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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December 2018

Shop more than 90 women-led businesses, enjoy photo moments, a cocktail bar by Sycamore brewing and plenty of fun Holiday surprises! VIP hours are on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. General...

Cost: $0-25

Where:
Girl Tribe Labratory
2215 Thrift Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Girl Tribe Pop Up
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Santa Claus is stopping by the Legion Brewing Taproom in SouthPark from for a special breakfast to spread holiday cheer. Santa Claus will be available for free photos, and there will be cookie...

Cost: Free

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Legion Brewing SouthPark
5610 Carnegie Blvd.
, NC
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Join the monthly Madden NFL 19 Community Series event for a chance to win a spot in a Regional Qualifier tournament! *No purchase necessary. Some restrictions apply. See store for full Official...

Cost: Free

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Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Microsoft
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Cost: Free

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ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Join this Dungeons and Dragons session for newcomers and veterans geared towards adults and families! No registration required. Dice and premade characters will be provided.

Cost: Free

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Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
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’Tis the season to celebrate as "A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage" brings holiday cheer to Charlotte! This brand new touring production features everyone’s favorite...

Cost: $25+

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Ovens Auditorium
2900 East Independence Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 800-745-3000
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Families and individuals are welcome to come enjoy the beauty of our natural world as we get outside, get moving and get healthy. Don't forget to bring water!

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Cost: $5

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Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 980-314-1129
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Wells Fargo Playhouse
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Suffolk Punch
2911 Griffith St.
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Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
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Cost: Free

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MillBridge
1401 Millbridge Pkwy.
Waxhaw, NC  28173
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The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

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Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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They’ve become one of the world’s most sophisticated, lasting, and imitated vocal groups around today. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more influential group out there in this new...

Cost: $25+

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McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
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Church of the Redeemer - Kids offers a class for adaptive learning needs and a sensory room during the Sunday School hour (9 a.m.) and worship hour (10:30 a.m.). Volunteers who desire to come...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sun Valley High School
5211 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC
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Sponsor: Church of the Redeemer
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Matthews UMC offers opportunities for Christian education, discipleship, fellowship and care for persons of all ages with disabilities and their families. Experience age-level appropriate Sunday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Cost: $25

Where:
American Girl Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
harlotte, NC
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Sponsor: American Girl
Telephone: 877-247-5223
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Cost: Free

Where:
Calvary Church
5801 Pineville–Matthews Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-341-5413
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Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-8649
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Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
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Cost: $28-$75, children younger than 2 free

Where:
The Westin
601 S. College St.
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Telephone: 704-335-2103

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Cost: Free

Where:
Victory Lane Indoor Karting
2330 Tipton Drive
, NC
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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...

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Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Create an unforgettable experience at American Girl’s 2018 Holiday Tea! Enjoy a selection of delectable treats and delicious drinks for both kids and adults. Reservations required.

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American Girl Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Cost: $26-$47

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Carowinds
300 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
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Cost: Free

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Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
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Telephone: 704-920-4343
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One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC  28027
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Cost: $125 per person

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YMCA Camp Thunderbird
1 Thunderbird Lane
Lake Wylie, SC  28710
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Sponsor: Camp Thunderbird
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Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
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Telephone: 704-245-6446
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From snow falling in the theater to sing-alongs and Santa, families have been making the Charlotte Symphony a part of their holiday tradition for more than 20 years. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $22+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
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Take the train to the North Pole to meet Santa with a live reading of the story, "The Polar Express," complete with songs from the movie. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served....

Cost: $32+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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Come watch the classic tale of Scrooge unfold on stage. Check website for performance times. 

Cost: Tickets available by subscription only

Where:
Theatre Charlotte, The Eloise Macdonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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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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Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N.. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
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This hilarious and heartfelt holiday comedy, adapted from Barbara Robinson’s classic story, will have your family laughing and crying. In this production, Children’s Theatre of...

