Talking Politics With Kids

Educating the next generation on civic responsibility


Published:

The 2016 presidential election is already action-packed with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump taking center stage. Between the billboards, TV and radio ads, bumper stickers and conversations between adults, children are sure to notice and have their own questions about what the election process means for them.

While some parents feel that children elementary-age and younger shouldn’t worry themselves with the different political parties and issues, others believe even children in preschool can benefit from early discussions about civic responsibility.

According to the recent “State of the Kid” survey in Highlights for Children magazine, 80 percent of the 2,000 children polled noted that they talk about the upcoming election in some capacity in their homes, while 20 percent say they don’t talk about the election at all.

Whether or not you plan to discuss the candidates, issues or the November election with your family, chances are your children have some questions. Use these tips to navigate the discussions.


Age-Appropriate Conversations

Jonathan Breeden, a Raleigh-based family attorney with Breeden Law Office, says he was raised to value civic participation. Having run for office for the state House of Representatives in the past, he wants to instill the same values in his children, ages 6 and 4.

“I teach them that it’s important to vote, to be good citizens and patriots, and to stand up for what’s right when it matters. I’m a lifelong Republican and, of course, hope that my children will grow up to embrace my values, but I also teach them to be informed, think for themselves and make their own decisions,” he says.

Amy Farrell, executive director of GenerationNation in Charlotte, a nonprofit that connects K-12 classroom learning with hands-on experiences to build civic literacy and leadership at a young age, says it’s OK if children 4 years and younger don’t understand all the nuances of the candidates. It’s more about the process and getting children excited about being active and engaged citizens.   

“We talk to them more about making informed choices, because this is how democracy works,” Farrell says.

Election years also offer a great opportunity for parents to teach their children that it is OK to disagree with somebody, and how to do it with respect. Point out that there are two sides of every argument, and you need to listen to both sides of the argument before you make a decision, says Lynn Klett, a nurse practitioner with Piedmont Pediatrics in Greensboro.

“You can wait for them to come to you with questions,” Klett says. “Or say something like ‘Maybe you’ve heard your classmates talk about something their parents were talking about,’ or ‘Did you know we’re about to vote for our next president?’”


The Branches of Government

When politics are already a topic of conversation, it is also a good time to teach children about the three branches of government and how they work together, as well as the importance of state and local government.

Discuss how and where laws are made (legislative branch), how they are carried out (executive branch), and how these laws are evaluated (judicial branch). Encourage your children to learn about the candidates and the offices they are running for, as well as other key issues in the election. If you find it is information overload for them, pick one issue you care about, such as education, environment, jobs or health care, and research the views of candidates on that particular issue.

The website kids.usa.gov explains the functions of the branches, and the roles of the president, vice-president and cabinet members in the executive branch.

Also be sure to talk about how locally elected officials make decisions that affect things in your town and county, plus how state-level politics work. Older children can research local county commissioners, state legislators and gubernatorial candidates.

With much discussion in the news about HB2, the coal-ash cleanup at the Dan River and public schools across North Carolina, there are ample opportunities to also discuss tolerance and inclusion, as well as environmental and educational policies in North Carolina.


Beware of Bias

Be sure children understand that people, including those they see on TV, have opinions, and that it is important to seek information from more than one source to hear different points of view.

“It’s also important to teach children to question what they’re reading or seeing on TV and to understand that not all information is equal. Media literacy is one of the most important skills that a child can learn in the 21st century with access to overwhelming streams of information,” Breeden says.

Most communities have organizations that provide opportunities for kids to vote in mock elections, so they can get a first-hand look at the process. Once an election is over, there is still more you can talk about with your children.

“Keep track of the winning candidates,” Farrell says. “Do they keep their campaign promises and make good decisions? Watch or attend government meetings, keep up with the news and contact elected officials about issues you care about.”


Talking to Teens With Opposing Views

“Democracy is based on people who share, and reach consensus on, different ideas,” Farrell says. “It’s OK to disagree, but it’s not OK to be mean or argue. Both people should have the opportunity to share their points of view, back up those views with facts, and listen to what the other person has to say.”

Breeden agrees and says what he learned from discussing politics with his own parents as a teenager is to do it in a way that is respectful and never belittling of a teen’s developing political consciousness.

Renee Roberson is a freelance writer and editor based in Huntersville, and mom to two inquisitive children.


When Can Children Vote?

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, a person must be 18 years old or will be 18 years old by the date of the next general election. If 17 years old, one may register no earlier than 60 days prior to the date of the primary election for the general election.

