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W N C PA R E N T. C O M

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c o n t e n t s Birthday help This month’s features 6

Free stuff Find plenty of cheap summer fun around Asheville.

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Cool treats

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Get tagging

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Charitable birthdays

A quick look at Asheville’s myriad ice cream shops.

Tips for successfully consigning your kids’ stuff.

Trade gift-giving for helping a group in need.

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Party rentals From entertainers to inflatables, a look at bringing the fun home.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices .....................28 Artist’s Muse ...................30 Nature Center Notes.........31 Growing Together............34 Home-School Happenings.36

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The Birthday Guide Listings for places, food, entertainers and supplies.

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Icy treats Homemade ice pops are healthy and versatile.

On the cover

July is birthday month, for both WNC Parent and the Wadington family. Both of my kids have birthdays in July. Summer birthdays are a wonderful thing, mainly because you can do what we’ve done the last several years: throw kids in the pool for a couple of hours, bring along an ice cream cake and call it a party. But not everyone likes pools, or has access to them at birthday time. Need an idea for a winter party? Looking for a fun entertainer to bring to your house? Can’t figure out how to make that Spider-Man cake your birthday boy wants? Enter the WNC Parent Birthday Guide. You’ll find listings for places, rentals, bakers and more, starting on Page 21. Along with the guide, we have stories on ideas for gift-free birthdays (Page 16) and for things you can rent for a party (Page 18). July also means your kids have been out of school for several weeks and may have declared their boredom. Check out the story on Page 6 for lots of outings to quench their thirst for fun. The best part? Almost every activity described in the story is free. After enjoying a free afternoon of entertainment, why not head to one of Asheville’s many ice cream joints for a cool cone? The story on Page 10 gives mini-profiles of the many shops in town. Find one near you — or take a little road trip — and enjoy a scoop. The arrival of August also means the arrival of consignment sale season. Our story on Page 13 gives helpful advice on how to prepare your clothes, toys and more for sale at one of the area’s events. Now, I’m off to work on the back-to-school issue. I can’t believe it’s already time to say those words...

Katia Roach by Kaelee Denise Photography, www.kaeleedenise.com. Photographed at, and cake courtesy of, Chelsea’s Tea Room, www.chelseastea.com.

Dad’s View ......................38 Divorced Families ............40 Librarian’s Picks...............42 Kids Page ........................46 Puzzles............................47 Calendar .........................48

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.com Are you a member? Join the conversation, post photos and connect with other parents at WNCParent.com. Look for WNC Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 828-232-5845 | www.wncparent.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829 kwadington@citizen-times.com

FEATURES EDITOR Bruce Steele bsteele@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Tim (Bo) Head — 232-5860, thead@gannett.com CALENDAR CONTENT Due by July10. E-mail calendar@wncparent.com ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the August issue is July 10.

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Miles Johnston, 2, plays in the water at the Splashville fountain in Pack Square Park. ALYSSA MURKIN/AMURKIN@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

FREE SUMMER FUN By midsummer, it can be hard to come up with fun activities for kids that don’t cost a bundle. Try some of these money-saving yet entertaining options. By Susanna Barbee WNC Parent contributor

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ow that summer is in full swing, many parents are looking for a variety of ways to keep their kids’ budding minds and busy bodies in motion. The Asheville area provides many stimulating activities for children of all ages and many at little to no cost. “It’s a must to find free things to do each summer,” said North Asheville mom Jenn Gardner. “Spending less money on a daily basis allows us to save up for bigger trips and vacations.”

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KIDS CORNER MARKET

brings hands-on fun to City Market Special to WNC Parent

From pocket-size gardens to largerthan-life murals, Kids Corner Market is back for the fourth summer in a row with local food activities of all sizes and shapes. The free hands-on children’s series will continue each Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon, through Aug. 25 at Asheville City Market. KCM is hosted by local nonprofit ASAP as an extension of its Growing Minds Farm to School Program, and in partnership with multiple community organizations. The goal? To connect children with local food and farms and provide positive experiences with fresh, healthy food. And to provide a place for kids and parents to play together, of course! “The farmers market is naturally a great place for parents to teach children about both community and healthy eating,” says Anna Littman, an ASAP pro-

Tailgate markets Tailgate markets are an integral part of our Appalachian heritage. For decades, local farmers have loaded up their trucks with food and wares and set up shop in town to sell to the public. Though it’s easier and sometimes cheaper in today’s world to visit the grocery store for produce, meat, eggs and other necessities, children gain little in the way of a fulfilling experience. In contrast, a stroll through a tailgate market allows a young mind to learn about nearby farms, regional foods and sustaining the local economy. The atmosphere is friendly, often with live music

Kids Corner Market provides kids with hands-on activities and learning opportunities at the Asheville City Market on Saturdays. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

IF YOU GO » What: Kids Corner MarketWhere: Asheville City Market, 161 S. Charlotte St. » When: Activities run 9 am-noon; the market is open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. » Cost: Free!

gram coordinator. “We take those learning opportunities to another level, offering children market scavenger hunts, food and farm crafts, and even gardening lessons.” Asheville City Market is open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and offers lots more things kids love. There is live music every Saturday, and some weeks, local chefs cook up market finds right on the spot. Vendors offer

and endless smiles and hellos. Vendors will offer tastes of sausage, honey and cheeses, among many other items. Most tailgate markets run from April to October, but days and hours of operation vary. Information regarding specific tailgate markets can be found at www.mountainmarkets.com.

N.C.Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a backyard treasure. It includes 65 acres of cultivated gardens, one of the nation’s most unique bonsai collections, and numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits. Admission is always free, and parking is free the first Tuesday of each

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everything from farm fresh produce to local eggs, meats, cheeses, baked goods, prepared foods, plants and handmade items from local artists and entrepreneurs. Find a full schedule of events at www.asapconnections.org; click “Kids Corner Market” in the left-side menu. July and August community partners include MANNA FoodBank, Biltmore Estate and Lionscrest, Slow Food of Asheville, Girl Scouts, Nutrition Services of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Asheville City Schools Foundation. Have questions? Contact Anna Littman at anna@asapconnections.org. For more information about ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program, visit www.growing-minds.org.

month. On other days, parking is $8 per vehicle. The destination is a favorite for Gardner and her two children, Annie, 7, and Waylon, 4. “The arboretum is very kid-friendly,” Gardner said. “The welcoming area gives the kids binoculars and a net to catch bugs. They also have great trails. It’s just a neat place to take your kids.” Also free at the arboretum: geocaching. Pick up a kit at the Baker Education Center and head out in search of hidden treasure. Continues on Page 8

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FREE FUN Continued from Page 7

Pack Place museums Pack Place, on Pack Square in downtown Asheville, is home to two museums, Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum. Each museum offers free admission from 3-5 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month. At the Colburn, children younger than 6 are always free. At the art museum, children younger than 3 are free.

Head to the movies

An option for families with older kids, Cinebarre at Biltmore Square Mall will host free outdoor movies at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Bring a chair or a blanket. The theater will sell grilled foods and offer its full indoor menu, too. Offerings include “Talledega Nights” on July 17 and “Ghostbusters” on July 24. Visit www.cinebarre.com for details. For the younger set, head to the Carolina Asheville theater for the free movies at 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Visit www.carolinacinemas.com. For only $1, Regal Cinemas offers kid friendly movies at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer. The Biltmore Grande at Biltmore Park and Beaucatcher cinema in East Asheville are participating. Visit www.regmovies.com for a schedule.

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Shindig on the Green opens its season at Pack Square Park on June 30 and runs most Saturdays into September. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Shindig on the Green

Shindig on the Green is another free favorite. On Saturdays during the summer months, Pack Square Park is transformed into a mini-bluegrass festival. From 7-10 p.m., the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage features bands and dancing while informal jam sessions are scattered about the green. “Because music is such a big part of our lives, Shindig on the Green is a summertime ritual our entire family looks forward to,” said Aimee Bumgarner, a Weaverville

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mom and member of husband-and-wife band Calico Moon. “If you have little ones who aren’t inclined to sit still, it’s nice to be able to wander around and still enjoy great music. Shindig is a wonderful way to bring multiple generations together to participate in the musical heritage that is so deeply rooted here in the mountains of Western North Carolina.” Shindig dates for the summer are June 30; July 7, 14 and 21; Aug. 11, 18 and 25; and Sept. 1. Visit www.folkheritage.org.

Robert Lake Park Frequenting the park every day gets old. It’s the parents’ job to change things up a bit. A few ways to do this are to visit a park away from your own neighborhood, bring along a picnic lunch, or meet friends who aren’t regular play date buddies. Kids get sick of the same old swings and slides, but there are parks that offer much more. Robert Lake Park is located in the quaint town of Montreat. Nestled among trees and a flowing creek, the area stays cool and shaded even on the hottest of summer days. There are swings and jungle gyms specific to babies and toddlers, and others specific to older children. The creek itself is part of the fun. Kids in bathing suits and water shoes spend more time playing in the creek and hopping rocks than on the swings and slides. There are also a number of benches and picnic tables for families to enjoy lunch and snacks.

Splashville

Splashville is a summertime kid favorite. In front of the Buncombe County Courthouse and City Hall is a flat area with fountain valves that spray water intermittently. Kids have a blast running in and out of the water and cooling off on a steamy day. If you visit Splashville, be sure to put water shoes, Crocs or flip-flops on your child. It can get slippery, and to maintain traction when running about, kids need shoes. Also, bring towels and a change of clothes. Your child will be sopping wet

ADDITIONAL FREE SUMMER FUN » Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, www.nps.gov/carl » Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in East Asheville, www.southernhighlandguild.org » Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Pisgah National Forest, www.ncwildlife.org. » Vance Birthplace in Weaverville, www.nchistoricsites.org/vance. » Blue Ridge Parkway, www.nps.gov/blri » Great Smoky Mountains National Park, www.nps.gov/grsm

and silly after hours of running about in the water. “We like to make a day of downtown,” Gardner said. “We’ll first visit Pack Library’s kid section, grab some lunch, then cool off at Splashville before going home.”

Indoor fun

As much as kids love being outside during the summer, those afternoon thunderstorms often disrupt plans. On other days, the mere heat is too much to bear, and parents are looking for a cool, indoor activity. Lowe’s Build and Grow clinics offer free hands-on workshops for kids ages 5-12 where they build wooden projects. The clinics are offered at 10 a.m. every other Saturday. Parents can view the full schedule and register their children

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online at www.lowesbuildandgrow.com. Workshops last one hour, and kids walk away with a completed project, an apron, goggles and a patch. Home Depot offers similar workshops where they aim to teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety while providing a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Libraries

A visit to the library is another wonderful option. A family can keep it simple by perusing the stacks and checking out a week’s supply of books, but the libraries of Western North Carolina offer much more than that. Libraries in Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson counties offer story times and toddler times for kids ages 4 months and up. Summer reading programs are in full swing at area libraries, too. Visit the website for your local library system to find upcoming programs, or check the WNC Parent Calendar on Page 48 for July events. Buncombe County Public Libraries offer activities for teens such as Rant and Rave, a newsletter featuring book reviews and recommendations for teens, by teens. Kids ages 11-18 are encouraged to submit book reviews, which may appear in the next Rant and Rave. “When my kids were little, entertaining them at home wasn’t so hard.” Gardner said, “They’re now at an age where they need a lot of outside stimulation. Asheville has plenty of that, especially for a mom on a budget.”

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I scream, you scream... WNC is full of delicious summer treats

By Betty Lynne Leary, WNC Parent contributor

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sheville may be known as Land of the Sky, Beer City and even Best Outside Town, but Western North Carolina could soon be famous for its amazing variety of ice cream parlors. From Black Mountain to Fairview to Hendersonville and back downtown, there are plenty of spots to take the family for a cold treat on a hot summer day. Visit an old favorite or try a new shop for a change of flavor!

Ultimate Ice Cream

Kevin Barnes and his wife had cemented their careers in the human services industry, with Kevin racking up 22 years and his wife 18 years, yet they yearned to do something new together. Seven years ago, they purchased Ultimate Ice Cream and never looked back. “We have always enjoyed flavors and foods, so this was a natural choice,” Barnes says. His palette seems to be well-tuned as he says he’s never had a flavor that flopped. “It may take some tweaking to get a new flavor just right, but I usually know what will work.” A customer favorite is the brown sugar, bacon and maple ice cream, which features candied brown sugar and bacon folded into maple ice cream. “The best thing about ice cream is that it’s a happy food,” Barnes says. “Everyone leaves here happy.”

An ice cream cone at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

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today that’s really creamy, and I’m interested to see how it goes.” Hilltop supplies ice cream for a number of area restaurants in Asheville and Hendersonville, but Borgersen likes the kids who come into her shop most of all. “I like seeing blue cotton candy ice cream oozing down their chins,” she says. “I like it here very much. The people in Fairview are wonderful.” At 1225 Charlotte Highway, Fairview.

CinTom’s Custard

Rachel Wechgelaer serves up ice cream to Xander Barber, 7, of Asheville, at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe on Merrimon Avenue. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM At 1070 Tunnel Road and 197 Charlotte St., both Asheville; www.ultimateicecreamasheville.com.

Baabals

It’s all about atmosphere at the area’s newest ice cream store. For several years, Roy Dickerson wanted to have an old-fashioned ice cream shop where people could sit on the covered front porch, socialize and eat ice cream. Baabals opened in January in a two-story house where Dickerson now oversees the creation of “the best ice cream, smoothies, sundaes and shakes around,” he says. “Our daughters also bake our own homemade desserts, and we have freshly brewed coffee too.” The two best-selling flavors at Baabals are cappuccino crunch and moose tracks, although Dickerson admits the hot fudge cake is his favorite. “I really enjoy the families who come in just looking to slow down and enjoy some delicious ice cream in an old timey environment,” he says. At 188 St. John Rd., Fletcher; www.facebook.com/baabals.

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe

One of Asheville’s oldest ice cream parlors is The Hop, which opened its doors more than 30 years ago. The fifth couple to own the business started out as students in need of a summer job. “Ashley and I started working here in 2003, when we were in college,” explains

Greg Garrison. “When the owners decided to sell, we decided to buy.” The Garrisons describe The Hop as the happiest place in the world, where kids love cherry kale ice cream (made with fresh local kale), spinach raspberry swirl and red beet ice cream. “They love the color of it,” Garrison says. “The spinach raspberry swirl is bright green with red swirls, and the red beet is the most beautiful ice cream ever made.” The Hop is also known for its salted caramel, created by a local baker who takes homemade caramels, rolls them in sea salt and mixes them into a dulce de leche ice cream base. The Hop features free family entertainment on Tuesdays, which builds on the Garrison business model of “family friendly all the time.” At 640 Merrimon Ave. and 721 Haywood Road, both Asheville; www.thehopicecreamcafe.com.