Cost: $19+

Where:
McColl Family Theater
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Simon is a terrific speller, but Simon’s brother, Jake, who has autism, unwittingly reveals he is also a gifted speller in a way that’s uniquely his. Sibling rivalry takes center stage...

Cost: $19+

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

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

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

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he...

Cost: $14-$16

Where:
Matthews Playhouse
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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Adapted from the best-selling book, this play features some favorite Christmas carols, lots of mayhem and fun for the whole family.

Cost: $12-$20 (additional $3 per ticket if purchased at the door)

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC
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Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of n orphanage that is run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie is the perfect family-friendly musical for all...

Cost: $15

Where:
Rock Hill Community Theatre
546 S. Cherry Road
Suite N
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-326-7428
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See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
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Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

The Levine JCC is thrilled to present JStage Presents Disney's The Little Mermaid. Sat., 2 and 7pm; Sun., 2pm.

Cost: $12-$15

Where:
Levine Jewish Community Center
5007 Providence Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-366-5007
Website »

More information

Visit Santa's brand new workshop on the Village Green at Blakeney Shopping Center this holiday season for portraits with Santa Claus. See website for dates and times. Santa’s Workshop...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Join Santa at Winter Wonderland South Park! Parents can hang out at Santa's Pub while the little ones enjoy story time, sing-a-longs and more with Santa! Schedule: Fridays: 12/7, 6 to 8...

Cost: Free

Where:
Winter Wonderland SouthPark
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Drop in for an interactive Book Walk on the patio with special activities to follow. This month's featured book is "The Mitten" by Jan Brett.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Chestnut, the elf, has been up to mischief. Follow his trail back to the North Pole!

Cost: $10

Where:
Chestnut Square Park
299 Chestnut Pkwy.
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Settle in and get comfortable as we take a journey of imagination. Unearth the untold narratives of nature through stories and then walk about the forest exploring and engaging all of our senses.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn how to read a cookbook and follow a recipe to become a successful cook! Join other teens for a step-by-step cooking demonstration.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

Come join the library for great stories, crafts and snacks! Don't forget to bring a stuffed animal and wear pajamas!

Cost: Free

Where:
York Public Library
21 East Liberty St.
York, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kick-off the Winter Reading Challenge with an afternoon of gaming and hot drink mixology creations!

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library (Rock Hill)
138 E Black St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-981-5830
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories coupled with fun and easy yoga moves. Discover how movement can bring stories to life in new ways in this story time.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

All aboard! Come out for a Polar Express Party and a Monday night movie!

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Holly Branch Library
245 W. Catawba Ave.
Mount Holly, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


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

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

Join My Gym for hours of challenging games and gymnastics, relays, obstacle courses, zip line rides, and more! View the compelete camp schedule online.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-8649
Website »

More information

On Mondays from September to May, all children under the age of 16 can come paint pottery for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Telephone: 704-544-4848
Website »

More information

Preschoolers complete nature themed literature activities, crafts and hikes while using their imaginations! All guests will meet at the Adventure Center. Each session is themed.  9/17:...

Cost: $2; additional $5 entry fee for nonmembers

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Come bring cats and dogs to take pictures with Santa!

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
Carolina Place Mall
11025 Carolina Pl. Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

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


Website »

More information

Join Lego Club on the 3rd Monday of each month! The library brings the Legos; participants bring the imagination! Lego idea books will be on hand and available for checkout.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6200
Website »

More information

Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-245-6446
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Rudolph and all the other reindeer in some active games and activities. Who will Santa choose to pull his sleigh?

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

ImaginOn is celebrating Holiday Cookie Day, so come out for this special cookie-themed story time! Stick around after the songs and stories for make-and-take activities and dramatic play themed...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

Use stamps, paper and a bit of flair to express creativity during this guided craft session on select Thursday afternoons. Fun for the whole family!

