Raising a Transgender Child

Two local moms open up about parenting a transgender child — and what they’ve learned about loving your children for exactly who they are


Published:

Note: To protect the identities of these families, we are using only first names and have changed the children's names.

The first big sign came when Connie and her family were on a vacation house swap. The vacation home had plenty of tutu skirts, dolls and dress-up clothes for the kids to play with, but no typical boy toys. The couple’s middle child, 3-year-old Sarah, was thrilled. James, their 5-year-old son was, too.

“James said, ‘I want to wear this tutu around,’” Connie says. “I think in my mind I was just sort of like, hey, this is a phase.”

As time passed and James’s preference for feminine play increased, Connie admits it gave her some anxiety.

“I was concerned about people judging me and judging my child. James would get looks from people.” Eventually, James said, “I don’t want to wear these dress-up tutus. Will you buy me some real dresses? I don’t have to wear them outside of the house.”

That James recognized a preference for feminine clothes as unconventional was the turning point.

“That’s when we realized this was not just a phase; when we realized that James was happier when we were allowing her to express herself this way,” Connie says. “James has always been a really overly sensitive, sweet, gentle, but very happy kid. For her to think that it wasn’t OK for her to be herself, wherever, broke my heart. It made me take a good hard look in the mirror at myself,” she says.

It also launched Connie and her family on a journey to help their young child explore gender identity and navigate unchartered territory, while making sure their child can grow up happy, healthy and feeling loved.

 

Answering the Question: Is my Child Transgender?

For Ashley, another Charlotte mom of two, Connie’s experience is very familiar. Her youngest child, Taylor, was 4 years old when Ashley started to notice that he had a preference for very feminine pretend play.

“Then ‘Frozen’ came along,” she laughs. “Taylor was obsessed with Elsa! She wanted an Elsa dress, so we bought her the ‘Frozen’ dress. And then we bought her the ‘Frozen’ wig, too, with the braid. That thing did not come off her head for a month straight.”

Of course, there’s more to being transgender than dress-up preferences and playing with dolls. Individuals whose biological sex, gender expression, and gender identity neatly align, often are referred to as “cisgender.” Transgender can describe anyone whose identity or behavior falls outside of stereotypical gender norms.

More narrowly defined, transgender refers to an individual whose gender identity does not match his or her assigned birth gender. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation (attraction to people of a specific gender). Therefore, transgender people may additionally identify with a variety of other sexual identities as well.

“Gender identity is a deep sense of who you are. And that’s in your brain,” Ashley says. “My child, Taylor, gets up in the morning, and she sees herself in the mirror as much as a girl as the rest of us, even though she was born with a different part. It’s not that there’s something wrong with you. It’s not a mental disorder. It’s the way you’re born.”  

But getting an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria —the transgender spectrum — can be tricky. Pediatricians aren’t always equipped to offer advice. Many therapists who specialize in gender don’t treat children. This is all complicated by the fact that gender identity is on a spectrum.

“It could be your child identifies as male but may express himself as female. All the way to the other end: Your child could be transgender,” Ashley says. “Taylor was so young; you kind of live in this gray area. That period of time was difficult for us. We didn’t know where we were on that spectrum. You’re just going to kind of let your child lead.”

 

Navigating the Transition

Connie and Ashley both took the wait-and-see approach, letting their children’s comfort level and preferences guide them. It took about a year, but both Taylor and James inched closer and closer to transitioning fully from male to female.

Ashley and Connie shared similar experiences: explaining the situation to close friends and family, using female pronouns (which are also used throughout this story to respect the girls’ preferences). They watched their daughters emerge.

“We got to the point where [Taylor] was going to school presenting male, but as soon as she would get home, the school clothes would come off and the girl clothes would come on,” Ashley says. “I think she was really getting comfortable with herself and being able to express who she really was. One day we had to go run an errand and she was in her girl clothes, and she decided to just wear it.”

