Spring Allergies: Tips To Survive The Season

Dr. Maeve O’Connor from Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief of Charlotte answers your questions about Spring allergies.


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Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you're one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms.

On March 22, Charlotte Parent hosted a live Facebook chat with Dr. Maeve O’Connor of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief of Charlotte about tips on getting through the spring allergy season. Following are questions from Facebook users and live answers from Dr. O'Connor. (This transcript has been edited for clarity and grammar.)


Charlotte Parent: Welcome to our “Sidelining Spring Allergies” LIVE Facebook chat with Allergy Asthma and Immunology Relief of Charlotte. Today we'll be talking with Dr. Maeve O’Connor about tips on getting through the spring allergy season. Welcome, Dr. O'Connor. Onto our first question.

What advice do you have for parents going into this spring season? What should they have their kids avoid?

Dr. Maeve O'Connor: Spring is when tree pollen and molds are most abundant. I suggest visiting your pediatrician or allergist in February to determine best treatment options before the season begins, even before March 20, the fist official day of Spring. Even though it is tempting to open home and car windows after the cold winter, this invites allergens in leading to itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing or wheezing. As pollen counts tend to be highest in the early morning hours, try to plan outdoor activities after mid-morning to minimize exposure. Remove pollen-laden clothes quickly and shower to rinse pollen from hair.


Is it possible to build up a slight immunity to spring allergies by taking an over-the-counter antihistamine consistently before allergy season starts?

Dr. O'Connor: Starting antihistamines early does not “build up immunity” like allergy shots per se. By taking medicine early, allergic inflammation is prevented from starting as these medications block the histamine receptors and the histamine binding to cells. If there is little inflammation, your child will experience diminished or no symptoms at all.

Dr. O'Connor: If treatment is started after allergy symptoms occur, the inflammatory process has already been triggered and can lead to complications such as sinus infections or an asthma flare. Parents should also be sure that kids take their medication regularly to prevent symptoms. If anti-histamines are taken two hours before going outdoors, symptoms are typically controlled. We want kids outside after all.


Cold or allergies? How do I know which it truly is, so I can take the right over-the-counter medicine to feel better?

Dr. O'Connor: Unlike allergies, a virus causes the common cold, while allergy symptoms are due to an immune response to allergens such as pollen and mold. Cold and seasonal allergy symptoms often overlap including runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, fatigue, and coughing. The best way to know what your child is suffering from is the duration of symptoms. A common cold lasts no longer than 10 days and tends to occur between winter and fall, while allergies can bother children for weeks and can occur seasonally or year-round. While cold and allergy symptoms may overlap, they should be treated accordingly based on proper diagnosis.

Dr. O'Connor: First-generation antihistamines, such as over-the-counter diphenhydramine, may make your child feel sleepy and typically offer relief for only a few hours. Side effects can include dry mouth/eyes along with abdominal pain and headaches. Second-generation antihistamines are less likely to cause these side effects. Each of the over-the-counter medications mentioned above are unique but none is “better than the other”— individual children respond differently. I suggest trying the one recommended by your allergist and continue the one that works best for your child. As an important point, nasal sprays are considered to be the most effective way to treat environmental allergies.


My son was prescribed FloNase by his pediatrician which we filled at the pharmacy, but I later saw FloNase on shelves in the store. So what is the difference if any?

Dr. O'Connor: There is no difference between the prescribed Flonase or the OTC one. They are the same nasal steroid molecule. The cost may be cheaper with a prescription, but this depends on your insurance plan.


Can kids who have never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them?

Dr. O'Connor: Even a child who has never had seasonal allergies in can develop them. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any time, though they usually develop by 10 years of age and peak in the early 20s. Often, children will outgrow their allergies in adulthood, but it is important to note that allergies can appear at any age including in adults and seniors.


My daughter has taken a prescription allergy medicine for a couple of years, and I've noticed it's less effective now than it once was. Is it possible to develop a tolerance to an allergy medicine or is this a myth?

Dr. O'Connor: Although there were early studies citing that tolerance to therapeutic effects of antihistamines could occur, more recent data, especially studies involving antihistamines reveal that tolerance to these drugs does not occur. Variations in symptoms while on a single antihistamine more than likely are due to differences in the natural course of the condition rather than tolerance to the drug in question. Be sure to increase the dose as well as your child grows and weight changes with each season!


