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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Sweet Retreat, Novant Health’s first online nutritional program, will give participants a 10-day plan to cut all added sugar from their diets. The first round of the program began on May...

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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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6500 South New Hope Road
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Queens University of Charlotte
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8505 Davis Lake Pkwy
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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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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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Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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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

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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

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.
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View map »


Telephone: 704-333-1887
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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

Sweet Retreat, Novant Health’s first online nutritional program, will give participants a 10-day plan to cut all added sugar from their diets. The first round of the program began on May...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Novant Health
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

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

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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

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

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

More information

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Cost: $10 per one parent/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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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: Free

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Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC  28216
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Telephone: 704-416-3000
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Explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and how the South is shaping Latinos. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., Noon-5pm.

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

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

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

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

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

Sweet Retreat, Novant Health’s first online nutritional program, will give participants a 10-day plan to cut all added sugar from their diets. The first round of the program began on May...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Novant Health
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

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Cost: Free

Where:
GoPro Motorplex
130 Motorplex Drive
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Sponsor: 600 Festival Association
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

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

Local and regional talent perform each week on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
301 S. Mint St.
, NC
View map »


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

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

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

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

Sweet Retreat, Novant Health’s first online nutritional program, will give participants a 10-day plan to cut all added sugar from their diets. The first round of the program began on May...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Novant Health
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

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

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 stories, movement with music, and a seasonal craft.

Cost: $5

Where:
Main Street Children's Museum
133 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
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
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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

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Cost: $1

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15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

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

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

Live musical entertainment, appearances by top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and celebrities, dynamic exhibits for all ages and an assembly of NASCAR show cars and simulators.

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


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

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

This storytime is filled with stories, songs and activities specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues or other developmental disabilities.

Cost: Free

Where:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28208
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

Moms and moms-to-be to come socialize, share community resources, and explore parenting tools. Infants and toddlers are welcome to attend. Snacks provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
316 Lillington Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28204


Telephone: 704-858-4445
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $6

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


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Standard admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

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

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

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

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

Live musical entertainment, appearances by top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and celebrities, dynamic exhibits for all ages and an assembly of NASCAR show cars and simulators.

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Mint Hill with delicious food, great music;, arts and crafts, a family carnival, an all-American parade, and fireworks show!

Cost: Free.

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Mint Hill Events, Inc.
Telephone: 704-545-2335
Contact Name: Sheryl Smith
Website »

More information

Enjoy lawn games, live music, and beverages from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

Cost: Free

Where:
First Ward Park
East 7th St. and Brevard Street
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This month The House that Rocks brings the music of Prince, an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Parking and admission is free. Food vendors will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossing Paths Park
120 Blythe Drive
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Telephone: 704-821-9572
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

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

Local and regional talent perform each week on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
301 S. Mint St.
, NC
View map »


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

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

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
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

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Run through Speed Street at the PNC Speed Street 5K and don't forget about the young runners. PNC Speed Street 5K's youngest fans can enjoy a 600-yard fun run starting at 8:45 a.m.

Cost: 5K: $25-$35, Kids 600 Yard Fun Run: $10-$15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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

Vendors at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market will be passing out free unique hamburger recipes to celebrate.  

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-357-1269
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

This 1-mile walk is sponsored by Trusted Parents, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources for families with special needs children.

Cost: Free

Where:
Queens University of Charlotte
1900 Selwyn Ave.
Charlotte, NC  28274
View map »


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

A special film presentation for children with special needs. The movie is shown with lights up and sound down, and families can bring gluten-free, casein-free snacks. See website for locations.

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
AMC Theatres
, NC


Website »

More information

Join a naturalist for a walk around the Paw Paw Nature Trail and check out the diversity of the local  habitat.

Cost: $8; includes museum admission

Where:
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Mint Hill with delicious food, great music;, arts and crafts, a family carnival, an all-American parade, and fireworks show!

Cost: Free.

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Mint Hill Events, Inc.
Telephone: 704-545-2335
Contact Name: Sheryl Smith
Website »

More information

Live musical entertainment, appearances by top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and celebrities, dynamic exhibits for all ages and an assembly of NASCAR show cars and simulators.

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
, NC


Website »

More information

Four different bands (Elonzo Wesley, The Coteries, Underhill Rose, and The Ben Miller Band) featuring a variety of eclectic music styles take the stage. Plus lawn games and beverages.

Cost: Free

Where:
First Ward Park
East 7th St. and Brevard Street
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Head out to the Grayson Skatepark in your favorite Turtle gear for the chance to take home TMNT promo items and advance screening passes while supplies last.

Cost: Free

Where:
Grayson Skatepark
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1100
Website »

More information

Pre-movie activities begin at 7pm. Movies begin at 8:30pm or dusk. Food vendors will be on site.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The Charlotte improvisational theatre troupe, the Chuckleheads, present the We Missed You Cornelius Comedy Improv Musical Variety Extravaganza. 6pm (for all ages) and 8pm (adult show).

Cost: $10/$15

Where:
Warehouse Performing Arts Center
9216-A Westmoreland Road
Cornelius, NC  28031
View map »


Telephone: 704-301-1564
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

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

Stop by the Trading Post today and talk "swap" with a Naturalist. Bring in a found natural object to earn points. Earn more points by learning all about your object! Exchange your points...

Cost: $8; includes museum admission

Where:
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
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

The weekend includes a film screening on Friday, a triathlon and live music on Saturday, and a trail race, other activities, and fireworks on Sunday evening. See website for times.

Cost: $5 for parking; cost for additional activities

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

In this musical comedy, Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet man from a respectable family. When she shares the news with her father, she begs him to keep the secret from...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This summer flight show features the native and exotic birds of the center in free flight. See website for times. 

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-6521 ext. 107.

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

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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Show Less...
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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 2016 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.