Puberty: A Parent’s Survival Guide


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No matter how advanced parents are in the 21st century, it’s normal to feel a pang of panic when it comes to talking to your child about puberty and sex. While there is no easy way to broach the subject, preparing for and getting comfortable with having this necessary discussion need not be a dreaded task.

When a child goes through the physical, cognitive and emotional changes associated with puberty, there’s a wide range of what is considered normal. Pediatricians typically rely on puberty milestones, known as the “Tanner stages,” to predict when your daughter will get her menstrual period, or how far along your son is in a growth spurt. The only certainty about developmental timing is that your child’s growth experience will likely be different from his or her peers. Already sensitive about a changing appearance, your child may be particularly self-conscious if he or she is the first — or last — in that peer group to enter puberty.

How to Ease Your Daughter’s Anxiety

Let her know what to expect.  On average, girls start puberty earlier than boys — between ages 8 and 14, with the average age being 11.  The first signs of female puberty typically include growth of pubic hair and breasts, awareness of body odor and acne. Your daughter’s body may change shape, becoming generally fuller and wider at the hips.

One to two years after these first signs of puberty, she will likely begin menstruating. At this time, consider providing her with a book that might explain the changes in more detail, such as “The Care and Keeping of You” by Valorie Schaefer, (American Girl, 1998. Versions are available for ages 8 and older, and ages 10 and older.)

“You don’t want girls to have a fearful experience when they start bleeding,” says Dr. Curtis McDonald, medical director at the Charlotte Pediatric Clinic.

He suggests putting a strategic plan in place so your daughter is prepared, no matter where or when she gets her first period.

Provide her with what she’ll need before she needs it. Give her a care package to keep in her closet and backpack, which could include deodorant, over-the-counter facial washes and creams, pads, tampons (along with tips for how to use them), and remedies for cramping, such as ibuprofen and a hot water bottle or heating pad.

Remind her of the importance of good health and hygiene. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet can help a teen girl feel good about her body, improve her mood and help her focus. Girls in particular need to get plenty of calcium, Vitamin D and iron, McDonald says. Plus, exercise and healthy eating can help alleviate adolescent stresses and influence lifelong routines.

Be supportive and keep communication lines open. As your daughter’s hormones kick in, her motivations may become more socially focused and her need for independence may increase, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Human Brain Mapping study, published in May 2010. Be prepared for mood swings and “attitude” as she deals with shifting hormones.

But remember: You are the adult. Try to keep your cool if she gets frustrated or upset with you. Whether she admits it or not, she needs your support and love.

Know her world. “It may be cliché to talk about girl drama, but it is very real,” says Jeff Parkin, guidance counselor at Durham Academy Middle School in Durham. “The drama ramps up in sixth grade as girls become more socially aware and friends become central, but by eighth grade they are usually mature enough to overcome their issues.”

How to Ease Your Son’s Anxiety

Let him know what to expect. Boys tend to start showing signs of puberty about a year later than girls — between ages 9 and 15, with the average age being 12. Early signs of puberty for boys include growth of pubic hair, increased sweat gland production — aka body odor — and growth of genitals, which is hidden, unlike the very public growth of breasts. Later stages for boys include voice changes, acne, increased muscle mass and a final growth spurt. Keep aneye out for the most obvious of the early signs: sudden growth spurts, an increasing desire for independence, and hard-to-ignore body odor.

Familiarize him with the stages of puberty. Be sure to include information about girls in your discussions, since they will likely start to loom over him and develop breasts before he even enters his first stages of puberty. His knowing what to expect might make him more sympathetic and less self-conscious. Provide him with a detailed and approachable book for boys that explain the changes, like “What’s Happening to Me?” by Alex Frith (Usborne Books, 2006).

Remind him to maintain good hygiene. Parkin has observed that boys don’t express the same angst over puberty and body changes that girls do. This lack of anxiety is comforting, McDonald says, but it also means parents may need to nag at sons about showering daily, brushing their teeth and combing their hair until they become habits.

“It’s a transitional time,” Parkin says. “They don’t have much concern for self-image so they won’t do these things on their own, but it’s an important lesson in growing up — to take responsibility for your appearance.”

While teen boys might be less concerned with self-image than girls, late or early bloomers may be sensitive about being different, or worried that they will never grow. Be aware of this possibility and remind your son of the wide variety in normal development.

Taking on the Teen Years

Clear things up. Not all teens suffer from severe acne, but even dealing with an occasional pimple can be troubling. “Teens are shy about it,” McDonald says. “My patients won’t bring it up on their own.”

