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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Come play in the open gym. All students younger than 3 must have an adult present at all times. Some Mondays are closed due to holidays, so please call to verify playtime.

Cost: $5, cash only

Where:
Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This parent-supervised indoor playtime lets kids go wild on colorful, clean, padded equipment.

Cost: $10

Where:
Romp n' Roll Northwest Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lower stress and anxiety with yoga. Focus on breathing and poses that are fun.

Cost: $15

Where:
Charlotte Family Yoga
8230 Poplar Tent
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Family Yoga
Website »

More information

Receive assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities in your pajamas!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Participants of all ages will learn proper Jazz dance technique. No previous dance experience required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-414-2774
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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

Skate on the 5,000 square-foot ice rink. Guests can also enjoy holiday lights and decor; Santa’s Pub, a coffee shop, live music, surprise guests and festive activities.

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to build a fire and keep it going using different fire-starting techniques. Make a tasty treat! Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will learn to take the mundane to a new dimension at the Monroe Library STEAM Lab. No registration is necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Public Library
316 E. Windsor St.
Monroe, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See the story brought to life on screen! This movie is rated PG.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Come paint pottery with your toddler for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy two stories and and two craft activities. After the program, romp and play in the SEED Wildlife Garden and Children's Garden, or stroll the historic Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.

Cost: $10 per non-member family

Where:
SEED Wildlife Garden at Wing Haven
260 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Preschoolers hear stories and sing songs without a parent or caregiver present in order to foster independence and growth every Tuesday.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This workshop is open to all ages. No previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Recreation Site
500 Bilmark Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This parent-supervised indoor playtime lets kids go wild on colorful, clean, padded equipment.

Cost: $10

Where:
Romp n' Roll Northwest Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Come discuss an assigned book. New members welcome. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Play interactive games geared towards social development that involve physical activities every Tuesday in January.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal Street
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment. The class is open to all ages and no previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
5027 North Idlewild Road
, NC
View map »


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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child ages 3-12 will cost $5.

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Homeschool students receive discounted admission at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster.

Cost: $8

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come play all arcade games for half the price all day on Wednesday.

Cost: Price per game varies

Where:
Bowlero
210 E. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Program will bring girls together through games and activities, guest speakers, and field trips.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Students will learn the movement of the pieces and basic chess strategy.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Learn a fusion of Zimbabwe dance styles using traditional Zimbabwe vocabulary mixed with contemporary movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center
2921 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
Telephone: 704-414-2774
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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

What is a microcosm? Delve deep into conservation by studying tiny worlds within our ecosystem. We’ll conduct field research, document our findings, and create a capstone project that combines...

Cost: $60

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Corine Rizzo
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your family out to enjoy stories coupled with fun and easy yoga moves.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Older children can come for Pokemon crafts, games and snacks. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Participate in a variety of engineering projects. Innovate, experiment and explore the arts. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Help your pet stay cozy this winter in a DIY bed. Choose from our three size options, then sand, build and stain the bed frame. Choose a flannel pattern, and sew a comfy pillow. Top it all off with...

Cost: $15-$19, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Science
Website »

More information

Take a hike in the preserve with guides and experience the preserve using only your night vision. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Dr. Bill McDonald, Dean of Students at the University of Georgia, will bring his expertise to present and answer questions to high school students and their families on transitioning to college.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Mooresville Public Library
Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Watch a King Vulture play on a playground in the Vulture Culture exhibit.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Afrobics is a full body, fun experience—a dance fitness class combining Afrofusion movement to an African beat.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn cheers, chants and stunts with an experienced cheer coach.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

"La Bohème" offers a sympathetic, sentimental portrait of youthful optimism, even in the face of true tragedy. In the realm of love stories, nothing holds a candle to "La...

Cost: $56-$194

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


Sponsor: Opera Carolina
Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

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Spend this CMS Teacher Workday in the kitchen! Make marinara sauce, pasta, garlic knots and an Italian dessert.

Cost: $84

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios Rea Farms
9826 Sandy Rock Pl.
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This daily camp will be filled with games, activities and swimming.

