Vacation Accommodations: House or Hotel?

Hotels and short-term rentals each offer pros and cons for family getaways. A mom and grandmother who travel with kids share their insights.


Published:

Photo courtesy of Camp Kahdalea

After a long day of making vacation memories, the last thing you need is a tension-filled evening. You want to relax, let the kids unwind and sink into a comfy bed for a well-deserved good sleep to prep for the next day of sightseeing with the family.

Traveling with family means everyone pitches in, from booking to packing, which begs the question: Can one accommodation satisfy everyone — from grandma to grandbaby? Choosing the right accommodations for your brood makes up a large part of vacation planning. The wide range of lodgings available generally fall into professionally owned and managed hotels or resorts; or houses and condos owned and operated by families that can be booked through vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. 

Longtime travel writer and author Joanne Cleaver is a big fan of traditional hotels, even when traveling with small kids. Her daughter, Samantha Cleaver, who is an educator and mom of three preschoolers, favors short-term house rentals. Here are each of their thoughts on choosing a hotel or a house rental.


Joanne Cleaver: Let Hospitality Professionals Do the Work

Two years ago, I checked into the Westin New York Grand Central. I was in New York City for a week of business and family activities. My daughter Samantha and her then 5-month-old baby were to join me two days into my trip. I didn’t want to take any chances on not having a crib, so I asked that one be sent to my room as soon as possible. Then, as an afterthought, I asked for an extra stack of towels. I explained to the front desk attendant that Samantha and I would line the bathroom sink with towels so that we could bathe the baby.

“Hold on a minute,” the staffer said. She called housekeeping. Did they have a baby tub we could use? No, they didn’t. No worries. I was sure we could figure out a workaround. 

I dumped my stuff in the room and left. When I returned that evening, the crib was set up and stacked with towels and baby blankets. There, like a rowboat in harbor, sat a brand-new baby tub, still in its store wrappings, topped with a new set of baby shampoos. 

Therein lies my argument for hotels: Hotel staff want to take care of you. Let them. Most hotels want to make families welcome. Most are eager to greet kids with their own menus, activities and small accommodations. Tired parents can order room service or trade off with one taking the kids to the pool while the other lingers over breakfast coffee. Staff are eager to help you with loading and unloading the car. You can request as many towels and pillows as you want. Your only real challenge is keeping kids out of the minibar. Of course, you have to manage the kids’ activity and noise levels in a hotel — easily done given the generous public space. 

The main hotel complication we’ve encountered is that hotels can’t or won’t guarantee items, such as a crib or related gear, that customers request in advance. There are only so many cribs per hotel. If they are claimed when you arrive, you are out of luck as we found in a tense standoff at a Holiday Inn Express when checking in for a conference Samantha was attending with nursing baby in tow. That is not a problem at a house rental, where everything on the premises is provided specifically for the guests’ use. A freestanding house also insulates neighbors from noise and activity at all hours. Overall, I’ll take my chances on a hotel. After all, parents and grandparents deserve a little pampering, too. 


Samantha Cleaver: Rent a Home Away From Home for Real Relaxation 

Let’s face it, when you’re traveling with kids, it’s a trip, not a vacation. No amount of free shampoo and room service allows you to stay out late for margaritas, enables your kids to sleep in or gives you the flexibility to visit the spa instead of the zoo. Choosing accommodations is not about finding the best hotel, but rather about determining the best space for minimizing the hassles that often accompany traveling with children. 

On a recent trip to Atlanta, we booked a center-city, three-bedroom, two-bath house through Airbnb. (Full disclosure: We own and rent several Airbnb units, but that does not give us any inside advantage to renting other units through the platform.) The centrally located bungalow promised basic amenities, a clean space and, most importantly, separate bedrooms for our 4- and 2-year-old children. (If you have ever tried to put two kids to bed past their bedtime in the same room, you are rooting for me on this one.) 

Booking a hotel, especially through a national hotel chain, comes with the assurance that you get a clean room, efficient check-in and basic amenities. Book a short-term rental and you live with some ambiguity until you get there. Will the space actually look like it does in the pictures? Will I have any trouble communicating with the host? Will the code work? 

