-0664.

GARDEN NIGHTS

Experience the beauty of the summer garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, 5-9 p.m., in the cool of the summer evening with music, culinary delights and special southern themed festivities planned during Come Sit A Spell. Food and drinks will be available to purchase from Something Classic Catering. Carriage rides will be available, weather permitting, from Southern Breezes Carriages. Free with garden admission.

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD

Spend a morning with these two beloved best friends as they go through the trials and tribulations together. Meet their friends Snail, Turtle and Lizard as they learn to plant seeds, eat cookies and take a hair-raising ride on a bobsled. There's even a little Christmas in July. 10 a.m. at Halton Theatre at CPCC. Tickets $7-$10. Runs June 30-July 3, July 5-10.

DAN NICHOLAS PARK

At this amazing park in Rowan County, about 45 minutes from uptown, your kids can ride an old-fashioned carrousel and train, play mini-golf, pan for real gemstones, splash in the water play area, ride the paddleboats, pet farm animals and more. The best part? Most of the activities cost $1 or less per person. The one thing that costs more: panning for gemstones. That's $7 for a beginner's bucket, which two kids can share. (You can buy a deal ticket in the train depot -- $7 for gem mining, train and merry-go-round!) Children as young as two will get a kick out of finding sparkly quartz and shiny amethyst stones in buckets of sand. For $20, the park will make the prettiest gemstone your child finds into a ring.

CHEMICAL CONCOCTIONS

Explore simple chemical reactions and the use of scientific tools by making a special liquid change colors. Watch special fog appear with colorful magic bubbles and more! For more information, call Myers Park library branch, 704-416-5800. Audience: Elementary (5-11). 2:30 p.m.

TIRE PLAYGROUND

American Tire Distributors and Boundless Playgrounds have built an inclusive playground from 400 used tires. The playground features specially designed equipment and paths suitable for children of all abilities.

The park opens Friday at 11 a.m. with a grand opening celebration, with music, food and giveaways. It's located at Richard Barry Park, 13707 Beatties Ford Road in Huntersville.

For more information, email treadtown@atd-us.com.

FREE MOVIES

It's broiling out. Chill out with a free movie. Today, at various theaters in the area, you can see:

Planet 51, tonight at Jetton Park. Starts at dusk.

Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything or Imagine That at Birkdale Stadium 16, Stonecrest at Piper Glen Stadium 22, Regal Franklin Square Stadium 14 in Gastonia and Regal Starlight Stadium 14. 10 a.m.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas 14. 10 a.m.

CATAWBA QUEEN STORYTIME CRUISE:

This cruise sets sale every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. and lasts for an hour. Kids get stories, milks and cookies and get to look for "Normie," Lake Norman's own Loch Ness Monster! Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for kids and is one of those must-dos of the summer. Make reservations at 704-663-2628.

BILINGUAL STORY TIME

Holababyshop.com sponsors bilingual story time at Pura Vida's Gypsy Lounge, every Wednesday morning this summer. Featuring such hits as "F is for Fiesta" and "El Conejo Knuffle/The Knuffle Bunny" the stories are sure to entertain and educate. 10:30-11:15 a.m.,

Get creative! Let your child express herself through art and writing with crafts for all skill and age levels. 11-11:30 a.m. at ImaginOn.

CONCORD MILLS

Starting Monday, June 21, and lasting through Thursday, July 15, Concord Mills is holding a mini-camp from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Events will include fun indoor activities. This week, Mr. Nigel will perform on Monday, Tuesday is TBD, Wednesday is mini golf at Nascar Speedpark and Thursday is bowling at Dave and Buster's. It's free!

MCDOWELL NATURE CENTER

Enjoy a campfire with songs at 7 p.m. and then a night hike at 8 p.m. at McDowell Nature Center. Hike leaves from the nature center.

RAPTOR CENTER

Carolina Raptor Center is offering 2 for 1 ticket pricing now through Labor Day for anyone who mentions the promotion. Ticket prices are as follows:

Adults: $10

Students/Military/Seniors/Teachers: $8

Under 2 years old: FREE

Group rates are available for $6/person – minimum of 15 people

Tickets to Carolina Raptor Center are all inclusive; visitors are free to attend a single presentation or see them all for one price.

New exhibits include the Eurasian Eagle Owls, Corvids and new educational kiosks. The Eurasian Eagle Owls, one male and one female, came to Carolina Raptor Center from St. Louis as a gift from the National Aviary. The Corvid Exhibit, which is currently under construction and coming this summer, explores human superstition associated with Jays, Magpies, Ravens, Crows and other Corvids and animal intelligence. The new child-focused kiosks explain the physics and history of flight.

Each weekday at 1 p.m., Carolina Raptor Center offers a different interactive raptor experience. A behind-the-scenes tour is offered on Mondays, demonstrations of birds in flight are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and live bird demonstrations are offered each Thursday and Friday.

Weekends offer even more opportunities. Each Saturday and Sunday, demonstrations of birds in flight and live bird presentations are held every half-hour starting at 11:00am Saturdays and 12:30pm Sundays. The vultures are fed at 12:30pm each Saturday and Sunday.

FREE MOVIES

Beat this summer heat with a cool movie. Plenty play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

SUMMER READING

Check out your favorite Char-Meck library branch and sign up your child for the free reading program. All kids can participate (even tots!) and win cool stuff!

Check back here daily as our Daily Adventure list grows and grows!

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