Spring Allergies: Tips To Survive The Season

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


Published:

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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Sponsor: Town of Huntersville
Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
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

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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Little Music Makers Classes are designed for children with various developmental delays. Instructor , Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC will use activities to target those developmental areas while...

Cost: $25 per class; $80 per month

Where:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
220 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 402
, 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

 Everyone is welcome at Toddler Tuesday story time! Intended for toddlers and older, this weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This parade of fashion explores the relationship between changes in the world and changes in clothing. The exhibit highlights some of the peaks of Kings Mountain fashion and showcases some hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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

Using teamwork and engineering skills, participants will design a template for their forts and build them together with materials gathered from around the facility.

Cost: $6

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


Website »

More information

The Rosa Parks Farmers Market kicks off its third season on Tuesday, June 5. Shoppers can enjoy more food options, a bigger location, and better hours! Visit the market every Tuesday from June...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rosa Parks Farmers Market
1600 West Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Mecklenburg County Public Health
Telephone: 704-617-9319
Contact Name: Elliott Royal
Website »

More information

Get outside, get moving and get healthy! Enjoy fresh air, sunshine and beautiful surroundings with other hikers.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come out and learn to express yourself through the art of dance, painting, rapping, poetry, singing, and much more.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-606-7084
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

One hundred U.S. flags will stand in solemn formation at Veterans Park as a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. This stirring display will bring the community together...

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Town of Huntersville
Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, 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 Cultur
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

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Spend the Mecklenburg County Teacher Workday in the kitchen! Learn important steps in baking and how certain ingredients react to each other.

Cost: $84

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio
9826 Sandy Rock Place
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-6069
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments about cooking and apples! Registration required; call to register.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-3800
Website »

More information

Come to the 7th Street Market for food and fun. All the regular vendors will be open, plus there will be almost 75 different games to play! Play games from all eras and for all skill levels!

Cost: Free

Where:
7th Street Public Market
224 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your 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:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, 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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

This parade of fashion explores the relationship between changes in the world and changes in clothing. The exhibit highlights some of the peaks of Kings Mountain fashion and showcases some hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic. Must be accompanied by an adult. Sept. 5: Soil and Worm Adventures Sept. 19: It's Apple...

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, movement with music, and a seasonal craft during each Wee Wednesday program. Toddler story time will occur on the third Wednesday of each month for Wee Wednesday.

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

Where:
Main Street Children’s Museum
133 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

Everyone is welcome at Toddler Tuesday story time! Intended for toddlers and older, this weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble
4020 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


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

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

The Tony-winning play with music, based on the best-selling novel, upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan. Featuring a dozen actors portraying...

Cost: Season Subscription Only

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, 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 Cultur
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Come check out the latest and greatest mountain bikes from Specialized and Santa Cruz at Bike Source Demo Days. Various models and sizes will be made available by Bike Source for you to take out on...

Cost: Free admission; $6 for parking

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


Website »

More information

Special guest speaker Pastor David Chadwick of Forest Hill Church will present a challenge to continue and finish the work of Bible translation.

Cost: Free

Where:
JAARS Townsend Auditorium
7405 Jaars Road
Waxhaw, NC  28173
View map »


Website »

More information

These monthly meetings feature STEAM professionals sharing topics chosen by teens for teens. Check out food, conversation and an interactive component.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, presents a new a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Cirque Italia sets out to...

Cost: $10-$50

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


Telephone: 941-704-8572
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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

This parade of fashion explores the relationship between changes in the world and changes in clothing. The exhibit highlights some of the peaks of Kings Mountain fashion and showcases some hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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

This seven-part series will explore and celebrate the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. Bottled water provided. Bring a lunch or order from these...

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library
310 North Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids will learn how to navigate off-trail and build their confidence and comfort in wooded spaces. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and bring a water bottle. We will always...

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

The Evening Farmers Market supports local farmers by providing a location to bring customers and farmers together. Everything sold at the market is locally grown, baked, or crafted by the vendor....