Hilltop Ice Cream

After working for Fudge Mountain Ice Cream in Saluda for 10 years, Barbara Borgersen was in the right place when the owners decided to go out of business. She purchased all of their equipment and began searching for a more rural location. In June 2011, she opened Hilltop Ice Cream in Fairview. “I carry about 18 flavors and create sundaes, shakes and floats,” Borgersen says. “I just made a new green tea flavor

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When Tom Barkei moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin, he didn’t miss the frigid winters but he did miss the frozen custard. “I know what that’s supposed to taste like, and I just couldn’t find it around here,” he says. He opened CinTom’s Custard, which has been serving up premium frozen custard and other baked delights for 11 years. While vanilla remains a popular custard flavor, Barkei says the local favorites are mango, black raspberry and coconut. Barkei and his family enjoy the children who visit and spend plenty of time on the outside deck. He also spends a good deal of time training his employees in the art of customer service and notes with pride that his employees donate half their tips to charity. At 3080 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville; www.cintoms.com.

Eye Scream Parlour

Just east of Asheville on U.S. 70 in the beautiful Swannanoa Valley lies another popular place for summertime treats. The Eye Scream Parlour not only offers a wide and ever-changing variety of flavors of ice cream, shakes and sundaes but also some much-needed space for community gatherings. “We feature live music and open jam sessions, plus we host birthday parties,” says owner Steve Moseley. “We also have arcade games, free wi-fi and a private meeting room for churches and other nonprofits to use.” Moseley says he enjoys running a business where “the kids love the product and the parents love the price,” proclaiming, “There’s a smile in every scoop!” At 2064 U.S. 70, Swannanoa; www.facebook.com/eyescreamparlour.

Piggy’s

Another longtime favorite in WNC is Piggy’s Ice Cream, adjacent to Harry’s Continues on Page 12

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WE ALL SCREAM Continued from Page 11

Grill in Hendersonville. Harry and Piggy were Harry and Sally Thompson, who started the business now run by son Todd Thompson. “This property has been in our family for four generations,” Todd Thompson says, “and the ice cream store was named after my mother, whose nickname was ‘Piggy.’” The store carries at least 40 flavors, says Thompson, adding, “I don’t know anywhere that gives you such generous servings.” Like most ice cream store owners, he enjoys the people who come in to have a treat but says the hardest thing about owning the store is being “a full-blown diabetic and having all this sweet stuff around.” At 102 Duncan Hill Road, Hendersonville.

Kilwin’s

Kilwin’s is not only a great place for ice cream but just a fun place to hang out and watch as sweet confections are handmade from fresh ingredients every day in the store. “We are known for our Original Recipe

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Marvin McMinn and Tonya Harris enjoy a bowl of ice cream together at Baabals, a new ice cream shop in Fletcher. ALYSSA MURKIN/AMURKIN@ CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

ice cream,” says Marcy Gallagher, who with her husband, Tom, owns the Kilwin’s shops in Asheville and Black Mountain, “but we are also known for our handpaddled fudge, caramel apples, peanut brittle and chocolate-covered goodies.” With 32 ice cream flavors in Asheville and 28 in Black Mountain, there’s something for everyone in the family. Only one

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flavor has proven unpopular. “It was called Wired Berry and in one serving it contained almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee,” Marcy explains. “It was really not suitable for children, and adults didn’t enjoy the berry flavor.” She adds that owning Kilwin’s brings her great joy, especially when some customers do the happy dance. “It’s the physical expression of how much they love our ice cream and other products,” she says. For those in Henderson County, Kilwin’s on Hendersonville’s Main Street also offers a wide variety of ice cream and other handmade goodies. After working as a dental hygienist for 25 years, owner Jen Butcher was familiar with Kilwin’s and was ready to try something new. “We are much more than an ice cream store,” says the owner of the Hendersonville shop, “but our favorite ice cream flavors are cappuccino chocolate chip, Hendersonville mud and New Orleans praline pecan.” Butcher adds that people enjoy Kilwin’s because “it’s a great place to come and have a good time with the family.” At 26 Battery Park, Asheville; 116 W. State St., Black Mountain; 506 N. Main St., Hendersonville; kilwins.com

Turn kid clutter into

ca$h

By Pam J. Hecht

WNC Parent contributor

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f you’ve got kids, chances are there’s a growing pile of their outgrown clothes, toys and other gear hidden somewhere in a closet, waiting to be lovingly passed on to others. Why not turn it into quick cash at a local consignment event? Try selling at one of Asheville’s fall/ winter children’s sales this August, where making money also means helping the Earth by recycling and providing bargainpriced clothes for other families. Continues on Page 14

The Wee Trade consignment sale is the region’s biggest of its kind. The next sale starts Aug. 11 at the Davis Event Center at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

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Clutter & cash Continued from Page 13

Do your research Preparing for these consignment sales starts now for savvy consigners. The first step is to check the sales event website for sale dates, consigning instructions and accepted sale items. Find out what percentage of sales you’ll earn; at most events, it’s 60-70 percent. The consigning process is simpler than ever — sellers register, create tags for items and schedule drop-off appointments online. When Selena Raper’s daughter, now 10, was born, she didn’t have access to a consignment event such as Wee Trade, where she’s been a consigner and shopper since 2004. Things she needed for her baby cost hundreds of dollars, she says, but at Wee Trade, parents can buy things that are “just as good and look brand new for a fraction of the cost.” Raper, of Arden, who also has a

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9-year-old son, says she enjoys earning from what she sells and being able to set her own prices.

Pick the right sale

Wee Trade, the area’s largest sale of its kind, includes more than 1,400 consigners in a 45,000-square-feet indoor sales area, says co-owner Rita London. The key benefit of consigning is to earn money to buy needed items and “bringing your best makes for great earnings,” says London who, along with Nina Miller, started the business in 2002. If you have children’s and adult items to sell, consider consigning at an event that sells both, such as the Asheville Mothers of Multiples (AMOM) Rummage Sale, held in September. A mom of five, Kristie Roswech was a consigner before she became owner of The Children’s Clothing Exchange in Asheville, nearly 18 years ago. Each biannual event has between 100-130 consigners, and Roswech has gotten to know her regular consigners, who live in the community, she says. Consigning regularly — skipping no more than one sale — makes it easier for consigners, who can keep the same con-

signer number and reuse tags, she says.

Price it right

The key to selling success, says Raper, is to “set prices right — first-timers often set prices too high and don’t sell as much.” » Check online stores or ebay for prices and to see if items are still popular, and if you set prices a little lower, you’ll most likely be able to sell them, Raper says. Consider visiting a consignment event before selling at one, she adds. “Try to remove the sentimental value of what you’re selling and ask yourself what would you pay for it,” Roswech says. » Be sure to inspect your items for damage. Most events are selective and inspect items before you bring them to sell. Items should look new or nearly new, Roswech says. » Follow the pricing guidelines for each event. For example, some have a minimum price that must be set for each item or group of items and specific tagging format requirements. » Decide whether you’re willing to sell an item for less than your original price. At The Children’s Clothing Exchange, for example, unless indicated otherwise on your tag, items left toward the end of the sale are offered at a discount. Also, decide whether you will pick

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up items that haven’t sold after the sale or donate them, says Roswech. » Start planning early and do a little at a time. When you see an item your child doesn’t use anymore, make and place a tag on it before storing it away for the sale, says Roswech. The typical supplies needed to prepare items for sale are card stock sheets or index cards, wire hangers, large safety pins, plastic Ziploctype bags for toys with small parts and clear packing tape. Throughout the year, Raper stores clothes and other items she plans to sell in large plastic containers and as the sale gets closer, typically spends a day making and attaching tags for them.

A fringe benefit

In addition to earning money, consigners and/or event volunteers can shop before the general public, avoiding lines and having access to the best bargains. Raper, who typically volunteers about 10 hours during Wee Trade, is able to shop before the sale opens to other consigners. That way, she says, she can be sure to get most of the items she wants. Pam J. Hecht is an Asheville-based freelance writer, editor and instructor. E-mail her at pamjh8@gmail. com.

PREP AND TAGGING TIPS Rita London of Wee Trade shared these suggestions for getting your items ready to consign. » Check your clothes for stains, holes, tears, etc. Hold them up to natural light and look for any imperfections. » Presentation sells. Take a little time to prepare your items and make them looks as new as possible. This means button all buttons, zip all zip-

pers, tie bows, fold collars and iron out wrinkles. » Reinforce your tags. Use card stock for tag printing. To further reinforce your tags, place a piece of tape over the top of tag and put your safety pin through tape. » Sets tend to sell better (especially under size 10.) » Price your items to sell, but don’t give them away.

UPCOMING CONSIGNMENT EVENTS » Wee Trade: Aug. 11-12 and 16-18, Davis Event Center, WNC Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Visit www.wee-trade.net, call Nina Miller at 606-8680 or Rita London at 606-7097, or email info@weetrade.net. » The Children’s Clothing Exchange: Sept. 29, U.S. Army Reserve Center, 224 Louisiana Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thechildrensclothing exchange.com, contact Kristie Roswech at 667-0703 or thechildrensclothing

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exchange@gmail.com. » Asheville Mothers of Multiples (AMOM) Rummage Sale: Sept. 22, U.S. Army Reserve Center, 224 Louisiana Ave., Asheville. Visit www.ashevillemom.com. » Munchkin Market: Sept. 22-25, Biltmore Square Mall, 800 Brevard Raod, Asheville. Visit www.munchkinmarket.com, contact Misty Miller at 230-8909 or misty@MunchkinMarket.com.

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HOW TO HAVE A

HAPPYBIRTHDAY A GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR SPECIAL DAY, INCLUDING PARTY PLACES, RENTALS, SUPPLIES, FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT

Mary Rose Schwarzkopf celebrated her birthday last winter at the Asheville Humane Society. Instead of bringing gifts for the birthday girl, guests brought toys for the animals. JILL SCHWARZKOPF/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

A twist on birthday gifts Many children like returning the favor on their birthdays and ask for charitable donations instead of toys

By Paul Clark WNC Parent contributor

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nstead of getting gifts at her 6th birthday party last year, Mary Rose Schwarzkopf gave something instead — a whole lot of love to some kittens and puppies looking for homes. Her mother hosted the party last December at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center. The invitations asked that, in lieu of gifts, children bring something for a

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dog or a cat. The children brought all kinds of toys for the animals, much to Mary Rose’s delight. They got to hold and pet the puppies and kittens. One of her friends ended up adopting young cats — Tinker and Bell. “That was super sweet. And they’re doing just beautifully,” mother Jill Schwarzkopf said of the two kittens. “Mary Rose was just fine with not getting gifts. She just wanted the animals to have some kind of comfort. To her, that was a birthday gift come true.” These days, it’s not uncommon for par-

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ents (of toddlers, especially) to send out birthday invitations stating that no presents are desired. If parents feel the need to bring something, the invites suggest, make a contribution to the charity of their choice. But gift-free birthdays that involve hands-on work are popular among many children these days. Raising money and volunteering time are two ways that children bring their friends into the fun. And after the work is done, everyone usually retires to an activity room

for cake and candles. That’s the way it worked with Billy Akrivos’ birthday last year, a day he spent thinking about other children’s birthdays. “I just figured that some kids don’t have food, so they really can’t have a birthday party,” Billy, who turned 11, said. “I felt like I wanted to do something good.” So he invited a bunch of friends to MANNA FoodBank in Asheville. Billy, who lives with his family in West Asheville, and his friends spent an hour boxing up donated food to give to others. Everyone brought cat food and non-perishable people food. The smaller kids handed the taller ones cans and jars to put in boxes. After that, they went to the break room for the rest of Billy’s party. MANNA FoodBank has hosted several birthday parties where children volunteer their time and energy, volunteer manager Autumn McCarver said. Most of the time, the birthday child’s parent books a two-hour block of time and asks guests to bring nonperishable food to donate. The first hour the kids pack boxes that go out to charitable agencies that the food bank serves. Or they help pack MANNA’s “backpack” program that sends children home from school with enough food for the weekend. “A lot of people look forward to their birthdays and getting a gift. But these kids are saying ‘No, thank you, bring something that someone needs more than I do,’” McCarver said. “Talking to the parents, a lot of times, it’s the kids that are driving this 100 percent. “At that age, it’s such a contagious thing for their peers to see them feeling so strongly about helping their community. By the end of the party, everyone is excited about it as well.” Darby Cox raised $1,000 for the Asheville Humane Society during her 13th birthday party four years ago. She asked her four dozen guests to bring donations to her masquerade party at an area hotel. “I didn’t really need anything, and I’ve always loved animals,” said Cox, a South Asheville resident who has done volunteer work for the Humane Society. “I figured the animals needed a lot more than I did. It was a really good birthday.” Because everyone leaves feeling like they’ve done some good, these type of birthday parties often are more meaningful than more traditional parties filled with material gifts. At these parties, the birthday boy or girl is the one who is giving the gift, it seems. “Mary Rose just knew that (the animal shelter) was where she wanted to have her party,” Schwarzkopf said. “Some of the children had never held a cat or a dog before. For them, that was a new experience.”