Cost: Free

Where:
Tech@Lowell Branch Library
203 McAdenville Road
Lowell, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


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

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

Join My Gym for hours of challenging games and gymnastics, relays, obstacle courses, zip line rides, and more! View the compelete camp schedule online.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-8649
Website »

More information

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

This annual exhibit fills Kings Mountain Historical Museum with model train displays, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games. Visitors of all ages will be enchanted!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Winter Wonderland will open an hour early for $10 Tuesday Tot Time every Tuesday! Parents can pull little ones on sleds.

Cost: $10

Where:
Winter Wonderland SouthPark
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

This uptown holiday event is presented as a German-inspired Christmas Market and includes traditional German foods and treats, homemade crafts and gifts, and other featured programming...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Come discuss the book of the month. New members welcome! Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

The Garden has reserved the hour between 4 and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays for children that need a little extra time and attention to visit Santa. Those wishing to have photos taken by a professional...

Cost: $8-$15

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


Sponsor: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Website »

More information

Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

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


Website »

More information

This magical production is a celebration of the 1939 MGM movie, and will be presented with breathtaking special effects that will sweep audiences away, from the moment the tornado twists its way...

Cost: Tickets start at $34

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-245-6446
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 tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the library for a special showing of a popular teen movie. Light refreshments will be served.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Spend this day off from school traveling to and exploring the craggy landscape. Enjoy views of Lake Norman from the summit. Please dress for the weather, pack a lunch and wear hiking shoes....

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

Art Lab is an arts experience that includes a guided tour of The Galleries current exhibition and a fun hands-on art activity.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Slip and slide into the library for a wonderfully wintry puppet show! All ages are invited.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Listen to and celebrate The Nutcracker and extend learning through a variety of hands-on activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Children are invited to wear their pajamas and join us for a special morning of Polar Express fun. Read and discuss the classic story, and enjoy a special craft.

Cost: $6, children younger than 1 free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Learn about the bugs that live in trees, then create some bugs to hang on a Christmas tree.

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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

More information

Become a nature detective and explore through stories, crafts and activities related to trees for wildlife and edible ornaments.

Cost: $5

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Rd
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments. This month learn about the science of bridges.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrison Regional Library
7015 Morrison Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to wrap your own presents. All wrapping materials will be included. Please bring one medium or two small gifts to wrap. Wear an ugly sweater for a chance to win a prize! Registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Wylie Public Library
185 Blucher Cir.
Lake Wylie, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See choreography after Marius Petipa, Konstantin Sergeev and Fedorand hear music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky while enjoying The Sleeping Beauty ballet.

Cost: $40-$60

Where:
Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Audiences and critics worldwide have praised the talented singers of the Vienna Boys Choir for their celestial voices, pure tone, irresistible charm, and, above all, a wide-ranging repertoire...

Cost: $45+

Where:
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, 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:
Matthews Police Department
1201 Crews Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


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

Fill school break with creativity, color and fun! Enroll in one, two or all three days. Each day's curriculum is different. Extended Care available before and after camp. $65/day or...

Cost: $70 per day

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


Sponsor: KidzArt
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Join My Gym for hours of challenging games and gymnastics, relays, obstacle courses, zip line rides, and more! View the compelete camp schedule online.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-8649
Website »

More information

This annual exhibit fills Kings Mountain Historical Museum with model train displays, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games. Visitors of all ages will be enchanted!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

This uptown holiday event is presented as a German-inspired Christmas Market and includes traditional German foods and treats, homemade crafts and gifts, and other featured programming...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Huntersville Fire Station 1
110 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Visit with Santa and other fun characters that will change by the week. Dec. 5: Santa and Olaf Dec. 12: Santa with Elsa and Anna Dec. 19: Santa and Frosty

Cost: Free

Where:
Waverly Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

Enjoy fire, s'mores and friends at the McDowell Nature Preserve campfire. Preregistration required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This magical production is a celebration of the 1939 MGM movie, and will be presented with breathtaking special effects that will sweep audiences away, from the moment the tornado twists its way...

