South Charlotte

Cookies and Carols, Opening Night Matthews and more!

Please submit your event information online. Go to events.charlotteobserver.com and click on "add to our listings." E-mail photos to stories@newsofsouthcharlotte.com. The print deadline is two weeks in advance of the event date.

Dec. 22

Pick Up Basketball:

Pick up basketball is held at Covenant Recreation and Fitness Center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 6 a.m. Covenant Presbyterian Recreation, 1000 E. Morehead St., Charlotte. 704-334-7491. www.covenantpresby.org.

Gingerbread Village:

Enjoy an enchanting collection of gingerbread houses throughout the holiday season. Attendees may vote on their favorite gingerbread house with $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children's Hospital. 9 a.m. Dec. 22-26. Free. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pky, Charlotte. 704-248-4000.

6th Annual Holiday Square Works Show:

More than 150 selected compositions from more than 80 artists from across the Carolinas run the gamut from traditional to contemporary in choice of media and subject matter, offering something for every collector's taste and budget. 9 a.m. Free. Providence Gallery, 601 Providence Rd., Charlotte. 704-333-4535. www.providencegallery.net.

Functional Fitness for Seniors:

Functional Fitness is an exercise class for people 60 and over that is led by a licensed physical therapist. 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22, 24, 27, 29, 31. ;$5. Covenant Presbyterian Recreation, 1000 E. Morehead St., Charlotte. 704-334-7491. www.covenantpresby.org.

Mary Cassatt's Madame X: A Masterpiece from the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Collection:

In honor of Mary Cassatt's "Portrait of Madame X Dressed for the Matinee," the Mint Museum has organized a spotlight exhibition. Mary Cassatt was the only American invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists and the first artist from this country to adopt their groundbreaking style and subject matter. This portrait has been included in numerous exhibitions around the world. 10 a.m. Dec. 22-26, 28-31; Jan. 1-2, 4-7. Free for members, $10 adults, $5 children 5-17, $8 students, free for children age 4 and younger. Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte. 704-337-2000. www.mintmuseum.org.

Holiday Group Exhibition:

Lark & Key Gallery presents its Holiday Group Exhibition. The exhibit showcases works from current gallery artists, including new paintings by Duy Huynh, Charlotte Foust and Anna Jaap, and introduces the works of Kathe Fraga and Honora Jacob. 11 a.m. Free. Lark & Key Gallery and Boutique, 128 E. Park Ave. Suite B, Charlotte. 704-334-4616. www.larkandkey.com.

"Smells of Christmas":

Join us for the "Smells of Christmas" at Harrison UMC in Pineville as we capture the joy and anticipation of the Christmas season through all of our senses. This family event will be a night of movie clips and dialogue. It is the fina of a series: "The Sights, Sounds, & Smells of Christmas." To reserve child care, call 704-541-3463. 6:30 p.m. Free. Harrison United Methodist Church, 15008 Lancaster Highway, Pineville. 704-541-3463. www.harrisonumc.org.

Dec. 24

Carmel Christmas Eve Services:

Enjoy a wonderful Christmas Eve service and make a special Christmas memory at Carmel Baptist this year. The service features music and songs of the season and a timely message for the whole family. Be sure to bring your camera because after the service you can choose one of these seven Christmas scenes as a backdrop for a special 2010 Christmas photo: Bethlehem Nativity with live animals; Preschool Nativity with costumes for children; Bethlehem Inn with no room; Field where your family can become "shepherds;" Winter Wonderland, with real snow; Whimsical Christmas tree; Beautiful Christmas tree. Complimentary child care is provided for infants-4-year-olds. Reservations are not required but are helpful. 2 p.m. Carmel Baptist Church, 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road, Matthews. 704-847-8575. www.carmelbaptist.org.

Dec. 25

Christmas Brunch:

The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge will offer an extensive holiday brunch in the Ballantyne Ballroom. The elaborate buffet will include a variety of salads, an assortment of cheese and seafood displays, breakfast items with omelet station, carving station and indigenous desserts. There will be live jazz music from the Ziad Trio. Private dining rooms are available. Reservations are required. 11 a.m. Cost is $55 per person, $28 for children, ages 5-12, and complimentary for children ages 4 and younger (pricing does not include tax and gratuity). The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, Charlotte. 704-248-4000.

Dec. 26

Cookies and Carols:

The choir will perform their program from the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass along with a few surprises and audience sing-alongs. Refreshments, good music, great fun. 4 p.m. Free. St. Michael the Archangel Anglican Church, 2211 Margaret Wallace Road, Matthews. 704-537-7777. www.stmichaelsanglican.org.

Dec. 28

CBCC Community Blood Drive:

Save local lives at a Community Blood Center of the Carolinas community blood drive. Donors who give blood with CBCC in December will be able to sign a tag that will be attached to a stuffed puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals this holiday season. 1 p.m. Free. Best Buy, 2109 Matthews Township Parkway, Matthews. 704-972-4700. www.cbcc.us/donate.

English as a Second Language Classes:

Pineville United Methodist Church offers instruction in the English language and provides important community information. Open to those in the south Charlotte, south Mecklenburg County area who need to learn the basics of the English language or want to improve their English speaking and writing skills. Walk-ins welcome. 9:30 a.m. $20 (refundable after six consecutive classes). Pineville United Methodist Church, 110 S. Polk St., Pineville. 704-889-2022. www.pinevilleumc.org.

Dec. 31

Opening Night Matthews:

Join us for our ninth installment of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem. Ring in the New Year with the Matthews Playhouse by playing along with us in an interactive murder mystery. Solve the mystery and guess "Whodunit" before the clock strikes 12. 7 p.m. $10. Matthews Playhouse, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-846-8343. www.matthewsplayhouse.com. www.carolinatix.org.

Jan. 4

The Hormone Makeover Seminar:

Women will learn how to manage frustrating symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, weight gain, low sex drive and fatigue. They'll also learn whether symptoms are related to hormone imbalance; the difference between bio-identical, synthetic and herbal therapies; what each hormone does in the body; how to correct hormone imbalance; the relationship between weight gain and hormone balance. Presented by Donna White, BHRT Clinical Education Consultation. 7 p.m. $10. Signature Wellness, 15105 John J Delaney Drive, Charlotte. 704-752-9346. www.signaturewellness.org.

Jan. 5

The Metropolitan Opera: Don Carlo Encore:

Don Carlo falls in love with Elisabeth. 6:30 p.m. Regal Cinemas Stonecrest at Piper Glen, 7824 Rea Road, Charlotte. 704-540-7558.

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