15 Must-Visit Small Towns in North Carolina

From the mountains to the coast, explore these quaint destinations in the Tar Heel State.


Published:

Photo by Bennian/Shutterstock

North Carolina is home to many quaint towns rich in history and natural beauty that provide an opportunity for relaxation and family togetherness, without the noise and traffic of larger cities. If you love the small-town vibe, pack a suitcase to discover the irresistible charm of these road-trip worthy destinations.

Mountains
 

Banner Elk

Photo courtesy of Bill Russ — VisitNC.com

A young boy enjoys a sledding run in Banner Elk.
 

Avery County’s Banner Elk, about 15 miles from Boone, offers an ideal destination for families. “Banner Elk sits between two of the major ski resorts in North Carolina,” says Nancy Owen of the Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority. “On one side of us is Sugar Mountain Resort and on the other side is Beech Mountain Resort, so we’re within a 5-mile radius of two of the biggest winter attractions in North Carolina.”

The town offers plenty of year-round family fun, too. In summer, visit Wildcat Lake, which offers a beach area, swimming, fishing and canoe rentals. It’s also a great spot for a family picnic.

“Our Fourth of July Celebration is really like no other. It’s true classic America,” Owen says. “Thousands of people come to our one stoplight town for this parade. It’s a family tradition.” The parade concludes with a Party in the Park at Tate-Evans Park with food, vendors, a rubber duck race, an egg toss and sack races.

In the fall, Banner Elk is known for its Woolly Worm Festival, held the third weekend in October. The festival celebrates the coming of snow season with worm races, with the winner helping to predict the coming weather.

Insider Tip: You’ll find spectacular mountain views at Apple Hill Farm, an alpaca farm 5 miles from Banner Elk. The private farm frequently hosts tours to see the alpacas, llamas, goats, guardian donkeys, dogs and Mr. Pickles, the pig.


Blowing Rock

Photo courtesy of Todd Bush Photography

"Main Street is the heart of the village, a walkable and friendly place with a mix of unique shops, galleries, independent restaurants," says Amanda Lugenbell of Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority.
 

Blowing Rock, a 15-minute drive from Boone, is known as the Crown of the Blue Ridge and is located in Watauga and Caldwell counties along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The town is named for The Blowing Rock — an enormous cliff high above the Johns River Gorge, which is 3,000 feet below. Fish or hike at Moses Cone Memorial Park, ride the rails at Tweetsie Railroad, launch an aerial excursion at High Gravity Adventures, or explore a natural gravitational anomaly at Mystery Hill.

“The mix of outdoor activity and energetic entertainment is something families love about our town,” says Amanda Lugenbell of Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority. “The atmosphere of downtown is another quality that makes Blowing Rock special. Main Street is the heart of the village, a walkable and friendly place with a mix of unique shops, galleries, independent restaurants, and the lovingly maintained Memorial Park — right in the center of it all.”

Nearby attractions include Grandfather Mountain, Julian Price Memorial Park, Linville Caverns and Linville Falls.

Don’t-miss annual events include the July Fourth Celebration and Parade with sack races, a watermelon-eating contest and inflatables. The annual Blowing Rock Halloween Festival features a costume contest, a scavenger hunt and pumpkin-bowling competitions.

Insider tip: Animal-loving families can attend The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, which hosts three outdoor shows each summer.


Brevard

Photo courtesy of Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority

Rainbow Falls is a 150-foot tall waterfall in Pisgah National Forest.
 

Brevard is a best known for its scenic beauty. Located about 30 miles from Asheville, Brevard is the county seat of Transylvania County and part of the state’s “Land of the Waterfalls,” a region comprised of more than 200 waterfalls. The city’s proximity to Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest, where portions of “The Hunger Games” and “Last of the Mohicans” were filmed, makes Brevard popular among outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and fishing.

Kids can search for precious gems at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine or head downtown to browse the aisles of the “coolest toy store on the planet,” O.P. Taylor’s.

Nearby attractions include Sliding Rock, a 60-foot natural waterfall/rock slide perfect for a refreshing splash into the natural pool at the end; and Forest Discovery Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and interactive displays.

Every Memorial Day weekend, enjoy the White Squirrel Festival, a celebration of the town and its famous mascot. Attendees enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, a box derby and a parade.

Insider tip: On the second Friday of every month, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, a 200-acre former NASA facility about 17 miles from Brevard, offers “An Evening at PARI,” which includes a tour and outdoor observation session.


Bryson City

Photo courtesy of Bill Russ — VisitNC.com

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you through a beautiful corner of state into river gorges, across fertile valleys and through tunnels cut out of mountains.
 

Surrounded by mountains, historic Bryson City serves as a depot for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad that delights families with its scenic rail excursions, such as the Polar Express.

