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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Daily Calendar

May 2017

Meet the author and illustrator Kimberly Mohns Roberts and have your book signed. Door prizes and fun activities for the children. Enjoy light fare while supplies last. Buy extra raffle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte School of Ballet
627 S. Sharon Amity Road
Charlotte, NC  28211
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Website »

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This music fest features live blues performances, food, beverages, and other related activities.  

Cost: $6-$11; children under 2 free

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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC
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Telephone: 704-825-4490
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Cost: $15-$45

Where:
Gateway Village Promenade
800 W. Trade St.
Johnson and Wales University
, NC
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Meet some of the creatures from the nature center at this live animal show.

Cost: Free

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville , NC
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Telephone: 704-875-1391
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Cost: Event is free; non-members must pay $5 to enter greenway

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
104 Adventure Road
Ft. Mill, SC
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Telephone: 803-547-4575
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This free festival is open to the public and will include a bounce house, glow party in the theatre, face painting, balloon animals, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Arts Center
11318 N Community House Road
Charlotte, NC  28277
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This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

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Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
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Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
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K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
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GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

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Tinkergarten’s skill-based curriculum is designed to help kids become well-balanced people who can problem-solve, lead, and create. It’s engaging, memorable, play-based learning, all...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Freedom Park
Princeton Ave. Entrance
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

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Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
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Telephone: 888-902-6463
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Featuring reenactments of three major Revolutionary War battles fought in South Carolina: King's Mountain, Camden, and Eutaw Springs. Plus, cannon and musket-firing demonstrations, military...

Cost: $6-$10

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Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC
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Telephone: 803-684-2327
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This weekend of performances is presented by OnStage, a program that helps bridge the world of professional theatre for CTC students. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10 per show

Where:
Children's Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

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Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

Where:
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

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Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Myers Park Library
1361 Queens Road
, NC
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Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
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This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Read nature-based stories with the help of puppets, and then take a short hike into the woods to explore more of nature. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1119
Website »

More information

Preschool-age children can explore nature with songs, games, crafts, and play in Lost Hollow.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

Rock out with Mr. Nigel and Friends as you focus on a different instrument each week. Call store to make sure schedule has not changed. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Sam Ash Music Store
5533 Westpark Drive
, NC
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Telephone: 704-522-9253
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating Monday’s in May with $5 admission every Monday starting Monday May 1st! In addition, half priced admission is offered every Wednesday.

Cost: $5

Where:
Monkey Joe's-University City, Pineville, Matthews and Gastonia
, NC


Sponsor: Monkey Joe's
Website »

More information

Even the youngest children in the family can enjoy sensory exploration and fun with activities and songs in the garden.

Cost: $10 per parent/child; $6 for each additional participant

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


Telephone: 704-829-1252
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Bring the family for an outdoor storytime with movement activities and songs. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-6200
Website »

More information

See some of NASCAR’s biggest drivers battling each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts. Come out for a free event featuring a full...

Cost: Free

Where:
GoPro Motorplex
130 Motorplex Drive
Mooresville, NC  28115
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Preschoolers engage with books and activities that encourage language and pre-reading skills. Dress comfortably for creative movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Tinkergarten’s skill-based curriculum is designed to help kids become well-balanced people who can problem-solve, lead, and create. It’s engaging, memorable, play-based learning, all...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Freedom Park
Princeton Ave. Entrance
Charlotte, NC  28209
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddler can enjoy storytime each week in the children's area. 

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-364-0626
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visit the planetarium for a special program on how to navigate the night sky using a star map. 

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Get moving and learn cultural history through dance. Learn of the cultural legacy that enabled the African ancestors to endure the Middle Passage. Participate, and experience history through...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Recreational Center
943 W Sugar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC  28213
View map »


Telephone: 704-737-8097
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
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

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

"Wee" ones 3 years and younger and their caregivers can enjoy stories, movement with music, and a seasonal craft.

Cost: $6

Where:
Main Street Children's Museum
133 E Main St.
Rock Hill, SC  29730
View map »


Telephone: 803-909-7244
Website »

More information

Find out what it takes to become an astronaut with a reading of a book on the topic and special activities to help you get ready for a journey into space. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
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:
Huntersville Fire Station 1
110 S. Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Unleash the power of technology by learning how to build and program robots to follow your every command. Think critically, problem solve, and test your skills as you program your robot to perform...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-7200
Website »

More information

Explore the mint museum's exhibitions.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph | 2730 Randolph Road
Mint Museum Uptown | 500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-337-2018
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Discover 400 years of Catawba Indian history as you explore replicated structures that reflect the life and culture of the Carolina Woodlands. Weather permitting;...

