A #Blessed Thanksgiving in a Social World

Your guide to pulling off an Instagrammable Thanksgiving


Published:

In the midst of busy schedules and constant on-the-go living, Thanksgiving remains an opportunity for family togetherness — or so we hope. Surrounded by Pinterest perfection and filtered lives, we could use a guide to creating the memorable holiday gatherings we’ve always imagined … or at least seen on social media. If the moments happen to be Instagram-shareable, well, that’s even better.

While we may hope and aim for perfection, the truth is that many of us experience a holiday that is a bit more … ahem … authentic in nature. So scroll right on by those posed Pinterest pictures and instead try this guide for a more realistic approach to the day.


Make Your Game Plan

On Thanksgiving Eve, pick up your pre-ordered feast in a box from your grocery store of choice. Then carefully hide all the pre-made items in the fridge before your mother-in-law has a chance to see them. Disassemble the box and bury it deep within the recycle bin to hide all evidence of the fact that you are not Paula Dean.

On Thanksgiving morning, wake earlier than on a normal day. Don’t worry about getting dressed. You still have hours before mealtime, so set aside the outfit you have mentally coordinated for days. You can put it on after your shower.

Preheat the oven and get the turkey in before your mother-in-law wakes. (Yes, the bird may be pre-cooked, so it’s really a matter of warming, but the smells of cooking turkey are very important in pulling this all together).

Your next major task is to make the coffee — all the coffee. Uncork the wine, so it can breathe, and some of it may need to breathe in your wine glass. Wine before coffee is completely acceptable on a holiday, so feel free to sample away.


Crafting With Kids

Once your necessary drinks are in order and the turkey is warming, turn your attention to the craft project. The kids and your mother-in-law will stay out of the kitchen if you occupy them with a task. Not to mention that kids and grandparents making crafts is Instagram gold (#blessed #loveourfamily). Choose a project that keeps them focused and bonding with one another.

With the proper distraction in place, head back to the kitchen. Sample that wine again and then pull the other pre-cooked dishes from the fridge. Scoop them into your own baking dishes and pots. Pull some spices from the cabinets and sprawl them around the counter for the home-cooked appearance. Sprinkle some flour on your cheeks for an authentic baker look.

Even though your main job in preparing the food is simply to warm it, don't forget to snap pics of any especially colorful or Instagram-worthy items (#cranberries #colorsoftheseason #blessed).


An Hour Before Meal Time

Wake your husband. When you check on the craft project, make sure your effort shows, but not too much. You don’t want your mother-in-law asking how she can help in the kitchen. Strike just the right balance of hard working, yet content. When you realize the kids have totally ignored the tutorial you found on Pinterest, simply snap a photo and post (#blessed #creativekids).

Upon returning to the kitchen, locate all burning smells. Remove those items from the heat and stir. Refresh your social media feeds for the most recent like-count, and continue to sample that breathing wine as frequently as necessary.

With mealtime approaching, dust off your wedding china that you used that one time because the kids asked why some dishes are decorations and others are for eating. Do your best to locate glasses without water spots. Search for a YouTube tutorial on how to fold napkins. Then decide to go with rectangles instead once your swan takes a dive.


The Feast

Gather the family around the table and explain that you’d like a family selfie before you start eating. Get everyone in position and snap a photo. On review of family selfie, you realize you haven’t changed or showered. Forget the selfie approach and take the photo of the rest of your family members. Post (#blessed), taste the wine and give thanks.


5 Ways to Achieve Family Togetherness

Let’s face it, perfect holiday gatherings don’t exist, but family togetherness can. Sometimes it takes a nontraditional approach to the day. Try one of these five options to make memories this Thanksgiving.

Prepare the feast together. Yes, that will require letting go of perfection and creating a bigger mess if kids are involved, but it will also teach life skills and give you plenty of time together.

Let the kids plan the day. With work, school, sports and other activities, families don’t often have an entire day to spend together. Intentionally set aside a day over the Thanksgiving weekend for the kids to plan how to spend it. Give them a budget and other necessary parameters. It might break with tradition, but could lead to lasting memories.

Run a 5K race. Through training and race day, this is sure to bring a family together and perhaps even become a tradition. Not to mention it can help burn off the mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie.

Have a binge-fest. Every family has a propensity for something; maybe it’s football or Harry Potter or HGTV. Whatever that thing is, spend time connecting through that shared love, even if it means some binge watching must take place.

Make it a game day. Once the table has been cleared, spend the rest of the day playing games. Have a foosball tournament, set up corn hole, invite the neighbors to play football or strategize over Settlers of Catan. Choose an activity (or a few) that engages the entire family.


Meagan Church is a writer, children’s book author and the brainpower behind unexpectant.com, which explores the story of modern motherhood. She lives in Charlotte with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets. Connect with her on Twitter (@unexpectant).

