Letting Your Child Fail

Find out how making mistakes builds self-confidence and resilience


Published:

Photo courtesy of Fizkes/Shutterstock.com

From President Theodore Roosevelt to technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, successful role models have been telling us for over a century that we can learn from our mistakes. But modern society’s obsession with perfection is stifling this longheld wisdom. Today’s youth often compare themselves to the lives and images they see on their digital screens, which can increase their anxiety and self-doubt. Fortunately, parents can take an active role in normalizing mistakes, and transform failures into strengths. 

 

Perfectionism vs. Resilience

Perfectionism is the opposite of resilience, says Andrew Hill, a professor of sociology at York Saint John University in the U.K., adding that it’s captured in “how unrealistic your standards are and how harshly you evaluate yourself.” 

Hill has done extensive work chronicling the rise of perfectionism, and notes that perfectionists are highly sensitive to mistakes. They “will often avoid scenarios that are challenging due to a fear of failure,” he says. 

Striving for perfectionism can be especially damaging to teens. “Having unrealistic standards and being extremely self-critical is going to make life tough for teenagers,” he says. “It is an important time for social and self-development. Perfectionism will make this time more difficult and stressful.” 

Tara Egan, a psychologist, author and founder of Charlotte Parent Coaching, says perfectionism and resilience can be genetically determined. “You can see it as young as infancy,” she says. “Some babies are more fretful and rarely smile, and are more likely to grow into worriers, while others are more easygoing.” 

At the same time, a child’s experiences also influence her traits as she develops. Stressors that sap resilience can include parent divorce, abuse, neglect and witnessing violence — any of which would have an even worse effect on a biologically sensitive child. 

Nonetheless, Egan adds, kids with a high natural tendency toward perfectionism or worry can learn to be resilient — even those who are exposed to numerous stressors. Normalizing mistakes can go a long way toward helping children develop into confident and independent adults. Here are some tips for how to harness the benefits of making mistakes.


1. Provide Opportunities for Kids to Fail 

“Kids learn best through experience,” says Rebekah Talley, a child therapist and owner of Zola Counseling in Charlotte. Allowing your child to take age-appropriate risks is the first step in strengthening his self-confidence. 

So, is it safe to let your baby fall while he’s learning to walk, to allow your middle-grader to flunk a math assignment or to give your teenager permission go to a party hosted by someone you don’t know? The key is to differentiate between a situation in which your child is physically or emotionally uncomfortable, from one in which he is actually suffering.

Trust your instincts, Egan says. “Parents are naturally aware of that difference. Practice ‘uncomfortable.’ It’s fine to give reassurance and to coach them through a stressful moment,” she says. As long as the experience is age-appropriate and the child isn’t suffering or in physical danger, don’t take the stressor away completely. 


2. Provide Opportunities for Kids to Reflect

The School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill incorporates experiential learning into its master’s degree teacher preparation program via a weeklong Outward Bound wilderness trek, or a week of hard work and projects on the Hub Farm in Durham. Teachers in training are confronted with physical challenges, unfamiliar tasks, projects that require learning new skills, teamwork and innovation — along with plenty of frustration, uncertainty and failure. 

“We want them to be uncomfortable, to take risks and make mistakes and learn,” says Suzanne Gulledge, a professor and program coordinator at the school. She says the experiences aim to make teachers empathetic to students who struggle with new concepts and skill development. Teachers learn ways to support students through struggles — not to remove those struggles. They are reminded of the kinds of anxieties that accompany learning new things and experiencing setbacks — and how good it feels to overcome a challenge. 

Help your child reflect on her mistakes in this way so she can use those experiences as a point of reference. Ask her how she worked through the situation and what would help make it better next time. 

With your toddler, this means allowing a mistake, then addressing her frustrations. “It’s a great opportunity to expand their emotional vocabulary,” Talley says. “By integrating discussion into their play, and by allowing them to grow and make mistakes and be supported and be encouraged, that helps them learn to regulate those emotions.”

With a slightly older child, focus on coping with loss and disappointment. If your child gets upset after losing a game, take the opportunity to help him learn that while disappointment is natural, he needs to find a way to calm himself and try again. 

This is trickier with teens, since many of them are caught up in social and extracurricular lives outside of the house. Also, teens can feel self-protective of their shortcomings. Make sure your teen knows you are always available — either to talk, or to ask for a safe ride home if she needs one late at night. 


3. Know the Difference Between Helping vs. Encouraging 

Jennifer Lansford, Ph.D., a research professor at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, advises that a parent’s goal should be to provide tools so his or her child is eventually self-sustaining. “Keep external factors in place until a child has enough resources to keep going on their own,” she suggests. In what she calls our “current hyperparenting climate,” the tendency for parents to provide constant care to older children has increased. 

