Valentine's Day: Dads and Daughters

Celebrate the special daddy-daughter bond on Valentine's Day.


Published:

Daddy’s little girl. Those three words convey feelings of protection, and a very special bond that often exists between fathers and daughters. A dad is the first and most important man in his daughter’s life, and with her father’s attention, guidance and instruction, a girl can grow into a confident woman with a strong sense of self-worth.

Valentine’s Day most often is celebrated between women and men, moms and dads, but it’s also the perfect time for fathers to reflect on the role they are playing – physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually – in their daughter’s life.

"Your daughter needs the best of who you are: your strength, your courage, your intelligence and your fearfulness," says Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician, nationally known speaker and the author of "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters."

Three local dads weigh in with some things fathers should and shouldn’t do in order to protect their daughters, while also guiding them into becoming self-confident women.
 

Make an Investment of Time, Attention

The best thing a father can be for his daughter is there – offering her his presence, his time and his love. Greg Spain of Huntersville says he tries to support his three daughters in the things they naturally enjoy doing.

"Shannon, Stephanie and Summer have their different areas of interest," says Spain. "I don’t want them to do what I think is best for them — I let them figure what they like to do, or want to be for themselves, and then I try to support them any way I can."

Whether girls enjoy playing with dolls or building forts, shopping or sliding into home base, good dads spend time with their daughters and don’t question if the activity is too girlie or too boyish. Research has shown well-adjusted girls have both feminine characteristics (an ability to express emotion and sensitivity to others’ feelings) and masculine attributes (assertiveness, ambition and independence).

Spain says fathers should offer lots of physical affection, too. "Show them you love them; pick them up and hug them," he says. "And tell them you love them. To this day, I still enjoy going into each of my girls’ rooms and kissing them and telling them goodnight."

He also provides his daughters with guidelines, but tries not to smother them. "I think if you mercilessly rule over your kids, it only drives them to turn toward things you don’t want them to be involved with," says Spain.

Charlotte resident Marlon Smith, father to Deja and Jade is thinking ahead when it comes to his youngest. Smith says he is committed to getting to know Jade’s friends and their parents. "There will come a day when her friends will have a major influence on what she thinks, says and does. To help ensure Jade maintains a positive self-esteem and Godly values, I will get to know her friends and their parents," says Smith. "My goal as Jade’s father is to instill principles that will have her make the ‘right’ choices when her friends are peer pressuring her to do something else."
 

Be the Man You Want Her to Marry

Whether by intention or accident, fathers send a message, and daughters see it, hear it and accept it, says Colin Pinkney, a Charlotte father of six (four of whom are girls).

Therefore, dads need to model for young girls the kind of man they want they daughters to date and eventually marry. "They get from their dads the image of who they will marry," says Pinkney.

In her book, Meeker cautions fathers, "The man you see at the other end of the aisle will undoubtedly be a reflection of you — be that good or bad. It’s the way it is: Women are drawn to what they know."

Oftentimes, girls grow up to marry men who put their wives second, according to Meeker. Dads who are always in constant pursuit of "more" (working 60-hour weeks for career advancement, striving for a bigger bank account or letting their gaze fall on prettier women) send the message that career and money are more important than relationships.

Smith says he’s trying to "walk the talk," by intentionally modeling the type of behavior he wants Deja and Jade to hold as the standard for their future husbands. "My daughters must see how I spend quality time with their mother and with them. … Time is our most precious commodity. If money is lost, it can be earned again, but once a minute has passed, it can never be regained," says Smith.

As each Valentine’s Day comes and goes, a father watches his little princess grow up a little more. And then suddenly, she’s gone — into the arms of another Prince Charming. Meeker says that if Dad has done his job well, his daughter will have chosen another good man to love her.

But she offers this bit of hope, telling Dad the new man in his daughter’s life "will never replace you in her heart, because you were there first. … and that’s the ultimate reward for being a good dad."

Lee McCracken is an associate editor for Charlotte Parent magazine.

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May 2016

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
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Cost: Free with admission

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The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road
Belmont, NC  28012
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Website »

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Between North Davidson Street and NoDa
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Downtown Belmont
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Cost: $30/6 ducks free admission

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U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
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Telephone: 704-376-2580
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15222 York Road
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Telephone: 704-588-5224
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Duke Family Performance Hall
Davidson College
207 Faculty Drive
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Huntersville, NC
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Cost: $8 per person

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Charles Mack Citizen Center
215 N. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
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420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Cost: 0 - $3

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South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St.
Columbia, SC  29201
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Sponsor: SC State Museum
Telephone: 803-898-4921
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Cost: $5-$8

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Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-333-1887
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Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte , NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC
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Little Sugar Creek Greenway
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Cost: Included with admission to Carowinds

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Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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: $12.95 adults, $6.95 kids 2-12

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Telephone: 704-588-5224
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 Join a naturalist to find out why these animals are so fascinating. May's theme is turtles.