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission.

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Run through Speed Street at the PNC Speed Street 5K.

Cost: $25-$35

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Location TBA
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Drivers will compete in a qualifying three round "knockout" to determine which drivers will move on to the Coca Cola 600.

Cost: Kids 13 under free; see website for other ticket prices

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


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Preschoolers engage with books and activities that encourage language and pre-reading skills. Dress comfortably for creative movement.

Cost: Free

Where:
North County Regional Library
16500 Holly Crest Lane
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-6000
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Monkey Joe’s University is celebrating May with Pay Your Age Thursdays all month long starting May 4th. Every Thursday of the month children will pay their age for admission. For...

Cost: Pay Your Age

Where:
Monkey Joe's University, Pineville, Gastonia and Matthews locations
, NC


Website »

More information

Stop by the store for live musical entertainment as Tommy performs with a multitude of instruments. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a special storytime filled with stories, songs, and creative movement outside in the park. Meet near the bird feeders. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Squirrel Lake Park
1631 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5000
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Hear a story and learn about the unique qualities of the planets, then head to Town Center to make a space-related craft. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Drivers will compete for prize money and bragging rights in winged, 850-horsepower open-wheel spring cars on the track.

Cost: $27+

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


Telephone: 800-455-FANS
Website »

More information

Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy pre-movie activities. Movie begins at approximately 8:45pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Village Park
700 W. C. St.
Kannapolis , NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Find out what it takes to become an astronaut with a reading of a book on the topic and special activities to help you get ready for a journey into space. Also at 2:15pm.

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
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Telephone: 704-336-8316
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
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Sponsor: Sycamore Brewing
Contact Name: Katelyn Carpenter
Website »

More information

This food truck rally is family and dog-friendly and features 10-15 area food trucks, live music, and a gated kids' playground. 

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Trinity Presbyterian Church
3115 Providence Road
, NC
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Website »

More information

Sample food and beverages from a variety of food trucks and enjoy live entertainment at this weekly event. 

Cost: Free

Where:
329 McGill Ave. NW
Concord, NC
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Website »

More information

Spirit Square will host weekly free outdoor concerts or movies, with concessions available for purchase. Movie line-up will be announced later this summer. 

Cost: Free

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

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

This year's Mint Hill Madness festival pairs new offerings with a lot of fan favorites. Joining the traditional carnival rides, games, boardwalk-style food and arts and crafts vendors,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
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Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

Explore the moon, stars and beyond in the new planetarium. Housed in the museum's original Charlotte A. Kelly Planetarium, the dome has been retrofitted with a new Digitarium Zeta...

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Carnival rides, fair food, a wolf and tiger show, dog show, meet and greet with actress Peyton List from the Disney TV show "Jessie," and more. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10pm; Fri., 4-11pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8; additional cost for rides

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Stop by and talk with the market's vendors about how to properly prepare different meats for your Memorial Day cookout and receive some free recipes for grilling beef, fish, pork and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
1801 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Telephone: 704-357-1269
Website »

More information

The Belmont Classic 5K is a road race open to all ages and is digitally timed on a USATF certified course.This event is the major annual fundraising event...

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Belmont Police Department
201 Chronicle St.
Belmont , NC  28012
View map »


Telephone: 704-829-1082
Website »

More information

Explore rhythms and rhymes, and make your own music at the Musical Petting Zoo, presented by the Symphony Guild of Charlotte.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4630
Website »

More information

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will present live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Each day starting at noon, festival...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Uptown Charlotte
Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

This exhibition of paintings by Harlem-based artist, Jordan Casteel, explore the intimacy and immortalization of her subjects, including family, patrons, and neighbors. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm;...

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Enjoy 1,500 square feet of bugs, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, and other six-legged creatures from around the world. This scientific collection features real preserved specimens...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not! presents an extraordinary collection of intriguing objects and astonishing artifacts from Ripley's Believe It or Not! Go places you've never...

Cost: $10-$25

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


Telephone: 704-373-6261
Website »

More information

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve as you enjoy time with your family, while learning about the natural history that makes Lake Wylie a great destination for wildlife viewing. All...

Cost: $15

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Explore a collection of the Reverend Billy Graham;s personal timepieces—from the hourglass he kept on his desk to distinctive gifts from heads of state—all symbolizing the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Telephone: 704-401-3256
Website »

More information

Currently the only Egyptian mummy in North Carolina. Families can explore the culture and history of the 22nd Dynasty, uncover the mystery of mummification in the hands-on CSI Lab, and meet...

