How to Equally Share Your Heart with All Your Little Loves

Whether or not you have a favorite child, this is a topic worth exploring


Published:

Do you get a pleasant glow every time you look at your middle child because she has your grandfather’s eyes, but not so much for your son who looks like your husband’s cousin? Do you spend hours making freshly blended organic vegetables for your first baby, but resort to grocery store purees for your next two? If you said yes to either of these questions, you might have a favorite child.

This is a perennial, popular topic. From science writer Jeffrey Kluger’s TED talk claiming that 95% of parents have a favorite (and the other 5% are lying), to the current slew of articles with titles insisting that “You really do have a favorite child,” and the scores of “favorite kid” jokes and memes online. Whether or not you have a favorite, and even if you’re 100% sure you do not, this is a topic worth exploring because of the deep effect favoritism can have on both parents and children.

 

What the Data Says

According to Jennifer Lansford, a research professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and an affiliate of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, there are “no really good empirical studies on this issue.” She suggests that the “strong social preference not to have a favorite” may cause some parents to feel too embarrassed or guilty to admit they have a favorite, while other parents might have difficulty interpreting the question itself: Does having a “favorite” mean you actually “love” one child more than your other(s)? Or does it simply mean that you treat your children differently for any number of reasons? 

In a group of 30 parents polled anonymously for this article, 13% said they had a favorite. Given the uncertainty of this question, perhaps the more interesting and relevant number is that 50% of parents polled believed their own parents had a favorite, and 40% of parents polled believed their children thought they had a favorite. What seems to matter here is perception. Parents should consider whether their own actions are leading their children to assume they have a favorite.

 

What Kids Say

Kids perceive favoritism, whether it’s there or not, and it can be tricky to know how well your child is reading you.

“Parents underestimate how much kids pick up,” says Meg Hill, a counselor and owner of Raleigh Parent and Child. 

Children can be observant and wrong about what they see, since they read situations and emotions through the sometimes-distorted lens of youth. “It can be difficult for kids to understand that fair doesn’t always mean same,” Hill says. 

She notes several issues that exacerbate kids’ misunderstanding:

Developmental stage: Younger children might miss the nuances of context and see only the piece that affects them. 

Personality: A child might be naturally competitive and, thus, more likely to compare herself (and her treatment) to a sibling. 

Self-image: A child might have a more negative view of herself and might project this view onto a parent. 

 

Adrienne Aaron, a counselor at New Leaf Counseling Group in Charlotte, says that throughout the 20 years she has been practicing, she has never had a parent tell her they had a favorite child. “But plenty of kids have told me their parent has a favorite.”

She says she hears this most often from kids in families with three or more children, from families of both boys and girls, and typically from elementary-age kids who are just learning the concept of fairness.

“It’s impossible to keep score,” she sayss, “but some kids do.” 

If a child perceives that he or she is loved less or more than a sibling, that perception is likely based on a combination of the child’s creative assumption and savvy observation of a parent’s real emotions. The assumption could be situationally based and have nothing to do with a parent’s preference. These situations could include: 

Birth order: The younger child may observe the oldest getting to be the first to do a lot of fun stuff, while the older child may observe the baby being cuddled and coddled.

Differing times in the parent’s life: You are younger with your first born and may be more energetic and enthusiastic, whereas you might be in a better financial position with your youngest child and able to afford more comforts for him or her.

Life changes: Divorce or a family relocation can affect a 3-year-old more or less than a 10-year-old. 

The “real” part could be a child’s legitimate observations of the way you act with each child, Lansford says. It might be that you click better with the personality of one child, so you’re able to relax and have more fun with that child, or one child may have been an “easy baby” which made you feel eternally grateful for those extra hours of sleep. Maybe one child is more temperamentally difficult, which leads to arguments and trouble. Lansford says that a child’s perception will be tied to his or her own emotional wellness. 

“Real or fabricated, a child’s perception matters,” Lansford says. “It is very hurtful for a kid to believe that a parent loves a sibling more.” 

Indeed, it can be damaging for both the favored and less-favored child if a parent displays any kind of preference. Long-term, the favored child may suffer from anxiety while the less-favored child, who might already have low self-esteem, may sink lower.

“It puts pressure on the golden child, who then becomes overly invested in perfection, while the child who feels less loved might believe there’s nothing they can do to get favor and might give up on things they should be working on and improving,” Hill says. 

 

What to Say to Your Kids 

You can avoid projecting favoritism by making use of certain parenting tools. 

