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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May 2018

Enjoy all-you-can-eat Italian food. Bring the kids along to play in the special Kid Zone, visit with local artists and authors showcasing their work, browse offerings from the silent auction, and...

Where:
Gateway Village Promenade
800 W. Trade St.
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Cost: Free

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Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
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Sponsor: Love Desserts
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Richmond Drive Elementary
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McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 South York Road
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Cost: $32-$82

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Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd
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Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Cost: $5 per child

Where:
Kadampa Meditation Center North Carolina
528 East Blvd.
, NC  28203
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Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Bring comfy chairs, a blanket and picnic to enjoy music outdoors. Dates: April 22, May 6 and 20, June 10 and 17, July 4, and August 12 and 19.

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Village Green
Intersection of Main Street and Concord Road
, NC
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Bring comfy chairs, a blanket and picnic to enjoy music outdoors.  April 22, May 6 and 20, June 10 and 17, July 4, and August 12 and 19.

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Green
corner of Main Street and Concord Road
Davidson, NC
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Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
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Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
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Cost: $7-$9

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
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Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Cost: $17

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Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
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Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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SEA-LIFE Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Bass Pro Shops
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Cabela's
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Cost: $6-$10

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-875-6521
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Cost: $8-$23

Where:
BB&T Ballpark
324 S. Mint St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-274-8300
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Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 704-920-2787
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Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
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

On Mondays from September to May, all children under the age of 16 can come paint pottery for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Telephone: 704-544-4848
Website »

More information

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. Tinkergarten Leader, Kate Flowe, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children...

Cost: $160 for this 8 week class

Where:
Veterans Memorial Park
2136 Central Ave
Charlote, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your children to the Garden for a morning of sensory exploration, singing and fun. Explore colors, shapes, movement, texture and a host of other topics in a safe and nurturing environment.

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

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Some of NASCAR’s biggest names will battle each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts. The action begins at 5pm but come out early and stay until...

Cost: Free

Where:
GoPro Motorplex
130 Motorplex Dr.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy an evening of silly songs, dance, games, and stories. Register starts May 8.

Cost: Free

Where:
Clover Public Library
107 Knox St.
Clover, NC
View map »


Telephone: , SC 803-222-3474
Website »

More information

Fans can meet characters from Star Wars and watch the Knights play the Norfolk Tides.

Cost: $8-$30

Where:
BB&T Ballpark
324 S. Mint St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-274-8300
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Come enjoy some music with your meal at Romare Bearden Park's Music Box Lunch, which occurs every Tuesday and Friday afternoon.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

Get your child to practice reading skills by reading a book to Baron, the lovable long haired German Shepherd, a certified therapy dog.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child (ages 3-12) receives a discount as well, costing only $5 each. 

Cost: $15 for adult

Where:
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
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

Come rock out at Ballantyne Village every Wednesday in May.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Village
Ballantyne Village Way
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the Charlotte Museum of History for a guided, hour-long walking tour of Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood (not the town of Belmont) as part of Charlotte City Walks. Stop along the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Metrographics Printing
1003 Louise Ave.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Every Thursday in May bands will perform in this Sunset at Metropolitan series. Musicians offer a variety of genres including top 40 and classic rock, to jazz and soul. In addition to great live...

Cost: Free

Where:
Metropolitan
1111 Metropolitan Ave
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Check out the Steele Creek Live Spring Concert Series at the Ayrsley Event Lawn, which is located between Piedmont Social House and Rooney's.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ayrsley Event Lawn
2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Blumenthal Performing Arts invites performers of all ages to Open Mic Night. Instrumentalists, singers, dancers, storytellers, poets, jugglers, magicians, and others are welcome. Audience seating...

Cost: Free

Where:
McGlohon Theater
345 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 704-348-5770
Contact Name: Eric Figueroa
Website »

More information

This show will feature new magic and audience participation including: unlocking an audience member’s locked, encrypted cell phone, vanishing a person, and Haydini’s signature sleight...

Cost: $18-$25

Where:
Stage Door Theatre
155 N. College St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Bring blankets and chairs and watch a movie outside with the family. May 25: "Cars 3" June 8: "Beauty and the Beast" June 22: "Sing" July 6: "Airplane"...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 W. C St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy some music with your meal at Romare Bearden Park's Music Box Lunch, which occurs every Tuesday and Friday afternoon.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

More information

Get free entry to the Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8pm and every fourth Friday of the month from 1-5pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Boulevard
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
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
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Favorite area food and dessert trucks will provide varied menus including seafood, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, specialty dishes and more. Enjoy local/region...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Drop off your children for a night of fun while you hit the town. Activities include laser tag, jump-n-play, rock climbing, mini bowling, ropes courses, bumper cars, and arcade games. Children...

