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

September 2017

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

The NHRA’s best drivers begin their quest for supremacy in the first race of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship at zMAX Dragway. Every ticket is a...

Cost: $21-$43

Where:
zMax Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
View map »


Telephone: 1-800-455-FANS (3267)
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating Monkey Joe’s Birthday by offering $5 admissions, a free magnetic picture frame and cotton candy, while supplies lasts! Festivities will begin at...

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's University
10215 University City Blvd Suite C
Charlotte, NC  28213
View map »


Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s Gastonia is celebrating Monkey Joe’s Birthday on September 17th by offering $5 admissions, a free magnetic picture frame and cotton candy, while supplies lasts! Festivities...

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's Gastonia
3924 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28098
View map »


Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join scholars from around the region to discuss Camp Greene and the larger impact of the Great War on North Carolina, followed by a screening of the documentary City of Canvas: The Story of Camp...

Cost: Public registration $25; member registration $20; student registration $5

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28215
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Season Eight: Sacred Sounds begins with UNC Greensboro’s Gate City Camerata performing. Their program will include works by Bach, Respighi and Kernis. A small reception following the...

Cost: $0-$30; children 12 and under free

Where:
St. Ann Catholic Church
3635 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-523-4641
Website »

More information

Bring your best pirate costumes and voices and sing along in this traditional “Gilbert and Sullivan Sing” event: where the audience is the chorus! Or sit back and watch the musical...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harrisburg Presbyterian Church
4815 Highway 49 S.
Harrisburg, NC  28075
View map »


Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Gently-used designer women's clothing and accessories. Wed. and Thurs., 9am-7pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-6pm (most items half-price); Sun., 9am-3pm (most items half-price)

Cost: Free

Where:
Levine Senior Center
1050 Devore Lane
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-966-7036
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Preschoolers and their caregivers can participate in nature-themed activities, crafts and hikes. Meet box turtles Miller and Meadow and learn all about their big personalities and their lives...

Cost: $5; free for members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center
1604 21 Bypass
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join us at the Mooresville Public Library for an educational interactive event that includes hives, honey tasting, videos and more! Presented by the Iredell County Beekeepers Association.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Children and their parents can learn about plant life, animals, their homes, and the weather with hands-on activities, crafts, games, and hikes. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Volunteer and charity presales on Thurs. and Fri., Sat. and Sun., 10am-7pm; Mon., 10am-7pm; Tues., 10am-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Merino's Home Furnishings Warehouse
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-765-2117
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Join Rutherford Rabbit to enjoy a seasonally themed story and take-home craft activity in the Children’s Garden. Children can water the vegetable plants, dig for worms, explore the sensory...

Cost: $10/family (free to Wing Haven members)

Where:
Wing Haven Children's Garden
260 Ridgewood Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by to watch the film "Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson and Kevin Kline. Rated PG.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
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

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:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
Freedom Division
4150 Wilkinson Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph | 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown | 500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

Stop by the store for live musical entertainment as Tommy performs with a multitude of instruments. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Toys and Company
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn why volcanoes are so powerful and whether or not their gases and level contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Features local speakers sharing their knowledge on our region's environment from butterflies to bears and everything in between.

Cost: Free

Where:
McClintock Middle School
1925 Rama Road
Charlotte`, NC  28212
View map »


Telephone: 704-517-2535
Contact Name: Ernie McLaney
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission.

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

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


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

In this free trial, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Rastogi, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Colonel Francis Beatty Park
4330 Weddington Road
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Contact Name: Kristin Rastogi
Website »

More information

Learn about the Lumbee Tribe of North America.  Enjoy listening to a Lumbee legend, learning the symbolism behind the Eagle Feather, and creating a Native American headdress using...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Big changes are brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from the Joker's hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others, and maybe, just...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

BHHS Carolinas Realty is sponsoring a free family movie night featuring "Sing." Movie begins at 7:30pm. 

Cost: Free; one canned good donation per person requested

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


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

Step into a special sandbox and "dig" for dinosaur bones and see if you can identify various dinosaur skeletons. Meet at the Town Hall stage to hear the story "Dinosaurs,...

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs., including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, Zumba,...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit, 501(c3) after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, including cooking with a pastry chef, healthing cooking, academic...