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Magicians, inflatables and more make a child’s at-home birthday party special BIRTHDAY GUIDE

By Paul Clark WNC Parent contributor

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or the cost of a few pizzas and some equipment or characters to rent, you can put on a birthday party at home that rivals nearly anything you can find at a party venue. Asheville abounds in great places for children’s parties, such as Fun Depot, ClimbMax Climbing Center, Fired Up!, the WNC Nature Center and McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists baseball team. But if you’d rather the entertain-

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ment came to you, the city is also rich in rentals, from equipment to magicians, balloon twisters and craft guides. Most bring and set up everything you need to keep your children and their guests entertained and happy on his or her special day. You’ll find those listed below (and more) on the Internet. Inflatables that are big hits at festivals like Bele Chere are also available for children’s parties. Par-T-Perfect has several, including bounce houses, crawl zones and festival slides. Employees set up the apparatus, stick

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Find information on the businesses mentioned here, plus dozens of others, in the Birthday Guide, which starts on Page 21.

around for the party, then take it down, co-owner Doug Hutchins said. “Safety is a priority for us,” he said. Par-T-Perfect can hook you up with themed parties such as “Under the Sea,” “Princess Dress Up” and 20 Continues on Page 19

Par-T-Perfect, an Asheville company, is one of a few in the area that rent inflatables for children's birthday parties. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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PARTY RENTALS “Dino Den.” The packages differ, but they might include an inflatable, face painting, a dress-up trunk, sports events, games and more. WNC Party People, which also rents bounce houses, has a network of face painters who work freehand (not from stencils). Its magicians are members of the WNC Magic Club. Its rentals last 24 hours. And they can accommodate several kids: Its Disney “Cars” bounce house is a 15- by-15-foot jump arena that can accommodate 10 bouncers at a time. Professor Whizzpop, based in Asheville, puts on what he calls a “fantastic medley of comic mayhem” of magic that he messes up to the hilarity of children who help him get the magic trick right. Mark DeVerges, a magician who lives in Asheville’s Montford community, claims to be an “entertainer for even the smile-impaired and the chuckle-challenged.” Meanwhile, Mollie Magic, out of Greenville, S.C., is a

balloon twister who can do magic dressed as a princess, pirate or clown. Mountain Marionettes in Cedar Mountain is a professional puppet company that has staged its age-appropriate shows in schools, day care centers, festivals and museums. And Terra Fender, a fine arts student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, is a Marion-based face painter who has been painting children and other people since 2001. She works under her company’s name, Bella Rouge Design. Asheville guitarist Eric Everett and his company Zowie Entertainment (named for the family cat) can stage mystery and spy parties, as well as “an Earth-Rockin’ Kid Music Adventure.” Asheville Hoops will lead children through a one-hour series of games and exercises that use hula-hoops. How about some miniature golf, at your house? Sweet Tee Mini Golf (a Southern play on words) is a 9-hole portable golf course that’s perfect for kids There’s even a 5-hole version for toddlers. “There are a ton of inflatables, but no one is doing this,” Sweet Tee owner

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Justin Kaiser said. “It’s the first of its kind, as far as I know. Our slogan is, ‘we bring the party to your door.’” Sweet Tee’s challenges include hills, “minefields,” sand traps and “loop de loops” — just the sort of obstacles you and your friends encountered playing miniature golf when you were kids. Kaiser can also bring Putt Bowling to your children’s party. Putt Bowling is an outdoor game with 5-inch wooden pins and a lane covered in outdoor carpet. It’s all handbuilt. Rental Me This in Asheville rents an outdoor inflatable theater screen, in case you’d like to show movies during your child’s party. And if you’d rather turn the whole affair over to someone else, the Party Pixie in Asheville will handle everything, including dress-up attire, games, crafts, snacks, movies and more. All you do is pick the theme (pirates, knights, superheros and cowboys for boys; spa, rock star diva, princess and pink poodle for girls), provide the guest list, “and the rest is done,” its website states.

THE BIRTHDAY GUIDE

WHERE TO PARTY, WHAT TO EAT, HOW TO ENTERTAIN THE KIDS AND MORE

PARTY PLACES

AMF Star Lanes Bowling, 491 Kenilworth Road, Asheville, 254-6161, amf.com. A two-hour party, offered Saturdays and Sundays, includes one hour of bowling, rental shoes, pizza and drinks, invitations and goody bags. Minimum of eight guests. Birthday child receives an AMF Birthday Bowling Pin for guests to sign. Anna’s Playhouse, Mills River, 674-6653, annasplayhouse@morrisbb.net, annasplayhouse.biz. Host a tea party at a playhouse. Two-hour parties may include tea or drink of choice and treats. Dress up, learn tea party manners, play a game and do a craft. Maximum of four children. Asheville Gymnastics, 50 Coxe Ave., Asheville, 252-8746, ashevillegymnastics.com. Parties include trampoline, foam pit, games, rock climbing, plus time in the party room. Bring your own decorations and refreshments; cleanup provided. Asheville Racquet Club, 1 Resort Drive, Asheville, 253-5874, and 200 Racquet Club Road, Asheville, 274-3361, ashevilleracquetclub.com. Offering tennis parties for up to 21 kids and outdoor pool parties at both locations, and arena sports parties at

Asheville’s Fun Depot is one of the more popular places in town to host a child’s birthday party. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

the South location (for arena parties, call 712-2255 or email ashevillearenasports@gmail.com. Asheville Tourists, McCormick Field, 258-0428, theashevilletourists.com. Three party packages available, with a 10- or 20-person minimum. Pack-

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ages include seat at the game, invitations, cake, food, drinks, public announcement and scoreboard recognition during game, visit from Ted E. Tourist

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PARTY PLACES

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and Mr. Moon, and a marker and baseball for autographs before the game. Asheville West KOA campground, 309 Wiggins Road, Candler, 665-7015. New pavilion and pool rented out for parties. Cake and food available for additional cost. Asheville’s Fun Depot, 7 Roberts Road, Asheville, 277-2386, Ext. 104, ashevillesfundepot.com. Parties in a private room with assistance from a Party Pal. Packages include food, drinks, T-shirt, invitations, thank-you cards, paper products and play cards and access to activities. Parties available in a train caboose. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Asheville Mall, 2981852, buildabear.com. Party leader guides guests through creating a stuffed friend. Invitations and thank-you cards are provided online. Favors included. Food not allowed. Minimum of six guests. Buncombe County pools, buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/parks/facilities/pools. All pools are available to rent for parties at $70 per hour. Cost includes one lifeguard for 25 kids or less; $10 charge for additional lifeguards. Canvas Paint & Mingle, 735C Haywood Road, Asheville, 254-4486, paintandmingle.com. Guests take home a masterpiece after a painting party with an instructor. Packages include setup, cleanup, invitations and paintings. Pick design from Canvas’ portfolio or make a request. For ages 16 and younger, minimum of seven guests required. Center Stage Dance Studio, 38L Rosscraggon Road, Asheville, 654-7010, csdance@bellsouth.net, centerstage1.com. Themed parties include time with instructor, use of private studio room, set up and cleanup, T-shirt for birthday child, invitations, games, dances, crafts and more. Bring your own food. Chimney Rock Park, 431 Main St., Chimney Rock, 625-9611, chimneyrockpark.com, groups@chimneyrockpark.com. Parties include admission for up to 12 kids and two adults, cupcakes, drinks, paper goods, passes for a return visit, an animal demonstration and scavenger hunt. Climbing tower option. Chuck E. Cheese’s, 104 River Hills Road, Asheville, 299-3750, chuckecheese.com. Package includes pizza, soft drinks, tokens for each guest, decorated table, cake, visit from Chuck E. Cheese and more. Space reserved for two hours. Free invitations online. Online bookings are available. Claying Around, 1378 Hendersonville Road, Suite D, Asheville, 277-0042, clayingaround.com. Offers four party options, including basic 90-minute party, with fee per child plus the cost of pottery. Glass fusing party and “Fancy Nancy” options available. All parties include a special birthday plate for the guests to sign. Bring your own food, beverages and decorations. ClimbMax, 43 Wall St., Asheville, 252-9996, climbmaxnc.com. Climbing parties, bouldering or roped climbing, for groups of six or more. Pizza available. Earth Fare, 1856 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 210-0100. Host a party in the store’s community room. Purchase healthy meals for all. Eye Scream Parlour, 2064 U.S. 70, Swannanoa, 301-3582, facebook.com/eyescreamparlour. Parties for up to two hours include 10 kid scoops of ice cream and tokens for arcade games. Outside food

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Katie Rudins, 8, works on her painting during a friend’s birthday party at Canvas Paint & Mingle in West Asheville. ERIN BRETHAUER/EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM and beverages allowed. Fired Up! Creative Lounge, 26 Wall St., Asheville, 253-8181, and 321B N. Main St., Hendersonville, 698-9960; fireduplounge.com. Reserved parties available for groups of six or more. Per person studio fee plus the cost of pottery each guest chooses to paint. Bring your own food and drink, balloons, presents, etc. Fun Things Etc., 196 N. Main St., Waynesville. 456-7672, funthingsetconline.com. Party space available for $30. Store offers themed decorations, food and drinks, hostess, favors, games or crafts, and more for extra cost. Hahn’s Gymnastics, 18 Legend Drive, Arden, 684-8832, hahnsgymnastics.com. Birthday parties include one hour of gym time and 30 minutes in party room. Activities include parachute, games, obstacle course and more. Two instructors guide party guests. For up to 15 children. Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville, 697-8333, handsonwnc.org. Parties include one hour of play time in museum and an hour in party room, museum admission for up to 12 children, invitations, setup and a T-shirt for birthday child. Bring your own food and drinks, paper goods and provide one adult for every five children. Parties held on Saturdays. Hollywild Animal Park, 2325 Hampton Road, Welford, S.C., 864-472-2038, hollywild.com. Party in outdoor screened pavilion includes cake and ice cream, paper products, drinks, popcorn, bags of animal food for guests, party host, free pass to return to the zoo and one hour in the party room. Birthday child receives a bottle to feed a baby animal, a safari hat and T-shirt. Pony rides additional. KidSenses, 172 N. Main St., Rutherfordton, 286-2120, kidsenses.com, info@kidsenses.com. Character parties available including Cinderella, Batman and SpongeBob. Package includes admission for 20 guests and parents, party room for one hour, unlim-

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ited play time in museum until closing, invitations, balloon bouquet, T-shirt for birthday child. Kilwin’s Chocolates, Fudge and Ice Cream, 26 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 252-2639; 116 W. State St., Black Mountain, 669-6119. Up to 10 children can celebrate a birthday by creating a chocolaty treat. Ice cream also available. Balloons provided. Parties last about an hour. Marble Slab Creamery, 14 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, 225-5579, marbleslab.com. Party room for rent. Ice cream and cakes available. Michaels, 111-A River Hills Road, Asheville, 299-0183; 5 McKenna Road, Arden, 684-1961; michaels.com. Birthday parties for creative kids include several choices of theme, invitations and staff at the party. Bring your own food, decorations and party goods. Minimum of five children, maximum of 10. Mobile Video Game Parties, 585-5591, mobilevideogamepartiesnc.com. Luxury theater comes to you. Twenty can play at once,w ith room for eight more friends in second row of stadium seating. With Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3. Mountain Play Lodge, 3389 Sweeten Creek Road, Arden, 676-2120, mountainplaylodge.com. Two party rooms available. Base package includes party for 10 children, 75-90 minutes in play area and 30-45 minutes in party room, party attendant, set up and cleanup, two pizzas, juice boxes, water bottles, T-shirt for birthday child, paper goods and invitations. Private parties available. Osega Gymnastics, 34 Old Brevard Road, Asheville, 665-0004, osegagym@gmail.com, osegagym.com. Two packages with 90-minute parties, including time in party room and in the gym and themes. Outdoor Family Fun Center, 485 Brookside Camp Road, Hendersonville, 698-1234, outdoorfamilyfun@bellsouth.net, outdoorfamilyfuncenter.com. Miniature golf, batting cages, driving range and more.

Playball with Coach Maxy, usaplayball.com, 575-3000. Boys and girls, ages 3-10 will run, kick, jump, throw, and score during this 90 minute sport extravaganza. Includes water balloon toss, super soakers, obstacle course, relay race, a trophy and T-shirt for the birthday boy or girl, and sporty prizes for all that attend. $120 for 10 children, additional children are $10 each. Ramada Biltmore West, 275 Smoky Park Highway, 667-4501, ramada.com. Ramada offers three-hour pool parties year round for up to 25 people, including an area set aside for the party adjacent to the indoor-outdoor pool. Regal Cinema Biltmore Grande Stadium 15, 292 Thetford St., Asheville, 684-4726, regmovies.com. Rent the party room before a movie. Rental includes paper goods, decorations and staff assistance. Bring your own cake. Maximum of 18 kids. Rockstar Cheer, 15B National Ave., Fletcher, 684-3993, rockstarcheer.com. Packages for Saturday parties include free time in gym and time in party room. Maximum of 20 kids. Smith-McDowell House Museum, 283 Victoria Road, Asheville, 253-9231, smh@wnchistory.org, wnchistory.org. Historic themes to choose from or plan your own theme. Parties include two-hour use of party room, program, activity and materials, tablesettings. Bring your own refreshments. Parties designed for ages 7 and older. Southeastern Physical Therapy, 23 Turtle Creek Drive, Asheville, 274-2188, southeastpt.com. Exclusive use of the indoor heated pool for parties. STJ’s Inflation Station, 710 Tracy Grove Road, Flat Rock, 696-0674, info@stjs.net, stjs.net. STJ’s Inflation Station offers private and semi-private parties with party room, indoor play area with inflatables, parent seating, preschool soft play area. Tarheel Lanes, 3275 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville, 692-5039 or 253-2695, tarheellanesinc.com, tarheellanes@att.net. Offers parties for 10 or more people. Bring your own cake and ice cream. Packages include shoes, can include concessions. Tarwheels Skateway, 2134 U.S. 70, Swannanoa, 298-6606, tarwheelsskate.com. Parties offered during any regular session and include invitations, admission and skates, paper goods, balloons, drink and ice cream, free pass for birthday person. Minimum 10 people. Private parties available when rink is closed. Tender Mercy Retreat, 383 Heath Retreat Road, Waynesville, 648-3524, tendermercyretreat.com. Farm offers fishing, animal education and hands-on visits with horses, donkeys, llamas, chickens and more. Stocked-pond for fishing. Fire pit for a bonfire. Three-hour maximum. The Fun Factory, 1024 Georgia Road, Franklin, 349-8888, factoryatfranklin.com. Packages include cake, drinks, set-up, host, paper goods, balloons, play cards, more. Four package options, plus add-ons. The Health Adventure, Biltmore Square Mall, 800 Brevard Road, Asheville; thehealthadventure.org, 665-2217, ext. 322. Parties on Saturdays and Sundays include 90 minutes in the party room, unlimited admission all guests, set up and cleanup, paper products, invitations, special goody bag for the birthday child, balloons or goody bags for each guest. Liquid nitrogen ice cream, pizza and more also available. The Hop Ice Cream Cafe, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 254-2224, thehopicecreamcafe.com. Shop

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PARTY PLACES Continued from Page 23 featuring all-natural, homemade ice creams offers four packages, from space rental with decorations to a sundae bar or cake, face painting, the Jolly Balloon Smiths and more. The Little Gym, 1000 Brevard Road, Suite 168, Asheville, 667-9588, tlgashevillenc.com, tlgashevillenc@thelittlegym.com. Two qualified instructors lead 90-minute parties with gymnastics, games, more. Includes invitations, setup and cleanup, paper goods, drinks, and a T-shirt for the birthday child. For up to 25 children. Facility closed to the public during parties. The Tree House, A Cafe at Play, 1020 Merrimon Ave., Suite 103, Asheville, 505-2589, info@ashevilletreehouse.com. Two-hour parties include private room, custome cake, pizza and juice boxes for each child, paper products, decorations, set up and cleanup, T-shirt for birthday child, invitations. 360 Party Bus, 236-2841, 360partybus.com. Host a party on wheels and take birthday guests to a favorite fun spot. Bus includes TVs, DVD player, satellite radio, party lights. For up to 20 people with two-hour minimum. Parent or guardian required on bus. Tomato Jam Cafe, 379 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, 253-0570, tomatojamcafe.com. Cafe space is free for catered parties, Saturdays or Sundays or after 4 p.m. weekdays. Catering is custom-priced.

