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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April 2017

Charlotteans of all ages will once again line the banks of the whitewater center to watch over 20,000 adopted rubber ducks race the rapids towards the finish line. Each rubber duck,...

Cost: Free (USNWC parking fee may apply)

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Telephone: 704-376-2580
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Bring your family, friends and furry-friends to walk approximately 4 miles along McAlpine Creek and Campbell Creek Greenway a segment of the Carolina Thread Trail. Visit...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway
11823 Johnston Road
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Children will enjoy hands on activities and outdoor fun, while they (and you too) learn valuable safety information. Each child will receive a "Passport to Safety." As they...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Aquatics
7835 Little Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28226
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Telephone: 704 641-7775
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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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NHRA drag racing returns to zMAX Dragway for the ONLY four-wide race on the NHRA schedule. Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the world’s fastest...

Cost: $20+

Where:
zMax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S.
Concord, NC  28027
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Telephone: 800-455-3267
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K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Cost: $7-$13

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-336-8316
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Tinkergarten’s skill-based curriculum is designed to help kids become well-balanced people who can problem-solve, lead, and create. It’s engaging, memorable, play-based learning, all...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Freedom Park
Princeton Ave. Entrance
Charlotte, NC  28209
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Enjoy a live jazz concert in the park each week on Sunday. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
N. Main St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission.

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Cost: $12+

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Gently-used designer women's clothing and acessories. Wed. and Thurs., 9am-7pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-6pm; Sun., 9am-3pm. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville , NC
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Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Cost: $4-$8

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-353-9200
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This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

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Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 888-902-6463
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The Charlotte Symphony, in partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South and A Sign Of The Times of the Carolinas, invites the community to a free event employing music and storytelling to...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Baptist Church West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.
Providence Day School, 5800 Sardis Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Tuck your little one in a stroller and join one of the educators for an easy walk along our paved nature trail. Registration required. Meeting place will be at the Four Seasons Trail parking lot,...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Preschoolers and their caregivers can participate in nature-themed activities, crafts and hikes. 

Cost: $5; free for members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center
1604 21 Bypass
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Children and their parents can learn about plant life, animals, their homes, and the weather with hands-on activities, crafts, games, and hikes. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

Preschool-age children can explore nature with songs, games, crafts, and play in Lost Hollow.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

Rock out with Mr. Nigel and Friends as you focus on a different instrument each week. Call store to make sure schedule has not changed. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Sam Ash Music Store
5533 Westpark Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-9253
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating Monday’s in May with $5 admission every Monday starting Monday May 1st! In addition, half priced admission is offered every Wednesday.

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's-University City, Pineville, Matthews and Gastonia
, NC


Sponsor: Monkey Joe's
Website »

More information

Even the youngest children in the family can enjoy sensory exploration and fun with activities and songs in the garden.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

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Children can use their imagination and STEM-based learning skills to create with LEGOs.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Preschoolers engage with books and activities that encourage language and pre-reading skills. Dress comfortably for creative movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Tinkergarten’s skill-based curriculum is designed to help kids become well-balanced people who can problem-solve, lead, and create. It’s engaging, memorable, play-based learning, all...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Freedom Park
Princeton Ave. Entrance
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddler can enjoy storytime each week in the children's area. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the MAKE movement as you create, build, innovate, design, improve, hack, push boundaries and solve problems. Embark on a series of projects that highlight STEM concepts, allow for...

Cost: Free

Where:
University City Regional Library
301 East W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Certified technicians will check and help families install carseats. 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

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

"Wee" ones 3 years and younger and their caregivers can enjoy stories, movement with music, and a seasonal craft during.

Cost: $6

Where:
Main Street Children's Museum
133 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC  29730
View map »


Telephone: 803-909-7244
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Explore the mint museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph | 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown | 500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Children with special needs can enjoy literacy-filled activities in this special library program. Registration required. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

Families can enjoy stories combined with movement and a little bit of yoga.

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Preschoolers engage with books and activities that encourage language and pre-reading skills. Dress comfortably for creative movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

Join the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley as they return to the Kitchen House. The ladies will hold a lively and interactive historic back-country cooking demonstration.