That’s not to say, however, that these transitions were easy — for the girls or for their parents.

“Sometimes it was a hard pill to swallow. The real, full-on journey began when it was just the two of us in the car one day,” Ashley says. “[Taylor] was looking out the window and I looked back, and she just looked so sad, almost like she was going to cry. I turned around and said, ‘Buddy, what’s wrong?’ And she said, ‘Mom, I just wish I was a girl. I want to be a girl.’

That’s when everything clicked. So I said, at that moment, ‘You know, if that is who you are, that’s fine. We love you no matter what.’”

Taylor made a full transition right after first grade.

“That whole first grade year was really tricky because we were a girl sometimes and we were a boy sometimes. It’s hard because you always want them to be their authentic self. As a parent, there’s a lot of fear that comes with raising a transgender child. You see all the stuff that’s in the news, and it’s so hurtful,” she says. “And it’s tough. I have two daughters. One is cisgender and one is transgender. My cisgender child … she is afforded all the rights and protections. Where my transgender child doesn’t get those same rights and protections.”

James has also made a full transition to female, but Connie says she is terrified of her child being bullied.

“Overall my experience with the community has been overwhelmingly positive. There was a long time before I was ready to put it out there or talk about it. I think when I realized how happy my child was, I was ready to be like, ‘This is us, and this is what’s going on.’ James’s happiness is our gauge in all of this,” Connie says. “And seeing James in school, engaging, really happy, tons of friends, we realize we must be doing something right.”

“The suicide statistics for kids that are not supported by their families are so high,” Connie says. “It’s incredibly depressing that these kids that don’t have support are 54 percent more likely to try to take their own life or start using drugs and alcohol,” she says.

 

“[Taylor] was looking out the window and I looked back, and she just looked so sad, almost like she was going to cry. I turned around and said, ‘Buddy, what’s wrong?’ And she said, ‘Mom, I just wish I was a girl. I want to be a girl.’"

 

Living the Day-to-Day Experience

Connie and Ashley live the busy family lives most parents recognize: the weekday school-and-work scramble, sports activities for the kids, weekends full of birthday parties and family adventures. For both women, that constant activity now has an added layer of complexity. Connie often feels compelled to make introductory phone calls before enrolling her kids in sports or other extracurricular activities, to gauge the ability for James to be a fully accepted participant.

“This summer, I wanted my children to continue to be able to enjoy extracurricular activities. So for all the activities that I was interested in enrolling James, I called the directors myself,” she says. “I need to make sure that my child is going to be OK; that my child’s not going to be in a situation where she can be bullied. They were all so supportive, so accepting.”

Connie and Ashley recall the feeling of isolation that accompanied their early experiences trying to gather information on how to help their children navigate such a huge — and important time.


Connie and Ashley offer the following advice for parents whose wonder if their child may be on the transgender spectrum.

Seek out professionals you can trust. If you suspect your child is transgender, gender-expansive or gender-creative, whichever term you prefer, it’s important to seek out medical and mental health resources, such as a pediatrician and therapist, whose approach to caring for a transgender child aligns with your own preferences.

“One of the first things I did was find a pediatrician that is affirming and understanding of the needs of transgender children,” Ashley says.


Find your village. Groups like PFLAG of Charlotte can connect you with support groups and local families whose experiences are similar to yours.

“I think the most important thing is having a supportive group of friends around,” Connie says. “For our kids, to be like, ‘You’re accepted, you’re loved by all of these people. You can be yourself and all these people love you just the way you are.’ It’s really important for your kid not to feel isolated.”

Ashley agrees. She started the group Transparents through PFLAG of Charlotte to help connect with other local parents of young transgender kids.

“When you’re first starting this journey, you kind of feel like you’re in a boat in the ocean all alone,” she says. “I needed to be with other parents and be with people who were experiencing the same things I was.”


Think and plan ahead. Although James and Taylor are happy and healthy now, Ashley and Connie are aware of the future challenges that face their daughters.

