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 2018

Enjoy all-you-can-eat Italian food. Bring the kids along to play in the special Kid Zone, visit with local artists and authors showcasing their work, browse offerings from the silent auction, and...

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


Website »

More information

More than twenty local bakeries and dessert trucks will have desserts available for purchase at Get Baked Dessert Market. Gluten-free and vegan options will be available, as well as treats for your...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
3000 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Love Desserts
Website »

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Enjoy this fun and relaxing way to discover neighborhoods, parks, and public facilities within Rock Hill. All riders must wear a properly fitted helmet and be able to ride a bike without training...

Cost: Free

Where:
Richmond Drive Elementary
1162 Richmond Dr.
Rock Hill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families will work together to find wildflowers, amphibians, birds and other native plants and animals. Bring your smartphone to take pictures of your discoveries. Since this is a timed activity,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-2267
Website »

More information

This internationally-acclaimed Bollywood dance spectacular is based on the concept of ancient India's transition into modern India.

Cost: $32-$82

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


Telephone: 704-372-3600
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Meditation is a perfect tool to introduce into a child’s day to promote inner strength and mental and emotional well-being. In this weekly class, children will learn simple meditations and...

Cost: $5 per child

Where:
Kadampa Meditation Center North Carolina
528 East Blvd.
, NC  28203
View map »


Telephone: 630-202-7757
Contact Name:
Website »

More information

Experience phenomenal creations ranging from beautiful sculptures, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and mixed media. Enjoy all that Birkdale Village has to offer;...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Bring comfy chairs, a blanket and picnic to enjoy music outdoors. Dates: April 22, May 6 and 20, June 10 and 17, July 4, and August 12 and 19.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring comfy chairs, a blanket and picnic to enjoy music outdoors.  April 22, May 6 and 20, June 10 and 17, July 4, and August 12 and 19.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy music, theatrical groups, dance troupes, and arts and crafts. A kids zone features magicians, clowns, jugglers and other kids' performances. There will also be food trucks and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Waxhaw
, NC


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

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Brownie Girl Scouts can work towards various badges during these workshops. Register online. See website for times, themes, and ages. 

Cost: $17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Kick off summer at Bass Pro Shops with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kick off summer at Cabela's with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1000 Cabela Dr.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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This quarterly event focuses on creating a science-based experience for homeschoolers and their teachers. At 11am enjoy the Meet the Raptors Presentation and at 2pm attend the Bird Beak...

Cost: $6-$10

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


Telephone: 704-875-6521
Website »

More information

Dogs can attend this baseball game where the Knights play the Norfolk Tides.

Cost: $8-$23

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


Telephone: 704-274-8300
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Preschool-age children can explore nature with songs, games, crafts, and play in Lost Hollow.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Telephone: 704-544-4848
Website »

More information

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. Tinkergarten Leader, Kate Flowe, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children...

Cost: $160 for this 8 week class

Where:
Veterans Memorial Park
2136 Central Ave
Charlote, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your children to the Garden for a morning of sensory exploration, singing and fun. Explore colors, shapes, movement, texture and a host of other topics in a safe and nurturing environment.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
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

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Some of NASCAR’s biggest names will battle each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts. The action begins at 5pm but come out early and stay until...

Cost: Free

Where:
GoPro Motorplex
130 Motorplex Dr.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy an evening of silly songs, dance, games, and stories. Register starts May 8.

Cost: Free

Where:
Clover Public Library
107 Knox St.
Clover, NC
View map »


Telephone: , SC 803-222-3474
Website »

More information

Fans can meet characters from Star Wars and watch the Knights play the Norfolk Tides.

Cost: $8-$30

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


Telephone: 704-274-8300
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Come enjoy some music with your meal at Romare Bearden Park's Music Box Lunch, which occurs every Tuesday and Friday afternoon.