Clearly state household rules, and be consistent with the consequences. A child who understands the consequences of actions and sees them equally applied is less likely to think he or she is being treated arbitrarily, compared with a sibling. 

Explain differential treatment. In practice, differential treatment can be a good and necessary parenting strategy. What works well for one child might not make sense for another based on age and personality.

Make each child feel loved. “Kids need to know they’re loved no matter what,” says Caroline Hexdall, a psychologist and owner of the Center for Mindful Development in Hillsborough, North Carolina. “Even when they are frustrating or inappropriate.” She suggests separating your child’s behavior from the feeling of love you have for him or her, and reassure your child that your love is unconditional. “You can even ask, perhaps in a lighthearted way, whether they thought the differential treatment meant they were less loved. You can then respond with something like: ‘No wonder you thought that, but that’s not true or what I meant.’”

 

What to Say to Yourself

There is social pressure not to have a favorite child. In the anonymous poll for this article, 83% of respondents said they felt it was “unhealthy” to have a favorite child. Nonetheless, “it happens,” Hexdall says.

“It’s only natural that we may be drawn to a child who is more compliant, or who has an easier temperament, or whose personality, appearance or preferences may resonate more closely with our own. This is perfectly understandable.” 

Natural and understandable, but does this make you a bad parent? Hexdall says that is the wrong question to ask. 

“Don’t criticize or judge yourself,” she says. “Parents feel guilty about a lot of things, this shouldn’t be part of that list.” Instead, “dig deeper and ask why. Is it really that you love this child more? Or is it that this child is easier to raise? Or that the other child is difficult?” 

Hexdall says by removing self-criticism and judgment, you can get to know yourself better and work on being a more mindful parent who is more open to connecting with all of your children. 

Making these connections and showing this love can be hard work. Hexdall says parents understandably have real feelings, even grief, when a child is difficult in ways he or she hadn’t anticipated.

“Learn to love your children the way they are. Parent the way they need parenting.” 

 

Caitlin Wheeler is a Durham-based freelance writer.

 

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April 2020

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Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
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Cost: Free

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Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
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DefyGravity Trampoline Park
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The Billy Graham Library
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Cost: Different Price Packages

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Cost: $21-$31

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Superior Play Systems
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Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

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

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: $10

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McDowell Arts Center
123 McDowell St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities in the park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Park
909 Lakeview Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This active learning performance integrates dance and choreography with science, math, storytelling and world cultures.

Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, 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

Girls are invited to American Girl Book Club. Five year-old participants must be in kindergarten.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Cabela's, 1000 Cabelas Drive, Fort Mill
, 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

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

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

Come paint pottery with your toddler for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

Where:
Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
#C
, 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
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

Classes involve a story, craft, exploration stations and time with two animal ambassadors. Topics include: Life on the Farm in Sept., Halloween and Pumpkins in Oct., Thanksgiving in Nov.,...

Cost: $7 per child, first adult free, $10 per additional adult

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, 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

This science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program will engage youth with hands-on activities.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers identify words through interactive games and letter recognition on Tuesday mornings.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee 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

Meet and interact with Dakota, pet a baby T-Rex. Read aloud to dinosaurs, then take a ride!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic show.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Learn about the amazing dinosaur family tree, play daily dino trivia and sing along to this live musical. Catch shows on Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m....

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


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

Experiment with properties of metals: electrical current, static electricity, rate of expansion, memory metal and magnetism. Visit the Naturalist Center to learn about minerals and the products...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children ages 3 and younger, included in admission

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


Website »

More information

This workshop is open to all ages. No previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Try one of the virtual circus and dance classes on Zoom for free! Learn juggling, dance fitness, pilates, yoga, hip-hop and more.

Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

Where:
Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center/Zoom Classes
9135-E Monroe Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Participate in a discussion about anime, manga and the Japanese language, history and culture every first Tuesday of the month.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Gain an experience in a variety of different activities that assist in developmental growth through socialization.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Play interactive games geared towards social development that involve physical activities every Tuesday in April.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment. The class is open to all ages and no previous dance experience is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hop into Bunnyville for your family pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bunnyville is located in center court on the lower level. Open from March 27-April 11. 

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Latin Dance explores the Caribbean dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue in a fun and energetic dance environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
5027 North Idlewild Road
, 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

Visit during the two weeks of Spring Break to experience Monster Jam Thunder Alley, rides, roller coasters, live shows and Camp Snoopy. Eggward the Easter Bunny will be hopping around for photo ops...

