Beat the post-Christmas letdown

Don't spend what's left of your holiday glued to the couch. Qcitymetro offers 7 ideas for family fun

In the twinkling of an eye, Christmas has come and gone.

Now what?

First, put down the remote control and slowly back away from the TV. And don’t even think about heading to the mall.

For those who still have time off, Qcitymetro suggests the following.

1. Tour the Afro American Cultural Center. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you supported our cultural icon? Yes, we’re all looking forward to the opening of its replacement, the new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture. But that’s why it’s important to take a farewell stroll through the current structure. And don’t forget to visit the shotgun house out back. $5 adults/$3.50 children. (

2. Revisit our past. Latta Plantation off Beatties Ford Road and Historic Brattonsville in York County have done an admirable job integrating stories that respectfully address the daily lives of local slaves. Latta admission fees: $6 adults/$5 students. ( Historic Brattonsville: $6 adults/$3 youth. (

3. Take in the Corapeake Exhibit at Levine Museum of the New South. This quaint, always interesting museum is in the final days of an exhibit that examines a close-knit group of blacks who live just south of the Virginia line. Local Note: Many of the people featured are related to Charlotte’s own Marquis Eure. $6 adults/$5 children. (

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4. Whip out your library card. We have one of the most vibrant, engaging library systems around. The Beatties Ford Branch has a loyal following with lots of cultural activities, but the Freedom Drive Regional Library is coming on strong. Kids love their own branch, Imaginon, and adults get their own candy store of high tech, audio and reading choices at the Main Branch.(

5. Work off eggnog the soulful way. Nettie Reeves of N’shape with’N is hosting a “Christmas Tree Burn” exercise class at the Philip O’Berry Recreation Center on Tuckaseegee Road today. She’s also offering a New Year’s Eve Family Workout Jam at her NoDa studio on 28th Street, with food, music and champagne. Check her website at for times and fees.

6. Two for the price of one. This may be the South, but we have a real outdoor skating rink — at least for the holidays. The WBT Holiday on Ice is located at The Green on S. Tryon Street. While you’re there, enjoy the most whimsical park in town. Literary buffs will enjoy the word play on author’s names. Ice skating fees: $7 admission/$3 skate rentals.

7. Look to the stars. Keep the holiday lights burning at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, which is hosting a planetarium exhibit on holiday light traditions and another on the Star of Bethlehem, complete with special effects. $7 adults/$6 students. (

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