Cost: Free

Where:
The President James K Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC  28134
View map »


Telephone: 704-889-7145
Contact Name: Angela Thorpe
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Stop by the store for live musical entertainment as Tommy performs with a multitude of instruments. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Toys and Company
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

This free event features drink and food specials, a pop-up vendor market, and music. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

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Stop by for a free car seat safety check from a Certified Passenger Safety Technician. No appointment necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Britax USA Headquarters
4140 Pleasant Road
Ft. Mill , SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn some French words, read a Fancy Nancy story, and make a butterfly craft. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Games, food vendors, and a showing of Disney's film "Moana" on an outdoor movie screen. Movie begins at dusk.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crooked Creek Park
5900 Oakwood Lane
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The free event is a bit of American nostalgia as an outdoor movie graces the big screen on a warm May evening. Pack a blanket to sit on. Plus, a Zucchini 600 race featuring cars made of, you...

Cost: Free

Where:
Veteran's Park
N Main St.
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Website »

More information

As part of the Jiggy with the Piggy Festival, watch a showing of the movie "Monster Trucks" on an outdoor screen. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
N. Main St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Celebrate the strawberry at this award-winning festival. Walk through a butterfly exhibit, check out antique cars, sample strawberry pie, and let the kids try out the rides. Fri., 4:45-11pm;...

Cost: Free; additional cost for activities

Where:
Walter Elisha Park
345 N. White St.
Ft. Mill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Drop in on select Fridays for guided hikes, nature games, crafts and outdoor exploration. Registration required. 

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

This family-friendly event features craft brews, wine, cider, live music and the best food trucks in Charlotte. Bring the whole family, including your dogs. Along...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sycamore Brewing
2161 Hawkins St.
Charlotte, NC  28203
View map »


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

This food truck rally is family and dog-friendly and features 10-15 area food trucks, live music, and a gated kids' playground. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Trinity Presbyterian Church
3115 Providence Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Sample food and beverages from a variety of food trucks and enjoy live entertainment at this weekly event. 

Cost: Free

Where:
329 McGill Ave. NW
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides a background in which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and...

Cost: $18

Where:
Pease Auditorium
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC  28204
View map »


Website »

More information

The three Carolina Voices ensembles come together to present an array of choral favorites--from The Beach Boys to Michael Jackson. 

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Follow enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of...

Cost: $12+

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas seeks to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, with an end result of empowering them to own their economic success. Enter the 5K...

Cost: $10-40

Where:
Whiskey Warehouse
1221 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market to pick up recipe ideas and ingredients as part of National Hamburger Month.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
1801 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte , NC  28217
View map »


Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

MuckFest® MS is built for laughs and muddy from the get-go! Teams run in the same wave so you can experience all the muddy shenanigans, epic spills and thrills together. Re-live the adventure...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Concord Speedway
Concord Speedway 7940 U.S. Hwy 601
South Concord, NC  28025
View map »


Website »

More information

Join this family-friendly event and learn more about asthma, clean air, and other topics related to breathing. The walk will stay on the UNCC campus and begin at 10am.

Cost: Free

Where:
UNC-Charlotte
Hauser Alumni Pavilion
University Blvd.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In honor of National Comic Book Day, pick up some free/used comics, watch a superhero movie marathon, register for prizes, and capture the event in the photobooth. Superhero costumes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

This spring, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Parks continue Hike NC, a series of more than 60 free guided hikes in North Carolina’s state parks and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina Thread Trail
2648 Laboratory Road
Lincolnton, NC  28092
View map »


Website »

More information

A day of fun with inflatables for kids, a giant sand pile with sand toys, a dunking booth, Lego derby, face painting, photos booth with costumes, carnival...

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Town Green
216 S. Main St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Listen to the music of the frogs and learn about how they make creeks a healthy ecosystem while you scoop up a frog or other creatures with your net. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

This festival centers around the life of Elias Hill, a formerly enslaved man who led the migration of freed slaves from York County to Liberia after facing acts of terrorism by the Ku Klux Klan...

Cost: Free

Where:
Allison Creek Presbyterian Church
5780 Allison Creek Road
York, SC  29745
View map »


Telephone: 803-366-1302
Website »

More information

The goal for these workshops is to empower the community through the skills they will learn and to enrich the community in culture and togetherness building stronger neighborhoods and more...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Blvd. Library
2157 West Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28208
View map »


Telephone: 704-335-3043
Website »

More information

Learn and create with hands-on activities, meet live animals and earn prizes. Activities include fishing, pollination station, birds and reptiles, sleep and nature, upcycling projects,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Road Park
6220 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28210
View map »


Sponsor: CROWN, a division of the National Wildlife Federation
Website »

More information

Join Sustain Charlotte for a free, family-friendly cycling tour of the newest public art installations from Inside Out Charlotte. Docents from The Bechtler Museum of...