Cost: Starting at $45. Children ages 3-5 get free entry with a Pre-K pass.

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


Website »

More information

Search for colored eggs and prize golden eggs hidden in parks throughout Harrisburg. Redeem golden eggs for larger prizes. On April 9, attend the Easter Event at Stallings Park from 6-8pm for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various Harrisburg Areas
Stallings Park, Pharr Mill Park, Veterans Park, Harris Depot Park and around Harrisburg Town Hall
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get one free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket on Tuesdays. Each additional child ages 3-12 will cost $5.

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

The new exhibit transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species and...

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

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

The Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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

The Language of Clay exhibit examines Catawba Indian Pottery through contemporary and historical stories. The pieces selected demonstrate the evolution of styles and traditions that are in many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Carowinds' all-new Monster Jam Thunder Alley drives home a full-throttle immersion into the incredible world of Monster Jam trucks! Get nose-to-grill, sit inside and even take an...

Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

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


Website »

More information

Watch the skill and feel the energy of Irish and international dance. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This active learning performance integrates dance and choreography with science, math, storytelling and world cultures. Performances at 10:30am and 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Aldersgate Retirement Community
3800 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This story time will focus on early financial literacy concepts like counting and sharing.

Cost: Free

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

In this special storytime, John Paul from Channel 9 Eyewitness News will read a story.

Cost: Free

Where:
South Boulevard Library
4429 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Thales Academy Waxhaw is adding a Junior High program, starting with 6th grade in 2020-2021! Join a Facebook Live Virtual Information Session focused on the program.

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Sponsor: Thales Academy
Website »

More information

Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Cabela's, 1000 Cabelas Drive, Fort Mill
, 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

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

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

Make new friends and bond with your little one during this active, play based music clas. Enjoy music, movement and storytime followed by open play.

Cost: $5, cash only

Where:
Lanti Performing Arts
323 Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, 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

Enjoy stories paired with kid-friendly yoga moves.  Event occurs April 1, 8, 15 and 22.

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


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

Children and their caregivers will sing, hear stories and participate in a craft or activity.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


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 impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic show.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Learn about the amazing dinosaur family tree, play daily dino trivia and sing along to this live musical. Catch shows on Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m....

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


Website »

More information

Experiment with properties of metals: electrical current, static electricity, rate of expansion, memory metal and magnetism. Visit the Naturalist Center to learn about minerals and the products...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children ages 3 and younger, included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Learn the history of songs and the basics of being a DJ.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Try one of the virtual circus and dance classes on Zoom for free! Learn juggling, dance fitness, pilates, yoga, hip-hop and more.

Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

Where:
Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center/Zoom Classes
9135-E Monroe Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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

Enhance basketball skills through drills and stations.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Program is designed to develop social interaction and leadership skills in young males. Program occurs April 1, 8, 22 and 29.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn a fusion of Zimbabwe dance styles using traditional Zimbabwe vocabulary mixed with contemporary movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center
2921 Tuckaseegee Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
Telephone: 704-414-2774
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

Visit during the two weeks of Spring Break to experience Monster Jam Thunder Alley, rides, roller coasters, live shows and Camp Snoopy. Eggward the Easter Bunny will be hopping around for photo ops...

Cost: Starting at $45. Children ages 3-5 get free entry with a Pre-K pass.

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


Website »

More information

Search for colored eggs and prize golden eggs hidden in parks throughout Harrisburg. Redeem golden eggs for larger prizes. On April 9, attend the Easter Event at Stallings Park from 6-8pm for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various Harrisburg Areas
Stallings Park, Pharr Mill Park, Veterans Park, Harris Depot Park and around Harrisburg Town Hall
, NC
View map »


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

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

The new exhibit transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species and...

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

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

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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 Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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

The Language of Clay exhibit examines Catawba Indian Pottery through contemporary and historical stories. The pieces selected demonstrate the evolution of styles and traditions that are in many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Carowinds' all-new Monster Jam Thunder Alley drives home a full-throttle immersion into the incredible world of Monster Jam trucks! Get nose-to-grill, sit inside and even take an...

Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

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


Website »

More information

Watch the skill and feel the energy of Irish and international dance. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Hop into Bunnyville for your family pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bunnyville is located in center court on the lower level. Open from March 27-April 11. 

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Elon's School Day Out Programs will include indoor and outdoor games, arts and crafts, and playground activities.

Cost: $20

Where:
Elon Recreation Center
11401 Ardrey Kell Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Little hands with big imaginations are invited to this preschool art class.