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Tropical Gardens Mini Golf, 956 Patton Ave., Asheville, 252-2207, tropicalgardensminigolf.com. Package includes an hour in a decorated gazebo, soft drink, snow cone and future free pass for each child, one round of 18 holes of mini golf and paper goods. Xcel Sportsplex, 37 Maxwell Drive, Hendersonville, 684-7898, xcelsportsplex.com. Party packages for 12 people include an hour of playing time, 45 minutes in party room, snack, T-shirt for birthday child, set up and cleanup, and more. Choice of basketball, volleyball, dodgeball or soccer. Inflatable available. Waynesville Recreation Center, 550 Vance St., 456-2030, waynesvilleparksandrec.com. Call for information on pool parties. WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville, 298-5600, Ext. 305, wncnaturecenter.com. Two-hour parties include admission for up to 25 guests, and use of the birthday room and kitchen facilities. Wolverine Paintball Park, 487 Brookside Camp Road, Hendersonville, 697-4263, wolvpb.com. Packages for younger and older players. Pizza available. YWCA of Asheville, 185 S. French Broad Ave., 254-7206, ext. 209, ywcaofasheville.org. Pool parties include an hour in pool and an hour in multipurpose room. Guests have pool to themselves and can bring own pool equipment (diving board, slide and blocks not available for use). Additional lifeguard required for more than 30 people. Bring own paper products.

PARTY FOOD Anita Cup of Tea, anitacupoftea.com; 545-1236; anitactaylor@bellsouth.net. Transform your party space into a themed tea party. For children 4 and older. Packages include baked goods and brewed fruit tea, lemonade or apple cider. Games, dress-up time and more vary by theme. The Bake Shoppe, 146 Weaverville Highway, Asheville; 645-2038; bakeshoppeasheville.com. Offers a large selection of custom birthday cakes. Bi-Lo, several WNC locations; bi-lo.com. Personalized birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other treats. Biltmore Cakeball Bakery, Biltmore Square Mall, 800 Brevard Road, Asheville; 423-7231; facebook.com/biltmorecakeball. Black Mountain Bakery, 102 Church St., Black Mountain; 669-1626; blackmountainbakery.com. Variety of flavors and sizes, made from scratch and to order. Blue Ridge Bakery, 400 S. Broad St., Brevard, 883-8444; blueridgebakery@yahoo.com; blueridgebakery. com. Custom cakes of all shapes and sizes. Cakes by Jane, 9 Old Burnsville Hill Road, Suite 4, Asheville; 285-9292; cakesbyjane.com. Southern cream cheese pound cakes in a variety of flavors. Calico Corner Gifts & Goodies, 298-5609; calicocornergiftsandgoodies.com. Personalized cakes made to order. Daytime delivery available. Carolina Mountain Bakery, 1950 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 681-5066. Custom cakes with any theme incorporated into cake design. CinTom’s Frozen Custard, 3080 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, 274-5853. Homemade custard in several flavors.

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City Bakery, 88 Charlotte St., Asheville, 254-4289; 60 Biltmore Ave., 252-4426; citybakery@bellsouth.net; citybakery.net. Cakes made from scratch in a selection of sizes with a variety of cake flavors, fillings and frostings. Traditional layer cakes to poundcakes. Cold Stone Creamery, 129 Bleachery Blvd., Asheville, 296-0004; 30 Town Square Blvd., Asheville; coldstonecreamery.com. A variety of ice cream cakes with children’s themes. Dairy Queen, several WNC locations; dairyqueen. com. Ice cream cakes and other treats. Great American Cookie Co., Asheville Mall, 3 Tunnel Road, 298-2849, greatamericancookies.com. Specializes in customized cookie cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Ingles, various locations, ingles-markets.com. Cakes in a variety of themes and 12-inch cookies made to order in store and online. Kilwin’s, 26 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 252-2639; 116 W. State St., Black Mountain, 669-6119; 506 N. Main St., Hendersonville, 698-9794. Treats include ice cream, novelty chocolates, fudge, caramel corn, caramel apples and more. Marble Slab Creamery, 14 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, 225-5579; and 421 N. Main St., Hendersonville, 697-0480; marbleslab.com. Ice cream cakes in several sizes and varieties. McFarlan Bake Shop, 309 N. Main St., Hendersonville; 693-4256. Cakes and more, made to order. Sam’s Club, 645 Patton Ave., Asheville, 251-5243; 300 Highlands Square Drive, Hendersonville, 6986889; samsclub.com. Cakes in a variety of sizes made to order. Short Street Cakes, 225 Haywood Road, Asheville;

There’s no shortage of bakeries in Asheville. For Southern-style traditional cakes, try Short Street Cakes, left. Want an ice cream cake instead? Head to The Hop. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

505-4822; shortstreetcakes.com. Specializes in naturally handcrafted down-home Southern desserts. Gluten-free and vegan options available. The Hop Ice Cream Cafe, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 254-2224; and 721 Haywood Road, Asheville, 252-5115; thehopicecreamcafe.com. Homemade ice creams, ice cream cakes and vegan treats. The Sisters McMullen, 840 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 252-9330; 1 N. Pack Square, Asheville, 252-9454; cakes@thesistersmcmullen.com; thesistersmcmullen.com. Pastries and cakes in several sizes and

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flavors, including gluten-free and vegan choices. Take the Cake, 712-3157; info@takethecakeasheville.com; takethecakeasheville.com. Cakes, cupcakes, tarts and French-inspired pastries using local and organic ingredients available by special order. TCBY, several area locations, tcby.com. Low-fat yogurt cakes and pies. Tiffany’s Baking Co., 989-9466; info@tiffanysbakingco.com; tiffanysbakingco.com. From-scratch

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PARTY FOOD Continued from Page 25 cakes with custom themes. True Confections, Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Suite 147, Asheville; 350-9480; trueconfections.net. From scratch, all-natural birthday cakes. Ultimate Ice Cream, 1070 Tunnel Road, Asheville, 296-1234; 197 Charlotte St., Asheville, 258-1515; ultimateicecreamasheville.com. Homemade ice cream available in pints and quarts. Nondairy soy cream, gelato, sorbet and ice cream pies also available. Walmart Supercenter, multiple locations around WNC. Birthday cakes made to order. West End Bakery & Café, 757 Haywood Road, Asheville; 252-9378; westendbakery.com. Cakes in variety of flavors using organic flour, sugar and fresh local ingredients. Glutenfree, sugar-free and vegan cakes available. World’s Best Carrot Cake, 175 Weaverville Highway, Asheville; 658-2738; worldsbestcarrotcake.com. Five kinds of all-natural carrot cake made by hand in small batches. Organic, vegan and gluten-free options.

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PARTY ENTERTAINMENT Anita Cup of Tea, anitacupoftea.com; 545-1236; anitactaylor@bellsouth.net. Transform your party space into a themed tea party. For children 4 and older. Packages include baked goods and brewed fruit tea, lemonade or apple cider. Games, dress-up time and more vary by theme. Asheville Face Painting, 606-0598, AshevilleFacePainting.com, info@ashevillefacepainting.com. Artist Michelle Bevans specializes in artistic, unique face painting. Asheville Hoops, ashevillehoops.com. Hula hoop group brings hoops and leads children in series of creative games and challenging exercises. End the party with a hula hoop contest. Asheville Magic, 506-3198, ashevillemagic.com, magictom@themagictomshow.com. Professor Whizzpop presents shows of magical comedy and balloon twisting. The Balloon Fairy, 423-2030, balloonfairymagic.com. Marcie, The Balloon Fairy, creates balloon art and performs interactive magic for events. Bella Rouge Design, bellarougedesign.com. Face painting parties. Two-hour minimum. Bill Grimsley, Magic Productions Inc., 777-9143, billgrimsley.com. A professional entertainer for more than 25 years, Bill Grimsley provides magic and humor for a variety of events. Bounce About Ltd., East Flat Rock, 693-9959, bounceaboutltd.com, bounceabout@bellsouth.net. Inflatables rented for events. Tents also available through sister site, hendersonvilletents.com. Caricatures by Helen Nagan, 298-8546; hnart@bellsouth.net. Fun, exciting, color caricatures in less than five minutes.

Sweet Tee Mini Golf rents a nine-hole mini golf course, as well as a toddler course for little golfers. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT Carolina Caricatures, 298-1350, brianvasilik.blogspot. com. Brian Vasilik has drawn caricatures at Bele Chere and the Grove Park Inn, as well as parties and other events. DJ Dudez, djdudez.com, djdudezevents@gmail.com, 702-2055. Full-service DJ offering customized music mixes, lighting effects, kids’ dance workshops, emcee and songs personalized with your child’s name. Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, 2120 Brevard Road, Hendersonville, 693-3123, elijahmountain.com. Hunt for gems

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at this mine that has rubies, emeralds and more. Birthday party pricing available. Funtastic Faces Face Painting, Lesley Barkett, funtasticfaces.net, lesley@funtasticfaces.net, 280-7926. Specializes in elaborate face painting. Good Times Inflatables, 775-3232, goodtimesinflatables.com. Provides inflatable games and rides. HighTouch HighTech, info@sciencemadefun.net, 684-3194, sciencemadefun.net. Provides hands-on science programs for kids at party venue. Parties include a 75-minute science adventure, all supplies and materials for 15 children, take-home experiments for each child and more. Ages 4 and older. Jolly Balloon Smiths, 680-1066. Entertain kids with balloon fun. Available by the hour for birthday celebrations and other events. Kindermusik with Yvette, singandtwirl@gmail.com, kindermusikwithyvette.com. Music and movement activities, including singing and playing instruments. Yvette’s birthday events specialize in baby's first birthday. Mark DeVerges, mark@balloonillusions.com, 678-0116, markdeverges.com. From balloon twisting and large-scale balloon creations to roving magic and full magic shows. Mountain Marionettes, 862-8122, mountainmarionettes.com, marionettes@mtnisp.com. Professional puppet company puts on fast-paced variety shows.

Mr. Twister-Asheville, twistertheater.com, MrTwister.AVL@gmail.com, 337-5174. Comic balloon twisting, balloon decorations, and magic shows for stage or walk-around events. Rental Me This, 535 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 505-3434, rentalmethis.com. Full-service rental company with party and outdoor recreation rentals, and event planning. Ric Singleton’s Family Fun Show, funnymagicric@yahoo.com, funny magicric.com. High energy and fun magic and fun show with audience participation for the whole family. Balloons, bubble machine, and more. Magic Classes available too. Sweet Tee Mini Golf, sweetteeminigolf. com, 333-1152. Portable nine-hole mini golf course, toddler course and putt bowling for rent. STJ's Paries & Events, 710 Tracy Grove Road, Flat Rock, 696-0674, info@stjs.net, stjs.net. Inflatables, climbing wall, mini golf, dunk tank, concession supplies and more for rent. Twister Theater, twistertheater.com, twistertheater@gmail.com. Resource for memorable events including unique entertainment, personalized digital media, photography and keepsakes. WNC Party People, 484-8585, wncparty people.com. Rents bounce houses and other inflatables. Rentals are for 24 hours. Zowie Entertainment, 505-3062, ashevilleparty.com. Offers themed parties including animals, movie making, karaoke, games and other options.

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PARTY PLANNING AND SUPPLIES Get help organizing your child’s party from one of the area’s party planners. Par-T-Perfect, Asheville, 335-5437, partytime@par-t-perfect.com, www.par-t-perfect.com. A complete children’s party service that offers a variety of inflatables, face painting, balloon twisting, costume characters, games, crafts and themed parties. Fully insured and state inspected. The Party Pixie, Wendy Land, 606-4827, info@thepartypixie.com, www.thepartypixie.com. A children’s party planning business for the all-inclusive themed birthday party. Services include mailed custom invitations, costumes, games, crafts, snacks, decorations, music and more. If you want to look beyond WNC’s discount stores like Kmart, Target and Walmart for supplies, here are local party supply retailers: Baggie Goose, 3 Swan St., Asheville, 274-3333; baggiegoose@aol.com; baggiegoose.com. Celebrations! Your Party & Gift Store, 265 Tunnel Road, Asheville, 255-5868. Celebrations, 1829 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 6877774. K&C’s Party Supplies, 598 Hendersonville Road, Asheville; 274-7773; kandcpartysupplies.com. MLH Party Supplies, 309 White St., Hendersonville, 6938287, www.mlhparty.com. Party Blvd., 21 Long Shoals Road, Asheville, 676-0314, www.partyblvd.com.