When renting an Airbnb, I look for “superhosts” — hosts who have an established track record for delivering what they promise — and take time to read reviews from other families who have stayed in a potential rental. Thanks to this advance scouting, we arrived at the bungalow in Atlanta, easily checked in and walked into an open-floor plan living-dining-kitchen area that was the perfect size for our band of seven adults and children. 

While many Airbnbs advertise that they are family-friendly, you’re on your own to make the space comfortable. The Airbnb we rented in Atlanta wasn’t completely toddler-ready. We spent the first half-hour moving everything that was not kid-friendly out of reach (mostly small potted plants) and taking note of where the chemicals were stored so we could keep the kids away from any hazards. Once we arranged the space, however, the benefits kicked in.

Having a full kitchen enabled us to stock the fridge with breakfast fixings and healthy snacks, which saved us money. Our preschoolers each had their own space for bedtime. We used the dryer to quickly dry towels and swimsuits after a visit to the pool. In between excursions to the Georgia Aquarium, various neighborhoods and Zoo Atlanta, we used the Airbnb as a space to relax and put up our grown-up feet while the kids crawled around pretending to be deer, colored in coloring books and did what they usually do when we’re at home. 

An Airbnb is your home away from home, but it’s also someone else’s home or family investment, so tighter rules apply. But even with that caveat, you have privacy in a full house, which is the best way to capture some great vacation memories during your trip. 

 

Joanne Cleaver, who lives in Maine, is a nationally published freelance writer and author of three family travel guides. Samantha Cleaver is a nationally published freelance writer, reading consultant and educator who lives in Charlotte with her partner and three preschoolers. 

 

House Vs. Hotel

Hotel

Advantages

* On-site professional management.

* On-site dining and room service.

* Typically offers a pool and other amenities.

 

Disadvantages

* No guarantee of baby necessities, such as a crib or baby bath.

* Can be difficult to organize the right combination of rooms and privacy.

* Might be more expensive.

* Tips are expected for housekeeping, bellman and doorman.

* Must manage noise and activity to respect other guests.

 

House Rental

Advantages

* Enables flexibility and offers generous space.

* Should deliver promised necessities, such as a crib and toys.

* Enables greater tolerance for a normal level of children’s activities.

* Offers a wider array of interior arrangements than what standard hotel rooms offer.

* Having access to a kitchen can save money on eating out.

 

Disadvantages

* Food service is do-it-yourself, and that includes kitchen chores.

* May not offer recreational amenities.

* Not always within walking distance of major tourist destinations, such as museums.

* May require chores at checkout. 

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Daily Calendar

March 2020

Join Drums4Life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music. Register online. No prior experience or instruments are necessary.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come up to Thinker Space on Level 3 to make a dinosaur out of pieces cut from a laser cutter. 

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


Website »

More information

The game is played to honor those who serve, have served and have been injured or lost in the line of duty. Proceeds from the game benefit the Great Balls of Fire Charitable Foundation and other...

Cost: $12+

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


Website »

More information

Join Children's Party Plus at the Davidson Playhouse for story time, professional digital portraits and playtime in the playhouse.

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
The Davidson PlayHouse
228-a Caldwell Lane
Davidson, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come enjoy a free Tinkergarten trial class! Tinkergarten is an outdoor early childhood education class where children learn through play in nature.

Cost: Free

Where:
North Charlotte Park
901 Herrin Ave.
, NC
View map »

More information

Come for rides, a petting zoo, fair foods and live entertainment. See website for ticket specials. Mon.-Thurs., 4-10pm; Fri., 4-11pm; Sat., 1-11pm; Sun., 1-10pm.

Cost: $5-$10, children younger 4 free, additional cost for rides

Where:
6558 Bruton Smith Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Classes for adaptive learning and sensory needs meet at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sun Valley High School
5211 Old Charlotte Hwy.
Monroe, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Church of the Redeemer
Website »

More information

Visit the Caring Bunny for an Easter photo at Concord Mills in the Dining Pavilion. 