Cost: $6

Where:
Iredell Museums
134 Court St.
Statesville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-873-7347
Website »

More information

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and here in Charlotte. Co-created with activists and law enforcement, the media,...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

Bring your mats for an hour of kids' yoga with Grounded Kids Yoga or pizza-making class from Pure Pizza for little chefs. Ten spots available each week per class. 

Cost: $10 per class

Where:
Pure Pizza
1911 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-1701
Website »

More information

Take a walk on the Paw Paw Nature Trail with a naturalist and learn more about the diversity of the forest habitat. 

Cost: $8

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


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Lakeshore Learning Stores provide fun, free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Visit Bit.ly/freecraftsforkids for the featured craft of the week or call your local Lakeshore Learning store for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lakeshore Learning Store
10005 E. Independence Blvd.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Lakeshore Learning Store
Telephone: 704-849-2450
Website »

More information

GovPorch will reimagine the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Plaza as fun, where kids and their families​​, as well as people of all ages and abilities, want to spend time...

Cost: Free

Where:
GovPorch
600 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-336-8316
Website »

More information

Carolina Raptor Center's high flying, gravity defying summer flight show features CRC’s trainers putting our native and exotic birds through their paces in free flight. Experience the...

Cost: $8-$12; free for ages 3 and under

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


Website »

More information

This two-hour skill session on the shoreline of Lake Wylie is for teens interested in learning how to kayak or improve their skills. Teens will be taught by McDowell's ACA certified kayak...

Cost: $15

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC  28278
View map »


Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

More information

Enjoy food, beverages, and live music at this weekly summer concert series. 

Cost: $5 parking fee

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


Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Sponsor: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Telephone: 704-866-6923
Contact Name: Philip McGinnis
Website »

More information

This year's Mint Hill Madness festival pairs new offerings with a lot of fan favorites. Joining the traditional carnival rides, games, boardwalk-style food and arts and crafts vendors,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park
8850 Fairview Road
Mint Hill, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-545-2335
Website »

More information

This exhibit explores themes of motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts, and their embodiment as nature by highlighting the works of renowned artist Alison Saar....

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

This project looks at Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty, which was originally brought to light by President Lyndon Johnson. Directed by Roger May, the...

Cost: $5-$8

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


Telephone: 704-333-1887
Website »

More information

This collection features 45 reproductions of drawings by Alberto Giacometti, made over the course of his career, from the beginning of his art training up to the portfolio's publication. To...

Cost: $4-$8

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


Telephone: 704-353-9200
Website »

More information

This collection, full of documentary photography and personal visual storytelling, provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood. Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Young mates set sail on a self-guided pirate voyage aboard our miniature pirate ship, the Adventure, at anchor in the Explorer's Outpost.  Children can dress-up, learn and play at their...

Cost: $6-$7

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Oasis in Space takes visitors on a voyage through the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe beyond in search of liquid water--a key element for life here on Earth. Tues.-Fri., 4pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Enjoy an immersive race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  Learn about the Moon's resources and what humanity's future there might be.  Discover...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

Explore two fascinating topics in one science theater program in the Spring Sky Show. First, explore the constellations of spring in a seasonal stargazing tour of the night sky.  Then,...

Cost: $3 with paid museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6923
Website »

More information

This exhibit features artifacts that have never been seen by the public and explores how the Petty family's accomplishments on and off the track across four generations have impacted the...

Cost: $13-$20

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 888-902-6463
Website »

More information

Local professional organizing company, Simplicity Organizers is hosting their annual book drive, READ a Book, GIVE a Book in the month of May. They are encouraging the Charlotte community...

Cost: Free

Where:
Windsor Park Elementary
3910 Sudbury Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-464-3713
Website »

More information

PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find in our pockets. Children and their caregivers can enjoy the story together with pre- and post-show activities. See website for showtimes. 

Cost: $10

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


Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

More information

Created in collaboration with Playskool and GE, kids can design, build and work together to make amazing Tinkertoy structures using GE Technology as their guide. Experiment with renewable energy...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-4600
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie "Star Wars" with a self-guided literacy hunt. After you complete the worksheet, turn it in at the service desk for a prize! Mon.-Thurs.,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-416-5800
Website »

More information

Carnival rides, fair food, a wolf and tiger show, dog show, meet and greet with actress Peyton List from the Disney TV show "Jessie," and more. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10pm; Fri., 4-11pm; Sat.,...

Cost: $4-$8; additional cost for rides

Where:
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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.

Education Guide

This comprehensive guide covers preschool, private, charter and public schools in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York counties.