Giving Summer Camp a Second Chance

How to help kids after a tough first summer away


Published:

COURTESY

My daughter’s first summer at sleepaway camp wasn’t easy. She felt homesick most of the time, especially when she woke up in the morning and at night after lights out. 

During our one allotted phone call, my daughter cried the entire 10 minutes. After we hung up, I had to fight the urge to get in my car and drive to camp to retrieve her. But somehow we both made it through the four-week session.

When my daughter returned home from camp, she shared stories about her bunk-mates and all the fun activities she did. But when the camp director asked for a deposit for the following summer, she was reluctant to commit. Although she had fond memories of camp, she also remembered the stress she felt about being away. She wasn’t sure she wanted to put herself through those feelings again.

 

Why Kids May Have A Tough Time At Summer Camp 

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, psychologist, speaker, and author of several books including Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friend says, “There are many reasons children may have a difficult time at camp including homesickness, illness (or) injury, and difficulties getting along with peers.” 

Sometimes the reasons a child has trouble at camp have little to do with the camp at all. Missy Ruddick, director of Camp Timber Tops, explains, “Things that impact children at home can impact them at camp too, from difficulties happening at home, to not making connections in the bunk right away, to anxiety or emotional issues that follow a child wherever she goes.” 

Adds Kennedy-Moore, “Parents cannot expect their child to magically turn into a different, easier kid at camp.”

Adding to these issues is the fact that many parents are reluctant to discuss their child’s at-home struggles with camp directors in advance for fear they will pre-judge their child. “By not being transparent with camp directors, parents do their children a disservice,” says Patti “The Camp Lady” Roberts, owner of Student Summers, a camp consultancy organization. “The only way camp directors can help a child deal with issues from bedwetting to a parent’s recent divorce is if they are informed.”

 

Figure Out What Went Wrong 

After a challenging camp experience, parents may think the easiest thing to do is to switch camps, or not send the child back to camp at all. But as Kennedy-Moore explains, “If your child doesn’t go back to a camp, that’s the end of the story, and your child will conclude, ‘Camp is bad’ or ‘I can’t do camp.’”

A better approach is to look at it as a learning experience. First, find some positives. Ask your child, “What parts of camp did you like?” For example, my daughter loved most of the activities and her bunk-mates. She also felt proud because even though she was homesick, she did manage to stay for the full session.

Next, discuss the parts of camp your child found difficult. Maybe the camp was overly sporty, or they were too worried about a grandparent’s illness to have a good time. Kennedy-Moore suggests asking the child “what and how” questions to help pinpoint the problems. How was camp similar or different to what you expected? What kind of camp do you think might be a better fit for you? What might have helped things go better for you?

 

Come Up with A Plan 

Even if parents believe the camp was not a good fit or that the staff didn’t handle something appropriately, a discussion with the camp directors can still be helpful. “Parents need to work with the camp directors to determine why the child had a difficult summer and see if the exact problems can be addressed head-on,” Ruddick says.

Be prepared to have a give and take with the camp directors. Talk about your issues, but also be prepared to listen to what the camp directors have to say. Camp directors have a lot of experience and can provide vital insight. 

In many cases, the camp can make changes so the child has a better experience the following summer. Other times, it’s best to change camps or choose a different type of summer experience entirely. “Camp directors will be honest if they feel they can’t make the accommodations your child needs, or they think the child would be better off at a different camp,” Roberts says.

If parents do choose to send their child to a different camp, be forthcoming about the issues that happened the previous summer. “It’s important to inform camp staff about any difficulties your child is likely to encounter,” Kennedy-Moore says. “If they’re forewarned, camp staff can be better prepared to deal with these issues.”

 

Be Positive 

Whether your child returns to the same camp or decides to try a new one, go in with a positive attitude. “Explain to your child that it’s very normal and completely understandable to be nervous after having had a bad experience,” Kennedy-Moore says. “Tell your child you are so proud of her for being willing to try again.”

Explain to your child why this summer will be better. Kennedy-Moore suggests helping your child redefine the narrative by saying something like, “I wasn’t ready for camp last year, but now I know what to expect, so I’m better prepared,” or “I prefer this type of camp to that type,” or even “I’m the kind of person who won’t let one bad experience stop me.”

Resist the urge to give your child an “out” before they get to camp; it sets them up for failure. “A parent should never say, ‘Just try it out and you can come home if you are not happy!’” Ruddick says. “Instead, tell children, ‘We know this is a great place for you. If you love it, you’ll go back for many years to come! If you don’t, you’ll be home in no time.’” 

Finally, remember that no one is happy all of the time. Don’t overreact if you receive a lousy letter or you don’t see a smiling photo every day. Some kids avoid the photographer but are having a great time. And “snail mail” means that by the time the letter arrives, it’s already old news. The child could have been upset about their soccer game when he wrote the letter, and having a blast at the pool 20 minutes after they sealed the envelope.

