There Are No Shortcuts To Success

Opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator.


Published:

I always take the elevator at work. I am on the fourth floor and I don’t even consider walking up the stairs. I have convinced myself that there is something more soothing about the beeping as you reach each floor than the echo of your shoes on the staircase. OK, I am just in a hurry, a little lazy and like to walk into the office breathing normally, not huffing and puffing. I take the elevator.

When I arrived at work last Thursday, there was a bus full of high school students waiting for the elevators. I knew it would take a while to catch one, as there are only three of them, so I decided to take the stairs. It is only four flights and I am in better shape now than I have been in a long time. Of course the day before was leg day at Burn Boot Camp and I was a little sore, but that’s OK. No pain, no gain. Up the stairs I went. When I arrived on the fourth floor, I was breathing a little heavy, but at least I wasn’t sweaty.

As I was walking to my desk. I noticed someone had put a new quote on the office whiteboard. It said, “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” How ironic and fitting. Not only did I giggle, but I started to reflect about what our family has accomplished so far during the Fit Family Challenge, now that we are almost halfway through.

Every day hasn’t been easy on this challenge, but it has been worth it. Some nights we would rather reach for a cookie instead of an apple slice, and some mornings I would rather stay in bed when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. than get dressed and head to Burn Boot Camp. A piece of meat lover’s pizza would have hit the spot while watching the season finale of “Scandal,” and the kids would love to go through the Cook Out drive thru for a Snickers shake after baseball practice. Those things are like taking the elevator and we need to focus on conquering the stairs.

Here are some of our stairs:

The whole family has been drinking lots of water.

The kids order water when we are out to eat, ask for it at friends’ houses and prefer it with dinner at home. A container of apple juice now lasts for two and a half weeks instead of one week. Partly due to Todd’s illness early in the challenge, but also because of a lot of will power, he is only drinking one cup of coffee a day.

Molly asked if she could join the neighborhood swim team.

This is something she has wanted to do for a while. I watched her jump into the pool last night and swim across it for the first time. She was shivering when she was done and her goggles were crooked, but she was smiling. Boy, I wish I had had her confidence and determination when I was 6 years old. So I am gladly adding “Swim Mom” to my other titles. Go Wynfield Waves!

Tyler is allowing vegetables to take up space on his plate.

I even caught him licking one the other day. He didn’t think I was looking. I am a mom. I have eyes behind my head. I put four small pieces of pineapple in his lunch box yesterday and the container came back empty. This kid can’t tell a lie without breaking down, so I know he was telling the truth about eating them.

I am learning to prep food ahead of time.

I spent an hour on Sunday washing and cutting up fruit and vegetables for the week. I am making lunches at night, so our mornings can be more relaxed. I am no longer rushed and raising my voice. I have even had time to sit and eat my breakfast, instead of taking it with me.

We have been doing online grocery shopping.

This has saved us both time and money. Amazingly, the grocery store only gives you what you order. They are not mind readers and they are not impulse buyers. Molly said the other day, “looks like they forgot to put Oreos in the bag again.” I shook my head and said, “I guess they did.” No need for her to know just yet that I am the one who didn’t order the cookies. At least they remembered the strawberries she loves so much.

We are no longer using food as an incentive.

Pre-challenge, we would offer the kids a trip to the ice cream shop if they would eat their salad. No more. Now we celebrate successes with family activities. We have had family movie night, we have played board games together and last weekend we went to see the Mooresville Community Children's Theatre production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” It was excellent and we had a great time. We did stop for frozen yogurt after the show, but we used self-control in the amount we dished out and in the toppings we chose. The difference here is that it was truly a treat and not an expectation.

We have ridden the elevator as a family many times before. I will be the first to admit going through the motions of our everyday activities, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. The Fit Family Challenge has made us pause, take stock of things and commit as a family to be better. To be healthier in mind, body and spirit. We are no longer going through the motions. Todd’s illness last month has also contributed to our new mindset. We are now enjoying being together and are appreciating what we have. This has lent a breath of fresh air to our 12-year marriage and nine years as parents.

I truly can’t wait to see what the rest of the challenge has in store for us. One thing I do know, is that from now on, we’ll be taking the stairs.


Jennifer Howe and her husband Todd, and children Tyler, 9 and daughter Molly, 6, are participating as one of our 2016 Fit Family Challenge spotlight families. Learn more about their healthy family journey here, and follow along with Jennifer as she updates us this Spring and Summer in the Fit Family Challenge Blog.

Want your family to get active towards a healthier lifestyle? Register now for the Fit Family Challenge.
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Daily Calendar

January 2020

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Guo Nian Hao! Or Happy New Year! This year celebrate the year of the rat 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. while learning about the traditions associated with the Chinese New Year.