Without criticizing your child’s appearance, explain that hormones cause skin changes during puberty and that good hygiene and a daily cleanser can be powerful tools in warding off outbreaks. Over-the-counter acne treatments have “gotten so much better, and many are as effective as prescriptions,” McDonald says. Your pediatrician can offer additional remedies if your child’s case is severe.

Understand teen brain development. Teenagers’ brains do not function like adult brains. While the thrill-seeking, risk-taking, peer-following part has developed, the reasoning area of a teen’s brain will not fully develop until your teen is in his or her mid-20s, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s “The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development” (Center for Adolescent Health, 2009). Keep these very natural tendencies in mind as you are telling your adolescent to “just say no.” One way to protect your teen may be to keep him or her as busy as possible with constructive activities, or to simply have him or her steer clear of attractively dangerous situations.

Make “The Talk” an ongoing conversation. Forget about “the talk.” Issues associated with puberty and growing up should be part of an ongoing and open discussion — not a single, embarrassingly intense lecture, which puts too much pressure on both you and your child. Focus instead on open communication, so that when an issue comes up, you are both comfortable having a conversation about it.

Considering the proliferation of sexual references in movies and on TV, social media and the internet, if you wait until you think your teen should know, you are probably too late. 

“It’s better for a child to hear it from a parent or other mature and trusted source rather than on the bus or on social media,” says Dr. Laura Sinai of Signature Pediatrics in Charlotte. “The best strategy is to be offensive and provide accurate information that reflects your own values.”

Another reason to start having conversations earlier rather than later is that several studies analyzed in a citation published by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 (and revised in 2017) concluded that the age of puberty in both boys and girls has been inching younger.

“Kids are developing physically without the cognitive tools to handle it,” says Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, who first identified the issue in a 1997 study at Duke University. “Being open with young children, and providing them with information that will keep them safe, is absolutely key.”

She points out that this information is just as important for kids who don’t develop early so they have context for treating their peers with respect and understanding.

North Carolina public schools, and most private schools, start some form of sex education in the fifth grade. “We find that fifth-graders still have that aspect of curiosity and openness,” Parkin says. “By sixth [grade], they tend to be more self-conscious and less likely to talk.”

Consider starting the conversation with your child before he or she starts learning about it at school or from the media. But keep in mind that the school sessions provide a great opportunity to continue the conversation by asking your child what he or she learned, and whether he or she has any follow-up questions.

Know what they know. Today’s youth have access to a lot more than the basic “birds and bees” information. Many teens have seen internet pornography by the time they are seniors in high school, according to an August 2013 Psychology Today article titled, “Overexposed and Under-Prepared: The Effects of Early Exposure to Sexual Content.” If your teen has no real experience with sex and then is exposed to porn, porn may become his or her baseline for how he or she views sex.

“It’s important to bring this up with kids before they see it,” Sinai says. “You should let them know that porn is about as real as what might happen in a Road Runner cartoon, where the coyote falls off a mountain and hops right back up. Tell them and tell them again: Real people don’t treat real people this way. It is just terrible interpersonal dynamics.”

Know your resources. Every child needs someone to talk to as he or she goes through puberty. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, find a trusted friend or family member who isn’t.

“If a child hides some anxiety inside, then it eats away at them and makes it worse,” McDonald says. “Pull back the curtain and make sure they have the information they need to be comfortable with who they are becoming. Empower kids with information they can handle.”

From “It’s NOT the Stork” for preschoolers by Robie H. Harris (Candlewick Press, August 2006) to “The Teenage Body Book” for teens by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman (Penguin Random House, August 2016), there are helpful books to read with your child no matter what age you decide to introduce him or her to conversations about puberty and hormones. There are also excellent resources online for teens, such as the Center for Young Men’s Health and the Center for Young Women’s Health.

If websites and books don’t fully answer your child’s questions, consult with a professional. Your pediatrician should be your family’s first resource, and can put you in touch with a psychologist who specializes in talking with parents of teens. 

Finally, remember that it is absolutely appropriate for your child to slowly break away from you. Celebrate this growing independence, while keeping your child safe and informed until he or she has matured enough to move forward without your loving assistance.


Caitlin Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Durham.

 

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

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215 N. Main St.
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200 E. 7th St.
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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
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Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
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Cost: $7-$9, Children 5 and younger free

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Cultur
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Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4

Where:
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
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View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

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65 Union St. S.
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Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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2900 Rocky River Road
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Telephone: 704-829-1252
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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

Have fun turning wafers of chocolate and other sweet treats into beautiful candy art. Create marshmallow animals and sculptures that are fun for all ages. All materials, tools and supplies are...

Cost: $10

Where:
Town Hall
315 Matthews-Indian Trail Road
Indian Trail, 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...

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

To celebrate STEAM Month, enjoy a special story time program about shapes!

