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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Daily Calendar

March 2017

Families that have children with special needs can participate in the Bunny Photo Experience in a subdued environment. Register in advance at...

Cost: Free; additional cost for photos

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord , NC
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Telephone: 704-979-3000
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Bring your girl in to have brunch and a photo with the Easter Bunny. Reservations required. 

Cost: $25

Where:
American Girl
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Telephone: 877-247-5223
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This 20-minute program consists of picture-book sharing, finger plays, songs, and rhymes. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-868-2164
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Hornets vs. Phoenix Suns.The Hornets Family Night deal is back! Score three tickets, three hot dogs, and three sodas for just $60. Not available on game day.

Cost: Three tickets, three hot dogs and three sodas for $60

Where:
The Spectrum
333 E. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC
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Cost: $12+

Where:
Historic Rosedale Plantation
3427 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28206
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Telephone: 704-335-0325
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Cost: Free

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3001 South Mountain Park Ave.
Connelly Springs, NC  28612
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Telephone: 919-765-3005
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Cost: $11

Where:
Ballantyne Arts Center's Black Box Theatre
11318 N. Community House Road
Charlotte, NC  28277
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Telephone: 704-716-4670
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Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Cost: $6-$11; children 2 and under free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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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
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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

Set in Depression-era Michican, Bud Caldwell is a 10-year-old who is tired of living life as an orphan. Determined to find the man he thinks is his father, he sets off on a journey in this...

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
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This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
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This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
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Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This 20-minute program consists of picture-book sharing, finger plays, songs, and rhymes. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Learn about the science of color with the help of hands-on activities and books. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Regional Library
6000 Conference Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-4800
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

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
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Babies birth to 23 month olds and parent/caregivers can enjoy stories and activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
110 Broad St.
Rockwell, NC  28138
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Telephone: 704-216-8228
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This storytime is filled with stories, songs, and activities specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental...

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Rd Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
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Telephone: 704-416-3000
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Children ages 18 to 35 month olds and their parent/caregivers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
110 Broad St.
Rockwell, NC  28138
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
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Children ages 7 to 9  can practice their reading skills in a relaxed "dog-friendly" atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Reservations are recommended...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
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

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This 20-minute program consists of picture-book sharing, finger plays, songs, and rhymes. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Revolutionary Charlotte explores Colonial Life and the American Revolution in the Backcountry of North Carolina. Students become reporters and gather information from residents to better understand...

Cost: $10 per child, $25 per family

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Teens can play gooey games and make crafts with marshmallows. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 803-547-4114
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

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

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

A storytime designed for children 18 to 35 month olds and their parent/caregivers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library South
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

A storytime designed fro children ages 18 to 35 month olds and their parent/caregiver. 30 minutes.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

Visit Town Center to see examples of how magnets attract and repel certain objects. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

A storytime  for children in Pre-K to 5th grade. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
201 West Fisher St.
Rockwell, NC  28138
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

PreK to 5th graders lean art terms, techniques and work on art projects. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
110 Broad St.
Rockwell, NC  28138
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Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

Children ages 7 to 9  can practice their reading skills in a relaxed "dog-friendly" atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Reservations are recommended...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
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

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Spend time at each program station for a hands-on look and creative interaction with the cycles of plants and animals. 

Cost: $8-$12

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


Telephone: 704-829-1270
Website »

More information

This 20-minute program consists of picture-book sharing, finger plays, songs, and rhymes. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Learn about bolas, an ancient hunting tool that was used for putting meat on the table for previous generation. Receive instruction on how to build your own bolas using simple materials, and take...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704- 875-1391
Website »

More information

Mike Baxter, History Professor at Central Piedmont Community College and Belmont Abbey College, will discuss recent archaeological excavations at the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp at...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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

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

A storytime designed for babies birth to 23 month olds and their parent/caregivers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

A storytime designed for babies birth to 23 month olds and their parent/caregivers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library South
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 803-909-7244
Website »

More information

Children ages 3-6 years can share stories through books, songs, and other activities. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

A storytime for children Pre-K to 5th grade.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library South
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

PreK to 5th graders learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library South
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

Explore the mint museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. In this free trial class, Tinkergarten Leader, Wendy Garofalo, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Road Park
6220 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28210
View map »


Website »

More information

This 20-minute program consists of picture-book sharing, finger plays, songs, and rhymes. Also at 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

The three little pigs are  in danger as the big bad wolf threatens to blow their houses down! Can you help build a strong safe house for the pigs to live in?

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Kids can choose from old favorites or learn critical thinking skills and problem solving with a new board game. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

In honor of Women's History Month, the Gantt Center hosts an evening celebrating the life and work of artist and activist Dr. Maya Angelou. The evening begins with a screening of the PBS...

