Inspiring Healthy Living in Special Needs Families


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I felt out of place chatting with moms on a playground at a museum in Denver, Colorado. It was 2013, and we had just temporarily moved out West for my husband's job. I was still reeling from my son Andrew's autism diagnosis that week. I had just reached into my bag for Goldfish when the mom next to me pulled out bananas and sliced green peppers. At the time, a banana and raw peppers seemed like a strange snack to me. I had never packed a whole food for a snack. I never remember whole fruits or vegetables in my own lunch box growing up. 

I grew up in the 1980s in a rural area where a typical packed lunch was a diet soda, a bologna sandwich, a pack of "nabs" crackers and a a Little Debbie cake. Sitting at the museum that day, I was carrying an excess of 250 pounds on my 5-feet-1-inch frame. I had high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and at times, needed a wheelchair.

When I moved to Colorado, I was struck by how healthy the vast majority of people around me seemed. Moms actively climbed alongside kids on the equipment, while I stayed lonely on the bench. I was usually the heaviest woman of those around me. I remember a conversation about my son's recent diagnosis with one mother at the zoo who was eyeing me while I crunched on Doritos and M&Ms.

"Have you thought about going gluten free? Because, I feel like that has helped my daughter's Tourette's. She hasn't had an outburst in two years. I got rid of all gluten and processed food." She went on to explain that she milled her own grain for bread and homeschooled her five children. I thought she was pushy! 

But, if I had to be really honest with myself, those homemade granola bites that mama had offered me were delicious and I was intrigued by her story. Later, in the bathroom, my son was practically clawing at my eyeballs to get out because there was an accelerator hand dryer, and my tears welled up and poured. It had been so hard to walk the inclines of that mountainside zoo in the baking hot sun. I was out of breath, my feet were swollen and my head was swimming with fears over my son's new diagnosis. I didn't understand what occupational therapy was, or gluten for that matter. I didn't know why my child would lay on the sidewalk, refusing to walk through a door if someone was holding it open or bawl for an hour if we took the "wrong street" home. Why did he spin circles in loud restaurants? Why did he walk straight up to kids and spout facts about train model numbers and their corresponding connecting rods instead of just saying hi?

What I did know, is that I was going to have to change much about our lifestyle, including our eating habits. I could feel it. I knew I needed to change, for myself and for my son. At the time, I just didn't know how yet.

Fast Forward

Six years later and my husband, Keith, and I have each lost more than 100 pounds. At last check, my blood pressure was lower than my preschooler's. I have become a certified personal trainer and a certified health coach. I eat a completely plant-based, gluten-free diet and I wouldn't have it any other way. Women and their families that have many different ways of eating come to me for help with healthy-habit formation. Despite our healthy changes, my husband and I still struggle at times to motivate our sons (and ourselves) to choose healthy foods, but we are always open to learning new skills. 

I have one very picky eater, but, surprise, it's not my autistic kid! Andrew's little brother, Jacob, is 4. Jacob has two rare disorders: Hemophilia Factor VIII deficiency, a bleeding disorder; and Marcus Gunn Jaw Winking Syndrome, a disorder that affects the eye and jaw when eating and drinking. He also suffered kidney failure from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which was caused by the e.Coli strain 0157:H7. Jacob knows that it was beef that likely caused his nearly fatal illness and that food sensitivities potentially cause some of his ongoing symptoms. He also contracted e.Coli two summers in a row; the last one coinciding perfectly with a major beef recall. This is a long story for another post, suffice it to say, we are concerned about food for many different reasons. Partly because of his medical history, Jacob falls more in line with a typical 4-year-old, in love with broccoli one day and spitting it out the next.

On the other hand, Andrew has developed a mature and adventurous palate to which I credit our parallel growth through various therapies. Andrew is now 9 and has since been dual diagnosed with ADD like his dad. Through my own therapy, I learned that I, too, have Asperger's syndrome, which I should have known from having been diagnosed with synesthesia, a neurological condition associated with autism, as a young adult. 

The journey to get healthy and manage all of our sensory and medical issues has caused my family to be vigilant regarding food and movement. After all, it's through diet and exercise that each person in my family manages our individual conditions and symptoms, from pain and inflammation, to autism-induced constipation, from attention deficits and sensory overload, to addictions and mental health factors. Through hundreds of hours of therapy for each of us in various modalities, training in positive-parenting techniques, trauma recovery and many growing pains, my family has transitioned from a fixed mindset on health to a growth one. We are in a constant state of learning flux and feel called to share what has worked for us. Here are just a few unconventional healthy pathways that may help other families.

Don't Stop Eating Out

My husband used to travel for work, so I challenged myself, whenever possible and within budget, to expose Andrew to "fancier" or even exotic restaurants. Waiters were sometimes nervous to see a stroller or small child coming, but we came anyway. Nicer restaurants had the benefit of being quiet, which gave me a chance to focus on connecting with Andrew and practicing social skills. Rarely did they have hand dryers and never toys or screens, so it was less distracting for us.

I never will forget dining in a fine restaurant with a friend and her children shortly after moving to Charlotte. We had waltzed in dirty, sweaty and smelling like animal feed from a hot day spent at Lazy 5 Ranch. We were obviously out of place in our play clothes. The children may have hidden under the table a time or two, but we were able to expose them to new, fresh-from-the-farm vegetables they would've pushed away at home. It is still one of my most memorable meals. 