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Create, edit and save a basic presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. This class is for people who have mastered basic computer skills. Previous experience with Microsoft Word is also...

Cost: Free

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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6400
Website »

More information

John Bruner, founder and leader of "Bigfoot 911" will discuss the history of Bigfoot in North Carolina, including sightings, related folklore and current evidence for Bigfoot’s...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062

More information

Blumenthal Performing Arts and Discovery Place Science have joined forces to create a new and unique experience for Charlotte area ‘explorers’ interested in exploring the natural...

Cost: Season tickets begin at less than $80; Check website for individual tickets

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

More information

Bojangles' Coliseum will host the all-new Garden Bros Circus—the “Most Epic Show on Earth!” The fast-paced 90-minute show takes place in a theatrical European...

Cost: $10-$26, children under age 2 are free

Where:
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Join the Create A Video team in celebrating the  Grand Re-Opening Week! Learn about digitizing family memories while enjoying studio tours, a fun "Guess How Many Photos?" Game, and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Create A Video
8300 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Create A Video
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

This program is designed to help toddlers identify words through interactive games and letter recognition. Toddlers will have fun learning and reading with friends.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore the whimsical world of wizards with Discovery Place Kids! Tues. and Thurs.: The Sorting Hat Wed. and Fri.: The Maurader's Map Weekday activities start at the Town Hall Stage...

Cost: $10 per person and free for members; Included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261 x300
Website »

More information

Come hang out and play video games with other school-age gamers at the library!

Cost: Free

Where:
Stanley Branch Library
205 N. Peterson St.
Stanley, NC  28164
View map »


Sponsor: Gaston County Public Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Home-schooled students can participate in this themed programming on the last Wednesday of every other month. Include a variety of learning stations offering hands-on, guided discovery experiences...

Cost: $8 for first student; $5 for each additional student; $12 per adult

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


Telephone: 704-829-1270
Website »

More information

Enjoy hands-on learning about the lifecycle of a pumpkin along with fun facts about bats, birds and fall migration. Students will also explore questions such as “why do fall leaves change...

Cost: $5-$12

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


Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Celebrate the full moon with a gathering in the woods and on the trails.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Join the Carolina's Aviation Museum on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for an engaging hour of exploring aviation through stories, crafts and hands-on experiences that are...

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Join the Create A Video team in celebrating the  Grand Re-Opening Week! Learn about digitizing family memories while enjoying studio tours, a fun "Guess How Many Photos?" Game, and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Create A Video
8300 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Create A Video
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $20

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


Website »

More information

Children embark on nature adventures as they learn through fun, hands-on activities. Parent participation and preregistration are required.

Cost: $15

Where:
Berewick Recreation Center
5910 Dixie River Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1102
Website »

More information

Explore the whimsical world of wizards with Discovery Place Kids! Tues. and Thurs.: The Sorting Hat Wed. and Fri.: The Maurader's Map Weekday activities start at the Town Hall Stage...

Cost: $10 per person and free for members; Included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261 x300
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Huntersville Fire Station 1
110 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

More information

This class will be a treat for the taste buds! Parent participation required.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Children will learn to sort and make leaf rubbings while learning about the science behind why leaves change color.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Explore the forces that drive our world through interdisciplinary STEAM activities! Test your design skills in engineering challenges to build the most efficient machines, and experiment with...

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Create, experiment and practice teamwork in age-appropriate engineering challenges. Focus on basic physics concepts and how they apply to the natural world.

Cost: $12

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Enjoy light refreshments while celebrating the patio grand opening at the Mooresville Public Library.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Come out for some spooktacular family fun at Time to Shine Stables Barn-or-Treat in Mt. Ulla. Enjoy a costume contest at 7 p.m. as well as vendors, candy, games, horse rides and more.

Cost: Free entry

Where:
Time to Shine Stables
2725 Sloop Road
Mt. Ulla , NC  28125
View map »


Sponsor: Time to Shine Stables
Website »

More information

Do not miss Mount Holly's annual Hollyween Bash in Tuckaseege Park!

Cost: Free

Where:
Tuckaseege Park
165 Broome St.
Mount Holly, NC  28120
View map »


Sponsor: City of Mount Holly
Website »

More information

Dress in costume, and trick-or-treat at Matthews Township Shopping Center. Kids can also enjoy face painters, balloon artists and a costume contest!

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Township Shopping Center
1811 Matthews Township Pkwy.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come together in the kitchen for some family fun! A professional instructor will lead families in an engaging cooking experience that concludes with sitting down at the table to enjoy a game or...

Cost: $25-$30

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


Sponsor: Morrison YMCA
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Join the Create A Video team in celebrating the  Grand Re-Opening Week! Learn about digitizing family memories while enjoying studio tours, a fun "Guess How Many Photos?" Game, and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Create A Video
8300 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Create A Video
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. Choose one time slot per week/theme. Oct. 11 and 12: Totally Turtles;...