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kids’ voices

The perfect summer day What does your perfect day look like? We posed this question to students at Fracine Delany New School for Children in West Asheville. Here’s what they had to say: “I wake up to see the sunshine soar into my room. My wonderful cat jumps into my arms and we are there under the warm cover. Finally I get out of bed and play outside with my dog Jack. Me, my mom and my brother play badminton and have races. We go on a walk in our woods and swing on grape vines and climb a giant fallen tree. On the way back from the walk, we ‘tree bend’ and get home exhausted. I rest on the porch just staring ahead. We get in the car and drive to a swim meet. I make the Junior Olympics, get home and sink into a deep sleep, happier than ever.” Sara Frances “Going on a train to Florida. Staying in a nice hotel with a flat screen TV. Getting my own bed. Boogie boarding in the ocean at the beach. Making a sandcastle. Filling a sand pool with water with my brother Matthew. The water splashing in my face. Collecting souvenirs for the whole day and shark teeth. Finishing the day with some nice pasta and brownies for dessert.” Hannah “Splash. I felt the cold, chlorine water. My eyes are closed but chlorine slips in, making my eyes burn. Though I don’t care because it’s my perfect day. I push up with my arm on the side of the pool. The concrete is wet from when I jumped in the pool. My cousin Samantha is standing on the edge of the pool, scared like a little dog seeing a T-rex. All of a sudden, she jumps in and we swim so much our fingers begin to crinkle up. We hear our uncle Tom say, “White dip’s ready.” White dip is a dip that only family and close friends have tasted. It’s my favorite. My day couldn’t get better.” Ella

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“Sun is everywhere. The sky is blue and the grass is green. Happy people are scattered and picnicking. Children are happily spinning in the green grass and happy is just everywhere. Jude

“When I wake up on a Saturday morning with my window opened and a warm breeze coming through. I can smell fresh pancakes cooking downstairs. Even though I am tired I get up to have a perfect pancake breakfast!” Lily

“Palm trees everywhere. Behind the beach house is the canal where the crabs walk quickly. Soon, when the tide is high, Mark and I can paddleboard there. At the end of the day, we skim board at the beach.” Caden

“We swim in the pool that feels like ice cubes. ‘Eeeee!’ me and my sister Ellie scream. ‘It’s soooo cold!’ Ellie shouts. Mom calls us in for some chocolate and lemonade.” Lillie

“I wake up. To anyone else, today would be perfectly normal. But not for me. There’s a smell of French toast coming from downstairs. But I don’t go down. I know I’m not supposed to. The French toast smell is getting closer. My door opens. In comes my family. They’re bringing me a breakfast of French toast. ‘Happy Birthday, Nora!’” Elinor “Waking up to a bright smile with French toast and no frustration. I go hiking with my father to the wide blue, where the wonderland will never end and the birds go ‘tweet, tweet, tweet’ all day.” Paul

“When I wake up I see the sunshine spilling into the tent, the golden rays that come from the heavens fill my body with limitless energy. I’m thinking about the day ahead. I’m going to play Frisbee with my uncle and my dad and the bright blue disk is soaring in the air. I make a great leap, and then I feel the satisfactory thwack of the disk as I catch it. I’m going to skip stones in the river with my cousin and the soothing squash of mud between my toes. Then I’m just going to lay in a patch of golden sunlight on the smooth silky grass.” Max “I wake up with the sun beaming in through my window. I jump out of bed and both through the door. I run through the smooth, soft, yellow sand then I jump, hover in the air for a moment, then fall into the blue sea, laughing. It swallows me. I swim up for a breath, then dive back in. I walk across the ocean floor, with a turtle, then swim up for a breath of air. What is this? It is my perfect day.” Cason

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artist’s muse

Ideas and inspiration

By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

There has been more press recently about the power of creative thinking and proof that “being creative” is not something you are either born with or without, but rather a result of finding ways to access this part of our brain and internal being. Jonah Lehrer, author of the book “Imagine,” writes, “We tend to assume that some people are simply more creative than others, that originality is a predetermined personality trait: If a person isn’t born with the correct kind of brain, (s)he’ll never be able to compose an original song or come up with an idea as innovative as Post-it notes. But creativity isn’t a fixed feature of the mind — that’s why merely exposing people to the color blue can double their creative output. The imagination is vaster than we can imagine. We just need to learn how to listen.” Each of us has a creative voice inside, and as parents we have an opportunity to help our children learn ways to tap into their creative spirits. Art and design are just a few of many tools we can use. As an artist, I am constantly using my own art form to challenge and push my creative being. I recently took part in an exhibit called “Waking up with Van Gogh” that is now on display at the Hickory Museum of Art. The show was the genius of Asheville artist Moni Hill, who asked a large group of artists to react in their own medium and style to Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “Bedroom in Arles.” Over 70 artists participated, including myself. As I looked at Van Gogh’s piece, I kept looking at the bed and thinking about the nest of a bird. I went with this idea and it led me to create the abstract notion of a nest surrounded by colors that spoke to me. It was a

wonderfully challenging project, and each of the finished works expressed the individual artist’s creative spirit beautifully. As summer continues in Asheville, I would like to challenge each of you to look around your home with your children for a cherished object, work of art, or even a song that you love. Once you and your children have identified what you would like to use, create a reactionary piece of art using whatever medium you would like. Ask yourself and

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Vincent Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles,” below, inspired Ginger Huebner’s “Coming Home.” SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

“Bedroom in Arles 1889” by Vincent van Gogh. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

your children some questions that help to capture the emotions that your object inspires: What does the object make you feel? Does it bring up any memories? What sort of images and colors come to your mind when you look at your object? Keep in mind that your starting point for inspiration (whatever you have chosen) already means something to you. This is what will inherently be expressed through the artwork you create. There is no pressure for a certain outcome — it is simply to allow your creative voice to speak. Have fun exploring! You can find out more and view the individual works from the Waking up with VanGogh exhibit at www.wakingupwithvangogh.com. Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art, which offers visual art classes for all ages. Email her at info@rootsandwingsarts.com or visit www.rootsandwingsarts.com.

nature center notes

Celebrating red wolf births By Jill Sharp, Special to WNC Parent The WNC Nature Center celebrated a very special birthday this year. On May 9, four healthy red wolf puppies were born to Mayo and Phoenix, the resident breeding pair. This red wolf family (including Rufus, the grandfather of the puppies) are all part of the Species Survival Plan, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program that saved the red wolves from the brink of extinction. In the 1970s, only 14 red wolves remained in the world. Today, there are nearly 350, with 100 of those living in the wild. These numbers are still critiFour red wolf puppies cally small, but the were born in May at four new lives at the the WNC Nature Center. Nature Center inSPECIAL TO WNC PARENT crease this precious population by a whole 1 percent. The new wolves are being kept outside of public view until a time that staff and veterinarians think appropriate, and they are handled only for veterinary purposes. The wolves are wild animals from the beginning, growling within two weeks and already wary of human contact. Conservationists want to see these traits in young red wolves. After all, the descendants of these puppies may someday be in the wild. Red wolf puppies are born dark brown with closed eyes and folded ears. As adults, they will be sleek, with rusty red and cream coats and large ears. The native range of the red wolf was most of the southeast United States, but they are found now only on the coast of North Carolina. This is conservation on a critical scale, and preserving species like the red wolf for future generations depends on more than just SSP conservationists. Educating about the validity of wildlife conservation is one of the most important tools we can use to fight the rapid decline of biodiversity in the world. Like WNC Nature Center on Facebook for photos and videos of the growing puppies! To find out more about the efforts of the WNC Nature Center to preserve the native biodiversity of this area, visit www.wildwnc.org.

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growing together

Home school closes its doors By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

For the first time ever, I have empty spaces on my bookshelves. While I plan to rectify that with an obnoxiously large purchase at a charity book sale, the reason for our book purge has been bittersweet. After five years — 900 days, give or take — of home-schooling, I am preparing to send my youngest off to high school. Once again, I will spend my mornings and afternoons in the carpool line. I will listen to the morning news on the radio on the way home, or just drive along in blissful silence. This year, there won’t be any days of discussing history while still in our pajamas, attending a theater performance in

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the middle of the week or stopping for post-field trip sushi. Though I’m sure the occasional science project will makes its way home, beakers with warning labels won’t litter the kitchen counter. Instead, other people will take the lead in my son’s formal education. I suspect the transition may be harder for me than for him. He will make new friends, something he does easily despite his lack of socialization. (Sorry — that’s home-school humor. If you think there’s truth to that statement, you haven’t met many home-schoolers.) Through sheer willpower, I will avoid criticizing the bureaucracy and endless testing that too often stifle good teachers and students’ creativity. OK, I’m still working on that last part. My shelves no longer hold curriculum guides, workbooks, answer keys and approximately 927 binders with lessons. When we settle down for family TV time, it (probably) won’t include a DVD astrophysics lecture or a look at the Louvre.

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I’ve filled out and sent in my very last stack of end-of-the-year home-school forms. (Though I have learned never to say “never” when it comes to what the future holds. All options always remain on the table. This, I’ve learned, is what parenting teaches above all else.) As I fill my shelves with history books, biographies and science fiction, the purchases will come by virtue of my own curiosity, not because they’re on a suggested reading list. My role is changing. But even though I won’t fill out the grade reports or schedule tests, homeschooling has taught me that parents are their children’s first and best teachers. We set the tone for learning, even if the classroom is outside our doors. Inquiry, creativity and experimentation can’t be limited to the school grounds. If they are, we all still have a lot to learn. Contact Chris at chris@worthyplace.com.

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home-school happenings

Home-schooling can work for all families By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist

Excuse me while I jump up on my soapbox for a minute or two. You do not — I repeat, do not — need to spend a lot of money to home educate your children. And, this is coming from someone who earns a living selling books and homeschool curricula. It seems we have a bit of a disconnect in our community related to what is required to home-school a child. Please believe me when I tell you that homeschooling does not require a box curriculum, expensive books or expensive cooperative education. While these may work for some folks, and may be what some home educating parents feel are neces-

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sary for excellence, they do not in any way, shape or form define home-schooling. Many times, when parents begin considering the option of home education, they speak with friends who are home schooling their children. These friends may have great ideas and recommendations, and can be a terrific support system. But I would like to let you in on a little secret that most successful home-schooling parents learn after they’ve got a few years of home education under their belts — every home-schooling family is different. Every kid who is home-schooled is different. What works for one family, or one kid, is not always the answer for the next family or kid. In addition, support doesn’t have to cost money. We have some excellent options for group activities in our area that cost absolutely nothing or have very minimal cost involved. And, you always have the option of starting your own group, which I

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highly recommend. It’s been my experience that participating in large group activities can be exhausting. I have found that smaller groups with like-minded parenting styles and similar goals are often more satisfying and less taxing on the average homeschooling mom or dad. That doesn’t mean that there is not value in large co-ops. For example, the Asheville Homeschool Cooperative does a magnificent job of creating a valuable learning environment that is reasonably priced and well-run. (I am sure there are other groups that I could mention, but this is just one example.) I also caution you to take into account where your home-schooling advice is coming from. Do you have an unschooler bent? If so, taking advice from a highly structured, school-at-home home-schooler may leave you feeling confused and panicked. For our family, the beauty of home-

schooling has been our ability to transform it from year to year to what we need it to be. By this I mean, the whole point for us is for it not to look exactly like what we were getting in a traditional school setting. And, as we put more years under our belt, we are more and more confident in the path we have chosen. Giving ourselves the liberty to choose to use real “living” books and to not make every day look the same has been a gift for our whole family. I get distressed when I receive emails from moms who say they know their child would benefit from home-schooling, but their family can’t afford it. You do not need to purchase Sonlight Curriculum or A Beka or Oak Meadow to successfully home-school. These are lovely resources, and may be just right for some families, but you can do just as well by using a library card and an Internet connection. In fact, you don’t even need the Internet — you could get by with just a library card, which is free, as long as you manage to get your books back on time. If you have the gut feeling that your kid would be happier at home, you’re probably right. And, you can make it happen. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Choose your support system carefully,

For our family, the beauty of home-schooling has been our ability to transform it from year to year to what we need it to be.

research your choices, ask lots of questions to a variety of home-schoolers, get online and join support groups. I recommend trying some local and some not local groups that may spark your interest. And then, do it. It was a scary decision for our family, but it has turned out to be the best decision my husband and I ever made. We love our time together as a home-schooling family, and while it is not easy, it is definitely a decision I am certain we will never regret. Nicole McKeon is a home-schooling mom and owner of Homeschool Station in Fairview. Email her at homeschoolstation@hotmail.com.

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dad’s view

You catch more flies with sugar By Scott Tiernan WNC Parent columnist

Today’s tech world offers endless opportunities to be combative. Cellphone won’t work? Yell at the call center worker in Malaysia. Prematurely canceled the DirecTV service? Yell at the collection agent who claims you owe $456.32. And so on. I got into combative mood last Saturday night when our DVD player conked out halfway through “Black Swan.” I had no idea what was happening in the movie, but that was beside the point: Target had sold me a product that broke after just four uses. No matter that I’d purchased the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel DVD player at $29.99. I had been wrong — slighted —

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and someone needed to hear about it. Really, no one needed to hear about it. Exchanges are easy at major retailers — if you have the original box and receipt. Not so in this case. I’m terrible about keeping these things, forever mired in the delusion that things made of plastic and wires don’t break. Because I had no evidence the DVD player was actually mine, my only recourse was to return to Target and pitch a fit. Bizarre, immature — but I was going with it. My daughter Sophia was more than happy to go to Target the following morning; while I was (undoubtedly) yelling at someone she could scour the dollar racks for coloring books, princess stickers and more. My plan of attack was simple: Stalk to the Customer Service counter, scowl at anyone who dared try to help me, dump the worthless DVD player down, huff and puff about it being a piece of junk and demand a new player.

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Maybe Sophia sensed my dander was up, that I was about to make a fool of myself and probably hurt someone’s feelings in the process. Whatever the reason, before she dove into the lip gloss bin she said to me: “Be nice, Daddy.” Be nice. Good sentiment, Sophia, but all the pleasantries in the world won’t get us a new DVD player. Then I thought of a statistic I’d recently read: that customers are 75 percent more likely to reach a satisfactory resolution with a vendor when they adopt a civil tone. In high school I always strived to be a 75 percent foul shooter. Why not try it with customer service? The woman at the counter, who probably had a dozen places she would have rather been at 8:02 a.m. on a Sunday, greeted me with a smile. Not a cursory smile, but one of those If-you-need-asolution-to-world-peace-I-can-help-you smiles. I glanced at Sophia rummaging through a bin of pink gloves. Be nice.

Maybe Sophia sensed my dander was up, that I was about to make a fool of myself and probably hurt someone’s feelings . . . . she said to me: “Be nice, Daddy.”

I returned the smile and explained that while the DVD player had broken, I didn’t have the original box, didn’t have the receipt, and thus had no way to prove it was mine. I handed her the recalcitrant player and suggested she might want to return it to the factory. I managed a weak thank you and turned to leave. “Wait, wait,” she said. “I can help you.” How? She told me that if I could find the same player in the back, she could switch out the broken for the new. Easy as that, as long as she could use my cred-

it card through the system to see if I had indeed purchased the player. Excellent! I grabbed Sophia and her pink gloves and headed to the back of the store, stopping along the way to collect things I would never had purchased (like Clorox and chewing gum), as can only happen in Target. In no time we found the same player, made it back to Customer Service, did a quick swap and credit card swipe, and were out the door. In the car, after the luster of the pink gloves had worn off, Sophia asked if I was happy with the new DVD player. “Yes! We got a brand new one.” “It’s because you were so nice,” she said, and then laughed a wicked laugh like she was in on some practical joke. “Yes. And how did you know it was important to be nice?” I asked. Easy, she said. “Miss Cathy (her preschool teacher) is always nice to the kids at school. So, we’re always nice to her.” Another lesson imparted by a 3-yearold. Scott Tiernan is an education and communications consultant and a freelance writer. Read more at http://scott-tiernan.blogspot.com.