The atmosphere in nicer restaurants encourages children to act differently. Jacob may attempt to climb the walls, but if I never take him, he will never learn to sit at the table. Slower paced dining restaurants also encourage slower eating, which is excellent for digestion. When we chew until no lumps remain, this increases blood flow to the stomach and gut and also assists with metabolism. Eating slowly also enables us to pay attention to our hunger cues, of which most special needs children require specific, demonstrated awareness.

Many children on the spectrum have a disconnection of body and mind, or a feeling of being lost in space. I recognize that feeling from my childhood now that I understand I have autism, and it played a role in my previous obesity. I never thought of food as affecting me internally, or externally for that matter. Being mindful during eating helps us connect to what the food is doing within the body, as well as gives us time to think and plan for how it will affect our skin, eyes, face, etc. Will this food make us feel puffy? Will it give us energizing fuel or will it slow us down? How does this food impact my functioning?

Slowing down and savoring our food helps us calm the nervous system, prevent cortisol build up and discourages fight or flight, which is conducive to introducing kids to healthy foods. To encourage Jacob to learn to sit at the table until we have completed a meal, I give him the task of blowing out a candle in the middle of the table when we are done. This has helped him sit for longer at the table, and my oldest gets to have "moon lighting" as he calls the soothing glow.

For those of us on the spectrum or in the special-needs community with misophonia, being in a quieter space allows us to focus on reading facial expressions where needed and keep from going into sensory tunnel vision. There are so many benefits to a low-sensory eating atmosphere. That doesn't, however, mean we shouldn't have to be introduced to loud, bustling environments. It's important to be able to adapt to any environment. Avoiding non-preferred environments strengthens our preference and worsens apprehension. Dr. Carol Armstrong of Cornelius, North Carolina puts it well: "With each time you practice something, your brain becomes faster and better at it." What we practice now is what we are becoming, and this applies so perfectly to eating. 

Get Flexible with Screens

One of our biggest problems with unhealthy eating was the television. I realized we would lounge in front of it, zone out and munch mindlessly. So when I decided to get healthy, I moved the television out of the house and into my husband's office above the garage. I reasoned we could still have the occasional movie night with popcorn; the TV just wouldn't be where we could see it from our kitchen. We also claimed more space to exercise in the living room and we replaced TV with this new nightly hobby. This was not a popular decision in my home. Andrew had many meltdowns on this for months, but I persisted.

We eventually learned new ways to get Andrew to engage with us at the table. We told stories, prayed together and strengthened our connection. We used conversation prompts. We also learned to identify true hunger this way, which is something we have to continually relearn and practice as life gets ever busier and more stressful. I credit this time without television as one of the major contributors to our new health as a family. If you cannot move it out of the house, just hide the remote until you build that basic skeleton of what life is like without it. 

Now, the TV is back in the main house and we are more flexible now that the children are older. We still try to leave our phones and iPads off the table. One thing we tried for a time of transition, which worked well, was a rule of snacking in front of the TV being reserved only for fresh fruits and vegetables — no simple carbohydrates. I also learned that TV time is a great time to get my kiddos to guzzle water, because they do it mindlessly. 

Give Yourself Permission to Go "Low and Slow"

I remind myself daily of this wise advice given to me years ago by our wonderful pediatrician. Normal tasks, including meals, would take longer and be more intense. I would need to plan more time for meals and expect to deal with sensory issues, perseveration (ruminating on a posted rule, for example) and meltdowns. 

Andrew was prescribed a therapeutic sensory diet, including Wilbarger protocol brushing and massage. I would just need to "breathe through" my day, learning ways to increase my own patience with the dichotomy of his slower body pacing and lightning fast speech. You see, instead of the delay and regressions of speech that is typically accompanied with kids on the spectrum, Andrew experienced a delay and regressions of his motor skills. Along with his Asperger's, I was told that my son had low muscle tone, or hypotonia, and, though he was over three years old at the time of his diagnosis, had the motor skills of an eighteen month old baby. At the time of diagnosis, he had actually regressed to fisting his food like an infant, whereas just before his third birthday, he was using a knife and fork. However, his speech was that of a 12-year-old and had been advanced since he was less than 1. This asynchronous development made daily tasks, like just getting dressed or potty training, seem impossible.

Because of my Asperger's, I was forced to manage my own sensory symptoms at a time when I was trying to help Andrew navigate his own. I found that my diet markedly increased or decreased my symptoms. Gluten and sugar affected my mood, inflammation and sensitivity to noise and light. Caffeine affected my obsessive compulsive tendencies. Lack of citrus and protein affected my iron and level of fatigue. Lack of complex carbohydrates affected my tryptophan and therefore, my depressive tendencies. Certain food and medicines worsened my rigidity and black and white thinking.  Exercise made me more flexible in my body and mind. I learned that eating gluten and sugar would actually physically cause my brain to swell, along with everything else in my body. 

