Take an Urban Excursion in Raleigh


Published:

Raleigh was founded in 1792 as North Carolina’s capital city.

Photo courtesy of Keenan Hairston/Greater Raleigh CVB

Having lived in North Carolina more than half my life, I’ve visited most of the major cities and thought I knew what they had to offer. That is, until a recent trip to the state’s capital opened my eyes to the many affordable, fun, (and in some cases, completely free!) activities for families. Depending on where in the Charlotte area you live, Raleigh is a mere two and a half to three hours away. If you prefer not to drive, consider taking advantage of the Amtrak deal this summer, where children can ride for $5 Tuesdays through Saturdays with a paying adult.

 

Rich in History

Founded in 1792 as North Carolina’s capital city, Raleigh was named for Sir Walter Raleigh, who worked to establish the first English colony in the new world in the late 16th century. It is the only state capital planned and established by a state as a seat of state government. There are many places in the city where you can learn more about the history of the area, as well as the entire state.

Mordecai Historic Park is located right in the heart of the city, and you’ll find The Mordecai House, which is the oldest house in Raleigh in its original location. The acreage of the park was also once the largest plantation in the area, and one of the historic outbuildings has the distinction of being the birthplace of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States. You can also take a one-hour trolley tour departing from the park on Saturdays March through December (additional cost for trolley tickets).

My family loves ghost tours, so my 11-year-old son and I opted to take an evening Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour (presented by Tobacco Road Tours). The 1.5-mile walking tour took us to the State Capitol Building, where we heard about paranormal activity that has been reported on the grounds since the mid-1800s, a possible peg-legged ghost at the restored White-Holman house, stories of what happened to criminals in Moore’s Square, and other tales.

We also made a stop in Raleigh’s oldest cemetery, the Raleigh City Cemetery, and tried to glean clues of what life was like in the past by examining dates on tombstones. The website recommends this tour for children 8 years and older, but I would personally say 10 and up might be better, as there are some spooky and gruesome stories told along the way that might make younger children a little uneasy.


Unique Visitor Experiences at Museums

Probably the most economical way to experience Raleigh is by visiting some of the museums, the majority of which have free admission. The city is often called “The Smithsonian of the South,” likening it to the array of museums offered in Washington, D.C. On our trip, we visited the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is expansive, with four floors of exhibits, live animals, gift shops and two cafes. We explored the current and thought-provoking traveling exhibit “Race,” (at the museum through Oct. 22, 2017), saw a rousing live animal show, and visited the living conservatory full of butterflies and a two-toed sloth.

There are also opportunities to go on specific self-guided tours of hidden gems, the extinct tour, the alive tour or take advantage of a first-time visitors tour. You could easily spend most of one day at this museum. 

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS ADAMCYZK/GREATER RALEIGH CVB

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences


The North Carolina Museum of Art is another museum that combines the best of both worlds, indoor exhibits and The Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park that encourages families to go on a scavenger hunt of sorts. It is located about 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh and consists of two buildings and a 164-acre park.

The indoor museum features works of art by artists such as Claude Monet, Sandro Botticelli, Georgia O’Keefe, plus galleries dedicated to African, ancient American and Jewish ceremonial art. Families can request a backpack of educational materials upon exploring the outdoor park, which includes activities, a map of the park, and facts about the permanent and temporary art installations found on the grounds. Grab a boxed lunch from the museum cafe and spend some quality time outdoors on your visit. The museum also runs a Summer Concert and Movie Series throughout the summer for $6 per person.

History buffs young and old will love the North Carolina Museum of History, another free museum located right in downtown. The museum’s signature exhibit is “The Story of North Carolina,” which is a great primer for those wishing to learn more about the history of the state.

Sports fans can immerse themselves in the artifacts found in The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. There is also a temporary exhibit highlighting the story of the Wright Brothers and the story of their first flight. The museum also recently opened a comprehensive exhibit called “North Carolina and World War I,” which tells the story of the 85,000+ North Carolina soldiers sent into battle, what the political climate was like during that time period, a reproduction of the trench environment soldiers fought in, artifacts and recollections of North Carolina soldiers, and much more. The exhibit is slated to run through January of 2019.


