Tics Among Children - A Visible Sign of Stress


Published:

Stress is a factor we’ve come to accept as part of our modern-day society. As adults, we generally recognize situations that cause stress in our lives and develop strategies for dealing with it, such as exercise, meditation and relaxation techniques.

Young children, however, typically are unable to recognize situations that cause stress in their lives, nor are they equipped to deal with stress in positive and productive ways. Instead, they often exhibit stress and anxiety in physical and emotional outbursts. Sometimes stress can lead to a tic— a sudden, repetitive, non-rhythmic movement involving a distinct muscle group—like an uncontrolled eye blinking.

Surprisingly, tics are fairly common among kids. In fact, up to 24 percent of children may have a tic at some point in their young lives. This ailment is referred to as Transient Tic Disorder, and it is very common.

Blinking, Grunting and Jerking
Facial tics, like an eye blink, represent only one type of tic. Others include hand-clapping; neck stretching; mouth movements; head, arm or leg jerks; and facial grimacing. Sometimes tics can be in the form of an audible sound, like throat clearing, sniffing, or grunting.

It’s important for parents to understand that children cannot consciously suppress a tic. Once children begin to think about it, holding in a tic is as hard as holding in a sneeze or a yawn.

Tics are rarely diagnosed before the age of 2 and can begin anytime during childhood. Boys are three to four times more likely to develop a tic than girls. Generally, tics come on slowly, last for a few weeks or up to a year and then regress again.

In rare cases, a tic may be the symptom of a more complicated condition. During my residency, a young girl was admitted to our hospital because she had been acting strangely. After a battery of tests, the neurologist began to discuss with us an autoimmune condition called PANDAS — a rare disorder, where children develop changes in personality and tics several weeks after a Streptococcal throat infection. Tics related to this condition come on much more suddenly and gradually improve. Often, but not always, penicillin is given for the Streptococcal infection and children typically do quite well when given this treatment.

When a child develops a tic, a parent inevitably begins to wonder, "Will my child develop Tourette’s Syndrome?" The answer is: very rarely. While having a transient tic is common, Tourette’s is not. In general terms, Tourette’s involves multiple tics, at least one is vocal, and symptoms must be present for one year. For children with Tourette’s, there are many medication and therapy options that may help decrease symptoms.

So what do you do if your child develops a tic? When you first notice a tic—like eye blinking—take your child to the pediatrician. Your physician can help determine if there are additional concerns beyond your child’s tic. He or she also will determine if there are any complicating factors. For example, the stimulant medications used for ADHD may bring out or exacerbate tics.

SEE ALSO: Tics in Kids and What to Do About Them

Ignoring the Behavior, Minimizing the Pressure
Once the doctor concludes there is nothing physically wrong with your child, it is best to simply ignore the tic. The best thing a parent can do is not to draw unnecessary attention to a child’s tic.

Some parents ask if children aren’t more likely to stop a behavior if they’re made aware of it. While it’s true children need to be taught proper behavior in many situations, drawing attention to a tic causes a child to think more about it, which inevitably worsens the condition.

Besides just ignoring a tic, helping to minimize children’s stress also is key. It may be hard to imagine, but children face a great deal of kid-size pressure in their lives. Think back to those days in grammar school — dealing with homework, social interactions and deadlines can be tough on youngsters. You may want to talk to your student’s teacher or school counselor to develop a plan to help minimize stress in your child’s life.

Home life can be another source of stress for children, especially during times of family turmoil and trials. Spending time with your kids and talking with them about their concerns can help lighten the load. Ensuring children are getting adequate sleep goes a long way toward eliminating stress.

For the most part, tics are harmless, and the vast majority of tics are not the result of any underlying problem. Once the doctor gives your child a clean bill of health, the best thing to do is just ignore the tic, help minimize stress and make sure your child is getting enough sleep. These are the best measures to help your child deal with a problem that will most likely disappear in a short time.

