Friday, July 10, 2015

Day Trip: Uptown Charlotte



Before I tell you about this adventure, I should clarify it is really more of a half-day trip because my 13-month old doesn't take kindly to being out all day. ;) So, we set out about 9 am, just in time for the commuter craziness to die down, and headed south toward Uptown Charlotte. Our first destination was the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and a special live performance designed just for little tikes age birth-three months called "Pocket." CCT has a series of these shows, PlayPlay! that includes four live theatre events a year. The theatre is next door to ImaginOn (more about that later) in Charlotte's First Ward. 



Parking was so easy with the newly paved lots and meters that take credit cards right across the street (in my pre-baby days, these were crazy gravel lots with sketchy boxes to slide money in and we headed to these for a night out on the town...ahem, I digress). 


The PlayPlay! shows are designed for a small, intimate audience and before the show, a cast member creates an interactive discovery time for the kiddos. Mr. G had never been to a place like this and the actor was silent, so he was a little shy at first. He warmed up as soon as he saw the other kids, who were mostly 2-3 years old having fun.


Entering the theatre, we were greeted by colorful lights and an array of inviting pillows to watch the show. The cast did an amazing job keeping the attention of all ages and there were even a few audience participation opportunities. The show was about 30 minutes and wiggling was welcomed. I described it as a real life "Baby Einstein" show - no screen required!


Afterward, children were invited "on stage" to explore the props and meet the actors. Mr. G loved the instruments and made a friend with the musician of the cast.


After the show and a snack, we walked across the lobby to ImaginOn to see the Clifford exhibit. It's hard to describe what ImaginOn is - a children's library, theatre, discovery zone, and more...and it is free!


We explored the larger than life world of Clifford and discovered all kinds of neat stories before my little guy started getting tired out.


Uptown Charlotte has cool things in each ward. Just outside ImaginOn are a few kid level sculptures, there's the light rail train to watch zoom by (bonus: lots of flashing lights and the crossing guard bar were super fascinating!), and some delicious easy lunch spots. For adults, there is also the public library, Levine Museum of the New South, and Hornets arena, plus tons of restaurants. Since mom was getting pretty hungry, we took a zip through the 7th Street Public Market and made a beeline to Pita Pit for my favorite falafel pita, since I knew it would be easy to accommodate with the stroller and speedy service.
We sent this picture text to dad, who frequented the Pita Pit in his grad school days
The weather was still cool enough for a midday picnic and someone was starting to get very sleepy as we rolled up to the car for the drive home. All in all, a successful morning out!


Have a fabulous Friday!



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