Cost: $25

Where:
Ray's Splash Planet
215 N. Sycamore St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hunt for hidden treasure in the woods with your family. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

Kick off your ACT prep with a free practice exam.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library Rock Hill
310 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get your hands dirty learning about nature, and create nature inspired crafts.

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

The first 1,500 fans receive a free Checkers beanie hat.

Cost: $18.50+

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


Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Play a variety of games and sports, create art and adventure to the playground. Bring a bagged lunch.

Cost: $25

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump with other little ones. Parents and caregivers jump free! W8less socks required.

Cost: $10 per hour

Where:
W8Less LKN
10442-A Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for movement and yoga through stories. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the...

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 980-498-1487 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-498-1487
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.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy local music every Friday while you eat, drink and shop.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Treat the kids and yourself to a fun night out! Drop kids off to run, play and dance. Pizza dinner is included.

Cost: $25

Where:
Romp n' Roll NW Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The greatest hits from the raddest decade will be performed live.

Cost: $28+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

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During this interactive and hands-on workshop, Chad Harris and his band, Blue Herons will offer useful tips about how to learn a new song, the importance of listening, solo vs group...

Cost: $20 suggested donation

Where:
Lanti Performing Arts
323 Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »

More information

Don’t miss this amazing show of Mike performing some of the best classic rock songs of all time acoustically.

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Stage Door Theater
155 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Don’t miss this amazing show of Mike performing some of the best classic rock songs of all time acoustically.

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Stage Door Theater
155 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator. See website for full schedule of dates and locations, including Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, HurtHub at...

Cost: $35

Where:
Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Our engaging team of raptor keepers will show you some of their favorite bird species. Check in the Visitor’s Center whiteboard to see who you can meet each day.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

The greatest hits from the raddest decade will be performed live.

Cost: $28+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
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 invaders....

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 exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

It’s the first day of the Year of the Rat! Celebrate the Lunar New Year with some rodent-themed crafts and learn how these little creatures play a vital role in our nature preserve’s ecosystem.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Shelby Harrison
Website »

More information

A new moon in winter provides a unique opportunity to enjoy twinkling starlight. Leave the Earth behind and fall into the sky this Lunar New Year! We’ll share star stories from around the world...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Shelby Harrison
Website »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience winter on an 18th century homestead. Originally located off of North Tryon Street in Charlotte, the restored Ezekiel Alexander cabin provides a glimpse of life in early Charlotte. See...

Cost: Included in admission of $8-$9, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The program celebrates the women of one of the largest plantations in the upstate during the early nineteenth century. Learn about Harriet Bratton, her highly skilled cooks and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children ages 3 and younger

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project from start to finish. Call 980-314-1115 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Clayworks
Telephone: 980-314-1115
Website »

More information

Attend this bilingual story-time followed by music inspired arts and crafts. Must RSVP by calling 704-416-4400.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
Telephone: 704-416-4400
Website »

More information

Discover how El Nino and La Nina systems influence weather with the museum meteorologist at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Discover how El Nino and La Nina systems influence weather. Events at 11am and 2pm.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Attend this bilingual story time followed by music inspired arts and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participate in a variety of science experiments, engineering projects or math puzzles. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come for books and crafts based on dragons. There will be a special guest from Exotic Encounters. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join medical professionals from Atrium Health to learn all about radiology technology.

Cost: $15-$19, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Science
Website »

More information

Guo Nian Hao! Or Happy New Year! This year celebrate the year of the rat 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. while learning about the traditions associated with the Chinese New Year.

Cost: $11, included in admission, free for children younger than 1

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate on Saturday mornings, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This program will teach photography and videography using point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras. Participants will also learn about effective social media interaction as a photographer/journalist. Call...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1110
Website »

More information

Meet adoptable animals that are looking for forever homes every Saturday.

Cost: Free

Where:
PetSmart of Blakeney
9911 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants learn critical reading and writing skills, advocacy, volunteerism, art, videography, public speaking and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
President James K Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Participants will learn about African drumming and get hands-on experience with African instruments.

Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
5027 Idlewild Road N.
, NC
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Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
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The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
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The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC
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Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
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Annual Guides

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

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2019 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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