Get Outdoors

PHOTO BY RENEE ROBERSON

At Go Ape, there adventures designed for kids ages 10 and older and adults and a junior course for the younger kids.


Raleigh and the surrounding suburbs are also home to plenty of recreational activities. Pullen Park located near the N.C. State University campus, is free to visit, but there is a small fee to ride the beautifully restored carousel dating back to 1911 ($1 per tickets for children 13 months and older; free for children under 12 months of age). The park itself holds the record of being the oldest public park in North Carolina, and the fifth oldest operating amusement park in the United States. Along with the carousel, you can ride the train around the park, kiddie boats and rent a peddle boat for a trip around Lake Howell (requires six tickets and can seat four people to a boat).

If you want to see more of the area’s lakes, consider an eco-tour with Triangle Boat Tours. We learned the interesting history behind how Jordan Lake was formed, spotted a bald eagle with the help of binoculars on board the boat, and my son even got to take a turn driving the boat. All life jackets are provided and the tour guide, Captain Don, was knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and great with the kids. Get a group together and take advantage of a Saturday special for $220 (Up to 12 guests and a two-hour tour on the lake).

If you enjoy biking, The Neuse River Greenway Trail (a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail) features a paved trail that winds through wetlands and agricultural fields. Rent bikes through The Bike Guy in Wake Forest and take ride through all or part of the 27.5-mile trail.

If you’re more adventurous, Go Ape in Blue Jay Point County Park provides treetop experiences that will have you flying through the air on Tarzan swings, zip-lining across the forest and crossing bridges between trees in the air. There are adventures designed for kids ages 10 and older and adults, and a junior course for the younger kids. Everyone is required to take a 30-minute safety course to ensure you know how your harness and other equipment work. Plan on spending two to three hours on this excursion, as well as challenging yourself.


Barbecue, Macarons, Chocolates, Biscuits and More

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS ADAMCYZK/GREATER RALEIGH CVB

At the Pit, patrons can enjoy barbecue made from pit-cooked whole hog, along with Texas-style brisket, baby back ribs, and rich sides such as fried okra, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese.


For traditional Southern food, you’ll want to check out Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, originally founded in 1958 by Big Ed Watkins, a native of Wake County. Focusing on Southern foods cooked with locally sourced ingredients, the menu features egg dishes, meat biscuits, and sandwiches, burgers, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, and probably the largest hotcakes you’ve ever seen. There’s a hotcake-challenge you can partake in at Big Ed’s, but once you see the size of the hotcakes you’ll want to reconsider.

Have a sports fan in your family? The Sheraton Raleigh Hotel on Salisbury Avenue is home to Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar is full of memorabilia and photos of the late N.C. State University basketball coach and serves up Italian-American fare like wood-fired pizza and oysters, homemade pasta, crab dip, and more.

Barbecue lovers will want to check out the cuisine at The Pit, which focuses on barbecue made from pit-cooked whole hog, along with Texas-style brisket, baby back ribs, and rich sides like fried okra, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese. Though it may not seem possible after a meal at The Pit, save room for dessert. Need we say anything other than double chocolate chocolate cake (yes, there’s an extra “chocolate” in there for emphasis!) and banana pudding?

Also, directly across the street from The Pit is Videri Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory where you can watch the process in person and pick up souvenirs to take home and browse the truffles, dark chocolate bars with sea salt, baking chocolate, and T-shirts.

The colorful offerings at Lucette Grace beckon at you from the street. Choose from a rotating menu of macarons, salted caramel brownies, lemon meringue tart, coffee, sipping caramel, other pastry items and gourmet sandwiches.


Stay in the City

For a full experience of the city, I recommend staying somewhere in the downtown area. We were able to walk to so many of the shops, museums and restaurants from The Sheraton with only a short drive to some of the other excursions. There are many hotels to choose from in the area, depending on your budget and preference for amenities.

