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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Daily Calendar

April 2016

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Featuring more than 100 activities for science lovers of all ages, including hands-on educational presentations and displays, engineering demonstrations, STEM education activities, environmental...

Cost: Free

Where:
UNCC Charlotte Union Plaza
9201 University City Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-687-5743
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Take in a showing of the PG-rated film "Jumanji," starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst. Light refreshments will be served. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-6000
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Walk around the lake while learning about snakes and salamanders. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
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Take a guided nature hike to see what you can find in the McDowell Nature Preserve. This hike will cover the new Track Trails program, which is an easy 1.2-mile hike along our trail...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Preview The School of Rock's spring tribute shows. Check out teaser sets from Rock 101/Rock 102, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Experimental Rock, Guns N Roses and NPR Tiny Desk. Bring a lawn...

Cost: Free

Where:
Metropolitan
1111 Metropolitan Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28204
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Telephone: 704-525-5857
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Lilly is a mouse who knows what she likes. She likes her pointy pencils, her glittery movie-star glasses and her three shiny quarters. But most of all, Lilly likes her brand new purple plastic...

Cost: $10

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This three-day event is filled with family-friendly competitions, including a kids scavenger hunt, kids obstacle course, kids 2K trail race, bouldering competition, family adventure race and much...

Cost: $5 parking fee; races/competitions require registration fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

NHRA drag racing returns to zMAX Dragway for the ONLY four-wide race on the NHRA schedule. Every ticket is a pit pass, so arrive early to see your favorite drivers and their cars up-close before...

Cost: $40 adults; free for children 13 and under with an adult.

Where:
ZMax Dragway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord , NC
View map »


Telephone: 1-800-455-3267
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This adaptation of the classic TV show features the songs "Conjunction Junction" and "Just a Bill." This energetic performance teaches about math, grammar, politics, history and...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Sample dishes from seven different Carolina regions, along with live entertainment and special activities.

Cost: Included with admission to Carowinds

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

Explore nature in a safe and nurturing environment with planting seeds, stories, songs, crafts, and playtime in Lost Hollow.

Cost: $10 per one parent/child; $6 for additional guests

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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 surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Cheer on the 1100 athletes at the Mecklenburg County Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Bring your smiles and be prepared to have fun!

Cost: Free parking and admission

Where:
Bojangles Coliseum
2700 E Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Telephone: 631-708-7274
Website »

More information

A special film presentation for children with special needs. The movie is shown with lights up and sound down, and families can bring gluten-free, casein-free snacks. See website for locations.

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
AMC Theatres
, NC


Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

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

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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 surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Join us during your lunch break and hear cellists Alan Greenberg and Dorothy L. Cole and Jennifer Frisina perform. Bagged lunches welcome.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704.337.2014
Website »

More information

Learn simple cooking skills to help you create the perfect afterschool snack. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

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

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, movement with music, and a seasonal craft.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Explore the natural world through arts and crafts, with different themes for each session.

Cost: $1

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
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

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Parents and caregivers of children with special needs can meet and share pertinent information. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

The Latin Music Concert seeks to showcase different rhythms from Latin America, highlighting the talents of local musicians from the Latin American community. From Classical music to Latin jazz,...

Cost: $20/ $15 Mint members

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

This performance takes the audience on an emotional journey with three unique ballets that celebrate love and the human spirit.

Cost: $25+; see website for showtimes

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


Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Moms and moms-to-be to come socialize, share community resources, and explore parenting tools. Infants and toddlers are welcome to attend. Snacks provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
316 Lillington Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28204


Telephone: 704-858-4445
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

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

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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 surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Charlotte Christian Theatre presents the musical "Peter Pan." of Peter Pan. Thurs.-Fri., 7:30pm, Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossway Community Church
6400 Prosperity Church Road
Charlotte, NC  28269
View map »


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Kick off BIKE! Charlotte at this group bicycle ride. Riders of all ages and levels welcome. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Common Market
2009 Commonwealth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This performance takes the audience on an emotional journey with three unique ballets that celebrate love and the human spirit.

Cost: $25+; see website for showtimes

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


Website »

More information

Examine the parts of a flower and learn how to plant a seed to take home. 11am and 2pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

High-flying machines, aviation groups, speakers, displays, hot air balloon demonstrations, and children's events. Friday is primarily for schools and other groups while Saturday is open to the...

Cost: $4-$12; free for children ages 2 years and under

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

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

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Get out and grab dinner from a variety of local food trucks at this weekly rally. Visit the website for a list of participating trucks.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Central Avenue (Behind The Light Factory)
, NC


Website »

More information

A community food truck rally hosted by the Town of Matthews Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resource Department. Each Friday will have local food trucks and artists with live music while you relax...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Telephone: 704-321-7275
Website »

More information

Enjoy  dinner and a live theater show just outside of Charlotte. Relevant, humorous, tragic and fun, this original Broadway-style show is a must-see for all ages.

