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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Daily Calendar

November 2019

This daily camp will be filled with games, activities and swimming.

Cost: $25

Where:
Ray's Splash Planet
215 N. Sycamore St.
, NC
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The experiences of veterans will be shared through living history displays and weapons firing demonstrations. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: $2

Where:
Fort Dobbs
438 Fort Dobbs Road
Statesville, NC
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Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve with instructors while enjoying nature. Registration is required.

Cost: $20-$25

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 S. York Road
, NC
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Your girl can learn how to prepare perfect pies. Enjoy breakfast before baking an apple pie.

Cost: $30

Where:
American Girl Store
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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The 3rd Annual Pajama Walk at Freedom Park will help make dreams come true. Come for the Pajama Walk, Dreamland Carnival, Ability Fair, Pajama Catwalk, Special Talent Drum Circle and special guests...

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1900 East Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: ZABS Place
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Celebrate veterans at Town Hall Stage with a special story. Then head to I CAN Create to make some patriotic crafts.

Cost: $11, included in admission, free for children younger than 1

Where:
Discovery Place Kids Huntersville
105 Gilead R0ad
Huntersville, NC  28209
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Sponsor: Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
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Enjoy a leisurely hike, and learn about the trees, plants and wildlife of Ramsey Creek Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ramsey Creek Park
18441 Nance Road
Cornelius, NC
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Come join Santa for a unique interactive photo shoot, and get professional portraits with Santa. Experience the Night Before Christmas as told by Santa. He will also share photos of Rudolph and...

Cost: $79

Where:
Fior Ballantyne
14825 Ballantyne Village Way
Suite 135
, NC
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Sponsor: Darren Bowen Photography
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Fall in love with Adventure Air Sports at the Fall Festival. Along with jumping, families can enjoy face painting, ring toss, pumpkin bowling, candied apples, scavenger hunt, games, bobbing for...

Cost: $16-$28

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
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Sponsor: Adventure Air Sports
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Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: OneBlood
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Families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders are invited to the aquarium two hours before the public for a sensory friendly underwater journey. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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From jets and warbirds, aerobatics, comedy, choppers, re-enactors and so much more, the annual event brings history to life. Also enjoy food and children's activities.

Cost: $5-$15, children 12 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Monroe Executive Airport
3900 Paul J Helms Drive
Monroe, NC
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The Carolina Renaissance Festival is filled with charming cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs, all with simulated architecture of a 16th century European village. Oct. 5-6: Opening Weekend...

Cost: $15-$26

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC
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Watch skilled border collies in action. Merchant and food vendors will be on site during this event. On Saturday only, be sure to watch the Harry Pawter Quidditch Tournament. UNCC will...

Cost: $8-$17, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
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Meet and learn how to draw PEANUTS characters, play games and dance to music. Enjoy the petting zoo and arts and crafts.

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

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

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Families with special needs can enjoy lessons and activities tailored for persons with disabilities. Children's class at 9:30 and 11am. Teen class at 9:30 and 11am. Young adult class at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: MUMC
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Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

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

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes.  No meal will be served at Sunday 2pm shows.

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Disney’s Aladdin JR. is based on the 1992 Academy-Award-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within. See...

Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC
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Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

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

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

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

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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No one notices Brian until Justin arrives. This high-spirited musical will help us all discover the possibilities that begin with a simple act of kindness. See website for show times.

Cost: $16+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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Adapted by Agatha Christie based on one of her darkest and most successful novels, "And Then There Were None," is a suspenseful whodunit that will send chills up your spine. Rated PG-13....

Cost: $28

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Verdi adapted one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies into an equally tragic opera. A cautionary tale about what can happen when someone with political ambitions pursues power for its own...

Cost: $44-$194

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


Sponsor: Opera Carolina
Website »

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

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Catch part of Mercury’s daylong journey across the sun through a solar telescope.

