Outdoor Adventure: DuPont State Recreational Forest

From hiking to swimming and canoeing to fishing, an adventure land awaits in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Published:

A short hike leads to Hooker Falls, which includes a great swimming area and sliding rock.

Michele Huggins


From hiking to swimming and canoeing to fishing, an outdoor adventure land awaits in the Blue Ridge Mountains’ DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard. This 10,400-acre area offers more than 100 miles of recreational trails in lush forested land that encompasses lakes and waterfalls. It’s open to walkers, mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders. Admission to the park is free and the experience is priceless.


Putting the Rec in Recreational

“DuPont is a State Recreational Forest — the first and only recreational forest in the country,” says Bev Parlier, president of Friends of DuPont Forest, a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the public enjoyment of the forest and protecting its resources.

“A good walking tour for families is the waterfall corridor,” she says. A map of this area that includes other suggested itineraries is available at the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center at the High Falls entrance.

Visitors can take a challenging day hike, swim in a lake, walk underneath a waterfall, view an old barn, observe birds and animals, and marvel at the solid rock and granite domes. The forest features six major waterfalls and five lakes.


Nature Made Easy

DuPont State Recreational Forest is so well-designed, it can turn even the greenest outdoorsman into an expert. Parking lots are large and well-marked, facilities are clean, and trails are clear.

Many of the waterfall trails are short enough to stay enthusiastic and energized upon reaching your destination.

My 9-year old daughter, Bella, and I stopped at Cedar Mountain Café for a quick, delicious lunch before heading to the recreation area. We then stopped at Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center for advice on how to spend our day. The center’s rustic feel, modern facilities and large front porch encourage families to slow down and take in the quiet. Inside, find local maps, photos and books, plus a large topography map with trails, roads and rivers offering an eagle’s-eye view of where you’re headed.

We asked a ranger to suggest a short hike that would allow us to see a waterfall, dip into a swimming hole and enjoy the sunshine. He suggested Hooker Falls, a beautiful 6-minute walk downstream from the easy-to-find parking lot. It was exciting to spy the river alongside the trail and hear the thundering falls as we trekked closer.

Upon reaching the swimming hole at the bottom of the 11-foot waterfall drop, Bella and I saw several kids wading in the cool, calm water wearing goggles and floats, while others swam out to the middle of the lake to rest on warm rocks. We also saw canoes and fishermen enjoying the area. We spent an hour in the water and walked along the falls to watch kids of all ages enjoy the scenery.

Learn more about DuPont State Recreational Forest at dupontforest.com.


Courtney McLaughlin is a freelance writer and Charlotte native who is feeling more confident about roughing it.

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January 2019

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301 N. Tryon St.
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Cost: $10

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Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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Cost: $12-$17

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View map »


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Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
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301 N.. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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View map »


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

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
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View map »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $12-$17

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Children learn about language and literacy through play. Drop in for this self-directed play day.

Cost: Free

Where:
South County Regional Library
5801 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore and listen for nocturnal animals while getting some exercise. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980- 314-1128
Website »

More information

Tour the LATIBAH artist T’Afo Feimster’s representation of the Reconstruction period with the theme of “Redefining Black America”. A combination of life-size exhibits and smaller art pieces...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Certified technicians will check and help families install carseats. 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

These wintry themed classes will incorporate props, musical instruments and board books to focus upon developmental milestones.

Cost: $5

Where:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
220 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 402
, 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 join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5-$6

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

Cost: $13-$17, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Come improve bowl skating skills, such as finding new lines plus improving airs and grinds

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families will work with local artists to contribute to a permanent art installation that will be displayed at the Scaleybark Library.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
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

Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Revolution Park Sports Academy
1225 Remount Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

Charlotte Ballet's Cultural Dance Program presents African Dance classes. Classes are drop-in format, open to all ages and free of charge for participants. There is also child supervision...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Recreation Center
943 West Sugar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

Cost: $13-$17, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Romare Bearden and his...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Help break in the new Small Hands Big Art studio!  In December and early January, enroll in a Getting to Know You Class for a special introductory price. See website for class times, which...

