2016 Readers' Favorites: Education + Enrichment

Your votes for the best of education and enrichment services in Charlotte.

Favorite Arts and Music Program

Noah’s Art

All children are artists is the motto of Noah’s Art. Let them dabble in paint, clay and making art in many forms while also learning how to use supplies and methods. Blakeney Shopping Center, 9852 Rea Road; and Park Selwyn Terrace, 5110 Park Road. noahs-art.com


Favorite Dance Studio Beginner + Intermediate, and Favorite Summer Day Camp: Arts

Miller Street Dance Academy

Whether your tiny dancer is just figuring out first position, or advancing into dance competitions, Miller Street Dance Academy covers the basics and then some. Classes include acro, cheer, ballet, tap, pointe, hip-hop, tumbling and lyrical, plus mommy-and-me classes for toddlers. The summer programs include dance, arts and crafts, and games. 11532 Providence Road; 967 Market St., Fort Mill, millerstreetdanceacademy.com.


Favorite Equestrian Program

Latta Equestrian Center

Riding lessons, horse shows and summer camp — they have it all here. Guided trail rides are also available for ages 12 and older. 6201 Sample Road, Huntersville. lattaequestriancenter.com.

Rick Belden Photography

Favorite Gymnastics + Cheer Program

Southeastern Gymnastics

Tots as young as 18 months up to teens can flip, tumble and stretch here. Big kids progress to vault, bars, beam, and floor. Adults can join in the conditioning class. Weddington Activity Center, 13601 Providence Road, Weddington, southeasterngymnastics.com.


Favorite Martial Arts Program

TIE: Leadership Martial Arts and Sangrock

Little ninjas can hone their skills at both these martial arts schools. Each have classes divided by age group, with emphasis on basics of martial arts while also teaching teamwork, respect, self-discipline and sportsmanship — things we all want our kids to master. LMA, 9928 S. Tryon St., 704-532-3371, leadershipma.com; Sangrock, locations in Ballantyne, Matthews and Wesley Chapel, sangrock.com.

Favorite Sports League

Wesley Chapel Wedding Athletic Association

Whether you have a slugger in the family or one who loves to wrestle or play basketball, soccer, softball, football or lacrosse, WCWAA has you covered. wcwaa.org.

Favorite STEM Program

Charlotte Latin School

Whether it’s running flight simulations or building model bridges, Charlotte Latin’s STEM students are among some of the first in the nation to have access to a FAB Lab — a special “maker space” that meets specific criteria for equipment, including laser cutters and 3D printers. 9502 Providence Road, charlottelatin.org.

Favorite School Arts/Theater Program

Northwest School of the Arts

Boasting a Tony-award winning teacher and alumnus that is now on Broadway, this Charlotte-Mecklenburg School magnet school offers 10 art “majors.” It also made US News and World Report’s top 20 Best High Schools in North Carolina. 1415 Beatties Ford Road, 980-343-5500, schools.cms.k12.nc.us/northwesths.

Favorite Story Time

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center

Located uptown beside the 7th Street stop on the Lynx light rail line, this collaborative effort between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a 102,000-square-foot facility ranked by livability.com as the No. 1 children’s library in the United States. It features two state-of-the-art theatres, a dedicated library space for kids 11 and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library and multimedia production studio, and interactive exhibit space. 300 E. 7th St., imaginon.org.

Favorite Summer Day Camp

Traditional + Sports: YMCA

You can choose to go all traditional with weekly themes, morning stretches and songs, and afternoon swims, or add on golf, basketball, soccer or myriad of other sporting options at the bigger YMCA locations throughout town, including Harris, Siskey, Johnston and Morrison branches. ymcacharlotte.org.

Favorite Sleep-away Camp

Camp Thunderbird

Since 1936, generations of families have attended this camp on Lake Wylie. Rustic cabins, proximity to Charlotte, and well-planned outdoor activities, including lots of water time, make it a hit. 1 Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, S.C., campthunderbird.org.


Favorite Place to Learn to Swim

Little Otter Swim School

Babies as young as 6 months, and big kids and teens can learn the basics of swimming here. Baby-parent classes are a great way to dip their toes into the world of water before progressing up the otter chain learning to float and use breath control. 8200 Tower Point Drive; and 14415 Reese Blvd., Huntersville, 704-846-7946, littleotterswim.com.


SEE ALSO: 2016 Readers' Favorites Dining + Destinations