“Parents are spending more time than in the past in very direct teaching,” she says. “Kids are booked solid with extracurricular activities — from preschool to high school — and cellphones have made it possible for parents to be constantly checking in, even when a child has moved away to college.” 

While this connectedness has positive aspects, Lansford worries that it isn’t conducive to a child’s healthy emotional development. Stepping in to make sure your child is always happy, or to ease your child’s path toward success, can have negative effects. 

The worst case is when a child develops a sense of “learned helplessness,” says Kate Paquin, owner of A Family Coach in Apex. If a parent is always taking over in difficult times, then a child never gets the opportunity to try to solve problems on her own, which can decrease her confidence and put her at a disadvantage when she leaves home and needs to take care of herself. 

Talley advises parents to self-reflect before solving a child’s problem, whether it’s fixing grammatical mistakes on an essay, or navigating a social challenge. 

“Really explore the intent behind your action,” she says. “Ask yourself, am I doing this to make the day easier, is it for me? Do I have fears about letting my child struggle? Am I worried about the external appearance of my child’s failure and how that might reflect on me?” 

If you’re helping your child to satisfy your own needs, take a step back and encourage, instead of help. First, let your child try her best. If she makes a mistake or isn’t successful, praise her effort and point out the connection between hard work and success. 

Egan suggests that after validating your child’s emotions, you can either offer coping strategies, such as a hug and words of support, or problem-solving tactics, such as coming up with a plan for how to approach the issue differently next time. 

For older children and teens, work on moving them from a fixed mindset (believing they are born with certain talents) to a growth mindset (believing they can improve with hard work) by praising effort rather than ability. (Learn more about this in our August 2019 Growing Up column.)


4. Evaluate Your Reaction

Often, a child’s attitude toward a mistake depends on how a parent responds to it. “If you remain calm and regulated, your child can usually get backup and solve the problem,” Talley says. On the other hand, if you are overly critical, your child will associate your judgment with her mistake. 

Paquin offers an example: “If a child is rushing to eat their dinner and they choke and get scared, there will be some parents who will say, ‘See! That’s what happens when you rush!’” Paquin insists that you “cannot shame and expect acknowledgement and growth.” 

Instead, respond with patience and empathy. Say, for example, “‘Oh no, I’m sorry you were choking. Is there a way we can prevent that from happening again?’” Asking your child for the solution teaches and empowers him or her at the same time.


5. Avoid Promoting Perfectionism

While it can be helpful to set high standards for your child, Hill warns that “perfectionism can be modeled and learned from parents, and it can also develop in response to parental expectations.” 

The solution? “More positive relationships with parents based on unconditional acceptance will reduce its development and likely help reduce its negative effects,” Hill says. 


6. Know Your Child

Since some children might be biologically inclined to perfectionism and anxiety, different children need different levels of encouragement and guidance as they learn to deal with mistakes.

Egan advises striving to understand your child, as well as differences among your children, if you have more than one. “You do not have to parent your kids the same,” she says. “Eliminate the word ‘fair’ from your household.” 


7. Model Mistakes

Kids learn not only by doing, but also by watching. If you’re too embarrassed to admit a mistake, or you respond with anger or frustration, your child may absorb this and think mistakes are frightening, shameful acts to be denied or hidden. Instead, own your mistakes and work through them out loud. 

“As soon as you’ve calmed down, you should talk about it,” Talley says. “Show that you’re working on it, and that you’re just as committed to stopping. Apologize and take responsibility.” 


8. Don’t Ignore the Positives

Celebrate the pleasure your child experiences by learning from mistakes. Gulledge emphasizes that letting children work through their mistakes boosts self-satisfaction and confidence. “Having a failure or a frustration and then working through the problem and finding a solution — that just feels good.”

 

Caitlin Wheeler is a Parenting Media Association award-winning freelance writer who lives in Durham.

 

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January 2020

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UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
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Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
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Carolina Raptor Center
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USNWC
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SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
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Cost: Free

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Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St.
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Cost: $5 per nonmember

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13403 S. Ridge Drive
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Cost: Free

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Barnes and Noble: Birkdale Village
8725 Townley Road
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Cost: $10+

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333 E. Trade St.
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Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Cost: $11 for one hour

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DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
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Cost: $25

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Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
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Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

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Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
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Cost: Free

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Tuckaseegee Recreation Center
4820 Tuskaseegee Road
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Cost: Free

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The Billy Graham Library
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Altitude Trampoline Park
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Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

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Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
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Cost: $3-$5

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Cost: Free story time

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Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
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Cost: $5, cash only

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Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
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Telephone: 803-548-3441
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Cost: Free

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Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
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Cost: $10

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Romp n' Roll Northwest Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
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Cost: Free

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Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
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Cost: $15

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Charlotte Family Yoga
8230 Poplar Tent
Concord, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Family Yoga
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Cost: Free

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


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Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
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View map »


Telephone: 704-414-2774
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Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
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This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

Skate on the 5,000 square-foot ice rink. Guests can also enjoy holiday lights and decor; Santa’s Pub, a coffee shop, live music, surprise guests and festive activities.