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divorced families

Kids: I’ll spill secrets about electronics By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

OK, kids, it is your turn! Quick … before anyone knows, tear this article out before your parents see it or any other grown up…this column is for you. All right, so this magazine has probably pumped your parents’ heads with all kind of ideas for your future birthday, including gifts. Most of which is stuff you really don’t want, educational toys and such. And I know what you are thinking ... something between yuck and eeeew. What you really want is something electronic like your own cellphone, touch pad, iPad or laptop. And I am going to tell you how to get and use them under

your conditions, but you have to start with two simple rules: First, you have to make your parents believe that they are way too old to understand any of this stuff. Don’t let them know that a lot of electronics are actually built overseas by people with less than a high school education. Instead, your parents have got to believe that these things were put together by people with grad school degrees and that even you have a difficult time understanding how they work. Second, to protect your privacy, don’t let your parents know of the many ways you can get on the Internet even when you are grounded. They must not understand you can freely roam the Internet through a smartphone, a game system such as the PS3, the school computer (yes, you know the ways) or the public library. If all else fails, you can use your friend’s equipment such as their phone at school, their home or on the bus.

If you get stuck with a Kindle or Nook in some vain attempt to encourage you to read, don’t worry. These devices have varying ability to access the Internet through wi-fi. Just don’t let the grown ups in your life know that there are ways to monitor your equipment. Let them believe there that Facebook and Twitter are actually able to enforce their age rules in setting up your page because they somehow have ways to verify your actual age. Don’t let them friend you on any site you set up. Forget all that stuff about safety when your right to privacy is at stake! Now, about getting what you want. Keep in mind that your parents did not have this equipment when they were growing up. Remind them that all the other kids have these things and that it is not fair that you don’t. If your parents are getting a divorce, make them feel guilty about it! Since your parents did not grow up with cellphones and laptops, they will have no clue about what social manners to expect. Don’t let them get the idea that it is rude to text other people when they (or anyone else) are talking to you. Tell them that having iPod buds in your ears at all times is OK, because you really can still hear what they are saying. Let them believe this is OK with your teachers as well. Always be prepared to turn the screen off your laptop any time a parent looks suspicious. Never give them your passcodes. If available, let your parents get lazy about leaving their own computers on without passcodes. Just erase your steps (you know how to do this) if you use their computer after they’ve gone to sleep at night. Now that you have read this destroy the evidence. I suggest eating it. Magazines are know for being full of fiber and this could actually be a healthy thing to do!

Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.

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librarian’s pick

‘Fairy Ring’ is great storytelling Jennifer Prince

WNC Parent columnist

If it were not for the fairies, none of this would have happened. Nine-year-old Frances would have never seen the fairies. Her 15-yearold cousin, Elsie, would have never lied to defend her cousin against the arrogant skepticism of their parents. There the fairies were, though, in the glen near Elsie’s house in Cottingley, England. What began as a kindly-meant gesture of solidarity and affection mushroomed into a monstrous knot of lies and half-truths. In her new book, “The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World: A True Story,” author Mary Losure presents a

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compelling account of how the friendship and fancy of two cousins sparked a decadeslong search for the truth. Impeccably researched, “The Fairy Ring” reads like a novel full of drama and intrigue. Losure begins by describing the grim effect of World War I on England. It was a difficult time to be growing up. Blackouts, loved ones off at war, newspaper notices of men missing, wounded or killed were the stuff of everyday life. Losure describes how Frances enjoyed visiting the glen, sometimes with Elsie, sometimes alone. Oftentimes, Frances saw fairies. For a while, she kept this to herself, but eventually she confided in Elsie.

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Soon though, Frances told her mother, aunt and uncle. The adults accused Frances of lying or making up silly stories at best. Not wanting her beloved cousin to be condemned or teased by the adults, Elsie confirmed Frances’ statements. That is how it all began. Losure relates how Elsie’s father loaned the girls a camera and asked them to take a picture of the fairies. Elsie, an amateur artist, drew elegant fairy figures on paper and cut them out. Using hatpins, the girls propped the fairy figures up in the glen and took each other’s picture posing with the fairies. To the jaded eyes of the 21st-century

Find story times at WNCParent.com. viewer, it seems ludicrous that anyone ever took the photos seriously. That is just what happened, though. Word got out. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle heard about it. He investigated. He believed. Other scholarly men investigated. They believed. Elsie and Frances found one of those scholars, Mr. Hodson, to be impossibly pompous. He kept detailed accounts of the myriad fairies, nymphs, sprites and gnomes he saw while out with Elsie and Frances. The girls did not see these fairies, but they felt they could not contradict the learned Mr. Hodson. Losure keeps the pace brisk and the tone light. She whisks the reader across the decades and describes how the truth came to light. Sort of. “The Fairy Ring� makes a first-rate read for late elementary school readers. It is terrific storytelling, made all the more compelling because it is true. This book is available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.buncombecounty.org/library.

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CHILL OUT Homemade ice pops are healthier option for hot days

By Karen Fernau Gannett

The ice pop knows no age. From the SpongeBob SquarePants to Lawrence Welk generations, this chilly, refreshingly sweet treat helps make the long, hot days of summer bearable. Kids typically gravitate toward pops with bright colors and flavors. More sophisticated palates go for melon and basil, white-chocolate pudding and pomegranate. “People have always made their own ice pops, but today’s are more creative, better-looking and -tasting,” said Martie The ice pop knows no age. From the Sullivan, owner of Sweet Basil Gourmet- SpongeBob SquarePants to ware & Cooking School in Scottsdale, Lawrence Welk generations, this Ariz. chilly, refreshingly “They can be sasweet treat helps vory or sweet, creamy or fruity. The make the long, hot possibilities are end- days of summer bearable. MICHAEL less.” MCNAMARA/GANNETT Two factors are driving today’s icepop resurgence: Pops double as a craft project for kids, allowing them to experiment with ingredients and flavors. Homemade pops also offer a healthful option for snacking if you skip the Kool-Aid. Homemade pops require a brief amount of time and little know-how. Yet the pops are more healthful and bettertasting than those from grocery freezers. Fruit juice, yogurt and fresh fruit offer

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White chocolate and pomegranate pops 2 cups white chocolate pudding (not sugar-free) 6 to 7 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (available in frozen-food sections)

For Zoku Quick Pops, fill molds halfway with pudding. Add 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds to the top of each pop. Freeze for 6 to 7 minutes. For conventional pops, follow same directions but freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Makes 6 servings

Strawberry, blueberry and vanilla yogurt pops 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, pureed with 1 tablespoon sugar 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, pureed with 1 tablespoon sugar 1 cup vanilla yogurt

For Zoku Quick Pops, fill each of the six molds halfway with yogurt. Allow to freeze for 2 minutes. Add layer of strawberry puree and freeze for 2 minutes. Add blueberry puree and freeze 2 minutes. For conventional pops, layer yogurt and purees in a popsicle container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Makes 6 servings.

more healthful alternatives to frozen water and sugar. For added protein, roll in trail mix or crushed nuts. “When you make pops at home, you have more variety and they taste real, not fake. You can make them with seasonal fruits, low-fat yogurts and a lot less sugar,” Sullivan said. Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian and owner of Chef Dudash Nutrition in Gilbert, Ariz., says homemade ice pops, unlike store-bought, are free of artificial colors and flavors. A little sugar is necessary to prevent the pops from being rock-hard and icy. Sugar substitutes may be used, but you’ll lose a little in texture. Mix-ins popular at yogurt shops, such as colored sprinkles, chocolate bits, peanut butter, candies and coconut, also can be added to ice pops. All you need are ice-pop sticks and containers for molding the liquid as it freezes: wax-coated paper cups, ice-cube

Creamy strawberry pops 1 pint strawberries 5 ounces evaporated milk 3 tablespoons frozen orange or pineapple juice

Place all ingredients in a blender, blending until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds, and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Watermelon, blueberry and lime pops 3 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar 1 cup fresh blueberries

In a blender, puree watermelon, lime juice and sugar to taste until smooth. Divide blueberries among freezer-pop molds. Top with watermelon mixture. Freeze until completely firm, about 4 hours or overnight. Makes 10 servings.

Cookies and cream pops 1 cups vanilla yogurt 3 chocolate-chip cookies, crumbled

For Zoku Quick Pops, fill molds with yogurt, then add cookies. Freeze 5 to 7 minutes. For conventional pops, follow same directions but freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Makes 6 servings.

trays or plastic molds made specifically for ice pops. Prices range from a few bucks to about $50 for Zoku Quick Pop, the newest maker that freezes ice pops in less than 10 minutes. Other ice pops must be in the freezer for at least four hours or, better yet, overnight. Either dip the molds in hot water for a few seconds, or let them sit at room temperature until the outside of the ice pop has melted enough to easily slide out of the mold. The glory of ice pops is that you decide how simple or complicated to make your frozen treats. If you’re not in the mood for fancy, gather a few basic ingredients and, in a few hours, battle the heat with a cool ice treat. Following you’ll find some inspiration in these recipes from Martie Sullivan.

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Kids page

JEFF RUMINSKI/THE CITIZEN-TIMES

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puzzles for parents Across 1. Jamaican spiritual movement 6. Sports official 9. But not least? 13. Like puppy-hating de Vil 14. Gone by 15. New _____, capital of India 16. Harsh or corrosive in tone 17. Daughter’s brother 18. Like Bird flu 19. She holds a record 17 Oscar nominations 21. She escapes the Wicked Witch 23. International help 24. Heaven’s Gate, e.g. 25. Dog foot 28. Yugoslavian dictator 30. Expel from a country 35. Mountain divide between Europe and Asia 37. Cruise and Hanks 39. Extend subscription 40. Ruptured 41. Old photograph color 43. Seawards 44. Forcefully urge 46. Home for students 47. Denim innovator 48. Capital of Bahamas 50. Start of a hole, pl. 52. Bo Derek in 1979 53. T on a test

55. ___ stop 57. Wheelchair-bound physicist 61. MC famous for parachute pants 64. Home to largest mammal 65. Blanche Devereaux on “The Golden Girls” 67. Silent performers 69. Chopin’s instru-

ment of choice 70. A belief or philosophy 71. High society 72. Inactive 73. First baseball player to reach 3,000 hits 74. Rent again

Down 1. Consumer electronics

maker 2. Rainbows, e.g. 3. Edible fat 4. _____ firma 5. Even though 6. Wood file 7. Big head 8. Dipping meal 9. Russian left 10. Different spelling for alighted

11. ____ of Iran 12. Like Tim of “A Christmas Carol” 15. One who darts 20. Changes to a manuscript 22. Not new or borrowed or blue 24. Fruit _______ 25. Russia’s 2-time President 26. Pleasant odor 27. Time _____, pl. 29. Three-____ sloth 31. Bell sound 32. Early stages of illness 33. “Superman” to Kidder’s Lane 34. a.k.a. Samuel Clemens 36. General Robert E. and director Spike 38. Seabiscuit’s father, e.g.

42. Single-cell protozoan 45. Hispanic American 49. Crematorium jar 51. Known as the “Queen of Disco” 54. Finno-_____ family of languages 56. Upside down frown 57. Shoshonean people 58. Turns blue litmus red 59. Raised mark on skin 60. His last word was “Rosebud” 61. Cannabis plant 62. Male version of Emily 63. Intersecting nerves or vessels 66. North American country 68. Many tennis games make one of these

Solutions on Page 61

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calendar of events

Things to do Deadline for the August calendar is July 10. Email information to calendar@wncparent.com.

June 25

SCIENCE FUN: Discover how much fun science can be with Amanda Wells from ROOTS in Education. 11 a.m. at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 452-5169.

June 26

BEST OF CRAZY CHEMISTRY: Make the best Crazy Chemistry concoctions, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville.

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Ages 4-7. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. FAMILY MOVIE: A movie the whole family will enjoy. All ages. At 2 p.m. at Fairview Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. FUN WITH WEATHER: Learn about weather and climates with Greg Hammer. Ages 6-12. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. » 10:30 a.m. at Fletcher branch library » 2 p.m. at Mills River branch library PROFESSOR WHIZZPOP SHOW: Asheville magician Professor WhizzPop performs at 6:30 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. SCIENCE FUN: Discover how much fun science can be with Amanda Wells from ROOTS in Education, 11 a.m. at Canton Library, 11 Pennsylvania Ave. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 648-2924.

June 27

BIRDS OF PREY: Doris Mager returns with her birds at 10 a.m. at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 452-5169. FUN WITH WEATHER: Learn about weather and climates with Greg Hammer. Ages 6-12. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. » 10:30 a.m. at Edneyville branch library; » 2 p.m. at Green River branch library. NANO SCIENCE CAMP: Participants will explore the

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science of the very, very small. Wacky science fun with DNA necklaces, mysterious gels and gummy worms. 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 7-12 $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. SAM BARTLETT’S STUNTOLOGY: Ages 6 and older. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. » 10:30 a.m. at Black Mountain Library. » 3 p.m. at North Asheville Library (limited to 50people. Pick up free ticket beginning June 13). EXPLORE THE NIGHT SKY: Check out the Start Lab Planetarium, 11 a.m. at East Asheville Library. All ages. Visit www.buncombecounty.org.

June 28

INFANT CARE CLASS: Pardee Hospital offers quarterly class, 6:30-8 p.m. at Hospital in Orientation Classroom, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. $10. Registration required. Call 866-790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org. PAPER MAGIC CAMP: Learn to make marble paper with common household items and create jewelry with paper beads, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 7-12 $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 48 RED HERRING PUPPETS: Presenting “The Big Dipper,” for all ages. 2:30 p.m. at South Buncombe/Skyland Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. RONALD MCDONALD VISITS: All ages. 2 p.m. at Fairview Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. ‘THE ROOTABAGA STORIES’: The Carl Sandburg Home and The Vagabond School of the Drama presents ‘The Rootabaga Stories,’ 10:15-10:45 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through Aug. 18. All ages. At Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock. Visit www.nps.gov/carl. SAM BARTLETT’S STUNTOLOGY: Ages 6 and older. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. » 11 a.m. at Leicester Library. Groups, call before attending. » 3 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Pick up free ticket at library starting June 14. SUGARFOOT SERENADERS SHOW: Jazzy, circus-music band performs at 6:30 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: Cradle of Forestry offers a nature series for ages 4-7, with outdoor-oriented activities. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays through Aug. 2. $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com

June 29

AFRICAN DRUMMING CAMP: Learn drum rhythms and explore African masks and instruments. 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 4 and older. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. AWESOME MAGIC: With Eric Schweitzer, 11 a.m.at Weaverville Library. All ages. Pick up free ticket at the library starting June 15.