Cost: Cost for photos

Where:
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience age-level appropriate Sunday school classes at 9:30 and 11 a.m. that connect families with larger church programs and ministries while creating a welcoming environment for all families.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews United Methodist Church
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Raptor keepers will show some of their favorite bird species.

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

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


Sponsor: Carolina Raptor Center
Website »

More information

Learn about the ambassador's life at the nature center and how it would live in the natural world.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

This dog show tests a variety of breeds on their agility, obedience and showmanship. See website for times. 

Cost: $5 for parking

Where:
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
4751 NC Hwy. 49 N.
Concord, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

One of Williams' most famous works and his personal favorite, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a masterful portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own...

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Barnyard animals revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind. Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm.

Cost: $9-$10

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


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

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Shop for high-quality, affordable children's clothing, toys, furniture, and accessories. Thurs., 10am-7pm; Fri., 10am-7pm; Sat., 10am-3pm; Sun. 10am-4pm (half-off sale)

Cost: Free admission

Where:
The River Place
453 Glynwood Forest Drive
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop off your little ones to explore, play and learn during Music Mondays, Theater Thursdays and Food Fridays. A small snack is provided. Register online.

Cost: $21-$31

Where:
New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

This is a program through the Children's Theatre intended to improve communication skills, support creativity and confidence, gain empathy, learn cooperation skills, and better appreciate the...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Owlets receive hands-on experiences, nature hikes, songs, stories and free play.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for story time. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the event.

Cost: Free story time

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


Website »

More information

Come play in the open gym. All students younger than 3 must have an adult present at all times. Some Mondays are closed due to holidays, so please call to verify playtime.

Cost: $5, cash only

Where:
Carolina Stars
1080 Maxwell Mill Road
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-548-3441
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


Website »

More information

Preschoolers and their caregivers will listen to stories and extend learning through hands-on activities. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Class includes yoga poses, stories, songs, games, music and breathing techniques. Class occurs on Mondays.

Cost: $15

Where:
Charlotte Family Yoga
8230 Poplar Tent
Concord, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Charlotte Family Yoga
Website »

More information

Participants of all ages will learn proper Jazz dance technique. No previous dance experience required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-414-2774
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Examine, compare and contrast the parts of a tree, and discover how trees grow. Registration is required.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Children will have fun engaging in science experiments and fun activities. Register online.

Cost: $7

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


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

This weekly story time includes classic tales and new favorites.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $3 per hour

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


Website »

More information

Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $15 for adult

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Join Discovery Place and UNC Charlotte for a collaborative field trip experience. Students will engage in hands-on research being conducted by UNC Charlotte researchers and students.

Cost: $15-$19, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

ImaginOn presents Homeschool Rally for the 2019-2020 school year! Topics change every month. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Come join story time with other families. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

ImaginOn presents Homeschool Rally for the 2019-2020 school year! Topics change every month. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Explore the Mint Museum's exhibitions without charge.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 704-337-2000
Website »

More information

Enhance basketball skills through drills and stations.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

One of Williams' most famous works and his personal favorite, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a masterful portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own...

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Engage your child with stories, songs and activities in English and French.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Preschoolers will participate in a 20-yard dash, softball throw, broad jump, hurdles and a relay.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy these stories, songs and activities designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues or other developmental disabilities.

Cost: Free.

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


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This story time will include musical instrument exploration songs and dance.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Listen to stories and learn through a variety of hands-on gardening activities. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Hunt for eggs filled with toys and stickers. Empty eggs may be returned in exchange for candy. Hunts divided by age for ages 1 through 11. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Martha Rivers Park
1515 Neal Hawkins Road
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

"Rain" brings classic favorites of The Beatles back on stage.

Cost: $24.50+

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


Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

Drop off your little ones to explore, play and learn during Music Mondays, Theater Thursdays and Food Fridays. A small snack is provided. Register online.

Cost: $21-$31

Where:
New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs assisted by knowledgeable staff and volunteers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wing Haven
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

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


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-246-8611
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Increase your strength, endurance and agility for sports.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Visit the York County Library Bookmobile to check out materials and sign up for library cards.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Teens will come out and play competitive video games.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring some friends, and come play board games!

