Why We Shouldn’t Teach Kids to Be Color Blind

And what to do instead.


Published:

For many people, race is a topic that’s difficult to discuss, especially with kids. Avoidance, however, has complicated rather than improved our relationships with one another. In recent years, America has been rocked by the rising frequency of racially motivated hate crimes, deadly incidents of racial profiling, a resurgence of resegregated schools and daily reminders of inequity. 

While families of color often feel compelled to have “the talk” about racial bias with their children for safety’s sake, too often white families are silent. One reason may be they don’t know how to start the conversation. Here’s a look at how we all can begin having fact-based, healthy conversations about race to promote understanding and positive change in our community.

 

WHY SHOULD WE BE TALKING ABOUT RACE?

We all have different physical features, cultural traditions and languages, but the concept of race is not biologically real. It is a system of power that has been reinforced over hundreds of years through social, political and economic means.

“It’s basically been laws and practices that have separated [individuals] into people groups with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom,” says Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry, an antiracist consultant and educator. 

Perceptions of race affect the way we interact with one another and institutions, as well as our placement in society.

“It’s related to every aspect of our experience whether or not we know it,” says James Ford, co-chair of the Leading on Opportunity Task Force. “Not just for families of color but white families as well.” 

Understanding how race has been used for the advantage of some people and the disadvantage of others is essential to make sense of many issues our community and country are struggling with today.

“Even if you’re a good person, your experience within society will be radically different based on your culture and based on your appearance,” says Ford, who was also the 2014-2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

The idea that equality comes from ignoring difference simply isn’t true. “We should be color rich and embrace and celebrate all the ways that we can show up in the world,” says Janeen Bryant, founder of Facilitate Movement, a consulting agency that helps museums and nonprofits engage new audiences and build community.  “... I think ‘color blind’ is a cop out for when people have difficulty talking about difference.”

Ignorance is also dangerous because it can warp our world view and prevent people from speaking honestly with one another. It can also affect our ability to build authentic relationships and feel safe around people who are different from us; it also devalues others with harmful consequences.

“If children don’t see race, then they don’t see racism,” Ford says. “If you teach them not to see ‘color,’ what you’re really telling them is not to be attentive to difference. And they’ll start to grow indifference to injustice based on race because we made it taboo to discuss those things.”

 

How to Start the Conversation

One of the most important things for parents to do first is educate themselves with factual and historically accurate information.

“There needs to be preparation,” Bryant says. “A little bit of research and some key points [parents] want to make.” 

Learning how government policies from decades ago are still relevant today is also important, says Amy Hawn Nelson, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, who has written extensively on educational equity in Charlotte. For example, the practice of redlining, which began in the 1930s, dictated where people of color could live and prevented them from qualifying for home loans and buying homes. That, in turn affected their ability to accumulate wealth and pass it on to future generations. Neighborhood composition also affected business development and where schools were built. 

“You think that’s generations ago but deed restrictions 80 years ago still affect families,” Nelson, who grew up in Charlotte, says.

 

Appreciating Difference and Building Empathy

Conversations about race and justice should be relevant to your child’s life and experience. “Everything has to be age appropriate,” Berry says. “It’s not the 400 years of history placed on the shoulders of your preschooler.”

These should be ongoing conversations and it’s easier if you start them when kids are small. For instance, it’s normal for young children to notice difference as they encounter new experiences and people. Instead of shutting down this type of observation, help them explore it in a healthy and respectful way. 

“Parents should be talking about skin tones right away with little kids,” says Berry, who started Brownicity, an anti-racist resource for families and educators, with her husband. “The construct of race is complicated. But just as they’re learning colors… kids should learn [to talk] about skin tones.” 

Since her family is multi-ethnic, she and her husband consciously started the conversation early with their three daughters. They normalized it and gave their skin tones beautiful names. This approach has provided a framework for later conversations about ancestry and race.

