Taking a Year Off Before College


Published:

Local experts say delaying enrollment can help some students become more focused and ready for the rigors of academic life.

As the mid-year mark draws closer for Charlotte area high school seniors, thousands are making college visits and beginning to fill out applications. But many — to their parents’ chagrin — are dragging their heels.

Some are feeling burned out and can’t imagine four more years of the same. Others don’t see the point, because they have no idea what they want to study and, ultimately, what they want to do with their lives.

The good news is that going straight from high school to college isn’t necessarily the norm these days. More and more students are taking a year off to work, take classes at a local community college and explore career options, travel or do community service work.

Given the cost of college tuition and the statistics surrounding freshman-year failure, experts say a little time to mature and discover some interests isn’t such a bad idea.
Lee Bierer, an independent college counselor and owner of College Admissions Strategies in Charlotte, says the topic of delaying college is being talked about. "I’ve had these conversations with all levels of students ? those who might be interested in attending some of the most highly selective schools and students who are floundering and have not taken high school seriously," notes Bierer, who is the Charlotte Observer’s "Countdown To College" weekly columnist.

Rudy Jackson, owner of Charlotte-based College Prep Professionals and a former assistant professor of education at Davidson College, advises parents that their desire to have their child go to college won’t carry her or him through four years of undergraduate study. "At some point, the child has to have the higher interest (than the parent) in going to college," says Jackson.

But parents often are uneasy about easing up on the pressure and letting their child off the hook for a year. They fear their child will get lazy and remain working a minimum-wage job forever.

Brier admits students might fall off the college track and never get back on, but parents can take steps to help prevent it from happening. Remember, too, she says, that hanging out in front of the television gets old fast, and very few students who delay going to college remain degree-less. In fact, when spring and summer rolls around and their friends are making plans and aren’t at home anymore, college becomes more enticing.

"Maybe they’re saying this fall, ‘I don’t want to go to college,’ but six to nine months in teens’ lives is a long time," says Bierer, noting they may have changed their mind by April when their friends are deciding where to go. "I think students should apply regardless, because they don’t have to end up going anywhere ? they’re just giving themselves more options."

Making the Case for Community College

Yet for students who are not yet ready to handle the rigors of college, Jackson says taking a year or two to ease into college coursework might be the best bet. "You can get your child into college, but your child might not be ready to be successful," whether academically or socially, says Jackson. Parents should ask themselves how much money they are willing to risk.

With the average price at a four-year public university some $10,000 to $15,000 a year and the price at a private college running $25,000 o $50,000 a year, giving a teen time to relax, refocus and get ready to handle college academics makes sense. Here’s more food for thought from the College Board:
Three out of five students who enter a public, four-year college don’t get a degree within five years.
Nearly 30 percent of all students who enter college don’t return for their sophomore year.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports that a local community college often is a good stepping-stone to a four-year college.

Both Bierer and Jackson tout community college as a great introduction, saying it is a way to dabble in what higher education is all about and begin to explore careers ? whether medicine, music or psychology ? without making a huge investment up front.

Although many students view community college as the lesser choice, "The community college route is wonderful, and it’s very affordable," says Bierer. "The state colleges and universities really think CP (Central Piedmont Community College) does a wonderful job, and it’s really highly regarded."

"From a financial standpoint, community college is a good way to go," says Jackson. "It’s the less risky investment. You’re not investing as much money for a student to take a year or two just to explore majors or career tracks. At a community college, students get a taste of the academic rigor that’s at the college level."

Gap Year Programs Gaining in Popularity

Taking time off between high school and college is common in Europe and Australia, where teens are encouraged to participate in meaningful experiences for personal exploration before they move to the next life stage of their life.

This gap year concept is catching on in the United States, and gappers are pursuing travel abroad, service work or educational programs. According to the Center for Interim Programs, a gap year consultancy in Princeton, NJ, costs vary widely and can run $10,000 to $20,000 for a year of fee-based programs and living costs.

More and more colleges are supporting the concept of a gap year, because it helps with rentention rates. Harvard has been encouraging students to delay enrollment for years. In fact, the Harvard admissions office Web site features an article, "Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation," written by the admissions staff. It reports that taking a year off makes kids more focused and ready for the rigors of academic life.

In addition, Princeton currently is exploring a bridge year program to allow newly admitted students to volunteer abroad before beginning their freshman year.

Experts recommend students apply to college during their senior year, get accepted and then request a one-year deferral. And, a gap year shouldn’t be just "time off," but instead be crafted with clear goals in mind.

"Colleges aren’t real supportive of an unstructured gap year," says Bierer. "But on the other hand, a gap year plan doesn’t have to be an extremely expensive program in China or Africa. … It has to be a purposeful break. Taking classes or volunteering to find an interest or develop a passion is acceptable. It’s not acceptable to sit home and play video games."

Finally, Bierer suggests parents talk with their teens to find out why they are resistant to applying to college, because the answer most likely will lead to the solution. "Understanding what is holding them back from being motivated about the (college application) process will provide great direction for what the next step should be."

She adds, "There are lots of options," emphasizing parents should avoid trying to put a square peg in a round hole and force a child to go right into a four-year college program. "I applaud parents who say, ‘I’m not sure my child is ready, and we want to explore some other options."

Lee McCracken is an Associate Editor for Charlotte Parent magazine.