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

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


Website »

More information

This daily camp will be filled with games, activities and swimming.

Cost: $25

Where:
Ray's Splash Planet
215 N. Sycamore St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover nature hand-in-hand with your little one through stories and activities related to the topic of the week.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

The Veteran’s Day Parade will start by the War Memorial, across from the Joy Performance Center, and continue to the Patriot’s Memorial downtown at Patriots Park. All veterans and their...

Cost: Free

Where:
City Hall Plaza
101 W. Gold St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The ceremony will include color guard, laying of the wreath, and a keynote speaker.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Veteran's play free at Mr. Putty's Fun Park!

Cost: Free

Where:
Mr. Putty's Fun Park
2333 Dam Road
Tega Cay, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Uncover the mysteries of nature through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic of the week.

Cost: $6

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: OneBlood
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $15

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


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

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


Website »

More information

Schleich, the world’s largest toy figurine company, is bringing a fun and exciting pop-up shop to Concord Mills. Come play with toys and see a life-size dinosaur.

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Schleich USA
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5, cash only

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


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

La Leche League meetings help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, practical information and education. Babies and children are welcome too!

Cost: Free

Where:
Morningstar Lutheran Church
12509 Idlewild Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Sponsor: La Leche League of North Carolina
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for story time. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the event.

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come bring cats and dogs to take pictures with Santa!

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
Carolina Place Mall
11025 Carolina Pl. Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

GiGiFIT Kids makes exercise fun and empowers individuals with Down syndrome to be more independent and confident in their abilities. GiGiFIT is an application based program and requires a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gigi's Playhouse Charlotte
9109 Kings Parade Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

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This program is intended for children who speak English as a second language.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Girls are invited to think like engineers, design robots, learn to code, develop apps and more. Register to participate in workshops with changing STEM topics. Sessions from 4-4:45 p.m. and...

Cost: $15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Kids Huntersville
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your whole family out to enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities in pajamas! Register online. Light refreshments provided.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come meet Mecklenburg County's NC Game Warden, Sampson Parker and hear about his work and adventures. Ask questions during this family friendly community program.

Cost: Free event, does not include museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Come and hear about this exciting career from Offcer Brandon Barbee.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: CROWN Charlotte
Website »

More information

Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: OneBlood
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers will participate in a fun, kid friendly workout.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Classes involve a story, craft, exploration stations and time with two animal ambassadors. Topics include: Life on the Farm in Sept., Halloween and Pumpkins in Oct., Thanksgiving in Nov.,...

Cost: $7 per child, first adult free, $10 per additional adult

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

Spend time with your child learning about God and having fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe
8335 Browne Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe
Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

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


Website »

More information

Children will play with interactive, age appropriate toys and games while listening to music. Parent participation required.

Cost: $3

Where:
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Site
500 Billmark Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Schleich, the world’s largest toy figurine company, is bringing a fun and exciting pop-up shop to Concord Mills. Come play with toys and see a life-size dinosaur.

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Schleich USA
Website »

More information

Toddlers identify words through interactive games and letter recognition.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Each class brings a new theme while making arts and crafts. Registration required.

Cost: $6

Where:
Town Hall
315 Matthews-Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for for hands-on STEAM activities in support of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s STEAM Month.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $15

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


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This workshop is open to all ages. No previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Recreation Site
500 Bilmark Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

JazzArts Charlotte will present WeBop, an award-winning early-childhood jazz education program. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church
6740 Albemarle Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: JazzArts Charlotte
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This STEAM program presents a featured story and related craft or activity.

Cost: Free

Where:
Del Webb Library
7641 Charlotte Hwy.
Indian Land, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get free entry to The Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy
Website »

More information

Come for information, support and conversation with other breastfeeding families every second Tuesday of the month. Children and support people are welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Grier Heights Community Center
3100 Leroy St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: La Leche League of Grier Heights
Website »

More information

Come for assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal Street
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment. The class is open to all ages and no previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child ages 3-12 will cost $5.