SEE ALSO: From Quirks to Compulsion: OCD in Children 

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August 2016

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

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4330 Westmont Drive
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Telephone: 704-401-3256
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Levine Museum of the New South
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301 N. Tryon St.
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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
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Telephone: 704-353-9200
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551 S. Tryon St.
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $7-$9

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551 S. Tryon St.
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Cost: $6-$7

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The Schiele Museum of Natural History
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Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Cost: $6-$7

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Museum of York County
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Cost: Free

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Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
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Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
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More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

More information

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Cost: Standard admission

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1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: Free

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6500 S. New Hope Road
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Telephone: 704- 825-4490
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Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
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Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

Where:
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6500 South New Hope Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
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Sponsor: Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
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More information

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Telephone: 704-626-6771
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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

More information

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Telephone: 704-873-7347
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Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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Where:
Cornelius Town Hall
21445 Catawba Ave.
Cornelius , NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. The quarry is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 9-Aug. 25, 10am-3pm., and June 18, 10am-3pm. Ages 11 and under...

Cost: $12

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore the mint museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill , SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. The quarry is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 9-Aug. 25, 10am-3pm., and June 18, 10am-3pm. Ages 11 and under...

Cost: $12

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This community event will feature entertainment, food trucks, back-to-school giveaways, face painting, a pool party, outdoor movies, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
View map »


Sponsor: Central Church of God
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Volunteer Mia Dappert returns for our first sewing workshop of 2016. On day one of the workshop, Mia will teach basic 18th century sewing stitches and guide participants as they begin to create a...

Cost: 1-day ticket: $10; 2-day ticket: $18

Where:
President James K. Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC  28134
View map »


Sponsor: President James K. Polk State Historic Site
Telephone: 704-889-7145
Contact Name: Angela Thorpe
Website »

More information

Stop by and grab dinner from one of the food trucks and enjoy live music from Bobby Houck of the Blue Dogs.

Cost: $10-$12; children 10 and under free

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-331-0664
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill , SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

Three days of fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, beauty tips, health screenings, decorating ideas and personal growth opportunities — all tailored especially for women. The show features...

Cost: $6-$12

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 South College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Southern Shows Inc.
Telephone: 704-376-6594
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free admission

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-321-7275
Website »

More information

Before settling down to enjoy the film at dusk, kick-off the evenings at 7 p.m. with live music from Mr. Nigel and Friends and activities for the entire family. Guests can also purchase an...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark (Symphony Hall)
4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
View map »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


Sponsor: Promenade on Providence
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This community event will feature entertainment, food trucks, back-to-school giveaways, face painting, a pool party, outdoor movies, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
View map »


Sponsor: Central Church of God
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Quality children’s fall and winter clothing, infant through size 16, toys, games, books, bikes, baby equipment, strollers, furniture and gently worn children’s shoes. All Proceeds...

Cost: Free entry

Where:
Harris YMCA
5900 Quail Hollow Road
Charlotte, NC  28210
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-6851
Website »

More information

Squash can be used as noodles or hollowed out to create an edible bowl. They really are a versatile fruit. Come join us today as we get creative with squash--and get some free recipes to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Regional Farrmers Market
1801 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte, NC  28217
View map »


Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Featuring food, art and crafts vendors, children's activities, fun runs, a car show, live entertainment, robotics demonstrations, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
25 E. Liberty St.
York, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Come join the fight! Pirates, Mermaids, cannons, sword fights, and Pirate games. Meet Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte. Get your Scavenger Hunt Map and Most Wanted Poster when you purchase your...

Cost: $5; Children 5 and under free

Where:
The Museum of the Waxhaws
8215 Waxhaw Hwy.
Waxhaw, NC  28173
View map »


Sponsor: The Museum of the Waxhaws
Telephone: 704-843-1832
Contact Name: Suzanne Butler
Website »

More information

Volunteer Mia Dappert returns for our first sewing workshop of 2016. On day one of the workshop, Mia will teach basic 18th century sewing stitches and guide participants as they begin to create a...

