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

August 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

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1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: $9-$10

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1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Cost: $10-$25

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Telephone: 704-373-6261
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The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: See website for prices

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Monkey Joe's University, Pineville, Gastonia and Matthews locations
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Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

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14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
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Cost: $7-$9

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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-374-1565
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Cost: $7-$9

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Cost: $8-$12; free for ages 3 and under

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Cost: $8-$12

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Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
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Telephone: 704-875-6521
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Cost: $9-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: Free

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Town Green
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Main Street and Concord Road
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Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
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300 E. 7th St.
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Cost: $9-$10

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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More information

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Museum of York County
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Cost: $10 in advance; $15 at the door

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Halton Theater
CPCC
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
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Telephone: 704-330-6534
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Get ready for the upcoming solar eclipse. Read the story "The Big Eclipse" and participate in educational activities to learn why the sky will turn dark Aug. 21. Sat., 11:15am and 1:45pm;...

Cost: $8

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Discovery Place KIDS
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-373-6261
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131 W. Main St.
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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

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Cost: $5; free for members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center
1604 21 Bypass
Fort Mill, SC
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Website »

More information

View the solar eclipse “tailgate style” with Discovery Place educators who will be answering questions and setting up eclipse-themed activities. Please bring lawn chairs, snacks and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
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Website »

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Enjoy watching NASA.gov coverage from the ground and space. More fun inside Main Library. Everyone is welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library
310 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
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Cost: $7-$13

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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Safely view the solar eclipse using telescopes and certified eclipse viewing glasses

Cost: $8-$12

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Carolinas Aviation Museum
4672 First Flight Drive
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-997-3770
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Cost: Free.

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Camp Northend
1824 Statesville Ave.
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Cost: Free.

Where:
The Town Green
232 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
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Website »

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Cost: Free.

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersvlle, NC
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Cost: $10

Where:
Stumpy Creek Boat Launch
160 Stumpy Creek Road
Mooresville, NC
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Telephone: 704-832-2326
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Cost: Free

Where:
Audobon Amphitheater (Across from Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne)
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Place
Charlotte, NC  28277
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Website »

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Cost: Free.

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


Website »

More information

Learn about what a solar eclipse is, watch video feeds from NASA as the total solar eclipse crosses the continental United States, and get a pair of eclipse glasses to help you view the...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
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More information

Carolina Voices will bring the community together to sing one of music’s finest masterworks – Mozart’s Requiem. Conducted by Peter Leo, accompanied by Diann Clark, and featuring...

Cost: $10

Where:
Myers Park Baptist Church - Heaton Hall
1900 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1564
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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Celebrate the celestial event of the year at the Schiele. Come view the sun through solar telescope, discover the astronomy behind an eclipse and make a sun print. On Monday, watch a live...

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

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

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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

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

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Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

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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

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Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Join Steve Langley and his bubble circus, with a little science mixed in. 

Cost: Free

Where:
South County Regional Library
5801 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6600
Website »

More information

Our 2017/2018 season is right around the corner and Carolina Voices is looking for talents that are both vocal and local. For those who love to perform, Carolina Voices’ is where you...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Baptist Church
1900 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1564
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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Visit the bakery, donate three new school supplies and receive a free cupcake. Visit classroomcentral.org to view a list of requested school supplies.

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
SAS Cupcakes-Blakeney
9941 Rea Road, Suite C
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-295-1777
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

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

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

NASCAR race weekends are more than just cars racing on the track. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and discover some of the pre-race and infield activities that make a NASCAR experience different...

Cost: $19.95 admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  2802
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Calling all Bingo lovers! This wonderful summer pastime is fun and educational for kids as they learn exciting facts about nature, birds and weather with themed Bingo games. Registration...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Hands-on science experiments, engineering projects, math puzzles, and more. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the bakery, donate three new school supplies and receive a free cupcake. Visit classroomcentral.org to view a list of requested school supplies.

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
SAS Cupcakes-Blakeney
9941 Rea Road, Suite C
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-295-1777
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

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

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Learn how meaningful art activities support brain development. Read the story "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!" by Karen Beaumont and then create some silly art of your own. Also at...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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:
Huntersville Fire Station 1
110 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
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

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

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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Stop by Thursday, Aug. 24f from 11am-8pm for $5 wraps and salads. Plus, kids eat free with each adult entree purchase. The first 20 people i line will receive a free drawstring backpack,...