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Daily Calendar

August 2016

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

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Website »

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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Sponsor: Southern Shows Inc.
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551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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200 E. 7th St.
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View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
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View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
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, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
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Sponsor: Central Church of God
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Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

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

More information

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Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: Free

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Telephone: 704-416-3000
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Cost: $10 per one child/parent

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6500 S. New Hope Road
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Telephone: 704- 825-4490
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Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
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View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

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Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4660
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar System to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space.  This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

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134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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


Website »

More information

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Play board games that focus on cooperation, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar System to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space.  This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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


Website »

More information

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Stop by the library for a storytime designed for children with sensory processing and autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental disorders. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

A  free gardening presentation sponsored by the Union County Master Gardeners will be provided by Cheryl Hicks of SPCC.  The meeting concludes with door prizes.

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Agricultural Center
3230-D Presson Road
Monroe, NC  28112
View map »


Telephone: 704-283-3822
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar System to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space.  This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Join Charlotte Dads Group every other Thursday (during the school year) for Storytime on Thursday mornings at ImaginOn. 

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn
300 East 7th St.
Charlotte, NC  28269
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Dads Gorup
Telephone: 704-472-7990
Contact Name: Darrell Humphrey
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

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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


Website »

More information

Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Mid-century art meets mid-century music on the first Friday of each month at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Jazz concerts are performed by the Ziad Jazz Quartet. Concertgoers may choose...

Cost: Tickets are $14 for the public and $8 for museum members.

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

Performers, including musicians, vocalists, singers, dancers, storytellers, jugglers, magicians and spectators of all ages are welcome. 

Cost: Free; seating is first-come, first served

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Journey across the Solar System to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space.  This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks,...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

A massive amount of energy lurks like a speeding dragon beneath the surface of the planet Earth. Experience rare and extremely devastating volcanic phenonema, portrayed with dramatic imagery...

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

American motocross stars including Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Chad Reed will take on European sensations like Tim Gajser, Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre on a first-of-its-kind MXGP...

Cost: $16+

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


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Contact Name: Jonathan Coleman
Website »

More information

Get out and grab dinner from a variety of local food trucks at this weekly rally. Visit the website for a list of participating trucks.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Central Avenue (Behind The Light Factory)
, NC


Website »

More information

A community food truck rally hosted by the Town of Matthews Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resource Department. Each Friday will have local food trucks and artists with live music while you relax...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-321-7275
Website »

More information

Live music with Mr. Nigel and Friends, face painting, balloon art, games, and more. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-4411
Website »

More information

Enjoy music and movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 PM. Free fun for the whole family. Promenade on Providence is located at corner of Providence Road and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


Sponsor: Promenade on Providence
Website »

More information

Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This street festival features a Labor Day parade, carnival, kids' crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, and pony and train rides. Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm; Sun., noon-5pm; Mon., 9am-5pm.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-708-1261
Website »

More information

Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

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
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Inspire your patriotic pride as you learn about the victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution. Original artifacts will draw you into the triumphs and tragedies of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
P.O. Box 552
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Fit Family Challenge partner Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as they present "Wee Houses: Places We Play," an interactive exhibition by local creatives to celebrate the places we play....

Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
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Come explore how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached out to those in crisis around the world—from providing food, medical supplies and shelter in the aftermath of major...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
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Have you ever wondered why or how leaves change color? Join an educator from the Nature Center to conduct a 'leafy' experiment to help you better understand why leaves change color in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Study the science behind leaves changing colors while you hike through the preserve. Then make some bark and leaf rubbings, stampings, and paintings.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
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This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard the Adventure, a miniature pirate ship at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Journey across the Solar System to explore the Sun and its family of planets, moons, comets and asteroids that define our place in space.  This exhibit features dynamic interpretive kiosks,...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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"The House That Modernism Built" will present the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's rich mid-20th-century art collection alongside furniture, textile and ceramic holdings on loan from...

Cost: $8 for the public, $6 for museum members

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
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Telephone: 704-873-7347
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As part of the "Beyond Rubik's Cube" exhibit, Discovery Place will hold a day of Rubik's Cube-inspired activities each Saturday. Each event will feature brain teasers,...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Visit the plantation for this annual Revolutionary War re-enactment, meet the farm animals, visit the Latta home and grounds, see demonstrations, hear live music, and more.  

Cost: $7-$8; children 5 and under free

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville , NC
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Telephone: 704-875-2312
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American motocross stars including Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Chad Reed will take on European sensations like Tim Gajser, Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre on a first-of-its-kind MXGP...

Cost: $16+

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
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Telephone: 800-455-3267
Contact Name: Jonathan Coleman
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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
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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Enjoy music and movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 PM. Free fun for the whole family. Promenade on Providence is located at corner of Providence Road and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


Sponsor: Promenade on Providence
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Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can gain free access to participating museums in the Charlotte area, including The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center, Levine...

Cost: Free for cardholders

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


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In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

Cost: $5-$8; children under 5 are free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Beyond Rubik's Cube is the world's first exhibition about the Rubik's Cube. In three different zones, learn what first inspired Erno Rubik to build the Rubik's Cube and design...

Cost: $12-$15

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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This showcase includes an array of selected jewelry alongside examples of more conventional artwork, celebrating the craftsmanship and creativity of artists who explore texture and color through...

Cost: $4-$8

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-353-9200
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This collection of twenty works in wood by artists John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel features the use of the lathe tool to create a unique art form.  Closed Mondays; open...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
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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Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
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 exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
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 street festival features a Labor Day parade, carnival, kids' crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, and pony and train rides. Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm; Sun., noon-5pm; Mon., 9am-5pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-708-1261
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Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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The early settlers in the Carolina Backcountry fashioned a life from the fields and forests of the area, bringing them traditional skills and styles from their native lands. Explore the incredible...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

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

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

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This interactive learning experience set up within a maze presents themed activities related to the 150 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8; children under 3 are admitted free

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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This comprehensive guide covers preschool, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2016 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.