If your children’s friends come from diverse backgrounds, use that as another conversation starter, suggests Ford, who previously taught World History at Garinger High School. Ask what they like about their friends and differences they may have noticed like language(s) spoken at home, foods they eat or other cultural traditions,

“[C]ultivating an appreciation for these differences is important,” says Ford, and they should be treated as assets rather than deficits. 

Over time, the conversation can be expanded to explain in personal ways that, unfortunately, some friends’ experiences may be different just because of what they look like: how one family may not get treated the same way as others if they are pulled over by the police because they are African American or a friend of Arab descent may be more likely to be stopped in a security line at the airport because of her ancestry.

Asking children questions relevant to their own lives makes lessons more memorable, Bryant says. When Bryant served as vice president of education at the Levine Museum of the New South, she would look at visiting school groups and pick something really inconsequential — like who was wearing earrings or a blue uniform that day — ask them to imagine they couldn’t change that aspect of themselves but were treated differently for it. 

“(Children) realize that that’s deeply unfair very quickly,” Bryant says.

 

Creating a Better Future for all

Berry compares building an antiracist consciousness to the green movement’s efforts to protect the earth. It takes intentionality to raise awareness, change habits and create a more just world. Buying books and toys that are inclusive for home or your child’s classroom, choosing doctors and other professionals with different backgrounds are some of the ways we can show our children the truth of a multi-hued world. 

“I think it’s really important not only to have books with brown and black faces and different languages, but people of color doing every day, normal things,” Hawn says. 

The way we talk about race also should be updated. Charlotte is a “plurality community,” which means no ethnic or racial group represents a majority, Nelson says. 

We also need to show children how to combat bigotry when encountered. That means speaking up even when it’s uncomfortable.

“We have to model what we want the children to become,” Berry says. “For children to be more actively antiracist, they can’t do that without us showing them how to do it.” 

For Bryant, that means her 12-year old daughter often accompanies her to community protests and advocacy events. She tries to provide a framework for what they are doing before they arrive and, afterwards, asks her what she thought of the experience.

“[Kids] are absorbing all the time: hate and love and self-righteousness … we have to make space for them to sort them all out,” Bryant says. 

We can also look to history for examples of people of various backgrounds who worked for social justice to serve as models for our children to emulate. Ultimately, the message to kids should be truthful, hopeful and empowering.

Berry tells school children: “You have the substance to change this. The fact that you’re learning about it right now, you’re going to be finding ways to change the world and make a difference.”

Learning and acknowledgement are the first steps; continuous engagement and informed action can help to move us forward. As Bryant says, “We co-design the future we want to build.”

 

Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a writer and mother to two boys, ages 6 and 9.


Resources for Healthy Conversations about Race

BOOKS:

“All the Colors We Are/Todos los colores de nuestra piel: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color/La historia de por qué tenemos diferentes colores de piel” by Katie Kissinger.

“A Young People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn.

“Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Kids in a Racially Unjust America,” by Jennifer Harvey.

 

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS:

GenerationNation helps students learn about and engage in civic issues.

Latin American Coalition works toward inclusive engagement, social justice and equity for people of all backgrounds.

On The Table CLT happening Oct. 24. This second annual event of community conversations will focus on the legacy of segregation.

Southeast Asian Coalition is a great resource for elevating youth voices and talking across race. 

 

WEBSITES:

Brownicity. Resources to promote healthy conversations and dismantle racist beliefs.

Teaching Tolerance. Free resources for social justice and anti-bias education, created by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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View map »


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Cost: Photos available for purchase

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View map »


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More information

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View map »


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More information

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More information

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View map »


Website »

More information

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All New South for the New Southerner programs will be hosted by retired Levine Museum historian, Dr. Tom Hanchett. Program includes a Southern chicken dinner from Mert’s Heart and...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

CROWN, the Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, has gathered four of the region's environmental nonprofit executive directors to update the community on the health...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: CROWN
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Join DSBG on the second Tuesday of each month for a stroll down Meadowood Walk and Persimmon Trail to scout for seasonal birds, observe nesting patterns and establish basis for...