Cost: $12-$17

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn how to build a fire and keep it going using different fire-starting techniques. Make a tasty treat! Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will learn to take the mundane to a new dimension at the Monroe Library STEAM Lab. No registration is necessary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Union County Public Library
316 E. Windsor St.
Monroe, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See the story brought to life on screen! This movie is rated PG.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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

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

Enjoy two stories and and two craft activities. After the program, romp and play in the SEED Wildlife Garden and Children's Garden, or stroll the historic Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.

Cost: $10 per non-member family

Where:
SEED Wildlife Garden at Wing Haven
260 Ridgewood Ave.
, 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

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
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

Preschoolers hear stories and sing songs without a parent or caregiver present in order to foster independence and growth every Tuesday.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, 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

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

This parent-supervised indoor playtime lets kids go wild on colorful, clean, padded equipment.

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Come discuss an assigned book. New members welcome. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, 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 January.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come for assistance with literacy in fun and interactive ways.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal Street
, 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

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, 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.

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

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

What is a microcosm? Delve deep into conservation by studying tiny worlds within our ecosystem. We’ll conduct field research, document our findings, and create a capstone project that combines...

Cost: $60

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Corine Rizzo
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

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

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

Homeschool students receive discounted admission at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster.

Cost: $8

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, 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

Come play all arcade games for half the price all day on Wednesday.

Cost: Price per game varies

Where:
Bowlero
210 E. Trade St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Program will bring girls together through games and activities, guest speakers, and field trips.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Students will learn the movement of the pieces and basic chess strategy.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
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

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East 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

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Show More...
Show Less...

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Older children can come for Pokemon crafts, games and snacks. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fort Mill Public Library
1818 2nd Baxter Crossing
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participate in a variety of engineering projects. Innovate, experiment and explore the arts. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Library
230 Matthews Station St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Help your pet stay cozy this winter in a DIY bed. Choose from our three size options, then sand, build and stain the bed frame. Choose a flannel pattern, and sew a comfy pillow. Top it all off with...

Cost: $15-$19, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Science
Website »

More information

Take a hike in the preserve with guides and experience the preserve using only your night vision. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Dr. Bill McDonald, Dean of Students at the University of Georgia, will bring his expertise to present and answer questions to high school students and their families on transitioning to college.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Sponsor: Mooresville Public Library
Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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

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

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

Watch a King Vulture play on a playground in the Vulture Culture exhibit.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Play basketball in a structured environment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, 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

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

Come enjoy a safe place to walk or run on your own or with family and friends. The lights are left on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Cornelius, 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

Learn cheers, chants and stunts with an experienced cheer coach.

Cost: Free

Where:
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
1520 Clanton 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

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

"La Bohème" offers a sympathetic, sentimental portrait of youthful optimism, even in the face of true tragedy. In the realm of love stories, nothing holds a candle to "La...

Cost: $56-$194

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


Sponsor: Opera Carolina
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

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Show More...
Show Less...

Spend this CMS Teacher Workday in the kitchen! Make marinara sauce, pasta, garlic knots and an Italian dessert.

Cost: $84

Where:
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios Rea Farms
9826 Sandy Rock Pl.
Suite E
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This daily camp will be filled with games, activities and swimming.

Cost: $25

Where:
Ray's Splash Planet
215 N. Sycamore St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kick off your ACT prep with a free practice exam.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Library Rock Hill
310 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hunt for hidden treasure in the woods with your family. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The first 1,500 fans receive a free Checkers beanie hat.

Cost: $18.50+

Where:
BoPlex
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
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

Need a reason to get outside this winter?  Take part in Latta Quest!  This weekly activity is designed to engage families in all that Latta Nature Preserve has to offer.  There will be a...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Kerri Hable
Website »

More information

Get your hands dirty learning about nature, and create nature inspired crafts.

Cost: $4

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

Play a variety of games and sports, create art and adventure to the playground. Bring a bagged lunch.

Cost: $25

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
, 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

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

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

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for movement and yoga through stories. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the...

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
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

Ceramic teaching artists will walk participants through a clay project. Call 980-498-1487 to register.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-498-1487
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

Enjoy local music every Friday while you eat, drink and shop.

Cost: Free

Where:
7th Street Public Market
224 E. 7th St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
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

The greatest hits from the raddest decade will be performed live.