After riding the rails, explore the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum.

Spend a day hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or rafting/kayaking the Nantahala River. Be sure to visit the Nantahala Outdoor Center for information on guided rafting tours and packages with zip lining and/or train excursion options. Mine for gems at the Deep Creek Tube Center Mining Company or fishing in nearby Fontana Lake.

Enjoy free concerts every Saturday evening from June through October at Riverfront Park, and search for souvenirs in one of many unique arts and crafts shops.

While visiting Bryson City, consider a day trip to nearby Cherokee or Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee. 

Insider tip: The Great Smoky Mountains is in the 70-mile wide path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse happening Monday, Aug. 21. The area offers numerous viewing options, including Swain County Event Park.


Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of Hot Springs Tourism Association

Hot Springs is town rich in history with plenty of charm.
 

This charming mountain town 40 miles north of Asheville is named for natural hot spring waters that have transformed the area a resort destination. First discovered by Native Americans, the natural springs were thought to have healing powers. Today, you can relax in modern Jacuzzi tubs outside on the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

“There is a truly relaxed vibe in town, and when people slow down and live in the moment, they tend to be happier,” says Stacey Geyer of the Hot Springs Tourism Association.

Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the town. You can also tube, swim, raft, kayak or fish in Spring Creek and the French Broad or Laurel rivers.

Shop local artisan crafts and dine at one of many locally owned restaurants. Soar through the forest at nearby French Broad Rafting & Ziplines, or take a day trip to Biltmore Estate in Asheville or Chimney Rock State Park in Chimney Rock.

The French Broad River Festival is one the town’s most popular annual events. Held the first weekend in May, the festival features raft races, live music and arts-and-crafts vendors. 

Insider tip: Pack a picnic lunch and climb Max Patch, the 5000-foot bald mountain. It’s an easy walk with picturesque, 360-degree views.


Saluda

Photo courtesy of Saluda Business Association

Saluda's outdoor recreation includes hiking, mountain biking, fishing and plenty of family-friendly tubing options along the Green River.
 

Saluda is “where the Foothills end and the Blue Ridge begins.” This cozy small town, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, offers plenty of outdoor recreation and maintains a strong arts community.

“You’ve got an incredibly quaint, picturesque downtown surrounded by the Greenville Watershed, a protected area, and the Green River Game Lands — 18,000 acres protected by the state,” says Sara Bell of the Saluda Business Association. “Saluda is an oasis.”

Outdoor recreation includes hiking, mountain biking, fishing and plenty of family-friendly tubing options along the Green River. “Saluda has also attracted a really vibrant artistic community,” Bell says. In May, the town celebrates its arts heritage with the Saluda Arts Festival, which attracts tourists and renowned local and regional artists. The event also features live music and kid-friendly activities.

Saluda is well-known for its annual Coon Dog Day Festival, offering food, live music, parade, crafts, street dancing and more. The event is held the Saturday after July Fourth. 

Insider tip: “The leaf change here is just phenomenal,” Bell says. But, she adds, the town is about 30 minutes south of Asheville, so the colors peak in the second or third week in October rather than the first.


Piedmont
 

Hillsborough
 

Photo courtesy of Chip Henderson — VISITNC.COM

Downtown Hillsborough offers a variety of unique shops.
 

Hillsborough is known as “the small town with a big history” with more than 100 schools, churches and buildings from the late 18th and 19th centuries. Its central location in the state, along with a healthy serving of Southern charm, makes the town an interesting  tourist destination for families.

Take a guided tour of the historic downtown or explore the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, a North Carolina State Park offering hiking, picnicking and fishing on the Eno River. The Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail, NASCAR’s last remaining dirt track, hosted races between 1948 and 1969 and now offers 3 miles of hiking trails near the Eno River that include the 1-mile oval and rusty remnants of the track’s glory days. History buffs will also enjoy the Occaneechi Indian Village and exhibits at Orange County Historical Museum.

Every September, barbecue lovers celebrate Hog Day with plenty of pulled pork, live music, unique gifts, home decor, face painting and bounce houses.

Nearby attractions for kids include Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill, Eno River State Park and the Carolina Basketball Museum on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Insider tip: The best spot for walking, jogging and cycling is Riverwalk, a paved urban greenway along the Eno River and part of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail.


Salisbury
 

Photo courtesy of Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Salisbury is filled with “history museums, agritourism locations, arts and cultural sites, and a charming downtown."
 

Salisbury is 45 miles from Charlotte and the home of Cheerwine, the popular cherry-flavored soda established in 1917. Salisbury and Rowan County’s “countryside and urban vibe speaks to its unique character,” says Tara Furr, director of public relations and communications for the Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The area is home to “history museums, agritourism locations, arts and cultural sites, and a charming downtown all within an easy drive from one another,” Furr says.