When it comes to infants, how do you determine if they may have allergies?

Dr. O'Connor: It is more difficult to determine if an infant is suffering from allergies, as we don't want to subject them to too many invasive tests. I use the history and physical exam first as well as my experience with allergies in this age group. Avoidance of common allergies such as pets and pollen may shed light if symptoms improve with avoidance. I also check response to a short course of medication. Allergy testing can be done but I prefer to do limited skin testing in these young ones and direct testing to what the infant actually has exposure to.


I really suffer from spring allergies and almost prefer to stay indoors until it passes. This isn’t too realistic because I have a toddler who loves being outside. What’s the best way for me to cope?

Dr. O'Connor: Be sure you know your triggers. See a board-certified allergist to properly diagnose your allergies. Obviously with pollen visible to the naked eye here in Charlotte, (that “yellow stuff” that seems to be everywhere) this can be difficult. Pre-medicate with an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal spray, use nasal saline to rinse out the nasal passages two or three times a day when allergy symptoms are most bothersome. Wash hands, hair, change clothes from those exposed to pollen quickly, and if necessary, wear a mask. If symptoms persist, consider desensitization immunotherapy (allergy shots or allergy drops/tablets) to allow you to be exposed to pollen without symptoms and minimizing medication exposure.


My 7-year-old is not sneezing but usually develops a cough at allergy time, no wheezing and lungs are clear. Should I start her on allergy meds now or wait for the cough to start? I have suffered with allergies but found that eliminating dairy and wheat during allergy time really helps too.

Dr. O'Connor: If your child coughs routinely every spring season, this could be post nasal drip, itching in the throat or a first sign of asthma. I would suggest starting allergy meds and if the cough does not respond, see your pediatrician or allergist to be sure it is allergies and not the first sign of asthma or an infection. If the cough has responded in the past to allergy meds, you may be able to control this on your own.


Are allergy shots painful?

Dr. O'Connor: Allergy shots can cause mild discomfort but they are not very painful. In fact, children often get used to them quickly. The needle used is very small. After a few shots, most kids become "champs" especially as their allergy and asthma symptoms improve!


How do allergy shots work and how often must they be administered?

Dr. O'Connor: Allergy injections work by causing changes in your immunologic system. These changes occur gradually over a period of many months. Injections begin weekly and then progress to bi-weekly and, finally, monthly injection intervals. Injections begin with extremely dilute doses and then progress in a stepwise fashion until a concentrated therapeutic dose is achieved. Low-doses are initially necessary since very strong doses could provoke an allergic reaction to the treatment itself. Improvement in fewer than six months should not be expected. The FDA has approved three sublingual (under the tongue) tablets to be used daily for immunotherapy as well. These are a good option for grass- and weed-allergic children. Although not FDA approved yet, sublingual daily allergy drops are another safe and effective way to desensitize children to most allergens. These are currently under review by the FDA and are offered by cutting-edge board certified allergists and some ENTS as well.


Is there any truth to probiotics being helpful to people with seasonal allergies?

Dr. O'Connor: Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center examined 23 studies involving a total of 1,919 people with allergies The researchers say 17 of the studies showed that people with seasonal allergies seasonal allergies who took probiotics had some improvement in at least one aspect — such as milder symptoms or better quality of life — compared to people who had allergies but were given a “fake” probiotics. Researchers can’t yet recommend probiotics to treat seasonal allergies because the studies used different probiotic strains and different study groups. More research is needed. There are many studies currently examining gut health, the microbiome and the increase in allergies. PREbiotics and PRObiotics show promise but need stronger data for a firm recommendation from the FDA. I often suggest them with success for allergy patients suffering from gut issues, food sensitivities or chronic GI complaints.


Any suggestions to combat itchy, watery, sometimes swollen eyes, due to pollen?

Dr. O'Connor: Relief Itchy water eyes can be particularly troublesome especially for children. A natural remedy is washing the face (and hands since pollen can be trapped between fingers and under nails and kids love to scratch their eyes!) and rinsing the eyes. There are also many eye drops that contain antihistamines and are safe for children. Kids typically don't like getting eye drops but my trick is to do this after the fall asleep — not as hard as it sounds — and also putting them in Mommy's eyes first to show them that they aren’t so bad. After a few times, kids usually adapt especially when the symptoms go away — they often ask for the “magic drops!”