Cost: 1-day ticket: $10; 2-day ticket: $18

Where:
President James K. Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC  28134
View map »


Sponsor: President James K. Polk State Historic Site
Telephone: 704-889-7145
Contact Name: Angela Thorpe
Website »

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Scholastic picture book writer/artist and North Carolina resident Kyle T. Webster will be reading, singing, drawing and signing for his latest picture book, ‘Please Say...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Road Books
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC  28209
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Besides hearing, ever wonder what all an elephant uses its ears for? Learn more in the Wildlife Lab and make a pair of your own to take home. 

Cost: $8; includes museum admission

Where:
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Get to know the animals at the Nature Center. This event includes short talk about the reptiles, a meet and greet, and crafts. 

Cost: Free; $5 entrance fee for non-members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
1604 21 Bypass
Ft. Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
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Want to assist butterflies as they find plants to lay their eggs on? Find out what butterfly bombs are as you toss them in the grass so nature can take its course. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
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Learn about the animals of McDowell Nature Center at the campground. Enjoy a hands-on experience with a native resident of the nature preserve. Meets at the amphitheater.

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
, NC
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Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Enjoy a variety of outdoor festivities, children's activities, live performances, food vendors, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Park
601 E. Park Ave.
, NC
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Kids can kick off the school year with a fun bike ride through the city. The route will follow Johnson C. Smith University, the historic West End, and parts of Center City. It will end at Mosaic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Johnson C. Smith University (between Biddle Hall and the cafeteria)
100 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
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Wear your whitest running clothes and get ready to be showered with more than 10,000 pounds of color as you navigate the 1.8 mile course. You have the option of running the course once, twice, or...

Cost: Adults $19 | Kids 12 & Under Free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S.
Concord, NC
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This interactive exhibit featuring Mr. Potato Head is designed for children ages 3-8 and teaches children school readiness and academic skills, such as mathematics, literacy, problem solving,...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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Thurs., 10am7pm; Fri., 10am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun., Noon-3pm (most items 50 percent off)

Cost: Free

Where:
8400 Regent Pkwy.
Ft. Mill , SC
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Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard the Adventure, a miniature pirate ship at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at...

Cost: Free with admission

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

Cost: $6-$7

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

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

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

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
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Telephone: 704-873-7347
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Three days of fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, beauty tips, health screenings, decorating ideas and personal growth opportunities — all tailored especially for women. The show features...

Cost: $6-$12

Where:
Charlotte Convention Center
501 South College St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Sponsor: Southern Shows Inc.
Telephone: 704-376-6594
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A special film presentation for children with special needs shown with lights up and sound down. Families can bring gluten and casein-free snacks. 

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
AMC Theatres
Charlotte , NC  NC


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As part of the "Beyond Rubik's Cube" exhibit, Discovery Place will hold a day of Rubik's Cube-inspired activities each Saturday. Each event will feature brain teasers,...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-391-3900
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Enjoy music and movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 PM. Free fun for the whole family. Promenade on Providence is located at corner of Providence Road and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Promenade on Providence
Charlotte, NC


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

Cost: $5-$8

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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In 2013, UNC Press published scholar and folklorist William Ferris' book "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists," which features a compilation of more than a...

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

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

Cost: $12-$15

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

Cost: $4-$8

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

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Charlotte native and folk artist Nellie Ashford presents a collection of crafted-mixed media works that reflect real-life experiences of families, children, dancers, and musicians and the stories...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This exhibition uses the work of one of the most renowned artistic quilt makers, Faith Ringgold, as an entry point to look backward at traditional African American quilts and forward to decorative...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Register girls in your household in grades 3-8 for this fun and uplifting running program, which includes 10 weeks and 20 lessons by trained and background-checked GOTR coaches. The season kicks...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Area Schools
, NC


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

Cost: $6-$7

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

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

Cost: $6-$7

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

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

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

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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This community event will feature entertainment, food trucks, back-to-school giveaways, face painting, a pool party, outdoor movies, and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
McCrorey YMCA
3801 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
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Sponsor: Central Church of God
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Education Guide

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

GPS [Go. Play. See.]

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