Cost: Free

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McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
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Telephone: 704-588-5224
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The Charlotte Symphony Junior Youth Orchestra presents its spring concert. 

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Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
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Telephone: 704-330-6534
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See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 980-387-6075

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

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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Cost: $10 for one parent and child; $6 for additional guests

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490,
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Explore nature in a safe and nurturing environment with planting seeds, stories, songs, crafts, and playtime in Lost Hollow.

Cost: $10 per one parent/child; $6 for additional guests

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

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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 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

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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

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

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, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Interact with Dakota, have some fun with a Triceratops Rex, and pet a "baby" T-Rex.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Winterfield Elementary School
3100 Winterfield Place
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-714-5114
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore the 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

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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University City Regional Library
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View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 per person

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5

Where:
Main Street Children's Museum
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View map »


Website »

More information

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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

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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

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

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, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra presents an ensemble concert presented by Summer Pops Series conductor George Schram. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating.

Cost: $5-$15; $5 per car for parking

Where:
Comporium Ampitheater
Anne Springs Close Greenway
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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

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

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, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Learn the survival skill of shelter building with your family.  Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

In conjunction with Jiggy with the Piggy, the 600 Festival Association will show Disney’s "Cars 2" on an oversized outdoor screen.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Kannapolis
246 Oak Ave.
Kannapolis, NC  28081
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. There will be a bounce house for younger children. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Front of Town Hall
4430 Mint Hill Village Lane
Mint Hill , NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Senior Ensemble presents their Ensemble Theatre Workshop, as a collection of plays including Star Fever, The Spaceship Santa Maria, the Big Shoo, and The Little Man Who Wasn’t There. Shows at...

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
304 Armour St.
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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  28105
View map »


Telephone: 704-321-7275
Website »

More information

Enjoy  dinner and a live theater show just outside of Charlotte. Relevant, humorous, tragic and fun, this original Broadway-style show is a must-see for all ages.

Cost: $7 - $35

Where:
NarroWay Productions
3327 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
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

This family-friendly festival features live music, cooking demonstrations, ethnic dancing, free caricature drawings, a haiku poetry contest, passport activities for kids and young adults, and craft...

Cost: Free

Where:
South Piedmont Community College
4209 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC  28110
View map »


Telephone: 704-290-5891
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Celebrate the strawberry at this award-winning festival. Walk through a butterfly exhibit, check out antique cars, sample strawberry pie, and let the kids try out the rides. Fri., 4:30-11pm;...

Cost: Free admission; additional cost for activities and $5 for parking

Where:
Walter Elisha Park
345 N. White St.
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

A midway featuring amusement rides, an assortment of food and drink, and carnival rides and games. See website for times.

Cost: $5-$8; free for children under 4

Where:
Metrolina Tradeshow Expo
7100 Statesville Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 This fun and inspiring event brings family, friends and community members together to run/walk for pediatric brain cancer awareness.

Cost: $30

Where:
Weddington United Methodist Church
13901 Providence Road
Weddington, NC  28104
View map »


Telephone: 513-772-4888
Website »

More information

Celebrate mothers of all ages with a delicious buffet breakfast, an uplifting message, and a guided Journey of Faith tour. Each mother in attendance will also receive a special gift.  

Cost: $20 per person; ages 3 and under FREE

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


Website »

More information

A charity run/walk to support those battling breast cancer in the  surrounding communities.         

Cost: $20+

Where:
Huntersville Business Park
9735 Kincey Ave.
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Website »

More information

Through the month of May, various events around Charlotte will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, including "The Big Spring Clean" on Saturday, May 14. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Featuring a 5K trail run, a 19K bike ride, and a 3K run to the finish line. Kids' Sprint and other activities for kids. Part of BIKE! Charlotte.

Cost: See website for prices

Where:
University City Research Park
10101 David Taylor Drive
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-549-8804
Website »

More information

The 5K Fun Run and Kid's Dash will help support all the Youth involved in the growing Music Program at Sardis Presbyterian Church. Runners and walkers of all fitness levels...

