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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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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Carowinds
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, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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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

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

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Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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More information

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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Join Rutherford Rabbit to enjoy a seasonally themed story and take-home craft activity in the Children’s Garden. Children can water the vegetable plants, dig for worms, explore the sensory...

Cost: $10/family (free to Wing Haven members)

Where:
Wing Haven Children's Garden
260 Ridgewood Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by to watch the film "Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson and Kevin Kline. Rated PG.

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

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:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
Freedom Division
4150 Wilkinson Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph | 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown | 500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Stop by the store for live musical entertainment as Tommy performs with a multitude of instruments. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Toys and Company
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Features local speakers sharing their knowledge on our region's environment from butterflies to bears and everything in between.

Cost: Free

Where:
McClintock Middle School
1925 Rama Road
Charlotte`, NC  28212
View map »


Telephone: 704-517-2535
Contact Name: Ernie McLaney
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission.

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, 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

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Colonel Francis Beatty Park
4330 Weddington Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Contact Name: Kristin Rastogi
Website »

More information

Learn about the Lumbee Tribe of North America.  Enjoy listening to a Lumbee legend, learning the symbolism behind the Eagle Feather, and creating a Native American headdress using...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Big changes are brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from the Joker's hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others, and maybe, just...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

BHHS Carolinas Realty is sponsoring a free family movie night featuring "Sing." Movie begins at 7:30pm. 

Cost: Free; one canned good donation per person requested

Where:
BB&T Ballpark
324 S. Mint St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
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 »


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

This food truck rally is family and dog-friendly and features 10-15 area food trucks, live music, and a gated kids' playground. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Trinity Presbyterian Church
3115 Providence Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Join Dilworth neighbors in this family and pet-friendly food truck fest each week. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
1324 E. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
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

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
Website »

More information

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Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Meet traditional and contemporary potters as well as Catawba potters, too. There will be presentations by noted pottery experts, pottery making demonstrations, and the chance to win free...

Cost: $5-$8; children 3 and under free

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1036 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC  29726
View map »


Website »

More information

See and touch live snakes, alligators, frogs and other reptiles and amphibians. Cheer on our museum turtles in our annual turtle race, find wildlife in our pond and have fun learning about these...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Morgan Huffman
Website »

More information

Take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors with a scavenger hunt, live butterfly release (noon and 1:30pm), and geogaching. Plus, meet members of of York County's Beekeeper Association and...

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by  to create a nature-inspired spring craft to take home. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Featuring a showing of "Beauty and the Beast" on a 24-foot movie screen, live music, games, giveaways and snacks. The movie will begin at dusk. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Premium Outlets
5404 New Fashion Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Visit Bit.ly/freecraftsforkids for the featured craft of the week or call your local Lakeshore Learning store for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Lakeshore Learning Store
Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

Where:
Rescue Squad Park
7889 Galway Lane
Denver, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Repticon Charlotte is a reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free raffles for coveted...

Cost: $5-$12; children 5 and under free

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


Telephone: 863-268-4273
Website »

More information

Educators can bring one guest and enjoy free admission to Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Kids, Discovery Place Nature, or Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham Saturdays in September beginning...

Cost: Free for educators and one guest

Where:
Discovery Place Museums
Locations vary
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-6261
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

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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.

Education Guide

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