Cost: $28+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-972-2000
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

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is ringing in the New Year with its third annual Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Month! Healthcare Professionals will receive free admission and 50 percent off for...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Experience winter on an 18th century homestead. Originally located off of North Tryon Street in Charlotte, the restored Ezekiel Alexander cabin provides a glimpse of life in early Charlotte. See...

Cost: Included in admission of $8-$9, children 5 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

The program celebrates the women of one of the largest plantations in the upstate during the early nineteenth century. Learn about Harriet Bratton, her highly skilled cooks and...

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

Where:
Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
View map »


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

Attend this bilingual story-time followed by music inspired arts and crafts. Must RSVP by calling 704-416-4400.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
Telephone: 704-416-4400
Website »

More information

Discover how El Nino and La Nina systems influence weather. Events at 11am and 2pm.

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

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


Website »

More information

Attend this bilingual story time followed by music inspired arts and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hickory Grove Library
5935 Hickory Grove Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participate in a variety of science experiments, engineering projects or math puzzles. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

It’s the first day of the Year of the Rat! Celebrate the Lunar New Year with some rodent-themed crafts and learn how these little creatures play a vital role in our nature preserve’s ecosystem.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Shelby Harrison
Website »

More information

Come for books and crafts based on dragons. There will be a special guest from Exotic Encounters. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join medical professionals from Atrium Health to learn all about radiology technology.

Cost: $15-$19, free for children younger than 2, included with admission

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


Sponsor: Discovery Place Science
Website »

More information

Guo Nian Hao! Or Happy New Year! This year celebrate the year of the rat 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. while learning about the traditions associated with the Chinese New Year.

Cost: $11, included in admission, free for children younger than 1

Where:
Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville
Website »

More information

During this interactive and hands-on workshop, Chad Harris and his band, Blue Herons will offer useful tips about how to learn a new song, the importance of listening, solo vs group...

Cost: $20 suggested donation

Where:
Lanti Performing Arts
323 Unionville Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, NC
View map »

More information

A new moon in winter provides a unique opportunity to enjoy twinkling starlight. Leave the Earth behind and fall into the sky this Lunar New Year! We’ll share star stories from around the world...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
Contact Name: Shelby Harrison
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this amazing show of Mike performing some of the best classic rock songs of all time acoustically.

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Stage Door Theater
155 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a...

Cost: TBA

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


Website »

More information

Explore rare and extremely devastating volcanic eruptions, and discover the impact of gigantic volcanic episodes around the Solar System. Dive into the super volcano now gathering force beneath...

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Register for 90 minutes of hands-on Lego Robotics with a certified K-8 public educator. See website for full schedule of dates and locations, including Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, HurtHub at...

Cost: $35

Where:
Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne
13139 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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

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

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:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1110
Website »

More information

Meet adoptable animals that are looking for forever homes every Saturday.

Cost: Free

Where:
PetSmart of Blakeney
9911 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participants learn critical reading and writing skills, advocacy, volunteerism, art, videography, public speaking and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
President James K Polk State Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Hwy.
Pineville, NC
View map »


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

Participants will learn about African drumming and get hands-on experience with African instruments.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Vultures and humans will engage in a fun activity of the trainer's choice.  It could be painting, playground fun or taking a walk with a vulture.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Raptor keepers will show some of their favorite bird species.

Cost: $8-$12, children 3 and younger free, included with admission to Raptor Trail

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free, $6 for parking

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


Sponsor: USNWC
Website »

More information

The greatest hits from the raddest decade will be performed live.

Cost: $28+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-972-2000
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

This exhibit explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood, once the most vibrant black community in the Carolinas.

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

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


Website »

More information

Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch an exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing using artifacts, race cars, images and audio/video displays.

Cost: $12-$25, children 2 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

The story of this great Apache leader comes to life and is a triumphant story of hope and healing that transcends time.

Cost: $10-$37

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


Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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

This exhibition spotlights 50 original works by Maurice Sendak, who is most widely recognized for "Where the Wild Things Are." The exhibition will be on display at the Main Branch of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gaston County Public Library
1555 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

The title, "Coined in the South," refers not only to The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the United States Mint, but also to the acts of inventing and devising....

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


Website »

More information

Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Three choreographers will embark on creations for the company inspired by The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.” See website for...

Cost: $25-$85

Where:
Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 square feet of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three areas and an on-ice Airstream...

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Is it possible that an asteroid collided with the Earth and wiped-out the dinosaurs? Shows are daily at 1 and 3pm.

Cost: Planetarium tickets are $5, children 3 and younger free

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, 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

Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom, all gathered to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. Whimsy and fun make the show perfect for all ages. See website for showtimes.

Cost: $10

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

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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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