South Charlotte

Community calendar

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

Dec. 18

Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank:

To give those less fortunate a happier holiday, M/I Homes Charlotte is collecting canned goods in its sales centers to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. In Charlotte, bring your food donations to: Ardrey Woods, 10108 Woodland Watch Court; Ardrey Crest, 10315 Royal Winchester Drive; Creekshire Village, 13316 Shanagarry Drive; The Farms, 2809 South Devon Street; Mallard Lake, 2728 Gosling Terrace Road. Additional locations in Huntersville, Concord, Mooresville, and Stallings. 9 a.m. M/I Homes Neighborhood Sales Center, 10315 Royal Winchester Drive, Charlotte. 704-376-9800 ext. 4540. www.mihomes.com

Gingerbread Lane:

Through Dec. 26, the creative display is open daily to the public. 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. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

Puppies for Patients:

Join CBCC this holiday season for the Seventh Annual Puppies for Patients program which runs through Dec. 31. Donate blood in November and December and sign a tag that will then be attached to a stuffed puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals. Visit www.cbcc.us for a list of blood drives near you or donate at one of our four centers. 10 a.m. Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. 704-972-4700.

Painting with a Twist:

Bring your own beverage and we'll help you create your own masterpiece. Regular sessions nightly and private parties available. $25-55 per person. Painting with a Twist, 4724 Sharon Road, Charlotte. 980-224-7760. www.paintingwithatwist.com.

Christmas Cantata "Mary Did You Know?":

Wesley United Methodist Church will present "Mary, Did You Know?" This Christmas musical with narration will feature the beautiful music of Christmas. The Wesley Chancel Choir with guest singers and musicians encourage you to come and hear the message of Christmas through their music. 10:45 a.m. Free. Wesley United Methodist Church, 3715 Rea Road, Charlotte. 704-542-1122. www.wesleyumccharlotte.com.

Holiday Afternoon Tea at The Ballantyne:

Join us for Holiday Afternoon Tea in the Main Lobby throughout December. Holiday Afternoon Tea includes a variety of seasonal loose leaf tea blends from Harney & Sons Teas and a selection of savory tea sandwiches, traditional confectionaries and holiday treats. Tea is served Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. (except Christmas Day). Reservations are recommended. $30 for adults and $15 for children, ages 5-12, and complimentary for children ages 4 and under (plus tax & gratuity). The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

Spanish Christmas Drama and Celebration:

Calvary Church invites the Spanish community to a Christmas celebration with drama, praise & worship, and an inspirational message in the Crown Room. Event is open to the entire family and is free. Refreshments will be served. 5 p.m. Free. 704-341-5365. Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. 704-543-1200. www.calvarychurch.com

Holiday Lights at The Garden:

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will present Holiday Lights at The Garden featuring the theme, "A Vintage Christmas." Holiday lights will showcase about a half million lights, a Christmas tree created with hundreds of orchids, carriage rides, live entertainment, a custom-designed model railroad and even a visit from Santa. Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m. $12 for adults, $11 for seniors 60-plus, and $6 children 4-12. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont. 704-825-4490. www.dsbg.org.

Dec. 19

Gingerbread Lane:

Attendees may vote on their favorite gingerbread house with $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children's Hospital. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

Esteban Vicente: A Survey of Paintings and Collages:

Jerald Melberg Gallery presents for the first time in North Carolina a survey of paintings and collages by Esteban Vicente (1903-2001). A member of the first generation of abstract expressionists, Vicente experimented with color and space and explored the possibilities of collage. Free. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

Puppies for Patients:

Visit our website for a list of blood drives near you or donate at one of our four centers. 1Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. 704-972-4700. www.cbcc.us.

Winter Tennis Clinics And Holiday Tennis Camps:

Join us for our Holiday Junior Tennis Camps at Colonel Francis Beatty Park 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 28-30. $75 per week or $22 per day. Sibling discounts available. All ages and abilities. Colonel Francis Beatty Park, 4330 Weddington Road, Matthews. www.tanctennis.com.

Christmas at the Billy Graham Library:

Christmas at the Library: 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 1-23, Monday-. Holiday activities start at 5 p.m. each night. Admission is free. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through beautiful lights (adults; $7; 12-under, $3,) a live Nativity, carolers and festive music, story time for children, exquisite decorations, seasonal treats and shopping. Pet the animals from noon-2 p.m. Carriage photos. Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte. 704-401-3200. www.BillyGrahamlibrary.org.

Queen City Community Orchestra inviting new members:

The Queen City Community Orchestra is the oldest non-profit string orchestra in the Charlotte area. Anyone who has played a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) can join the orchestra. We offer two free concerts each year. Looking to play with a group? Dust off your instrument and join us. 7:30 p.m. Charlotte Country Day School, Hance Fine Arts Center, 1440 Carmel Road, Charlotte. 704-398-3301. www.qcco.org.