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

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
Website »

More information

Discover what makes mammals unique by reading a story and enjoying crafts and activities related to mammals.

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

The Winter Bash event Lanti Performing Arts will include hot cocoa bar, popcorn bar, games, karaoke, student performances and lots of family fun.

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Where:
Lanti Performing Arts
323 Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »

More information

Explore winter-time nature along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Bundle up and join naturalists from CROWN with an easy stroll along the path. Meet at the greenway entrance on Brandywine...

Cost: Free

Where:
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
500 Brandywine Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: CROWN
Website »

More information

All youth and adults are welcome to bring their best chili for everyone to try. Children and youth are invited to participate in the Kids' Dessert Bake-Off. Everyone who attends can try a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Philadelphia Church
1691 Hwy. 160 West
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: Philadelphia UMC
Website »

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"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2900 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Classes for adaptive learning and sensory needs meet at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sun Valley High School
5211 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Church of the Redeemer
Website »

More information

Experience age-level appropriate Sunday school classes at 9:30 and 11 a.m. that connect families with larger church programs and ministries while creating a welcoming environment for all families.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Raptor keepers will show some of their favorite bird species.

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

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

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Celebrate a different country each month. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come support the students of the Youth Orchestra of Charlotte (YOC) as they prepare for their appearance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. The orchestra...

Cost: $6-$10

Where:
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
Suite J, #291
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Youth Orchestras of Charlotte
Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Children gain exposure to life skills by utilizing theatre and art activities. Classes occur on Mondays, but there will be no classes on January 20 or February 17.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free story time

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5, cash only

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


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This parent-supervised indoor playtime lets kids go wild on colorful, clean, padded equipment.

Cost: $10

Where:
Romp n' Roll Northwest Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lower stress and anxiety with yoga. Focus on breathing and poses that are fun.

Cost: $15

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Family Yoga
Website »

More information

Receive assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities in your pajamas!

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants of all ages will learn proper Jazz dance technique. No previous dance experience required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-414-2774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Introducing Morning Lift, a monthly event series designed to help you become your best self. Each month will feature different themes and speakers with a focus on wellness topics from motherhood to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Optimist Hall
1115 N. Brevard St.
, NC
View map »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

Learn about writing and expression by journaling. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories coupled with fun and easy yoga poses.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Wildlife photographer Brian Skerry has spent more than four decades exploring the world’s oceans. Skerry often dives in extreme conditions beneath Arctic ice or in predator-infested waters,...

Cost: $19.50+

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


Sponsor: Blumenthal Performing Arts and Discovery Place
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Preschoolers hear stories and sing songs without a parent or caregiver present in order to foster independence and growth every Tuesday.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This parent-supervised indoor playtime lets kids go wild on colorful, clean, padded equipment.

Cost: $10

Where:
Romp n' Roll Northwest Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids the fundamentals of fitness, including agility, balance, coordination and strength training drills. Event occurs the second and fourth Tuesdays of January.

Cost: Free

Where:
Southview Recreation Center
1720 Vilma St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Get to know other teens, eat snacks and participate in a monthly activity.  Meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Play interactive games geared towards social development that involve physical activities every Tuesday in January.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come for assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
5027 North Idlewild Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Twelve actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. See...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy story time with your preschooler.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fort Mill Public Library
1818 2nd Baxter Crossing
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Live at the Mint celebrates Charlotte’s dynamic arts community. Enjoy a performance by a quartet of musicians from the Charlotte Symphony at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

What is a microcosm? Delve deep into conservation by studying tiny worlds within our ecosystem. We’ll conduct field research, document our findings, and create a capstone project that combines...

Cost: $60

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Corine Rizzo
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Price per game varies

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


Website »

More information

Program will bring girls together through games and activities, guest speakers, and field trips.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 704-416-5200 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Practice fire safety and fire building techniques while enjoying hot cocoa. Register online for Jan. 8 or Jan. 29 session.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn a fusion of Zimbabwe dance styles using traditional Zimbabwe vocabulary mixed with contemporary movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center
2921 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
Telephone: 704-414-2774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Twelve actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. See...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Are your taste buds tired of your resolutions? Catch the Cupcake Delirium food truck in the Ballantyne Corporate Park.

Cost: Food available for purchase

Where:
The Brixham Tent in Ballantyne Corp. Park
11605 N. Community House Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come play on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Afrobics is a full body, fun experience—a dance fitness class combining Afrofusion movement to an African beat.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn cheers, chants and stunts with an experienced cheer coach.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Twelve actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. See...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

A guided meditation will focus on practicing kindness and will offer kids time to relax. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

A young girl’s aptitude for words spells success for her future. Life for 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson isn’t easy, especially after losing her father and growing up in a tough neighborhood in...