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
Hope Community Church
4418 Rea Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Join Dilworth neighbors in this family and pet-friendly food truck fest each week. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
1324 E. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

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


Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

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


Website »

More information

Featuring nearly 200 arts and crafts exhibits, five stages with more than 1,000 performers, children’s rides and attractions. Fri., 4-9:30pm; Sat., 10am-9:30pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
Website »

More information

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Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Meet traditional and contemporary potters as well as Catawba potters, too. There will be presentations by noted pottery experts, pottery making demonstrations, and the chance to win free...

Cost: $5-$8; children 3 and under free

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1036 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC  29726
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Website »

More information

See and touch live snakes, alligators, frogs and other reptiles and amphibians. Cheer on our museum turtles in our annual turtle race, find wildlife in our pond and have fun learning about these...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Morgan Huffman
Website »

More information

Take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors with a scavenger hunt, live butterfly release (noon and 1:30pm), and geogaching. Plus, meet members of of York County's Beekeeper Association and...

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 803-327-6400
Website »

More information

When Billy Graham answered God’s call toevangelism, he had no idea what lay ahead—but he committed to honoring Christ every step of the way. In honor of the 70th...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Stop by  to create a nature-inspired spring craft to take home. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Featuring a showing of "Beauty and the Beast" on a 24-foot movie screen, live music, games, giveaways and snacks. The movie will begin at dusk. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Premium Outlets
5404 New Fashion Way
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

Cost: $6-$12; children under 4 free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Car lovers won't want to miss thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. You’ll also experience a collector car auction, over 10,000 automotive vendor...

Cost: $11; kids 13 and under get in free with a paying adult

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In the 1920s, Cleveland County experienced an economic boom and bust, the heyday of the textile mills, the birth of the political engine known as the Shelby Dynasty, and improved education,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Visit Bit.ly/freecraftsforkids for the featured craft of the week or call your local Lakeshore Learning store for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Lakeshore Learning Store
Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

More information

The impulse to explore the unknown is as old as humanity itself, and today, a new frontier of solar systems, stars and galaxies beckons us.  What rocket designs might one day carry...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Ticket prices start at $44; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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


Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

Cost: Online in Advance: $21.95/Adult, $19.95/Senior 60+, $14.95/Child 2-12, Free/Chil

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

This rendition will be set in the 1960s (think Austin Powers!). The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy involves two sets of identical brothers, separated...

Cost: $5-$10

Where:
CPCC-Cato Campus
Outdoor Ampitheatre
3645 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

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


Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Find great deals on spring and summer clothing (sizes: newborn to juniors) maternity clothing, kids' furniture and gear. Cash only. No strollers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-616-9253
Website »

More information

Explore the term "cabinet of curiosities" with this exhibit that describes a room rather than a piece of furniture. "Cabinets" originated in the 16th century and held large...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

Food, carnival rides and games, live entertainment. Special Needs Fun Day held Fri., Sept. 22 from 1-3pm. Other hours are: Fri., 5-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm.

Cost: Free; additional cost for rides and food

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


Website »

More information

Featuring nearly 200 arts and crafts exhibits, five stages with more than 1,000 performers, children’s rides and attractions. Fri., 4-9:30pm; Sat., 10am-9:30pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-338-1060
Website »

More information

Experience Beethoven's masterful final symphony, widely celebrated as one of the most significant works of all time. This work, revolutionary for audiences of its time, continues to inspire...

Cost: $19+

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


Telephone: 704-972-2000
Website »

More information

Repticon Charlotte is a reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free raffles for coveted...

Cost: $5-$12; children 5 and under free

Where:
Cabarrus Arena and Events Center
4751 Highway 49 North
Concord, NC  28025
View map »


Telephone: 863-268-4273
Website »

More information

Educators can bring one guest and enjoy free admission to Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Kids, Discovery Place Nature, or Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham Saturdays in September beginning...

Cost: Free for educators and one guest

Where:
Discovery Place Museums
Locations vary
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Shop for quality, gently used children’s clothing, toys, infant items, shoes, books, games, furniture and much more.  No bags, strollers or carts allowed. For more information and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
First Baptist Church Indian Trail
732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-893- 2669
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2017 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

This comprehensive guide covers preschool, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.
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