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Explore books and stories in creative ways.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will explore chemistry as seen in cooking, one of the oldest and most widespread uses of applied chemistry.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books,  activities, and experiments. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

CSO On the Go offers an intimate orchestra experience to the greater Charlotte area.

Cost: $15

Where:
South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
8601 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: OneBlood
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn more about the activities, events, venues,  history and how to get around the Greenway by van. There is no hiking required, but register online prior to the tour.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

This drop off program for children presents an engineering challenge based on a popular nursery rhyme. After their engineering challenge, participants meet the animals and participate in humane...

Cost: $20

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

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


Website »

More information

Schleich, the world’s largest toy figurine company, is bringing a fun and exciting pop-up shop to Concord Mills. Come play with toys and see a life-size dinosaur.

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Schleich USA
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Parents and caregivers are invited to Stroller Tours, a series of docent-led museum tours that rotate between all three Levine Center for the Arts institutions, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art,...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Homeschool students receive discounted admission at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster.

Cost: $8

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Sing and wiggle around, read fun books and participate in a craft or activity! On the third Wednesday of each month, a special guest from the York County Library visits for Toddler Story Time.

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

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


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Big Bird, Elmo and their friend Hu Hu Zhu, take viewers on a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star and the Sun in this family-friendly planetarium show.

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

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


Website »

More information

Come play all arcade games for half the price all day on Wednesday.

Cost: Price per game varies

Where:
Bowlero
210 E. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Students will learn the movement of the pieces and basic chess strategy.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come ride on the 80-foot tall Ferris wheel, which lights up at night, for family fun and dramatic views of the Uptown skyline. Victoria Yards and the Ferris Wheel access will be open for...

Cost: $6-$8

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


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

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Experience charming shops, festive music, crafts, food, holiday decor, local wines, Santa and more than 450 holiday merchants with gifts for all ages.

Cost: $4-$15, children ages 5 and younger free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Study leaf patterns and tree characteristics to learn more about tree species. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Get ready for Christmas decorating. Kids can choose from several ornament options to create.

Cost: $12

Where:
A Little Bit of Art
900 S. Fork Village Drive
#G2
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-476-9882
Website »

More information

Meet Mr. Sam Fleming, Executive Director and co-founder of 100 Gardens and a sustainability expert in agriculture using aquaponics.

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

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


Website »

More information

Small, reasonably priced bites and sweets will be available from Nourish, Cooking with Joya, Ve-Go, Title Belt Ice Cream, Viva Raw and more. Shop vendors and enter raffles.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Camp North End
1824 Statesville Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: OneBlood
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Children express themselves creatively through art.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

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


Website »

More information

Schleich, the world’s largest toy figurine company, is bringing a fun and exciting pop-up shop to Concord Mills. Come play with toys and see a life-size dinosaur.

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Schleich USA
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Toddlers will participate in a fun, kid friendly workout.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities at Squirrel Lake Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Youth that have begun training in ballet, and have at least 3 years experience, are invited to begin preparation for the iconic pointe shoe work of the Classical Ballerina.

Cost: $10

Where:
Elon Recreation Center
11401 Ardrey Kell Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come ride on the 80-foot tall Ferris wheel, which lights up at night, for family fun and dramatic views of the Uptown skyline. Victoria Yards and the Ferris Wheel access will be open for...

Cost: $6-$8

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Learn the history of various songs and how they were created. Get an introduction to the basics of being a DJ.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Swing, stomp and sing with your little ones in this interactive introduction to jazz for preschoolers and caregivers. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church
9401 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: JazzArts Charlotte
Website »

More information

Wind down after a busy day with bedtime stories and soothing songs. Come in your jammies, and bring your favorite stuffed animal.

Cost: Free

Where:
Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

A Viking king of Britain who has decided to retire passes on the responsibilities of leadership to her daughters, but she cannot see that she has been deceived by them until it’s too late....