Cost: $7 - $35

Where:
NarroWay Productions
3327 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Charlotte Christian Theatre presents the musical "Peter Pan." of Peter Pan. Thurs.-Fri., 7:30pm, Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossway Community Church
6400 Prosperity Church Road
Charlotte, NC  28269
View map »


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join other girls and moms for this 5K. Come early for pre-run activities and stop by Charlotte Parent's Fit Family Challenge booth for a promo code worth 100 bonus points...

Cost: $20 for under 16 years, $30 for 16 years and up

Where:
North Meckleburg High School
11201 Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Website »

More information

The Sarcoma Stomp 5K Run/3K Walk is a community event that is the perfect race for the whole family. Race day fun includes music, food, and prizes.  

Cost: $25 if register before April 15th. Cost is $30 if register after April 15th

Where:
Christ Lutheran Church
4545 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Website »

More information

Raise awareness and funds for melanoma skin cancer. Proceeds raised will stay in the local community and benefit the Carolina’s Melanoma and Immunotherapy Fund at Carolina HealthCare...

Cost: $10-$25

Where:
Omega Sports @ Arboretum Shopping Center
8036 Providence Road Ste. 100
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Telephone: 704-996-8970
Website »

More information

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

This fundraiser for Camp LUCK provides three different bike routes, including a 5-mile family route along Irwin Creek Greenway. Part of Bike! Charlotte.

Cost: $10 for families; prices for other routes vary

Where:
Historic Grinnell Water Works Building
1435 Bryant St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants will walk a 5K or 1-mile family fun walk at the Intimidators Stadium to raise money for critical type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.

Cost: Fundraising is encouraged

Where:
Intimidators Stadium
2888 Moose Road
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-561-0828
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Website »

More information

Riders of all levels and ages join forces to raise money for the American Diabetes Association through cycling. Part of Bike! Charlotte. 

Cost: See website for details.

Where:
Ballantyne Corporate Park
14135 Ballantyne Corporate Place
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-9111 x3262
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar system to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space. This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy activities, games, live entertainment and more than 30 educational exhibits, each with a hands-on environmental message.  Shop in the eco-marketplace for items made from recycled...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Dogs and their owners can check out live performances, food and product vendors, contests and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate 20 years of El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) with Elephant and Piggie, children's author Lucia Gonzales, and plenty of STEAM...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-0556
Website »

More information

Visit the museum and the "Mummy and Me" program that highlights "The Mummy Treasure of Al Faiyum." Saturday programs run from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

The Symphony Guild of Charlotte presents the Musical Petting Zoo, where children can experiment with making their own rhythms and rhymes with instruments.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

A family-friendly festival bringing singers, belly dancers, poets, clowns, potters, painters, and arts and crafts to the streets of downtown Kannapolis. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Kaleidoscope Meeting Hall
113 W. First St.
Kannapolis , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-701-8192
Website »

More information

This event features a full performance, plus complimentary children's activities prior to the show. Activities include: mini dance classes, a costume exploration station, and music. 

Cost: $10 for children; see website for adult prices

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This eclectic art crawl showcases local vendors, live street performances, a variety of food, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Cornelius
Cornelius, NC


Website »

More information

A bicycle race benefiting the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas.

Cost: See website for race prices; spectators can watch for free

Where:
Bank of America Plaza
101 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This performance takes the audience on an emotional journey with three unique ballets that celebrate love and the human spirit.

Cost: $25+; see website for showtimes

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


Website »

More information

World War Two Battle re-enactments each day at 2 pm. Food vendors, live music, living history exhibits, and more. 

Cost: $7-$8; children 5 and under are free

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate trees in honor of Arbor Day. Learn how trees help the environment through stories and crafts. 11am and 2pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

High-flying machines, aviation groups, speakers, displays, hot air balloon demonstrations, and children's events. Friday is primarily for schools and other groups while Saturday is open to the...

Cost: $4-$12; free for children ages 2 years and under

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

See a special display celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be featured in the Journey of Faith tour. Highlighting Billy Graham’s Easter celebrations...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

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

Enjoy dinner and a live theater show just outside of Charlotte. Relevant, humorous, tragic and fun, this original Broadway-style show is a must-see for all ages.

Cost: $7 - $35

Where:
NarroWay Productions
3327 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Enjoy dinner and a live theater show just outside of Charlotte. Relevant, humorous, tragic and fun, this original Broadway-style show is a must-see for all ages.

Cost: $7 - $35

Where:
NarroWay Productions
3327 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

When his father is unexpectedly sent back to Mexico, young Tito copes by building a magic kite. Filled with music and puppets, this show tells the story of how a family supports one another during...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Features fine art for sale, including paintings and drawings, sculptures, pottery, metal, stone, wood and glass works from emerging artists. The event also includes live music and family...

Cost: Free

Where:
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
600 S. Kings Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Charlotte Christian Theatre presents the musical "Peter Pan." of Peter Pan. Thurs.-Fri., 7:30pm, Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossway Community Church
6400 Prosperity Church Road
Charlotte, NC  28269
View map »


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

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

GPS [Go. Play. See]

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