What's the best remedy for itchy eyes for contact wearers?

Dr. O'Connor: Put eye drops in 30 minutes prior to putting contact lenses in or put the eye drops in at night before bed when your contacts are not in.


What are some natural remedies for pollen allergies, that don't involve taking any kind of medicine?

Dr. O'Connor: Natural remedies include avoidance of known triggers- sometimes easy but not always. Also slain irrigation of the nasal passages to clear away secretions as well as allergens in the nose that can become lodges. I also recommend natural supplements with antihistamines properties such as quercetin and stinging nettles. Lowering stress can be very helpful as can maintaining a healthy organic diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Air filters can also help minimize allergens in the air.


On the same topic, we wondered about acupuncture as a holistic approach.

Dr. O'Connor: The best evidence comes from a single study published in 2013. Three groups of pollen allergic patients were divided into three groups: one received 12 acupunctures, plus antihistamines, one group received sham acupuncture (meaning that the needles were placed randomly rather than at appropriate acupuncture points) plus antihistamines, and the other were allowed only antihistamines. Seventy-one percent of the patients who received real acupuncture reported improvement in their symptom. Fifty-six percent of the patients in the "sham" acupuncture group also reported improvement — possibly a strong placebo effect is at work. It is my opinion that acupuncture is an excellent and safe treatment option for seasonal allergies but more research is needed.


My friend swears by her Neti Pot this time of year. Does that really help "wash" the pollen out of your nose?

Charlotte Parent Magazine: Oooh, yes. Can't forget about the spring tradition of breaking out the Neti Pot!

Dr. O'Connor: Keep some nasal saline around to rinse out your child’s nasal passages two or three times a day when allergy symptoms are more active. Many people have discovered that sinus drainage and congestion is greatly reduced by once or twice daily nasal rinses with saline. Use distilled or sterile water. Wash and dry your hands before using a nasal-rinsing device, and check that it is clean and completely dry. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Wash the device with distilled or sterile water then let it air dry. Nasal-rinsing devices can be used on children as young as age 2, however they might not tolerate the procedure well. Practice makes perfect!


How do you know when it’s time to move from over-the-counter antihistamines and get a prescription?

Dr. O'Connor: For most children, avoiding the allergen and using over-the-counter medications can control symptoms. I tell parents to try one or two over-the-counter meds such as an antihistamine or nasal spray for a week or two. If still suffering, it is wise to see your allergist to assess your child’s symptoms There are other types of medications such as antihistamine nasal sprays and leukotriene modifiers that can be prescribed to help bring your child relief. Allergy shots, may be recommended for children who don’t respond well to treatment with medications, experience side effects from medications, have allergen exposure that is unavoidable or desire a more permanent solution to their allergy problem.


Is honey helpful for combating allergies? If so, does it matter if it's local honey or will generic honey from the grocery store work just as well?

Dr. O'Connor: There is a widespread belief that eating local, unprocessed or "raw" honey can help allergy symptoms by regularly exposing you to pollen - not unlike the concept of how allergy shots work. Allergy injections help desensitize pollen-allergic people by exposing them to a specific pollen at regular intervals. An important difference here is that the pollen amounts in allergy injections are known. The amount of allergenic pollen in the honey is typically very small. There is no scientific proof that eating local honey will improve seasonal allergies and in extremely sensitive individuals, the ingestion of unprocessed honey can result in an immediate allergic reaction involving the mouth, throat, or skin or even anaphylaxis.


If we have pets that spend time outside, can they carry allergens into the house? Would it help at all to wipe them off when they come inside?

Dr. O'Connor: If your furry family members enjoy being outdoors, be sure to brush them off, wipe them off or even rinse them off to prevent pollen from being tracked in by them. This will minimize pollen from entering your home and keep kids from having an increase in allergy symptoms from outdoor allergens while indoors. Pet stores even carry a special glove to use to wipe down pets to minimize pollen and even dander.


What could happen if allergies go untreated? Is there a real danger there?

