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Busting Baby Gender Myths


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We really can't help ourselves — the sight of a pregnant woman automatically makes us fast- forward to the gender question. From the moment moms-to-be begin showing signs of that wee baby bump, the congratulations are followed by, "Are you having a boy or girl?"

Occasionally, even the due date takes a back seat to the baby's sex, and perhaps this is out of a desire to envision a complete little person before the birth, as well as a need to begin attributing characteristics, considering names and finding the perfect blue booties or pink layette. And sometimes curiosity about a baby's gender can lead some gender-guessing games.
We asked the experts to weigh in on some old wives' tales and give us the facts.

True or False?

Baby girls' heart rates are faster, and boys' heart rates are slower. False.

"Heartbeats for both sexes can range from 110 to 160 beats per minute in the third trimester," says Dr. Kelly Leggett, the medical director at the Women's Hospital of Greensboro. In fact, anywhere within that range is considered a normal heartbeat for both boys and girls.

"This is the most common (thing) my patients inquire about in the office," says Dr. Aviva Stein, an OB-GYN with Charlotte Obstetrics & Gynecology. "Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated over the last few decades that there is no link between fetal heart rate and Baby's gender. In fact, the fetal heart-rate baseline tends to change throughout the nine months."

Deb O'Connell, a certified nurse midwife and owner of Carrboro Midwifery, agrees with Leggett and Stein. "I think it's definitely a myth."

Carrying a baby high indicates a boy, while carrying low means Baby is a girl. False.

Every woman's body is unique, and the same goes for her abdominal musculature and pelvic inlet (how the baby is sitting in the pelvis). "Your body shape and your musculature determine how the baby is carried," says Leggett.

Also, multiple pregnancies can change musculature, and the more babies a woman has, the more she might protrude, versus carrying high. "Whether you are carrying Baby low or high is based on the position of the baby," says Dr. Melvin Seid, an OB-GYN with Lyndhurst Gynecologic Associates of Winston-Salem. Positions can change throughout the pregnancy, he adds.

"The way you carry your baby has more to do with your parity status (number of previous pregnancies), and the muscle and tone of your uterus," says Stein. So, although it's a fun guessing game, low babies and high babies give clues to a mom's body shape, not the sex of the bump.

Suspending a gold wedding ring from a necklace or string over Mom's belly will predict the baby's sex by the way the ring swings — circular motions for a girl, back and forth for a boy.False.

For years, elderly aunts and grandmothers have played this game. But Leggett says this is "really like picking a lottery number." She adds, "It's all cute and fun, and a nice game to play at your baby shower, but there is absolutely no scientific data to support that claim."

If body hair or nails grow faster during pregnancy, Mom's having a baby boy. If hair and nails grow slower, it's a girl. False.

While pregnant women carry an abundance of beta-HCG (pregnancy hormone), hair and nail growth are not clear indicators of baby's gender, and hormone levels between boy and girl babies are not sufficient enough to make any noticeable changes to Mom's body. "Your age will affect your hair texture more than your pregnancy," says Leggett.

"Normally, a woman loses about 100 hairs a day as part of hair growth's natural cycle," says Stein. "During pregnancy, regardless of baby gender, the hormone estrogen prolongs the pregnant woman's hair-growth phase, resulting in less shedding of hair. After delivery, don't be alarmed if your hair may fall out as you return to the normal growth/resting phases. You should return to your pre-pregnancy hairline within one year of giving birth."

You are more likely to experience severe morning sickness with a baby a girl. False.

Severe morning sickness does not, as some claim, indicate you're carrying a baby girl, says Leggett. "The hormone we attribute nausea to is the beta-HCG, and it does not determine the sex. For example, if you have twins, you have more beta-HCG and could have elevated nausea, but nausea does not tell us what the gender is, regardless of the levels of beta-HCG."

O'Connell agrees there's no science to back up this myth. "I hear this a lot, but the science just isn't there. ... A lot of times, women simply know they feel differently (than from a previous pregnancy), and they know what the sex is."

Mom craves sour and salty foods with a baby boy and sweet foods with a baby girl. False.
False yet again, says Leggett with a laugh. "I wish the science was that easy, but it isn't, so eat whatever sounds good!"

Stein agrees. "Your cravings have more to do with a combination of nutritional and psychological needs."

Testing a pregnant woman's urine with 2 tablespoons of Crystal Drano reveals the sex — brown means a boy; no color change means a girl. False.

