What Does Natural Birth Really Feel Like?

A local midwife shares her birthing experience.


Published:

Stephanie and daughter Eliza, moments after giving birth.

As a midwife, I’ve spent my career helping women deliver their babies. Fast forward to Jan. 23, 2016 when I learned that supporting others through birth is not the same as doing it yourself. The reality is that each birth story is unique and each comes with its own set of circumstances. Having the experience as a midwife, and now as a mother too, I am sharing my birth story.


Born in a Storm

Winter Storm Jonas was predicted for the entire east coast on my baby Eliza’s due date, and North Carolina was not left behind. The city of Charlotte was shut down under a sheet of ice when my labor turned on like a light switch. One minute I was eating ice cream watching a show in front of the fire, and the next, Paul was scrambling to get the truck ready for our adventure to the birth center.

At the time we left the house, the precipitation had paused and there was a break in the clouds. An almost full moon lit my way to the car. Snow has a way of making the night feel still and that night was no different (between contractions that is). Roads were empty and the night was peaceful as Paul drove to pick up our midwife, Holly, and our nurse/doula/friend, Rebeca, while I labored on hands and knees over the car seat in the backseat of the truck. Okay, peaceful on the outside of the truck maybe- I was cursing like an angry sailor and trying very hard not to throw up.

We got to the birth center fully dilated, but with plenty of work to do to bring her head down. In the weeks and months leading up to this moment, I had been so busy caring for others that I didn’t really make a birth plan for myself. I found comfort knowing the things done at Baby+Company that fit a typical natural birth plan, including relationships with the birthing team, classes and workshops to prepare for labor and delivery, and familiarity with the environment and comfort measures available during labor and delivery.

Once we were settled in our birth room, music played in the background as a flameless candle lit the room filled with scent from the essential oil diffuser to provide aromatherapy for everyone. However, I ruined the peaceful set up by laboring much more vocally than I would have bet. In between noises that I didn’t think I would ever make, I was coaching myself through labor with a schizophrenic dialogue. “I can’t do this, this is terrible!” “Yes you can, this is normal, and everything is okay,” so much for not being my own midwife. During my labor, I had the opportunity to use all of the birth center's amenities while I pushed for three and a half long hours.  


How I Controlled the Pain

I was open to a water birth, but I didn’t have a preference one way or the other. We call the tub “the midwife’s epidural.” I can now attest that it works.

I did a lot of my pushing in the tub, and that’s where I was able to relax and recharge in between contractions. When Eliza was finally ready to arrive, being in the tub felt right.

I didn’t have any special techniques to manage my labor pain, but the freedom of movement was huge for me. I was in labor for more than three hours, so I took advantage of pretty much all of the pain management tools available, especially the birthing ball and Pilates bars. When it came time to push, I realized how important it was to follow my gut feelings. There was a moment where I just felt like I needed to be on my hands and knees, and that was when she started crowning. It was truly amazing how my body gave me subtle cures along the way. Now I can fully appreciate how our bodies are made for this and I can help guide my clients to be alert to their body cues.  Finally able to push her head out, her shoulders followed smoothly and she swam between my legs and right into my arms. She came up out of the water screaming! We were expecting an ugly, postdates, fat, bald boy, but instead we got a beautiful tiny girl with a head full of hair and an impressive set of pipes right on her due date. Surreal is the only word I have to describe the whole first day with Eliza, I just can’t believe we made something so impossibly perfect.

Although being a patient at Baby+Company came with no surprises since I’m a midwife there, I definitely gained a new perspective on labor. You can’t feel labor for someone else. I went into it with certain expectations, and while it was very similar to what I thought it would be like, in some ways it was totally different.

I recognize there is no one-size-fits-all solution for having a baby. Just like a hospital isn’t right for everyone, a birth center isn’t necessarily the right fit for everyone, either. But the beauty of preparing for delivery with a midwife is that the midwife and mom-to-be get to know each other, and there is a strong focus on learning and engagement throughout pregnancy, so clients enter labor well-prepared no matter the setting. The most important thing with any birth is that families have a safe birth in an environment that offers high clinical standards.

Stephanie, her husband and baby Eliza after delivery at Baby+Company.


Tips for Moms-to-be

There’s a fine line between being prepared and having realistic expectations. Expectant moms should be educated on what they think their preferences will be, while not underestimating their body in the moment.

Labor is work, but women have been doing this for thousands of years. My favorite birth quote by Laura Stavoe Harm speaks to the power and history of labor: “There is a secret in our culture, and it is not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”

I’m so glad that I can now tell my clients what it felt like for me. The sensations and emotions are unique to each birth, and I feel even more privileged today having had the opportunity to deliver my first child with the help of a midwife. The process can be excruciating, but the reward makes it so worth it. I would definitely do it again.


Stephanie Godfrey, CNM, WHNP has devoted her career to maternal and child health.  She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in public health, before continuing her education and earning her BSN from the Johns Hopkins school of Nursing. She worked as a labor delivery nurse on the busy, high-risk unit at Johns Hopkins, where she held a variety of leadership roles until joining Baby+Company in Cary, NC, her first stop before making a permanent move to the Queen City.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

10 Free Places to Explore With Your Toddler

Plan your playdate with these go-to ideas around the Queen City.

Potty Training While Traveling

Tips for taking potty training on the road during family vacations.

Doctors Recommend Introducing Peanuts to Babies Early

You can't feed peanuts to babies, right? Think again!