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble Arboretum
3327 Pineville-Matthews Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Afrobics is a full body, fun experience—a dance fitness class combining Afrofusion movement to an African beat.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

Where:
Winget School Recreation Center
12235 Winget Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts, returns this spring, bringing together thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports...

Cost: $13, children 13 and younger free

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


Website »

More information

Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

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


Website »

More information

One of Williams' most famous works and his personal favorite, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a masterful portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own...

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Explore the wide range of trails and a diverse ecosystem of Latta Nature Preserve with a naturalist.

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Latta Nature Center
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


Website »

More information

Celebrate the holiday with crafts, snacks and a chance to take your own photo with the Easter Bunny. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cornelius Art Center
19725 Oak St.
Cornelius, NC
View map »


Website »

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Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
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Cost: Free

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


Website »

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Youths at all levels are invited to play Chess.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

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Join Waxhaw's Parks and Rec Team for a skate jam under the stars at the Waxhaw Sk8 Park, along with food trucks and prizes! Only bring skateboards; helmets are required.

Where:
Waxhaw Sk8 Park
Caldwell Street
Waxhaw, NC
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Children will eat lunch, make a fun craft and get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

Cost: $7

Where:
Matthews Community Center
232 Matthew Station St.
Matthews, NC
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Drop off your little ones to explore, play and learn during Music Mondays, Theater Thursdays and Food Fridays. A small snack is provided. Register online.

Cost: $21-$31

Where:
New Hope Baptist Church
2024 Redbud Drive
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

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Shop a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs assisted by knowledgeable staff and volunteers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wing Haven
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Toddlers can enjoy a special jump session every weekday morning. With each child age 6 and younger, an adult may jump for free, not including DefyGravity socks for $3.

Cost: $11 for one hour

Where:
DefyGravity Trampoline Park
8116 University City Blvd.
, NC
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Website »

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Let your little one jump for less during toddler time!

Cost: $12 per adult and child pair

Where:
Adventure Air Sports
2375 Cherry Road
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
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Website »

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Gigi's Playhouse opens its doors for children with Down syndrome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Gigi's Playhouse
9101 Kings Parade Blvd.
#102
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate Monday through Friday, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Website »

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Preschoolers can bounce with their parents in a safe, climate-controlled facility. 

Cost: $8

Where:
BounceU Charlotte
10624 Metromont Pkwy.
, NC
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Drop in for safe play on the equipment indoors.

Cost: $8, $10 on weekends and school holidays

Where:
Superior Play Systems
11415 Granite St.
Suite C
, NC
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Young children can jump with other little ones. Parents and caregivers jump free! W8less socks required.

Cost: $10 per hour

Where:
W8Less LKN
10442-A Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC
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Come experience the fun of Carowinds!

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

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
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Website »

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Caregivers and their littles learn new yoga poses with songs and games. Multiple class rates available.

Cost: $20

Where:
Tiny Blooms Yoga
15905 Brookway Drive
Suite 4106
Huntersville, NC
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With parental guidance, toddlers can jump on the trampoline, play in the foam pit and craw through obstacles. Play time is for children just starting to walk through age 5 who are not yet in...

Cost: $3-$5

Where:
Charlotte Allstar Gymnastics and Cheerleading
11011 Monroe Road
Matthews, NC
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Telephone: 704-246-8611
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Visit a Lancaster County librarian at Jumpin Jax Fun Center of Lancaster for movement and yoga through stories. Regular admission is applied for children who want to stay to play following the...

Cost: Free story time

Where:
Jumpin Jax of Lancaster
2650 Charlotte Hwy.
Lancaster, SC
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Learn about the amazing dinosaur family tree, play daily dino trivia and sing along to this live musical. Catch shows on Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m....

Cost: Included with admission of $15-$19

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Teach or play with your child in the heated pool.