This was a life-changing analysis through self experiment that trickled to Andrew, then to the rest of my family. I become deeply interested in food and its function in the body. I actually never understood what it was like to be without daily severe sensory issues for the first 35 years of my life. They were so common, I thought they were symptoms of my physical diseases. What I hadn't known is that it was a lack of exercise and food that had actually triggered some of my diseases to begin with. After I changed my eating habits slightly, my RSD calmed. Going plant based almost eliminated it. Over time, my husband and I learned to release the intense feelings we felt, like guilt and overwhelm, in healthy ways, so that the atmosphere of the home was calm and conducive to other healthy habits. 

Don't Make it Too Easy

To this day, the best advice I have received about encouraging healthy habits came from my child's diagnosing doctor in Colorado. She said it would fly in the face of most of the popular advice I would hear about autism, and it sure did! "Never keep anything the same. Don't make it easy for Andrew," she said. As I formed groups, connected with professionals and read literature on autism, the message of strict consistency was so loud, but when we moved to North Carolina, his amazing play therapist echoed his diagnosing doctor, saying, "If he wants a spoon, give him a fork. Let him figure it out." So my theme became: "The world can't adapt to my son. He will have to adapt to the world.

I credit this methodology with Andrew's advanced fluid reasoning skills. His fluid intelligence is strong, because he is used to critically think to solve problems. 
There are so many other methods I have used to encourage our children to adopt healthy habits, from using apps to story prompts, to drumming up a series of extemporaneous ongoing stories like "Penguin Man" and "Cooking Train" to tracking down and purchasing specific postural supports for the table and restroom. We began using whole-plant concentrates, and enrolled the kids in karate and Cub Scouts.

Keith and I get the kids involved in cooking, let them decide their own recipes and meal plans, and use fun subscription services like Little Passports to spark their imaginations. We hold our breath (and sometimes our noses) and give up our need for cleanliness to allow them control and independence in the kitchen. We never give up on introducing more vegetables and fruits into their diets. We are always striving for progress, not perfection, and we still eat fast food, but I now pack bananas and peppers for lunch and make my own vegan, gluten-free snack cakes. ;)

If you would like to begin a journey to health with your family with special needs, know that you are not alone. E-mail me at jama@jamafleming.com.

Jama Fleming, M.B.A., C.P.T., C.H.C. is the owner of a private practice that specializes in helping women and their families find freedom around food. She is a graduate of King University and has resided in Charlotte for six years. She serves in her spare time on the boards of several local organizations and is active at her church. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

For support and to make more connections within the Charlotte area, consider joining this private Facebook group Special Friends Connection - Charlotte Area.

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October 2019

Families with children in grades kindergarten through five are invited for pancakes and bingo. Register by Oct. 5.

Cost: Free

Where:
Levine Jewish Community Center
5007 Providence Road
, NC
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In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
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Discover how easy it is to get around Charlotte by bike at Sustain Charlotte’s fifth annual Biketoberfest. Bike route includes stops at fun destinations and will culminate with an...

Cost: $25-$35, children younger than 18 free with registered adult

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Triple C Brewing Co.
2900 Griffith St.
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Come shop the Artisan Market with different local craft vendors!

Cost: Free

Where:
Veteran's Park
Main Street and Maxwell Street
Huntersville, NC
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Enjoy music, food trucks and the scenery. Bands include David Holt and Josh Goforth, Darn and Brooke Aldridge, Stepside Deluxe, Chatham Rabbits, Provence of Thieves, and Tom Eure and Amelia...

Cost: $4-$8, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Learn 19th century cooking techniques while preparing an authentic meal in the Latta kitchen.. Registration is required.

Cost: $30

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Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders are invited to the aquarium two hours before the public for a sensory friendly underwater journey. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Celebrate fall the last three weekends in October on the Anne Springs Close Greenway with wagon rides, pumpkin patch, corn crib, haybale maze, pedal carts, horse rides, face painting, farm animals...

Cost: Chaperone passes $5, activity passes $15, children 3 and younger free, $5 for pa

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Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
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The Carolina Renaissance Festival is filled with charming cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs, all with simulated architecture of a 16th century European village. Oct. 5-6: Opening Weekend...

Cost: $15-$26

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC
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Carowinds presents family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, hay bale maze, foam zone, pedal tractors and rides.

Cost: $48+, children ages 5 and younger free with Pre-K Pass

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Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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Check out gear from top brands in the outdoor industry. Then relax with craft beer, food and films. Schedule includes activities such as educational clinics, trail dogs, yoga and more. Bring a...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
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Enjoy spooky fun at SEA LIFE Aquarium with activities that are included in aquarium admission. Tues.,12:30pm: SEA Monster Mash Dance Party Sat., 11:15am and 2:30pm: Underwater Pumpkin...

Cost: $13-$22, children 2 and younger free

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SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

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Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
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Local crafters display wares on Main Street, while local musicians fill the streets with song. Don't miss the Grill’n and Chill’n BBQ Cook-Off. In addition, the Kids Zone...

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Main Street
Waxhaw, NC


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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

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Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Families with special needs can enjoy lessons and activities tailored for persons with disabilities. Children's class at 9:30 and 11am. Teen class at 9:30 and 11am. Young adult class at...

Cost: Free

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Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: $48+

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Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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If you're feeling brave, check out The 13th Acre, a haunted trail open on Fridays and Saturdays. Enter Aw Shucks Farms on the right. The 13th Acre is at the back of the property. No...