For more ideas, check out this list of 40 Free Things to Do in Raleigh.

Renee Roberson is a freelance writer and calendar editor for Charlotte Parent, who loves to travel to new places and cities with her family every chance she gets.

 

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Daily Calendar

May 2019

Prior to opening to the general public, the museum will offer a preparatory session for those with sensory processing issues. Items like sound dampening materials and stress balls will also be...

Cost: $4-$12

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Drive
Spencer, NC
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Transportation Museum
Website »

More information

Enjoy all-you-can-eat Italian food. Bring the kids to play in the Kid Zone with face painting and Italian lessons. Adults can enjoy live music, dance, prosecco, wine and Peroni beer.

Where:
Gateway Village Promenade
800 W. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Design a doodle bot, build with Makerspace Charlotte and celebrate the 75th Sunday Fun Day!

Cost: Children, free; adults, $6

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


Website »

More information

Sunday is Family Day at the Bigleaf Magnolia Art and Gardens Festival. Register for a family workshop, or drop in to a creation station. Cost and suggested ages vary by activity.

Cost: $2+

Where:
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9090 Craver Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1775, Captain James Jack rode 450 miles to deliver the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to Congress. In honor of his historic ride, The May 20th Society invites you to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4150 Yancey Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families will explore spring wildflowers in the nature preserve during this self-led scavenger hunt for prizes.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Put on your wellies, and reserve your spot for the tea party, which includes refreshments, crafts and cupcake-decorating.

Cost: $13.50

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


Sponsor: American Girl
Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

Enjoy traditional tea fare and pink lemonade, as well as activities for children.

Cost: $25-$40

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
248 Ridgewood Ave
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

See a variety of European sports cars on April 28 and the third Sunday of every month from May through November. Rain days will be scheduled if needed.

Cost: Free

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


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

SUP board rentals include paddle, PFD and whistle, which are required while paddle boarding. Renters younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian with them on the water. Bring your dog for an...

Cost: $25 first hour, $14 additional hour

Where:
Windjammer Park
89999 Windjammer Drive
Tega Cay, SC
View map »


Sponsor: The Goat Boater
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

Experience creations including sculptures, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, one-of-a-kind jewelry and mixed media while enjoying eateries and retailers of Birkdale Village.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
16805 Birkdale Commons Pkwy.
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet a resident bird and an expert keeper in these half-hour sessions along the Raptor Trail. Saturdays 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sundays 1 and 3 p.m.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

The City is jazzing up Sunday afternoons with a new four-week jazz series. Food will be available for purchase.

Cost: Free

Where:
Veteran's Park
118 N. Main St.
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a 50-foot Alpine climbing tower, a 40-foot challenge tower and zip-line, fishing pond, archery and wooded hiking trails. Try activities like dodgeball, gagaball, basketball, volleyball,...

Cost: $10 per family

Where:
Hemby Program Center
9760 Happy Valley Drive
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Brace Family Y
Website »

More information

All ages are welcome to this open gym session with an adult. Enjoy trampolines, a foam pit and inflatables as a family.

Cost: $10 per family, cash only

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


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Families with special needs can enjoy lessons and activities tailored for persons with disabilities. Children's class at 9:30 and 11am. Teen class at 9:30 and 11am. Young adult class at...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: MUMC
Website »

More information

Enjoy music outdoors with the family. Dates: April 28, May 5 and 19, June 2 and 9, July 4, August 4 and 25, and September 1 and 15.

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Village Green
Intersection of Main Street and Concord Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

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

"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

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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


Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Lake Norman
500 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

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


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

The May 20th Society’s annual commemoration of the MeckDec signing includes military and Colonial re-enactors, historical readings, military parades and cannon firing in uptown...

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Square
Trade and Tryon Streets
, NC
View map »

More information

Develop literacy and critical thinking skills through books and hands-on activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come chat about a teen book and participate in related activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn how to read a cookbook and follow a recipe to become a successful cook!