Cost: Tickets start at $34

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-245-6446
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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Zoom through a round of disc golf, and take aim at an archery range. Please dress for the weather, pack a lunch and wear closed toe shoes. Register online. 

Cost: $25

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


Website »

More information

Listen to stories and extend learning through a variety of hands-on activities, and decorate a gingerbread house.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring the whole family out to enjoy puppet shows, songs and movement activities that support early literacy skill development and help foster a love of books and reading in your child.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come decorate an "ugly sweater" shirt, and finger-knit a scarf while trying to win at wacky trivia. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Holly Branch Library
245 W. Catawba Ave.
Mount Holly, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The skating rink and laser light show return with many new surprises! Santa will be on-site for the evening. Watch the tree lighting, and sing carols.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Mooresville Golf Club
800 Golf Course Drive
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the library for a Good Old Fashioned Christmas event with caroling, crafts and hot chocolate.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Wylie Public Library
185 Blucher Cir.
Lake Wylie, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


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

Fill school break with creativity, color and fun! Enroll in one, two or all three days. Each day's curriculum is different. Extended Care available before and after camp. $65/day or...

Cost: $70 per day

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


Sponsor: KidzArt
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

Join My Gym for hours of challenging games and gymnastics, relays, obstacle courses, zip line rides, and more! View the compelete camp schedule online.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-8649
Website »

More information

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

This annual exhibit fills Kings Mountain Historical Museum with model train displays, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games. Visitors of all ages will be enchanted!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Get crafty on Thursdays in Indian Trail! Register online prior to the event.

Cost: $6

Where:
Town Hall
315 Matthews-Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come celebrate bugs and the special adaptations that enable them to survive. Meet live bugs in the Explore More Life lab, learn about neuroscience while...

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

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


Website »

More information

Register for a Winter Break Family Workshop at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden about succulents. Upcycle a tin can into a succulent planter, and take home your very own succulent!

Cost: $20 for 1 child and 1 adult, $12 per additional participant

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

This uptown holiday event is presented as a German-inspired Christmas Market and includes traditional German foods and treats, homemade crafts and gifts, and other featured programming...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Come enjoy this step-by-step health and physical education course designed for homeschoolers. This physical education program will help to enhance the fitness level of youth and teens.

Cost: $2

Where:
Elon Recreation Center
11401 Ardrey Kell Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1103
Website »

More information

Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Take a stroll through the most festive garden in Charlotte. Sip hot coca, roast s'mores and enjoy the Christmas lights!

Cost: $3

Where:
McGill Rose Garden
940 N. Davidson
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Nectar Events
Website »

More information

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

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


Website »

More information

This magical production is a celebration of the 1939 MGM movie, and will be presented with breathtaking special effects that will sweep audiences away, from the moment the tornado twists its way...

Cost: Tickets start at $34

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-245-6446
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
Website »

More information

Learn about the insects that may reside in many popular trees including holiday trees, helping to form a vibrant ecosystem, and make a six-legged ornament you can take home or leave on our tree!

Cost: $8; free for members and children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Register for the Air Plants workshop. Learn the benefits and how to care for air plants, and take home your very own air plant creation!

Cost: $20 for 1 child and 1 adult, $12 per additional participant

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


Website »

More information

Join a McDowell Nature educator in uncovering the mystery of the missing animals! Prepare for an observational hike that will take less than a mile. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Participants will model how honey bees communicate by working together to create a dance language to express where the facilitator has hidden the “nectar.”

Cost: $8, included with museum admission

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

More information

Community School of the Arts will provide a visual art workshop series, with a different project activity each workshop. Accompanying the art-making experience will be live music performed...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come listen to a story while enjoying hot cocoa.