There are ways for students to get involved in the voting process prior to turning age 18. In the Charlotte area, GenerationNation has developed a curriculum with hands-on experiences designed to build civic literacy and engagement for educators, as well as opportunities for students to serve on a youth leadership council and various mock election opportunities. Learn more at generationnation.org.

First Vote NC has also developed an initiative that encourages students to participate in a 2016 simulation election. By providing schools resources, students can run a simulation election and compare election results with other students in their district and state. In addition, teachers can request toolkits to help them tie the voter platform to an array of democracy-focused lessons.


Teaching Civic Responsibility

Election season is a great time to discuss the importance of civic responsibility, opinions, causes and voting. Use these tips from child development center Kiddie Academy to get started.

Explain political parties. For younger children, the idea of a political party can be confusing. Discuss how each political party is a group of people who have similar opinions and elect a leader to represent them.

Pick a cause. Children of all ages can have strong opinions on local issues that directly affect them. Ask your child’s opinion about a current topic of debate to get him thinking about the issues. It can be as simple as whether he prefers chocolate ice cream over vanilla, and why.

Cast your vote together. Take your child with you when you cast your vote. Set the example.

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April 2018

Join in a 40-minute demo swim class that introduces basic aquatic skills and water safety tips for children ages 6 months to 2 1/2 years old. Space is limited. Call to reserve spot.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Charlotte Aquatics
7835 Little Ave.
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-341-9673
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Come enjoy some fun activities as a family, meet the wonderful YMCA Camp Thunderbird staff, receive an in-depth tour of Camp Thunderbird and learn about the amazing summer programs offered....

Cost: Free

Where:
Camp Thunderbird
1 Thunderbird Ln
Lake Wylie, SC  29710
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Telephone: 704-716-6113
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Cost: Children, free; adults, $6

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Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon Street
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Celebrate Earth Day at the nature center with animal shows and Earth Day scavenger hunts. Animal shows at 2 and 3m. Return your scavenger hunt by 4:30pm to receive a prize.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Sponsor: Latta Plantation Nature Center
Telephone: 980-314-1129
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Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library - Main
310 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Meet animals and have a chance to see some of them eat carrots, crickets, and even a mouse. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
2900 Rocky River Road
, NC
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Telephone: 980-314-1119
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Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-663-1062
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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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Cost: $6-20

Where:
Historic Rural Hill
4431 Neck Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
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Telephone: 704-875-3113
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Meditation is a perfect tool to introduce into a child’s day to promote inner strength and mental and emotional well-being. In this weekly class, children will learn simple meditations and...

Cost: $5 per child

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Kadampa Meditation Center North Carolina
528 East Blvd.
, NC  28203
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Telephone: 630-202-7757
Contact Name:
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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
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Listen to jazz in the outdoor summer air.   

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
119 N. Main St.
Kannapolis, NC
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Shop for bargains at this spring consignment sale.  Fri., presale (pass required), 10am-8:30pm; Sat., 10am-8pm, $3 admission. Sun., 10am-2pm, admission is free. 

Cost: Admission depends on day

Where:
Merino's Design Center
500 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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Cost: $10-$15

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Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

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Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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The Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
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300 E. 7th St
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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Cost: $4-$12, includes museum admission

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N.C. Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Dr.
Spencer, NC
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Telephone: 704-636-2889
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Cost: Free admission, $5 parking fee. Registration fees apply for competitions

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U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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Cost: $10

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Ballantyne Arts Center
11318 North Community House Road
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Come learn about Earth Day and how we can help our earth. Make a fun craft using recycled materials.  

Cost: Free

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Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main St.
Mooresville, NC
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Telephone: 704-664-2927
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Enjoy Art on the Green and see a performance by The Davidson College Symphony. Bring a picnic or chairs. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Davidson Village Green
Intersection of Main Street and Concord Road
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The Library celebrates Día as part of its commitment to connecting children and their families to multicultural books, bilingual services and educational resources. This...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Blvd.
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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

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
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

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

On Mondays from September to May, all children under the age of 16 can come paint pottery for just $3/hour.

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Telephone: 704-544-4848
Website »

More information

Unearth the untold narratives of nature through stories and then walk about the forest exploring and engaging all of our senses. Parent participation required. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

At Tinkergarten, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. Tinkergarten Leader, Kate Flowe, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children...

Cost: $160 for this 8 week class

Where:
Veterans Memorial Park
2136 Central Ave
Charlote, NC  28205
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Website »

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Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor so parents are in charge of their children. No need to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Go to the Mauney Memorial Library to see the work of the digitization grant team and participate by bringing a photo of your own if you’d like.