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

Create obstacle courses for Hexbugs using Lego pieces and blocks.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Discover how movement can bring stories to life in new ways.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Make masterpieces out of recycled book pages.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Every Monday, Sky High Sports has a special for little jumpers. The facility is still open during Munchkin Monday, so older guests may also be jumping. Munchkin Monday may be canceled on...

Cost: $4-$10

Where:
Sky High Sports
601 N. Polk St.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-889-5867
Website »

More information

Preschoolers complete nature themed literature activities, crafts and hikes while using their imaginations! All guests will meet at the Adventure Center. 1/21: Snow 2/4: Winter Bird Feeders...

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

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


Website »

More information

Children ages 6 and younger can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $6.95

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


Website »

More information

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

Enjoy a variety of stories based on the seasons. Learn about bugs, frogs, plants and other garden friends. Follow story time with a self-guided scavenger hunt.

Cost: $7-$13, children younger than 2 free, included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1114
Website »

More information

Explore various painting techniques, and express your imagination.  There will be no class on May 27 for Memorial Day.

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs and movement activities, and wear pajamas! Milk and cookies will be served.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Kids will have fun doing unstructured gymnastics.

Cost: $10-$15, cash only

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


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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


Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

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


Website »

More information

See the Cabarrus Arts Council's newest exhibition, "On Paper." The exhibition will feature a wide array of artwork including cut and sculpted paper, collage and works on paper by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Participate in educational and therapeutic activities for children with special needs with Little Achievers, a sub group of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Paint on canvases for the Juice and Paint theme. This will be a Homeschool Rocks finale before summer break.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Some of NASCAR’s biggest names will battle each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts.

Cost: Free

Where:
GoPro Motorplex
130 Motorplex Drive
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In support of FrogWatch USA, go on a frog walk and report all the different frog calls you hear. Learn about the local frogs, and discover how you can take part in this program at home.

Cost: $8, free for children younger than 2, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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

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

Children ages 6 and younger can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $6.95

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a story and craft activity in the Children’s Garden. Children can water vegetable plants, dig for worms and explore the gardens.

Cost: $10 per family, free for members

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


Website »

More information

This class combines yoga and play through  poses, songs and calming time.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
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

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

Cost: $65-$95

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


Telephone: 704-716-4600
Website »

More information

Come make fun, kid-friendly campfire meals. Registration is required. May 21: Banana Boats June 18: Dogs in a Blanket July 16: Waffle Cone S’mores Aug. 20: Pizza Pies

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

"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

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

See the Cabarrus Arts Council's newest exhibition, "On Paper." The exhibition will feature a wide array of artwork including cut and sculpted paper, collage and works on paper by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Discover the nature of local greenways and their importance to the environment in Mecklenburg County.

Cost: Free

Where:
McAlpine Regional Park
8711 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover nature through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

Explore the amazing world through stories, crafts and activities.

Cost: $6

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


Website »

More information

Participants will make ice cream in a bag while participating in some activities and games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy puppet shows, songs and movement activities that support early literacy.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Children ages 6 and younger can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $6.95

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


Website »

More information

Spend time with your child learning about God and having fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe
8335 Browne Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU (Matthews and Charlotte locations)
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble: Morrison Place
4020 Sharon 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

Explore nature in and around the recreation center Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
West Charlotte Recreation Center
2401 Kendall Drive
, 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

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

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

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

"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

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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


Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

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


Website »

More information

See the Cabarrus Arts Council's newest exhibition, "On Paper." The exhibition will feature a wide array of artwork including cut and sculpted paper, collage and works on paper by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Create, experiment and practice teamwork teamwork in age appropriate challenges. May the force be with you! Explore the vastness of space in this session.

Cost: $15

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


Website »

More information

Use multiple critical thinking skills and the library's online resources in a small group setting to solve puzzles and codes in an interactive escape room game.

