Surviving Vacation and Holiday Travel With a Special-Needs Child

Yes, you can travel with your special-needs child. Here are all the tips you need to start planning.


Published:

JJ Owens enjoying a day at the beach.

Sundrikka Owens

It's normal to worry about traveling with a special needs child. Even a trip to the grocery store can feel like it's not worth the trouble after one meltdown too many. Home delivery and curbside pick-up become your best friends. But traveling with your family is extremely important especially if you have other children because you don't want to deprive them of rich memories with you. But also because even if your child is nonverbal and seems disconnected, they are looking for new experiences as well, and travel can bring a sense of normalcy to your family life. You will be so proud of your special needs child, family and yourself when it's all said and done. Every time we go into the community, it exposes others to our children which inspires compassion, curiosity and special accommodations. 

 Here are tips on holiday travel and vacations which we use faithfully:

  1. Go on-line to understand peak seasons, dates and times to avoid.
  2. Bring all of your child's coping aids (headphones, IPAD/IPhone, extra plugs, favorite snacks and drinks, and trinkets).
  3. FAST PASS!! This is the time to invest in the extras. But before you buy contact the venue. Sometimes they offer a free disability pass that will bump you to the front of the line.
  4. This is no time to be the rule enforcer. As long as it doesn't cause behavior or gut issues, give your child an extra treat or bring the banned snacks they usually aren't allowed to have. Don't be above a bribe.
  5. All of this activity will exhaust them. Consider an earlier bedtime to avoid the meltdown even if they don't appear tired.
  6. Go off-site to local creature comforts to de-stress your child- trampoline park, bounce-house, whatever they like when at home. This is especially true at grandparents or other relatives that don't have the funhouse you've created back at home.

Plane Tips

  • Bring a lot of  snacks and drinks.  Encourage your child to eat and drink to combat ear popping.  Also in case of delays you don't want to be caught with a hangry child.
  • Seat strategy - If possible put your spouse in the seat in front of your child in case they are a seat kicker!
  • If possible get seats closest to the bathroom.
  • Travel during the time of day your child is the happiest and most flexible.  For us the earlier the better.
  • Put your child in a pull-up even if they are potty-trained.
  • If possible get a window seat, in case your child is interested to look out.
  • You have to be constantly vigilant, managing snacks, toys, technology, bathroom breaks, screeching, etc..  You will be exhausted by the end of the plane ride.  But it will be worth it.
  • Extra power cords

Hotel Tips

  1. Request a room closest to elevator or exit (unless your child is a wanderer).
  2. Keep doors to outside and balcony locked at all times.
  3. If your child likes to swim, make sure they have a decent pool.
  4. Bring swim diapers, even if potty trained.
  5. Try to find a hotel with room service and/or delivery.
  6. Request a refrigerator ahead of time for medicines and snacks.
  7. If it's possible reserve a suite with two bedrooms.  That way you will also have a vacation!!
  8. Let them bring as many toys as they want.
  9. Extra power cords.

Remember to start slowly. Perhaps your first trip is a two-night trip to the Great Wolf Lodge to practice your tips. Don't get discouraged. Many of our older children still behave like toddlers. During vacation and holidays indulge this and prepare like you would for a toddler — diapers (for car or plane rides), special treats (bribes) but meltdowns can still happen. You're trying to:

  • Avoid walking long distances (pay for valet, VIP parking or Uber).
  • Avoid waiting in long lines (Fast Pass, Ride Scheduling, avoid peak times, call ahead about special needs accommodations).
  • Anticipate hunger and sleep needs. They will be hungrier and more tired than usual.

 If your child has a sibling and you have a spouse with you, split up for part of the day. The sibling will have compromised and accommodated for most of the trip.  Reward the sibling with special one-on-one time.

For me and my daughter it was going to Universal Harry Potter Wizarding World while my husband and son tackled the water park. I'll admit I enjoyed it as much or more than she did! If you have a spouse that is apprehensive (burned by too many public meltdowns), volunteer to take primary responsibility for the child. Once you prove it can be done, your spouse will want to share in the experience as well. Our kiddos have a way of making a well-earned giggle sound like the best thing on earth.

After you've mastered smaller trips you'll have the courage to try bigger ones.  After a couple years of Great Wolf Lodge and trips to the grandparents, we finally braved Disney. JJ was a champ on the plane — fellow passengers complemented our kids behavior — and throughout Disney using the tips. Above all keep your sense of humor. You got this.

Shundrikka Owens is a married mom of two to Evelyn,10, a typically developing child who loves the theatre, and JJ, who is 7, who is nonverbal with autism. Shundrikka is also a Senior Vice President of Marketing at Elior North America, a culinary and restaurant management group headquartered uptown Charlotte.