You can easily spend a day filled with family fun at Dan Nicholas Park, which has paddleboats, a park train, gem mining, a carousel, mini golf, an aquarium a barnyard and a water plaza/splash pad.

Savor the sounds of nature at Eagle Point Nature Preserve, a 200-acre area on High Rock Lake with hiking trails and canoe and fishing access. Help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cheerwine with the “Cheerwine: 100 Years Exhibit” at Rowan Museum in downtown, or pack a picnic and head to Dunn’s Mountain Park for hiking and outdoor recreation.

Nearby attractions include the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville and Patterson Farm in China Grove. 

Insider tip: Tiger World, a nonprofit wildlife preserve for exotic animals in Rockwell, is a 20-minute drive from Salisbury. Educational guided tours occur Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Pinehurst
 

Photo courtesy of Village of Pinehurst

Through parks and greenways, families can enjoy walking trails, soccer and baseball fields, an in-line hockey rink, tennis courts, a disc-golf course, bocce ball and a splash pad.
 

The famed golf destination known as the Village of Pinehurst has much to offer families in addition to world-class golf courses. Through parks and greenways, families can enjoy walking trails, soccer and baseball fields, an in-line hockey rink, tennis courts, a disc-golf course, bocce ball and a splash pad.

“Pinehurst Resort offers many activities for parents and children alike,” says Melissa Holt, a communications specialist for the Village of Pinehurst. While mom and/or dad hit the links, kids can enjoy indoor games and fun at KidsClub. “Later, the whole family can enjoy the resort’s private lake, Lake Pinehurst, featuring fishing, boat rentals, kayaks, cabanas and more,” Holt says.

Downtown Pinehurst offers boutique shopping and family-friendly dining options. “While you’re there, stop by the Tufts Archives and learn about the Village of Pinehurst’s history,” Holt suggests.

Don’t-miss annual events include Fourth Fest in July with a parade and fireworks, and Holly Arts and Crafts Festival and Oktoberfest in the fall. 

Insider tip: For a delicious Southern breakfast, try the blueberry pancakes or biscuits and gravy at Pinehurst Track Restaurant while watching the horses train at the Harness Track.


Coast
 

Bath
 

Photo courtesy of Bill Russ — VisitNC.com

The harbor at Bath, North Carolina's first town.
 

A roundup of North Carolina’s small towns wouldn’t be complete without the state’s first town, incorporated in 1705. Bath, located on the Pamlico River, near the Pamlico Sound, is rich in history and is a National Historic Landmark. Learn about the town’s first settlers and how Bath became the state’s first port.

“Historic Bath is very scenic,” says Charles Guard, historic interpreter for Bath with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Many people come just to park by Bonner’s Point and sit out and watch the sunset.”

Bath was a favorite haunt of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, the pirate, who frequented North Carolina’s coast.

Be sure to visit St. Thomas Episcopal Church, built in 1734, making it the oldest church building in the state. 

Insider tip: In front of the Bonner House, look south across the water. The land visible to the left is Plum Point, sometimes referred to as Teach’s Point after the notorious pirate who lived there.


Beaufort
 

Photo courtesy of Bill Russ ― VisitNC.com

Wild horses on Shackleford Banks, part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The horses are believed to be descendants of Spanish mustangs that were brought to North Carolina five centuries ago.
 

Founded in 1709 and incorporated in 1723, Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town and is located along the state’s southern Outer Banks. Be sure to stroll along Front Street, a scenic downtown waterfront area offering a variety of shops and restaurants. The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort serves as the official repository of artifacts from Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, since the ship ran aground near the town in 1718. See more than 300 pieces from the ship on display, and learn about the coastal environment and the area’s natural history at the museum.

Beaufort Historic Site offers a historic building tour that stops by the courthouse and the building that once housed the apothecary shop and doctor’s office.

Take a ferry or private boat to Rachel Carson Reserve, home to a herd of wild horses and host of summertime educational programs about the reserve’s habitats and animals. See more than 100 wild horses by hopping on a ferry to Shackleford Banks, a barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore. 

Insider tip: Book a guided bike tour with Hungry Town Tours, which offers a variety of historic, culinary and scenic tours to explore the historic charm of this small town.


Edenton
 

Photo courtesy of Kip Shaw/Chowan Tourism Development Authority

Tours are available of the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse.
 

The first Colonial capital of North Carolina, Edenton offers a lively downtown and distinctive architecture that reflects the town’s 300-year history. Take a walking tour from the Historic Edenton State Historic Site to the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse and 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, or a guided tour via trolley to view notable sites in the Edenton Cotton Mill Historic District.