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Children learn simple techniques to performing in this month-long class. Parent participation and preregistration are required.

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 980-314-1102

More information

Stop by the store for live musical entertainment as Brik performs for the children. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Toys and Company
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the whimsical world of wizards with Discovery Place Kids! Tues. and Thurs.: The Sorting Hat Wed. and Fri.: The Maurader's Map Weekday activities start at the Town Hall Stage...

Cost: $10 per person and free for members; Included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261 x300
Website »

More information

The Evening Farmers Market supports local farmers by providing a location to bring customers and farmers together. Everything sold at the market is locally grown, baked, or crafted by the vendor....

Cost: Free

Where:
Pecan Park
136 North Center St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $15

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


Telephone: 980-314-1102
Website »

More information

A fun and interactive story time for children with autism, developmental challenges or sensory sensitivities and their typically developing peers. A parent/caretaker must be present during the...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Experience a wonderland of expertly-carved pumpkins. Walk the trail of jack-o-lanterns, viewing different themes along the way. Advanced tickets required.

Cost: $11-$35; Children 2 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway at Carolina Rebellion Campground
7301 Burton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Families will line up at town hall to parade along main street to receive treats from merchants and organizations. Regular Halloween trick-or-treating around town will still take place on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Town Hall
216 S Main St.
Davidson, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-940-9622
Website »

More information

Come on out and celebrate the diversity of creepy crawlies at Reedy Creek Nature Center at night. Check out the animals, costume contest, campfire, marshmallow roast, crafts, hayrides and night...

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hundreds of customed trick-or-treaters gather at Harrisburg Park for costume contests, inflatables, candy, games and trick-or-treating with local merchants.

Cost: $3

Where:
Harrisburg Park
191 Sims Pkwy.
Harrisburg, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-455-7275
Website »

More information

Let MyGym take care of the kiddos while parents enjoy a night on the town. Glow in the Dark party will consist of black lights, neon markers and glow sticks. Bring a solid white shirt for your...

Cost: $25-$40

Where:
My Gym Southpark
5110 Park Road
2D
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-522-6966
Website »

More information

Don’t miss the chance to connect with local health and wellness vendors, receive valuable health tips and enjoy festive activities, such as a photo station, local mascots, food truck fare and...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Brixham Tent in Ballantyne Corp. Park
13925 Ballantyne Corporate Place
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-920-2787
Website »

More information

Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Join the Create A Video team in celebrating the  Grand Re-Opening Week! Learn about digitizing family memories while enjoying studio tours, a fun "Guess How Many Photos?" Game, and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Create A Video
8300 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Sponsor: Create A Video
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

More information

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. Choose one time slot per week/theme. Oct. 11 and 12: Totally Turtles;...

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1128
Website »

More information

Stretch out your wiggles at children's yoga story time, hosted by yoga instructor, Stefanie Ezratty from Bellies and Blooms. She will instruct kids on some basic yoga positions that go along...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble - Birkdale Village
8725 Townley Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the whimsical world of wizards with Discovery Place Kids! Tues. and Thurs.: The Sorting Hat Wed. and Fri.: The Maurader's Map Weekday activities start at the Town Hall Stage...

Cost: $10 per person and free for members; Included with admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261 x300
Website »

More information

Little Music Makers Classes are designed for children with various developmental delays. Instructor , Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC will use activities to target those developmental areas while...

Cost: $25 per class; $80 per month

Where:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
220 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 402
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Join Clayworks for this hands-on clay monthly workshop series at the Grier Heights Community Center. During each session, learn different pottery techniques and learn how to manipulate clay to...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Clayworks, Inc.
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.
Charlotte, NC  28203
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting in May and running through October, come out to Camp North End in the Boileryard on Friday nights for food and music. Children and leashed pets welcome!

Cost: Free

Where:
Boileryard - Camp North End
1824 Statesville Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door

Where:
Sports Connection - Ballantyne or Northlake Locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Girls will learn how to create several cute new ’dos. Participants can also take home bright highlights for their dolls. Afterward, each girl and her spruced-up companion can enjoy muffins,...

Cost: $25 per person

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


Sponsor: American Girl
Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

Looking for a Halloween experience for the little ones? Come early between 6 and 7 p.m. for the not-so-spooky Halloween!

Cost: $5-8

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse
Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

The spirits of Rosedale take visitors on an journey through the the plantation. Tours of the stations in the house start every 20 minutes. Rosedale’s theatrical production team presents this...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Historic Rosedale Plantation
3427 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

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


Website »

More information

It’s safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. Take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost Train- if you dare! Advance...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln.
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
View map »


Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Website »

More information

Professional ghost hunters take guests through grounds of Rosedale Plantation and attempt contact with the beyond. Please wear flat, quiet, comfortable shoes, and bring a small twist top...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Historic Rosedale Plantation
3427 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Get lost in the giant seven-acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $11+

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

More information

This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Friday and Saturday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. Nearing Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 14, 21 and 28 are...

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Experience a wonderland of expertly-carved pumpkins. Walk the trail of jack-o-lanterns, viewing different themes along the way. Advanced tickets required.

Cost: $11-$35; Children 2 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway at Carolina Rebellion Campground
7301 Burton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Experience this wonderful new revue of the classic hit songs from the man who created Jesus Chris Superstar, Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera!

Cost: $10+

Where:
Pease Auditorium
1201 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

Enjoy outdoor movies at Cane Creek Park's Festival Area. Additional games and activities will begin one hour prior to showtime. Sept. 7, 8pm: "A Bug's Life" Sept. 21,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cane Creek Park
5213 Harkey Road
Waxhaw, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Union County Parks and Recreation
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Stop by Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas with the kids for a free photo with the Charlie Brown and the Peanuts friends, crafts, a pumpkin toss game, trick-or-treating, costume parade and cookie...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate Halloween with Schleich! Kids in costume who visit the Schleich pop-up shop at SouthPark Mall will be treated to a special Schleich gift, while supplies last! The Charlotte-based toy...

Cost: Free

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

More information

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Get ready for a day filled with Lexington barbecue, live music and family friendly attractions. NC By Train will bring passengers to the Lexington Barbecue Festival thanks to a one-day special...

Cost: Train price varies, children younger than 2 ride free; free festival

Where:
Charlotte Amtrak Station
1914 N. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: NC By Train
Telephone: 1-800-BY-TRAIN
Website »

More information

Bring your pup for the Dog Jog 5K, run the 10k or half marathon, or come cheer on friends! Enjoy music, food and cider! Stick around for the Dog Park open house, and check out the 12-acre dog...

Cost: $30-$50

Where:
Mary Warner Mack Dog Park
104 Adventure Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Watch the apple dish pageant, run the 5K, visit the farmers market, collect and bring home a few apples and visit the Kids' Orchard.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Lincolnton
115 W. Main St.
Lincolnton, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come to Discover Place Nature for a frightfully delightful daytime exploration of what goes bump in the night. Enjoy crafts, silly story times, special shows and animal encounters with some creepy...

Cost: $8, free for children younger than 2, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of rocks and minerals from around the world. See specimens both common and rare while discovering how the science of earth is ever-changing.  This showcase of the...

Cost: $7, included with museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Start the weekend off on the right foot with a family hike on the Cattail Trail. Kids will create leaf artwork during the walk.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Have a spooktacular and explosive time during this celebration of National Chemistry Day. Check out experiments that bubble, ooze, blow up and light up. Sponsored by BASF.

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

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


Website »

More information

Come celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Get hands-on with electrical, biological and diabolical demonstrations that illustrate...

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

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


Website »

More information

Are you afraid of spiders, snakes or even the dark?  Earn your own Bravery Badge by facing your fears as you travel though out the museum’s galleries. Not so scary costumes are...

Cost: $8 adults; $5 youth; free for members and 3 and younger

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


Sponsor: Culture and Heritage Museums
Website »

More information

Don your best costume and join us for a frightfully-fun, SPOOKtacular concert! Hear Halloween-themed music including favorites from films like "Harry Potter" and "Jaws." The...

Cost: $14-$24

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


Website »

More information

Thanks to the ASCs Culture Blocks Program, Clayworks will lead participants in a hand on clay workshop for all ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center
440 Wesley Heights Way
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-314-1114
Website »

More information

Trick-or-Treat at Regency Village! See face painters and balloon artists.

Cost: Free

Where:
Regency Village
7725 Regency Lake Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit the Microsoft store for an informative, hands-on workshop introducing educators and parents or caregivers to the Microsoft Learning Tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading...

Cost: Free

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

More information

In this hour and a half workshop, kids will learn more about the upcoming Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, holiday and help create decorations for a celebration of their own. This...

Cost: $7-$10, children younger than 6 free

Where:
Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover nature with your little one through stories, crafts and activities related to the topic.

Cost: $4

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


Telephone: 980-314-1129
Website »

More information

Calling all train fans! Learn how the Christmas at Kings Mountain Historical Museum train displays are created. Try creating the scenery for the model trains. Refreshments provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 E. Mountain St.
Kings Mountain , NC  28086
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can listen to a story, frost cupcakes and meet with a pirate puppy!

Cost: $9

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


Telephone: 704-295-1777
Website »

More information

Kids of all ages and grown-ups, too, can learn to ride a bike using the tried-and-true “balance bike” method.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The iMAGINE STEAM Festival in Rock Hill is a designed to showcase preK-12 education and career pathways in Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Math (STEAM) through fun, hands-on learning....

Where:
Fountain Park in Old Town Rock Hill
300 E. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy a costume parade, pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, bounce houses and pumpkin carving for the kiddos. Adults can check out the beer, food, music, games and shopping. Don't miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midwood Park
2100 Wilhelmina Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Small Hands Big Art presents the 10th Annual Fall Festival! Families will enjoy free fall-inspired craft stations for children ages and older. Celebrate the season while exploring the studio and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Small Hands Big Art
8025 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 103
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Small Hands Big Art
Website »

More information

Come for an afternoon of family fun for you and your furry family members! Event kicks off at PetPeople with a costume pet parade leading to the Terrace. In the Terrace, enjoy a DJ and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waverly Charlotte
PetPeople
7315 Waverly Walk Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Life Time Athletic for our Halloween event, Spooktacular! Families can rotate through seven spooky stations: Monster Lab Mystery Boxes, Mummy Wrapping, Spooky Cookie Decorating, Mr....

Cost: $15

Where:
Life Time Athletic Charlotte
11220 Golf Links Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for a fun afternoon of creepy crawly crafts. Try painting a plastic pumpkin, or decorate mini-skulls in the style of Dia de los Muertos. Create garlands of glittering cobwebs and bizarre...

Cost: Free

Where:
CSA's Art Studio at Spirit Square in Uptown
345 N. College St.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come to Hall Family Farm for BBQ, hayride tickets, face painting and more! Gather to eat and enjoy all the festivities of the farm with family and friends. Lunch is free, while supplies last.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hall Family Farm
10713 Providence Road W.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: South Charlotte Presbyterian Church
Website »

More information

In this free, one-hour workshop, parents, caregivers, educators and students learn the various forms of cyberbullying, as well as its academic and social impacts. Participants will gain key...

Cost: Free

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

More information

Local dessert shops and bakeries will have desserts available for purchase. Bring family and friends to enjoy Lenny Boy brew or kombucha and satisfy your sweet tooth! Select vendors will offer...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
3000 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Families can visit Center Court for this year's "Vampirina" Disney Junior Play Date! Disney character live appearances are not a part of this event.

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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The 10th Annual GUTS competition features local and regional creative professionals carving pumpkins to raise funds for Make-A-Wish of Western and Central NC. The event features food, beverages,...

Cost: $10; free for children ages 12 and younger

Where:
BB&T Ballpark
324 S Mint St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704. 342. 2101
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Experience spooktacular fun for all ages! Event features carnival rides, games for children and adults, food vendors, business vendors, music, a cupcake walk and the annual costume contest.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Belmont
24 S. Main St.
Belmont, NC
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Get ready for an all-out block party featuring live music, craft breweries, food trucks, costume contests, games, prizes, trick-or-treating, creepy crafts and family fun!

Cost: Free

Where:
Oak Street Mill
19725 Oak St.
Cornelius, NC
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How tall can you build your tower. Each group will get 100 toothpicks and mini marshmallows. The clock is ticking can you build your tower.

Cost: Free

Where:
Scaleybark Library
101 Scaleybark Road
, NC
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Hosted in partnership with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, families can participate in free safety demonstrations, chat with on-site safety advocates and explore exhibitor and vendor...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blakeney Shopping Centers
9839 Rea Road
, NC
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In this free, one-hour workshop, parents, caregivers, educators and students learn the various forms of cyberbullying, as well as its academic and social impacts. Participants will gain key...

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft Store - SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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This free family event features superheroes, pumpkins, creepy crawlies, face painting and lots of candy! Come dressed in costume. Proceeds from the pumpkin patch will go to the Autism Society of...

Cost: Free

Where:
NorthCross Shopping Center
9709 Sam Furr Road
Huntersville, NC
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Downtown Waxhaw comes alive in this family-friendly festive costumed event for Halloween.  Trick-or-treating in the downtown business district, costume contests, a haunted maze in the David G....

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Waxhaw
West South Main St.
Waxhaw, NC
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Wear costumes, and join Sardis Presbyterian Church for this fun family event! Enjoy trunk-or-treating, food, a bounce house, fun games, and more!

Cost: Free

Where:
Sardis Presbyterian Church
6100 Sardis Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Sardis Presbyterian Church
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This free, family-friendly event will feature face painting, cotton candy, carriage rides, pumpkin contest judging, Curley the Clown, popcorn and plenty of sweet treats. Area businesses will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
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Collect treats as you explore the Nature Trail, Catawba Village, PlayS'cape and other outdoor attractions. Kids are encouraged to attend in costume and bring a flashlight. Special shows...

Cost: $7 members; $9 nonmembers

Where:
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28056
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Come and join the JCC in a fun filled family night at the J! Discovery Place will come to Camp Mindy Poliakoff Pavilion with its mobile Starlab. Dinner will be provided during the journey to the...

Cost: $25-$35 per family of 4; $5 per additional family member

Where:
Levine Jewish Community Center
Camp Mindy Rec Hall
5007 Providence Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-944-6739
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Prepare to be not-so-scared at the NASCAR Hall of Fame this Halloween. Do nto miss trick-or-treating, a pumpkin patch and games with prizes. The frightfully delightful night has been designed with...

Cost: $15

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Blvd
, NC
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Sponsor: NASCAR Hall of Fame
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Come to downtown Belmont for the boos, but stay for the brews! Nightmare on Main Street will continue the Halloween fun from BooFest with its carnival rides, adding adult beverages and live music...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Downtown Belmont
Belmont, NC


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Creepy conductors and freaky firefighters will hand out candy aboard the train and at stations in the museum. Children in costume receive free admission and train ride with paying adult.

Cost: $8-$12

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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Dino Safari:  A Prehistoric Adventure Travel back in time on a journey through the Mesozoic Era – the age of dinosaurs. See full-bodied models of incredible creatures that time...

Cost: $6-$7, children under age 3 admitted free. Includes museum admission.

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6923
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Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. Let your little ones to discover the joy of being active while bouncing under the supervision of their parents and without...

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone
10200 Centrum Pkwy.
Pineville, NC
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Every weekend in October, Lewis Farm opens up for fun-filled family days at the farm. Admission to the farm includes horse-drawn hay rides, a maze and slide, a chance to feed barnyard animals,...

Cost: $7; free for children 3 and younger

Where:
Lewis Farm
330 Lewis Road
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-842-1208
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Celebrate fall the last three weekends in October on the Anne Springs Close Greenway with wagon rides, pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, pedal carts, horse rides, face painting, kayaking and...

Cost: $10 members; $12 nonmembers; children 4 and younger free; plus $5 parking fee.

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
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Explore LEGO WeDo 2.0 robotics at your own pace and level at our community #STEAMSaturdays sites (Hygge Coworking West and The Hurt Hub@Davidson). Build and design, incorporate sensors and...

Cost: $25

Where:
Hygge Coworking West
2128 Remount Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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Explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) during #STEAMSaturdays series. Digi-Bridge brings fun and learning together through Lego programming and robotics!

Cost: $30

Where:
Hygge West
2128 Remount Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Digi-Bridge
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Come enjoy fascinating photos, memorabilia, and stories during 12 months of rotating special displays at the Billy Graham Library as part of the celebration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Telephone: 704-401-3200
Website »

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Family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including a costume parade, hay bale maze, foam zone, plus rides. 

Cost: Daily ticket prices start at $48

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Enjoy free child admission with no coupon required for all children 12 and younger.   Trick-or-treat the festival with free treats at more than 100 locations throughout the Festival...

Cost: Adult admission $25

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville , NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-896-5555
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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Step back in time at the 25th Annual Renaissance Festival in Huntersville! Enjoy entertainment, rides, shopping, food, and free parking at this rain-or-shine event.

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

Where:
Carolina Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds
16445 Poplar Tent Road
Huntersville , NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-896-5555
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Building model kits is a hobby kids of all ages can enjoy. It is fun, creative and constructive! Join us each Saturday in October to assemble a wooden model kit, paint it, and take home a finished...

Cost: $5

Where:
Village Park Shelter A
119 North Main St.
Kannapolis, NC
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Guided trail rides are led by a member of the Greenway's equestrian staff and are available on Saturdays from September to May. Trail rides are open to riders ages 9 and older of all experience...

Cost: $45 for members; $50 for nonmembers

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
1058 Horse Road
Fort Mill, SC
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Families can enjoy a corn maze, hay rides, animal presentations, arts and crafts, music, hay art, sponsor booths, games and more.

Cost: $5-$10; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Rescue Ranch
1424 Turnersburg Hwy.
Statesville, NC  28625
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Sponsor: WIX Filters
Telephone: 704-768-0909
Website »

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Join one of our naturalists on the fourth Saturday of each month for a stroll around Discovery Place Nature’s Paw Paw Nature Trail. Meet in the Great Hall.

Cost: $8; free for members and children younger than 2, included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place - Nature
1658 Sterling Road
, NC
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Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most important celebrations in Mexico and Latin America. The Garden will offer live entertainment, crafts, food and activities.

Cost: $7-$13; children under 2 free

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Explore the whimsical world of wizards at Discovery Place Kids! Oct. 6 and 7: Quidditch Oct. 13 and 14: Wands Oct. 20 and 21: Potions Oct. 26 and 27: Magical Creatures Weekend...

Cost: $10 per person and free for members; Included with admission

Where:
Discovery Place Kids - Huntersville
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261 x300
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This bar + arcade hybrid has over 20 pinball machines, 30 arcade games and other games rotating monthly. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm the bar opens up to all ages with a parent...

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St
, NC
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Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

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

Cost: $2 per child

Where:
UWI- Kidz Greenhouse Cafe
5237 Albemarle Road
Suites 211-213
, NC
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Sponsor: United World Initiative's
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Community School of the Arts will provide a visual art workshop series with a different project each workshop. Enjoy live music performed during the workshop.

Cost: Free

Where:
University City Regional Library
301 East W.T. Harris Blvd.
, NC
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Sponsor: ASC Culture Blocks
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Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities including math, science and games.

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities including math, science and games.

Cost: Free

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

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Looking for a Halloween experience for the little ones? Come early between 6 and 7 p.m. for the not-so-spooky Halloween!

Cost: $5-8

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street E.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse
Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Revolution Park Sports Academy
1225 Remount Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Revolution Park Sports Academy

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The spirits of Rosedale take visitors on an journey through the the plantation. Tours of the stations in the house start every 20 minutes. Rosedale’s theatrical production team presents this...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Historic Rosedale Plantation
3427 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Fear rises when darkness falls when Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during the annual haunt of SCarowinds. Experience the thrills of your...

Cost: Cost of Carowinds admission

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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It’s safe, scary fun for the whole family! Kids will enjoy the Halloween shows and trick-or-treating. Take a chilling journey into the night on the Ghost Train- if you dare! Advance...

Cost: $38

Where:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln.
Blowing Rock, NC  28605
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Sponsor: Tweetsie Railroad
Website »

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Professional ghost hunters take guests through grounds of Rosedale Plantation and attempt contact with the beyond. Please wear flat, quiet, comfortable shoes, and bring a small twist top...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
Historic Rosedale Plantation
3427 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Get lost in the giant seven-acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride, play cornhole and hike the trails. See website for times. 

Cost: $11+

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-3113
Website »

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This haunted trail located in Mooresville is open Friday and Saturday throughout the month of October and is appropriate for ages 12 and older. Nearing Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 14, 21 and 28 are...

Cost: $25 per person; cash or check only

Where:
Carrigan Farms, LLC
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy.
Enter at West Entrance
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-664-1450
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

Where:
N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
Website »

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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...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

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Experience a wonderland of expertly-carved pumpkins. Walk the trail of jack-o-lanterns, viewing different themes along the way. Advanced tickets required.

Cost: $11-$35; Children 2 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway at Carolina Rebellion Campground
7301 Burton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
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In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers.

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

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Visitors explore a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits. See "popular" garments, runway fashions designed by...

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

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

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

Where:
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Many factors must be weighed when exhibiting a work of art, from framing to installation to critical contextualization. This exhibition examines the different considerations that go into displaying...

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

Where:
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon St.
, NC
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Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit investigates 20th century protests, reminding museum goers that societal tumult is part of a hard-fought...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Experience this wonderful new revue of the classic hit songs from the man who created Jesus Chris Superstar, Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera!

Cost: $10+

Where:
Pease Auditorium
1201 Elizabeth Ave.
, NC
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Website »

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Try the pumpkin slingshot, and let children play in the giant corn box and the straw castle. Visit the  pumpkin patch, and for an additional cost, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the...

Cost: $8-$11; children younger than 2 free

Where:
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Road
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-5100
Website »

More information

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

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

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

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Included with zoo admission are wagon rides, walking around the zoo, carousel rides, face painting, balloon animals and sightings of both princesses and super heroes. Oct. 27, 9am-5pm; Oct. 28,...

Cost: $11.50-$13.50, children younger than 2 free

Where:
Zootastic Park
385 Ostwalt Amity Road
Troutman, NC
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Telephone: 704-245-6446
Website »

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Stop by Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas with the kids for a free photo with the Charlie Brown and the Peanuts friends, crafts, a pumpkin toss game, trick-or-treating, costume parade and cookie...

Cost: Free

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

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

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

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

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Celebrate Halloween with Schleich! Kids in costume who visit the Schleich pop-up shop at SouthPark Mall will be treated to a special Schleich gift, while supplies last! The Charlotte-based toy...

Cost: Free

Where:
SouthPark Mall
4400 Sharon Road
, NC
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Annual Guides

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

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

Education Guide

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