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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October 2017

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

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: Free

Where:
Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-348-5770
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Cost: Free

Where:
5.5-mile loop
Madison Park, Selwyn Park, Montford Park, Freedom Park, Myers Park, Ashbrook, LoSo, and Colonial Village neighborhoods
, NC
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Be a costume designer and check out designs from one of Broadway's best! Families can also participate in artist demos, art projects, gallery visits, and yoga.

Cost: Children and Mint members Free, adult admission $6

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Join the Superheroes of Heroic Ventures for an afternoon of lunch and bowling. Price includes activities with five superheroes and one hour of unlimited bowling, that includes shoe...

Cost: $20-$24

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George Pappas Victory Lanes Bowling Alley
125 Morlake Drive
Mooresville, NC  28117
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PlayPlay! Theatre focuses on simple plots and small audiences. Non-traditional performance spaces with floor seating and room to move around. Pre-performance experience engage the audience...

Cost: $12

Where:
Levine Jewish Community Center
5007 Providence Road
Charlotte , NC  28226
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Telephone: 704-366-5007
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The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Pieces of paper, scarves, an old trunk, even a simple ball all come alive through a natural discovery of play, engaging the very young and igniting their curiosity. PlayPlay! Theatre...

Cost: $12

Where:
Levine Jewish Community Center
5007 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
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K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Carolina Renaissance Festival Returns to Huntersville. For 8 fun-filled weekends, opening September 30th through November, the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival presents a full day of...

Cost: $14 - $25

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 704-896-5555
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Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
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View map »


Website »

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-3113
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Visitors to the farm and corn maize are invited to come out and touch tractors and trucks of all shapes and sizes. 

Cost: $10-$14

Where:
Patterson Farm
10390 Caldwell Road
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Telephone: 704-797-0013
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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Cost: Ticket prices start at $34; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

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Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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Website »

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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

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

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
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Cost: $10-$15

Where:
McCelvey Center
212 East Jefferson St.
York, SC  29745
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

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

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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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

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Gaston County Museum
131 W. Main St.
Dallas, NC
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Telephone: 704-922-7681
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This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-664-1450
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Visit the greenway weekends in September and October for horse rides, hay bale mazes, a pumpkin patch and kiddie corn maze. Plus farm animals, rubber duck races, pedal carts, kayaking and food and...

Cost: $10 per person for members; $12 for non-members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center Entrance
1604 Hwy. 21 Bypass
Fort Mill , SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
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Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, "Mary Poppins" delighted audiences on Broadway and now brings  a “spoonful of sugar” and a...

Cost: $12+

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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A terrible thing has happened to Junie B.,the world's funniest kindergartener. Someone has stolen her mittens and hasn't returned them. So when she finds a wonderful pen on the floor she...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Fullwood Theater
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Preschoolers and their caregivers can participate in nature-themed activities, crafts and hikes. Kids will learn all about fall-related things, like what everyday things contain corn, the largest...

Cost: $5; free for members

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


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Little artists and their adult companions explore the museum galleries and create art in this playful class centered on creativity, fine-motor skills, and confidence-building. Explore different...

Cost: $16

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2087
Website »

More information

Discovery subzero science with hands-on experiments using both dry ice and fire. Register online. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

Celebrate fall with literacy games and activities. Children are welcome to wear costumes. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5600
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Play and Learn classes are designed to provide the Charlotte community with fun toddler and parent focused learning and exploration. The eight-week class provides insight into the Montessori method...

Cost: Free

Where:
Omni Montessori School
9536 Blakeney Heath Road
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Telephone: 704-541-1326
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

New! The monthly Teen Science Café experience includes exciting science speakers each month, chosen by teens for teens. Food, icebreakers, a research lecture and Q&A by a featured...

Cost: Free

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-909-7244
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Fall Works explores the exciting evolution of Charlotte Ballet, starting with a look to what the future holds, with Johan Inger’s "Walking Mad." Described as a...

Cost: $25+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Cells are the building blocks of all living things. Make a replica of a plant cell that you can see and eat out of candy! Power your mitochondria with sugar and learn about the structure and...

Cost: $5

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Join McDowell Nature Center on select Friday afternoons for a variety of fun nature-based educational activities. Each TGIF will be a surprise ranging from guided hikes, nature games, crafts and...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Wear your costumes for this community event that features a trunk-or-treat line, face painting, crafts and more.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Chestnut Square Park
320 Chestnut Parkway
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-821-8114
Website »

More information

Learn about the holiday of Halloween and make a monster to take home. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Street rods, customs, street machines and muscle cars displayed at the Goodguys Pennzoil Southeastern Nationals span the spectrum of automotive history, ranging from Model-A Fords stuffed with V-8...

Cost: Single-day tickets start at $20, and kids 6-12 years old get in for just $6

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


Telephone: 704-454-6416
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-374-1565
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8=$11

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


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-9654-614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for prices

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


Telephone: 704-965-4614
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Bring the family out for a playground, jump pillow, face painting and hot dog bar starting at 6 p.m., followed by the "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" production at 7 p.m. and a...