For my daughter, it was a discussion with her camp directors that made her decide to give camp a second chance. To help her combat her homesickness, the directors suggested she have four phone calls instead of one. Just knowing that she could call home more often put my daughter at ease. While she still had some tough moments, she was much happier her second summer. So much so that she returned for many more years, eventually becoming a camp counselor herself. 

Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, teen issues, mental health, and wellness. She is a wife and mother of three children. To read more of her work visit www.randimazella.com. 

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May 2020

Race 5 or 8 miles through the Whitewater Center’s trail system. Afterwards, cool off with rafting, cold beverages, food, live music and fireworks at the Memorial Day Celebration.

Cost: $6 for parking, activities and food available for purchase

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
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Sponsor: USNWC
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The public spraygrounds of Mecklenburg County will open on Friday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The spraygrounds will continue these hours until Labor Day. Spraygrounds include:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Clarks Creek Community Park
5435 Hucks Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
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Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
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Suite A
, NC
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Cost: $30 per princess

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Pretty Princess Palace
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Suite 360
, NC
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Cost: $49+, children 13 and younger $10

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Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy S.
Concord, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Motor Speedway
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Sun Valley High School
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Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
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The Quarry at Carrigan Farms
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC
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Sponsor: Carrigan Farms
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Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
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14523 Carowinds Blvd.
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1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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301 N. Tryon St.
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BoPlex
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SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
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Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
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420 S. Tryon St.
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500 S. Tryon St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
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Cost: Free

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Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
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Cost: $21-$31

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New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
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Cost: $11 for one hour

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DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
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Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
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1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
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Sponsor: Carrigan Farms
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Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
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Cost: Free

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Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
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Cost: $3-$5

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Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-246-8611
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Cost: $5, cash only

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Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-548-3441
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Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
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Cost: Free

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Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
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Telephone: 704-414-2774
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Cost: Free to military service men and women

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


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 invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $18-$22, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: $22-$26, children younger than 2 free, includes museum admission

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

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

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


Website »

More information

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Register for and attend this reading show with Hugo the Hornet, mascot of the Charlotte Hornets.

Cost: Free

Where:
University City Regional Library
301 East W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
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Sponsor: Arts Delivered
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Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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Cost: $3 per hour

Where:
Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
#C
, NC
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Website »

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Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Recreation Site
500 Bilmark Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
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View map »


Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
5027 North Idlewild Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Meet a real pirate and find hidden treasure in this swashbuckling adventure throughout the aquarium!

Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
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View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble: Morrison Place
4020 Sharon Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions without charge.

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

Learn chess basics and play chess.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 704-416-5200 to register.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


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 invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Meet a real pirate and find hidden treasure in this swashbuckling adventure throughout the aquarium!

Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art examines the rise of three-dimensional objects issued in editions, which emerged as an international phenomenon in the 1960s and 1970s.

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

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


Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the various aspects of walls, which includes the artistic, social, political and historical aspects, as well as the physical barriers like fences or sand berms. The space is...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Bring your family out to enjoy stories coupled with fun and easy yoga moves.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join Bold Music Lessons for a free music enrichment class from the comfort and safety of your own home! 

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Bold Music Lessons
Website »

More information

Enjoy books, songs, movement, sensory experiences and playtime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library Rock Hill
138 E. Black St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities that support early literacy skill development and help foster a love of books.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop off your little ones to explore, play and learn during Music Mondays, Theater Thursdays and Food Fridays. A small snack is provided. Register online.

Cost: $21-$31

Where:
New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

After a brief introduction to the month’s topic in the SEED Wildlife Garden’s Story Time area, program participants will complete activities stationed throughout the SEED Wildlife...

Cost: $5 per student

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


Website »

More information

Afrobics is a full body, fun experience—a dance fitness class combining Afrofusion movement to an African beat.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

River Jam brings live music outdoors, right in the middle of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Hear music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during each of...

Cost: $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
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 invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Meet a real pirate and find hidden treasure in this swashbuckling adventure throughout the aquarium!

Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art examines the rise of three-dimensional objects issued in editions, which emerged as an international phenomenon in the 1960s and 1970s.

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

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


Website »

More information

The Salisbury Kennel Club will present this all-breed dog show.

Cost: Free, $5 for parking

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


Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the various aspects of walls, which includes the artistic, social, political and historical aspects, as well as the physical barriers like fences or sand berms. The space is...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

A single balloon lifts the spirits of a solitary man in this sweet story for preschoolers. A mischievous balloon finds its way into the home of a solitary old man, and suddenly his curmudgeonly...

Cost: 10-12

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Kids will make different kinds of slime before playing with it. Dress for a mess!

Cost: $25

Where:
Kidcreate Studio
636 Crown Pointe Lane
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Fresh Works exhibition before strolling downtown Concord to shop and view works of art.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Drop off your little ones to explore, play and learn during Music Mondays, Theater Thursdays and Food Fridays. A small snack is provided. Register online.

Cost: $21-$31

Where:
New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

A single balloon lifts the spirits of a solitary man in this sweet story for preschoolers. A mischievous balloon finds its way into the home of a solitary old man, and suddenly his curmudgeonly...