Cost: $5

Where:
War Memorial Center
220 N. Maple St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, 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

Find some of the 50,000 eggs that will cover 10 softball fields.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherry Park
1466 Cherry Road
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about different careers from various community members.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Kids will scramble to collect the 3,000 eggs. Also see the Easter Bunny and have your face painted. Scrambles by age.

Cost: Free

Where:
Goat Island Park
305 Greenwood Place
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come to this evening egg hunt!

Cost: Free

Where:
Goat Island Park
305 Greenwood Place
Belmont, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Children will participate in a variety of activities such as crafts, sports and games.

Cost: $15

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Cabela's, 1000 Cabelas Drive, Fort Mill
, 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

Young participants express themselves through art. Register online. Event occurs on Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
4820 Tuckaseegee Road
, 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
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

Toddlers will participate in a fun, kid-friendly workout on Thursday mornings.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic show.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Experiment with properties of metals: electrical current, static electricity, rate of expansion, memory metal and magnetism. Visit the Naturalist Center to learn about minerals and the products...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children ages 3 and younger, included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Try one of the virtual circus and dance classes on Zoom for free! Learn juggling, dance fitness, pilates, yoga, hip-hop and more.

Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

Where:
Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center/Zoom Classes
9135-E Monroe Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn about technology, including multi-media channels, podcasts, coding and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, 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

Explore the expressive, active, and creative benefits of beginner ballet and modern dance.

Cost: $10

Where:
Winget School Recreation Center
12235 Winget Road
, 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

Visit during the two weeks of Spring Break to experience Monster Jam Thunder Alley, rides, roller coasters, live shows and Camp Snoopy. Eggward the Easter Bunny will be hopping around for photo ops...

Cost: Starting at $45. Children ages 3-5 get free entry with a Pre-K pass.

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


Website »

More information

Search for colored eggs and prize golden eggs hidden in parks throughout Harrisburg. Redeem golden eggs for larger prizes. On April 9, attend the Easter Event at Stallings Park from 6-8pm for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various Harrisburg Areas
Stallings Park, Pharr Mill Park, Veterans Park, Harris Depot Park and around Harrisburg Town Hall
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

The new exhibit transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species and...

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

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

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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


Website »

More information

Hop into Bunnyville for your family pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bunnyville is located in center court on the lower level. Open from March 27-April 11. 

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

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

The Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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

The Language of Clay exhibit examines Catawba Indian Pottery through contemporary and historical stories. The pieces selected demonstrate the evolution of styles and traditions that are in many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Carowinds' all-new Monster Jam Thunder Alley drives home a full-throttle immersion into the incredible world of Monster Jam trucks! Get nose-to-grill, sit inside and even take an...

Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

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


Website »

More information

Watch the skill and feel the energy of Irish and international dance. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Create a springtime scene made from “sweet” art supplies, such as frosting, jelly beans and marshmallows!

Cost: $29

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


Website »

More information

Learn about beavers and hike down to the beaver-created wetland to view their impact on natural habitats. Hikes at 9:30am and 2pm.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Area barbeque masters demonstrate their skills at the annual Come-See-Me Barbeque Cook-Off. Judging begins at 10am; sales begin at 3pm. Participants must register to compete.

Cost: Free

Where:
Winthrop Lake
1162 Eden Terrace
Rock Hill, SC
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

Bring your family to the Stowe Family YMCA for an Easter egg hunt in the pool! Kids will be grouped by age. Please bring your own bucket. This event is free and open to the community.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stowe Family YMCA
196 YMCA Drive
Belmont, NC  28012
View map »


Website »

More information

Get your hands dirty learning about nature, and create nature-inspired crafts. Registration and parent attendance are required.

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center

More information

Come meet the Easter Bunny and make a craft.

Cost: Free with product purchase

Where:
Cookie Dough Bliss and Creamery
8415 Pit Stop Ct.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants will hike and create games and activities while learning from nature. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Cabela's, 1000 Cabelas Drive, Fort Mill
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come see the Easter Bunny, baby chicks and cute bunnies. Register your family, and come worship.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom House
2638 Salome Church Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Freedom House Church
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

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

Hop into Bunnyville for your family pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bunnyville is located in center court on the lower level. Open from March 27-April 11. 

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

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

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

Explore impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic show.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Learn about the amazing dinosaur family tree, play daily dino trivia and sing along to this live musical. Catch shows on Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m....

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


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

Experiment with properties of metals: electrical current, static electricity, rate of expansion, memory metal and magnetism. Visit the Naturalist Center to learn about minerals and the products...