Cost: $10-$30

Where:
Sardis Presbyterian Church
6100 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC  28270
View map »


Telephone: 704-366-1854
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean. The exhibit...

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

Visit the Carl J. McEwen Historical Village and find your passion. Is it Civic, Art or History? Stroll the village and discover what interests you. Free family fun and activities....

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Hisorical Society
7601 Matthews-Mint Hill
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-573-0726
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

Pick up free new/used comics, watch a superhero movie marathon, and participate in giveaways and a photobooth.

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
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, hands-on...

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Live music, carriage rides, family crafts, a food truck during lunch hour.

Cost: $6.95-$12.95; free for all moms

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


Telephone: 704-825-4490
Website »

More information

Live entertainment, food vendors, and family-friendly activities. All citizens are encouraged to walk or bike to the green in support of National Bike Month. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Town Green
216 S. Main St.
Davidson , NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the museum and the "Mummy and Me" program that highlights "The Mummy Treasure of Al Faiyum." Saturday programs run from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

Learn about the preserve and all the living things hidden within. Registration is required.

Cost: $3

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


Sponsor: McDowell Nature Center
Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Take an hour-long walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood. A reception will follow. Please Preregistration required. There are two times for the tour: One at 10:30am, and one at 11am.

Cost: Free

Where:
Heist Brewery
2909 Davidson St., #200
Charlotte, NC  28205
View map »


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Learn about art by participating in hands-on activities and special museum tours. May's theme focuses on modern art and textiles.

Cost: Free for children; $8 for adults

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

Explore the exhibits and hands-on workshops with area artists and story time.

Cost: $6-$8; children under 5 are free

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


Website »

More information

Features regional musical acts, art, family-friendly activities, magic shows, and fireworks.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Participants can explore the Here & Now: 80 Years of Photography at the Mint exhibition and create images working with local photographers. This workshop is designed for high school...

Cost: Free for teens with NexGen registration

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Families are encouraged to participate in this family-friendly bike ride as part of Bike! Charlotte. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park
Wilhelmina Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring dances that represent 10 different Latin American countries, with vibrant music, historical facts, and dazzling costumes.

Cost: $8-$15

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Come see if the dragon really did eat the Princess as Junior Ensemble presents their Ensemble Theatre Workshop. Workshop productions focus on the development of the youth actor through the...

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
304 Armour St.
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

See an item from each of the U.S. Presidents, including early 19th-century linen funeral banners of George and Martha Washington, along with an early 19th-century portrait...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Bank of America Heritage Center in Founder's Hall
100 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 980-387-6075

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

Enjoy dinner and a live theater show just outside of Charlotte. Relevant, humorous, tragic and fun, this original Broadway-style show is a must-see for all ages.

Cost: $7 - $35

Where:
NarroWay Productions
3327 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC  29715
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
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

This family-friendly festival features live music, cooking demonstrations, ethnic dancing, free caricature drawings, a haiku poetry contest, passport activities for kids and young adults, and craft...

Cost: Free

Where:
South Piedmont Community College
4209 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC  28110
View map »


Telephone: 704-290-5891
Website »

More information

This exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates an iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process,...

Cost: $7-$9; children under 5 admitted free.

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Celebrate the strawberry at this award-winning festival. Walk through a butterfly exhibit, check out antique cars, sample strawberry pie, and let the kids try out the rides. Fri., 4:30-11pm;...

Cost: Free admission; additional cost for activities and $5 for parking

Where:
Walter Elisha Park
345 N. White St.
Ft. Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can gain free access to participating museums in the Charlotte area, including The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center, Levine...

Cost: Free for cardholders

Where:
Locations vary
, NC


Website »

More information

A midway featuring amusement rides, an assortment of food and drink, and carnival rides and games. See website for times.

Cost: $5-$8; free for children under 4

Where:
Metrolina Tradeshow Expo
7100 Statesville Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Created by photographer and activist-artist Sheila Pree Bright, 1960Now is a collection of images inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots youth activists of the 1960s.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exhibition of digital images by artist J.J. L'Heureux featuring the Penguin populations and their homes on Antarctica and the sub Antarctic Islands of the Southern Ocean.  

Cost: Free with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Utterly unpredictable, "Motherhood Out Loud" shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite...

Cost: $22 in advance, $28 at the door, $18 for groups of 10 more

Where:
Charlotte Ballet's Center for Dance
701 N Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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 2015 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.