Boys and Hormones

Understanding the transitional years of puberty.


Published:

Little boys regularly visit my office clutching superhero figurines and "flying" through the waiting room with arms outstretched and capes streaming. The next heroic stage often involves army games around the neighborhood or intense wrestling matches with friends. Fast forward a few more years, and toss in some testosterone. Those now-teenage boys begin proving themselves by driving fast, destroying the world in epic online video games, or competing for athletic trophies and academic achievements.

Boys ultimately are seeking to know if they have what it takes to "be a man." In fact, I believe the questions "Do I have what it takes?" and "Am I loved?" are innately hardwired, whether boys like to admit it or not.

The task of reassuring the inner-superhero of his true potential becomes especially difficult during the transitional years of puberty, when hormones rage and a boy grows into a man. Oftentimes, girls get the bad rap about becoming hormonal teens, but males and females both undergo emotional and physical changes — they just display the inner turmoil differently.

Teenage boys often experience heightened moodiness and aggression, and they may become introverted. It's normal for a teenage boy to jump between feeling pleasant and being upset or difficult to handle. An increased desire for autonomy and growing social priorities are also normal. On the other hand, negative changes in school performance, trouble with the law or drug abuse are not normal behaviors, and warrant professional attention.

During puberty, which generally begins between ages 11 and 15, a boy's testosterone levels soar. The increase in hormones transforms muscle mass, body odor, acne, vocal range, aggression, sexual desires, the desire to be in authority and other characteristics that distinguish males from females.

Research shows that men have 10-20 times more testosterone than women. One study of 700 male prison inmates revealed that those with higher testosterone levels were most likely to be in trouble with authorities and most often engaged in unprovoked violence. Testosterone is one powerful hormone.

Testosterone is a lot like money, fame or authority: it's not inherently evil, but it's what you do with it that counts. As parents, it's our job to steer young boys to become men of character who offer value to society and genuinely care about others, and that can lead the next generation.

Parents have almost two decades to prepare and coach their children. During that time, it's vital to play defense against negative influences in society by setting boundaries and play offense by being involved in children's worlds and showing tangible love.

Following are a few suggestions of how parents can help coach teenage boys.

Get to know them.
Know their friends, interests and trials — not to judge, but to show authentic concern.

Share physical affection.
It may feel strange for a parent to think their 6-foot-tall, 15-year-old has emotional needs, but he does (regardless of his size). Moms and dads should give their teen hugs and kisses. If it's foreign, it may take extra effort, but it's worth the payoff.

Protect against pornography.
Online pornography consumes male teens' and men's minds at an alarming rate. The average age of first exposure to pornographic images for boys is 11. Keep computer access in public areas of the house, like the kitchen, and use Internet filters. Remember, portable wireless devices, cell phones and gaming systems can also access pornographic websites. Get educated about the good and bad side of technology, and establish family rules.

Set boundaries.
Most youth claim they dislike parental involvement and boundaries, but for those lacking parental attention, too much freedom often leaves them looking for love in the wrong places. Set curfews, limitations and habitually check in.

Keep them active.
Provide outlets for stress, aggression and spiked competitiveness. Not only do hobbies develop life skills, they decrease time for trouble.

"Bringing up Boys," by Dr. James Dobson, is an excellent resource for how to deal with boys throughout childhood, especially in teenage years. Puberty doesn't last forever. Most temperamental and argumentative teenagers hit a magical age in their 20s and become pleasant, even charming. While riding the waves of teenage hormones, take advantage of the opportunity to assure those superheroes-in-the-making that they are unconditionally loved and they do have what it takes to be extraordinary.

Scott Spies, MD, is a pediatrician at Matthews Children's Clinic and has worked as a pediatrician for 15 years. He has four children, and his oldest is a teenage boy.

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Calendar

August 2015

Provide non-perishable food donations to help with the Bounceback Backpack program. The program helps feed 70 children selected from local elementary schools during the school week and on the...