Dr. O'Connor: Seasonal allergies are rarely serious or life threatening, but studies have shown that untreated allergies can make kids miserable. Yes, miserable. I can assure you I do not want my 4-1/2-year-old to ever feel miserable. So, for quality of life, yes you should treat your child’s sinuses and allergies. What can occur? Chronic sleep troubles and fatigue. Sinus congestion, sneezing and nasal itching and twitching can disrupt sleep which can turn into chronic insomnia over time. Poor focus: It's hard to concentrate on school work when you're constantly blowing your nose and feeling unwell. Ongoing symptoms and a lack of sleep may also trigger irritability and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Uncontrolled allergy symptoms could open the door to more serious inflammatory problems down the road, such as eczema, sinusitis or even asthma.


What’s the best way to treat my 2-year-old? So many over the counter medicines are not age-appropriate for him and he hates the saline nasal spray.

Dr. O'Connor: This is such a common problem. The best and easiest thing to do is avoid known allergy triggers. We know, however, that it is nearly impossible to avoid pollen. Speak to your pediatrician and/or allergist about weight-appropriate dosing of oral antihistamines — they are safe if dose is correct. I do not suggest topical or oral decongestants in this age group. Many of my patients’ parents have learned the art of using nasal spray while toddler is napping or distracted with another activity.

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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

Hit the paved trail with your little one, and experience what nature has to offer this month. In case of inclement weather, meet inside the Nature Center for indoor playtime. Pre-registration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1114
Website »

More information

Have fun turning wafers of chocolate and other sweet treats into beautiful candy art. Create marshmallow animals and sculptures that are fun for all ages. All materials, tools and supplies are...

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6200
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

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

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

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

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers and a caregiver can enjoy sensory, art, movement and music activities. Develop social skills through shared readings and interactive lessons. Nov. 11: And all the leaves Fall down...

Cost: $12

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

"Real" Dinosaurs! Meet and interact with Dakota, pet a baby T-Rex or maybe watch an egg being hatched. Participate in "Reading, Writing and Roaring" where kids can read aloud to...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Being involved in the community is a great way to make connections and build your leadership skills. Participate in Project Linus to create blankets for children in need.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-3868
Website »

More information

Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities including math, science and games! Five year-old participants must have entered Kindergarten. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

Preteens between the ages of 10 and 12 are invited to enjoy books and literacy activities that help improve critical thinking skills.

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford 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:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

All New South for the New Southerner programs will be hosted by retired Levine Museum historian, Dr. Tom Hanchett. Program includes a Southern chicken dinner from Mert’s Heart and...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

CROWN, the Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, has gathered four of the region's environmental nonprofit executive directors to update the community on the health...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: CROWN
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

Join DSBG on the second Tuesday of each month for a stroll down Meadowood Walk and Persimmon Trail to scout for seasonal birds, observe nesting patterns and establish basis for...

Cost: Included with admission; free for members.

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, 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

Participants engage in arts and crafts, story time theater and music with their moms.

Cost: Free

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


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

Classes involve a story, craft, exploration stations, and time with two of our animal ambassadors. Some programs also include songs. Topics include: Nov. 13, Thanksgiving; Dec. 11, Christmas...

Cost: $5

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Victory Bounce sessions at BounceU of Matthews occur every second Tuesday of the month. Every Victory Bounce session has free admission, which also includes siblings.

Cost: Free

Where:
BounceU of Matthews
9129 Monroe Rd Ste 145-150
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

Get free entry to The Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy
Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Families are invited to an afternoon of code on Tuesdays during this free four-week Family Code Program. Each class builds on the previous week. Bring a laptop or Chromebook. Tues., November 6:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Advent Coworking
933 Louise Ave.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Tech Talent South
Website »

More information

The Happy Hearts Girls program is designed to provide girls the opportunity to express themselves, gain an experience on a variety of different activities and assist in their developmental growth...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Recreation Center
6709 Pence Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1122
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

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

Victory Bounce sessions at BounceU of Charlotte occur every second Tuesday of the month. Every Victory Bounce session has free admission, which also includes siblings. Times change every month,...

Cost: Free

Where:
BounceU of Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
Suite 300
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

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

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

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

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn more about the activities, events, venues,  history and how to get around the Greenway by van. There is no hiking required, but register online prior to the tour.

Cost: Free

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
250 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover nature with you little one through stories, crafts, and activities centered on a new topic each week.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Become a nature detective, and explore the amazing world around us through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129

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

Join the Carolina's Aviation Museum on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for an engaging hour of exploring aviation through stories, crafts and hands-on experiences that are...