Cost: $13

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3718 Plyler Mill Road
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

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SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

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Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Enjoy family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides, food and shows. Monday-Thursday: 4pm-10pm Friday: 4-11pm Saturday: Noon-11pm Sunday: Noon-10pm

Cost: $5-$10, ages 5 and younger admitted free. Cash only.

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Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
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The Moving Wall is a half-sized replica of the Washington D.C. memorial to the 2.7 million men and women who served in Vietnam. It has been touring the country for over thirty years. The Town of...

Cost: Free

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Veteran's Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC
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Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Fly to new heights in the Tony Award-winning musical that never gets old. Join Peter as he whisks the Darling children off to Neverland in a story filled with magic, delight and adventure. Show...

Cost: $15+

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McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the girls soccer team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. See website for...

Cost: $7.50-$15

Where:
Hadley Theater
2132 Radcliffe Ave.
, NC
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This new play by Tony Wright features a mysterious countess from Eastern Europe who moves outside London in the 1920s. The story parallels the undead themes of the classic ballet,...

Cost: $20

Where:
Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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The Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $5-$10, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
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The cultural festival showcases diversity of Indian dance, food, art and music. Guests can enjoy yoga, henna tattoos and a kids' art corner. Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.

Cost: $7, children younger than 10 free

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: India Association of Charlotte
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Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! With aerial artists, blacklight effects and sword-wielding angels and demons, this show is a physical representation of what happened spiritually...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Exhibit encompasses a multitude of women and their many roles, identities and experiences.

Cost: $7-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin bowling, kids play area, gem mining, corn hole, horseshoes, animal barn and more. September hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 1-6pm. October...

Cost: $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger free

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


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The adventurous, young Madeline is very good at getting into trouble, but she's also fantastic in solving problems. The biggest problem comes up when Lord Covington decides to sell...

Cost: $12-$14

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts
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Every weekend from September 28 through October 27, visitors can take a hayride, interact with animal ambassadors and attempt our apple chucking. Enjoy the corn maze and playground. Sept. 28-29:...

Cost: $7-$12, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC  28625
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Sponsor: Rescue Ranch
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The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Come for crafts, games and activities to ignite their passion for nature. Children will be able to build forts, create cardboard masterpieces, fly kites, make windsocks, play yard games, go on a...

Cost: $7-$10, one free adult per child

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
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Sponsor: Rescue Ranch
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In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
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Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
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Play with your baby, make friends and learn about child development during this fun workshop series.

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Regional Library
6000 Conference Drive
, NC
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From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This class incorporates songs and movement and ends with a calming story. Please check schedule online for any updates or changes.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Come play in the open gym. All students younger than 3 must have an adult present at all times. Some Mondays are closed due to holidays, so please call to verify playtime.

Cost: $5, cash only

Where:
Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

La Leche League meetings help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, practical information and education. Babies and children are welcome too!

Cost: Free

Where:
Morningstar Lutheran Church
12509 Idlewild Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Sponsor: La Leche League of North Carolina
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for story time. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the event.

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

This program is designed to engage young African American males in a variety of fun and educational activities to develop a positive sense of identity and improve character.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center
440 Wesley Heights Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Wear your pjs on the second Monday of each month for a family story time that is perfect for bedtime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6200
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities, and wear pajamas! Milk and cookies will be served.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Moving Wall is a half-sized replica of the Washington D.C. memorial to the 2.7 million men and women who served in Vietnam. It has been touring the country for over thirty years. The Town of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Veteran's Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Engage your preschooler with books, activities, stories and songs that encourage language and reading skill development in order to help them grow into successful readers. To celebrate STEAM Month,...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come discuss "The BFG" by Roald Dahl. New members welcome.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Discover the truth behind urban legends over spooky sweets and creepy games. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fort Mill Public Library
1818 2nd Baxter Crossing
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come paint pottery with your toddler for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

Where:
Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
#C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy two stories and and two craft activities. After the program, romp and play in the SEED Wildlife Garden and Children's Garden, or stroll the historic Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.

Cost: $10 per family, free for members

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
260 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy spooky fun at SEA LIFE Aquarium with activities that are included in aquarium admission. Tues.,12:30pm: SEA Monster Mash Dance Party Sat., 11:15am and 2:30pm: Underwater Pumpkin...

Cost: $13-$22, children 2 and younger free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

Toddlers identify words through interactive games and letter recognition.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Watch a King Vulture play on a playground in the Vulture Culture exhibit.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Come for for hands-on STEAM activities in support of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s STEAM Month.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This class combines yoga and play for moms and babies through  poses, songs and calming time.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

The museum will play the planetarium show "Spooky Space" every Tuesday through Saturday. "Spooky Space" explores the black holes, zombie stars and spectacular ghostly nebulae...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come discuss an assigned book. New members welcome. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Play interactive games geared towards social development involving physical activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child ages 3-12 will cost $5.

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Enjoy games, sports, arts and crafts, and adventures to the playground and gym!

Cost: $15

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Search for wildlife in fields, forests and streams to learn how each species makes its home in the nature preserve.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Explore the plants that make the nature preserve a beautiful and important habitat.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Snap photos, draw pictures, take notes, and flex your inner scientist while creating a living record of the park as it changes throughout the year.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Come discuss "Henri's scissors" by Jeanette Winter. New members welcome.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Britax will offer free Car Seat 101 Sessions for expecting parents at its Americas Headquarters in Fort Mill. Session will feature Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians working...