For support and to make more connections within the Charlotte area, consider joining this private Facebook group Special Friends Connection-Charlotte Area

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Special Connection CLT

Connecting Charlotte families and parents of children with special needs

About Special Connection CLT

Need to feel connected with others within the Charlotte area? Mostly everyone does, especially those who are touched by the special needs community. You need a village! Here you will find just that — parents, therapists, educators and more, who share their experiences, challenges and triumphs. You are not alone on this incredible journey. Join the Special Friends Connection Facebook group.

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Daily Calendar

January 2019

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Microsoft
Website »

More information

Kate DiCamillo, the two-time Newbery Medal winner, will speak about and sign her new novel, "Louisiana's Way Home." This is a ticketed event.

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Discover what makes mammals unique by reading a fabulous animal tale and enjoying crafts and activities related to mammals.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Sun Valley High School
5211 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Church of the Redeemer
Website »

More information

Matthews UMC offers opportunities for Christian education, discipleship, fellowship and care for persons of all ages with disabilities and their families. Experience age-level appropriate Sunday...

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Special Needs Ministry at Calvary welcomes all ages and abilities! Guests, including parents and caregivers, are invited to join.

Cost: Free

Where:
Calvary Church
5801 Pineville–Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-341-5413
Website »

More information

Read "The Little Red Hen" (makes a pizza), then mix and measure to stir up an amazing creation.

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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...

Explore different media and techniques to make art to enhance the library.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Create various origami projects using recycled book pages. All materials will be provided. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Seven skilled acrobats push their physical limits without reserve. Supported by driving percussion, immersed in every moment, A Simple Space evokes real responses in audiences, visceral rather...

Cost: $19.50+

Where:
Booth Playhouse
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Telephone: 704-544-4848
Website »

More information

Hit the paved trail with your little one, and experience nature. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Come and bring out your inner creative writer. Also explore books to spark writing creativity.

Cost: Free

Where:
Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-1180
Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

Have fun turning wafers of chocolate and other sweet treats into beautiful candy art. Create a different project every session.

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

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

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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...

Hats off to National Hat Day! Don your favorite crazy, funny, cute or silly hat, and come celebrate! Read "Whose Hat is This?" before exploring the different hats people can wear.

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Discover evergreen tree science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5600
Website »

More information

This informative program, led by a College Foundation of North Carolina representative, will discuss FAFSA and how to find resources to help pay for college.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Seven skilled acrobats push their physical limits without reserve. Supported by driving percussion, immersed in every moment, A Simple Space evokes real responses in audiences, visceral rather...

Cost: $19.50+

Where:
Booth Playhouse
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

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

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

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

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

Cost: $10

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

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

Play video games, board games, foosball and more with others.

Cost: $6

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

Create custom graphic and grip tape on a blank skate board deck using spray paint, hand cut, stencils and paint pens. Instruction, materials, deck and grip are included.

Cost: $50

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


Website »

More information

The program is designed to provide girls the opportunity to express themselves, gain an experience in different activities and assist in developmental growth through socialization.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1122
Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child (ages 3-12) receives a discount as well, costing only $5 each. 

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien 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 adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 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

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

Throwback pricing on tickets (starting at $1) and concessions courtesy of Rolle Oral and Facial Surgery

Cost: Starting at $1.00

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Children learn about language and literacy through play. Drop in for this self-directed play day.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore and listen for nocturnal animals while getting some exercise. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980- 314-1128
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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

These wintry themed classes will incorporate props, musical instruments and board books to focus upon developmental milestones.

Cost: $5

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

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

Come improve bowl skating skills, such as finding new lines plus improving airs and grinds

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Families will work with local artists to contribute to a permanent art installation that will be displayed at the Scaleybark Library.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

Charlotte Ballet's Cultural Dance Program presents African Dance classes. Classes are drop-in format, open to all ages and free of charge for participants. There is also child supervision...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Recreation Center
943 West Sugar Creek Road
, 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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien 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 adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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...

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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

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

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

These wintry themed classes will incorporate props, musical instruments and board books to focus upon developmental milestones.

Cost: $5

Where:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
220 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 402
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien 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 adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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...

Celebrate everyone’s favorite “silly old bear.” Bring a stuffed animal, and journey through the Hundred Acre Woods.

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

Together as a family, participants will create games and activities while learning from nature. Pre-registration is required for all participants.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Join friends for good times, good food and a lot of dancing with other teens and adults with disabilities.

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Explore McDowell Nature Preserve after dark in search of these nocturnal wonders of the sky!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


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

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

Cost: $3-$5

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$6

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

Participants will can choose from a wide variety of activities as well as a specialized activity that varies weekly.

Cost: $6

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Microsoft
Website »

More information

Connect with community members while participating in Acts of Kindness, center projects and charitable deeds.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal Street
, 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

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show offers Southern food with classic Southern songs. Watch the gospel truths unfold through the eyes and imagination of Tennessee! See website for...