Cost: $5

Where:
Crunch Bistro
6414 Rea Road
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »

More information

Celebrate the Summer Break program finale and the last days of summer with tournaments, activities, and prizes. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

Watch the movie "The Secret Life of Pets" on an outdoor screen. Popcorn and other refreshments will be available for purchase. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North Mecklenburg Park
16131 Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Visit the bakery, donate three new school supplies and receive a free cupcake. Visit classroomcentral.org to view a list of requested school supplies.

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
SAS Cupcakes-Blakeney
9941 Rea Road, Suite C
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-295-1777
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

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

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Rising kindergarteners and their families can meet with local kindergarten teachers to learn what to expect the first 30 days of school, explore bus safety with Gus the Bus, visit a mock classroom...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Stop by and grab dinner from one of the food trucks and enjoy live music from Hot Chocolate and Vanilla soul duo.

Cost: $10-$12; children 10 and under free

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


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

Family-friendly activities, refreshments, and a free showing of "Sing" on an outdoor movie screen. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Harrisburg Park
191 Sims Pkwy.
Harrisburg, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kick off the evening with family-friendly activities and refreshments and then watch a movie selected by a Facebook fan vote on a 30-foot screen.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-4411
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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Visit the bakery, donate three new school supplies and receive a free cupcake. Visit classroomcentral.org to view a list of requested school supplies.

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
SAS Cupcakes-Blakeney
9941 Rea Road, Suite C
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-295-1777
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

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

Celebrate the 35th annual show at the Charlotte Convention Center. Jam-packed with jewelry and handbags, make-up tips and tricks, gourmet treats and more. Shopping, runway fashion shows, cooking...

Cost: $12 at the Door. $8 online with code CC17

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Learn how meaningful art activities support brain development. Read the story "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!" by Karen Beaumont and then create some silly art of your own. Also at...

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

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

Unwind with Bluegrass and Americana music, food trucks, beverages, and more. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Ward Park
301 E. 7th 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

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

Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


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

Psshh is the simple story of a boat, a cloud, the sun, and water. Sights, sounds, and songs engage the audience throughout the performance. Imagination and play are basis of the performance. Little...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

2nd Annual Festival of McCrorey 2017 (August 25th-27th) A weekend of live music, entertainment, food trucks, back to school giveaways, games, pool party, free hair cuts and more, including:...

Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-6521
Website »

More information

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Send off the hot weather of August with hot salsas, hot sauces, and of course hot peppers!  The vendors utilize Ghost peppers and Carolina Reapers in some of their products. Vendors...

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

This expo is a celebration of the best products, services, and entertainment for children and families featuring local businesses and resources focusing on education, health and wellness,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina Courts
240 Chestnut Pkwy.
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 813-463-2712
Website »

More information

Local author Monica Wood, will hold a book signing and reading for her first book, “What Does Beauty Look Like?” This book uses the character of a young girl to creatively explore...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Road Books
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-430-6300
Contact Name: Monica Wood
Website »

More information

Tour the Hezekiah Alexander home site grounds, listen to live music presented by the Charlotte Folk Society, hear live storyteller presentations and cool off with ice cream. RSVP requested. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Build a boat from sticks, leaves and bark and then set it afloat in the stream. 

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

Groups across the Charlotte area will highlight African American dance styles like hip hop, breakdancing, and stepping.  We will also be treated to native cultural dances from east to west...

Cost: $10

Where:
Gorelick Hall
5007 Providence Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-222-1593
Website »

More information

Celebrate International Bat Night by learning about the importance of bats and why we can't live without them with fun activities. Stay for bat watching in the night...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-875-1391
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

This survey includes more than 150 works of art, including five original kinetic sculptures, spanning the forty-year career of the revolutionary Swiss kinetic artist. Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

Cost: Single Kayak $15.00 and Tandem Kayak $20.00

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
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

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

Celebrate the 35th annual show at the Charlotte Convention Center. Jam-packed with jewelry and handbags, make-up tips and tricks, gourmet treats and more. Shopping, runway fashion shows, cooking...

Cost: $12 at the Door. $8 online with code CC17

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill, SC
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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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Psshh is the simple story of a boat, a cloud, the sun, and water. Sights, sounds, and songs engage the audience throughout the performance. Imagination and play are basis of the performance. Little...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
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Telephone: 704-922-7681
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2nd Annual Festival of McCrorey 2017 (August 25th-27th) A weekend of live music, entertainment, food trucks, back to school giveaways, games, pool party, free hair cuts and more, including:...

Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-716-6521
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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.