Cost: Free

Where:
Pecan Park
136 North Center St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

All ages are welcome for these hands on clay pottery workshops. Join a Clayworks' teaching artist and learn how to roll, pinch, poke, slip and score clay to make a project that will last a...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

More information

Enjoy summer nights with outdoor music. Food and alcohol available to purchase. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossing Paths Park
120 Blythe Dr.
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Jam out on the third Thursday of every month to a different band. Enjoy the warm weather while rocking out in Crossing Paths Park. Guests can also enjoy lawn games, a kids playground, wine and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossing Paths Park
120 Blythe Dr.
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join us at Elon Recreation Center for a fun and exciting afterschool program! Kids will enjoy becoming masterminds in creative thinking through games. This club will have board games, video...

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 980-314-1103
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
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

The Tony-winning play with music, based on the best-selling novel, upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan. Featuring a dozen actors portraying...

Cost: Season Subscription Only

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, 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 Cultur
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover the secrets of the animals at Reedy Creek Nature Center. This is your time for a close encounter with one of our animals. Children must be accompanied by adult.

Cost: Free

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


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

If you love chocolate, you will love our dinner tonight! Participants will make oven baked chicken tenders and oven baked fries for dinner, followed by delicious chocolate lava cakes for dessert.

Cost: $39

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio
9826 Sandy Rock Place
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-6069
Website »

More information

Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, presents a new a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Cirque Italia sets out to...

Cost: $10-$50

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


Telephone: 941-704-8572
Website »

More information

The event is open to the public and will feature the family-friendly movie “Despicable Me 3” on the BB&T Ballpark videoboard beginning at 7:30 p.m. The main gates to BB&T...

Cost: Free with canned food item donation

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


Sponsor: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty
Website »

More information

Flow, relax, and enjoy a day full of yoga, wine, kombucha, and more at the inaugural Flow Fest; blending elements of wellness and mindfulness in a natural outdoor setting. Practices will be held...

Cost: $6 for parking

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center 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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

This parade of fashion explores the relationship between changes in the world and changes in clothing. The exhibit highlights some of the peaks of Kings Mountain fashion and showcases some hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Explore the natural world through arts and crafts with different themes for each session. Registration required.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble - Birkdale Village
8725 Townley Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy a fantastic Friday with our afterschool program! Participants will have a wide variety of activities to choose from, and our staff will have a specialized activity that varies weekly.

Cost: $6

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Starting in May and running through October, come out to Camp North End in the Boileryard on Friday nights for food and music. Children and leashed pets welcome!

Cost: Free

Where:
Boileryard - Camp North End
1824 Statesville Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1105
Website »

More information

Enjoy food trucks, Old Town restaurants, local beers, wine, children's activities, and live music.  

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Fountain Park
E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Come out to Downtown Rock Hill's Fountain Park to enjoy Food Truck Friday, which begins May 18 and runs through October. The event occurs every third Friday of the month and includes both live...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old Town Rock Hill
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Mooresville Parks and Recreation presents Movies on Main! All movies will be shown on the Town Hall lawn in Downtown Mooresville. Movies start at dark, and concessions are available for purchase...

Cost: Free

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

More information

It’s safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. Take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost Train- if you dare! Advance...

Cost: $38

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


Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Website »

More information

Come out for food, carnival rides, inflatables and live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 21 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

The Tony-winning play with music, based on the best-selling novel, upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan. Featuring a dozen actors portraying...

Cost: Season Subscription Only

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

The Cleveland County Arts Council will present the 16th Annual Art of Sound weekend concert series in Uptown Shelby. A variety of musicians and groups will perform in several different venues with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Shelby
Shelby, NC


Sponsor: Cleveland County Arts Council
Website »

More information

Come enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Festival in the Park. Stroll through the park while admiring crafts and art, which is available for purchase. Food is also available for purchase. Do not miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
, NC


Website »

More information

Pineville Players present The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Do not miss this classic story come to life! See website for showtimes.

Where:
The Hut Meeting Facility
413 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Sale features fall and winter children's clothing, maternity, baby gear and kid's furniture. All proceeds fund student scholarships. Shop Fri., 6-9pm and Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free

Where:
Covenant Community Preschool
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Sponsor: Covenant Community Preschool
Telephone: 704-616-9253
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 Cultur
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

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Do not miss the 5th Annual Union County Heritage Festival and Wild Turkey 5K, which also includes a kids' fun run! Visitors will enjoy live entertainment, food, vendors, exhibitors, games,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Agricultural Center
3230 Presson Road
Monroe, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Union County Extension Master Gardeners
Website »

More information

The Stiletto Sprint benefits the Carolinas Ovarian Cancer Fund. Sprinters can register as a competitive sprinter, non-competitive sprinter, volunteer, or Ruby Red Slipper, a category created for...