Cost: Included with admission; free for members.

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


Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Participants engage in arts and crafts, story time theater and music with their moms.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Big Air Trampoline Park opens its doors for little ones to jump at their own speed and comfort level. Without the older kids around, the toddlers feel right at home on all the attractions. Big...

Cost: $8

Where:
Big Air Trampoline Park
2408 Sardis Road N.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Classes involve a story, craft, exploration stations, and time with two of our animal ambassadors. Some programs also include songs. Topics include: Nov. 13, Thanksgiving; Dec. 11, Christmas...

Cost: $5

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Victory Bounce sessions at BounceU of Matthews occur every second Tuesday of the month. Every Victory Bounce session has free admission, which also includes siblings.

Cost: Free

Where:
BounceU of Matthews
9129 Monroe Rd Ste 145-150
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

Get free entry to The Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Duke Energy
Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Families are invited to an afternoon of code on Tuesdays during this free four-week Family Code Program. Each class builds on the previous week. Bring a laptop or Chromebook. Tues., November 6:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Advent Coworking
933 Louise Ave.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Tech Talent South
Website »

More information

The Happy Hearts Girls program is designed to provide girls the opportunity to express themselves, gain an experience on a variety of different activities and assist in their developmental growth...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Recreation Center
6709 Pence Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1122
Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child (ages 3-12) receives a discount as well, costing only $5 each. 

Cost: $15 for adult

Where:
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Victory Bounce sessions at BounceU of Charlotte occur every second Tuesday of the month. Every Victory Bounce session has free admission, which also includes siblings. Times change every month,...

Cost: Free

Where:
BounceU of Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
Suite 300
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-921-8771
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
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Learn more about the activities, events, venues,  history and how to get around the Greenway by van. There is no hiking required, but register online prior to the tour.

Cost: Free

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
250 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

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


Website »

More information

Discover nature with you little one through stories, crafts, and activities centered on a new topic each week.

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

Become a nature detective, and explore the amazing world around us through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $5

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Join the Carolina's Aviation Museum on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, August through May, for an engaging hour of exploring aviation through stories, crafts and hands-on...

Cost: $5 per child with paid adult admission of $12

Where:
Carolina's Aviation Museum
4672 1st Flight Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

This drop off program for children presents an engineering challenge based on a popular nursery rhyme. After their engineering challenge, participants meet the animals and participate in humane...

Cost: $20

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Instruments, parachutes, balls, bean bags and lots of fun props will be used to create a magical experience of music, movement, and story time followed by open play. Coffee and tea are...

Cost: $5 per child; $10 per family

Where:
Lanti Music
323-E Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Revolution Park Sports Academy
1225 Remount Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

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


Website »

More information

It’s a Rock Hill tradition to roll in the Christmas season with the annual reveal of a new Vernon Grant holiday card and ornament. The Museum Store will be open, and light refreshments...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Culture and Heritage Museums
Website »

More information

Kids Read a special story about thankfulness, frost cupcakes and create a Thanksgiving craft to take home.

Cost: $6

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-295-1777
Website »

More information

Exercise your creativity, and learn new skills in a group setting. Explore different media and techniques to make art.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come and have fun playing games!

Cost: Free

Where:
Belmont Branch Library
125 N. Central Ave.
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities, and experiments. Children will make different slime recipes to contrast and compare. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
South County Regional Library
5801 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This month we will read "Ranger in Time: Hurricane Katrina Rescue" by Kate Messner. New members welcome!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Everyone is invited to join us for this hands-on workshop to learn how to texturize and manipulate clay to create your own art work.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Peppa Pig Live! is back with an action-packed live show featuring your favorite characters as life size puppets and costume characters in Peppa Pig’s Surprise!

Cost: $40+

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


Telephone: 800-745-3000
Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Big Air Trampoline Park opens its doors for little ones to jump at their own speed and comfort level. Without the older kids around, the toddlers feel right at home on all the attractions. Big...