This is one of those don't-try-this-at-home warnings! "There is no scientific evidence to suggest that this method works," says Stein. "In addition, there may be dangerous side effects from the fumes that are produced when mixing urine and Drano. I strongly discourage you to try this method. If one still wishes to use this method, by all means, do not handle the mixture yourself."

Really Wanna Know?
The most common way to detect the sex of a baby is with an ultrasound, according to Stein, which generally is more than 90 percent accurate if done after 16 weeks gestation. "A very reliable way to tell the sex of your baby is through genetic testing in the form of a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) between 10-13 weeks gestation or amniocentesis done after 15 weeks," she adds, noting, however, the purpose of these tests is to diagnose a potential health problem, not to identify gender.

A new test, called the Sensage Fetal XY test, can be conducted as early as 11 weeks into the pregnancy, adds Seid. The test involves drawing a sample of the mother's blood and sending it to a lab where fetal cells are isolated. "They look at the fetal DNA and determine the sex of the baby with 95-99 percent accuracy," says Seid, who adds the downside is that the test is expensive ($250-$350). But for mothers who need to know, and when ultrasound results turn out inconclusive, the Sensage Fetal XY test may be a vital option.

"Chromosomal testing is the only definitive way of determining the baby's sex," says O'Connell, who adds moms also should pay close attention to their intuition. "In my experience, if a mom has a good instinct about what she's having, she usually is right. She intuitively knows — nine out of 10 times, the mom is right."

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More information

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Cost: $3 in addition to paid museum admission

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View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Website »

More information

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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: $6-$7

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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View map »


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More information

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View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
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Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

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View map »


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Website »

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun--high velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas.  What's driving these strange...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above the barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400  years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. Travel through our solar system faster than...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

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, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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; closing dates are...

Cost: Free with paid 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

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Hike over 2-3 miles as you learn how to use a GPS to uncover hidden treasures around the preserve.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-583-1284
Website »

More information

Discover the McDowell Nature Preserve with others in search of hidden treasure. This geocache program, for newbies and pros alike, will teach participants how to use a GPS and discover caches...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

This ice skating extravaganza presents characters from "Inside Out," "Frozen," "Finding Dory," and more. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 E. Trade St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-745-3000
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,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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 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

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun--high velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas.  What's driving these strange...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above the barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400  years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. Travel through our solar system faster than...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

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, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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; closing dates are...

Cost: Free with paid 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

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Teens can learn important life skills and enjoy the chance to make new foods. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

This ice skating extravaganza presents characters from "Inside Out," "Frozen," "Finding Dory," and more. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 E. Trade St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-745-3000
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,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Join Charlotte Dads Group every other Thursday (during the school year) for Storytime on Thursday mornings at ImaginOn. 

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn
300 East 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28269
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Dads Gorup
Telephone: 704-472-7990
Contact Name: Darrell Humphrey
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

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun--high velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas.  What's driving these strange...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above the barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400  years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. Travel through our solar system faster than...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

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, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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; closing dates are...

Cost: Free with paid 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

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Story time for children, teens and adults with autism and other learning differences and their families or caregivers. Participants will engage in music, stories, movement and literacy...

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Telephone: 704-416-6000
Contact Name: Viviette White
Website »

More information

This ice skating extravaganza presents characters from "Inside Out," "Frozen," "Finding Dory," and more. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 E. Trade St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-745-3000
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,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Telephone: 704-321-7275
Website »

More information

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show takes you to East Tennessee where the fun never ends. Sing along with fabulous old Southern classics and watch the gospel truths unfold through the...

Cost: $7-$35

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Enjoy music and movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 PM. Free fun for the whole family. Promenade on Providence is located at corner of Providence Road and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


Sponsor: Promenade on Providence
Website »

More information

Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” to a “scream park” at SCarowinds – the Carolinas' largest Halloween event. Experience the thrills on your favorite...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

The international festival of hip hop showcases performances from artists all over the globe.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Levine Center for the Arts
550 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Join Friendly Frog and Cranky Toad as they  journey through the four seasons, celebrating the differences that make us friends with one another. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun--high velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas.  What's driving these strange...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above the barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400  years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. Travel through our solar system faster than...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

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, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Share in the very special friendship between a spider, a pig, and many other farm animals in this beloved tale based on the novel by E.B. White.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Lincoln Theatre Guild
403 E. Main St.
Lincolnton, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-452-7830
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; closing dates are...

Cost: Free with paid 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

The N.C. Transportation Museum is transformed into a wonderland Thomas the Tank Engine fans will love. Take ride on Thomas or Percy (or both!), meet Sir Topham Hatt, and more. Purchasing tickets in...

