Ashevillager Twelve Days of Christmas Activity List: We hand-picked the 12 best things to do to keep the kiddos out of the cold.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland Lights– 12/14/2013

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland Lights– 12/14/201et there be LIGHTS!

1. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

It’s a very impressive drive-thru Christmas Light show set to Christmas music you tune into on the car radio at the WNC Agricultural Center Fairgrounds in Fletcher. The 2 miles of winding roads with displays opens from dusk to 10pm every day from now through Jan 1st. After the show you can stop at the fun tent to have hot cocoa and funnel cake,  take a picture with Santa, jump in the bouncy house, slide down a gigantic dolphin balloon slide, bungee jump, or ride a little ‘polar express’ train.

2. Asheville Pizza and Brewing  Holiday Movie and Hot Cocoa –December 22nd, 2013

A screening of “ELF” and Hot Cocoa at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Merrimon on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 1pm. It’s a holiday tradition and your $3 donation will go towards the Autism Society.

3. Polar Express – Great Smokey Mountains Railroad
The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey to the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Through December 29th 2013.

4. Swimming Lessons from the YMCA

If you’re in need of some reminder of warmer days, head to the downtown YMCA on Woodfin Street where swim classes are offered throughout the week and on Saturdays. Pre-registration is required and can easily be done by visiting their website. Group classes start up again on January 4th and are available for kids 6 months old and up.  Water games and songs abound and even the babies get to paddle around with their parents on kickboards!

5. Mommy and Me and Prenatal Yoga– West Asheville Yoga

Try out these classes for babies and their mamas (or parent or adult friend). Also check out their wonderful prenatal yoga classes. Asheville is known for quality yoga but Christie’s and Cat’s Prenatal Yoga classes on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons exceed my expectations. I walk in feeling unprepared and inflexible and walk out having made acquaintances with other moms-to-be and feeling really good inside my body. The teachers lead us through a series of stretches; talk about how breath and self awareness can help prepare you for childbirth and sing beautifully. They show how the movements can be modified for beginners or for more advanced students. It is a great place to network with other expecting and new moms, to relax your mind and body and get into the zone. Class is on a sliding scale.

Great Places to Go for Free-Range Playtime
6. Asheville Community Movement

Wild Things Free Play: Ages 0-3 | 1hr | $5 per drop in

Make Way for Ducklings: Ages 2-4 | 45min | $45 per month
Open gym time for you and your little one!
A great time to prepare your child for future structured classes, work on motor skills together or to simply spend a rainy day. Drop in only. M,W,F,Sat 10:30-11:30.

Mighty-Mites at Asheville Gymnastics
$5/class, Punch Card 6 sessions for $25 (up to age 3) – 10:15 am on Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun
This 45-minute class is offered for children who are just walking up to 3 years old. It is semi-structured classes where the grown-ups help guide the children through free play opportunities and activities outlined by the instructors. No membership fee required.

7. Tiny Tots Playtime at Toy Boat Community Art Space

Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Jan 6th 2014 from 9-11 am. Ages- walking to 6. $5 per day. Semi-structured playtime involving games, dance parties, tumbling, costumes, aerial sling and more. Free coffee and wifi for parents.

8. Story times and Toddler Times at Buncombe County Libraries

NEW! Bilingual Spanish Story Time – Wednesdays at 10am in the West Asheville Library. Read-alouds and songs in Spanish!

9. Outdoor Adventure – Ski & Snowboard Programs For Teens
Geared for 12-17 year olds, the program package is a great gift idea and offers five, Friday-evening sessions of ski or snowboard this winter at Cataloochee Ski Mountain in Maggie Valley, begins Jan 10th 2014.

10. Pavillion Recreation Complex – Ice Skating Rink in Greenville, SC

Enjoy ice skating year-round! They recently replaced all of their old skates with brand new ones that are sharpened and ready to go!

11. Tarwheels Roller Skating Rink

Enjoy a day of roller skating at Asheville’s only rink! A great indoor activity for kids of all ages.

12. Lego Exhibit at the Arboretum

The Arboretum is featuring an amazing Lego exhibit. It is quite inspiring and great way to spend an afternoon with the kiddos. Dress warm! Most of it is outside, although the kid’s exhibit indoors is not to be missed. Walk by an 8-foot tall hummingbird and go nose-to-nose with a 5-foot butterfly! Ranging in size from six inches to nearly eight feet, a variety of creatures are represented in the exhibit, including a tiger swallowtail butterfly, a green darner dragonfly, a hummingbird and even a bison. Created from nearly 500,000 LEGO® bricks, the 27 sculptures make up 15 large displays. The North Carolina Arboretum does not charge admission per person, only a parking fee. Parking is $8 per personal vehicle. Open through Jan 5th 2014.

Happy Holidays! — The Ashevillager: Amy Brown, Heather Burrows, Stevie Alverson, Jen Ward and Emily Fader!

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