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

Questions and Answers About Undescended Testicles in Baby Boys

What to know and how early intervention can reduce longterm risks.

9 Most Common Pregnancy Myths

Understanding the dos and don’ts when you’re expecting.

Car Seat Safety: When Should Your Child Turn Forward-Facing?

It's safer for children under age 2 to remain in rear-facing car seat.
Edit Module

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

Partner Content

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Calendar

September 2017

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

The NHRA’s best drivers begin their quest for supremacy in the first race of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship at zMAX Dragway. Every ticket is a...

Cost: $21-$43

Where:
zMax Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 1-800-455-FANS (3267)
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating Monkey Joe’s Birthday by offering $5 admissions, a free magnetic picture frame and cotton candy, while supplies lasts! Festivities will begin at...

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's University
10215 University City Blvd Suite C
Charlotte, NC  28213
View map »


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s Gastonia is celebrating Monkey Joe’s Birthday on September 17th by offering $5 admissions, a free magnetic picture frame and cotton candy, while supplies lasts! Festivities...

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's Gastonia
3924 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28098
View map »


Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join scholars from around the region to discuss Camp Greene and the larger impact of the Great War on North Carolina, followed by a screening of the documentary City of Canvas: The Story of Camp...

Cost: Public registration $25; member registration $20; student registration $5

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28215
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Season Eight: Sacred Sounds begins with UNC Greensboro’s Gate City Camerata performing. Their program will include works by Bach, Respighi and Kernis. A small reception following the...

Cost: $0-$30; children 12 and under free

Where:
St. Ann Catholic Church
3635 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-523-4641
Website »

More information

Bring your best pirate costumes and voices and sing along in this traditional “Gilbert and Sullivan Sing” event: where the audience is the chorus! Or sit back and watch the musical...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harrisburg Presbyterian Church
4815 Highway 49 S.
Harrisburg, NC  28075
View map »


Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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 two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
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

Gently-used designer women's clothing and accessories. Wed. and Thurs., 9am-7pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-6pm (most items half-price); Sun., 9am-3pm (most items half-price)

Cost: Free

Where:
Levine Senior Center
1050 Devore Lane
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-966-7036
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Preschoolers and their caregivers can participate in nature-themed activities, crafts and hikes. Meet box turtles Miller and Meadow and learn all about their big personalities and their lives...

Cost: $5; free for members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center
1604 21 Bypass
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join us at the Mooresville Public Library for an educational interactive event that includes hives, honey tasting, videos and more! Presented by the Iredell County Beekeepers Association.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

Children and their parents can learn about plant life, animals, their homes, and the weather with hands-on activities, crafts, games, and hikes. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Join Rutherford Rabbit to enjoy a seasonally themed story and take-home craft activity in the Children’s Garden. Children can water the vegetable plants, dig for worms, explore the sensory...

Cost: $10/family (free to Wing Haven members)

Where:
Wing Haven Children's Garden
260 Ridgewood Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by to watch the film "Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson and Kevin Kline. Rated PG.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

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:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
Freedom Division
4150 Wilkinson Blvd.
, NC
View map »


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

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
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

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
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

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


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

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Features local speakers sharing their knowledge on our region's environment from butterflies to bears and everything in between.

Cost: Free

Where:
McClintock Middle School
1925 Rama Road
Charlotte`, NC  28212
View map »


Telephone: 704-517-2535
Contact Name: Ernie McLaney
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

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, 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

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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Colonel Francis Beatty Park
4330 Weddington Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Contact Name: Kristin Rastogi
Website »

More information

Learn about the Lumbee Tribe of North America.  Enjoy listening to a Lumbee legend, learning the symbolism behind the Eagle Feather, and creating a Native American headdress using...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Big changes are brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from the Joker's hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others, and maybe, just...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

BHHS Carolinas Realty is sponsoring a free family movie night featuring "Sing." Movie begins at 7:30pm. 

Cost: Free; one canned good donation per person requested

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


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
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

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
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

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Join Dilworth neighbors in this family and pet-friendly food truck fest each week. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
1324 E. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
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

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

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring nearly 200 arts and crafts exhibits, five stages with more than 1,000 performers, children’s rides and attractions. Fri., 4-9:30pm; Sat., 10am-9:30pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Meet traditional and contemporary potters as well as Catawba potters, too. There will be presentations by noted pottery experts, pottery making demonstrations, and the chance to win free...

Cost: $5-$8; children 3 and under free

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1036 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC  29726
View map »


Website »

More information

See and touch live snakes, alligators, frogs and other reptiles and amphibians. Cheer on our museum turtles in our annual turtle race, find wildlife in our pond and have fun learning about these...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Morgan Huffman
Website »

More information

Take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors with a scavenger hunt, live butterfly release (noon and 1:30pm), and geogaching. Plus, meet members of of York County's Beekeeper Association and...

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by  to create a nature-inspired spring craft to take home. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Featuring a showing of "Beauty and the Beast" on a 24-foot movie screen, live music, games, giveaways and snacks. The movie will begin at dusk. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Premium Outlets
5404 New Fashion Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
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

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
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

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus 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 two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus 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

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
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

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
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

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring nearly 200 arts and crafts exhibits, five stages with more than 1,000 performers, children’s rides and attractions. Fri., 4-9:30pm; Sat., 10am-9:30pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Repticon Charlotte is a reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free raffles for coveted...

Cost: $5-$12; children 5 and under free

Where:
Cabarrus Arena and Events Center
4751 Highway 49 North
Concord, NC  28025
View map »


Telephone: 863-268-4273
Website »

More information

Educators can bring one guest and enjoy free admission to Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Kids, Discovery Place Nature, or Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham Saturdays in September beginning...

Cost: Free for educators and one guest

Where:
Discovery Place Museums
Locations vary
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags