7 Reasons why Social Media Doesn’t fit a Tween's World

Social media is not one size fits all.


Published:

Melanie Hempe

I really love middle school kids, I have two of them! If you have been through middle-school parenting, you may have also noticed what I see. Crazy things seem to happen to a tween’s brain the first day they walk into middle school. One might sum up their main goals in life this way: 

  1. To be funny at all cost (hence the bathroom humor, silly jokes, talking at inappropriate times in class, and the "anything it takes to be popular" attitude).
  2. They focus on SELF (their clothes, their nose, their body, and their hair!).
  3. They try new things. They are playing “dress-up” with their new identity, trying on things to see what fits. They are impulsive and scattered, they are up and they are down, and it even seems that they have regressed in their development on their quest for independence.

As the parent, you are changing too as you have entered the stage of parenting when you quickly depart from the naive platform of "My child would never..." to the realization that “I’m sure my child did that, I’m sorry, and please excuse his behavior, he is going through a phase." In short, they are reckless!

Your list of daily parenting instruction includes statements like:

  • "If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all."
  • "How many times do I have to tell you not to use that word."
  • "Stop flipping that bottle!"
  • "Stop burping the ABC’s"   
  • "You are acting like a two-year-old."
  • "What are you thinking?"

Then it happens ... maybe because we are exhausted from their constant begging for a phone, or because we think that all their friends have one, or because we want to upgrade ours to the latest model, we cave. We act on an impulse. Our midbrain seems to be regressing like theirs, and we give them our old smartphone.

Along with that one little decision comes the world of social media access, something that we have not thought about and something that none of us are prepared for. Because their midbrain is reorganizing itself and risk taking is high and impulse control very low,  I can’t imagine a worse time in a child’s life to have access to social media than middle school. Here are just a few reasons why:

Social media was not designed for kids. Their underdeveloped frontal cortex can’t manage the distraction or the temptations that come with social media use. While you need to start teaching responsible use of tech now, know that you will not be able to teach the maturity that social media requires. Like trying to make clothes fit that are way too big, they WILL use social media inappropriately until they are older and it fits them better.

Social media is an entertainment technology. It does not make your child smarter, more prepared for real life or a future job, nor is it necessary for healthy social development. It is pure entertainment attached to a genius marketing platform that is extracting bits and pieces of personal information and preferences from your child every time they are on it . not to mention hours of their time and attention.

The tween “more is better” way of doing life is a dangerous habit on social media. Do they really have 1,456 friends? Do they really need to be on it nine hours day? Social media allows them to overdo their friend connection like they tend to overdo other things in their life.

Social media is a very addictive form of  screen entertainment and, like video game addiction, early use can set up future addiction patterns and habits.

Social media easily replaces learning the hard “social” work of dealing face to face with peers, a skill that they will need to practice to be successful in real life.

Social media can cause teens to lose connection from their family and view “friends” as their foundation. Since the cognitive brain is still being formed, the need for your teens to be attached to your family is just as important now as when they were younger. Make sure that attachment is strong. While they need attachments to their friends, they need healthy family attachment more.

Social media is a really big waste of time and lost potential for teens. While one can argue that there are certain benefits of social media for teens, the costs are very high during the teen years when their brain development is at its peak performance for learning new things. It is easy for teens to waste too much of their time and too much of their brain in a digital world. We know from many studies that is nearly impossible for them to balance it all.

How Can Parents Win at the Social Media Game?

First, we need to slow down and rethink what we are allowing our kids to do. We need to understand the world of social media and how teens use it differently from adults. Here are a few tips that work well for many parents:

Delay access. The longer parents delay access, the more time the child will have to mature so that he or she can use technology more wisely as a young adult.  Delaying access also puts a greater importance on and encourages personal authentic relationships and experiences to develop first.

Follow their social media accounts. Social media privacy is a lie, nothing is private to the rest of the digital world, so it should not be private to parents. Make sure privacy settings are in place but know that privacy settings can give you a false sense of security. Encourage your teen to have private conversations in person or via a verbal phone call instead if they don’t want Grandma to read it on social media.

Create family accounts. Create family accounts instead of individual teen accounts. This allows teens to follow friends and keep up with “what’s going on” in a safer social media environment.

Allow social media only on large screens. Allow your teens to only use their social media accounts on home computers or laptops in plain view, this way they will use it less. When it is used on a small private phone screen in their pocket there are more potential problems with reckless use.  The more secret the access, the more potential for bad choices.

Keep a sharp eye on the clock; they cannot. Do you know how much time your child spends on social media a day?  Be aware of this, and reduce the amount of time your child is on social media across all platforms. The average teen spends nine hours a day connected to social media. Instead, set one time each day for three days a week for your child to check their social media. Do they benefit from more time than that?

Plan face-to-face time for your teens with their friends. Remember that they don’t need 842 friends; four to six close friends are enough for healthy social development. Help them learn how to plan real, in-person, social get togethers, sucah as a (leave-phones-at-the-door) party, a home movie night, bowling, board games, cooking pizza or bonfire. They crave these social gatherings so encourage them to invite friends over and help them (as needed) to organize the event.

Spend more real non-tech time with your children. Teens who are strongly attached to their parents and family show more overall happiness and success in life. They still need us now more than ever. It is easy to detach from them, face it … teens can be annoying! Attaching to family allows them to detach from the social media drama. Your child needs to feel like they can come home and leave the drama of their social world behind for a few hours. They want you to help them say no to social media and yes to more time with the family. They are craving those moments to disconnect, so make plans and encourage this at home.

Managing social media is not as hard as you think. Get educated and explore other options for social interactions and family attachment activities. Don’t give that smartphone all the power in your home, it’s time to choose healthier forms of entertainment for your tweens. They have the rest of their life to be entertained by social media, but only a limited time with you.

Enjoy these middle school years and while you may not be able to limit their reckless talents at home, you certainly can limit their reckless choices on social media.

Join me on Friday, Feb. 24 for a Kids’ Brains and Screens Seminar and at the upcoming Mom Matters luncheon on March 3 as we talk more about Social Media and how to set your teens up for success. For more information about upcoming events, and tips on managing social media and gaming in your home check out the website Families Managing Media.

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June 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
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Check out the galleries for scenes of splashy summer fun, and make a few related crafts along the way. Families can participate in artist demos, art projects, gallery visits, and yoga.

Cost: Children and Mint members Free, adult admission $6

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Meet three different turtles as you learn facts about the cold-blooded creatures and then hike to Slider Pond for some turtle watching. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

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Popscicles from King of Pops, face painting, sand art, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
StrikeCity
EpiCentre
210 E. Trade St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-9300
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In the fall of 1760, George III from the House of Hanover assumed the throne of Great Britain and Ireland. The next year, he married Charlotte, a princess from Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany....

Cost: $20 for members; $25 for public

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28215
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Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Learn what it takes to get a bird flight-show ready using positive reinforcement training.

Cost: $8-$12

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


Telephone: 704-875-6521
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Joseph, his father's favorite son, is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams. When...

Cost: $13-$19

Where:
Fullwood Theater
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse
Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Little orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphange, Annie finds happiness and...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Duke Performance Hall
207 Faculty Drive
Davidson, NC
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Join Elmer, Grover, Abby Cadbby, and more of their Sesame Street friends as they explore universal friendship and cultural similarities through singing and dancing. Fri., 10:30am and 6pm;...

Cost: $17+

Where:
Bojangles Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 800-745-3000
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More information

Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This unique dinosaur exhibit features more than 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, interactive dinosaur "digs," inflatable mazes, themed activities, and more. Fri., 4-8pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $25+; kids under 2 free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-7709
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s, a children’s entertainment center filled with indoor jumps, slides and obstacle courses, announces its third year of partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand...

Cost: $6.99-$10.99

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Children can get creative with LEGOS with weekly themes to explore inventiveness. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Head to Blue Blaze Brewing for a 6:30p run with HIIT and Run Club or a stroll with your four-legged friend down the Stewart Creek Greenway. Plus, drink specials and a food truck.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Blaze Brewing
528 S. Turner Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28201
View map »


Telephone: 980-859-2586
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Learn of the important role of dragoons and the horses of the mounted forces of the American Revolutionary War. 

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-684-2327
Website »

More information

Zelnick the Magician will encourage kids to make the world a better place through kindness. Shows at 1pm and 3pm.

Cost: Free; ticket reservations required through box office

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Manga and anime fans and novices can watch a viewing of this anime film (rated PG-13) with light refreshments served. 12-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

Rising kindergarteners can participate in stories and activities that help prepare children for success in school.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5200
Website »

More information

This series features high-thrill races and can't miss exhibitions like school bus races and drag-racing burnout exhibitions. Plus, fans can get autographs, take a picture with a Legend,...

Cost: $8; children under 13 free

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


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home" introduced audiences to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her...

Cost: $25+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. The quarry is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13-Aug. 24 from 10am-3pm. Ages 11 and under must wear a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Carrigan Farms Quarry
West Entrance
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

Little learners can explore textures, sounds, and senses with repurposed materials in this weekly event. 

Cost: $9; includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s, a children’s entertainment center filled with indoor jumps, slides and obstacle courses, announces its third year of partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand...

Cost: $6.99-$10.99

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Bees are the only insects that make food we humans eat, along with being pollinators. Hear the story "Show Me the Honey" by Eve Bunting and then participate in bee-related activities....

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Meet a variety of live animals from the museum's collection and learn their names, where they live, what they eat and how they survive. There will be hands-on opportunities with live animals....

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

Accompany a safari guide on a prehistoric adventure through our featured exhibit. Surprises, special activities and "secret" information about the dinosaurs that await the...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

What is the difference between an accipiter, falcon and a buteo? Meet some feathered guests, from the Carolina Raptor Center  that call the forest, field and your backyard...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Wade through the water and use a net to find what is hiding in the stream, and see what those creatures can tell you about the quality of the water. Nets, buckets and other supplies...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-2267
Website »

More information

Cool off this summer with a stream search. Participants use nets to find what is hiding within the stream. You'll learn what these creatures can tell us about the quality of the water. Nets,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home" introduced audiences to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her...

Cost: $25+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. The quarry is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13-Aug. 24 from 10am-3pm. Ages 11 and under must wear a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Carrigan Farms Quarry
West Entrance
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s, a children’s entertainment center filled with indoor jumps, slides and obstacle courses, announces its third year of partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand...

Cost: $6.99-$10.99

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Bring picnic lunch to eat on the nature center lawn and then meet some of the animals that live in the center at the Exhibit Hall. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-875-1391
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

Observe the fascinating ways snakes eat their prey. Learn about what and how the museum staff feeds the snakes, why they need snakes and ask questions about snakes you may have been pondering...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Bring your lawn chairs, drinks and snacks, and be prepared to dance at this weekly event that features the music of local bands.

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
301 S. Mint St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This fantastical tale shares the story of an orphaned boy, his insect friends, and their journey across the ocean in a giant peach. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $8-$12

Where:
Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Meet a variety of live animals from the museum's collection and learn their names, where they live, what they eat and how they survive. There will be hands-on opportunities with live animals....

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

Accompany a safari guide on a prehistoric adventure through our featured exhibit. Surprises, special activities and "secret" information about the dinosaurs that await the...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Watch a free viewing of the hit movie, "Sing," rated PG.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

"A Passel of Trouble" is a fact-based historical novel about one of the most extraordinary characters of the American Revolutionary War. The saga follows David Fanning, a...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Watch the movie "Storks" on an outdoor screen. Popcorn and other refreshments will be available for purchase. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Richard Barry Park
13707 Beatties Ford Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home" introduced audiences to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her...

Cost: $25+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Parents and caregivers can listen to stories and that enhance early literary skills. Also at 11am. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. The quarry is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13-Aug. 24 from 10am-3pm. Ages 11 and under must wear a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Carrigan Farms Quarry
West Entrance
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s, a children’s entertainment center filled with indoor jumps, slides and obstacle courses, announces its third year of partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand...

Cost: $6.99-$10.99

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Bring blankets and lawn chair to this weekly outdoor concert series. Visit website for a list of scheduled performers.

Cost: $5 per person; $5 per car for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Comporium Ampitheater
291 Dairy Barn Lane
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
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

Bees are the only insects that make food we humans eat, along with being pollinators. Hear the story "Show Me the Honey" by Eve Bunting and then participate in bee-related activities....

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Little orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphange, Annie finds happiness and...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Duke Performance Hall
207 Faculty Drive
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

This fantastical tale shares the story of an orphaned boy, his insect friends, and their journey across the ocean in a giant peach. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $8-$12

Where:
Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Meet a variety of live animals from the museum's collection and learn their names, where they live, what they eat and how they survive. There will be hands-on opportunities with live animals....

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

Accompany a safari guide on a prehistoric adventure through our featured exhibit. Surprises, special activities and "secret" information about the dinosaurs that await the...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Calling all young marine biologists! Explore the world of sharks and the fossils they leave behind with books, experiments, and hands-on educational activities. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

Kids who participate in this one-day event will get a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, along with games, arts and crafts, and a snack. 

Cost: $30 for non-members; $20 for members

Where:
ECF Martial Arts and Fitness
4128 South Blvd. Ste. B
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-534-3751
Website »

More information

Take a 1/2-mile hike with a naturalist and search for bugs underneath logs, rocks and leaves. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-2267
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home" introduced audiences to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her...