Cost: $15

Where:
Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
345 North College St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Free Reign Theatre Company

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Based on Ludwig Bemelman's classic, "Madeline's Christmas,"  this musical brings Miss Clavel and "12 little girls in two straight lines" to the Gaston School of the...

Cost: $10

Where:
Gaston School of the Arts
825 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Experience charming shops, festive music, crafts, food, holiday decor, local wines, Santa and more than 450 holiday merchants with gifts for all ages.

Cost: $4-$15, children ages 5 and younger free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Practice fun yoga combined with traditional yoga poses, meditation, relaxation and breathing. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Meet with a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) who will teach you the correct way to install your child's seat, provide safety recommendations and answer questions....

Cost: Free

Where:
Britax Child Safety, Inc.
4140 Pleasant Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: Britax Child Safety
Website »

More information

Teaching artist, Bree Stallings will lead this introduction to acrylics workshop for children ages 4-8.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Get your hands dirty, learn about nature and create nature inspired crafts. 

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Teaching artist, Bree Stallings will lead this introduction to acrylics workshop for all ages.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Participants will hike and create games and activities while learning from nature.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The Galleries of the Cabarrus Arts Council to see the exhibit, Clay: Woodfire NC before strolling downtown Concord as dozens of artists sell their works.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Waste Pro
Website »

More information

Bring the family to Northlake Mall to welcome Santa. There will be a tree lighting stage shows, music and food.

Cost: Free

Where:
Northlake Mall Outside of Food Court Entry
6801 Northlake Mall Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Check out balloon artists, face painters, holiday characters, train, carriage rides, photo booth, snow, goodie bags for kids, as well as visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Cost: Free

Where:
Redstone Shopping Center
Highway 521 and Highway 160
Indian Land, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: OneBlood
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10 per hour

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


Website »

More information

Schleich, the world’s largest toy figurine company, is bringing a fun and exciting pop-up shop to Concord Mills. Come play with toys and see a life-size dinosaur.

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Schleich USA
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for movement and yoga through stories. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the...

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This Veterans Day weekend, Charlotte Symphony pays tribute to the United States and the brave men and women who fight to protect our freedom.

Cost: $20

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Polar Express Train Ride, inspired by the run-away hit movie, features a train ride to the North Pole with dancing chefs, cookies, hot chocolate and a presentation of the first gift of...

Cost: $32-$325

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Drive
Spencer, NC
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Transportation Musem
Website »

More information

Come ride on the 80-foot tall Ferris wheel, which lights up at night, for family fun and dramatic views of the Uptown skyline. Victoria Yards and the Ferris Wheel access will be open for...

Cost: $6-$8

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Learn the history of various songs and how they were created. Get an introduction to the basics of being a DJ.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Parents can take the night off while kids learn beginner cooking skills with professional chefs.

Cost: $20

Where:
Winget Recreation Center
12235 Winget Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes.  No meal will be served at Sunday 2pm shows.

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Uptown Charlotte’s outdoor ice rink returns to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Take a picture with the giant polar bear, under the tree or in the decorated Ceremonial Garden.

Cost: $12-$16

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

A Viking king of Britain who has decided to retire passes on the responsibilities of leadership to her daughters, but she cannot see that she has been deceived by them until it’s too late....

Cost: $15

Where:
Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
345 North College St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Free Reign Theatre Company

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Skate on the 5,000 square-foot ice rink. Guests can also enjoy holiday lights and decor; Santa’s Pub, a coffee shop, live music, surprise guests and festive activities.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Symphony Park at Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Based on Ludwig Bemelman's classic, "Madeline's Christmas,"  this musical brings Miss Clavel and "12 little girls in two straight lines" to the Gaston School of the...

Cost: $10

Where:
Gaston School of the Arts
825 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Experience charming shops, festive music, crafts, food, holiday decor, local wines, Santa and more than 450 holiday merchants with gifts for all ages.