Cost: $9 per child; parents free

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Ste. C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Parents can drop off their kids and hit the town. Children can swim, make crafts, play games and eat pizza.  Register online. All participants must have basic swimming ability and will need...

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


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

Fill school break with creativity, color and fun! Enroll in one, two or all three days. Each day's curriculum is different. Extended Care available before and after camp. $65/day or...

Cost: $70 per day

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


Sponsor: KidzArt
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

Join My Gym for hours of challenging games and gymnastics, relays, obstacle courses, zip line rides, and more! View the compelete camp schedule online.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-8649
Website »

More information

This annual exhibit fills Kings Mountain Historical Museum with model train displays, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games. Visitors of all ages will be enchanted!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Come celebrate bugs and the special adaptations that enable them to survive. Meet live bugs in the Explore More Life lab, learn about neuroscience while...

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

This uptown holiday event is presented as a German-inspired Christmas Market and includes traditional German foods and treats, homemade crafts and gifts, and other featured programming...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Did you know that butterflies often symbolize change or new beginnings? Create butterfly masks to wear. Don’t forget to write down a secret holiday wish or a New Year’s Resolution on...

Cost: $10, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

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

Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more. Advance tickets required.

Cost: $38

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


Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Website »

More information

Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

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


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

Take a stroll through the most festive garden in Charlotte. Sip hot coca, roast s'mores and enjoy the Christmas lights!

Cost: $3

Where:
McGill Rose Garden
940 N. Davidson
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Nectar Events
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Microsoft
Website »

More information

Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
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

One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

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


Website »

More information

Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-245-6446
Website »

More information

From snow falling in the theater to sing-alongs and Santa, families have been making the Charlotte Symphony a part of their holiday tradition for more than 20 years. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $22+

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Website »

More information

Take the train to the North Pole to meet Santa with a live reading of the story, "The Polar Express," complete with songs from the movie. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served....

Cost: $32+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

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


Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
Website »

More information

This hilarious and heartfelt holiday comedy, adapted from Barbara Robinson’s classic story, will have your family laughing and crying. In this production, Children’s Theatre of...

Cost: $19+

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

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


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

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


Website »

More information

Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

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


Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

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


Website »

More information

Visit Santa's brand new workshop on the Village Green at Blakeney Shopping Center this holiday season for portraits with Santa Claus. See website for dates and times. Santa’s Workshop...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Join Santa at Winter Wonderland South Park! Parents can hang out at Santa's Pub while the little ones enjoy story time, sing-a-longs and more with Santa! Schedule: Fridays: 12/7, 6 to 8...

Cost: Free

Where:
Winter Wonderland SouthPark
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »

More information

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The 2018 Queen City Christmas Expo will offer free pictures with Santa, a free toy giveaway for kids, free gift wrapping, Christmas crafts and candy cane hunts. Hunts at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
The Carole Hoefener Center
615 E. 6th St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience new features, including a musically-orchestrated topiary display in the Four Seasons Garden, illuminated prairie garden, extended lights of fire and ice in the perennial gardens and an...

Cost: $8-$17, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The orchestrated light show includes more than 150,000 lights. Beginning at dusk each evening on the Town Hall Lawn, the Holiday Light Spectacular lasts approximately 50 minutes and repeats...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Lawn
413 North Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit The Ballantyne to view an enchanting display of gingerbread creations. Gingerbread Lane is free to visit and open to the public, anytime throughout the dates offered.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Ballantyne
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
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This all-inclusive magical experience includes breakfast along with a visit and photo with Santa, crafts, and reindeer games. Each child ticket to Breakfast with Santa includes same-day...

Cost: $22-$25, children younger than 2 free

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
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Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
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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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The 18-piece display of animatronic bears performs classic holiday songs. The 45-minute program starts on the hour. All performances are subject to cancellation so check the website for updates....

Cost: Free

Where:
Founders Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-8649
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This annual exhibit fills Kings Mountain Historical Museum with model train displays, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games. Visitors of all ages will be enchanted!