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina's Aviation Museum
4672 1st Flight Drive
, 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

This drop off program for children presents an engineering challenge based on a popular nursery rhyme. After their engineering challenge, participants meet the animals and participate in humane...

Cost: $20

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Instruments, parachutes, balls, bean bags and lots of fun props will be used to create a magical experience of music, movement, and story time followed by open play. Coffee and tea are...

Cost: $5 per child; $10 per family

Where:
Lanti Music
323-E Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

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

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

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

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

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s a Rock Hill tradition to roll in the Christmas season with the annual reveal of a new Vernon Grant holiday card and ornament. The Museum Store will be open, and light refreshments...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Sponsor: Culture and Heritage Museums
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Kids Read a special story about thankfulness, frost cupcakes and create a Thanksgiving craft to take home.

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-295-1777
Website »

More information

Exercise your creativity, and learn new skills in a group setting. Explore different media and techniques to make art.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come and have fun playing games!

Cost: Free

Where:
Belmont Branch Library
125 N. Central Ave.
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities, and experiments. Children will make different slime recipes to contrast and compare. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This month we will read "Ranger in Time: Hurricane Katrina Rescue" by Kate Messner. New members welcome!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Everyone is invited to join us for this hands-on workshop to learn how to texturize and manipulate clay to create your own art work.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Peppa Pig Live! is back with an action-packed live show featuring your favorite characters as life size puppets and costume characters in Peppa Pig’s Surprise!

Cost: $40+

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2900 East Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-745-3000
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

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

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

Local prenatal and postpartum practitioners have created a regular nurturing, knowledgeable and judgement-free community. Come every other Thursday to spend time with other caregivers. There will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bellies & Babies
5109 Monroe Road
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Mind Body Baby
Website »

More information

This arts and craft program is designed to allow  children to express themselves creatively.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

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


Website »

More information

This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 NC Hwy. 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-3976
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

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

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

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

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Come explore the natural world through arts and crafts! Each session will feature a different theme and will have a take-home craft for each participant. Registration and parent attendance are...

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129

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:
ASC Culture Blocks and CM Library
, NC


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

More information

Hike deep into wild at McDowell Nature Preserve to find unexplored areas for fun and adventure. Together as a family, participants will create games and activities while learning from nature....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Join Clayworks for this hands-on workshop; learn about different pottery techniques and how to manipulate clay to create a variety of fun and functional ceramic projects. Preregistration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grier Heights Community Center
3100 Leroy St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Clayworks, Inc.
Telephone: 980-498-1487
Website »

More information

Train rides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts, balloon art, a magician and face painting.

Cost: Free

Where:
Piedmont Town Center
4725 Piedmont Row Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come and make turkey crescent roll-ups and mini pumpkin pies.

Cost: $39

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio
8438 Park Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register your family for a night of fun, competitive activities, such as crafts, games and even a dodge ball tournament!

Cost: Free

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

More information

The event features live music, children’s activities, visits with Santa, artist demonstrations and activities throughout downtown Concord. At 8:30pm, see the tree lighting and fireworks!...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join friends for good times, good food, a hayride and a lot of dancing at the November Dance for teens and adults with disabilities.

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Lanti Music's youth theatre troupe presents "The Beauty and the Beast."

Cost: $10

Where:
Lanti Music
323-E Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
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

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
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Website »

More information

Spend the evening socializing, playing games and participating in friendly competition, all while having a great time with peers!

Cost: Free

Where:
Southview Recreation Center
1720 Vilma St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1105
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

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

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

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


Website »

More information

This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 NC Hwy. 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-3976
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

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

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

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

This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: Tickets start at $16

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


Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
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

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

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

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

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

CPCC Opera Theatre’s production of "La Boheme" will capture Paris during the Roaring 20s. The joys and tragedies of "La Boheme’s" beloved characters will come to...

Cost: $10+

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


Telephone: 704-330-6534
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

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

Show More...
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What’s better than a Chick-Fil-A breakfast? Having a Chick-Fil-A breakfast with Santa! Santa will join the first 200 MallStars Kids Club members for a yummy breakfast, fun games,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northlake Mall
6801 Northlake Mall Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to supervise children, recognize safety hazards, handle first-aid situations, play age-appropriate games, change diapers, carry out parents' instructions and discuss job...