Cost: Free

Where:
Britax Child Safety, Inc.
4140 Pleasant Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: Britax Child Safety
Website »

More information

Certified technicians will check and help families install car seats. No appointment necessary. Bring your vehicle, seat and if possible the child for the most assistance. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Police Department
1201 Crews Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A technician will help you learn how to install your seat correctly in your vehicle. Bring your child, seat, and vehicle and plan to spend at least 20 minutes. No appointment required.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Division office of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police
4150 Wilkinson Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Little ones are invited to jump, roll and play in the Carolina Flipz gym!

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Flipz
11812 Carolina Place Pkwy.
Suite B
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Homeschool students receive discounted admission at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster.

Cost: $8

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Morrison Place
4020 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your seat , child and vehicle, and plan to spend at least 20 minutes with a technician. No appointment is necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Fire Station
19729 S. Main St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The museum will play the planetarium show "Spooky Space" every Tuesday through Saturday. "Spooky Space" explores the black holes, zombie stars and spectacular ghostly nebulae...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Learn different basketball drills, basketball workouts, strength and conditioning and mentoring. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center
440 Wesley Heights Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the girls soccer team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. See website for...

Cost: $7.50-$15

Where:
Hadley Theater
2132 Radcliffe Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. In this free trial class, children of various ages and needs will explore, solve problems, communicate, collaborate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Colonel Francis Beatty Park
4330 Weddington Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Website »

More information

Come for a Halloween party complete with snacks, crafts and a movie. Don't forget to wear your costume! Register online. Parent attendance is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Arts Center
19725 Oak St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Engage your child with stories, songs and activities in English and Spanish.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See a puppet show with songs and activities that support early literacy and foster a love of books.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

“Hoo” wants to learn about owls? Learn about these amazing birds through stories, video and games, then make a 3D owl picture complete with feathers!

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Public Library
27 Union St.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to texturize and manipulate clay to create art. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The hilarious Peabody Award-winning hit TV comedy is coming to Charlotte. A self-conscious teen becomes a martial arts master under the tutelage of Bruce Lee's ghost.

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

The Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts will feature more than 10,000 automotive vendor displays. In addition, kids can enjoy a play zone and eat fair food.

Cost: $13; children 13 and younger free with a paying adult

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers will participate in a fun, kid friendly workout.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Children express themselves creatively through art.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Toddlers will participate in a fun, kid friendly workout.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones are invited to jump, roll and play in the Carolina Flipz gym!

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Flipz
11812 Carolina Place Pkwy.
Suite B
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The museum will play the planetarium show "Spooky Space" every Tuesday through Saturday. "Spooky Space" explores the black holes, zombie stars and spectacular ghostly nebulae...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

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


Website »

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Get your creative juices flowing as you create art.

Cost: Free

Where:
Southview Recreation Center
1720 Vilma St.
, NC
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Wind down after a busy day with bedtime stories and soothing songs. Come in your jammies, and bring your favorite stuffed animal.

Cost: Free

Where:
Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
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Website »

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Bring awareness to the mind, body and breath through yoga poses. All are welcome, from beginners to seasoned yogis!

Cost: $5 per person (free for members); $5 per car for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Ln.
Fort Mill, SC
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Website »

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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the girls soccer team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. See website for...

Cost: $7.50-$15

Where:
Hadley Theater
2132 Radcliffe Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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The Queen City Tattoo and Arts Festival will feature live tattooing, contests, more than 250 artists, vendors, live music, face painting, 3-D pumpkin carving, magic acts, balloon animals, ...

Cost: $20-$45

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: United Ink Productions
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

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Preschoolers participate in pumpkin science.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Homeschoolers are invited to a day of fun and science at Carolina Raptor Center. Students can enjoy a presentation, walk the Raptor Trail, trivia scavenger hunt and a raptor craft. The science...

Cost: $8-$12, $2 off for teachers and students

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

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Get your hands dirty while learning about nature and creating nature-inspired crafts.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Enjoy a free comedy show, bounce house, face painting and yard games! Food, beer and wine will be available to purchase.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossing Paths Park
120 Blythe Drive
Indian Trail, NC
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Website »

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Enjoy the show's interactive magic and jaw-dropping illusions that will have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. See objects float in mid-air, vanish in the blink of an eye and more!

Cost: $18+

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


Sponsor: MOBB Productions, Inc.
Website »

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Drop off kids for games, relays, a craft and dinner. Participants must be potty trained.

Cost: $40

Where:
My Gym Ballantyne
9852 Rea Road
Suite A2
, NC
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Website »

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There will be treats and games. End the evening with a free showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on the 28-foot outdoor movie screen! Guests can reserve a firepit for $25.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hunter House and Gardens
412 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
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Website »

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The Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts will feature more than 10,000 automotive vendor displays. In addition, kids can enjoy a play zone and eat fair food.

Cost: $13; children 13 and younger free with a paying adult

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. South
Concord, NC
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Website »

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Explore the nature preserve alongside a naturalist. Be prepared to hike 2-3 miles. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

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Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
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From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC
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Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
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Website »

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Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $6, $8 on school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
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Young children can jump with other little ones. Parents and caregivers jump free! W8less socks required.

Cost: $10 per hour

Where:
W8Less LKN
10442-A Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
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With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for movement and yoga through stories. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the...

