8 Ways to Spark Summer Reading


Published:

Courtesy Legenda/Shutterstock.com

Most parents want to encourage reading, especially during the summer when kids often have more unstructured time. Now that so much reading occurs online, parents may wonder about the best way to nurture a reading habit. Is reading on a device as good as getting lost in an old-fashioned book?

The emerging answer is that both print and digital reading have value, but they promote different ways of thinking. A Ryerson University study published in the Fall 2012 Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education found that college students prefer reading online when they are looking for quick information. However, when they really want to dig in and master new material, they turn to paper books. Without the distraction of clicks, students find they engage more deeply and comprehend more of what they read.

Students also reported that they liked being able to manipulate physical books by underlining important phrases, writing notes in the margins, turning down corners and being able to thumb back to a favorite passage.

This study suggests that online reading often resembles snacking — quick, easy to digest, maybe even a little addictive. Physical books offer more of a meal — stimulating and nourishing on many levels. Because kids gravitate naturally to devices (and snacks), parents may want to put a little effort into helping kids discover the pleasures of print. Fortunately, most kids are receptive. A biannual study of reading habits by Scholastic magazine found that 86 percent of kids think it’s important to be a good reader, and 6 in 10 “really enjoy reading books over the summer.” Here are some ways to turn that spark into a flame.

Read aloud. In the Scholastic survey, kids ages 6–11 said they enjoyed reading aloud, mostly because it was special time with their parents. Even after they can read independently, many kids and even teens enjoy settling in to listen to a good story.

Hunt for books together. In the Scholastic study, 41 percent of kids said it was hard to find books they wanted to read. Turn the quest for good books into something you do as a family. Visit your local library regularly. Find out if there’s a story hour at the local bookshop. Hunt for bargain books at garage sales and thrift stores.

Find books at the right level. Kids sometimes disconnect from reading when books seem boring because they are too easy or frustrating because they are too hard. Ask your child’s teacher to recommend books or use the Scholastic book wizard at scholastic.com/teachers/bookwizard.

Follow their lead. If a child gets hooked on a particular genre, author or series, run with it. And don’t get hung up on format. Magazines, graphic novels and comics can all be a gateway into reading.

Make it social. Enthusiasm for reading is contagious, so encourage kids to share books they like whenever possible. Some kids may enjoy writing reviews on kid-friendly sites like dogobooks.com or spaghettibookclub.org. Kids can also follow favorite authors online. Consider organizing a summer book club.

Find the right incentives. Just keeping a list of books your kids have finished can be motivating. Other kids will benefit from a small treat — maybe a gummy “bookworm” or a pack of Smarties. Search Pinterest for clever reading incentives boards.

Set aside time. Designate a specific time for family reading. Turn off the TV, computers and smartphones to make it clear that reading should be a priority.

Get creative. Think about fun ways to integrate books into whatever you’re doing this summer. Carry a chapter book at all times. Create a treasure hunt with a new book as the treasure. Have a reading picnic. Take an audio book on your family road trip. Create a secret reading space by setting up a tent in the backyard or putting a sheet over a card table.

Whatever you do, keep it light. If your goal is to have kids who read because they love it, making rules too rigorous or setting expectations too high can be counterproductive. So start with a spark and ignite a lifelong enthusiasm!


Carolyn Jabs is author of the award-winning book, “Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart,” available at Amazon and cooperativewisdom.org.

 

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February 2018

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Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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The Museum of York County
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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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Cost: Free

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Cabarrus Arts Council
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View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
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More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Telephone: 704-401-3200
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More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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More information

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Cost: $7-$10

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

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

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Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

Put on your wellies and hop into American Girl for a special WellieWishers Friendship Tea Party. Parties include a special menu, crafts, fun WellieWishers-inspired conversation cards, and...

Cost: $13.50 per person; gratuity not included

Where:
American Girl
440 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

Feel free to bring your favorite games or play some of the store's. Barnes and Noble is proud to carry Ticket to Ride, Machi Koro, Superfight, Munchkin, Star Wars Chess and more.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-341-9365
Website »

More information

Attend any of these free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

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


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-644-3972​
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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Celebrate the life of Dr. Theodor "Seuss" Geisel through stories, song and laughter. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Library
21105 Catawba Ave.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-3800
Website »

More information

Celebrate the author's birthday with books and crafts. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Holly Branch Library
245 West Catawba Ave.
Mount Holly , NC
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Telephone: 704-827-3581
Website »

More information

Parents, could you use a night out? Then make plans to drop off your young artist, dressed in their cozy pajamas, for an evening of painting fun. While you are off enjoying a quiet dinner, your...