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
Seversville Park
530 S Bruns Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28208
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a public walking tour with Revolution Park community leader John Howard and learn more about three west side neighborhoods and their development from the 1920s through the 1960s. Featuring the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Dorothy Waddy Pavilion
3132 Manchester Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a one-hour walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood, an eclectic arts district that first began as a mill village Bring your walking shoes. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Benny’s Pizza
2909 N. Davidson Street #100
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Celebrate Mom at an outdoor tea party. Sample baked goods and sip a variety of teas and coffee in fine china. Gluten-free and kid-friendly options available. Two seatings available at 10:30am...

Cost: Adults $18, ages 3-12 $10, 2 and under complimentary

Where:
Abide-A-While Acres
5483 Old Plank Rd
Iron Station, NC  28080
View map »


Telephone: 704-308-0077
Website »

More information

Kick off the Spring with our 2nd Annual Music, Dance ‘n Que Fest! Kick back as artists dance, sing and play their way through historic tunes, folk songs and bluegrass music. Bring a chair or...

Cost: Free; additional cost for food

Where:
President James K. Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC  28134
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover insects and what it takes to be an insect. Learn about a bug's body and how they live and grow. Then go on a bug hunt and create an insect craft. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Local photographers will share their work and discuss the benefits and challenges of shooting and printing, in color or black or white, and digitally versus manually. Bring an old cereal box or...

Cost: $7-$9; free for members

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Pick up some free/used comics as part of National Comic Book Day. Superhero costumes encouraged. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

More information

Learn how to create visual art projects with the whole family through collage art, mural art, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28206
View map »


Telephone: 704-335-3043
Website »

More information

Inspired by the oral tradition of storytelling, this workshop will give participants an opportunity to imagine and construct their own visual interpretation of an iconic tale. 

Cost: Free

Where:
University City Regional Library
301 East W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

Enjoy rhythmic music, stunning costumes and talented performers, as you also learn about the history of each dance. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Regional Library
6000 Conference Drive
Charlotte, NC  28212
View map »


Telephone: 704-641-1346
Website »

More information

Join a McDowell Naturalist in the month of May at McDowell Nature Preserve to hike, collect litter and discuss how pollution effects our natural ecosystems. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Take an hour-long tour through Belmont, Charlotte's first working-class textile mill village. A reception at Intermezzo Pizzeria and Cafe will follow the walk. Registration encouraged but not...

Cost: Free

Where:
Intermezzo Pizzeria and Cafe
1427 E. 10th St.
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," Mint Hill style. A large inflatable 35' screen will dominate the front entrance of Town Hall. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Town Hall
4430 Mint Hill Village Lane
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Celebrate the strawberry at this award-winning festival. Walk through a butterfly exhibit, check out antique cars, sample strawberry pie, and let the kids try out the rides. Fri., 4:45-11pm;...

Cost: Free; additional cost for activities

Where:
Walter Elisha Park
345 N. White St.
Ft. Mill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Woody, Buzz, Lightning McQueen and favorites from 14 other classic Pixar films in a special multimedia presentation complete with a live symphony soundtrack. Performances at 2:30 and 8pm....

Cost: See website for prices.

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Bring your mats for an hour of kids' yoga with Grounded Kids Yoga or pizza-making class from Pure Pizza for little chefs. Ten spots available each week per class. 

Cost: $10 per class

Where:
Pure Pizza
1911 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-1701
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Visit Bit.ly/freecraftsforkids for the featured craft of the week or call your local Lakeshore Learning store for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Lakeshore Learning Store
Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

More information

Geared towards children ages 3 and younger, this class will focus on movement and energy release. Parent participation required.  

Cost: $6 per class

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides a background in which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and...

Cost: $18

Where:
Pease Auditorium
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC  28204
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The three Carolina Voices ensembles come together to present an array of choral favorites--from The Beach Boys to Michael Jackson. 

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission.

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can gain free access to participating museums in the Charlotte area, including The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center, Levine...

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


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Follow enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of...

Cost: $12+

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-353-9200
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This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 888-902-6463
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Features fine art for sale, including paintings and drawings, sculptures, pottery, metal, stone, wood and glass works from emerging artists. The event also includes live music and family...

Cost: Free

Where:
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
600 S. Kings Drive
, NC
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A Kansas City Society Barbeque competition, carnival rides, live music, outdoor movie, kids zone, and more. See website for schedule of events. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Research Campus
150 N. Research Campus Drive
Kannapolis, NC
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

This comprehensive guide covers preschool, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2016 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.