Cost: $5-$8, free for children ages 3 and younger, included in admission

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


Website »

More information

Try one of the virtual circus and dance classes on Zoom for free! Learn juggling, dance fitness, pilates, yoga, hip-hop and more.

Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

Where:
Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center/Zoom Classes
9135-E Monroe Road
, NC
View map »

More information

Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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

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

Visit during the two weeks of Spring Break to experience Monster Jam Thunder Alley, rides, roller coasters, live shows and Camp Snoopy. Eggward the Easter Bunny will be hopping around for photo ops...

Cost: Starting at $45. Children ages 3-5 get free entry with a Pre-K pass.

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


Website »

More information

Four men were to be crucified that day in Jerusalem. Only three crosses were raised. This is the story of "The Fourth Cross." See website for full performance schedule.

Cost: $10-$40

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


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

More information

Take a 25-minute train ride with the Easter Bunny. The furry friend will hand out candy and pose for pictures. Do not miss the inflatables, crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and face...

Cost: $9-$17, children 2 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Hop over for a picture with the Easter Bunny on Friday, 4-7pm and Saturday, 2-4pm. Saturday’s Easter Festival will also run 2-4pm.

Cost: Free

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


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

Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

The new exhibit transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species and...

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

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

TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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 Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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

The Language of Clay exhibit examines Catawba Indian Pottery through contemporary and historical stories. The pieces selected demonstrate the evolution of styles and traditions that are in many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Carowinds' all-new Monster Jam Thunder Alley drives home a full-throttle immersion into the incredible world of Monster Jam trucks! Get nose-to-grill, sit inside and even take an...

Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

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


Website »

More information

Watch the skill and feel the energy of Irish and international dance. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Run the fun run or 5K, and enjoy the crafts, inflatables and family fun!

Cost: Fun Run free

Where:
Downtown Concord
Concord, NC


Website »

More information

Kids can hunt for eggs, make crafts and enjoy breakfast.

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


Website »

More information

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
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Play games, taste honey, participate in science projects and take home a pollinator seed pod!

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy an egg hunt, face painting, balloon artist and a raffle. No registration is required. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Independence Park
300 Hawthorne Lane
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Uptown Church
Website »

More information

The Latta Annual Easter Egg Hunt offers egg hunts organized by age groups: ages 1-3, ages 4-6 and ages 7-10 years old. Eggs will be filled with surprises, many of which will include free...

Cost: $8 per child and one adult combo

Where:
Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come to Greater Life Baptist Church to hunt for Easter eggs!

Cost: Free

Where:
Greater Life Baptist Church
17025 Lancaster Hwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for an egg hunt, craft, photo with the Easter bunny and snacks. 

Cost: $6

Where:
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
1501 Euclid Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn the different types of fish and various methods used to catch them. Register online. Participants older than 16 must have a SC fishing license, and parents helping children younger than 16...

Cost: $15

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


Website »

More information

Get up close and personal with some of the Nature Center residents in this wild encounter.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project from start to finish. Call 980-314-1115 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Clayworks
Telephone: 980-314-1115
Website »

More information

Children ages 12 and younger are invited to hunt for eggs. See website for hunt schedule. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Lancaster County Fairgrounds
S. Main St.
Lancaster, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring an Easter basket, and hunt for eggs! Kids can also enjoy inflatables and hot dogs.

Cost: Free

Where:
York Recreation Complex
74 Fourth St.
York, SC
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

Learn about photography techniques that can be applied to real life. Call 704-416-6400 to register.

Cost: Free

Where:
South Boulevard Library
4429 South Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

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Come for face painting, games, dance performances, crafts, vendors, food and Easter Bunny pictures! Easter egg hunts are scheduled by age; see website for schedule. Guests may pay to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Funtastics
10400 Cadillac St.
Pineville, NC
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Sponsor: Create Amazing LLC
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Visit the Easter Bunny, see a magician, make a craft and jump in a bouncy house. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Village
14825 Ballantyne Village Way
, NC
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Sponsor: Paschal Events
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Each workshop features a different art project accompanied by live music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
, NC
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Bring your own basket to hunt for eggs, and visit the Easter Bunny. Events begin at noon at Stowe Park and 2pm at Linford Park. Linford Park, Caston St., Belmont.  Stowe...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stowe Park, 24 S. Main St.
Linford Park, Caston St.
Belmont, NC
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Explore some of the physics of the sport, from gravity to laws of motion, for North Carolina's Science Month.