Cost: $20+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $15 - $25 varies

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
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At this free, fun, family-focused event, First Alert, Lowe’s, and fire officials will host fire and CO safety activities. Firefighter hats for kids and activity worksheets will be provided,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lowe's of Mooresville
509 River Highway
Mooresville, NC
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Sponsor: First Alert and Lowe's
Telephone: (704) 660-7177
Contact Name: Christie Hester
Website »

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Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

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Throughout the year museum curators work behind the scenes to further our understanding of the natural and cultural history of our region. Visit with the curators and learn about current...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover the McDowell Nature Preserve with others in search of hidden treasure. This geocache program, for newbies and pros alike, will teach participants how to use a GPS and discover caches...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

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Habitat and Wildlife Keepers, Great Outdoors University and the Town of Matthews will host Kids In Nature Day, a free family event. Bring the family and enjoy nature activities such as...

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park-Matthews
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC  28105
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Sponsor: HAWK
Telephone: 704-8411-640
Contact Name: Leslie Wieser
Website »

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Street Jam features free family-friendly activities, live DJs, workshops, and other international acts that represent hip hop culture. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

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This festival will feature children and adult author readings, family crafting activities, live drumming, live music, theatrical performances, an artists’ marketplace, books for sale,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Little Rock Cultural Center
401 N. Myers St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-906-0668
Website »

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Discover an assortment of Colonial skills and crafts from tinware to textiles, carving to cookery, music and more. Meet the artists & craftsmen as they demonstrate their unique trades.

Cost: $6-$7

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

More information

The Animals Are Soul Too is a workshop for family, youth and friends of all ages. The workshop will explore God's creatures and the lessons they teach us. Also, discover how Souls of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Eckankar Center of Charlotte
818 Tyvola Road #105
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Sponsor: Eckankar of North Carolina
Telephone: 704-892-8753

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This free uptown street festival spotlights Latin American culture in Charlotte with food, music, folkloric dances, and more.

Cost: Free

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

More information

This ice skating extravaganza presents characters from "Inside Out," "Frozen," "Finding Dory," and more. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 E. Trade St
, NC
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Telephone: 800-745-3000
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,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

  Pick a pumpkin, take a hayride, visit the petting zoo, and sample some fresh apple cider.

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1261 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Sponsor: Carrigan Farms, LLC
Telephone: 704-664-1450
Contact Name: Kelly Carrigan
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
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Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

This annual festival is full of attractions, entertainment, games and rides, live performances, jousting, authentic food such as turkey legs and fish and chips, shopping, and costumed cast...

Cost: $13+

Where:
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville , NC
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Telephone: 704-896-5555
Website »

More information

The Great Pumpkin Fest has family-friendly Halloween attractions for the little ghosts and goblins, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes and more. 

Cost: See website for admission

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


Sponsor: Carowinds
Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show takes you to East Tennessee where the fun never ends. Sing along with fabulous old Southern classics and watch the gospel truths unfold through the...

Cost: $7-$35

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Enjoy music and movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 PM. Free fun for the whole family. Promenade on Providence is located at corner of Providence Road and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


Sponsor: Promenade on Providence
Website »

More information

Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” to a “scream park” at SCarowinds – the Carolinas' largest Halloween event. Experience the thrills on your favorite...

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

The international festival of hip hop showcases performances from artists all over the globe.

Cost: $20+

Where:
Levine Center for the Arts
550 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free for cardholders

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Join Friendly Frog and Cranky Toad as they  journey through the four seasons, celebrating the differences that make us friends with one another. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun--high velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas.  What's driving these strange...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above the barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400  years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. Travel through our solar system faster than...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

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, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Share in the very special friendship between a spider, a pig, and many other farm animals in this beloved tale based on the novel by E.B. White.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Lincoln Theatre Guild
403 E. Main St.
Lincolnton, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-452-7830
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; closing dates are...

Cost: Free with paid 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

The N.C. Transportation Museum is transformed into a wonderland Thomas the Tank Engine fans will love. Take ride on Thomas or Percy (or both!), meet Sir Topham Hatt, and more. Purchasing tickets in...

Cost: $20+

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $15 - $25 varies

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

This unique dinosaur exhibit features more than 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, interactive dinosaur "digs," inflatable mazes, themed activities, and more. Sat., 9am-8pm; Sun.,...

Cost: $20+; kids under 2 free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-7709
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.

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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