Cost: $65 for YMCA members, $95 for nonmembers

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-4600
Website »

More information

Join staff from Atrium Health to learn about healthy eating habits. Learn about wellness, sleep, nutrition and mental health from community partners such as HealthWorks and the Sleep Center. As a...

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

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


Website »

More information

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn mathematical concepts of sorting, building and geometry while using Lego building blocks.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring your dogs and enjoy photos with Santa, shop for unique dog gifts, and participate in a short guided hike in Robbins Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Robbins Park
17738 West Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the new nature-themed exhibit packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to appreciate and experience their natural world. Visit the...

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

VTGCLT is popping up at The Fillmore Charlotte for the seventh annual Winter Market! Come out and spend the day shopping with more than 60 of the region's best vintage and handmade...

Cost: $2-$7

Where:
The Fillmore Charlotte
820 Hamilton Street
, NC
View map »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Prepare to get messy with fun, creative and process-driven art! Registration is required. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bessemer City Branch Library
207 N. 12th St.
Bessemer City, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hang on and hang out at Dixon School Boulders in Crowders Mountain State Park. Meet at McDowell Nature Center, and ride in a van to the climbing area. Staff will provide crash pads and instruction....

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Create fun holiday decorations using natural materials! Registration and parent attendance are required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

Celebrate the harvest season at the 18th Century Backcountry Farm. Watch hearth cooks and bakers at work preparing a traditional holiday feast in a spirit of thanksgiving. See the hunters'...

Cost: $3 in addition to museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Community School of the Arts provides a visual art workshop series with a different project activity each month. Accompanying the art-making experience will be a live music performance throughout...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn mathematical concepts of sorting, building, and geometry while developing problem solving and innovating thinking skills. This month's Lego Challenge will be party-themed. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

A parade to celebrate Santa's arrival, live entertainment, a tree lighting, vendors, Act and TJ from 96.1, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: $16+

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


Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Collaborate with other kids, share your writing, give and receive feedback, and support others through the writing process. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

See the lighting of the Rea Farms tree! Come out for a free photo with Mr and Mrs. Claus, Pet Night with Sir Purr sponsored by Banfield, a visit with characters from Frozen, a cookie decorating...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rea Farms
9855 Sandy Rock Pl.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Blakeney Shopping Center is kicking off the holiday season with the annual Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Santa Claus will sit for photos at his workshop following the official tree...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Run or walk through three million lights in the Egg Nog Jog 5K Kick off the holiday season with hundreds of runners dressed in holiday attire at the speedway.

Cost: $20-$35

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


Website »

More information

Come join artist Marni Manning as she unveils her watercolor series about the Day of the Dead, to honor a long-held Mexican tradition.

Cost: Free

Where:
Free Range Brewing
2320 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Free Range Brewing Company
Website »

More information

Calling all Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts! Make observations, collect data, and work with real scientists in hands-on activities. Overnight event includes an evening snack and breakfast....

Cost: $35

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Step back in time at the 25th Annual Renaissance Festival in Huntersville! Enjoy entertainment, rides, shopping, food, and free parking at this rain-or-shine event.

Cost: Tickets start at $14, Children 5 and younger free

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville , NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 704-896-5555
Website »

More information

Led by a South Carolina Master Naturalist, this gentle hike will cover approximately two miles and take about one and a half hours. Stop along the hike to discuss various plants, rocks, wildlife...

Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers

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


Website »

More information

Criss Cross Mangosauce will present a Spanish/English story time with music, plays and stories. All families interested in raising bilingual and globally-minded children are welcome!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: United World Initiative's
Website »

More information

Join us every third Saturday to discuss and showcase teen fandom of pop culture (television shows, movies, books, gaming and podcasts) and enjoy snacks and fun geek activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
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

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St.
, NC
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This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 NC Hwy. 49 N.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 704-920-3976
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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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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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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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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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This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: Tickets start at $16

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
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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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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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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

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

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, 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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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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CPCC Opera Theatre’s production of "La Boheme" will capture Paris during the Roaring 20s. The joys and tragedies of "La Boheme’s" beloved characters will come to...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-330-6534
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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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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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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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