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Telephone: 704-739-1019
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Come celebrate bugs and the special adaptations that enable them to survive. Meet live bugs in the Explore More Life lab, learn about neuroscience while...

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N Tryon St.
, NC
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Join one of our naturalists on the fourth Saturday of each month for a stroll around Discovery Place Nature’s Paw Paw Nature Trail. Meet in the Great Hall.

Cost: $8; free for members and children younger than 2, included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place - Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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This uptown holiday event is presented as a German-inspired Christmas Market and includes traditional German foods and treats, homemade crafts and gifts, and other featured programming...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
, NC
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Music and Movement activities for ages one, two and three! All ages are welcome to attend, and infants receive free admission. Come jam to stories and songs!

Cost: $2 per child

Where:
UWI- Kidz Greenhouse Cafe
5237 Albemarle Road
Suites 211-213
, NC
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Sponsor: United World Initiative's
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Celebrate the Christmas season with fun family activities at the Billy Graham Library. Enjoy the light displays and Christ-centered festivities with families from across the Southeast who have made...

Cost: Free; additional cost for carriage rides

Where:
The Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC
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Telephone: 704-401-3200
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Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more. Advance tickets required.

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln.
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
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Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
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Carowinds comes alive with holiday spirit during WinterFest. Friends and family are treated to an ultimate holiday celebration as the park magically transforms into a winter wonderland - full of...

Cost: $26-$47

Where:
Carowinds
300 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
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Stroll through the park or take a ride on the Winterland Express to see more than 250,000 Christmas lights. Additional activities will take place each night, such as Santa visits, marshmallow...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 West C. Street
Kannapolis, NC  28081
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Telephone: 704-920-4343
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One of the world's most spectacular Christmas light displays will illuminate one of the world's most remarkable sporting venues for the ninth annual Speedway Christmas drive-through light...

Cost: $20+ per car

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC  28027
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Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

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

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Tchaikovsky at his best, "Sleeping Beauty" brings fairytale colors while Copland depicts a classic American scene. Michael Daugherty's poignant Native American musical journey...

Cost: $19+

Where:
KNIGHT THEATER at Levine Center for the Arts
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Visit with Santa, take a pony ride, pet animals, and roast marshmallows over a fire. Even feed a tiger! Sun.-Thur., 6-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 6-10pm.

Cost: $7 per person

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman , NC
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Telephone: 704-245-6446
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From snow falling in the theater to sing-alongs and Santa, families have been making the Charlotte Symphony a part of their holiday tradition for more than 20 years. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $22+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
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Take the train to the North Pole to meet Santa with a live reading of the story, "The Polar Express," complete with songs from the movie. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served....

Cost: $32+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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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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Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation. Larger-than-life bug models guide a journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Get up...

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N.. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays at Nutcracker! Join Clara as she encounters an epic battle between the Mouse King and Nutcracker, a breathtaking snowfall, jumping...

Cost: $125-$25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Ballet
Telephone: 704-414-2766
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Learn about the insects that may reside in many popular trees including holiday trees, helping to form a vibrant ecosystem, and make a six-legged ornament you can take home or leave on our tree!

Cost: $8; free for members and children younger than 2, included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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This hilarious and heartfelt holiday comedy, adapted from Barbara Robinson’s classic story, will have your family laughing and crying. In this production, Children’s Theatre of...

Cost: $19+

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

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

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

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

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

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

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

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Holiday on Ice is located on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Make memories skating on the ice!

Cost: $10-$14

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Telephone: 704-654-4400
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Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

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

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Visit Santa's brand new workshop on the Village Green at Blakeney Shopping Center this holiday season for portraits with Santa Claus. See website for dates and times. Santa’s Workshop...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
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With artistic dialogue, the Through this Lens community will offer our larger community a look through the many lenses of the immigrant experience.

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

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

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

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2018 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

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