Cost: $7 per person/$25 per car

Where:
Bit of Hope Ranch
5001 CR Wood Road
Gastonia , NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-862-0095
Website »

More information

Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of SCarowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $38

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


Website »

More information

Fall Works explores the exciting evolution of Charlotte Ballet, starting with a look to what the future holds, with Johan Inger’s "Walking Mad." Described as a...

Cost: $25+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

More information

      The Harry Potter film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. Audiences will be able...

Cost: $20+

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2900 East Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-373-3600
Website »

More information

Walk through the transformed grounds of Latta Plantation and visit with "spirits" in the forest, barn, and haunted house. Fri., 7pm; Sat., 10pm.

Cost: $10

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-2312
Website »

More information

This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-664-1450
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Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, "Mary Poppins" delighted audiences on Broadway and now brings  a “spoonful of sugar” and a...

Cost: $12+

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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A terrible thing has happened to Junie B.,the world's funniest kindergartener. Someone has stolen her mittens and hasn't returned them. So when she finds a wonderful pen on the floor she...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Fullwood Theater
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Family-friendly festival with children's activities ($10), free trick or treat, vendors, car show, silent auction, and food.

Cost: Free adimission

Where:
Huntersville United Methodist Church
14005 Stumptown Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-875-1156
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Saturday, October 21st is Sweetest Day at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. Our bakers have all the best treats, from cookies, brownies, pies, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
1801 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Telephone: 704-357-1269
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Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era-the Age of Dinosaurs.  See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time forgot. Observe predators stalking an armored...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Join the discussion with representatives from CMS and the CMS Board of Education as few discuss issues such as: Who funds our schools?  Who decides how money is spent?   Why are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Frienship Missionary Baptist Church
3400 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28025
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Telephone: 704-975-4335
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These ongoing nature programs may feature a tour, demonstration or activity designed to inspire children and adults to explore the natural world of the Carolina Piedmont. In this program, hourly...

Cost: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Youth 4-17 $6; 3 and under and CHM members 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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Families are invited to the children's garden for pumpkin crafts and creepy crawly exploration, scavenger hunts, a scarecrow and refreshments. 

Cost: $20; $15 for members

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-331-0664
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Described as "real-life Etsy for geeks," this market will feature handmade items created by artisans of all fandoms, not just Harry Potter. There will also be a food truck rally on site,...

Cost: Free; canned item or non-perishable food donation suggested

Where:
Noah's Event Venue
2421 Yorkmont Road
, NC
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Celebrate fall with family-friendly literacy games and activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-6000
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Visit this fall antique festival combined with the Annual Zombie Walk and food drive. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Gastonia Historic District
Gastonia, NC


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Drop in at the library for monster stories, crafts and games. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-868-2164
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In this previously unpublished children's book by author Margaret Wise Brown, follow the story of a little bunny and see if you can spot hidden details on the pages. Activities to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble
Morrison Place
4020 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-364-0626
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Daisy scouts through Senior scouts can work on a variety of badges, explore the garden, take on the Tulip Poplar Challenge and try a scavenger hunt. See website for a full list of badge offerings...

Cost: $15

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
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Little artists and their adult companions explore the museum galleries and create art in this playful class centered on creativity, fine-motor skills, and confidence-building. Explore different...

Cost: $16

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
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Telephone: 704-337-2087
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The family matinee shows introduce families to the world of ballet with pre-show activities such as a costume creation station, dance classes, and an on-stage host to guide audience members through...

Cost: $15 for children; $25+ for adults

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Join Charlotte Dads Group at Topgolf (Charlotte, NC) for the October Dads Night out. RSVP over at www.charlottedadsgroup.com and confirm your attendance.

Cost: Free

Where:
Top Golf Charlotte
8024 Savoy Corporate Road
Charlotte, NC  28273
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Telephone: 704-472-7990
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Stop by for historic harvest demonstrations -on activities, wagon rides and more for kids of all ages. The highlight of the experience will be the ghost tours. Costumed interpreters will lead you...

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

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC  29726
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Participants will receive the center's Hide and Seek guide to aid in exploring the woods in search of local flora and fauna. This hike will cover out new Track Trails program, which is an...

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Telephone: 980-314-1128
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Piedmont Culinary Guild is hosting its fifth annual Carved competition – a family-friendly fall festival and pig pickin’! Included in your ticket purchase, you will be given...

Cost: $0-$20

Where:
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
3000 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Pumpkins, face painting, games and lots of candy. Halloween costumes are encouraged.  

Cost: Free.

Where:
Arboretum Shopping Center by the pond
8008 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC
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Attend this outdoor, family-friendly  Pumpkimpalooza on with a bounce house, magician, fun games, and trunk or treat. Costumes encouraged.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sardis Presbyterian Church
6100 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC  28270
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Telephone: 704-366-1854
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Free entertainment including live music, face painting, balloon twisters, a magician, bounce houses, Springfree Trampoline, Halloween crafts and local craft vendors. Annual costume contest for...