Dec. 20

Gingerbread Lane:

Enjoy an enchanting collection of gingerbread houses throughout Dec. 26, the creative display is open daily to the public. 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. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

Youngsters Environmental Education Program (YEEPs):

Enjoy eight wonderful monthly programs through May focused on environmental awareness as the seasons change at Wing Haven. Each program includes a story and an activity designed to introduce the wonderful world of plants and animals to youngsters. Sign up for the entire series or select dates that fit your schedule. Ages 4 - 5; registration required. Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Weights after Work:

Balancing, weight lifting and strength training. 6 p.m. $15-$20 for December only. 704-522-6222. www.cmseniorcenters.org. Tyvola Senior Center, 2225 Tyvola Road, Charlotte. 704-522-6222. www.cmseniorcenters.org.

Queen City Ringers Christmas Handbell Concert:

Queen City Ringers presents "Ring We Now of Christmas," a free handbell concert, at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, 8600 Potter Road, Weddington. Free. 704-517-4954. www.queencityringers.org. Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, 8600 Potters Road, Matthews.

Dec. 21

Gingerbread Lane:

Attendees may vote on their favorite gingerbread house with $1 minimum donation per vote. All proceeds will benefit Levine Children's Hospital. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

Up on the Rooftop Children's Art Workshop:

Children age 4+ will create an enchanting 3-D Charles Dickens village that will impress even the Grinch. Cocoa & cookie included. Ten percent of the registration fee will be donated to the new Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte rmhofcharlotte.org. Drop off, age 4+. 1 p.m. $35 / $15 additional family members. Small Hands Big Art, 8025 Ardrey Kell Road, Charlotte. 704-246-8271. www.smallhandsbigart.com.

Beginning Watercolor for Adults:

Basic watercolor techniques, washes, underpaintings, composition and color theory.3 p.m. Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, 7510 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. 704-541-0741. www.CharlotteFineArt.com.

Dec. 22

Peppermint Forest Children's Art Workshop:

Make a bevy of sweet holiday treats to give as gifts, as well as some cool nature-inspired ornaments and decorations. Cocoa and cookie included. Ten percent of the registration fee will be donated to the new Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte rmhofcharlotte.org. Drop off, age 4+. 1 p.m. $35 / $15 additional family member. Small Hands Big Art, 8025 Ardrey Kell Road, Charlotte. 704-246-8271. www.smallhandsbigart.com.

Thursday Night Oil Painting for Adults:

Group projects (optional) palette knife painting, still life, impressionism, plein air, "what you can do to improve your paintings," and more. 6:30 p.m. $30 (a night - 2 1/2 hours) - Paid on monthly basis. Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, 7510 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. 704-541-0741. www.CharlotteFineArt.com.

Gospel Fit Dance:

Cardio workout designed to burn calories quickly. With easy-to-follow moves you are guaranteed to have a good time. The choreographed intervals include high and low impacts of tae-bo, kickboxing and Latin dance moves. Free trial session every Tuesday; one free session per person. 7:30 p.m. $6 per session. J'adore Ballroom, 508 Griffith Road, Charlotte. 704-905-8678. www.gospelfitdance.com.

Open Mic Night :

The mic opens up for everybody, so invite your friends out to watch you take the stage for your five minutes of fame. 9:30 p.m. Dec. 22; 9:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Free. Madison's on the Corner, 900 Crossroads Plz, Fort Mill. 803-802-3990. www.TheComedyZoneFortMill.com.

Dec. 23

Santa's Little Helpers Holiday Art Workshop:

Design a keepsake Elf on a Shelf that will become a cherished part of your holiday tradition, or a "Mini Me" Elf (the resemblance to your child will be uncanny). Hot cocoa and cookie included. Drop off, age 4 plus. 10 percent of the fee will be donated to the new Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. rmhofcharlotte.org. 10 a.m. $35 / $15 additional family member. Small Hands Big Art, 8025 Ardrey Kell Road, Charlotte. 704-246-8271. www.smallhandsbigart.com.

'Twas the Night Before Xmas Children's Art Workshop:

A comfy pair of pj's is the proper attire for this Christmas Eve dress rehearsal. We'll make gifts for Santa and anyone else left on the list. There might even be a thing or two to do with mice or stockings. Drop off, age 4+. Cocoa & cookie inc. 10% of the registration fee will be donated to the new Ronald McDonald House rmhofcharlotte.org. 6 p.m.$35 / $15 additional family member. Small Hands Big Art, 8025 Ardrey Kell Road, Charlotte. 704-246-8271. www.smallhandsbigart.com.

Dec. 24

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous:

FA is a program based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. No dues, fees, or weigh-ins. FA is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from the disease of food addiction. 10:15 a.m. Free. 704-348-1569. foodaddicts.org. Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center, 100 Billingsley Road, Charlotte.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Services:

4, 6, and 8 p.m. Childcare up to age 4 provided at 4 and 6 p.m. only. American Sign Language provided at 6 p.m. Allow 30 minutes extra time for parking and seating. 8 p.m. Free. 7Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. 704-543-1200. www.calvarychurch.com.

Dec. 25

Christmas Day Brunch:

The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge will offer a festive holiday brunch on Christmas. The buffet will include salads, cheese and seafood displays, breakfast items with omelet station, carving station and indigenous desserts. Private dining rooms are available. Reservations are required: 704-248-4100 or www.gallery-restaurant.com. 11 a.m. $55 per person, $28 for children, ages 5-12, and complimentary for children ages 4 and younger. The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, Charlotte. 704-248-4000. www.theballantynehotel.com.

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