“We’re in a really good space right now. Our daughter is thriving,” Ashley says. “Is that going to be forever? No. Puberty is going to come along, and there will obviously be even more issues then. Have I prepared for it? Yes.”


Gain some perspective and balance. Connie emphasizes the importance of seeking out some normalcy in your life, for yourself as a parent, and for your kids.

“I feel like every parent is going through something with their kid. Yes, this is challenging. This is crazy,” Connie says. “But my child is not in the hospital battling cancer. If this is my cross to bear, if this is my challenge to find a way to get through, I’m lucky.”

Ashley and Connie ultimately want what every parent wants for their child: a healthy life filled with friends and happiness.

“I think a lot of people are scared or want to ask me questions about Taylor —what does this mean, and what is transgender,” Ashley says. “If there’s something I could tell the parents out there: Please ask us. Every parent of a transgender child wants nothing more than to educate you and to help you understand.”


Aleigh Acerni is a mother to an almost-3-year-old daughter who, like Taylor, also has—surprise!—a slight obsession with “Frozen.”

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April 2018

Join in a 40-minute demo swim class that introduces basic aquatic skills and water safety tips for children ages 6 months to 2 1/2 years old. Space is limited. Call to reserve spot.

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Charlotte Aquatics
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Mint Museum Uptown
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Meet animals and have a chance to see some of them eat carrots, crickets, and even a mouse. Register online.

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-663-1062
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Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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View map »


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Website »

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Billy Graham Library
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Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
#C
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Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
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Cost: $160 for this 8 week class

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Veterans Memorial Park
2136 Central Ave
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Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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Perfect Balance
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Telephone: 980-299-8445
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Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain Street
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
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Telephone: 704-739-1019
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Take a closer look at the history, cultures, places, and things encountered by Jack and Annie on their Magic Tree House Adventures. Reading the books is not a requirement for attendance.

Cost: Free

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Belmont Library
125 N. Central Ave.
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-5426
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This annual dining event builds autism awareness and education while raising money to support children and adults with autism and their families in the community. For more information...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Various restaurants across Mecklenburg County.
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North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
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Telephone: 704-721-4653
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Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
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Telephone: 704-401-3200
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Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
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Telephone: 704-568-1774
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Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Telephone: 704-664-2927
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Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
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Website »

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Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child (ages 3-12) receives a discount as well, costing only $5 each. 

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

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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

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
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 to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Planetarium at the 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

Bring your pen, paper, and love of poetry and explore and write a different form of poetry each Wednesday in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. No experience necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

This dance class is drop-in, open to all ages and free of charge for participants. It also includes live accompaniment and a “Children’s Corner,” providing supervision and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugaw Creek Recreation Center
943 W. Sugar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-7655
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

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Follow Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life, with activities, games, and an Olympian craft. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 803-547-4114
Website »

More information

Matthews Charter Academy is hosting an international fair with performances, food trucks, displays and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Charter Academy
Mt. Harmony Church Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-339-5449
Website »

More information

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
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 to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Explore stories and songs through a puppet show created and presented by the Spangler Library storytellers. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

Show More...
Show Less...

The Children's and Family Ministry of Philadelphia Church in Fort Mill is hosting a showing of the animated film "Ferdinand." Everyone is invited. Free popcorn and drinks will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
Philadelphia Church
1691 Hwy 160 West
Fort Mill, SC  29708
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-0102
Website »

More information

Watch the students of Matthews Playhouse's School of Theatre perform this classic that follows the young boy Mowgli through the jungle. Fri., 7:30pm and Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

Take part in this special camping trip. You will be braving the third shift and sleeping inside Carowinds with your favorite rides. Your donation benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and...