Cost: 10-12

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump with other little ones. Parents and caregivers jump free! W8less socks required.

Cost: $10 per hour

Where:
W8Less LKN
10442-A Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Caregivers and their littles learn new yoga poses with songs and games. Multiple class rates available.

Cost: $20

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Enjoy the SingPlayMove experience in the comfort of your own home. This 30-minute class is presented through Zoom.  Each week's class will have a unique Zoom Meeting ID and...

Cost: $12 per child

Where:
Online
345 N. College St.
, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

rab 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:
Resident Culture Brewing Company
2101 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


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.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Treat the kids and yourself to a fun night out! Drop kids off to run, play and dance. Pizza dinner is included.

Cost: $25

Where:
Romp n' Roll NW Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

River Jam brings live music outdoors, right in the middle of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Hear music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during each of...

Cost: $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
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 invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This smash hit Broadway musical is loosely based on the rivalries within Diana Ross and The Supremes. Rated PG-13. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Meet a real pirate and find hidden treasure in this swashbuckling adventure throughout the aquarium!

Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art examines the rise of three-dimensional objects issued in editions, which emerged as an international phenomenon in the 1960s and 1970s.

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

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


Website »

More information

Sing along to Motown hits of the 60s and the solid gold artists of the 70s. Jam out to the grunge of the 90s and hits of today. Fri., 9:30pm; Sat., 7:30pm.

Cost: $15-$25

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


Sponsor: Carolina Voices
Website »

More information

See the original, Broadway-style dinner show, and experience the story of Stephen and the Apostles. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10-$40

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

The Salisbury Kennel Club will present this all-breed dog show.

Cost: Free, $5 for parking

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


Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the various aspects of walls, which includes the artistic, social, political and historical aspects, as well as the physical barriers like fences or sand berms. The space is...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Cover the different types of fish and the different methods used to catch them. Ages 16 and older must have a SC fishing license, and parents helping children younger than 16 do not need a...

Cost: $15

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
288 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

A single balloon lifts the spirits of a solitary man in this sweet story for preschoolers. A mischievous balloon finds its way into the home of a solitary old man, and suddenly his curmudgeonly...

Cost: 10-12

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Telephone: 704-973-2826
Contact Name: Sarah Kasper
Website »

More information

Learn about bugs from entomologists, and enjoy crafts and games. Meet a Bug Whisperer, and don’t miss the bug-eating contests for ages 18 and older!

Cost: $3 in addition to museum admission of $6-$7, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Families can explore the Bechtler collection through special hands-on art activities and family-focused museum tours. Complimentary guided tours of the galleries will be available at 1 p.m. and 3...

Cost: $9 adults; Free for children younger than 18

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


Website »

More information

Primal Brewery in Huntersville will be hosting the StarvingArtistMarketCLT Artists and vendors while following all CDC mandates social distancing protocols.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Primal Brewery
16432 Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Starving Artist Market Charlotte
Website »

More information

Come explore stories and facts about ocean life. Dig in dirt to find ocean life fossils!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come learn chess basics and test your skills.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate on Saturday mornings, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Swim in the cool, deep water at Carrigan Farms Quarry. Ages 11 and younger must wear a life jacket in the water. Ages 12 and older are eligible to take the swim test. Bring your rod...

Cost: $15-$20 per person, cash or check only

Where:
The Quarry at Carrigan Farms
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Carrigan Farms
Website »

More information

On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

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


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 704-416-5200 to register.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

River Jam brings live music outdoors, right in the middle of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Hear music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during each of...

Cost: $6 for parking

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
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 invaders....

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This smash hit Broadway musical is loosely based on the rivalries within Diana Ross and The Supremes. Rated PG-13. See website for showtimes.

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Meet a real pirate and find hidden treasure in this swashbuckling adventure throughout the aquarium!

Cost: $12-$22, children younger than 2 free

Where:
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Website »

More information

Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art examines the rise of three-dimensional objects issued in editions, which emerged as an international phenomenon in the 1960s and 1970s.

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

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


Website »

More information

The Things Come Apart exhibit reveals the inner workings of common, everyday items. Images explore how things are designed and how technology has evolved over time.

Cost: $6-$7, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Sing along to Motown hits of the 60s and the solid gold artists of the 70s. Jam out to the grunge of the 90s and hits of today. Fri., 9:30pm; Sat., 7:30pm.

Cost: $15-$25

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


Sponsor: Carolina Voices
Website »

More information

See the original, Broadway-style dinner show, and experience the story of Stephen and the Apostles. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10-$40

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

The Salisbury Kennel Club will present this all-breed dog show.

Cost: Free, $5 for parking

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


Website »

More information

This exhibit explores the various aspects of walls, which includes the artistic, social, political and historical aspects, as well as the physical barriers like fences or sand berms. The space is...

Cost: $6-$15, children 4 and younger free, included with admission

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