Cost: $18-$25, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Bring the whole family for an egg hunt, Easter craft and a snack!

Cost: $10

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
Ste. 300
, NC
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Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Cabela's, 1000 Cabelas Drive, Fort Mill
, NC
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Come see the Easter Bunny, baby chicks and cute bunnies. Register your family, and come worship.

Cost: Free

Where:
Freedom House
2638 Salome Church Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Freedom House Church
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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
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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
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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
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Sponsor: Arts Delivered
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Youths are invited to shoot hoops with their families.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mallard Creek Recreation Center
2530 Johnston Oehler Road
, NC
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Meet new friends, learn a new sport or craft your existing skills at the Belle Johnston Community Center. Parent attendance is required, and equipment will be provided. Dates are February 29,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Belle Johnston Community Center
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
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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
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Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
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Did you know that each pint of whole blood donated has the potential to save three lives? Donate at Northlake Mall and do your part to help. The Oneblood Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot in...

Cost: No cost

Where:
, NC

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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
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Come build a different project each session. Register online.

Cost: $5

Where:
Village Park
700 West C St.
Kannapolis, NC
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Participants will learn about African drumming and get hands-on experience with African instruments. Youth session begins at 11am; session for all ages begins at noon. Event occurs on the second...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Blvd.
, NC
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This program will teach photography and videography using point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras. Participants will also learn about effective social media interaction as a photographer/journalist. Call...

Cost: Free

Where:
South Boulevard Library
4429 South Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1110
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Explore impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic show.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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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
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
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Arts+ will provide a visual art workshop series with live music. Workshops occur on the second Saturday of January, February, March, April and June but the third Saturday of May.

Cost: Free

Where:
South Boulevard Library
4429 South Blvd.
, NC
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Enjoy a live program that explores what is currently visible in the nighttime sky.

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library presents monthly story times at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. every second Saturday of the month.

Cost: Free

Where:
Northlake Mall Live 360° Games Court
6801 Northlake Mall Drive
, NC
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Sponsor: Northlake Mall
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Try one of the virtual circus and dance classes on Zoom for free! Learn juggling, dance fitness, pilates, yoga, hip-hop and more.

Cost: Free class, $10-$15 donation suggested

Where:
Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center/Zoom Classes
9135-E Monroe Road
, NC
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Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

Cost: $5-$8, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Come relax to the sound of live jazz.

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
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Don’t miss the helicopter egg drop, contests, live bunnies, a scavenger hunt and prizes. Food available for purchase. Egg drop from children with special needs at 5:30 p.m. See website for...

Cost: $8-$11

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
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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
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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Visit during the two weeks of Spring Break to experience Monster Jam Thunder Alley, rides, roller coasters, live shows and Camp Snoopy. Eggward the Easter Bunny will be hopping around for photo ops...

Cost: Starting at $45. Children ages 3-5 get free entry with a Pre-K pass.

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Four men were to be crucified that day in Jerusalem. Only three crosses were raised. This is the story of "The Fourth Cross." See website for full performance schedule.

Cost: $10-$40

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy 51
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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Take a 25-minute train ride with the Easter Bunny. The furry friend will hand out candy and pose for pictures. Do not miss the inflatables, crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and face...

Cost: $9-$17, children 2 and younger free

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Hop over for a picture with the Easter Bunny on Friday, 4-7pm and Saturday, 2-4pm. Saturday’s Easter Festival will also run 2-4pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
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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
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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The new exhibit transports visitors back in time to discover what life was like in Antarctica 200 million years ago. Guests will discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species and...

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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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
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TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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The Queen Charlotte Fair is a major, semi-annual event hosted every spring and fall offering family-friendly entertainment, carnival rides and food. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat....

Cost: $7-$12, children 4 and younger free

Where:
Route 29 Pavilion
5650 Sandusky Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Like the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, the IMAX film journeys to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago to explore bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians.

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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The Language of Clay exhibit examines Catawba Indian Pottery through contemporary and historical stories. The pieces selected demonstrate the evolution of styles and traditions that are in many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
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Carowinds' all-new Monster Jam Thunder Alley drives home a full-throttle immersion into the incredible world of Monster Jam trucks! Get nose-to-grill, sit inside and even take an...

Cost: Included in admission of $40+, children ages 3-5 free with Pre-K Pass

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Watch the skill and feel the energy of Irish and international dance. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $25

Where:
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Hop into Bunnyville for your family pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bunnyville is located in center court on the lower level. Open from March 27-April 11. 

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

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Annual Guides

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

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2019 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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