Cost: $4-$15, children ages 5 and younger free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet meteorologists, explore weather instruments like thermometers and anemometers, and enjoy activities. Will's Doggn' It food truck will be on-site.

Cost: $3 in addition to museum admission of $6-$7, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Take a digital photo with Santa! Shop local vendors and food trucks while the kids make crafts.

Cost: Free admission. $15 for photo with Santa.

Where:
Baxter Close YMCA
857 Promenade Walk
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

This shopping and food experience will take place at the charming Stowe Manor in Belmont. Food trucks will be on site.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stowe Manor
217 S. Central Ave.
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come celebrate the opening of Fire Station Number Two!

Cost: Free

Where:
Fires Station #2
817 Richard Ave.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn to sing some fun songs, try out new instruments and make some friends.

Cost: $8

Where:
The Bridge
4100 Raleigh St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

Smallcakes Utopia, a cupcakery and creamery located in University, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a DJ, giveaways, a selfie wall, specials and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Smallcakes Utopia
6925 University City Blvd. #415
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop the bazaar, and bring the whole family for kids' activities and raffles.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nations Ford High School
1400 A.O. Jones Blvd.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »

More information

Come to Sugar Creek Library for a free Healing Hands performance by a trio of Charlotte Symphony musicians.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 N. Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet at McDowell Nature Center, and take a van to climb at Dixon School Boulders in Crowders Mountain State Park.

Cost: $15

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


Website »

More information

Cultural Blocks will help provide this photography, videography and journalism program for teens.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

As part of Discovery Place's 2019 Day in the Life Series, join Atrium Health to learn all about organ donation.

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

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Science
Website »

More information

Bring your dogs and enjoy photos with Santa, shop for unique dog gifts, and participate in a short guided hike in Robbins Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Robbins Park
17738 West Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Program combines science replicas and real specimens. Enjoy “Don’t Wake the Animals" story time at noon or 1pm, and enjoy an activity.

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

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


Website »

More information

Families and their dogs can enjoy photos with Santa, shop for unique dog gifts and take a dog -friendly hike.

Cost: Free

Where:
Robbins Park
17738 West Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bach to Rock, or B2R, instructors will provide dynamic musical and movement-based activities. Little ones are sure to enjoy dancing along to the music.

Cost: $11

Where:
Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
Website »

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Enjoy food trucks, entertainment, face painting, bounce house, free giveaways and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Carole Hoefener Center
615 E. 6th St.
, NC
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Vote for your favorite chili to determine chili competition winners. There will also be entertainment and beer tastings.

Cost: $20-$35

Where:
Downtown Concord
Union Street
Concord, NC
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Sponsor: Concord Downtown Development Corporation and the Historic Concord Preservation Trust
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During this science and engineering-focused class, students will learn how combustion and friction rev up race engines. Students will conduct an experiment to see how chemical reactions transform...

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrison Regional Library
7015 Morrison Blvd.
, NC
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Participants will be led through a series of drawing exercises to jump start their own creative intuition and illustration skills.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Bridge at Arts+
4100 Raleigh St.
, NC
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Celebrate Santa's arrival, and do not miss the live entertainment, tree lighting and vendors.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC
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This talent show is packed with Charlotte celebrities and benefits children in foster care.

Cost: $25-$50

Where:
Booth Playhouse
130 N Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Girls are invited to think like engineers, design robots, learn to code, develop apps and more. Register to participate in workshops with changing STEM topics. Ages 7-9, 10-11am; Ages 9-11,...

Cost: $18, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Discover Cuban culture through music, games and interactive experiences that will paint a picture of Cuba. This bilingual experience will showcase Cuba's wildlife, biodiversity, history and...

Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Car owners and enthusiasts gather to celebrate their passion for cars and showcase their prized classics, customs and hot rods.

