Busting Baby Gender Myths


Published:

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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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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More information

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Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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Where:
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420 S. Tryon St.
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View map »


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

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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

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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More information

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Show More...
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More information

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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with 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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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

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

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

More information

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More information

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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

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Play board games that focus on cooperation, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

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,...

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

"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 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

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Stop by the library for a storytime designed for children with sensory processing and autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental disorders. 

Cost: Free

Where:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Boulevard
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

A  free gardening presentation sponsored by the Union County Master Gardeners will be provided by Cheryl Hicks of SPCC.  The meeting concludes with door prizes.

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Agricultural Center
3230-D Presson Road
Monroe, NC  28112
View map »


Telephone: 704-283-3822
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

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,...

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

"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

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

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

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Mid-century art meets mid-century music on the first Friday of each month at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Jazz concerts are performed by the Ziad Jazz Quartet. Concertgoers may choose...

Cost: Tickets are $14 for the public and $8 for museum members.

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

Performers, including musicians, vocalists, singers, dancers, storytellers, jugglers, magicians and spectators of all ages are welcome. 

Cost: Free; seating is first-come, first served

Where:
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

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,...

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

"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

American motocross stars including Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Chad Reed will take on European sensations like Tim Gajser, Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre on a first-of-its-kind MXGP...

Cost: $16+

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Contact Name: Jonathan Coleman
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

Live music with Mr. Nigel and Friends, face painting, balloon art, games, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
West Plaza
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-364-4411
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

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

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

This street festival features a Labor Day parade, carnival, kids' crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, and pony and train rides. Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm; Sun., noon-5pm; Mon., 9am-5pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-708-1261
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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
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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
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Have you ever wondered why or how leaves change color? Join an educator from the Nature Center to conduct a 'leafy' experiment to help you better understand why leaves change color in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Study the science behind leaves changing colors while you hike through the preserve. Then make some bark and leaf rubbings, stampings, and paintings.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
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This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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This high-flying show features native and exotic birds in free flight. There are 80 seats available for each show. Shows at 1:30pm and 3:30pm.

Cost: $13-$15

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-6521 ext. 107
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard the Adventure, a miniature pirate ship at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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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
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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"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
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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
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As part of the "Beyond Rubik's Cube" exhibit, Discovery Place will hold a day of Rubik's Cube-inspired activities each Saturday. Each event will feature brain teasers,...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Visit the plantation for this annual Revolutionary War re-enactment, meet the farm animals, visit the Latta home and grounds, see demonstrations, hear live music, and more.  

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

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville , NC
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Telephone: 704-875-2312
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American motocross stars including Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Chad Reed will take on European sensations like Tim Gajser, Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre on a first-of-its-kind MXGP...

Cost: $16+

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
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Telephone: 800-455-3267
Contact Name: Jonathan Coleman
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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
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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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
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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
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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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


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In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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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
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Telephone: 704-353-9200
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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
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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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
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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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
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This street festival features a Labor Day parade, carnival, kids' crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, and pony and train rides. Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm; Sun., noon-5pm; Mon., 9am-5pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-708-1261
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Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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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
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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

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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

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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.