Cost: $5 per swimmer, max $15 per family

Where:
Goldfish Swim School
13403 S. Ridge Drive
, NC
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Follow a group of Victorian time travelers as they learn about the origins of atoms. Witness the formation of the first hydrogen atoms after the Big Bang, and then watch how those hydrogen atoms...

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

Where:
The Planetarium at the Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC
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rab dinner from a variety of local food trucks at this weekly rally. Visit the website for a list of participating trucks.

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Resident Culture Brewing Company
2101 Central Ave.
, NC
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This family-friendly event features craft brews, wine, cider, live music and the best food trucks in Charlotte. Bring the whole family, including your dogs. Along...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sycamore Brewing
2161 Hawkins St.
, NC
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Enjoy the relaxed sounds of local artists on the Gateway lawn. The Gateway Canteen will be open and offering a full menu as well as dinner specials. No outside food or alcohol allowed.

Cost: $6 for parking

Where:
Greenway Gateway
2573 Lake Haigler Drive
, NC
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Learn the history of songs and the basics of being a DJ.

Cost: Free

Where:
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
750 Beal St.
, NC
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Treat the kids and yourself to a fun night out! Drop kids off to run, play and dance. Pizza dinner is included.

Cost: $25

Where:
Romp n' Roll NW Charlotte
3611 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road
207
, NC
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The businesses at the Warehouses on White are pleased to host each first Friday for a night of fun and food!

Cost: Free

Where:
Warehouse on White
130 W. White St.
Rock Hill, SC
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Website »

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An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$40

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


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

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The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts, returns this spring, bringing together thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports...

Cost: $13, children 13 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
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Search for colored eggs and prize golden eggs hidden in parks throughout Harrisburg. Redeem golden eggs for larger prizes. On April 9, attend the Easter Event at Stallings Park from 6-8pm for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various Harrisburg Areas
Stallings Park, Pharr Mill Park, Veterans Park, Harris Depot Park and around Harrisburg Town Hall
, NC
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Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
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The number one New York Times bestselling phenomenon comes to life in a big way as the taco party of all taco parties literally brings down the house. See website for show times. Enjoy a...

Cost: $12+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
Website »

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One of Williams' most famous works and his personal favorite, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a masterful portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own...

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
Website »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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This high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story....

Cost: $9-$10

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

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This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Kings Mountain Historical Museum
100 East Mountain St.
Kings Mountain, NC
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Sponsor: Kings Mountain Historical Museum
Website »

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

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

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Marvin Ridge High School proudly presents "The Wizard of Oz." 

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Marvin Ridge High School
2825 Crane Road
Waxhaw, NC  28173
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Sponsor: Marvin Ridge Theatre Arts Boosters
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Participate in an Easter scavenger hunt, see baby animals and enjoy story time on the patio. Create a craft for a fee. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Billy Graham Library
4330 Westmont Drive
, NC
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Visit Wing Haven, taking in all the gardens, and also viewing the many birdhouses on display as part of the annual Birdhouse Building Contest! 

Cost: $10

Where:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Ave,
, NC
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Come for an egg hunt, prizes and visit from the Easter Bunny. 

Cost: Free

Where:
The Speedpark at Concord Mills Mall
8461 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC  28027
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Bring your dog and family to this festival! Rescue Groups and shelters will have dogs available for adoption. See vendors, demonstrations, food trucks, playground, dog contests and a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pineville Lake Park
1000 Johnston Drive
Pineville, NC
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Sponsor: Charlotte Black Dogs
Website »

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Children will participate in age-level egg hunts, enjoy worship with their family and create Easter crafts. Bring your Easter basket!

Cost: Free

Where:
Weddington UMC Family Life Center
13901 Providence Road
Weddington, NC
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Website »

More information

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

Cost: Different Price Packages

Where:
Center Court
, NC

More information

Eat brunch and take photos with the Easter Bunny. After brunch, explore the farm while you hunt for eggs and enjoy themed activities. Brunch begins at 9:15am, and egg hunt will go on...

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Patterson Farm
10390 Caldwell Road
Mount Ulla, NC
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Come visit the Easter Bunny, pet baby animals, plant watermelons and win prizes. Children ages 10 and younger can hunt for eggs.

