The Skinny Pregnancy

Tips to have a healthy pregnancy without worrying about weight gain, diets or extreme exercise.


Published:

Watching pregnant celebrities is the new national sport, with analysis of how much they've gained and how well they're keeping their figures a hot topic in national gossip magazines. Pregnancy used to be about "eating for two," but today the dangerous trend is that more and more women are gaining less than the recommended amount of pregnancy weight.

About one in every four or five women gains an inadequate amount of weight during pregnancy. Some of this is tied to socioeconomic status - women who begin pregnancy without good nutrition, who smoke, or lack financial or nutritional resources. But many others are women who purposefully control their weight gain. "Women in general are certainly spooked about putting on a lot of weight, especially when they hear from media and friends that it completely changes your body or won't come off easily," says Melinda Johnson, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.


The ABCs of Weight Gain

How much you should gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weighed before you got pregnant. Use your pre-pregnancy weight to calculate your Body Mass Index. BMI uses a formula to compare weight with height. Calculate this online here.

Underweight pre-pregnancy - BMI of less than 18.5 should gain 28-40 pounds
Normal weight pre-pregnancy - BMI of 18.5-24.9 should gain 25-35 pounds
Overweight pre-pregnancy - BMI of more than 25 should gain 15-25 pounds


The Skinny on Staying Skinny

There is a common misperception that in order to gain weight in a healthy way during pregnancy, all or most of the weight gain should go straight to your stomach. In fact, the experts say women who gain weight only in the stomach (creating those cute basketball tummies) are the exception and should not be looked to as ideals. "When women gain only in the abdominal area, it usually means that they have not gained enough weight," says Dr. Toya Ellis, a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region.

Most women, she says, gain weight everywhere during pregnancy and there is no way to control where those pounds will go. The goal is not only to gain enough weight to grow a baby, but also to allow your body to build up fat stores so that you can successfully breastfeed.

Failure to gain enough weight creates a 50 percent risk of having a baby who is low birth weight. These babies have higher risks for infant mortality, admission to intensive care, cerebral palsy, sight and hearing problems and learning difficulties. Women who do not gain enough weight in pregnancy face elevated risks of anemia, preterm labor and osteoporosis later in life. According to Ellis, "The more underweight you are, the more risk there is."


Slim and Pregnant

For many women, body image and a lifelong focus on being thin are very powerful attributes that are difficult to move past. Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian and sports and lifestyle nutritionist at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation Elmwood Fitness Center in Louisiana says, "I find there are societal pressures across the board to be thin. It's a huge compliment to many women that they are tiny except for their belly."

Karen Stealey was determined not to gain a lot of weight in her pregnancy. "I watched all my friends gain 35, 45 and even 65 pounds. I did not want that to happen to me." Stealey has always been tiny - a size 2 or 4. When she got pregnant, she went to a nutritionist, followed a food plan and kept a food diary. She also continued to do yoga and a cardio class. Her net gain was 19 pounds. "Although I was due in October, I did not look pregnant until August." Stealey's healthy baby weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces. She says she is pleased that she now has no stretch marks or roll of fat or skin around her middle. "I think my experience is proof that if you don't just say, "I'm pregnant, I'm going crazy," then you don't have to gain a lot of weight."


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Striving for Gain

It can be difficult to gain weight during pregnancy, even if you want to. Although some weight gain is recommended in the first trimester, failure to gain is not a deal-breaker. "I often tell patients that weight loss in the first trimester is common," says Ellis, due to nausea, food aversions, or fatigue. If you don't gain in the first trimester, talk to your health care provider, but don't panic. "Babies are very capable at extracting nutrients from our stored resources in the first trimester." She cautions however, that failure to gain in the second trimester is a more serious problem.

Elizabeth Johnson didn't gain a single pound during her third pregnancy, despite her efforts. Four and a half months of morning sickness put a huge dent in her appetite. When she did eat, she was careful to choose very nutrient-dense foods in multiple food groups and did not concern herself with counting calories.

"Everything was measuring OK, so my doctor wasn't concerned. But about my sixth month, he started ordering more ultrasounds." Her baby ended up weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds, 8 ounces. "At my postpartum check up, I was 25 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight," she says.

Nausea isn't the only culprit. Ellis says, "Women who are thin often have to work harder to gain the weight. Sometimes they exercise and need to eat for both the exercise and the pregnancy. At times, they just have higher metabolic rates."