Cost: $8

Where:
Big Air Trampoline Park
2408 Sardis Road N.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get crafty on Thursdays in Indian Trail! Register online prior to the event.

Cost: $6

Where:
Town Hall
315 Matthews-Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Local prenatal and postpartum practitioners have created a regular nurturing, knowledgeable and judgement-free community. Come every other Thursday to spend time with other caregivers. There will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bellies & Babies
5109 Monroe Road
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Mind Body Baby
Website »

More information

This arts and craft program is designed to allow  children to express themselves creatively.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

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


Website »

More information

This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

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


Telephone: 704-920-3976
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

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


Website »

More information

Come explore the natural world through arts and crafts! Each session will feature a different theme and will have a take-home craft for each participant. Registration and parent attendance are...

Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

Community School of the Arts will provide a visual art workshop series, with a different project activity each workshop. Accompanying the art-making experience will be live music performed...

Cost: Free

Where:
ASC Culture Blocks and CM Library
, NC


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

More information

Hike deep into wild at McDowell Nature Preserve to find unexplored areas for fun and adventure. Together as a family, participants will create games and activities while learning from nature....

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Join Clayworks for this hands-on workshop; learn about different pottery techniques and how to manipulate clay to create a variety of fun and functional ceramic projects. Preregistration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grier Heights Community Center
3100 Leroy St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Clayworks, Inc.
Telephone: 980-498-1487
Website »

More information

Train rides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts, balloon art, a magician and face painting.

Cost: Free

Where:
Piedmont Town Center
4725 Piedmont Row Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come and make turkey crescent roll-ups and mini pumpkin pies.

Cost: $39

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio
8438 Park Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register your family for a night of fun, competitive activities, such as crafts, games and even a dodge ball tournament!

Cost: Free

Where:
Chestnut Square Park
299 Chestnut Pkwy.
Indian Trail, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The event features live music, children’s activities, visits with Santa, artist demonstrations and activities throughout downtown Concord. At 8:30pm, see the tree lighting and fireworks!...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join friends for good times, good food, a hayride and a lot of dancing at the November Dance for teens and adults with disabilities.

Cost: $10

Where:
Marion Diehl Park
2219 Tyvola Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lanti Music's youth theatre troupe presents "The Beauty and the Beast."

Cost: $10

Where:
Lanti Music
323-E Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your kids discover the details of the museums galleries in a fun and challenging way. With two levels of difficulty this gallery activity invites participants of all ages to examine art work...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Spend the evening socializing, playing games and participating in friendly competition, all while having a great time with peers!

Cost: Free

Where:
Southview Recreation Center
1720 Vilma St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1105
Website »

More information

The Southpark Mall Microsoft store will be hosting a free ASUS ROG Arena: Fortnite Fridays Tournament! All skill levels are welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Microsoft
Website »

More information

Drop off your children for a night of fun while you hit the town. Activities include laser tag, jump-n-play, rock climbing, mini bowling, ropes courses, bumper cars, and arcade games. Children...

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

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


Website »

More information

This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

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


Telephone: 704-920-3976
Website »

More information

Take the train to the North Pole to meet Santa with a live reading of the story, "The Polar Express," complete with songs from the movie. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served....

Cost: $32+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: Tickets start at $16

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

CPCC Opera Theatre’s production of "La Boheme" will capture Paris during the Roaring 20s. The joys and tragedies of "La Boheme’s" beloved characters will come to...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

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What’s better than a Chick-Fil-A breakfast? Having a Chick-Fil-A breakfast with Santa! Santa will join the first 200 MallStars Kids Club members for a yummy breakfast, fun games,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northlake Mall
6801 Northlake Mall Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to supervise children, recognize safety hazards, handle first-aid situations, play age-appropriate games, change diapers, carry out parents' instructions and discuss job...