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
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Website »

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The museum will play the planetarium show "Spooky Space" every Tuesday through Saturday. "Spooky Space" explores the black holes, zombie stars and spectacular ghostly nebulae...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

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

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
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Website »

More information

Starting in May and running through October, come out to Camp North End in the Boileryard on Friday nights for food and music. Children and leashed pets welcome!

Cost: Free

Where:
Boileryard at Camp North End
1824 Statesville Ave.
, NC
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Website »

More information

Enjoy the relaxed sounds of local artists on the Gateway lawn. The Gateway Canteen will be open and offering a full menu as well as dinner specials. No outside food or alcohol allowed.

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Greenway Gateway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
, NC
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Website »

More information

Enjoy food, music and laid-back environment. Children and pets on a leash welcome.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Camp Northend
1824 Statesville Ave.
Charlotte, NC
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Website »

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Food Truck Friday at Fountain Park in Old Town Rock Hill will feature food trucks, local restaurants, local beers, wine, children's activities and live music.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Fountain Park, Old Town Rock Hill
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Website »

More information

Register online for a night of gaming!

Cost: $35

Where:
Commandpost Gaming
8700 Pineville-Matthews Road
Pineville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Commandpost Gaming
Website »

More information

Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: $48+

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Website »

More information

It's safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. And take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost train. Advance tickets are required.

Cost: $38-$44 for adults, ages 2 and younger free

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC
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Website »

More information

Stravinsky's "Firebird" follows the spellbinding story of a prince and princesses caught in a struggle with an ogre, and the fantastic Firebird who saves them.

Cost: $28+

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Come enjoy food, music, rides, arts, crafts and a chili cook off. Stop by the family stage on Saturday for kid-friendly performances.

Cost: Free, additional cost for rides

Where:
Lake Park
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Fly to new heights in the Tony Award-winning musical that never gets old. Join Peter as he whisks the Darling children off to Neverland in a story filled with magic, delight and adventure. Show...

Cost: $15+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the girls soccer team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. See website for...

Cost: $7.50-$15

Where:
Hadley Theater
2132 Radcliffe Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This new play by Tony Wright features a mysterious countess from Eastern Europe who moves outside London in the 1920s. The story parallels the undead themes of the classic ballet,...

Cost: $20

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Bring your cameras, lawn chairs, and blankets to experience a family-friendly festival featuring more than 50 hot air balloons, live music, food, wine and craft beer, kids' zone, and artisan...

Cost: $10-$35; children 12 and under free

Where:
Statesville Regional Airport
260 Hangar Drive
Statesville, NC
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Website »

More information

Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! With aerial artists, blacklight effects and sword-wielding angels and demons, this show is a physical representation of what happened spiritually...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin bowling, kids play area, gem mining, corn hole, horseshoes, animal barn and more. September hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 1-6pm. October...

Cost: $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger free

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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The Queen City Tattoo and Arts Festival will feature live tattooing, contests, more than 250 artists, vendors, live music, face painting, 3-D pumpkin carving, magic acts, balloon animals, ...

Cost: $20-$45

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: United Ink Productions
Website »

More information

Festival attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year to enjoy crafts, food, entertainment, kids’ attractions and plenty of apples.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Lincoln
115 W. Main St.
Lincolnton, NC
View map »


Website »

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Happy Howl-i-days! Receive a 15-minute, holiday-themed pet portrait session in exchange for a donation of $25 or an in-kind donation of items on HSC’s Amazon Wish List. 100% of the...

Cost: $25

Where:
Reflections by Rhiannon Portrait Boutique
9741 Southern Pine Blvd.
Suite J
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Gaston Outside has teamed up with TechWorks Gaston and Code.org to present two interactive coding sessions. Children can pick their favorite songs and create a program to make characters dance...

Cost: Free

Where:
TechWorks Gaston
52A Ervin St.
Suite 203
Belmont, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston Outside, TechWorks Gaston
Website »

More information

In this special story time, come share donuts and stories with your dad, grandpa, uncle or caregiver.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring gift-filled shoe boxes for children in need to the Billy Graham Library for a day of fellowship, music, food, giveaways and more to benefit Operation Christmas Child. For information on...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate fall by harvesting seasonal vegetables, preparing the beds for a winter crop, creating seasonal crafts an exploring the garden for creepy crawlies. Festive refreshments will be...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
260 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
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Website »

More information

Don't miss the Apple Harvest Festival at Windy Hill Orchard. See the livestock and enjoy a hayride. Shop for goods at the farm stand, and try some of the delicious apple cider.

Cost: $10-$12

Where:
Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill
1860 Black Hwy.
York, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, this exhibit will look at the lives of Kings Mountain women in the past and present to explore the differences the women have made...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Bring your bikes for a morning of fun learning to ride your bike without training wheels. Toss off the training wheels, learn to glide and balance, peddle, pump and ride.

Cost: Free

Where:
Clanton Park
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
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Website »

More information

Period dressed interpreters will lead a living history event that centers on farm-related fall activities. Fun fall activities will include bobbing for apples, corn pit and relay races. Hear...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
144 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

From face-painting, stilt-walkers, book talks, poetry slam and food, there is something for everyone! RSVP online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown York
27 North Congress St.
York, SC  29745
View map »


Sponsor: York Economic Development Council
Website »

More information

Experience and savor Turkish food and coffee, performances and cultural demonstrations.