Melanie Nicsinger has always been a size 3. By her 20th week of pregnancy, she had gained nothing, although her doctor wanted her to gain at least 28 pounds and possibly as much as 35.

"It's hard for me to gain weight, even if I try, and pregnancy was no exception." She ate and ate, but no matter what she did, she couldn't gain any weight. "I definitely think it is possible that women who are naturally thin can experience trouble putting on pounds." Johnson concurs with this thinking. "Sometimes it is simply in the woman's genes not to gain much weight during pregnancy."


Eating Disorders

Eight million people in the United States experience eating disorders, so many women come to pregnancy having either overcome an eating disorder or still struggling with one. Ellis recommends being open with your healthcare providers about eating disorders.

"I very frankly discuss with (women) at the first visit that we will be focusing on her weight at each visit," says Ellis. She recommends women who have had eating disorders see a registered dietitian and a mental health provider if they think they will feel the urge to diet or purge during pregnancy.


Stay Positive

If your health care provider is not worried about your lack of weight gain, you shouldn't be either. When you know you're doing everything you can to have a healthy baby, it doesn't matter what other people think or say.

Nicsinger remembers hearing a lot of comments about how she was too thin and speculation about how great it would be to see her big and fat. "People think they can make comments about how you look when you're thin. I just wish people would realize that no one wants to hear that they're ‘too' anything, especially when you're pregnant."

Ellis agrees. "Women need to be encouraged to embrace their pregnant and post-partum bodies and give themselves the gift of love, care and forgiveness. Society needs to support women during pregnancy and not hold women to impossible, unreachable weight standards."


How to Tip the Scale

To gain weight, add 300 calories to your diet per day and aim for a daily total of 2000 calories. Focus on nutrient-dense foods that give you the most bang for your buck. Take advantage of the times when your appetite is at its peak and eat then. Try to eat every two to three hours.

"Keeping it small is helpful for those who get nauseated easily," says Kimball. An easy way to add calories is to substitute higher calorie beverages. If you tend to fill up quickly, eat carbs and proteins first, then have salad or vegetables. Replace light, diet, or lowfat foods with the regular equivalents (such as salad dressing, bread, mayo, sour cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, sweeteners, soda, etc).

Aliza Sherman Risdahl is a naturally thin woman who had four miscarriages in two years. This experience convinced her she needed to gain weight to have a healthy baby.

"I stopped thinking of my body as one of my assets in being attractive and started thinking of it as being an asset toward carrying a baby. I lived in starvation mode without realizing I was depleting my body of essential fats and nutrients but thinking I was just a super healthy eater and self-disciplined," says Risdahl. "I think if women can't get over that psychological need to be thin, because they think it makes them more attractive, then they will have a hard time with weight gain for sure. It isn't that you have to eat fat or get fat, you just have to nourish your body not starve it. It is about health, not looks."


Brette Sember is a mother of two and author of Your Plus-Size Pregnancy (Barricade Books, 2005) and Your Practical Pregnancy Planner (McGraw-Hill, 2005).


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February 2018

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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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Where:
Discovery Place Science
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View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
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View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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The Museum of York County
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View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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View map »


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More information

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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

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Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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Show More...
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Cost: Free

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Matthews Police Department
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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
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

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Come join storytime with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

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

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

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Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Museum
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View map »


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
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

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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 to...

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

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

Put on your wellies and hop into American Girl for a special WellieWishers Friendship Tea Party. Parties include a special menu, crafts, fun WellieWishers-inspired conversation cards, and...

Cost: $13.50 per person; gratuity not included

Where:
American Girl
440 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

Feel free to bring your favorite games or play some of the store's. Barnes and Noble is proud to carry Ticket to Ride, Machi Koro, Superfight, Munchkin, Star Wars Chess and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble, The Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-341-9365
Website »

More information

Attend any of these free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
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

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-644-3972​
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate the life of Dr. Theodor "Seuss" Geisel through stories, song and laughter. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-3800
Website »

More information

Celebrate the author's birthday with books and crafts. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Holly Branch Library
245 West Catawba Ave.
Mount Holly , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-827-3581
Website »

More information

Parents, could you use a night out? Then make plans to drop off your young artist, dressed in their cozy pajamas, for an evening of painting fun. While you are off enjoying a quiet dinner, your...