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Charlotte area by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Calendar

May 2017

Meet the author and illustrator Kimberly Mohns Roberts and have your book signed. Door prizes and fun activities for the children. Enjoy light fare while supplies last. Buy extra raffle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte School of Ballet
627 S. Sharon Amity Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »


Website »

More information

This music fest features live blues performances, food, beverages, and other related activities.  

Cost: $6-$11; children under 2 free

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Featuring ten of the area's best chefs of Italian cuisine, music, wine, art, children's activities, all for the price of one-day admission donation. Proceeds benefit people and...

Cost: $15-$45

Where:
Gateway Village Promenade
800 W. Trade St.
Johnson and Wales University
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet some of the creatures from the nature center at this live animal show.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-875-1391
Website »

More information

Each family will receive a checklist of flowers so they can identify and mark off the ones they see. Kids of all ages are welcome, but the terrain is not appropriate for strollers. 

Cost: Event is free; non-members must pay $5 to enter greenway

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
104 Adventure Road
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

This free festival is open to the public and will include a bounce house, glow party in the theatre, face painting, balloon animals, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Arts Center
11318 N Community House Road
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Varies

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Featuring reenactments of three major Revolutionary War battles fought in South Carolina: King's Mountain, Camden, and Eutaw Springs. Plus, cannon and musket-firing demonstrations, military...

Cost: $6-$10

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-684-2327
Website »

More information

This weekend of performances is presented by OnStage, a program that helps bridge the world of professional theatre for CTC students. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10 per show

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Read nature-based stories with the help of puppets, and then take a short hike into the woods to explore more of nature. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-522-9253
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5

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


Sponsor: Monkey Joe's
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Bring the family for an outdoor storytime with movement activities and songs. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6200
Website »

More information

See some of NASCAR’s biggest drivers battling each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts. Come out for a free event featuring a full...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Varies

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visit the planetarium for a special program on how to navigate the night sky using a star map. 

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Get moving and learn cultural history through dance. Learn of the cultural legacy that enabled the African ancestors to endure the Middle Passage. Participate, and experience history through...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Recreational Center
943 W Sugar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28213
View map »


Telephone: 704-737-8097
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 803-909-7244
Website »

More information

Find out what it takes to become an astronaut with a reading of a book on the topic and special activities to help you get ready for a journey into space. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Huntersville Fire Station 1
110 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Unleash the power of technology by learning how to build and program robots to follow your every command. Think critically, problem solve, and test your skills as you program your robot to perform...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

Explore the mint museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

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

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Run through Speed Street at the PNC Speed Street 5K.

Cost: $25-$35

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Location TBA
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

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


Website »

More information

Drivers will compete in a qualifying three round "knockout" to determine which drivers will move on to the Coca Cola 600.

Cost: Kids 13 under free; see website for other ticket prices

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating May with Pay Your Age Thursdays all month long starting May 4th. Every Thursday of the month children will pay their age for admission. For...

Cost: Pay Your Age

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a special storytime filled with stories, songs, and creative movement outside in the park. Meet near the bird feeders. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Hear a story and learn about the unique qualities of the planets, then head to Town Center to make a space-related craft. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

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


Website »

More information

Drivers will compete for prize money and bragging rights in winged, 850-horsepower open-wheel spring cars on the track.

Cost: $27+

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy pre-movie activities. Movie begins at approximately 8:45pm.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Find out what it takes to become an astronaut with a reading of a book on the topic and special activities to help you get ready for a journey into space. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Spirit Square will host weekly free outdoor concerts or movies, with concessions available for purchase. Movie line-up will be announced later this summer. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

This year's Mint Hill Madness festival pairs new offerings with a lot of fan favorites. Joining the traditional carnival rides, games, boardwalk-style food and arts and crafts vendors,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Carnival rides, fair food, a wolf and tiger show, dog show, meet and greet with actress Peyton List from the Disney TV show "Jessie," and more. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10pm; Fri., 4-11pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8; additional cost for rides

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Stop by and talk with the market's vendors about how to properly prepare different meats for your Memorial Day cookout and receive some free recipes for grilling beef, fish, pork and...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

The Belmont Classic 5K is a road race open to all ages and is digitally timed on a USATF certified course.This event is the major annual fundraising event...

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Belmont Police Department
201 Chronicle St.
Belmont , NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-829-1082
Website »

More information

Explore rhythms and rhymes, and make your own music at the Musical Petting Zoo, presented by the Symphony Guild of Charlotte.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not! presents an extraordinary collection of intriguing objects and astonishing artifacts from Ripley's Believe It or Not! Go places you've never...

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve as you enjoy time with your family, while learning about the natural history that makes Lake Wylie a great destination for wildlife viewing. All...

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10 per class

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


Telephone: 980-430-1701
Website »

More information

Take a walk on the Paw Paw Nature Trail with a naturalist and learn more about the diversity of the forest habitat. 

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Carolina Raptor Center's high flying, gravity defying summer flight show features CRC’s trainers putting our native and exotic birds through their paces in free flight. Experience the...

Cost: $8-$12; free for ages 3 and under

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


Website »

More information

This two-hour skill session on the shoreline of Lake Wylie is for teens interested in learning how to kayak or improve their skills. Teens will be taught by McDowell's ACA certified kayak...

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

This year's Mint Hill Madness festival pairs new offerings with a lot of fan favorites. Joining the traditional carnival rides, games, boardwalk-style food and arts and crafts vendors,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$20

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


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Carnival rides, fair food, a wolf and tiger show, dog show, meet and greet with actress Peyton List from the Disney TV show "Jessie," and more. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10pm; Fri., 4-11pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8; additional cost for rides

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

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.