A neighborhood in the south part of Charlotte, North Carolina, Ballantyne is just a 20-minute drive from downtown. Even though it is within the city limits of Charlotte, the area of Ballantyne has its own identity. It is an ideal place for families to live, providing many opportunities for kids to be active and engaged in the community.
Gyms and Dance
There is a Gymboree Play and Music (gymboreeclasses.com) located in Ballantyne. This nationally known chain offers classes for 0 to 5 year olds in the areas of sports, art, music and family participation. The family classes can include older siblings. Carolina Dance Capital (carolinadancecapital.com) provides dance classes for 2 to 18 year olds. There is a wide variety of options, including tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, ballet, floor gymnastics, cheer, zumba and yoga. The atmosphere is family friendly, with state-of-the-art facilities.
The Ballantyne Village YMCA (ymcacharlotte.org) offers a wide variety of programs for kids. Sports leagues include soccer, flag football, swimming, cheerleading, hockey, T-ball, volleyball and basketball. There are also classes for martial arts and youth fitness. The Y also has day camps and day care for younger kids. The Pineville-Ballantyne Community Athletic Association (pcaasports.org) is the area's source for little league. The leagues start at T-ball for 4 to 5 year olds and include children all the way up to 13 years old. There are softball leagues as well.
The neighborhood has some parks that have kids in mind. William R. Davie Park (no website; 4635 Pineville-Matthews Road ; 704-554-0402) is 107 acres of playing fields, playgrounds, walking trails, indoor and outdoor shelters, horseshoe pits, a pond and restrooms. Elon Homes Regional Park (no website; 11401 Ardrey Kell Road; 704-643-5725) is another option, which includes an indoor game room, classrooms, trails, disc golf courses, a gymnasium, restrooms, a playground, a pond for fishing and playing fields.
Just for Fun
Sometimes kids just need some time to cut loose and have fun. The Sports Connection Entertainment Center (sportsconnectionnc.com) is full of activities for kids of all ages. They can get in on a laser tag game, play air hockey or many of the other arcade games, spin around on the bumper cars or jump around in the inflatable toys area. The facility also has a cafe and Wi-Fi access. Just five miles up the road in Pineville is Monkey Joe's (monkeyjoes.com). There, your kids aged 2 to 12 years old can play and jump around on the indoor inflatables, including slides and obstacle courses. At the same location is Jump Sky High (cha.jumpskyhigh.com), which is a trampoline area for free play and also organized dodgeball games. Kids of all ages can participate.
Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.