Cost: $25-$30

Where:
Davidson Parks and Rec
865 South St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-3349
Website »

More information

The public opening for fine artist Stephen Wilson's newest series Shine A Light When It’s Gray Out will also serve as a book signing for the release of Wilson’s first cohesive...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Gallery of Modern Art
435 S. Tryon St
Ste. 110
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-1464
Website »

More information

Feel the energy of the full moon as we navigate the trails at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
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

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

Get inspirational ideas and the latest trends and products to beautify your home and garden. Mingle with TV celebrities, sample wine and gourmet foods and receive expert advice on home decorating,...

Cost: $10

Where:
Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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 to...

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

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


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

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

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

Freedom Train is the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to freedom prior to the American Civil War. Using traditional songs of the period "Freedom...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
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

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-644-3972​
Website »

More information

Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Fri., 6-9pm; Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-864-5675
Website »

More information

During this magic show, Caleb makes a daring escape, plays with the weather, predicts the future and then travels back in time. Get to be part of the magic by coming 30 minutes before the...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Participate in the 5k or 5k Fun Run to benefit the GoJenGo Foundation, a non-profit helping in the fight against breast cancer. Sign up the kids for the one mile fun run and hang out...

Cost: $5-$40

Where:
Symphony Park
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This four-hour indoor cycling relay unites two organizations in the mission of helping kids everywhere lead longer, healthier lives.    It’s easy and fun to participate, and this...

Cost: Free

Where:
LifeTime Athletic Charlotte
11220 Golf Links Drive North
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Website »

More information

Vint Hill Educational Services offers mock testing for the ACT and SAT. They supply the test booklet, essay booklet, answer sheet, testing timer, extra pencils, and a proctor. Includes...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Cornwell Center
2001 Selwyn Ave
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

What is that green stuff? Is it moss? Is it algae? Or maybe it's fungus!? Find all the answers and learn about the Track Trails program - including how you can earn prizes through Track Trails...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be making an appearance at Northlake Mall. Stop by and check them out at Entry One near H&M. Enjoy yummy macarons, mini cakes, cookies, bow...

Where:
Northlake Mall
6801 Northlake Mall Dr.
Charlotte, NC  28216
View map »


Website »

More information

Naomi Lewin, host of the nationally syndicated radio program "Classics for Kids," will guide classical music fans of all ages on an exploration of Vivaldi’s masterpiece The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stage Door Theatre
130 N. Tryon St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

Fine artist Stephen Wilson's newest series is being shown at Charlotte’s New Gallery. Wilson has made unique signature creations like hundreds of butterflies composed...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Gallery of Modern Art
435 S. Tryon St
Ste. 110
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-1464
Website »

More information

Get inspirational ideas and the latest trends and products to beautify your home and garden. Mingle with TV celebrities, sample wine and gourmet foods and receive expert advice on home decorating,...

Cost: $10

Where:
Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover how Cleveland and Gaston counties did their bit when the United States joined the Great War in 1916. Visitors will be able to visualize the greater timeline of the war, see where this...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-739-1019
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
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday. Visit the website to see this week's featured craft of the week. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-849-2450
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

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
View map »


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

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
Website »

More information

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, Harvey B. Gantt Center for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
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

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Come join this month's free workshop and craft at Home Depot.  All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin...

Cost: Free

Where:
Home Depot locations
, NC


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See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Davidson Community Players presents this show about young Anne Frank in the summer of 1942. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays. Showtimes are Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun....

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour St.
Davidson, NC
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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Freedom Train is the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to freedom prior to the American Civil War. Using traditional songs of the period "Freedom...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. E.
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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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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Every first Saturday of the month through June there will be special art and music workshops. Look below to see designated topics: Jan 6: Art: Figure drawing – your favorite feature...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Blvd. Library
2157 West Blvd
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-7400
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Collaborate with other Boy Scouts and Discovery Place Science educators to earn your merit badges. On Saturday, work towards your programming, pulp and paper, or oceanography badges. On...

Cost: $30, excludes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Thurs., 6-9pm; Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 9am-5pm and 5:30-9pm

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 US Hwy 49 N.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 704-644-3972​
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Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Fri., 6-9pm; Sat., 8am-noon.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center
3415 Union Road
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-864-5675
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Buy quality children’s clothing (infant through size 16), toys, games, books, bikes, baby gear, strollers, furniture and gently worn children’s shoes....

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Harris YMCA
5900 Quail Hollow Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-6843
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During this magic show, Caleb makes a daring escape, plays with the weather, predicts the future and then travels back in time. Get to be part of the magic by coming 30 minutes before the...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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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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Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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

Education Guide

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