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

Get your child to practice reading skills by reading a book to Baron, the lovable long haired German Shepherd, a certified therapy dog.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
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

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

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

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Certified technicians will check and help families install carseats. No appointment necessary. Bring your vehicle, seat and if possible the child for the most assistance. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Police Department
1201 Crews Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
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

Come rock out at Ballantyne Village every Wednesday in May.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Village
Ballantyne Village Way
Charlotte, 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

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

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Join the Charlotte Museum of History for a guided, hour-long walking tour of Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood (not the town of Belmont) as part of Charlotte City Walks. Stop along the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Metrographics Printing
1003 Louise Ave.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Every Thursday in May bands will perform in this Sunset at Metropolitan series. Musicians offer a variety of genres including top 40 and classic rock, to jazz and soul. In addition to great live...

Cost: Free

Where:
Metropolitan
1111 Metropolitan Ave
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Check out the Steele Creek Live Spring Concert Series at the Ayrsley Event Lawn, which is located between Piedmont Social House and Rooney's.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ayrsley Event Lawn
2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Blumenthal Performing Arts invites performers of all ages to Open Mic Night. Instrumentalists, singers, dancers, storytellers, poets, jugglers, magicians, and others are welcome. Audience seating...

Cost: Free

Where:
McGlohon Theater
345 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 704-348-5770
Contact Name: Eric Figueroa
Website »

More information

This show will feature new magic and audience participation including: unlocking an audience member’s locked, encrypted cell phone, vanishing a person, and Haydini’s signature sleight...

Cost: $18-$25

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Bring blankets and chairs and watch a movie outside with the family. May 25: "Cars 3" June 8: "Beauty and the Beast" June 22: "Sing" July 6: "Airplane"...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabarrus Arts Council
65 Union St. S.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

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


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy some music with your meal at Romare Bearden Park's Music Box Lunch, which occurs every Tuesday and Friday afternoon.

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-348-5770
Website »

More information

Get free entry to the Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8pm and every fourth Friday of the month from 1-5pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Boulevard
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

SKILLS Group of Charlotte, an after school enrichment program for teens and young adults with special needs, offers the opportunity for cooking, Zumba, academic adventures, and more.

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Favorite area food and dessert trucks will provide varied menus including seafood, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, specialty dishes and more. Enjoy local/region...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Bring your blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie in the park. Food available for purchase. Movie begins at dusk. April 27 at Crooked Creek Park, 5900 Oakwood Ln, Indian Trail....

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Each Friday and Saturday, starting May 25 through September 1st, local favorites return to Blakeney Shopping Center and bring fun and music for the entire family. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Green at Blakeney
Ardrey Kell and Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy post-game fireworks

Cost: $8-$23

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


Telephone: 704-274-8300
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

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Come celebrate the founding of the town of Mint Hill at the 35th Mint Hill Madness, a three-day festival. The festival features live music, a carnival, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to experience Turtle Week as the attraction pledges to end the use of plastic straws. By signing the pledge, participants not only commit to helping save all the members of...

Cost: $14.95 for children at the door, $7.95 for children at the door with pledge

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


Telephone: 404.233.3993
Contact Name: Laurel Haislip
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come to the downtown Mint Hill for the 35th annual all-American Mint Hill Madness parade that features more than 50 local businesses, organizations, entertainers, music groups, firetrucks and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Mint Hill
4430 Mint Hill Village Lane
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

Your Mini Chef will cook one recipe and learn basic kitchen skills such as measuring ingredients. Sign up online or in person at the Sales and Services desk.

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

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


Telephone: 704-716-4650
Website »

More information

Did you know that every bird's beak is specially designed for the food it eats? Learn about bird beak adaptations and craft your own bird feeder to take home to the birds in your...

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Kids can hear a story, frost cupcakes and meet a super hero.

Cost: $9

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


Telephone: 704-295-1777
Website »

More information

Cheer on the Mooresville Spinners on their opening night. Help the team kick off their Southern Collegiate Baseball League season.  

Cost: $5

Where:
Moor Park
691 S Broad St.
Mooresville, NC  28117
View map »


Website »

More information

This year’s star-studded fireworks show will be a magical experience for all those in attendance. Accompanied by classic patriotic music, the fireworks will be visible from all areas of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

Explore the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Enjoy both pre-show and post-show activities. Participation is encouraged. Performances run Thursday-Saturday. See...