June 30

ARABIAN NIGHTS CRAFT BAZAAR: All ages. At 11 a.m. at East Asheville Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. BOOK SIGNING: “An Apple a Day,” written by Sherrie Leslie and illustrated by Les Leslie. Leslie will discuss having a balanced diet. “Butterflies Don’t Crawl,” written by Angela and Suzie Tipton and illustrated by Wil Irvine. Listen to Suzie’s story of living with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. With face painting, balloons, coloring pages, refreshments. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Grateful Steps Publishing House and Bookshop, 159 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville. MEET LADYBUG GIRL: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Bluegrass and old-time string bands, cloggers, storytellers and more. 7-10 p.m. at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park, Asheville. Visit www.folkheritage.org. VBS KICKOFF: Malvern Hills Presbyterian Church will host Vacation Bible School, July 8-12. Register at Malvern Hills Park, 2-4 p.m. June 30. With face painting and refreshments. Call 258-8624.

July 1

CONFIDENCE TO CHANGE: Overcoming self-sabotaging tendencies through buddhist meditation. Series of classes looks at what prevents us from making posi-

JULY 4 EVENTS Asheville: Ingles July 4 Celebration, festivities start at 4 p.m. with fireworks at 9:30. Brevard: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown. 5K/10K Firecracker Run, arts and crafts, classic car show, music, inflatables, fireworks. 884-3278 or www.brevardnc.org. Burnsville: 10 a.m., Town Square. Old fashion celebration with music, children’s activities, food, wagon train. Bryson City: Freedom Fest, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., downtown. Old-fashioned street festival. Fireworks at 10 p.m. 800-8679246. Cherokee: Fireworks display starts at dark, Acquoni Expo Center, Cherokee. www.cherokee-nc.com. Dillsboro: 1-9:45 p.m. Carnival rides, contests, music, fireworks. www.visitdillsboro.org. Franklin: Fireworks and Fun Day, 10 a.m., with fireworks around 9:30 p.m., Macon County Veterans Memorial Recreation Park, U.S. 441. 524-3161. Hendersonville: Parade at 11 a.m., ice cream social, Main Street, Hendersonville. 692-4179. www.hendersoncountymuseum.org Lake Julian: Fireworks start after dark. Parking is at Estes Elementary School, on Long Shoals Road across road from park entrance. 684-0376.

tive change. Taught by buddhist teacher and mother Sharon Lovich. At Mary Magnetic Studio, 1070 Tunnel Road, Suite 30, Asheville. $8 students/$5 seniors per drop in class. Visit www.meditationinasheville.org or call 668 2241.

Starts July 2

PLAY & LEARN: Free pre-literacy program for ages 3-5 who live in Buncombe County and their parents/caregivers. For children who are not enrolled in regulated child care; those in part-time, “parents morning out” programs are eligible to participate. Weekly 45-minute classes with songs, hands-on educational activities, games, puppets and craft. Newcomers receive a weekly free book. Some children might leave for kindergarten and not complete classes after school starts. Offered at Asheville City Schools Preschool in West Asheville, 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, July 17/18-Sept. 11/12. Registration for newcomers starts July 2; returning

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THINKSTOCK

Lake Junaluska: 11 a.m. parade from Lambuth Inn to Nanci Weldon Gym, barbecue lunch at noon, Lake Junaluska Singers sings national anthem at 1 p.m., bluegrass music by Reems Creek Incident until 2 p.m., children’s activities. Tickets for barbecue are $8, $4 age 4-11. Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. For more information, call 800-222-4390 or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/july4th. Lake Junaluska Singers, “The Songs and Spirit of America” 7:30 p.m. July 3-4, Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Waynesville. $16.50, $8 age 8 and younger. Call 452-2881. Lake Lure: Boat tours $25, reservations taken until 6 p.m. Fireworks at sundown. www.lakelure.com. Maggie Valley: Red, White & Boom Festival, 2-11 p.m., Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, Soco Road. Free. Marion: Parade 6 p.m. on Main Street, street dance at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9:45 p.m. at Recreation Department ballfield. 652-2215. Rutherfordton: Old-time Freedom Festival with soap box derby, patriotic walking parade, music, lots of activities, fireworks finale 9:30 p.m. www.rutherfordtown.com. Waynesville: Stars & Stripes Celebration, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., downtown.

participants may register on July 9. To register, call 350-2904 or email marna.holland@asheville.k12.nc.us. SING, SIGN, STORY TIME: My Smart Hands-Asheville offers a drop-in story time with sign language, 11 a.m. every other Monday (July 2, 16 and 30, and Aug. 13 and 27) at The Tree House, A Cafe at Play. $7 per family. No sign language knowledge necessary. Contact Rebekah Alley at rebekah@mysmarthands.com or 712-4587 for information.

July 3

FIRE SAFETY: Learn about fire safety ahead with the fire marshal. Coloring books and firefighter hats for kids. 2:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with admission. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. GRAMMER SCHOOL SHOW: Asheville trio performs

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Ages 7 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. This week’s theme is “Crawling Critters.” 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays through Aug. 2. $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com.

Continued from Page 53 for free at 6:30 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. GROOVIN’ ON GROVEMONT: Firecracker Jazz Band plays at kickoff of 10th annual summer concert series, presented by Friends of the Swannanoa Library and Swannanoa Community Council. Free, family-friendly show, but donations are welcome. Bring blanket or lawn chair. Concessions. Bargain Basement Book Sale at library during event. At 6 p.m. at Grovemont Square beside library, 101 W. Charleston St. Call 250-6486 or email swannanoa.library@buncombecounty.org. PAPER MAKING CAMP: Make paper to take home. Ages 7 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

July 4

DUCK RACE: Fundraiser for Transylvania Community Arts Council’s Kreative Kids art programs. Adopt a duck for $5, six for $25 or 25 for $100. Ducks launch at 5 p.m. at King’s Creek at Brevard College. Do not need to be present to win. Top prize is $250. Call 884-2787 or email tcarts@comporium.net to adopt a duck.

July 5

DISCOVER THE NIGHT SKY: Colburn Earth Science Museum planetarium comes to Leicester Library at 11 a.m. For ages 5 and older. Groups should call before

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July 5 and 12

CHILDBIRTH CLASSES: A free two-session class, on July 5 and 12, for expectant parents covering the labor and delivery process, relaxation, breathing patterns, birth options, positioning and comfort measures. 6:30–9 p.m. Registration required. At Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866-790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org to register.

July 6

The Big Crafty returns to Pack Place and Pack Square on July 8. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

attending. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. DREAMING OF NOCTURNAL ANIMALS: Program for all ages at 10:30 a.m. at Black Mountain Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. STORIES WITH SHARON CLARKE: All-ages program at 3 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Pick up free ticket at library to attend. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. 3-D CONSTRUCTION CAMP: Create pictures of animals, waterways and skyscrapers with building blocks.

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CRIPPS PUPPETS SHOW: Puppetmaster Maddison Cripps brings his hand-sculpted puppets for a 6:30 p.m. show at The Hop in West Asheville, 721 Haywood Road. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. ROYAL TEA PARTY: Create a crown, learn tea party manners. Ages 3-5 (potty trained). 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Call 697-8333 to sign up. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

July 7

BLUE RIDGE ROLLERGIRLS: Doors open at 4 p.m., first bout at 5 p.m., second at 7. At WNC Ag Center, Fletcher.

Tickets $10 in advance, $12 day of game. Kids 12 and younger are free. Visit www.blueridgerollergirls.com. FAMILY MOVIE MATINEE: “Guardians of Ga’Hoole,” 2 p.m. at Pack Library, all ages. Visit buncombecounty.org. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Saturdays, July 7-28. Registration deadline is July 3. Starts at $20. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Bluegrass and old-time string bands, cloggers, storytellers and more. 7-10 p.m. at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park, Asheville. Visit www.folkheritage.org.

July 8

CONFIDENCE TO CHANGE: Overcoming self-sabotaging tendencies through buddhist meditation. Series of classes looks at what prevents us from making positive change. Taught by buddhist teacher and mother Sharon Lovich. At Mary Magnetic Studio, 1070 Tunnel Road, Suite 30, Asheville. $8 students/$5 seniors per drop in class. Visit www.meditationinasheville.org or call 668 - 2241. FAMILY ART PARTY: Asheville Art Museum hosts hands-on activities for all ages, 1-4 p.m. at 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Visit www.ashevilleart.org. THE BIG CRAFTY: Handmade crafts from more than 100 independent crafters, music, refreshments. Free. Noon-6 p.m. at Pack Square Park and Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Visit www.thebigcrafty.com.

July 9

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 3 and older, Monday-Thursday evenings, July 9-19. Regis-

tration deadline is July 6. Starts at $40. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. ASHEVILLE YMCA PORPOISE CLUB: Swim group made to feel like a swim team for those who are considering a team, are familiar with all four strokes and can swim laps. 6-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, July 9-Aug. 3. Registration deadline is July 6. Starts at $65. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 3 to adults, mornings and afternoons MondayThursday, July 9-19. Registration deadline is July 5. Starts at $40. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. TEEN DRAMA WORKSHOP: Take the Stage! Own the Night! teen drama and writing workshop. Learn how to write dialogue, stage directions and create a scene to perform. 2-4 p.m. July 9-13 and 16-20 at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 452-5169.

July 10

ANIMALS OF THE CONSTELLATIONS: The Museum of the Natural Sciences presents this all-ages program at 1 p.m. at Fairview Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months and older, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, July 10-Aug. 2. Registration deadline is July 6. Starts at $40. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. ONE STRING PORK-N-BEAN GUITAR WORKSHOP: Ages 3 and older. With Jeff Robbins. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. » Green River branch library, 10:30 a.m. » Mills River branch library, 2 p.m. PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE: Theme is “The Ocean” for

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program aimed at preschoolers through pre-K, 9-11:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Asheville. Space is limited. $5 per child. Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Welmaker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net. ROARING LIONS JAZZ SHOW: Asheville jazz trio performs tunes from and inspired by the jazz of the Roaring ’20s at 6:30 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. SUMMER READING ADVENTURES: For rising 1st- to 7th-graders. 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays in July at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. $3 per child (covers activities and snacks). Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Welmaker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net. SWEET SCIENCE AND CANDY CONSTRUCTION CAMP: Make your own creations with candy. Ages 8 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. THE BALLOON MAN: Join Grandpa Ernie, The Balloon Man. 11 a.m. at Canton Library, 11 Pennsylvania Ave. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 648-2924.

June 11

ANIMALS OF THE CONSTELLATIONS: Summer reading program. Pick up free ticket at the library beginning June 27. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. » North Asheville Library: At 11 a.m. for ages 4 and older. » West Asheville Library: At 2 p.m. for ages 6 and older. KID’S ART DAY: The Transylvania Community Arts Council hosts a day for kids 5-12 to create outdoor artwork, 1:30-4 p.m. Call 884-2787 to register. At 349 S.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 55 Caldwell St., Brevard. ONE STRING PORK-N-BEAN GUITAR WORKSHOP: Ages 3 and older. With Jeff Robbins. At 10:30 a.m. at Edneyville branch library. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. STORIES UNDER THE STARS: Program for ages 5 and older at 10:30 a.m. at Pack Library, downtown Asheville. Visit www.buncombecounty.org.

July 12

3-2-1 BLASTOFF! With Colburn Earth Science Museum. For ages 5 and older. At 2:30 and 4 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Pick up a free ticket at the library starting June 28. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. DREAM BIG STORIES: With Sharon Clarke. » Swannanoa Library: All ages. At 11 a.m. » South Asheville/Oakley Library: For ages 5 and older. At 2 p.m. Groups should register by calling the library at 250-4754. MAGIC SCIENCE CAMP: Learn the science behind magic tricks. Ages 8 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MOOZIC LADY: “Brighten up the Night” program for all ages at 11 a.m. at Leicester Library. Groups should call before attending. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. ORIGAMI FOLDING FRENZY: The Health Adventure hosts origami club for all levels, 4-5 p.m. second Thursday of the month. Learn new folds, share favorites and meet fellow origami enthusiasts. Paper available at

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museum store or bring your own. Free with admission. At Biltmore Square Mall, off Brevard Road. Call 665-2217 or visit www.thehealthadventure.org. WIGGLE WITH WORMS CAMP: Create a miniearthworm farm to take home and learn about worms. Ages 7-12. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 6978333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. This week’s theme is “Going Batty.” 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays through Aug. 2. $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com.

July 12-15

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN HIGHLAND GAMES: 57th-annual event celebrating Scottish culture. With games, performances, bagpipe parade, live music and more. Visit www.grandfather.com or www.gmhg.org.

July 13

BEST OF CRAZY CHEMISTRY: Participants will make three crazy concoctions. Ages 4-7. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. BOB THE BUILDER: Bob and his crew perform at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 13-15 at Tweetsie Railroad. Visit www.tweetsie.com. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN RIBFEST: Professional barbecue vendors, live entertainment, amusement

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rides, arts and crafts, more. 4-11 p.m. Continues through July 15. Adults $7, children under 12 free. No pets, coolers, backpacks, outside food or beverages. GOLDEN ROD PUPPETS: Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets present “Animalia,” exploring the magical world of animals. Ideal for ages 2 through sixth grade. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Tickets $7 per person for groups of 10 or less, $6 per person for larger groups. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com for tickets. JEWISH ART CALENDAR: List your child's birthday in the Chabad House’s sixth-annual Jewish Art Calendar for 2013. Calendars will be distributed for free throughout WNC. Submission deadline July 13. $18/date. Call 505-0746 or visit www.chabadasheville.org.