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


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

More information

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

Judy and her brother, Stink, set sail to find Scurvy Sam’s secret pirate treasure. To find the loot, they’ll have to race their swashbuckling rivals, Tall Boy and Smart Girl, to see who...

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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

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


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

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Visit the first-ever Schleich pop-up shop, a unique, hands-on destination for imaginative play, at SouthPark Mall! The Charlotte-based toy company’s standalone store offers fun-filled activities...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

Run through the city. Stick around for the post-race party with chocolate fondue, dippable snacks, hot chocolate, DJ and a Kid Zone with inflatables and games.

Cost: $54-$74

Where:
First Ward Park
, NC


Website »

More information

Hike on the Cattail Trail with the family. Stop to enjoy the view along the water while kids create winter artwork inspired by nature. Registration Required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Discover what animals are out and about while enjoying a morning outdoors. Come back to the nature center after the hike to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Registration required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980- 314-1128
Website »

More information

Explore the ancient ways of tracking, and become in tune with nature.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

See vendors and enjoy free activities, including a fun photo booth, mommy makeovers, henna tattoos, costume characters, baby bump painting, face painting, prizes and informative classes.

Cost: Free

Where:
Heritage Conference Center Grand Ballroom
375 Star Light Drive
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Sponsor: Touch of Magic Events

More information

Altitude Trampoline Park is excited to announce the official grand opening celebration of its Gastonia location, which will include: climbing contest, ninja course contest and neon night with...

Cost: Free for first 100 guests

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

More information

Enjoy a family-friendly storytelling performance in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Minter is the Coordinator for Frontline Storytellers, an award-winning local and national program and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Sponsor: Mooresville Public Library
Website »

More information

Participants will complete a two-hour workshop with visual art activities while being entertained by music. Refreshments will be served.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tyvola Senior Center
2225 Tyvola Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in family-friendly service projects. Locations: Blythe Elementary School, Huntersville East Mecklenburg High...

Cost: Free

Where:
Multiple Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Join a card creation party, and come ready to create! Cards will be mailed to the Love in Action Project.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Meck High School, Blythe Elementary, Renaissance West STEAM Academy, Marie G. Davis K-8 School
Charlotte, NC


Website »

More information

  NASCAR Night - Autograph session and appearances by Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Regan Smith and Corey LaJoie Family Night presented by Fairfield Inn and Suites - save 40 percent on...

Cost: Starting at $18.50

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

The Traveling Blue Series program is sponsored by Culture Blocks, a community partnership between ASC, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to bring arts and...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Drop in to create a take-home winter craft.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

 Seeds, flower buds, essential oils and a natural soap base will all blend together to form bars of soap.

Cost: $12

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


Website »

More information

Bike Riders is open to any age with a disability/diagnosis. Register for a 30-minute time slot to work on bike riding skills indoors. Bikes and helmets provided.

Cost: Free

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

More information

Watch the Charlotte Hornets take on the Phoenix Suns.

Cost: Tickets start at $18

Where:
Spectrum Center
333 E. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 1-877-582-9297
Website »

More information

Come NASCAR Night, Girl Scout Night and Family Night. Families save 40 percent on groups of four tickets when purchasing online.

Cost: $18.50+

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Do you keep saying you’ll get organized someday, but someday never comes? Are you overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted by your clutter? Would you like to save time and money while reducing your...

Cost: 99.00

Where:
Online
PO Box 178
Charlotte, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Reawaken Your Brilliance
Telephone: 191-955-93925
Contact Name: Julie Coraccio
Website »

More information

Visit the open-air ice skating rink located across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill. See website for operating hours.

Cost: $10, includes skate rental

Where:
Founders Holiday Ice Rink
205 Saluda St.
Rock Hill, SC
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

Digi-Bridge will host a course of STEAM learning activities featuring the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits. Register at digi-bridge.org! There are locations at Hurt Hub@Davidson, Hygge West on Remount Road in...

Cost: $30

Where:
Hurt Hub@Davidson
210 Delburg St.
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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

Learn new tricks on the baby quarter while utilizing them in a group game of S.K.A.T.E.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate National Popcorn Day, and explore the three most common states of matter with food! First, learn about our favorite movie snack by reading "The Popcorn Book" by Tomie de Paola....

Cost: $10, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate Australia’s independence with aboriginal dot art painting. Learn more about this unique art form and then create a masterpiece to take home.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show offers Southern food with classic Southern songs. Watch the gospel truths unfold through the eyes and imagination of Tennessee! See website for...

Cost: $10-$37

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


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

More information

This adaptation of the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a must-see for Percy Jackson fans. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm, Jan....

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

Judy and her brother, Stink, set sail to find Scurvy Sam’s secret pirate treasure. To find the loot, they’ll have to race their swashbuckling rivals, Tall Boy and Smart Girl, to see who...

Cost: $25+

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

The exhibition presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public. Bechtler will be highlighting works from well-known artists including but not...

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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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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