Cost: $250 per campsite

Where:
Carowinds Amusement Park
300 Detective Mike Doty Memorial Hwy
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
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 to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Get free entry to the Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8pm and every fourth Friday of the month from 1-5pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Boulevard
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

This family-friendly event features craft brews, wine, cider, live music and the best food trucks in Charlotte. Bring the whole family, including your dogs. Along...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sycamore Brewing
2161 Hawkins St.
Charlotte, NC  28203
View map »


Website »

More information

Favorite area food and dessert trucks will provide varied menus including seafood, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, specialty dishes and more. Enjoy local/region...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Drop off your children for a night of fun while you hit the town. Activities include laser tag, jump-n-play, rock climbing, mini bowling, ropes courses, bumper cars, and arcade games. Children...

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Bring your blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie in the park. Food available for purchase. Movie begins at dusk. April 27 at Crooked Creek Park, 5900 Oakwood Ln, Indian Trail....

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Disney's Peter Pan Jr. is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn't grow up.  See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Come see this musical based on the Dreamworks movie. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and plotting penguins as they bound onto the stage in the musical...

Cost: $12-$28

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
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

Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the Bellagio of dragstrips during the ninth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Every ticket is a pit pass, so come early...

Cost: $20-$55; kids under 13 are free with adult purchase

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


Website »

More information

The original home of the four-wide, 40,000-horsepower drag racing spectacle hosts the ninth annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. The top NHRA racers in the world return to zMAX Dragway to put on a...

Cost: $20-$40, kids 13 and under are free

Where:
zMAX Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

Girls will learn how to create several cute new ’dos, plus take home bright highlights for their dolls and learn how to put them in. Afterward, each girl and her spruced-up companion can...

Cost: $25, does not include gratuity

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


Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
Narroway Theatre
3327 SC-51
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

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This family-friendly road race and walk event benefits the clinical trials and research at Levine Children's Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute. In addition to food and drink,...

Cost: $15-$30

Where:
Christ Lutheran Church
4519 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
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Telephone: 704-516-5113
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In this middle school girls-only program, girls will develop new skills, explore the natural world and create lasting friendships while conquering recreational environmental challenges. Spend the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Various locations
, NC


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Today, all around the world people are taking part in a celestial celebration! Join Discovery Place Nature for special presentations of the Full Dome shows such as One World, One...

Cost: Included in price of admission

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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Your Mini Chef will cook one recipe and learn basic kitchen skills such as measuring ingredients. Sign-up online or in person at the Sales and Services desk.

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-4650
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Over 15,000 spectators attend this horse race. There are also Jack Russell terrier races, hat contests, stick ponies for the kids and much more.

Cost: $50+

Where:
Queens Cup Steeplechase
6103 Waxhaw Highway
Mineral Springs, NC  28108
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Visit with environmentally conscious vendors, take a tree home with you and learn how to take care of our planet.

Cost: Free

Where:
Chestnut Square Park
320 Chestnut Pkwy.
Indian Trail, NC
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Enjoy more than 25 educational exhibits, attend planetarium programs, participate in a scavenger hunt, win prizes, play games and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, NC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Attend this free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the entire family is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC   28211
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Sponsor: Access College America
Telephone: 980-474-1281
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Teens can sign up for community service hours and help beautify and clean our highways. Call to register. Please leave your name, school, and phone number. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-664-5218
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Explore first responder vehicles, construction trucks, 18-wheelers and other trucks of all shapes and sizes. From mini-excavators to fire trucks, over 40 trucks and vehicles, including an...

Cost: Free.

Where:
CPCC Merancas Campus
11920 Verhoeff Drive
Huntersville, NC
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Kids can listen to a story, frost cupcakes and meet with princesses and pirates.

Cost: $9

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Suite C
, NC
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Telephone: 704-295-1777
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Celebrate the vibrant cultural diversity of east Charlotte with international flavor and intergenerational activities. Enjoy food from around the world and a rich blend of musical...