Where:
Idlewild Family Dentistry
15060 Idlewild Road
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-893-0351
Website »

More information

Join the nature center for a discussion on wildlife myths and superstitions. Then go on a short hike to see if you can find some of the culprits.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Center
2900 Rocky River Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

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Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnics for a night of live music. Visit website for the full schedule.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Davidson's Village Green
Main Street and Concord Road
Davidson, NC
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Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

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Enjoy this unique literary performing arts event featuring Paul Miller and Flow Circus, Stories through fun and improv comedy.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kannapolis Branch Library
850 Mountain Street
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

Get comfortable as a variety of nature-based stories are read. Stories may be accompanied by puppets. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

More information

Learn more about LGBTQ issues and how to access resources to help navigate a changing world. Snacks provided.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-4800
Website »

More information

Filled with stories, songs, and activities specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental disabilities.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

Meet and interact with Dakota, pet a baby T-Rex and enjoy the antics of the Triceratops Rex.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Imaginon: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Share superhero stories and participate in a serhero slime craft. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-3800
Website »

More information

A unique literary performing arts event.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kannapolis Branch Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Learn about the myriad of experiences that the Lebanese-Arab immigrants went through traveling to North Carolina. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8, children 5 and under free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Learn some of the deep and hidden history about the nature center. Visit off-trail sites that few have seen. Participants should wear water shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Bring a water...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Center
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-2312
Website »

More information

Listen to a story and and then make fun and healthy superhero snacks.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Davidson Library
119 S. Main St.
Davidson, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-400
Website »

More information

Develop reading and comprehension skills by using scripts adapted from children's literature to increase your presentation and public speaking skills. Guests can also participate in drama games.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$13, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

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Learn how to procure water safely in the event of an emergency situation. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

More information

Enjoy an afternoon reading comic books.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-3800
Website »

More information

Rising kindergartners participate in stories and activities that build pre-reading skills. Participants must be enrolled in Kindergarten in the fall of 2015.

Cost: Free.

Where:
South County Regional Library
5801 Rea Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-6600
Website »

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Learn how to draw with a step-by-step demonstration that helps kids process the creation of characters. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-5600
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"Read about dogs, laugh out loud at dog humor, play dog themed games and make your own dog pencil holder out of clothespins."

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

"Come to the library and read a book to Baron, the lovable long haired German Shepherd, a certified therapy dog."

Cost: Free.

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Visit the Catawba Village to discover how local American Indians used plants, animals, and even the earth itself to provide for tools, clothing, food and shelter. 10am and 2:30pm.

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore conditions that make life favorable on our planet and throughout the universe. Discover the diversity of life here even as humans embark on the search for life in the universe....

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Learn about the myriad of experiences that the Lebanese-Arab immigrants went through traveling to North Carolina. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8, children 5 and under free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kids of all ages will enjoy these free performances in the park!

Cost: Free.

Where:
Village Park
700 West C Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

Live animals and learning collide when the North Carolina Raptor Center brings several birds of prey into the library. Learn about these fascinating predators of the sky and the human heroes that...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kannapolis Branch Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educaional activities and experiments.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$13, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Experiment with tools such as the 3Doodler to create a unique work of art to decorate the library.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-4800
Website »

More information

Make and take home arts and crafts with the kids. From tie-dying and ductape projects to bracelet making and more.

Cost: Free.

Where:
A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts Store
1834 Matthews Township Pkwy
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Be a local teen hero by earning service hours with other teens as you give back and make a difference in the community. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Plaza Midwood Public Library
1623 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6200
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

All movies are shown under the stars through an inflatable blimp screen. Movie begins at dusk.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kenton Place
17115 Kenton Drive
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Discover how early settlers carved a life from the wilderness in the Piedmont of North Carolina in the 18th Century during this outdoor program at the Backcountry Farm. 10am and 2:30pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Learn about the myriad of experiences that the Lebanese-Arab immigrants went through traveling to North Carolina. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8, children 5 and under free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Explore conditions that make life favorable on our planet and throughout the universe. Discover the diversity of life here even as humans embark on the search for life in the universe....

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Rising kindergarteners participate in activities that help prepare children for success in school. They will also learn about bus safety through a visit from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' Gus the...

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-4400
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$13, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Kindergartners will participate in stories and activities that build pre-reading skills and help prepare them for success in school. Learn about bus safety and receive a visit from the Charlotte...

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-5200
Website »

More information

Be a local teen hero by earning service hours with other teens as you give back and make a difference in the community.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

A festival that focuses on rising kindergartners and their families to mark the transition into school.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

Bring out your inner geek and share your fandom. If you want, wear your favorite characters from Dr. Who. Supernatural, Star Wars and more. Participate in fun activities and share a few snacks, too.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

Create art using tin can lanterns, paper jewelry, book folding and other activities that involve the reuse of materials.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Main Library
310 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-0100
Website »

More information

Consists of fun games, movies, recreation, crafts, and more in a family friendly environment.

