Edit ModuleShow Tags

Does My Preschooler Need Help?



Published:

More than 15,000 children ages 3, 4 and 5 in North Carolina currently are receiving services/therapy at no cost through public school preschool programs. Funding is provided through Public Schools of North Carolina, and is available for all children deemed eligible by their school district.

My son began receiving early intervention services when he was 2, and upon his third birthday, his speech therapy services transitioned into a program provided by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. If you suspect your child is in need of special education and related services, you don't have to wait until your child enters kindergarten.

Who Can Get Help?

Eligibility for the N.C. Preschool Program through N.C. Early Intervention Services (www.ncei.org/ei) is based on one-on-one observation, screening tests and evaluation results. Categories include developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, hearing impairment, speech or language impairment and others. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, which includes the child's parents and preschool teachers, look over the results and determine what services are needed and the best path for the child to help him or her succeed academically.

What Services are Available?

There are a number of Preschool Program services available to children, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology services (hearing) and speech-language therapy. The school district typically has a variety of service options available for families and the benefit of tapping into services early is that you're able to develop an IEP for your child that will go with him or her from school to school, requiring administrators, teachers and other staff to work together toward improved educational results for your child.

My son began receiving services at age 2 through Children's Developmental Services Agency of Mecklenburg County. A few months before his third birthday, our service coordinator helped us make the transition for him to begin receiving speech therapy through Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. But. because my oldest child never had a problem with language, I had no idea of the array of services available for children in our area. Now, my son receives speech-language therapy at one of the local elementary schools near us.

Laurie Maddex of Monroe says her 3-year-old son Chase, who has Down syndrome, transitioned last year from services through the N.C. Infant Toddler Program to an Exceptional Children preschool program at Waxhaw Elementary. There, he receives speech, physical and occupational therapy.

"Our coordinator sat with us in the IEP meetings and made everything really seamless," says Maddex.

Where to Start?

If your preschooler is not already been receiving services through your county's Early Intervention program, contact your school system's Exceptional Children program to inquire about having him or her evaluated. Here are the contact numbers:

• Cabarrus County — 704-262-6118

• Charlotte-Mecklenburg — 980-343-6960

• Iredell County — 704-872-8115

• Gaston County — 704-866-6160

• Lincoln County — 704-736-4992

• Union County — 704-283-3596

Early Intervention Step By Step

Parents in Mecklenburg County who are concerned about delays their child might have are entitled to have their child evaluated for free through Children's Developmental Services Agency of Mecklenburg County before the age of 3. Parents in other counties should visit www.ncei.org/ei to find out about free infant-toddler evaluations where they live.

"We're the lead public agency for children birth to age 3," says John Ellis, director of CDSA of Mecklenburg County. "The goal is to get children and their families identified early."

After making an initial phone call, the agency has 45 days to complete an initial evaluation of a child and determine his or her eligibility. A service coordinator works to develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). Once the plan is in place, services begin within 30 days. The Infant-Toddler Program works with a network of service providers to provide services at a sliding scale, until free services can begin through the public school system at age 3.

"We are very fortunate in this community in that it is a resource-rich area," says Ellis, regarding the number of therapists in Mecklenburg County available to work with children at any given time. "All of our work happens in a family's (home) environment."

Huntersville mom Jenna Tyrell began receiving services for her premature twin sons when they were 9 months old. Luke, now 3-1/2, who is hearing impaired, transitioned into the CMS Exceptional Children program, and he now receives weekly audiology services.

Tyrell encourages all parents who have concerns about their child's development to inquire about early intervention services. "I don't care if you think (your kids) are perfect," she says. "You should find out and be on top of it. Because of how amazing the program was for my family, I've pushed all my friends to get tested."

Other Services for Children

BabyNet — S. C. Early Intervention
803-734-0479
www.scfirststeps.org/babynet.html

S.C. Office of Exceptional Children
803-734-8224
http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Standards-and-Learning/Exceptional-Children/old/ec

ZFive
Mecklenburg County services for the emotional/mental and social health of children ages birth-5.
www.zfive.org

Renee Roberson is a Huntersvlle mom and freelance writer.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Back-to-School Allergies: Tips to Survive the School Year

Dr. Maeve O’Connor from Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief of Charlotte answers your questions about managing allergies and asthma at school.

4 Ways To Keep Kids Germ-Free

What can you do to keep those pesky bugs away from your child?

Sex After Baby: Expert Advice On Making It Great Again

Tips to regain your healthy, fun sex life after baby.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Calendar

September 2016

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

Dissect a frog, watch a turtle race, and check out live reptiles and amphibians from across the globe.

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Children can practice important literacy skills by reading to a certified therapy dog. Afterwards, explore some of the library's exhibits. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267

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 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

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

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

Features vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and free raffles. Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 10am-4pm.    Hours:...

Cost: Adults - $10, Children (5-12) - $5, Under 5 - Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 Highway 49 North
Concord, NC  28025
View map »


Telephone: 863-268-4273
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

Features nearly 200 arts and crafts exhibits, five stages with more than 1,000 performers, children’s rides and attractions. Fri., 4-9:30pm; Sat., 10am-9:30pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-338-1060
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

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

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

Children can read a variety of nature-based stories, complete with puppets, and take a hike into the forest preserve for a themed activity. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

Science comes to life with the help of books, hands-on activities, and experiments. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5800
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

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

Storytime 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 activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This 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

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

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

Work to complete a series of LEGO challenges in this fun after school event. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5600
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

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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
View map »


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

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: HAWK
Telephone: 704-8411-640
Contact Name: Leslie Wieser
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

More information

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
View map »


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
View map »


Sponsor: Eckankar of North Carolina
Telephone: 704-892-8753

More information

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
View map »


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
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

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
View map »


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
View map »


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

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

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

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Charlotte area by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

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

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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