Cost: $10

Where:
Small Hands Big Art - Fort Mill
1365 Broadcloth St.
Suite 105
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

With artistic dialogue, the Through this Lens community will offer our larger community a look through the many lenses of the immigrant experience.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tour the LATIBAH artist T’Afo Feimster’s representation of the Reconstruction period with the theme of “Redefining Black America”. A combination of life-size exhibits and smaller art pieces...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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

Big Air Trampoline Park opens its doors for little ones to jump at their own speed and comfort level. Without the older kids around, the toddlers feel right at home on all the attractions. Big...

Cost: $8

Where:
Big Air Trampoline Park
2408 Sardis Road N.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

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

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5-$6

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

These wintry themed classes will incorporate props, musical instruments and board books to focus upon developmental milestones.

Cost: $5

Where:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
220 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 402
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

Cost: $13-$17, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

Cost: $13-$17, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Romare Bearden and his...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Help break in the new Small Hands Big Art studio!  In December and early January, enroll in a Getting to Know You Class for a special introductory price. See website for class times, which...

Cost: $10

Where:
Small Hands Big Art - Fort Mill
1365 Broadcloth St.
Suite 105
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

With artistic dialogue, the Through this Lens community will offer our larger community a look through the many lenses of the immigrant experience.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate everyone’s favorite “silly old bear.” Bring a stuffed animal, and journey through the Hundred Acre Woods.

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

Together as a family, participants will create games and activities while learning from nature. Pre-registration is required for all participants.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Join friends for good times, good food and a lot of dancing with other teens and adults with disabilities.

Cost: $10

Where:
Marion Diehl Park
2219 Tyvola Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore McDowell Nature Preserve after dark in search of these nocturnal wonders of the sky!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Tour the LATIBAH artist T’Afo Feimster’s representation of the Reconstruction period with the theme of “Redefining Black America”. A combination of life-size exhibits and smaller art pieces...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

The local puppeteer troupe from MyGym Lake Norman will lead an interactive and imaginative puppet show with songs and book readings.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble - Birkdale Village
8725 Townley Road
Huntersville, 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

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor, so parents are in charge of their children. No need...

Cost: $5-$6

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

Cost: $13-$17, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Participants will can choose from a wide variety of activities as well as a specialized activity that varies weekly.

Cost: $6

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
1501 Euclid Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Southpark Mall Microsoft store will be hosting a free ASUS ROG Arena: Fortnite Fridays Tournament! All skill levels are welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Microsoft
Website »

More information

Connect with community members while participating in Acts of Kindness, center projects and charitable deeds.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal Street
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

Cost: $13-$17, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show offers Southern food with classic Southern songs. Watch the gospel truths unfold through the eyes and imagination of Tennessee! See website for...

Cost: $10-$37

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


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

More information

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

Judy and her brother, Stink, set sail to find Scurvy Sam’s secret pirate treasure. To find the loot, they’ll have to race their swashbuckling rivals, Tall Boy and Smart Girl, to see who...

Cost: $25+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Romare Bearden and his...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Website »

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Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Website »

More information

Help break in the new Small Hands Big Art studio!  In December and early January, enroll in a Getting to Know You Class for a special introductory price. See website for class times, which...

Cost: $10

Where:
Small Hands Big Art - Fort Mill
1365 Broadcloth St.
Suite 105
Fort Mill, SC
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Website »

More information

With artistic dialogue, the Through this Lens community will offer our larger community a look through the many lenses of the immigrant experience.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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

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

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

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Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
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Run through the city. Stick around for the post-race party with chocolate fondue, dippable snacks, hot chocolate, DJ and a Kid Zone with inflatables and games.

Cost: $54-$74

Where:
First Ward Park
, NC


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Hike on the Cattail Trail with the family. Stop to enjoy the view along the water while kids create winter artwork inspired by nature. Registration Required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 980-314-1129
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Discover what animals are out and about while enjoying a morning outdoors. Come back to the nature center after the hike to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Telephone: 980- 314-1128
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Explore the ancient ways of tracking, and become in tune with nature.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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See vendors and enjoy free activities, including a fun photo booth, mommy makeovers, henna tattoos, costume characters, baby bump painting, face painting, prizes and informative classes.