Head to Colonial Park on South Broad Street for a cruise around Edenton Bay. “The Liber-Tea is an electric boat that can take families out for a wonderful maritime tour,” says Nancy Nicholls of the Chowan County Tourism Development Authority.

The town also offers kayaking, canoeing, camping and trails for walking and birding.

Visit the Edenton National Fish Hatchery, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to learn about the hatchery’s role in preservation.

Annual events include Edenton Music and Water Festival each summer with free boat rides, live music, arts-and-crafts vendors, dancing and a guided sunset paddle activity.

The town’s Peanut Festival is held the first weekend in October and features a parade, Battle of the Bands event, arts-and-crafts vendors, and a 5K run/walk. 

Insider tip: See a show at the Rocky Hock Playhouse, a live Christian musical theater.


Manteo

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHIP HENDERSON — VISITNC.COM

Enjoy the scenic views of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and Manteo waterfront.
 

This coastal town on Roanoke Island is packed with family fun and history lessons. The scenic downtown waterfront is dotted with restaurants and gift shops, and is ideal for leisurely strolls and spectacular views of the harbor. One of the town’s most recognizable gems is the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, the only in-shore lighthouse on the Outer Banks.

See a movie at the Pioneer Theatre, which claims the oldest single-screen theater in America. Additional family attractions include North Carolina Aquariums on Roanoke Island, Elizabethan Gardens and Roanoke Island Festival Park, a must-visit destination for learning about the area’s Native American history and first English colony settlement. While there, climb aboard the Elizabeth II, a 16-century replica ship, or explore American Indian Town, a new exhibit that represents what English explorers found in the late 16th century. Learn about the Lost Colony at Roanoke Adventure Museum or by attending a summer performance of America’s longest-running outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony.” 

Insider tip: Elizabethan Gardens hosts Wet and Wild Wednesday for young kids June 21-Aug. 16. Children can learn about plants and water, pot a take-home plant, and cool off with water sprinklers, squirt toys and a water cannon. The event is free with admission.


New Bern

Photo courtesy of Tryon Place

The gardens at Tryon Palace
 

Historic New Bern is an alluring Southern town along the Trent and Neuse rivers known as North Carolina’s first state capitol and the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. It boasts a lively downtown consisting of shops, restaurants and riverfront attractions.

Tryon Palace, North Carolina’s first state capitol, is now a living history attraction offering character interpretation, tours and programs. Visit the Birthplace of Pepsi and the Pepsi Store on Middle Street to view and buy memorabilia, and stop by the New Bern Firemen’s Museum to learn about the oldest fire company in the state.

New Bern is also near the Croatan National Forest that offers 159,000 acres for camping, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, hiking and observing wildlife. Picnic at Union Point Park, in the historic downtown district. It features a gazebo, walkway, boat launches, a fishing pier and a small playground. Young kids can slide, swing and climb at the fort-like structure at  Kidsville at Seth West Parrot Park. 

Insider tip: Tour historic New Bern in a fully restored 1929 Ford Model A. Tours are booked via Aerie Bed and Breakfast Guest House and Conference Center, one block from Tryon Palace.


Ocracoke

Photo by Melinda Fondrie Sutton

The village of Ocracoke is popular with families who love outdoor recreation and water sports.
 

The island of Ocracoke is accessible only by plane or ferry, but it should still make your list of must-visit towns. There are no traffic lights, chain restaurants or movie theaters, making Ocracoke a simple and unique paradise for beach lovers to visit.

“Shells are plentiful on the 16 miles of clean, untouched, virgin seashore, without any houses, condos or high rise hotels over your shoulder,” says Helena Stevens, travel and tourism director for Ocracoke. “We are truly unique.”

The village is popular for families who love outdoor recreation. “Go kayaking on Silver Lake or explore Springer’s Point Nature Preserve, one of Blackbeard the Pirate’s haunts,” Stevens suggests.

Families can take an offshore adventure by chartering a fishing expedition, sailing Pamlico Sound or visiting Teach’s Hole, where Blackbeard was beheaded in 1718.

Experience Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree the last weekend in October to see a historically accurate pirate encampment and watch three ships re-create the last hours of Blackbeard’s life. Visitors are encouraged to wear their best buccaneer gear to this event.

The village welcomes summer with the Ocrafolk Festival — three days of music and storytelling that takes place during the first full weekend in June.

Insider tip: Capture the perfect family photo at Springer’s Point, which offers wide panoramic views.


Myra Wright is the web editor of Carolina Parent and Piedmont Parent. She frequently writes about North Carolina travel and loves exploring the state with her husband and three kids.

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September 2019

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
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Relax with food trucks, music and family fun. Listen to pop-up Opera performances and a live band from 1-4 p.m. Children can enjoy fairy hair, face paint, popcorn, cotton candy, puppet shows, a...