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August 2019

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

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Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
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Cost: Free

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
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Website »

More information

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Cost: $18-$22

Where:
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Website »

More information

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Website »

More information

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

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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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More information

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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View map »


Website »

More information

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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131 West Main St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $18-$22

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


Website »

More information

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View map »


Website »

More information

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More information

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Where:
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551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10

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Jewish Community Center
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View map »


Sponsor: Music Together of Charlotte
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10

Where:
Jewish Community Center
5007 Providence Road
Camp Mindy Cabin #1
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Music Together of Charlotte
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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8335 Browne Road
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View map »


Sponsor: The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe
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More information

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Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
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Suite C
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View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Enjoy free admission on Wednesdays this summer from 5 to 9 p.m. beginning July 3 through August 28.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
551 S. Tryon 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

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Have a silly play date at the latest exhibit at ImaginOn. Designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, Mr. Potato Head leads visitors on adventures ranging from...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. 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

The traveling exhibition, constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy features towers built out of LEGO bricks. Admire the skyscrapers and learn about their cultural...

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, 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

Discover the intriguing lives of nocturnal animals. This hands-on, family-friendly exhibit delves into dark environments and brings to light the unique animals and plants that live there. Visitors...

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

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition presents an array of genres and features work by six represented artists, Eduardo Cardozo, Juan Dolhare, Carlos Estévez, José Luis Landet, Santiago Quesnel and...

Cost: Free

Where:
LaCa Projects
1429 Bryant St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Enjoy a music class, and explore instruments and musical concepts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Library
119 S. Main St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Two teams will make different sweets. Bring your creativity! Register by Aug. 27.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
David W Phillips Activity Center
946 Burrage Road
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come play on the library's PlayStation 4.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring your imagination. Blocks are provided. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Library
21105 Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities in your pajamas!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The Kannapolis Intimidators take on the Hagerstown Suns, followed by a post-game fireworks show. See the final home game of the season!

Cost: $7+

Where:
Intimidators Stadium
2888 Moose Road
Kannpolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-932-3267
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

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

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Come explore the SEED Wildlife Garden with other homeschool students, and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

On Thursday evenings, starting June 6 through August 29, listen to live music at Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring awareness to the mind, body and breath through yoga poses. All are welcome, from beginners to seasoned yogis!

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

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


Website »

More information

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

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Have a silly play date at the latest exhibit at ImaginOn. Designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, Mr. Potato Head leads visitors on adventures ranging from...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. 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

The traveling exhibition, constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy features towers built out of LEGO bricks. Admire the skyscrapers and learn about their cultural...

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, 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

Discover the intriguing lives of nocturnal animals. This hands-on, family-friendly exhibit delves into dark environments and brings to light the unique animals and plants that live there. Visitors...

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

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


Website »

More information

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this heart-warming story about the joys of friendship, Amos McGee knows friends can come in all sorts of species, too. Lively and engaging puppets...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

This exhibition presents an array of genres and features work by six represented artists, Eduardo Cardozo, Juan Dolhare, Carlos Estévez, José Luis Landet, Santiago Quesnel and...

Cost: Free

Where:
LaCa Projects
1429 Bryant St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Drop kids off to create a delicious looking art project. Pack a nut-free snack and drink; this project is not for eating!

Cost: $18-$35

Where:
Kidcreate Studio
636 Crown Pointe Lane
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Come decorate cupcakes, and hear a story. Payment is required to reserve your spot. Call  704-295-1777 to reserve.

Cost: $6 per child

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


Website »

More information

Try a 45-minute class filled with singing, dancing and playing! Cost can be applied to fall tuition.

Cost: $10

Where:
Plaza-Midwood
Open Door Studios
1318 Central Ave Studio B
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Music Together of Charlotte
Website »

More information

Try a 45-minute class filled with singing, dancing and playing! Cost can be applied to fall tuition.

Cost: $10

Where:
Plaza-Midwood
Open Door Studios
1318 Central Ave Studio B
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Music Together of Charlotte
Website »

More information

Enjoy food trucks, NC Beer, cider, seltzer and wine, hayrides and live music from 7 String Theory Rock Orchestra. Bring a school supply donation to receive a $2-off coupon for a ticket to opening...

Cost: $5 for parking (cash only)

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Second Annual Belk College Kickoff Tailgate Concert will feature country music star, Chase Rice, along with Tyler Farr, Filmore and Gyth Rigdon. Gates will open at 6 p.m....

Cost: $25

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


Sponsor: Full House Productions
Website »

More information

Enjoy a free evening of fantastic entertainment featuring the fan favorites from this year’s Open Mic shows.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Website »

More information

Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, except June 21, which is Movie on the Green.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join Birkdale Village for live music every Friday and Saturday night from June 1 to August 31. Bring a chair or a blanket.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

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


Website »

More information

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

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Have a silly play date at the latest exhibit at ImaginOn. Designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, Mr. Potato Head leads visitors on adventures ranging from...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. 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

The traveling exhibition, constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy features towers built out of LEGO bricks. Admire the skyscrapers and learn about their cultural...