Cost: Free

Where:
Heritage Conference Center Grand Ballroom
375 Star Light Drive
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: Touch of Magic Events

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Altitude Trampoline Park is excited to announce the official grand opening celebration of its Gastonia location, which will include: climbing contest, ninja course contest and neon night with...

Cost: Free for first 100 guests

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Enjoy a family-friendly storytelling performance in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Minter is the Coordinator for Frontline Storytellers, an award-winning local and national program and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Sponsor: Mooresville Public Library
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Participants will complete a two-hour workshop with visual art activities while being entertained by music. Refreshments will be served.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tyvola Senior Center
2225 Tyvola Road
, NC
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Honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in family-friendly service projects. Locations: Blythe Elementary School, Huntersville East Mecklenburg High...

Cost: Free

Where:
Multiple Locations
, NC


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Join a card creation party, and come ready to create! Cards will be mailed to the Love in Action Project.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Meck High School, Blythe Elementary, Renaissance West STEAM Academy, Marie G. Davis K-8 School
Charlotte, NC


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  NASCAR Night - Autograph session and appearances by Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Regan Smith and Corey LaJoie Family Night presented by Fairfield Inn and Suites - save 40 percent on...

Cost: Starting at $18.50

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28205
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The Traveling Blue Series program is sponsored by Culture Blocks, a community partnership between ASC, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to bring arts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
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Drop in to create a take-home winter craft.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
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 Seeds, flower buds, essential oils and a natural soap base will all blend together to form bars of soap.

Cost: $12

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Bike Riders is open to any age with a disability/diagnosis. Register for a 30-minute time slot to work on bike riding skills indoors. Bikes and helmets provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
Marion Diehl Recreation Center
2219 Tyvola Road
, NC
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Watch the Charlotte Hornets take on the Phoenix Suns.

Cost: Tickets start at $18

Where:
Spectrum Center
333 E. Trade St.
, NC
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Telephone: 1-877-582-9297
Website »

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Come NASCAR Night, Girl Scout Night and Family Night. Families save 40 percent on groups of four tickets when purchasing online.

Cost: $18.50+

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
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Tour the LATIBAH artist T’Afo Feimster’s representation of the Reconstruction period with the theme of “Redefining Black America”. A combination of life-size exhibits and smaller art pieces...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
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Website »

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Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Website »

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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
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
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Website »

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Digi-Bridge will host a course of STEAM learning activities featuring the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits. Register at digi-bridge.org! There are locations at Hurt Hub@Davidson, Hygge West on Remount Road in...

Cost: $30

Where:
Hurt Hub@Davidson
210 Delburg St.
Davidson, NC  28036
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Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
Website »

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Music and Movement activities for ages one, two and three! All ages are welcome to attend, and infants receive free admission. Come jam to stories and songs!

Cost: $2 per child

Where:
UWI- Kidz Greenhouse Cafe
5237 Albemarle Road
Suites 211-213
, NC
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Sponsor: United World Initiative's
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Learn new tricks on the baby quarter while utilizing them in a group game of S.K.A.T.E.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
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Celebrate National Popcorn Day, and explore the three most common states of matter with food! First, learn about our favorite movie snack by reading "The Popcorn Book" by Tomie de Paola....

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Kids
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
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Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

Cost: $13-$17, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Revolution Park Sports Academy
1225 Remount Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

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This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

Cost: $13-$17, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N.. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show offers Southern food with classic Southern songs. Watch the gospel truths unfold through the eyes and imagination of Tennessee! See website for...

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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

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Judy and her brother, Stink, set sail to find Scurvy Sam’s secret pirate treasure. To find the loot, they’ll have to race their swashbuckling rivals, Tall Boy and Smart Girl, to see who...

Cost: $25+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Romare Bearden and his...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Website »

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Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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


Website »

More information

Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Help break in the new Small Hands Big Art studio!  In December and early January, enroll in a Getting to Know You Class for a special introductory price. See website for class times, which...

Cost: $10

Where:
Small Hands Big Art - Fort Mill
1365 Broadcloth St.
Suite 105
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

With artistic dialogue, the Through this Lens community will offer our larger community a look through the many lenses of the immigrant experience.

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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

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


Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2018 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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