July 14

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months and older, Saturday mornings, July 14-Aug. 4. Registration deadline is July 13. Starts at $40. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN RIBFEST: Professional barbecue vendors, live entertainment, amusement rides, arts and crafts, more. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Continues through July 15. Adults $7, children under 12 free. No pets, coolers, backpacks, outside food or beverages. CHALK IT UP! Sidewalk chalk art contest, all day, on Main Street in Hendersonville. Rain dates are July 21 and 28. Registration starts June 5. Call 697-6393 or visit www.narniastudios.com. COMMUNITY CARNIVAL: Games, inflatables, rides, activities, food, entertainment and more, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Charles D. Owen Park. Prices for games and rides vary; all-day wristbands available. RWA Pro Wrestling performs at 8 p.m. For details, email swannanoababe-

ruth@gmail.com. KIDS’ NIGHT OUT: Biltmore United Methodist Church hosts night out, 5-8 p.m. the second Saturday of the month, for infants to fifth-graders. With educational activities and snacks. $5 per child. Email leslee@biltmoreumc.org or call 274-2379 to RSVP. MODEL AIRPLANE SHOW: Join the Asheville-Buncombe Aeromodelers Flying Club for a free air show and display of models, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Buncombe County Sports Park, behind Sandhill-Venable Elementary School in Candler. Pilots fly various types of aircraft ranging from small electric to gasoline powered 33 percent-size airplanes. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. MOVIE MATINEE: “Night at the Museum,” all ages, 2-4 p.m. at East Asheville Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Mountain tradition, with bluegrass and old-time string bands, cloggers, storytellers and more. 7-10 p.m. at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park, Asheville. Visit www.folkheritage.org. SNAKES ALIVE: Ron Cromer and his reptilian friends put on two performances, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 452-5169. WINGED CREATURES OF THE NIGHT TOUR: Cradle of Forestry program focuses on nocturnal life in the woods and begins in the outdoor amphitheater. A craft for children and talk is followed by a stroll through the evening woods in search of winged creatures of the night. Wheelchair accessible. $6 for ages 16 and older, $3 for youths. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com or call 877-3130.

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FLOW CIRCUS: Dream big with the circus. All ages. At 2:30 p.m. at South Buncombe/Skyland Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. FOLKMOOT USA: See performances by groups from New Zealand, France, Serbia, Indonesia, Peru and more at this international festival put on across WNC. For schedule and tickets, visit ww.folkmootusa.org. FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: WNC Nature Center presents this all-ages program at 11 a.m. at East Asheville Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. LEARN TO MAKE A DREAMCATCHER: For ages 8 and older at 10:30 a.m. at Pack Memorial Library, downtown Asheville. Space is limited, so sign up at the library or call 250-4720 to register. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. MOOZIC LADY: Dream big and sing at this all-ages program. 10:30 a.m. at Black Mountain Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org.

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July 15

CAROLINA MOUNTAIN RIBFEST: Professional barbecue vendors, live entertainment, amusement rides, arts and crafts, more. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Adults $7, children under 12 free. No pets, coolers, backpacks, outside food or beverages.

July 16

BUNCOMBE COUNTY POOLS SWIM LESSONS: For ages 3 and older. Lessons are divided into five levels of swim experience, including a preschool level. July 16-26, with lessons 11-11:45 a.m. Monday-Thursday. Evening lessons are offered for some levels, 6-6:45 p.m. Registration starts at noon July 9. Sign up at the pool you plan to attend. $30.

July 17

GROOVIN’ ON GROVEMONT: The Groovemont Players perform in the 10th annual summer concert series, presented by Friends of the Swannanoa Library and Swannanoa Community Council. Free, family-friendly show, but donations are welcome. Bring blanket or lawn chair. Concessions. Bargain Basement Book Sale at library during event. At 6 p.m. at Grovemont Square beside library, 101 W. Charleston St. Call 250-6486 or email swannanoa.library@buncombecounty.org. HOOPING HEARTS HULA HOOP JAM: All ages. At 6:30 p.m. at Swannanoa Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. NANO SCIENCE CAMP: Explore the science of the very, very small. Ages 7-12. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. NOT ALL HEALTH WEBSITES ARE CREATED EQUAL: Learn the best ways to search for health and medical information on the Internet, taught by MAHEC medical librarian Deb Skolnik. Free. At 7 p.m. at Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road, Fairview. Call 250-6484 or email fairview.library@buncombecounty.org. PAJAMA PARTY STORY TIME: All ages. Feel free to wear pajamas. At 7 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE: Theme is “The Ocean” for program aimed at preschoolers through pre-K, 9-11:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Asheville. Space is limited. $5 per child. Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Wel-

July 19

Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets present “Animalia” on July 13 at Diana Wortham Theatre. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT maker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net. STARRY NIGHT GALLERY EXHIBIT: Kids of all ages should submit artwork by July 16. Take artwork home after the exhibit. 6 p.m.at Enka-Candler Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. SUMMER READING ADVENTURES: For rising 1st- to 7th-graders. 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays in July at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. $3 per child (covers activities and snacks). Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Welmaker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net. YOUTH OPEN MIC NIGHT: The Hop invites kids 16 and younger to show off their talents to family and friends. Hosted by Chris Martin. To join, email cwaremartin@yahoo.com. At 6:30 p.m. at 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com.

July 18

3-2-1 BLASTOFF! With Colburn Earth Science Museum. For ages 5 and older. At 3 p.m. at North Asheville Library. Pick up a free ticket at the library starting July 5. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. DINO DIG! CAMP: Dig for fossils, assemble a dinosaur and learn about them. Ages 7-10. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 18-19, at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $25 nonmembers/$16 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

ART OF BREAST-FEEDING: Pardee Hospital offers free class for new moms, 6:30-8 p.m. at hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Registration is required. Call 866-790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org to register. BUILD YOUR OWN ROCKET: Ages 6 and older at 11 a.m. at Leicester Library. Groups should call before attending. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. END OF SUMMER PARTY: 2-4 p.m. at Canton Library, 11 Pennsylvania Ave. Call 648-2924 or visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. FIRE AND ICE: Visit with Fairview Fire Department and enjoy ice cream at program for preschoolers. At 10:30 a.m., Fairview Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. MOUNTAIN STORY MAGIC: Storytelling program for all ages at 3 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Visit Pick up your free ticket at library starting July 5. www.buncombecounty.org. PAJAMA PARTY: Wear your jammies and have fun reading, at 11 a.m. at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org or call 452-5169. ROGER DAY: All ages musical performances. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. » Etowah branch library, 10:30 a.m. » Henderson County Main Library, 3 p.m. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. This week’s theme is “There’s No Place Like Home: Animal Habitats.” 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays through Aug. 2. $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com.

July 20

ASHVILLE HUMANE SOCIETY KITTY ADOPTION: The Hop will donate half of sales to Asheville Humane Society, which will have cats available for adoption. At 5 p.m. at The Hop West, 721 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. DANCE PERFORMANCE: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville’s Summer Showcase 2012 with ballet, modern and jazz. At 2 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre, downtown Asheville. Call 255-5777 for tickets. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. MINIATURE BIRDHOUSE GOURDS: Learn the history of gourds and decorate them with Susan Davis of Susie Q. Gourds. Ages 5 and older. At 11 a.m. at Waynesville Library, 678 S. Haywood St. Limited space; call 452-5169 to sign up. Free. Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. PAPER MAKING CAMP: Participants will make paper

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calendar of events Continued from Page 58 to take home for crafts or journals. Ages 7 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

July 21

ASHEVILLE TOURISTS’ GIRL SCOUT DAY: Scouts can participate in pregame parade on field and post-game run the bases, and will receive a general admission ticket, souvenir patch or pin and meal voucher. $10 each scout, $5 for additional family members and friends. Game starts at 6:05 p.m. Call Natalie Tobey at 258-0428 or email ntobey@theashevilletourists.com. CARL SANDBURG AND ABRAHAM LINCOLN: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War to Civil Rights, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, honoring Sandburg’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Abraham Lincoln, activities include an Abraham Lincoln portrayal, live music, Civil War encampment, special grounds tours and children’s crafts. Call 693-4178 or visit www.nps.gov/carl. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Bluegrass and old-time string bands, cloggers, storytellers and more. 7-10 p.m. at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park, Asheville. Visit www.folkheritage.org. SIDEWALK BOOK SALE: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at East Asheville Library, 902 Tunnel Road, Asheville. Call 250-6484 or email eastasheville.library@buncombecounty.org.

July 23

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 3 and older, Monday-Thursday evenings, July 23-Aug. 2. Registration deadline is July 20. Starts at $40. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 3 to adults, mornings and afternoons MondayThursday, July 23-Aug. 2. Registration deadline is July 19. Starts at $40. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

July 24

AFRICAN DRUMMING CAMP: Ages 4 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. BALLOON FAIRY: All ages program at 2 p.m. at EnkaCandler Library. No groups. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. DREAMING OF MAGIC: All ages program with Ric Singleton. At 2 p.m.at Enka-Candler Library. No groups. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. GREEN OPPORTUNITIES TALENT SHOW: Fundraiser and talent show for Green Opportunities, which improves lives, communities and the health of the planet through innovative green collar job training and placement programs, at 5 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. NIGHT SKY PLANETARIUM: Colburn Earth Science Museum presents this all-ages program at 1 p.m. at Fairview Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE: Theme is “The Ocean” for program aimed at preschoolers through pre-K, 9-11:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Asheville. Space is limited. $5 per child. Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Welmaker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net.

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SUMMER READING ADVENTURES: For rising 1st- to 7th-graders. 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays in July at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. $3 per child (covers activities and snacks). Visit www.fbca.net or contact Bree Welmaker at 252-4781 or bwelmaker@fbca.net.

www.buncombecounty.org. TALL TALES AND FAIRY TALES CAMP: Create a puppet and learn to tell stories. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

July 25

July 27-29

BALLOON FAIRY: Program for ages 4 and older, at 3 p.m. at North Asheville Library. Limited to 50 people. Pick up free ticket at the library starting July 11. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. BUTTERFLY CAMP: Stories, hands-on science and dramatic play. Ages 6 and older. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. DREAMING UP A LIBRARY WISHING WELL: All-ages program at 2 p.m. at Black Mountain Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: WNC Nature Center presents this all-ages program at 10:30 a.m. at Pack Memorial Library, downtown Asheville. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. GRANDMA STORY WOMAN: Storytelling for all ages, free with admission. At 1 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. RIC SINGLETON’S FAMILY FUN SHOW: For ages 5 and older at 3 p.m. at North Asheville Library. Limit 50 people. Pick up free ticket at the library beginning July 11. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. ‘THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES’: Presented by Grey Seal Puppets. Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. » Fletcher branch library, 10:30 a.m. » Etowah branch library, 2 p.m.

July 26

INFANT CARE CLASS: Basics including newborn characteristics, feeding, bathing, cord care, diapering and swaddling. Free. 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Registration required; call 866-790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org. LET’S GO FLY CAMP: Create four paper airplanes and test their flying. Ages 8-12. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $15 nonmembers/$9 members. Limited space; call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MOUNTAIN STORY MAGIC: Dream big at this program for ages 5 and older at 10:30 a.m. at Black Mountain Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. NIGHT CREATURES: Program from the WNC Nature Center for all ages, at 11 a.m. at Leicester Library. Groups should call before attending. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. T-SHIRT SCREEN PRINTING: Bring your own shirt for this craft program for all ages, 3-4 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Limit one shirt per person. Pick up free tickets starting July 12. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. This week’s theme is “Wildlife Tracking.” 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays through Aug. 2. $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com.

July 27

HULA HOOP WITH HOOPING HEARTS: All ages program at 11 a.m. at West Asheville Library. Pick up free ticket at the library starting July 13. Visit

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BELE CHERE: Asheville’s music and arts festival, with live music, vendors, nonprofit booths, Purina Air Dogs, children’s area, Asheville’s Mobile Art lab, more. Visit www.belecherefestival.com.

July 28

PRESCHOOL MISSION CAMP: Children ages 3-5 can learn that God loves them and be actively involved in learning how to share this love with others. 9 a.m.-noon at French Broad Baptist Church, 182 Grandview Lane, Hendersonville. Call 891-4665 or visit www.frenchbroad.org. Registration is encouraged. Optional $5 donation. TRAIN HISTORY DAY: Walk the Forest Festival Trail at the Cradle of Forestry to see its old Climax locomotive. Climb aboard and ring the bell and hear a steam whistle. Slide programs at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. by WNC train historian. $5 for ages 16 and older, youths free. Visit www.cradleofforestry.com or call 877-3130.

July 28-29

HAPPY MAMA CONFERENCE: For stressed-out, overwhelmed, overworked and under-nurtured mothers of children with ADHD, OCD, SPD, PBD, FASD, autism, PDD or any other brain-based differences. Weekend getaway at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover to help mothers gain community with other parents who share their questions, concerns, worries and fears and to teach mothers to advocate for their children and themselves. Visit www.if-mama-aint-happy.com or email happymamaretreat@gmail.com.

July 31

‘ALADDIN JR.’: Curtain Call Collective, under the direction of Chris martin, performs a preview performance of “Aladdin Jr.” at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. COMEDY CAMP: Work on presentation, timing, puns and homophones. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 31-Aug. 3. Performance at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 3. $35 nonmembers/$30 members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Aug. 1

CONNECT SOCIAL SKILLS CLASSES: Register by Aug. 1 for early-bird price on fall session of Connect: Increasing Social Flexiblity through Actions and Thoughts at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St., Hendersonville. Children do not need to have diagnosis on autism spectrum to attend classes. 10-week session starts Sept. 10 for elementary age, Sept. 13 for high schoolers. $160 if registered by Aug.; $180 after. To register, call 6934223, ext., 21 or email jenniferlaite@yahoo.com.

Aug. 3

‘ALADDIN JR.’: Summer Rocks at Emmanuel Lutheran School performs, under the direction of Chris Martin, at 7 p.m. at the school, 51 Wilburn Place, Asheville. Visit www.summerrocks.org or call 281-8182.

Aug. 4

‘ALADDIN JR.’: Summer Rocks at Emmanuel Lutheran School performs, under the direction of Chris Martin, at 2 p.m. at the school, 51 Wilburn Place, Asheville. Visit www.summerrocks.org or call 281-8182. OWN THE NIGHT: A self-defense workshop for ages 11-18. Teens must turn in signed permission slip to participate. Parents welcome. Call 250-4638 for details. At 3 p.m. at East Asheville Library. Visit www.buncombecounty.org.

Ongoing

BILINGUAL SUMMER ADVENTURE: Arts-integrated Spanish language learning through activities, crafts, music and cuisine, inspired by the diverse peoples and regions of the Americas.Two summer sessions for rising 1st- to 4th-graders taught by Monica Bastin and Jack Manning. For information, email jwmannin@gmail.com or call 772-4539. CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Enrollment now open for a combination Sunday School and Hebrew School Program. Registration through Aug. 15. Discounts available. For ages 3-13. Sundays 10 a.m.-noon. September-May. At Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746 or visit www.chabadasheville.org.

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WNC Parent July 2012