Cost: Free

Where:
Aldersgate
3800 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28210
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Telephone: 704-532-5410
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Enjoy this highly energetic performance of dance, stories and songs from Gambia, Guinea, and Nigeria as part of the library's month-long celebration of Día. Learn how West African dances...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4630
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As part of the NC Science Festival, you can engage in hands-on experiments and STEM activities at the Raptor Center. Get nose-to-beak with the center's birds.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-6521
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The Library celebrates Día as part of its commitment to connecting children and their families to multicultural books, bilingual services and educational resources. This year's...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Attend this free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the entire family...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sylvan Learning Center, Ballantyne
14045 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
Ste 101
Charlotte, NC  28277
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Sponsor: Access College America
Telephone: 980-474-1281
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Special pre-show activities like dance classes and a costume creation station start at 1pm. At 2pm, watch a one-hour performance featuring excerpts from "Spring Works," including...

Cost: $15 for children; adults, $15+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Play dodge ball with the whole family. After dodge ball enjoy a fully stocked ice cream sundae bar to cool down with as you make new memories with friends and family.   

Cost: $2 per person; maximum of $10

Where:
Forest Park Elementary School Gym
1333 Forest Park Dr.
Kannapolis, NC
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Can you use science to make the most delicious ice cream on Earth? Explore the chemical properties that make ice cream so good and mix up a couple batches to compare the results. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave
, NC
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Watch the students of Matthews Playhouse's School of Theatre perform this classic that follows the young boy Mowgli through the jungle. Fri., 7:30pm and Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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Take part in this special camping trip. You will be braving the third shift and sleeping inside Carowinds with your favorite rides. Your donation benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and...

Cost: $250 per campsite

Where:
Carowinds Amusement Park
300 Detective Mike Doty Memorial Hwy
, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
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North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
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Telephone: 704-721-4653
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Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-663-1062
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Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Telephone: 704-401-3200
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These cooking classes center around a monthly theme and occur on the first and last Saturday of the month. Your Junior chef will cook two recipes each day and learn basic kitchen skills...

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-4650
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Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday. Visit the website to see this week's featured craft of the week. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
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Telephone: 704-849-2450
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Geared towards children ages 3 and younger, this class will focus on movement and energy release. Parent participation required.  

Cost: $6 per class

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-829-1294
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Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
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Telephone: 704-568-1774
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This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Come check out Charlotte’s newest live music venue. The Music Yard is kicking off the concert season with a free Spring Concert Series every Saturday in April and May.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music Yard
2433 South Blvd
, NC
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Telephone: 704-912-1889
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BounceU knows that sometimes parents deserve a little time by themselves. Drop off your kids for a night of non-stop bouncing and games. It’s more fun and probably less expensive than hiring...

Cost: $20 per child

Where:
Bounce U, Charlotte and Matthews locations
, NC


Telephone: 704-921-8771
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Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Disney's Peter Pan Jr. is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn't grow up.  See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Come see this musical based on the Dreamworks movie. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and plotting penguins as they bound onto the stage in the musical...

Cost: $12-$28

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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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
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This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the Bellagio of dragstrips during the ninth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Every ticket is a pit pass, so come early...

Cost: $20-$55; kids under 13 are free with adult purchase

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
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The original home of the four-wide, 40,000-horsepower drag racing spectacle hosts the ninth annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. The top NHRA racers in the world return to zMAX Dragway to put on a...

Cost: $20-$40, kids 13 and under are free

Where:
zMAX Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 800-455-3267
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Brownie Girl Scouts can work towards various badges during these workshops. Register online. See website for times, themes, and ages. 

Cost: $17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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The everlasting classic account of two boys and a girl who follow Peter Pan and the invisible fairy Tinker Bell into Neverland, where children never grow old and where Captain Hook and his pirates...

Cost: Adults, $10; students and seniors, $9

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
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Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show takes you to East Tennessee where the fun never ends. Sing along with fabulous old Southern classics and watch the gospel truths unfold through the...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
Narroway Theatre
3327 SC-51
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2017 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.
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