Cost: $25+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s, a children’s entertainment center filled with indoor jumps, slides and obstacle courses, announces its third year of partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand...

Cost: $6.99-$10.99

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Read the Eric Carle story "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and explore the life cycle of a butterfly with crafts and activities. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Sample from food trucks and local restaurants every third Friday. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Fountain Park
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


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

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Little orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphange, Annie finds happiness and...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Duke Performance Hall
207 Faculty Drive
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

This fantastical tale shares the story of an orphaned boy, his insect friends, and their journey across the ocean in a giant peach. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $8-$12

Where:
Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Meet a variety of live animals from the museum's collection and learn their names, where they live, what they eat and how they survive. There will be hands-on opportunities with live animals....

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

Accompany a safari guide on a prehistoric adventure through our featured exhibit. Surprises, special activities and "secret" information about the dinosaurs that await the...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This family-friendly event will feature the second annual kids "Chopped" competition, visitors from the Davidson Fire and Police Departments, a kids yoga session, ice cream sundae bar,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Farmer's Market
Between Main and Jackson Streets
Davidson, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Tomatoes are available in different colors, sizes, and acidic levels. They go great in salads, on sandwiches, and in many dishes. Stop by the market today to pick up your free tomato...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

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

Enjoy putt-putt, live music, lake cruises, games and activities for kids, and fireworks in the cove at 9 p.m. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Queens Landing
1459 River Hwy.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

If you’re an active or retired member of the U.S. military, we would like to honor you for the sacrifices you have made for our country, you and your family are invited to the Billy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3263
Website »

More information

The Intersection explores the relationship between Hip Hop and education. Utilizing a variety of media tools in this interactive workshop, JAHI will begin with a performance, then demonstrate...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Gates open at 4 p.m. Free. Country music star Collin Raye performs followed by a fireworks display. 

Cost: Free

Where:
East Lincoln High School
6471 NC-73
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Ever watch Whose Line Is It Anyway? and think I can do that!? Try it out for yourself with a free improvisational comedy workshop before the next Queen City Improv Room performance. This...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stage Door Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Contact Name: Jenny Kabool
Website »

More information

Albert-George Schram, will conduct a salute to America with a night of patriotic favorites including Sousa Marches, "God Bless America," the Armed Forces Medley--all topped off by a...

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

Where:
Symphony Park
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Decorate your bikes, scooters and wagons and head into town for an old-fashioned Independence Day parade, followed by a concert performed by the band Too Much Sylvia. The parade will begin at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
200 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, when one celestial object blocks the view of another. Discover what eclipses are, how and when they occur, a perfect lead-in to our...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home" introduced audiences to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her...

Cost: $25+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve with ACA certified instructors and enjoy time with your family, while learning about the natural history that makes Lake Wylie a great destination for...

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Thanks to the launch of a new scholarship fund, Lil Miss Fits Dance Studio will offer free dance classes Saturday mornings in July and August. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Lil Miss Fits Dance Studio
2925 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Telephone: 315-383-2462
Contact Name: Jiya Williams
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Discover a settler's life from 250 years ago. Examine buildings and fence construction, explore the kitchen garden and meet heritage livestock. Visit with a live interpreter as they go about...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s North Carolina locations are celebrating summer with special offers for each weekday: Monday: 20% off meal packages Tuesday: Toddler Tuesday, children 4 and younger will...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Website »

More information

Back by popular demand, the high-flying acrobats from Cirque Imagine return to Carowinds Theatre. Moms, dads and kids can watch spectacular stunts and acrobatics right before their very eyes....

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Take a walk around Freedom Park and the museum with an expert to discover the birds that that can be found in the area seasonally and year-round. 

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6 per class

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater. First explore the constellations of summer in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky. Then, encounter the beautiful Northern Lights in a...

Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Little orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphange, Annie finds happiness and...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Duke Performance Hall
207 Faculty Drive
Davidson, NC
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This fantastical tale shares the story of an orphaned boy, his insect friends, and their journey across the ocean in a giant peach. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $8-$12

Where:
Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-330-6534
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Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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Meet a variety of live animals from the museum's collection and learn their names, where they live, what they eat and how they survive. There will be hands-on opportunities with live animals....

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Accompany a safari guide on a prehistoric adventure through our featured exhibit. Surprises, special activities and "secret" information about the dinosaurs that await the...

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$11

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Did An Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Sixty five (65) million years ago the last of the non-avian dinosaurs vanished from the fossil record.  Scientists have discovered evidence that...

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Created by Betty Brin Children's Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service, this interactive nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun activities that highlight ways that kids and...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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

Education Guide

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