Cost: $5

Where:
Oasis Shriners
604 Doug Mayes Pl.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Sometimes radar can detect more than weather. Discover the strangest things found on radar.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by learning dance moves and some basic Spanish.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ferguson Branch Library
913 N. Pryor St.
Gastonia, NC
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Website »

More information

Dress your pet for a costume parade around the outside of the Library.  Bring a can of dog or cat food to donate.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Website »

More information

Engage your child with stories, songs and activities in English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Opera Xpress presents a musical story designed for students grades K-5. This version of "The Ugly Duckling" goes a bit further than the classic tale. The duckling, more awkward than ugly,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Caldwell Presbyterian Church
1609 East 5th St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore stories in creative ways with a building theme.

Cost: Free

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

More information

Learn how to make a unique project out of clay. Projects will be taken back to Clayworks to be fired and glazed before being returned to Grier Heights Community Center for pickup.

Cost: Free

Where:
Greer Heights Community Center
3100 Leroy St.
, NC
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Taste some of the best grilled cheeses in town with unlimited grilled cheese samples. Festival also features live music, games, beer, bloody marys and mimosas, vendors and free samples of...

Cost: $20-$45

Where:
Southend Station
1441 S Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC  28203
View map »


Website »

More information

Stallings Fest is a community fall festival that has amusements, craft and food vendors, live entertainment, fireworks and more!

Cost: Free

Where:
Stallings Municipal Park
324 Stallings Road
Stallings, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Create your own art at our Creation Stations throughout The Galleries.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union Street S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Ghouls and their mummies are invited to Center Court at the SouthPark mall dressed in costume to receive a sweet treat, while supplies last. Take part in a Boo Box craft and pose for a photo...

Cost: Free

Where:
American Girl Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: American Girl
Website »

More information

Enjoy live music, food and fun for the whole family! Musical guests include Tootie Hogan, David Childers and The Continental Divide.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseege Park
165 Broome St.
Mount Holly, NC
View map »


Sponsor: City of Mount Holly
Website »

More information

Event will feature activities inspired by some of Disney Junior's most popular television series including Vampirina, Puppy Dog Pals and T.O.T.S. This event does not include live character...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

 TechWorks Gaston and Code.org are offering a coding course. Learn to program a simple maze game using the Scratch programming language. No coding experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
TechWorks Gaston, Belmont
52A Ervin St.
Suite 203
Belmont, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston Outside, TechWorks Gaston
Website »

More information

Do a series of arts and craft projects with yarn.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Start out from the Adventure Center and look for signs that winter is approaching.

Cost: Free, $5 for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
194 Adventure Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Arts+ teaching artists will lead participants through various art projects. Live music will accompany the workshop.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come out in your Halloween costume for pumpkin decorating, face painting, games and lots of candy!

Cost: Free

Where:
The Arboretum Shopping Center
8008 Providence Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy music performances, German cuisine, a kids' play zone, wiener dog races and beer for guests ages 21 and older.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fountain Park
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids will delight in Halloween activites, including balloon twisters, airbrush tattoos, bounce houses, vendors, Dracula dodgeball, balling with the boogieman, arts and crafts, a maize, a costume...

Cost: Free

Where:
Huntersville Recreation Center
11836 Verhoeff Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Trick-or-treat with the merchants Saturday from 5-6:30 p.m. Stick around to watch the outdoor movie, "Hocus Pocus." The movie will begin at dusk, approximately 7 p.m. on the Green....

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The evening will include live animals, crafts, night hikes, hayrides, hot dog meal, s'mores and storytelling. Register online for this rain-or-shine event.

Cost: $7, children younger than 2 free

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


Website »

More information

Volunteer guides will lead tours through the neighborhood and share scary tales and history about the mill village known as NoDa. Tours leave every 15 minutes and run approximately one hour. Stop...

Cost: Free

Where:
NoDa Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Come for fun games, awesome prizes, delicious candy and cakewalks. Unlimited game play wristbands are $5. Enjoy food vendors, a costume contest, a bounce house and the judging of the carved...

Cost: Free

Where:
100 Center St.
Cramerton, NC
View map »


Website »

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The Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts will feature more than 10,000 automotive vendor displays. In addition, kids can enjoy a play zone and eat fair food.

Cost: $13; children 13 and younger free with a paying adult

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. South
Concord, NC
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Come play with your kids at My Gym! Parent participation is required. Parents wear socks; children go barefoot.

Cost: $10 per child

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
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Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
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Register for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator. Each week, scholars will build a robot with new features. No prior experience is required. Locations...

Cost: $35

Where:
Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
, NC
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Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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Young children can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Join this family-friendly open art session where your little Picasso can shine! Each week will be different activities including easel painting, sensory stations and themed art projects.

Cost: $10

Where:
Noah's Art of Southpark
5110 Park Road
2C
, NC
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Sponsor: Noah's Art of Southpark
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From the earliest days of Billy Graham’s ministry, he had a special place in his heart for teens and young adults. Come see the new special display, and discover how God used Graham to reach...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC
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Celebrate fall the last three weekends in October on the Anne Springs Close Greenway with wagon rides, pumpkin patch, corn crib, haybale maze, pedal carts, horse rides, face painting, farm animals...