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
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Donate blood or platelets at OneBlood’s North Carolina donation centers and mobile drives in November and December, and you will have the opportunity to send a message that will then be...

Cost: Free

Where:
OneBlood Mobiles and Donor Centers
4447 South Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: OneBlood
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Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
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Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering free 4x6 photos with Santa and family holiday activities. Guests can reserve their free visit and photo with Santa by visiting the Bass Pass...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1000 Cabelas Drive
Fort Mill, SC
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Come create functional, seasonal clay projects! September's theme is "back to school." In October, make spooky face pots, and in November, make turkey bowls. Create clay...

Cost: $10

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 McDowell St.
Matthews, NC
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From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC
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Kids will learn deep breathing and yoga poses in a relaxing atmosphere. Kids Yoga meets on Mondays, as well as the first and third Saturdays of every month. 

Cost: $15

Where:
Charlotte Family Yoga
8230 Poplar Tent Road
Concord , NC
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The Carolina Renaissance Festival is filled with charming cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs, all with simulated architecture of a 16th century European village. Oct. 5-6: Opening Weekend...

Cost: $15-$26

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC
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Meet and learn how to draw PEANUTS characters, play games and dance to music. Enjoy the petting zoo and arts and crafts.

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

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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A professional instructor will lead families in an engaging cooking experience. End class by enjoying a family activity and the food you created.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
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Enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering free 4x6 photos with Santa and family holiday activities. The Santa’s Wonderland Christmas village offers remote control trucks, toy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Big Bird, Elmo and their friend Hu Hu Zhu, take viewers on a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star and the Sun in this family-friendly planetarium show.

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

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Every third Saturday of the month, learn about the rewards of African drumming, and get hands-on experience with different African instruments. Youth session is 11am-noon; session for all ages is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
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On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 980-498-1487 to register.

Cost: Free

Where:
Grier Heights Community Center
3100 Leroy St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-498-1487
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Learn about vultures found at Carolina Raptor Center.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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This Veterans Day weekend, Charlotte Symphony pays tribute to the United States and the brave men and women who fight to protect our freedom.

Cost: $20

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-972-2000
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Explore the expressive, active and creative benefits of dance.

Cost: $10

Where:
Elon Recreation Center
11401 Ardrey Kell Road
, NC
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Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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The Polar Express Train Ride, inspired by the run-away hit movie, features a train ride to the North Pole with dancing chefs, cookies, hot chocolate and a presentation of the first gift of...

Cost: $32-$325

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Drive
Spencer, NC
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Sponsor: North Carolina Transportation Musem
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Come ride on the 80-foot tall Ferris wheel, which lights up at night, for family fun and dramatic views of the Uptown skyline. Victoria Yards and the Ferris Wheel access will be open for...

Cost: $6-$8

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


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

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

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes.  No meal will be served at Sunday 2pm shows.

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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Uptown Charlotte’s outdoor ice rink returns to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Take a picture with the giant polar bear, under the tree or in the decorated Ceremonial Garden.

Cost: $12-$16

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

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

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

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

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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No one notices Brian until Justin arrives. This high-spirited musical will help us all discover the possibilities that begin with a simple act of kindness. See website for show times.

Cost: $16+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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A Viking king of Britain who has decided to retire passes on the responsibilities of leadership to her daughters, but she cannot see that she has been deceived by them until it’s too late....

Cost: $15

Where:
Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
345 North College St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Free Reign Theatre Company

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The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Skate on the 5,000 square-foot ice rink. Guests can also enjoy holiday lights and decor; Santa’s Pub, a coffee shop, live music, surprise guests and festive activities.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Symphony Park at Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Based on Ludwig Bemelman's classic, "Madeline's Christmas,"  this musical brings Miss Clavel and "12 little girls in two straight lines" to the Gaston School of the...

Cost: $10

Where:
Gaston School of the Arts
825 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
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Annual Guides

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

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

Education Guide

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