Cost: $30+

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


Sponsor: Atrium Health
Website »

More information

Head to the mountains for a relaxing day of walking along the trails at Moses Cone Memorial Park. This is a wonderful time of year to visit this open area to take in the fall sun and late blooming...

Cost: $12

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


Website »

More information

Join the fight against blood cancer by registering and raising funds for this walk and run.

Cost: $15-$35

Where:
University Research Park
10101 David Taylor Drive
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Be The Match- National Marrow Donor Program
Website »

More information

Families of all ages can try science challenges that inspire teamwork, shape critical thinking skills and introduce families to STEM topics. Solve crime using science clues, explore prehistoric...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Celebrate the history and culture of Gold Hill with arts, crafts, a parade, bluegrass music, food and heritage living exhibits. The parade begins at 9am, followed by all-day entertainment provided...

Where:
Gold Hill Mines Historic Park
735 Saint Stephens Church Road
Gold Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-267-9439
Website »

More information

Come out for the Wild Vine Half Marathon and 5K. Stick around for Flow Fest.

Cost: $30-$50

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lovers of live bluegrass, barbeque and local hand-made pottery come together to enjoy “Piedmont Pottery and Pickin’.” Traditional and contemporary regional potters, including...

Cost: Adults $8, Seniors $7, Youth $5, members and ages 3 and younger free

Where:
Historic Brattonsville's Hightower Hall
1036 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC  29726
View map »


Sponsor: Culture and Heritage Museums
Telephone: 803-818-6767
Website »

More information

Museum Day Live is brought to the community in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and provides another opportunity for the Museum to open its doors free of charge. Register online...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina's Aviation Museum
4672 1st Flight Dr.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Cast a fly while enjoying the peaceful side of Lake Wylie at McDowell Nature Preserve. Learn about fly fishing from an expert at the nature center, and test your new skills. All equipment...

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Discover how to attract bats to your backyard by building a bat box. Bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour! All materials will be supplied, and power tools will be used to design the...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join naturalist, Elizabeth Rockholt, and explore the stunning world of wildflowers. Learn the names of some of our more common flowers as well as the amazing techniques they use to survive each...

Cost: Free for members, $5 for nonmembers

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
1604 Highway 21 Bypass
Fort Mill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See and touch live reptiles and amphibians!  Cheer on our museum turtles in the annual turtle race, dissect a frog, take a guided walk to our pond and have fun learning through numerous...

Cost: $3 in addition to paid 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

Come out to Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church's Fall Festival! While here, receive a free high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes screening from Novant Health.

Cost: Free

Where:
Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church
3435 Nevins Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 336-277-1880
Website »

More information

Join the Town of Mount Pleasant for the Amateur BBQ Cook-Off and Wing Contest! Enjoy food and craft vendors, entertainment and kids activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
8590 Park Drive
Mount Pleasant, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come see the vehicles of all sizes and support the Foundation for Fort Mill Schools while enjoying face painting, crafts and food trucks!

Cost: $4

Where:
Doby's Bridge Elementary
1000 Dragon Way
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Website »

More information

City Barbeque Huntersville is celebrating its one-year anniversary with free pork sandwiches for the first 200 guests. There will also be family-friendly activities and a chance to win free BBQ for...

Cost: Free

Where:
City Barbeque Huntersville
15425 Hodges Cir.
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »

More information

Come listen to the adorable book before frosting your own gold sprinkle cupcake!