Cost: $12.50

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


Telephone: 704-882-1115
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Explore conditions that make life favorable on our planet and throughout the universe. Discover the diversity of life here even as humans embark on the search for life in the universe....

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Visit the Catawba Village to discover how local American Indians used plants, animals, and even the earth itself to provide for tools, clothing, food and shelter. 10am and 2:30pm.

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Learn about the myriad of experiences that the Lebanese-Arab immigrants went through traveling to North Carolina. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8, children 5 and under free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

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Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

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Participate in literacy-related activities including scavenger hunts, hands-on technology use and more.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-3000
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Search for and keep mineral treasures like garnets, topaz, rubies, emeralds and rose quartz in the running water sluice.

Cost: $10-$13, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Features a Panthers’ practice capped off with a  fireworks and laser show. Fans will also receive a 2015 team roster photo card with a 2015 schedule. Stadium gates open at 6:30...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bank of America Stadium
800 S. Mint St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Spend your Friday evening watching a feature film, participating in activities and taking in a musical performance. August 7: "Big Hero 6" and Mr. Nigel August 14:...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Symphony Park
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
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Telephone: 704-364-4411
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Music and entertainment before the movies. Movies start at Dusk.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Village Park
700 West C Street
Kannapolis, NC
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Telephone: 704-920-4343
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Watch Herself Rising as they blend storytelling and theater to combine the defining moments of each performers personal life. Rated PG-13.

Cost: $20-$30

Where:
"Blumenthal Performing Arts, Booth Playhouse"
130 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
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Discover how early settlers carved a life from the wilderness in the Piedmont of North Carolina in the 18th Century during this outdoor program at the Backcountry Farm. 10am and 2:30pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore conditions that make life favorable on our planet and throughout the universe. Discover the diversity of life here even as humans embark on the search for life in the universe....

Cost: $6-$10

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Participate in Octonauts Training Academy and learn what it takes to become a member of the crew. As cadets, master the specialties of their favorite characters across 6 fun zones, meet Kwazii and...

Cost: Starting at $11.95

Where:
Sea Life Aquarium Charlotte-Concord
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
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Website »

More information

Learn about the myriad of experiences that the Lebanese-Arab immigrants went through traveling to North Carolina. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8, children 5 and under free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
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Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

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Ride in a five-seat plane. See how people get Internet in the rainforest. Voice demonstrations into the JESUS film. Get an up-close look at Bible translation, and why it relies on practical support...

Cost: $5-$20 for activities

Where:
JAARS
7405 JAARS Road
Waxhaw, NC
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Telephone: 704-843-6130
Website »

More information

An end of summer celebration packed with fun activities for the whole family including music, food and arts and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rainbow Child Care Center- Ballantyne
7801 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
Charlotte, NC  28277
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Website »

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Meet the animals that call the nature center home. Discover snakes, lizards, turtles and a learn a few things about them.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Center
2900 Rocky River Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

More information

Hide your identity using artistic superpower to create the perfect disguise.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

Bring your 20-hour summer reading prize and give your sound some style. Use available art supplies to decorate your speakers and make them your own.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

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Children can enjoy favorite stories, songs, and movement activities that support early literacy skills.

Cost: Free.

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Join the special guest for a fun celebration of books.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4400
Website »

More information

Join a scavenger hunt and find some surprises along the way. Discover what threatened and extinct really mean and how you can help encourage survival amogst these animals. Create your own coloring...

Cost: $3-$5

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

More information

Learn the different ways to start a fire using modern methods and ancient primitive skills.

Cost: Free.

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


Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

More information

Part of Discovery Places newest exhibition, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World, guests can enjoy a free concert series featuring local artists. From international inspirations of sitar to...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Tryon Street Patio in front of Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

"Grab a photo beside the massive five-ton machines, meet the drivers and enjoy all the pre-race festivities."

Cost: $10-$25

Where:
The Dirt Track at Charlotte
5555 Concord Pkwy. S
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Participate in Octonauts Training Academy and learn what it takes to become a member of the crew. As cadets, master the specialties of their favorite characters across 6 fun zones, meet Kwazii and...

Cost: Starting at $11.95

Where:
Sea Life Aquarium Charlotte-Concord
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore conditions that make life favorable on our planet and throughout the universe. Discover the diversity of life here even as humans embark on the search for life in the universe....

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Education Guide

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

Exceptional Child

Children with special needs face unique challenges. Find resources from A-Z in areas of advocacy, education, camps and therapies to support them as they grow.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2015 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.