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain Street
Kings Mountain, NC  28086
View map »


Telephone: 704-739-1019
Website »

More information

Take a closer look at the history, cultures, places, and things encountered by Jack and Annie on their Magic Tree House Adventures. Reading the books is not a requirement for attendance.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-825-5426
Website »

More information

This annual dining event builds autism awareness and education while raising money to support children and adults with autism and their families in the community. For more information...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Various restaurants across Mecklenburg County.
, NC


Website »

More information

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
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

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
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

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

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor so parents are in charge of their children. No need to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Get your child to practice reading skills by reading a book to Baron, the lovable long haired German Shepherd, a certified therapy dog.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

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Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Telephone: 866-229-1573
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

Show More...
Show Less...

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

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
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

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
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

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

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor so parents are in charge of their children. No need to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions.

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

Bring your pen, paper, and love of poetry and explore and write a different form of poetry each Wednesday in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. No experience necessary.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
Website »

More information

This dance class is drop-in, open to all ages and free of charge for participants. It also includes live accompaniment and a “Children’s Corner,” providing supervision and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugaw Creek Recreation Center
943 W. Sugar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-7655
Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

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Follow Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life, with activities, games, and an Olympian craft. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 803-547-4114
Website »

More information

Matthews Charter Academy is hosting an international fair with performances, food trucks, displays and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Charter Academy
Mt. Harmony Church Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-339-5449
Website »

More information

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
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

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
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

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

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor so parents are in charge of their children. No need to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Explore stories and songs through a puppet show created and presented by the Spangler Library storytellers. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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

Show More...
Show Less...

The Children's and Family Ministry of Philadelphia Church in Fort Mill is hosting a showing of the animated film "Ferdinand." Everyone is invited. Free popcorn and drinks will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
Philadelphia Church
1691 Hwy 160 West
Fort Mill, SC  29708
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-0102
Website »

More information

Watch the students of Matthews Playhouse's School of Theatre perform this classic that follows the young boy Mowgli through the jungle. Fri., 7:30pm and Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-846-8343
Website »

More information

Take part in this special camping trip. You will be braving the third shift and sleeping inside Carowinds with your favorite rides. Your donation benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and...

Cost: $250 per campsite

Where:
Carowinds Amusement Park
300 Detective Mike Doty Memorial Hwy
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-2600
Website »

More information

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-721-4653
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

Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-663-1062
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

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

Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

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


Telephone: 704-568-1774
Website »

More information

Bring your little one to Perfect Balance Training Center for "Tot Time" - an hour of free play in the gym. There is no instructor so parents are in charge of their children. No need to...

Cost: $5 cash, $6 with credit card (monthly special available as well)

Where:
Perfect Balance
8850 Monroe Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-299-8445
Website »

More information

Get free entry to the Schiele Museum every second Tuesday of the month from 4-8pm and every fourth Friday of the month from 1-5pm. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Favorite area food and dessert trucks will provide varied menus including seafood, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, specialty dishes and more. Enjoy local/region...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Matthews, 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

Bring your blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie in the park. Food available for purchase. Movie begins at dusk. April 27 at Crooked Creek Park, 5900 Oakwood Ln, Indian Trail....

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Disney's Peter Pan Jr. is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn't grow up.  See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
View map »


Telephone: 704-892-7953
Website »

More information

This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

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


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Come see this musical based on the Dreamworks movie. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and plotting penguins as they bound onto the stage in the musical...

Cost: $12-$28

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
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

Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the Bellagio of dragstrips during the ninth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Every ticket is a pit pass, so come early...

Cost: $20-$55; kids under 13 are free with adult purchase

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


Website »

More information

The original home of the four-wide, 40,000-horsepower drag racing spectacle hosts the ninth annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. The top NHRA racers in the world return to zMAX Dragway to put on a...

Cost: $20-$40, kids 13 and under are free

Where:
zMAX Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Telephone: 800-455-3267
Website »

More information

Girls will learn how to create several cute new ’dos, plus take home bright highlights for their dolls and learn how to put them in. Afterward, each girl and her spruced-up companion can...

Cost: $25, does not include gratuity

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


Telephone: 877-247-5223
Website »

More information

Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show takes you to East Tennessee where the fun never ends. Sing along with fabulous old Southern classics and watch the gospel truths unfold through the...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
Narroway Theatre
3327 SC-51
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-802-2300
Website »

More information

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This family-friendly road race and walk event benefits the clinical trials and research at Levine Children's Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute. In addition to food and drink,...

Cost: $15-$30

Where:
Christ Lutheran Church
4519 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC  28226
View map »


Telephone: 704-516-5113
Website »

More information

In this middle school girls-only program, girls will develop new skills, explore the natural world and create lasting friendships while conquering recreational environmental challenges. Spend the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Various locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Today, all around the world people are taking part in a celestial celebration! Join Discovery Place Nature for special presentations of the Full Dome shows such as One World, One...

Cost: Included in price of admission

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


Website »

More information

Your Mini Chef will cook one recipe and learn basic kitchen skills such as measuring ingredients. Sign-up online or in person at the Sales and Services desk.

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

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


Telephone: 704-716-4650
Website »

More information

Over 15,000 spectators attend this horse race. There are also Jack Russell terrier races, hat contests, stick ponies for the kids and much more.

Cost: $50+

Where:
Queens Cup Steeplechase
6103 Waxhaw Highway
Mineral Springs, NC  28108
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit with environmentally conscious vendors, take a tree home with you and learn how to take care of our planet.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy more than 25 educational exhibits, attend planetarium programs, participate in a scavenger hunt, win prizes, play games and more. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Attend this free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the entire family is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC   28211
View map »


Sponsor: Access College America
Telephone: 980-474-1281
Website »

More information

Teens can sign up for community service hours and help beautify and clean our highways. Call to register. Please leave your name, school, and phone number. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-664-5218
Website »

More information

Explore first responder vehicles, construction trucks, 18-wheelers and other trucks of all shapes and sizes. From mini-excavators to fire trucks, over 40 trucks and vehicles, including an...

Cost: Free.

Where:
CPCC Merancas Campus
11920 Verhoeff Drive
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids can listen to a story, frost cupcakes and meet with princesses and pirates.

Cost: $9

Where:
SAS Cupcakes
9941 Rea Road
Suite C
, NC
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Telephone: 704-295-1777
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Celebrate the vibrant cultural diversity of east Charlotte with international flavor and intergenerational activities. Enjoy food from around the world and a rich blend of musical...

Cost: Free

Where:
Aldersgate
3800 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28210
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Telephone: 704-532-5410
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Enjoy this highly energetic performance of dance, stories and songs from Gambia, Guinea, and Nigeria as part of the library's month-long celebration of Día. Learn how West African dances...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4630
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As part of the NC Science Festival, you can engage in hands-on experiments and STEM activities at the Raptor Center. Get nose-to-beak with the center's birds.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
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Telephone: 704-875-6521
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The Library celebrates Día as part of its commitment to connecting children and their families to multicultural books, bilingual services and educational resources. This year's...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Attend this free one hour college planning workshops to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and create a year-by-year timeline. Every workshop includes a Q&A and the entire family...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sylvan Learning Center, Ballantyne
14045 Ballantyne Corporate Pl.
Ste 101
Charlotte, NC  28277
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Sponsor: Access College America
Telephone: 980-474-1281
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Special pre-show activities like dance classes and a costume creation station start at 1pm. At 2pm, watch a one-hour performance featuring excerpts from "Spring Works," including...

Cost: $15 for children; adults, $15+

Where:
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Play dodge ball with the whole family. After dodge ball enjoy a fully stocked ice cream sundae bar to cool down with as you make new memories with friends and family.   

Cost: $2 per person; maximum of $10

Where:
Forest Park Elementary School Gym
1333 Forest Park Dr.
Kannapolis, NC
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Can you use science to make the most delicious ice cream on Earth? Explore the chemical properties that make ice cream so good and mix up a couple batches to compare the results. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave
, NC
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Watch the students of Matthews Playhouse's School of Theatre perform this classic that follows the young boy Mowgli through the jungle. Fri., 7:30pm and Sat., 2pm. 

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-846-8343
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Take part in this special camping trip. You will be braving the third shift and sleeping inside Carowinds with your favorite rides. Your donation benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and...

Cost: $250 per campsite

Where:
Carowinds Amusement Park
300 Detective Mike Doty Memorial Hwy
, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-2600
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North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. Come learn about North Carolina's role during World War I.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, NC
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Telephone: 704-721-4653
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Pick up and drop off your application and completed works at the Reference desk to enter MPL's poetry anthology book cover contest. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 S. Main Street
Mooresville, NC  28115
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Telephone: 704-663-1062
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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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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
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These cooking classes center around a monthly theme and occur on the first and last Saturday of the month. Your Junior chef will cook two recipes each day and learn basic kitchen skills...