Cost: $25-$30

Where:
Davidson Parks and Rec
865 South St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-3349
Website »

More information

The public opening for fine artist Stephen Wilson's newest series Shine A Light When It’s Gray Out will also serve as a book signing for the release of Wilson’s first cohesive...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Gallery of Modern Art
435 S. Tryon St
Ste. 110
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-1464
Website »

More information

Feel the energy of the full moon as we navigate the trails at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Get inspirational ideas and the latest trends and products to beautify your home and garden. Mingle with TV celebrities, sample wine and gourmet foods and receive expert advice on home decorating,...

Cost: $10

Where:
Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Drop off your children for a night of fun while you hit the town. Activities include laser tag, jump-n-play, rock climbing, mini bowling, ropes courses, bumper cars, and arcade games. Children...

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

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


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

Freedom Train is the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to freedom prior to the American Civil War. Using traditional songs of the period "Freedom...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-644-3972​
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Fri., 6-9pm; Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-864-5675
Website »

More information

During this magic show, Caleb makes a daring escape, plays with the weather, predicts the future and then travels back in time. Get to be part of the magic by coming 30 minutes before the...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Participate in the 5k or 5k Fun Run to benefit the GoJenGo Foundation, a non-profit helping in the fight against breast cancer. Sign up the kids for the one mile fun run and hang out...

Cost: $5-$40

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


Website »

More information

This four-hour indoor cycling relay unites two organizations in the mission of helping kids everywhere lead longer, healthier lives.    It’s easy and fun to participate, and this...

Cost: Free

Where:
LifeTime Athletic Charlotte
11220 Golf Links Drive North
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Website »

More information

Vint Hill Educational Services offers mock testing for the ACT and SAT. They supply the test booklet, essay booklet, answer sheet, testing timer, extra pencils, and a proctor. Includes...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Cornwell Center
2001 Selwyn Ave
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

What is that green stuff? Is it moss? Is it algae? Or maybe it's fungus!? Find all the answers and learn about the Track Trails program - including how you can earn prizes through Track Trails...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be making an appearance at Northlake Mall. Stop by and check them out at Entry One near H&M. Enjoy yummy macarons, mini cakes, cookies, bow...

Where:
Northlake Mall
6801 Northlake Mall Dr.
Charlotte, NC  28216
View map »


Website »

More information

Naomi Lewin, host of the nationally syndicated radio program "Classics for Kids," will guide classical music fans of all ages on an exploration of Vivaldi’s masterpiece The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stage Door Theatre
130 N. Tryon St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Fine artist Stephen Wilson's newest series is being shown at Charlotte’s New Gallery. Wilson has made unique signature creations like hundreds of butterflies composed...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Gallery of Modern Art
435 S. Tryon St
Ste. 110
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-1464
Website »

More information

Get inspirational ideas and the latest trends and products to beautify your home and garden. Mingle with TV celebrities, sample wine and gourmet foods and receive expert advice on home decorating,...

Cost: $10

Where:
Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-716-4650
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday. Visit the website to see this week's featured craft of the week. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6 per class

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $20 per child

Where:
Bounce U, Charlotte and Matthews locations
, NC


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can gain free access to participating museums in the Charlotte area, including The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Come join this month's free workshop and craft at Home Depot.  All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin...

Cost: Free

Where:
Home Depot locations
, NC


Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

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


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

Freedom Train is the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to freedom prior to the American Civil War. Using traditional songs of the period "Freedom...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Every first Saturday of the month through June there will be special art and music workshops. Look below to see designated topics: Jan 6: Art: Figure drawing – your favorite feature...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

Collaborate with other Boy Scouts and Discovery Place Science educators to earn your merit badges. On Saturday, work towards your programming, pulp and paper, or oceanography badges. On...

Cost: $30, excludes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-644-3972​
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Fri., 6-9pm; Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-864-5675
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Buy quality children’s clothing (infant through size 16), toys, games, books, bikes, baby gear, strollers, furniture and gently worn children’s shoes....

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Harris YMCA
5900 Quail Hollow Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-6843
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During this magic show, Caleb makes a daring escape, plays with the weather, predicts the future and then travels back in time. Get to be part of the magic by coming 30 minutes before the...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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

Education Guide

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