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May 11, 2023 Allison Andrews

I’ve been in Charlotte for several years now but a recent outing with my book club reminded me how there are STILL new things to discover in this place I call home. I challenge you to do the same. Let me tell you what happened. I am fortunate to be part of the best book club in the world (shout out to my Country Club Heights ladies!). We read fabulous books and even do fun outings, and there may or may not be a little wine involved. Just recently, one of our book club members invited us to see a play based on our last read. It was put on by the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte at a magical land called ImaginOn.

My lovely librarian friend and fellow book club member, Maryann O’Keeffe has always talked about how much she loves her job at ImaginOn. She is the program coordinator, and manages the partnership between the library and the theatre. It is easy to see why Ms. O’Keeffe loves her job. 

A feast for the senses

I arrived a bit early to checkout the lay of the land having never visited. It was a hive of laughter, singing, dancing, fun and just bursting with positive energy. Parents and children of all ages from babies to teens were having fun, listening to a story being read, or using computers. Everywhere you look there is something to climb on, look through or play pretend with. I must admit, I got a bit teary eyed. What an absolute treasure ImaginOn is to our community, especially for families.


Bringing stories to life

ImaginOn was born from the collaboration between the leaders of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Children’s Theater of Charlotte. The mission: bring stories to life through extraordinary experiences that challenge, inspire and excite young minds. Bank of America and the library’s namesakes, Joe and Joan Martin helped make this dream space a reality. 

Since 2005 ImaginOn has been an extraordinary creative space for families. It features two state-of-the-art theater spaces, a youth library for kids 11 and under, a multi-media production studio, and a teen-only library with access to 3-D printers, homework help and a huge selection of fiction, graphic novels, comics and magazines.

Short walk there

I walked to ImaginOn from my home in Elizabeth. It was a beautiful day when all of Charlotte seemed to be out enjoying themselves. I passed by the First Ward Park, where children were playing and people were walking their dogs. I grabbed a coffee at 7th St. Market and then hopped over to meet my friends at ImaginOn. It was a good day in Charlotte and just reminds me of how lucky we are to call this wonderful place home.  Oh and there are fabulous places to live both single family homes and condos all along this enchanted walk from Elizabeth to First Ward.  ImaginOn can be a Short Walk Home. 

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