Cost: $25-$50

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Monkey Joe’s Pineville is celebrating Monkey Joe’s nationwide birthday! Guests will receive $8 admission, birthday cake and other giveaways while supplies last!

Cost: $8

Where:
Monkey Joe's Pineville
601 N. Polk St.
Pineville, NC
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Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating Monkey Joe’s nationwide birthday on Sunday. Guests will receive birthday cake and other prize giveaways while supplies last!

Cost: $8

Where:
Monkey Joe's University
10215 University City Blvd.
Suite C
, NC
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Telephone: (704) 549-1588
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Monkey Joe’s Matthews is celebrating Monkey Joe’s nationwide birthday. Guests will birthday cake and other prize giveaways while supplies last.

Cost: $8

Where:
Monkey Joe's Matthews
10101-C E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Walk, roll, stroll and bike through neighborhoods from West End to Dilworth. The route is broken into four different zones health and wellness, physical activity, environmental awareness, and arts...

Cost: Free

Where:
1564 S Mint St.
, NC
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Work with your family to discover many hidden treasures found in the nature preserve in this self-guided adventure.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
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Monarchs travel back down to Mexico in the fall. Drop by to learn some facts while making a butterfly craft.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
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Learn about how the Buffalo Trail became the main route for the settlers in Fort Mill.

Cost: $5, plus $5 for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
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Put on your wellies, and reserve your spot for the tea party, which includes refreshments, crafts and cupcake-decorating.

Cost: $13.50

Where:
American Girl Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Sponsor: American Girl
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Monkey Joe’s Gastonia is celebrating Monkey Joe’s nationwide birthday. Guests will receive birthday cake and other prize giveaways while supplies last!

Cost: $8

Where:
Monkey Joe's Gastonia
3924 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28098
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See a variety of European sports cars on April 28 and the third Sunday of every month from May through November. Rain days will be scheduled if needed.

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Carowinds presents family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, hay bale maze, foam zone, pedal tractors and rides.

Cost: $48+, children ages 5 and younger free with Pre-K Pass

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Visit the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens for picture books and literacy activities. Meet at the picnic tables in the Susie Harwood Garden, and bring a blanket.

Cost: Free

Where:
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9090 Craver Road
, NC
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Sponsor: UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens and the University City Public Library
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Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: MUMC
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Enjoy music outdoors with the family. Dates: April 28, May 5 and 19, June 2 and 9, July 4, August 4 and 25, and September 1 and 15.

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Village Green
Intersection of Main Street and Concord Road
, NC
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Attend the new pre-sale for $12, Wed., 6-9 p.m.; Thurs. 2-7 p.m. (charity pre-sale with $7 donation); Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (half-price sale); Sun., 7-8...

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Complex
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Town of Huntersville
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
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Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London's underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family and love. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Celebrate a new country or time period each month. Five year-old students must be in Kindergarten. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump for a discounted rate with one adult who can jump for free.  

Cost: $11

Where:
DefyGravity
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including Defy Gravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
Defy Gravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This class incorporates songs and movement and ends with a calming story. Please check schedule online for any updates or changes.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Come play in the open gym. All students younger than 3 must have an adult present at all times. Some Mondays are closed due to holidays, so please call to verify playtime.

Cost: $5, cash only

Where:
Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

Bring the family for an outdoor story time with movement activities and songs. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park
2100 Wilhelmina Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Attend the new pre-sale for $12, Wed., 6-9 p.m.; Thurs. 2-7 p.m. (charity pre-sale with $7 donation); Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (half-price sale); Sun., 7-8...

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Complex
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

More than 100 U.S. flags will stand in solemn formation as a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Each flag represents an individual and tells a story.

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Town of Huntersville
Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Come discuss an assigned book. New members welcome. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

AGoldPhoto Pet Photography is hosting a Pet Photo Shoot Fundraiser for Humane Society of Charlotte at Resident Culture Brewing Company.

Cost: $50 per pet

Where:
Resident Culture Brewing Company
2101 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump for a discounted rate with one adult who can jump for free.  

Cost: $11

Where:
DefyGravity
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including Defy Gravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
Defy Gravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Come paint pottery with your toddler for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

Where:
Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
#C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy two stories and and two craft activities. After the program, romp and play in the SEED Wildlife Garden and Children's Garden, or stroll the historic Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.

Cost: $10 per family, free for members

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
260 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young minds can try activities designed to introduce concepts in science, nature and technology. The program is open only to pre-k students, and there will be no school groups with older...

Cost: $15-$19, children younger than 2 free, included in admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Watch a King Vulture play on a playground in the Vulture Culture exhibit.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

This class combines yoga and play through  poses, songs and calming time.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Using teamwork and engineering skills, participants will design a template for their forts and build them together with materials gathered from around the facility.