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


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Bring your blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie in the park. Food available for purchase. Movie begins at dusk. April 27 at Crooked Creek Park, 5900 Oakwood Ln, Indian Trail....

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


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Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

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Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
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Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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Each Friday and Saturday, starting May 25 through September 1st, local favorites return to Blakeney Shopping Center and bring fun and music for the entire family. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Green at Blakeney
Ardrey Kell and Rea Road
, NC
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Enjoy post-game fireworks

Cost: $8-$23

Where:
BB&T Ballpark
324 S. Mint St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-274-8300
Website »

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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Come celebrate the founding of the town of Mint Hill at the 35th Mint Hill Madness, a three-day festival. The festival features live music, a carnival, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
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Telephone: 704-545-2335
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This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

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This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

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Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

Where:
SEA-LIFE Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

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Come to the downtown Mint Hill for the 35th annual all-American Mint Hill Madness parade that features more than 50 local businesses, organizations, entertainers, music groups, firetrucks and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Mint Hill
4430 Mint Hill Village Lane
Mint Hill, NC  28227
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Telephone: 704-545-2335
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Your Mini Chef will cook one recipe and learn basic kitchen skills such as measuring ingredients. Sign up online or in person at the Sales and Services desk.

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-4650
Website »

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Did you know that every bird's beak is specially designed for the food it eats? Learn about bird beak adaptations and craft your own bird feeder to take home to the birds in your...

Cost: $5

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 980-314-1129
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Kids can hear a story, frost cupcakes and meet a super hero.

Cost: $9

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Suite C
, NC
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Telephone: 704-295-1777
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Cheer on the Mooresville Spinners on their opening night. Help the team kick off their Southern Collegiate Baseball League season.  

Cost: $5

Where:
Moor Park
691 S Broad St.
Mooresville, NC  28117
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This year’s star-studded fireworks show will be a magical experience for all those in attendance. Accompanied by classic patriotic music, the fireworks will be visible from all areas of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
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Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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More information

Shop the Spring Farmers Market at Legal Remedy Brewing every Saturday morning in May. Come early and stay for lunch when Legal Remedy opens at 11:30a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Legal Remedy Brewing
Rock Hill, SC


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Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Join a Museum naturalist on the fourth Saturday of every month for an educational walk around the Paw Paw Nature Trail. Meet in the Great Hall to join the guided walk. Children under age 16...

Cost: Included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
1658 Sterling Rd.
Charlotte, NC
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Website »

More information

These cooking classes center around a monthly theme and occur on the first and last Saturday of the month. Your Junior chef will cook two recipes each day and learn basic kitchen skills...

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-4650
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
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Telephone: 704-829-1294
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Enjoy the exciting and educational Flights of the Forest show. Viewers can feel the wind from a raptor's wing it they flies overhead. Participants must be 7 or older; children 16 and...

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Students $8

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Telephone: 704-875-6521
Contact Name: Michele Houck
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

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


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Enjoy a variety of "nose to beak" encounters with some of the most interesting raptor species. Purchase tickets online up until 24 hours before the encounter, and in the Visitor Center up...

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Students $8

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Telephone: 704-875-6521
Contact Name: Michele Houck
Website »

More information

Come check out Charlotte’s newest live music venue. The Music Yard is kicking off the concert season with a free Spring Concert Series every Saturday in April and May.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music Yard
2433 South Blvd
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-912-1889
Website »

More information

BounceU knows that sometimes parents deserve a little time by themselves. Drop off your kids for a night of non-stop bouncing and games. It’s more fun and probably less expensive than hiring...

Cost: $20 per child

Where:
Bounce U, Charlotte and Matthews locations
, NC


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Each Friday and Saturday, starting May 25 through September 1st, local favorites return to Blakeney Shopping Center and bring fun and music for the entire family. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Green at Blakeney
Ardrey Kell and Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy movies under the stars and on the big screen on the last Saturday of the month (except July).  May 26: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" June 30: "Karate Kid" August 25:...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Come celebrate the founding of the town of Mint Hill at the 35th Mint Hill Madness, a three-day festival. The festival features live music, a carnival, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Spend your holiday weekend with friends and family at the USNWC for the Memorial Day Celebration. The festivities include 5 and 8-mile trail races, yoga, as well as live music on Sunday...

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


Website »

More information

Kick off summer at Bass Pro Shops with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kick off summer at Cabela's with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1000 Cabela Dr.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s a pollinators’ paradise this summer as Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden opens two major seasonal exhibitions that celebrate the importance, beauty and majesty of pollinators. After...

Cost: Admission for Garden members is free, $12.95 for adults

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


Telephone: 704-829-1286
Contact Name: Stephanie Wisnet
Website »

More information

Discovery Place Science presents Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family, an innovative, multimedia experience showcasing never-before-seen dinosaurs in the Tyrannosaurs family tree. The...

Cost: Tickets start at $17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

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GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2017 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.
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