Cost: 12-30

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Visit Armored Cow Brewing for a fun filled Friday for live music, food trucks, vendors and beer for ages 21 and older.

Cost: Free

Where:
Armored Cow Brewing Co
8821 J.W. Clay Blvd.
, NC
View map »

More information

Learn new tricks to style her doll’s tresses, and take home doll highlights. Enjoy muffins, fruit and lemonade after the event. Sessions from 6-7pm and 7-8pm.

Cost: $25

Where:
American Girl Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: American Girl
Website »

More information

Life for 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson isn’t easy, but will she overcome her own self-doubt and the pressures of her personal life to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee? Akeelah's...

Cost: $19+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11 for one hour

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


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10 per hour

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
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Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

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

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
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Meet at the Nature Center for this 1.5 hour hike around the preserve. Registration is required. Jan. 10, 17 and 31.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 S. York Road
, NC
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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.
, NC
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Enjoy local music every Friday while you eat, drink and shop.

Cost: Free

Where:
7th Street Public Market
224 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Treat the kids and yourself to a fun night out! Drop kids off to run, play and dance. Pizza dinner is included.

Cost: $25

Where:
Romp n' Roll NW Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
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Website »

More information

A portrait of America is captured in this program featuring Barber's iconic "Adagio for Strings" and Copland's "Appalachian Spring."

Cost: $27+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

The plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without...

Cost: $19-$22

Where:
Matthews Playhouse
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Twelve actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. See...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

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A young girl’s aptitude for words spells success for her future. Life for 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson isn’t easy, especially after losing her father and growing up in a tough neighborhood in...

Cost: 12-30

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Register online to come learn about birds.

Cost: $10

Where:
Selma Burke Center
781 Agape Drive
Mooresville, NC
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Website »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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More information

Explore the natural world through a good book. Your little one will enjoy hands-on activities and crafts inspired by the book’s theme. 

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Explore colors, shapes and patterns while creating a vivid representation of your favorite family members.

Cost: $5

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Harvey B. Gantt Center
Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
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Website »

More information

Visit the Naturalist Center for this monthly program that combines science replicas, real specimens and a humanities focus.

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

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

More information

Experience dance, art, vendors, giveaways, food, music, activities for kids and culture all in one place. Come check out black owned businesses and organizations.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Create Amazing LLC
Website »

More information

This smartly-written drama explores the dynamics of friendships formed, lost and regained.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 N. Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
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Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 704-416-5200 to register.

Cost: Free

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

More information

Explore a different trail on the preserve every first Saturday afternoon of the month, and meet new hiking buddies. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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

More information

The Improv for Actors workshop teaches actors the fundamentals of improv and is taught by Karla Dingle, Improv Director at Acting Out Studio. 

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Blumenthal Performing Arts
Website »

More information

Girls are invited to think like engineers, design robots, learn to code, develop apps and more. Register to participate in workshops with changing STEM topics. Ages 7-9, 10-11am; Ages 9-11,...

Cost: $18, includes museum admission

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

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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

More information

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

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
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Website »

More information

Register for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator. See website for full schedule of dates and locations, including Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, HurtHub at...

Cost: $35

Where:
Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7

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

More information

Connect with your child through collaborative art-making while learning techniques you can use in your home.  Class meets the first Saturday of every month.

Cost: $10 per child

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


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Every Saturday this month, Historic Brattonsville will feature special guided tours that interpret African American history and culture in the Carolina Piedmont. Included with admission; special...

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

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
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Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project from start to finish. Call 980-314-1115 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Clayworks
Telephone: 980-314-1115
Website »

More information

Participants will learn about African drumming and get hands-on experience with African instruments. Youth session is 11am-noon; session for all ages is noon-1pm.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit dinosaur graveyards, study their bones, and reconstruct how these creatures lived and died to solve four famous cold cases from the age of the dinosaurs.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Let Arts+ teaching artists guide you towards your artistic goals. Any young artist interested in a career in the arts can benefit from this collaborative creative environment.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

Raptor keepers will show some of their favorite bird species.

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

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

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

A portrait of America is captured in this program featuring Barber's iconic "Adagio for Strings" and Copland's "Appalachian Spring."

Cost: $27+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

A child's intense world of playfulness, loyalty, adventure and betrayal comes to life! Mowgli, the human child, grows up in the jungle, raised by wolves under the guidance of Baloo the bear. The...

Cost: $165/monthly draft

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


Telephone: 704 716 4600
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. Showings Tues.-Sat. at 3:30pm.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Life for 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson isn’t easy, but will she overcome her own self-doubt and the pressures of her personal life to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee? Akeelah's...

Cost: $19+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

The plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without...

Cost: $19-$22

Where:
Matthews Playhouse
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Twelve actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. See...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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

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

Education Guide

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