Cost: $7

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
1501 Euclid Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

More than 100 U.S. flags will stand in solemn formation as a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Each flag represents an individual and tells a story.

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Town of Huntersville
Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Snap photos, draw pictures, take notes, and flex your inner scientist while creating a living record of the park as it changes throughout the year.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Enjoy crafting, and geek out on everything comics and manga related.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Engage your child with stories, songs and activities in English and French.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Certified technicians will check and help families install car seats. No appointment necessary. Bring your vehicle, seat and if possible the child for the most assistance. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Police Department
1201 Crews Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A technician will help you learn how to install your seat correctly in your vehicle. Bring your child, seat, and vehicle and plan to spend at least 20 minutes. No appointment required.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Division office of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police
4150 Wilkinson Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump for a discounted rate with one adult who can jump for free.  

Cost: $11

Where:
DefyGravity
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including Defy Gravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
Defy Gravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, movement with music and a seasonal craft..

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones are invited to jump, roll and play in the Carolina Flipz gym!

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Flipz
11812 Carolina Place Pkwy.
Suite B
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Morrison Place
4020 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Engage in the natural habitats of animals and earth science through outdoor exploration and activities.

Cost: $7

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
1501 Euclid Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your seat , child and vehicle, and plan to spend at least 20 minutes with a technician. No appointment is necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Fire Station
19729 S. Main St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Party in Romare Bearden Park! May 15: Steve Owens and Summertime May 29: Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot June 12: Hip Pocket June 26: The Entertainers July 10: Randy Clay Band...

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London's underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family and love. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Use colored fuse beads and create any design you imagine. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Wylie Public Library
185 Blucher Cir.
Lake Wylie, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Watch the film adaptation of "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie." This movie is rated PG.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to texturize and manipulate clay to create art. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy the bounce house, face painting, yard games and music! Food, beer and wine will be available to purchase.

Cost: Free

Where:
Chestnut Square Park
320 Chestnut Pkwy.
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump for a discounted rate with one adult who can jump for free.  

Cost: $11

Where:
DefyGravity
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including Defy Gravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
Defy Gravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Little ones are invited to jump, roll and play in the Carolina Flipz gym!

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Flipz
11812 Carolina Place Pkwy.
Suite B
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your neighbors, kids and pups for free music. Craft beer and snacks from Hawthorne's Pizza available for purchase.

Cost: Free

Where:
6621 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: MoRA - Monroe Road Advocates
Website »

More information

Dust off your dancing shoes and break out your lawn chairs every Thursday in September. Enjoy the show in a paddle boat, on the land by the stage or as you sip, shop and stroll. Sept. 5: Too...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Shoppes at University Place
Hwy 29 and Harris Blvd.
, NC
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Bring awareness to the mind, body and breath through yoga poses. All are welcome, from beginners to seasoned yogis!

Cost: $5 per person (free for members); $5 per car for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Ln.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

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River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London's underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family and love. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

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Come for cupcake frosting, a fall themed story and a fall craft. Payment is required to reserve your spot. Call  704-295-1777 to reserve.

Cost: $6

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SAS Cupcakes
Website »

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Celebrate Charlotte-born artist, Romare Bearden’s with a collage-making workshop. Local mixed-media artist, Shane Manier will guide workshop participants as they create an original work of...

Cost: $5

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

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Explore the natural world through arts and crafts. Registration and parent attendance required.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

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Get your hands dirty while learning about nature and creating nature-inspired crafts.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

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Celebrate Charlotte-born artist, Romare Bearden’s with a collage-making workshop. Local mixed-media artist, Shane Manier will guide workshop participants as they create an original work of...

Cost: $5

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to read the Whitewater Center’s trail map and understand difficulty ratings.

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Enjoy an outdoor family movie night.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Young children can jump for a discounted rate with one adult who can jump for free.  

Cost: $11

Where:
DefyGravity
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
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Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including Defy Gravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
Defy Gravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
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Website »

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In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Website »

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Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
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Website »

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Young children can jump with other little ones. Parents and caregivers jump free! W8less socks required.

Cost: $10 per hour

Where:
W8Less LKN
10442-A Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
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Website »

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With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

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Come enjoy a fantastic Friday in this afterschool program,

Cost: $7

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
1501 Euclid Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Starting in May and running through October, come out to Camp North End in the Boileryard on Friday nights for food and music. Children and leashed pets welcome!

Cost: Free

Where:
Boileryard at Camp North End
1824 Statesville Ave.
, NC
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Bring the kids to enjoy a pretzel or apple strudel while dancing to German music. Event is cash only.

Cost: $4, children younger than 12 free

Where:
Waldhorn Restaurant
12101 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC
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Enjoy the relaxed sounds of local artists on the Gateway lawn. The Gateway Canteen will be open and offering a full menu as well as dinner specials. No outside food or alcohol allowed.

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Greenway Gateway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Food Truck Friday at Fountain Park in Old Town Rock Hill will feature food trucks, local restaurants, local beers, wine, children's activities and live music.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Fountain Park, Old Town Rock Hill
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

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Register online for a night of gaming!

Cost: $35

Where:
Commandpost Gaming
8700 Pineville-Matthews Road
Pineville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Commandpost Gaming
Website »

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Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! Before the kings and after all the deliverers were at rest, there was a time of judges when every man did what was right in his own eyes....

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Website »

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Celebrate 20 years of music at Stonecrest with weekly family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: $48+

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come to Stallings Municipal Park to watch a family movie at sunset. May 17: "Lilo and Stitch" (PG) June 21: Mary Poppins Returns" (PG) July 19: Avengers: Infinity War"...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stallings Municipal Park
340 Stallings Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

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It's safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. And take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost train. Advance tickets are required.

Cost: $38-$44 for adults, ages 2 and younger free

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Tony DeSare delivers a fresh take on old-school classics like "Come Fly with Me," "New York, New York" and more.

Cost: $26-$122

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Concerts start at 7pm; movies start at dusk. June 14: Rivermist June 21: "A Dog’s Way Home" June 30: Charlotte Symphony, begins at 8:15pm July 5: New Kids...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pineville Lake Park
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Shop for clothing, toys and gear, but leave strollers at home. Fri., 6-8 p.m.; Sat., 8-11 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Covenant Community Preschool
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Sponsor: Covenant Community Preschool
Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy music, food, vendors, talented artists and a relaxed atmosphere in Freedom Park. Fri., 4-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
2435 Cumberland Ave.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Festival in the Park
Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics and unexpected stunts. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Spectrum Center
333 E. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London's underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family and love. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin bowling, kids play area, gem mining, corn hole, horseshoes, animal barn and more. September hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 1-6pm. October...

Cost: $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger free

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


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Expect live entertainment, food, vendors, educational and creative activities for kids, free talks, art, raffles, a 5K race, and cooking demonstrations. Be sure to also check out the Union County...

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Agricultural Center
3230 Presson Road
Monroe, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Union County Extension Master Gardeners
Website »

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For one day only, shop for clothing in sizes ranging from maternity to teen, as well as toys, gear and more. Sat., 8 a.m.-noon. and 1-3 p.m. (half-price sale).

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Tryon St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Explore the museum’s nature trail. Feel free to pack a picnic. “Take a Child Outside” is part of an annual, nationwide celebration of children and environmental education in...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

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The UNC Charlotte International Festival is a celebration of people, places and culture vibrantly displayed through exhibition booths staffed by UNC Charlotte international students and members of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnhardt Student Activity Center-UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Join Pete the Cat for a breakfast and story-time.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Children can sign up to be citizen scientists and team up with natural science experts in identifying the many species of living organisms along the museum’s nature trail.

Cost: $5-$8, included with admission

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

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Bring children and fur babies for dog rescues, food, drinks, vendors and a silent auction.

Cost: $5, includes one beer for guests 21 and older

Where:
NoDa Brewing Company
2921 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Celebrate Charlotte’s Irish-American community in the heart of the city! The festival will showcase the best in local and international Irish musicians, singers and dancers, as well as...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
419 E 7th Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Irish Connection

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Join the fun event that will include concessions, inflatables, games, a Cake Walk, vendors and food. A suggested donation of $8 includes all games and inflatables. The In His Steps dancers...

Cost: Free, donations suggested

Where:
Horizon Church
316 Signal Hill Drive
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Festival will feature Latin American food, performances, crafts, art and activities for the whole family. This year’s festival headliners are Nacho and Celso Piña.

Cost: Free until 2 p.m., $10 after 2 p.m.

Where:
Aldersgate
3800 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Fashion Funds the Cure Charlotte brings the exciting world of runway fashion together with the dreams of pediatric cancer patients for an upbeat fashion show and silent auction. Luncheon is at...

Cost: $50-$75

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

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Hike at McDowell Prairie to try and spot fall wildlife. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainers choice!  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

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The event raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Cancer research.  There will be food, a kids’ zone, music and lots of fun.  Darrell Harwood will headline with a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town of China Grove
333 N. Main St.
China Grove, NC
View map »

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Participate in a variety of hands-on science experiments, engineering projects or math puzzles. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews - Mint Hill Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Stroll the historic streets of Downtown Davidson and browse more than 40 of the areas best artisans. Find a wide variety of handmade gifts including pottery, jewelry, photography, fine art,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Davidson
108 S. Main St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Website »

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This a Grammy-nominated, three-part oratorio composed by Craig Hella Johnson is an evocative musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. The poignant concert experience inspires hope,...