Cost: $15 for members/$20 for program participants

Where:
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-716-4650
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Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday. Visit the website to see this week's featured craft of the week. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
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Telephone: 704-849-2450
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Geared towards children ages 3 and younger, this class will focus on movement and energy release. Parent participation required.  

Cost: $6 per class

Where:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-829-1294
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Charlotte’s Road to Revolution Exhibition is composed of 17 original oil paintings by Charlotte artist Dan Nance, 20 interpretive panels and eighteenth-century antiques that tell the story of...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
The Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
, NC
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Telephone: 704-568-1774
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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
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This exhibition explores Mars and mankind's fascination with this world through mythology, history, literature, movies, TV and science. We also look ahead to see what Mars may hold for...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Come check out Charlotte’s newest live music venue. The Music Yard is kicking off the concert season with a free Spring Concert Series every Saturday in April and May.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music Yard
2433 South Blvd
, NC
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Telephone: 704-912-1889
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BounceU knows that sometimes parents deserve a little time by themselves. Drop off your kids for a night of non-stop bouncing and games. It’s more fun and probably less expensive than hiring...

Cost: $20 per child

Where:
Bounce U, Charlotte and Matthews locations
, NC


Telephone: 704-921-8771
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Listen to music every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer at Stonecrest Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stonecrest Shopping Center
7900 Rea Road
, NC
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The Year of the Engineer is an initiative celebrating the creativity and imagination of engineers. It includes the opening of an all-new Thinker Space lab and exhibition Think it Up, along with the...

Cost: $13-$17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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Featuring multiyear coverage from National Geographic photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter and Paul Nicklen, this exhibition attests to the wildness and beauty...

Cost: $4-$7, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 East Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
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Telephone: 704-866-6900
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This exhibit features more than 40 of Mexico's leading photographers. The photographs in the museum, ranging from just a few inches to floor-to-ceiling murals, explore an assortment...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Though he is mostly known for his art, Leonardo da Vinci was a creator in more than one way. He designed machines such as the assault tank, submarine, parachute, scuba-diving tank and even a robot....

Cost: $13-$17, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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See the artwork by the Catawba River Art Guild members that highlight Carolina Piedmont landscapes and native flora and fauna. Selected artworks, representing dozens of artists working in...

Cost: Included in admission to museum ($5-$8)

Where:
The Museum of York County
4621 Mt Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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Telephone: 803-329-2121
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Disney's Peter Pan Jr. is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn't grow up.  See website for showtimes.

Cost: $12

Where:
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street
Davidson, NC  28036
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Telephone: 704-892-7953
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This exhibit highlights selected works from the Locke collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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This exhibit celebrates iconic African-American artists and reflects the lives of the owners of the collections.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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An array of found objects with bursts of bright and dark colors form works of art that are both mesmerizing and reflective.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Through the lens of a camera, Frankhavemercy captures the emotions of growth, struggle and joy in his first exhibition. 

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Come see this musical based on the Dreamworks movie. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and plotting penguins as they bound onto the stage in the musical...

Cost: $12-$28

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
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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
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This exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It contains fashions made during the span of his...

Cost: $10-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-337-2000
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Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the Bellagio of dragstrips during the ninth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Every ticket is a pit pass, so come early...

Cost: $20-$55; kids under 13 are free with adult purchase

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
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The original home of the four-wide, 40,000-horsepower drag racing spectacle hosts the ninth annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. The top NHRA racers in the world return to zMAX Dragway to put on a...

Cost: $20-$40, kids 13 and under are free

Where:
zMAX Dragway
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
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Telephone: 800-455-3267
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Brownie Girl Scouts can work towards various badges during these workshops. Register online. See website for times, themes, and ages. 

Cost: $17

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St
, NC
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Telephone: 704-372-6261
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The everlasting classic account of two boys and a girl who follow Peter Pan and the invisible fairy Tinker Bell into Neverland, where children never grow old and where Captain Hook and his pirates...

Cost: Adults, $10; students and seniors, $9

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. East
Matthews, NC
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Set in 1926, this fast-paced musical dinner show takes you to East Tennessee where the fun never ends. Sing along with fabulous old Southern classics and watch the gospel truths unfold through the...

Cost: $7-$35

Where:
Narroway Theatre
3327 SC-51
Fort Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-802-2300
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GPS [Go. Play. See.]

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2017 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.
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