Cost: $9 per child; parents free

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


Website »

More information

The second annual Charlotte Kids Fest aims to inspire and motivate young minds with artistic, creative, educational and playful experiences that transform a child’s understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
UNC Charlotte
N. Tryon Street and JW Clay Blvd.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: University City Partners
Contact Name: Darlene Heater
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 eclectic art crawl showcases local vendors, two stages of live performances, craft beer, food trucks and activities for kids. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Oak Street Mill
19725 Oak St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come and explore a large cove of Lake Wylie in this 1.5-hour hike from the Nature Center. Get an up-close look at a beaver lodge and a possible beaver sighting.  Pre-registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Flour Power is celebrating its fifth year with a birthday party! Kids can make mini pizzas and decorate birthday cupcakes. Flour Power will host giveaways and raffles. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios: Quail Corners
8438 Park Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Stroll the historic streets of Downtown Davidson and browse more than 40 of the areas best artisans. Find a wide variety of handmade gifts including pottery, jewelry, photography, fine art,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Davidson
108 South Main St.
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Telephone: 704-975-5478
Website »

More information

Support the American Cancer Society by attending this "Singin' for a Reason" concert. David Britt, local country music artist, will be performing this benefit performance.

Cost: $25 in advance

Where:
Visulite Theatre
1615 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, presents a new a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Cirque Italia sets out to...

Cost: $10-$50

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


Telephone: 941-704-8572
Website »

More information

Flow, relax, and enjoy a day full of yoga, wine, kombucha, and more at the inaugural Flow Fest; blending elements of wellness and mindfulness in a natural outdoor setting. Practices will be held...

Cost: $6 for parking

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


Website »

More information

The market runs from June through September. Multiple vendors offer fresh produce, as well as a selection of homemade goods like salsa, butter, honey, bread, eggs, cheese, soaps, cookies, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Liberty Park
225 E. Iredell Ave.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

Cost: Daily ticket prices start at $48

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


Website »

More information

This parade of fashion explores the relationship between changes in the world and changes in clothing. The exhibit highlights some of the peaks of Kings Mountain fashion and showcases some hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

If you play an instrument, or just like to listen to live music, come out to the Visitors’ Center in downtown Statesville each Saturday morning. All levels of music ability and anyone who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Statesville Visitors Center
118 West Broad St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Guided trail rides are led by a member of the Greenway's equestrian staff and are available on Saturdays from September to May. Trail rides are open to riders ages 9 and older of all experience...

Cost: $45 for members; $50 for nonmembers

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
1058 Horse Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

This ongoing nature program features a tour, demonstration or activity designed to inspire children and adults to explore the natural world of the Carolina Piedmont.

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

Join one of our naturalists on the fourth Saturday of each month for a stroll around Discovery Place Nature’s Paw Paw Nature Trail. We’ll use our senses of sight, hearing, smell and...

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

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

Come out and learn to express yourself through the art of dance, painting, rapping, poetry, singing, and much more.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-606-7084
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

The Carolina Fly Fishing Club will host this beginner series on fly fishing. The series will meet three Saturdays for three hours each time. Sept. 22: Learn the basics and how to tie a wooly...

Cost: $20-$25

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


Website »

More information

Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities including math, science and games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities including math, science and games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

It’s safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. Take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost Train- if you dare! Advance...

Cost: $38

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


Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Website »

More information

Come out for food, carnival rides, inflatables and live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 21 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11+

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
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

The Tony-winning play with music, based on the best-selling novel, upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan. Featuring a dozen actors portraying...

Cost: Season Subscription Only

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

The Cleveland County Arts Council will present the 16th Annual Art of Sound weekend concert series in Uptown Shelby. A variety of musicians and groups will perform in several different venues with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Shelby
Shelby, NC


Sponsor: Cleveland County Arts Council
Website »

More information

Come enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Festival in the Park. Stroll through the park while admiring crafts and art, which is available for purchase. Food is also available for purchase. Do not miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
, NC


Website »

More information

Pineville Players present The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Do not miss this classic story come to life! See website for showtimes.

Where:
The Hut Meeting Facility
413 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Do not miss the fun and excitement of the Rowan County Fair! Check the website for special themed days.

Cost: $5

Where:
Rowan County Fairgrounds
1560 Julian Road
Salisbury, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Sale features fall and winter children's clothing, maternity, baby gear and kid's furniture. All proceeds fund student scholarships. Shop Fri., 6-9pm and Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free

Where:
Covenant Community Preschool
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Sponsor: Covenant Community Preschool
Telephone: 704-616-9253
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
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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 Cultur
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

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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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