Cost: $5-$10

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

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

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

A storytime designed for children ages 3 to 5 with their parent/caregivers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library South
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

This storytime is designed for children ages 3 to 5 with their parent/caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library East Branch
110 Broad St.
Salisbury, NC  28138
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

This storytime is designed for children ages 3 to 5 with their parent/caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

A storytime for children Pre-K to 5th grade. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
Website »

More information

PreK to 5th graders learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Rowan Public Library Headquarters
201 West Fisher St.
Salisbury, NC  28144
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-8228
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

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate National Girl Scout Week and get outside on a no-school day. Participate in fun activities like hunting for creepy crawlies, geocaching, and fort building. Then relax and roast your own...

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Stop by the nature center and learn more about your favorite creatures from a naturalist. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-875-1391
Website »

More information

Avengers will begin at 11am and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" at 2pm. Both rated PG-13, their runtimes are 142 min. and 141 min., respectively. Light refreshments served. This free event...

Cost: Free

Where:
South Rowan Regional Library
920 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC  28023
View map »


Telephone: 704-216-7731

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

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

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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

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

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
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

Set in Depression-era Michican, Bud Caldwell is a 10-year-old who is tired of living life as an orphan. Determined to find the man he thinks is his father, he sets off on a journey in this...

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Saturday, April 1st may be April Fool’s Day, but you don’t have to be fooled by your food. Stop by the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market to speak with the vendors to find out where...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

This fundraising hike-a-thon will raise money for Anne Springs Close Greenway. You can choose to hike or simply enjoy family-friendly activities, music by DJ Nigel and food trucks.

Cost: Free to attend; see website for fundraising donation options

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Comporium Ampitheater
104 Adventure Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Spring and the re-opening of the Old Stone House for the season. Historical tours of Michael Brown’s Colonial home, Easter egg dyeing activity, musket firing demonstrations,...

Cost: $5 per adult, $3 per student

Where:
Old Stone House
770 Old Stone House Road
Salisbury, NC  28146
View map »


Telephone: 704-633-5946
Website »

More information

Go on a journey of discovery through the Van Landingham Glen where you will explore the secret lives of six native wildflowers, up close and personal. Crafts, games, and all about wildflowers and...

Cost: $6 per child; free for accompanying adults

Where:
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9090 Craver Road
Charlotte, NC  28262
View map »


Telephone: 704-687-0719
Contact Name: Paula Gross
Website »

More information

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. In this free trial class, Tinkergarten Leader, Wendy Garofalo, will facilitate an expert-designed play...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Road Park
6220 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28210
View map »


Website »

More information

Children can make binoculars to help guide them through the gardens on a naturalist egg hunt, which includes finding songbirds and learning about each one along the way. Seasonal crafts and light...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

Celebrate different cultures at this family-friendly festival. The first 500 people will receive a free lunch from one of the food trucks. Doors open at 9:30am.

Cost: Free

Where:
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
1430 Alleghany St.
, NC
View map »

More information

Children can enjoy activities related to the current "Capturing Light" exhibition, including an "I Spy" scavenger hunt, art box craft projects and guided questionnaires....

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union Street S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit McDowell Nature Preserve for a 2-3 mile guided hike with a naturalist to discover the natural flora and fauna of the Piedmont. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

This interactive and bilingual program incorporates music, plays, and stories especially geared for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-6 years. Sponsored by the Duke Energy Foundation. 

Cost: Free for Mint members and $5 for up to 6 family members

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2100
Website »

More information

Students from Charlotte Ballet Academy join the orchestra on stage to present Prokofiev's classic children's tale of young Peter's escapade with a hungry wolf. 

Cost: $19.50+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Join local poets as they share a few of their favorite works of art that include written language and poetry. Afterward, the poets will guide participants through breakout sessions, writing their...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This community-wide egg hunt will feature games, crafts, face painting, and a visit with the Easter Bunny.

Cost: Free

Where:
Pritchard at South End
1117 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can hunt for thousands of eggs placed around the park and participate in a "bunny run" for prizes after.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cloninger Park
225 S. Oakland St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
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

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

This original exhibit features archaeological and historical collections on loan from the Schiele Museum of Natural History, the Inn of the Patriots, and several private collectors. The display...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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

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

Experience life in 13th-century Mongolia in this exhibition that showcases the life of ruler Genghis Khan. The collection features more than 200 artifacts and relics such as gold jewelry,...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the rich heritage of various Chinese ethnic festivals and folk arts in this exhibit. Presented by Tower Bridge International Education, this walkthrough presentation features multimedia...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704--372-6261
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
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Set in Depression-era Michican, Bud Caldwell is a 10-year-old who is tired of living life as an orphan. Determined to find the man he thinks is his father, he sets off on a journey in this...

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibit features 60 pieces of art from the 2016 Birds in Art exhibition originally organized by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Art and bird lovers alike will appreciate...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This exhibition will expand on works from the museum's collection, including modern and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Max Bill, Italo Valenti, and more. The...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Local artist Lambeth Marshall studied ceramics and design at UNC Charlotte.  She has been working in clay for over 40 years and was a painter beforehand. She is now producing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery
7510 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-0741
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

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

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2016 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.