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Regional Library
6000 Conference Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore space with activities, games and an out-of-this world snack! Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fort Mill Public Library
1818 2nd Baxter Crossing
Fort Mill, 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

Children ages 6 and younger can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $6.95

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


Website »

More information

Sing to songs, move to the music and enjoy an active practice with caregiver and child. Parent or guardian must be present in class.

Cost: $15

Where:
Blossom Tree Wellness
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU (Matthews and Charlotte locations)
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. March 16-17, Inching Along; May 23-24: Life of a Ladybug. Registration...

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

Make a variety of crafts each week to take home. Parent participation and registration are required.

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

This class incorporates songs and movement and ends with a calming story.

Cost: $15

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Tiny Blooms Yoga
Website »

More information

Rock out to live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities,...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts start at $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come out every Thursday for live music in Uptown.

Cost: Free

Where:
Epicentre
210 East Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $65-$95

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


Telephone: 704-716-4600
Website »

More information

River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

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


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

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

"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

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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


Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

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


Website »

More information

See the Cabarrus Arts Council's newest exhibition, "On Paper." The exhibition will feature a wide array of artwork including cut and sculpted paper, collage and works on paper by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

The Hot Wheels is taking the Legends Tour experience Concord Walmart store parking lot. There will be a gaming console, Hot Wheels track play station and a vending machine giving fans a chance to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Walmart
150 Concord Commons Pl. SW
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hike unexplored areas for fun and adventure, and learn through activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This clinic teaches the basics of orienteering, including how to read map features and compasses, recognizing symbols and how to effectively use both for navigation. Stick around for live music...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Website »

More information

Hear this duo blend country and blues in Spirit Square.

Cost: Free

Where:
Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come watch movies in Village Park!     May 24: "Incredibles II"     June 7: "Sandlot"     June 21: "Jumanji"...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Children ages 6 and younger can jump at a discounted rate, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $6.95

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 (Matthews and Charlotte locations)
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. March 16-17, Inching Along; May 23-24: Life of a Ladybug. Registration...

Cost: $4

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


Website »

More information

Participate in educational and therapeutic activities for children with special needs with Little Achievers, a sub group of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Kids will learn some basic yoga positions that go along with the story.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Rock out to live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities,...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts start at $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Make a unique project out of clay that will last a lifetime. Projects will be taken back to Clayworks to be fired and glazed before being returned to Grier Heights Community Center for pickup.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-498-1487
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Matthews presents food trucks, kids' activities, craft beer and wine, and weekly bands.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy live music, food trucks and a beverage garden. May 10 and 24, and June 7 and 21.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Belmont
S. Main St.
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie in the park. Food available for purchase. Movie begins at dusk. March 29 and Aug. 23 at Crooked Creek Park, 5900 Oakwood Ln.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, except June 21, which is Movie on the Green.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate 20 years of music at Stonecrest with weekly family fun.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

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


Website »

More information

Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, 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

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

"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

tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

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


Website »

More information

The Mint Hill Madness festival offers something for everyone, food, music, a family carnival, an arts and crafts fair, parade, and a spectacular firework show. Fireworks begin at approximately 10...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Town of Mint Hill
Website »

More information

Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

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


Website »

More information

This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon 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

See the Cabarrus Arts Council's newest exhibition, "On Paper." The exhibition will feature a wide array of artwork including cut and sculpted paper, collage and works on paper by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Galleries
65 Union St. S.
Concord, 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  29715
View map »


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

More information

Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Guests will be mesmerized this summer by dozens of vibrant sculptures by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath including towering 10-foot orchids, vivid pitcher plants, energetic Venus flytraps and...

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free, includes garden admission

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Cover the different types of fish and the different methods used to catch them.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway Scoville Dock
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for a stroll around Discovery Place Nature’s Paw Paw Nature Trail.

Cost: $8, free for children younger than 2, included with museum admission

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


Website »

More information

Listen to a story, and meet Wonder Woman and Spider Man.