Cost: $5 per vehicle for parking; additional costs for pumpkin patch and corn maze

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville , NC
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Telephone: 704-875-3113

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 Hayrides, bounce houses, carnival games, snow cones, a cake walk and more. Enjoy BBQ for purchase and live bluegrass music from the Lonesome Pine Blue Grass Band.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sharon Presbyterian Church
5201 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28210
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Telephone: 704-323-9629
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Enjoy bounce houses, hay rides, games, and free live performances by Billy Jones and the Pocket and others.  German food and beverages available for purchase.

Cost: Free Entry

Where:
St. Alban's Episcopal Church
310 Caldwell Lane
Davidson, NC  28036
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Last chance this season to see the hard-hitting roller derby action that the Charlotte Roller Girls bring to the Queen City. Doors open at 4:30pm. The first whistle will sound at 5pm with our...

Cost: $7-16, under age 5 admitted free

Where:
Grady Cole Center
310 N. Kings Drive
Charlotte, NC  28204
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Watch a double feature of "Curious George: A Halloween Boofest" and "Curious George: Spooky Fun."

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Patterson Farm
10390 Caldwell Road
Mt. Ulla, NC
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Telephone: 704-797-0013
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The work of artists on display includes that of Romare Bearden, Rockwell Kent, and Salvador Dali among others. "Art in the Book" provides a glimpse into the wide variety of illustrative...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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This exhibition, featuring 12 important paintings, drawings and prints, as well as a rare example of the artist's sculpture, will give them the opportunity to do so. Through the use of a rich...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Street rods, customs, street machines and muscle cars displayed at the Goodguys Pennzoil Southeastern Nationals span the spectrum of automotive history, ranging from Model-A Fords stuffed with V-8...

Cost: Single-day tickets start at $20, and kids 6-12 years old get in for just $6

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. South
Concord, NC  28027
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Telephone: 704-454-6416
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K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Carolina Renaissance Festival Returns to Huntersville. For 8 fun-filled weekends, opening September 30th through November, the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival presents a full day of...

Cost: $14 - $25

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-896-5555
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Special guest musicians and Festival mynstrel's honor key individuals instrumental in driving the region's rich Celtic Music. Visit the event website to learn more. Win...

Cost: $14 - $25

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. This collection features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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The debut of one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-374-1565
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Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan’s works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Get lost in the giant seven acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole, and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $8=$11

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-3113
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All teachers with school IDs will receive free admission. 

Cost: Free for educators with ID; $10-$14 for others

Where:
Patterson Farm
10390 Caldwell Road
Mt. Ulla, NC
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Telephone: 704-797-0013
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Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Visit Bit.ly/freecraftsforkids for the featured craft of the week or call your local Lakeshore Learning store for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
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Sponsor: Lakeshore Learning Store
Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

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

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, foam zone, mazes, plus rides. 

Cost: Ticket prices start at $34; ages 3-5 admitted free with pre-k pass (available on

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Geared towards children ages 3 and younger, this class will focus on movement and energy release. Parent participation required.  

Cost: $6 per class

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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A massive amount of energy lurks like a sleeping dragon beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions and discover the impact of gigantic...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Enjoy two great mini programs in the science theater.  First, explore fall constellations in the seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then, learn about modern unmanned lunar...

Cost: $5 plus museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore Asian culture during the Chinese Lantern Festival to be held Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each...

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

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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Bring the family out for a playground, jump pillow, face painting and hot dog bar starting at 6 p.m., followed by the "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" production at 7 p.m. and a...

Cost: $7 per person/$25 per car

Where:
Bit of Hope Ranch
5001 CR Wood Road
Gastonia , NC
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Telephone: 704-862-0095
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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of SCarowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28273
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On Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22–Oct. 28, Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
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Fall Works explores the exciting evolution of Charlotte Ballet, starting with a look to what the future holds, with Johan Inger’s "Walking Mad." Described as a...

Cost: $25+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
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Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

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

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

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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
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Telephone: 704-922-7681
Website »

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      The Harry Potter film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. Audiences will be able...

Cost: $20+

Where:
Ovens Auditorium
2900 East Independence Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-373-3600
Website »

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Walk through the transformed grounds of Latta Plantation and visit with "spirits" in the forest, barn, and haunted house. Fri., 7pm; Sat., 10pm.

Cost: $10

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-2312
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This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. 

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

Visit the greenway weekends in September and October for horse rides, hay bale mazes, a pumpkin patch and kiddie corn maze. Plus farm animals, rubber duck races, pedal carts, kayaking and food and...

Cost: $10 per person for members; $12 for non-members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Nature Center Entrance
1604 Hwy. 21 Bypass
Fort Mill , SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, "Mary Poppins" delighted audiences on Broadway and now brings  a “spoonful of sugar” and a...

Cost: $12+

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

A terrible thing has happened to Junie B.,the world's funniest kindergartener. Someone has stolen her mittens and hasn't returned them. So when she finds a wonderful pen on the floor she...

Cost: $11-$13

Where:
Fullwood Theater
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
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

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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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