Cost: $10

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Shop the Spring Farmers Market at Legal Remedy Brewing every Saturday morning in May. Come early and stay for lunch when Legal Remedy opens at 11:30a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Legal Remedy Brewing
Rock Hill, SC


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Join a Museum naturalist on the fourth Saturday of every month for an educational walk around the Paw Paw Nature Trail. Meet in the Great Hall to join the guided walk. Children under age 16...

Cost: Included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
1658 Sterling Rd.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

These cooking classes center around a monthly theme and occur on the first and last Saturday of the month. Your Junior chef will cook two recipes each day and learn basic kitchen skills...

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

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


Telephone: 704-716-4650
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Geared towards children ages 3 and younger, this class will focus on movement and energy release. Parent participation required.  

Cost: $6 per class

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-829-1294
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Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
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Telephone: 704-568-1774
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Enjoy the exciting and educational Flights of the Forest show. Viewers can feel the wind from a raptor's wing it they flies overhead. Participants must be 7 or older; children 16 and...

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Students $8

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Telephone: 704-875-6521
Contact Name: Michele Houck
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Live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways, music and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, vendor displays, kids’ activities, racing-related...

Cost: Free for festival; tickets to Romare Bearden Park's concerts vary per performanc

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Enjoy a variety of "nose to beak" encounters with some of the most interesting raptor species. Purchase tickets online up until 24 hours before the encounter, and in the Visitor Center up...

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Students $8

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Telephone: 704-875-6521
Contact Name: Michele Houck
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Come check out Charlotte’s newest live music venue. The Music Yard is kicking off the concert season with a free Spring Concert Series every Saturday in April and May.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music Yard
2433 South Blvd
, NC
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Telephone: 704-912-1889
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BounceU knows that sometimes parents deserve a little time by themselves. Drop off your kids for a night of non-stop bouncing and games. It’s more fun and probably less expensive than hiring...

Cost: $20 per child

Where:
Bounce U, Charlotte and Matthews locations
, NC


Telephone: 704-921-8771
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Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series.  There are additional activities like yoga or organized runs on certain nights before the show starts.

Cost: Free; $6 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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Come listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Green at Promenade on Providence
corner of Providence Road and Interstate 485
, NC
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Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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Each Friday and Saturday, starting May 25 through September 1st, local favorites return to Blakeney Shopping Center and bring fun and music for the entire family. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Green at Blakeney
Ardrey Kell and Rea Road
, NC
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Enjoy movies under the stars and on the big screen on the last Saturday of the month (except July).  May 26: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" June 30: "Karate Kid" August 25:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park Amphitheater
2100 Wilhelmina Ave
, NC
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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
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Come celebrate the founding of the town of Mint Hill at the 35th Mint Hill Madness, a three-day festival. The festival features live music, a carnival, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
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Telephone: 704-545-2335
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This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Meet remarkable live frogs from all over the world whose unique "superpowers" have adapted over time to help them survive. This exhibition uses a graphic novel approach throughout,...

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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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...

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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Spend your holiday weekend with friends and family at the USNWC for the Memorial Day Celebration. The festivities include 5 and 8-mile trail races, yoga, as well as live music on Sunday...

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pwy.
, NC
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Kick off summer at Bass Pro Shops with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Kick off summer at Cabela's with family friendly activities, including workshops, crafts, and food samples. See website for schedule of activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1000 Cabela Dr.
Fort Mill, SC
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It’s a pollinators’ paradise this summer as Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden opens two major seasonal exhibitions that celebrate the importance, beauty and majesty of pollinators. After...

Cost: Admission for Garden members is free, $12.95 for adults

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd.
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-829-1286
Contact Name: Stephanie Wisnet
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Discovery Place Science presents Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family, an innovative, multimedia experience showcasing never-before-seen dinosaurs in the Tyrannosaurs family tree. The...

Cost: Tickets start at $17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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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.
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