Cost: $65 for YMCA members, $95 for nonmembers

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-716-4600
Website »

More information

Join staff from Atrium Health to learn about healthy eating habits. Learn about wellness, sleep, nutrition and mental health from community partners such as HealthWorks and the Sleep Center. As a...

Cost: $13-$17, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Get inspiration for your wreaths, tree or mantel, and shop for a unique gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list from more than 475 exhibitors. Also enjoy a collectors’...

Cost: $4-$15, children 5 and younger admitted free

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


Website »

More information

Learn mathematical concepts of sorting, building and geometry while using Lego building blocks.

Cost: Free

Where:
South County Regional Library
5801 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your dogs and enjoy photos with Santa, shop for unique dog gifts, and participate in a short guided hike in Robbins Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Robbins Park
17738 West Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the new nature-themed exhibit packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to appreciate and experience their natural world. Visit the...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

VTGCLT is popping up at The Fillmore Charlotte for the seventh annual Winter Market! Come out and spend the day shopping with more than 60 of the region's best vintage and handmade...

Cost: $2-$7

Where:
The Fillmore Charlotte
820 Hamilton Street
, NC
View map »

More information

Prepare to get messy with fun, creative and process-driven art! Registration is required. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bessemer City Branch Library
207 N. 12th St.
Bessemer City, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hang on and hang out at Dixon School Boulders in Crowders Mountain State Park. Meet at McDowell Nature Center, and ride in a van to the climbing area. Staff will provide crash pads and instruction....

Cost: $15

Where:
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Create fun holiday decorations using natural materials! Registration and parent attendance are required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129

More information

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in SouthPark. Winter Wonderland kicks off the season this Saturday with ice skating, treats, games and more.This year's rink is even bigger than...

Cost: $12+

Where:
Winter Wonderland SouthPark
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Celebrate the harvest season at the 18th Century Backcountry Farm. Watch hearth cooks and bakers at work preparing a traditional holiday feast in a spirit of thanksgiving. See the hunters'...

Cost: $3 in addition to museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Community School of the Arts provides a visual art workshop series with a different project activity each month. Accompanying the art-making experience will be a live music performance throughout...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities and experiments.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn mathematical concepts of sorting, building, and geometry while developing problem solving and innovating thinking skills. This month's Lego Challenge will be party-themed. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A parade to celebrate Santa's arrival, live entertainment, a tree lighting, vendors, Act and TJ from 96.1, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Birkdale Village
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: $16+

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Collaborate with other kids, share your writing, give and receive feedback, and support others through the writing process. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrison Regional Library
7015 Morrison Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See the lighting of the Rea Farms tree! Come out for a free photo with Mr and Mrs. Claus, Pet Night with Sir Purr sponsored by Banfield, a visit with characters from Frozen, a cookie decorating...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rea Farms
9855 Sandy Rock Pl.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Blakeney Shopping Center is kicking off the holiday season with the annual Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Santa Claus will sit for photos at his workshop following the official tree...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Run or walk through three million lights in the Egg Nog Jog 5K Kick off the holiday season with hundreds of runners dressed in holiday attire at the speedway.

Cost: $20-$35

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


Website »

More information

Come join artist Marni Manning as she unveils her watercolor series about the Day of the Dead, to honor a long-held Mexican tradition.

Cost: Free

Where:
Free Range Brewing
2320 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Free Range Brewing Company
Website »

More information

Calling all Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts! Make observations, collect data, and work with real scientists in hands-on activities. Overnight event includes an evening snack and breakfast....

Cost: $35

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28056
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In this special story time, come share donuts and stories with your dad, grandpa, uncle or caregiver.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Step back in time at the 25th Annual Renaissance Festival in Huntersville! Enjoy entertainment, rides, shopping, food, and free parking at this rain-or-shine event.

Cost: Tickets start at $14, Children 5 and younger free

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


Telephone: 704-896-5555
Website »

More information

Led by a South Carolina Master Naturalist, this gentle hike will cover approximately two miles and take about one and a half hours. Stop along the hike to discuss various plants, rocks, wildlife...

Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
104 Adventure Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Criss Cross Mangosauce will present a Spanish/English story time with music, plays and stories. All families interested in raising bilingual and globally-minded children are welcome!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Music and Movement activities for ages one, two and three! All ages are welcome to attend, and infants receive free admission. Come jam to stories and songs!

Cost: $2 per child

Where:
UWI- Kidz Greenhouse Cafe
5237 Albemarle Road
Suites 211-213
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: United World Initiative's
Website »

More information

Join us every third Saturday to discuss and showcase teen fandom of pop culture (television shows, movies, books, gaming and podcasts) and enjoy snacks and fun geek activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Instructors will provide assistance to students in grades K-12 in reading and math. The instructions will be primarily facilitated by NC Educator licensed teachers.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Revolution Park Sports Academy
1225 Remount Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

Hundreds of vehicles, demonstrations and exhibits on the latest automotive technology, ride and drives, and more. Thurs.-Fri., Noon-9pm; Sat., 10am-10pm; Sun., 10am-6pm. 

Cost: $10; children under 12 free

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


Website »

More information

This fun dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience, and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

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


Telephone: 704-920-3976
Website »

More information

Take the train to the North Pole to meet Santa with a live reading of the story, "The Polar Express," complete with songs from the movie. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served....

Cost: $32+

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

See your favorite Christmas scenes, and hear your favorite songs during this holiday dinner theater experience. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $9.50-$37

Where:
The NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy. 51 N.
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

This exhibit tells the story of the coming of railroads after the Civil War and the impact they had on the life, economy, culture, folklore, music and landscape of the mountains. Using videos,...

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

This New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning book makes its world premiere. After church every Sunday, CJ and his Nana board the bus for a trip across town. In this powerful look at...

Cost: Tickets start at $16

Where:
Wells Fargo Playhouse
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theater of Charlotte
Website »

More information

In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

Cost: $15-$6; Free for children 4 and younger; Included in admission

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene, the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

"Latin Americans in Paris" presents selected Latin American artists who moved to Paris in the mid-20th century to live and work. Their presence in Europe initiated a cultural and...

Cost: $5-$9, Children younger than 10 free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

To further unite the nation, in 2018 For Freedoms launched a 50 State Initiative in which multiple organizations and events embodied an array of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art,...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

"Welcome to Brookhill" is a collection of images that, like poetry, stir emotion. The photographs reveal what this neighborhood, like every other neighborhood, has come to be to its...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

CPCC Opera Theatre’s production of "La Boheme" will capture Paris during the Roaring 20s. The joys and tragedies of "La Boheme’s" beloved characters will come to...

Cost: $10+

Where:
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-330-6534
Website »

More information

See Grant’s favorite subject, Santa Claus, along with his whimsical gnomes and published scenes of winter at the Center for the Arts. The Galleries at the Center for the Arts are open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Center for the Arts
121 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families and friends can come by Center Court to capture holiday memories with Santa! For hours and photo package pricing, please visit website.

Cost: Photos available for purchase

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come ice skating at SouthPark Mall! Hours are Mon.-Thurs., 3-11pm; Fri. 3pm-12am; Sat. 11am-12pm; Sun. 11am-11pm.

Cost: $12-$17

Where:
Southpark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This nature-themed exhibit is packed with fun, hands-on activities that highlight ways for kids and families to discover, appreciate and experience the natural world. Colorful, scenic settings and...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children younger than 3, Included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offers guests a free photo with Santa. Families can reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts. For the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
8181 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
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The student work featured in this exhibit marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between Levine Museum of the New South and Studio 345, a program of the Arts and Science Council. In...

Cost: $6-$10, children 5 and younger free

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Annual Guides

G.P.S. [Go.Play.See]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2018 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

A comprehensive guide to independent, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.
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