Cost: $25

Where:
First United Methodist Church
501 North Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: WDAV
Website »

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All movies are shown on an inflatable screen at locations throughout Cornelius with refreshments available for purchase. June 15: Cornelius Town Hall July 27: Ramsey Creek Park Aug. 24:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Smithville Park
19710 S. Ferry St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participating museums across the country open their doors for free to those who download a branded ticket. Museums, zoos and cultural centers from all 50 states can emulate the spirit of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Car owners and enthusiasts gather to celebrate their passion for cars and showcase their prized classics, customs and hot rods.

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Flow into a weekend full of yoga. There is one kids' yoga session and one family yoga session. See website for full schedule. There will be vendors and live music in the evenings.

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come play with your kids at My Gym! Parent participation is required. Parents wear socks; children go barefoot.

Cost: $10 per child

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator. Each week, scholars will build a robot with new features. No prior experience is required. Locations...

Cost: $35

Where:
Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve with certified instructors while enjoying nature. Children ages five to nine are required to be in a tandem with an adult. Registration is required.

Cost: $20 single, $25 tandem

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join this family-friendly open art session where your little Picasso can shine! Each week will be different activities including easel painting, sensory stations and themed art projects.

Cost: $10

Where:
Noah's Art of Southpark
5110 Park Road
2C
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Noah's Art of Southpark
Website »

More information

In 2013, Billy Graham was officially named “North Carolina’s Favorite Son” when Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation from the North Carolina House and Senate. This display...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC  28217
View map »


Website »

More information

Beginners and seasoned yogis are invited to practice. Please bring a mat and water bottle.

Cost: $5, additional $5 for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Event will feature living history programming by costumed reenactors, historic weapons firing, music, cooking and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fort Dobbs State Historic Site
438 Fort Dobbs Road
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn the basics in this beginner knitting workshop. Registration is required.

Cost: $25

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Carowinds presents family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, hay bale maze, foam zone, pedal tractors and rides.

Cost: $48+, children ages 5 and younger free with Pre-K Pass

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Learn about vultures found at Carolina Raptor Center.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sit, stand or lay atop of the water, and enjoy the sights of nature. All equipment is provided; registration is required.

Cost: $25

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
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Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Bring the kids to enjoy a pretzel or apple strudel while dancing to German music. Event is cash only.

Cost: $4, children younger than 12 free

Where:
Waldhorn Restaurant
12101 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC
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Come for music and fun! Children will enjoy the kids’ zone with inflatables, and everyone will enjoy food truck fare. See website for band schedule and list of participating food trucks....

Cost: Free

Where:
Runde Park
5110 Windward Drive
Tega Cay, SC
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Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! Before the kings and after all the deliverers were at rest, there was a time of judges when every man did what was right in his own eyes....

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
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Celebrate 20 years of music at Stonecrest with weekly family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: $48+

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Come watch the Charlotte Independence soccer team kick it at the Sportsplex at Matthews.

Cost: $15+

Where:
Sportsplex at Matthews
1505 Tank Town
Matthews, NC
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It's safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. And take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost train. Advance tickets are required.

Cost: $38-$44 for adults, ages 2 and younger free

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC
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Tony DeSare delivers a fresh take on old-school classics like "Come Fly with Me," "New York, New York" and more.

Cost: $26-$122

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-972-2000
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Come out for a night of fun watching some classic films on the big screen and under the stars. Movies begin at dusk. May 11: "Top Gun" (parents' night) June 1: "Jurassic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park Amphitheater
2100 Wilhelmina Ave.
, NC
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Aladdin is brought to thrilling theatrical life in this bold new musical full of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. Hear all the cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning...

Cost: $30+

Where:
Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Shop for clothing, toys and gear, but leave strollers at home. Fri., 6-8 p.m.; Sat., 8-11 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Covenant Community Preschool
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
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Sponsor: Covenant Community Preschool
Telephone: 704-616-9253
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
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Enjoy music, food, vendors, talented artists and a relaxed atmosphere in Freedom Park. Fri., 4-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
2435 Cumberland Ave.
, NC
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Sponsor: Festival in the Park
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Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics and unexpected stunts. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Spectrum Center
333 E. Trade St.
, NC
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Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London's underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family and love. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin bowling, kids play area, gem mining, corn hole, horseshoes, animal barn and more. September hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 1-6pm. October...

Cost: $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger free

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


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Annual Guides

G.P.S. [Go.Play.See]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2019 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

A comprehensive guide to independent, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.
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