Cost: Chaperone passes $5, activity passes $15, children 3 and younger free, $5 for pa

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
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Repticon Charlotte features vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages and merchandise, as well as live animal seminars and free raffles for coveted prizes. See website for times and...

Cost: $5-$10, free for children younger than 5

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 Highway 49 N.
Concord, NC  28025
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Sponsor: Repticon Reptile and Exotic Animal Expos
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Beginners and seasoned yogis are invited to practice. Please bring a mat and water bottle.

Cost: $5, additional $5 for parking

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
291 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
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The Carolina Renaissance Festival is filled with charming cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs, all with simulated architecture of a 16th century European village. Oct. 5-6: Opening Weekend...

Cost: $15-$26

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC
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Carowinds presents family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, hay bale maze, foam zone, pedal tractors and rides.

Cost: $48+, children ages 5 and younger free with Pre-K Pass

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Enjoy spooky fun at SEA LIFE Aquarium with activities that are included in aquarium admission. Tues.,12:30pm: SEA Monster Mash Dance Party Sat., 11:15am and 2:30pm: Underwater Pumpkin...

Cost: $13-$22, children 2 and younger free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
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Create a natural fairy house in Lost Hollow that will remain at the Garden for all to enjoy. Listen to fairy stories, and create your own fairy wand.

Cost: $8-$15

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Learn about vultures found at Carolina Raptor Center.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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The museum will play the planetarium show "Spooky Space" every Tuesday through Saturday. "Spooky Space" explores the black holes, zombie stars and spectacular ghostly nebulae...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, included with admission

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Come watch a movie outdoors in the pumpkin patch.

Cost: Free

Where:
Greater Life Pumpkin Patch
17025 Lancaster Hwy.
, NC
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Sponsor: Greater Life Baptist Church
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Come watch the Charlotte Independence soccer team kick it at the Sportsplex at Matthews.

Cost: $15+

Where:
Sportsplex at Matthews
1505 Tank Town
Matthews, NC
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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: $48+

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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It's safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. And take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost train. Advance tickets are required.

Cost: $38-$44 for adults, ages 2 and younger free

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC
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Stravinsky's "Firebird" follows the spellbinding story of a prince and princesses caught in a struggle with an ogre, and the fantastic Firebird who saves them.

Cost: $28+

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-972-2000
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If you're feeling brave, check out The 13th Acre, a haunted trail open on Fridays and Saturdays. Enter Aw Shucks Farms on the right. The 13th Acre is at the back of the property. No...

Cost: $13

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC
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Come out for a night of fun watching some classic films on the big screen and under the stars. Movies begin at dusk. May 11: "Top Gun" (parents' night) June 1: "Jurassic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park Amphitheater
2100 Wilhelmina Ave.
, NC
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Come enjoy food, music, rides, arts, crafts and a chili cook off. Stop by the family stage on Saturday for kid-friendly performances.

Cost: Free, additional cost for rides

Where:
Lake Park
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
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Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the farm to...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Never Abandon Imagination showcases nearly 100 original works, featuring illustrations from "Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering," and Tony DiTerlizzi’s many fantasy and...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
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Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Fly to new heights in the Tony Award-winning musical that never gets old. Join Peter as he whisks the Darling children off to Neverland in a story filled with magic, delight and adventure. Show...

Cost: $15+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the girls soccer team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. See website for...

Cost: $7.50-$15

Where:
Hadley Theater
2132 Radcliffe Ave.
, NC
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This new play by Tony Wright features a mysterious countess from Eastern Europe who moves outside London in the 1920s. The story parallels the undead themes of the classic ballet,...

Cost: $20

Where:
Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Bring your cameras, lawn chairs, and blankets to experience a family-friendly festival featuring more than 50 hot air balloons, live music, food, wine and craft beer, kids' zone, and artisan...

Cost: $10-$35; children 12 and under free

Where:
Statesville Regional Airport
260 Hangar Drive
Statesville, NC
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The adventurous, young Madeline is very good at getting into trouble, but she's also fantastic in solving problems. The biggest problem comes up when Lord Covington decides to sell...

Cost: $12-$14

Where:
Matthews Playhouse
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
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Come to NarroWay Productions for dinner and a show! With aerial artists, blacklight effects and sword-wielding angels and demons, this show is a physical representation of what happened spiritually...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin bowling, kids play area, gem mining, corn hole, horseshoes, animal barn and more. September hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 1-6pm. October...

Cost: $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger free

Where:
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC


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Come for tractor displays, farm demonstrations, food vendors, a lawnmower pull on Friday and a tractor pull on Saturday.

Cost: $5, free for children 13 and younger

Where:
Hodges Family Farm
3900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Every weekend from September 28 through October 27, visitors can take a hayride, interact with animal ambassadors and attempt our apple chucking. Enjoy the corn maze and playground. Sept. 28-29:...

Cost: $7-$12, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC  28625
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Sponsor: Rescue Ranch
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The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are hosting free, family-friendly Halloween events. Activities include free crafts and games for kids, a Halloween costume parade, trick-or-treating and a free 4x6...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's locations
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Annual Guides

G.P.S. [Go.Play.See]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2019 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

A comprehensive guide to independent, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.
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