Cost: $18-$22

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


Website »

More information

This four-day family event will feature arts and crafts vendors, food, a quilt show, the Kids Connection interactive area, games and rides for all ages, and four stages of free entertainment. Do...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Downtown Matthews
211 N. Trade St.
Matthews, 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

Discover the intriguing lives of nocturnal animals. This hands-on, family-friendly exhibit delves into dark environments and brings to light the unique animals and plants that live there. Visitors...

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

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


Website »

More information

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this heart-warming story about the joys of friendship, Amos McGee knows friends can come in all sorts of species, too. Lively and engaging puppets...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

This exhibition presents an array of genres and features work by six represented artists, Eduardo Cardozo, Juan Dolhare, Carlos Estévez, José Luis Landet, Santiago Quesnel and...

Cost: Free

Where:
LaCa Projects
1429 Bryant St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ride! Ballantyne accommodates to a range of cyclists and triathletes by offering routes ranging from 30 to 80 miles. A Labor Day Cookout for participants will begin after 10 a.m. at the...

Cost: $35

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


Website »

More information

Pork vendors at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market will offer free bacon recipes. Several vendors will offer bacon samples as well.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Take an adventure on Mountain Island Lake! Learn the basics to paddle your canoe across the serene waters, and splash around with some competitive games. All equipment is provided. Meet at the...

Cost: $20/canoe

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Morning radio personality and filmmaker, Tim Greene will host a film workshop. Learn how to turn your ideas into feature films, how to market yourself as an actor and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The University of South Carolina will face off against the University of North Carolina in the annual Belk College Kickoff.

Cost: $46+

Where:
Bank of America Stadium
800 S. Mint St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This special night includes pizza, movies, games, yoga and fun!

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Charlotte Family Yoga
8230 Poplar Tent
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Family Yoga
Website »

More information

Learn the fundamentals of SUP in a fun, safe environment. Coaches discuss waterway safety, laws and etiquette, and basic paddling technique. Participants need to be able to swim.

Cost: $45

Where:
Tega Cay Beach and Swim Club
4088 Beach Club Lane
Tega Cay, SC
View map »


Sponsor: The Goat Boater, Lake Wylie Paddleboarding
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10 per child

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Noah's Art of Southpark
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Experience the Battle of Charlotte with historic encampments and a battle each day at 2pm.

Cost: $9-$10, ages 5 and younger free

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


Website »

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

Cost: $5, additional $5 for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
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Meet a resident bird and an expert keeper in these half-hour sessions along the Raptor Trail. Saturdays 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sundays 1 and 3 p.m.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Be amazed by the show put on by these native and exotic flight birds and their trainers at this annual sensation.

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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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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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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Meet one of the animal ambassadors for a photo opportunity, and take a behind the scenes tour of the Raptor Hospital. Get an up close look at an Eagle. Children younger than 16 must be...

Cost: $28-$32

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Each month will have different giveaways and themes. Furry pals are invited to relax on the patio area. Event will benefit Humane Society of Charlotte. Pet friendly stores in Rea Farms will have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
9805 Sandy Rock Pl.
Unit 8
, NC
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Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! Before the kings and after all the deliverers were at rest, there was a time of judges when every man did what was right in his own eyes....

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
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Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, except June 21, which is Movie on the Green.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
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Celebrate 20 years of music at Stonecrest with weekly family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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Join Birkdale Village for live music every Friday and Saturday night from June 1 to August 31. Bring a chair or a blanket.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC
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River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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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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"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Have a silly play date at the latest exhibit at ImaginOn. Designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, Mr. Potato Head leads visitors on adventures ranging from...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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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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The traveling exhibition, constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy features towers built out of LEGO bricks. Admire the skyscrapers and learn about their cultural...

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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This four-day family event will feature arts and crafts vendors, food, a quilt show, the Kids Connection interactive area, games and rides for all ages, and four stages of free entertainment. Do...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Downtown Matthews
211 N. Trade St.
Matthews, 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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Discover the intriguing lives of nocturnal animals. This hands-on, family-friendly exhibit delves into dark environments and brings to light the unique animals and plants that live there. Visitors...

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

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this heart-warming story about the joys of friendship, Amos McGee knows friends can come in all sorts of species, too. Lively and engaging puppets...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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This exhibition presents an array of genres and features work by six represented artists, Eduardo Cardozo, Juan Dolhare, Carlos Estévez, José Luis Landet, Santiago Quesnel and...

Cost: Free

Where:
LaCa Projects
1429 Bryant St.
, NC
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Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

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

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