Cost: $9

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


Website »

More information

This ongoing nature program is designed to inspire children and adults to explore the natural world of the Carolina Piedmont. This Saturday is "Natural History Jeopardy."

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

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


Website »

More information

Don’t miss NASCAR’s rising stars competing in the May 25 Alsco 300, a daytime donnybrook for sun-drenched supremacy.

Cost: $26.75+

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Discuss teen fandom of pop culture while enjoying snacks and fun geek activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

One of the country’s largest gospel music festivals is returning to Carowinds, featuring Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp, Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds and more.

Cost: $38-$69

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


Website »

More information

Come see "Christopher Robin." The concession stand will be selling popcorn and other snacks. The film will begin shortly after sunset.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ebenezer Park
4490 Boatshore Road
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come play with your kids at My Gym! Parent participation is required. Parents wear socks; children go barefoot.

Cost: $10 per child

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


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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, NC
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Come for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator! Each week, scholars will build a robot with new features. No prior experience required.

Cost: $35

Where:
Ballantyne Hotel
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
, NC
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Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve with certified instructors while enjoying nature. Children ages five to nine are required to be in a tandem with an adult. Registration is required.

Cost: $20 single, $25 tandem

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
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Join this family-friendly open art session where your little Picasso can shine! Each week will be different activities including easel painting, sensory stations and themed art projects.

Cost: $10

Where:
Noah's Art of Southpark
5110 Park Road
2C
, NC
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Sponsor: Noah's Art of Southpark
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Guided trail rides are open to riders of all experience levels.

Cost: $45-$50

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
1058 Horse Road
Fort Mill, SC
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Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. Ages 11 and under must wear a life jacket at all times in the water. Anyone 12 and older are eligible to take the swim test. Bring your rod...

Cost: $15 per person, cash or check only

Where:
The Quarry at Carrigan Farms
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC
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Sponsor: Carrigan Farms
Telephone: 704-664-1450
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Meet a resident bird and an expert keeper in these half-hour sessions along the Raptor Trail. Saturdays 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sundays 1 and 3 p.m.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
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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
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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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Rock out to live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities,...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts start at $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
, NC
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Learn about vultures found at Carolina Raptor Center.

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

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Glide along the water while enjoying nature. Registration is required.

Cost: $15 single, $20 tandem

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
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Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

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

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Teens ages 16 and younger receive three hours of discounted jumping. Jumpers are required to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for an additional $2.

Cost: $19.95

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, except June 21, which is Movie on the Green.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
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Celebrate 20 years of music at Stonecrest with weekly family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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River Jam brings live musical performances to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. See website for information about River Jam Run, open water swim, big water sessions, yoga and...

Cost: Free, $6 for parkig

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Watch a free, outdoor movie in Uptown. May 25: "Back to the Future" June 22: "The Goonies" July 27: "Jurassic Park" Aug. 27: "Jumanji"

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
406 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Dive into these crustacean's habitats, learn crazy crabby facts, and face off with Crabzilla, the Japanese Spider Crab whose legs can span up to 15 feet.

Cost: $11-$20, includes museum admission, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies and alien invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Romare Bearden and his...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

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

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. The Bechtler...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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The Mint Hill Madness festival offers something for everyone, food, music, a family carnival, an arts and crafts fair, parade, and a spectacular firework show. Fireworks begin at approximately 10...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC
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Sponsor: Town of Mint Hill
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Exhibit explores the 1929 Loray Mill Strike, including why strikers chose to organize with the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) and how the strike influenced mills across the country. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum of Art and History
131 West Main St.
Dallas, NC
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Explore another part of the world through the IMAX original film, "Pandas," a breathtaking documentary adventure high in the mountains of Sichuan, China.

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N Tryon St.
, NC
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This modest exhibition presents twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. Yet all of them, regardless of their style, form, material or subject proved...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, 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  29715
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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Kids can get creative in Block Party, the new interactive building exhibit for children.

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

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Annual Guides

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

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

Education Guide

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