Cost: $6

Where:
Aw Shucks Farms
3718 Plyler Mill Road
Monroe, NC
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Enjoy an egg hunt with extra family fun. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballantyne Elementary School
15425 Scholastic Drive
, NC
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Sensory Friendly Screenings are designed for a sensitive audience in a safe and accepting environment. See "Peter Rabbit 2."

Cost: $5

Where:
Stone Theaters, RedStone 14 Cinemas
9650 Red Stone Drive
(Sun Valley 14 in Indian Trail, RedStone 14 in Indian Land)
Indian Land, SC
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Bring the kids to sit for photos with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny.

Cost: Free

Where:
Matthews Community Center
232 Matthew Station St.
Matthews, NC
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The African savannah comes to life on stage with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle... and back again, in this inspiring,...

Cost: $165/monthly draft

Where:
Ballantyne Arts Center
11318 North Community House Road,
Charlotte, NC  28277
View map »


Telephone: 701 716 4600
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Engage your child with stories, songs and activities in English and Spanish.

Cost: Free

Where:
Plaza Midwood Library
1623 Central Ave.
, NC
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Taste chili from local chefs, stroll the classic car show, and enjoy live music. Adults can also purchase beer from Resident Culture Brewing, Pilot Brewing and Legion Brewing. Purchase...

Cost: $15 per wristband, free for children 6 and younger

Where:
Plaza Midwood
Commonwealth Ave. between The Plaza and Gordon
, NC
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Kids and parents can come create functional, seasonal clay projects.

Cost: $10

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 McDowell St.
Matthews, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Every 1st Saturday of the month, join Drums4life drum circle to experience the spontaneous creation of music.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 North Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Visit dinosaur graveyards, study their bones, and reconstruct how these creatures lived and died to solve four famous cold cases from the age of the dinosaurs.

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

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

More information

Enjoy an Easter Bunny appearance, egg hunt, crafts, games and prizes. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Methodist Home Recreation Center/Shamrock Senior Center
3200 Shamrock Drive
, NC
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Visit the Naturalist Center for this monthly program which combines science replicas, real specimens and a humanities focus.

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

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

Kids can hunt for Easter eggs around the park. Event will also have attractions, vendors, food and prizes. There are four egg dashes divided by age groups. No parents are allowed on the fields...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mazeppa Park
645 Mazeppa Road
Mooresville, NC
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Website »

More information

Young artists and their adult companions explore the museum galleries and create art. Projects vary each month. 

Cost: $16, adults free

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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Website »

More information

Come out for egg-themed activities, arts and crafts, face painting, inflatables, music and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. Bring a basket!

Cost: Free

Where:
Robbins Park
17738 W. Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC
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Event will feature a petting zoo, train rides, face painting, bounce houses and photos with the Easter Bunny. An egg hunt will begin at 3pm. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Hunter Oaks
Beckford Glen Drive
Waxhaw, NC
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Website »

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Each parent and child will create an Easter scene inside a papier mache egg.

Cost: $28

Where:
Kidcreate Studio
636 Crown Pointe Lane
Suite 101
Rock Hill, SC
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Bring the family for free photos with the Easter Bunny, crafts for the kids and an egg hunt. See website for photo and craft hours. Egg hunt will be for ages 2-10, April 11 with registration...

Cost: Free

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

More information

Little ones bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from bigger kids. Jumpers need Sky Socks, which are available for purchase, and a signed waiver.

Cost: $8

Where:
Sky Zone (Pineville and Charlotte locations)
10200 Centrum Pkwy., Pineville
7325 Smith Corners Blvd., Charlotte
, NC
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Website »

More information

Shop a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs assisted by knowledgeable staff and volunteers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Wing Haven
248 Ridgewood Ave.
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Young children can jump at a discounted rate on Saturday mornings, and for an additional $2, parents can jump too. All jumpers need to purchase Altitude Trampoline Socks for $2.

Cost: $7

Where:
Altitude Trampoline Park
3490 E. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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Website »

More information

All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Home Depot
4750 South Blvd.
, NC
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Website »

More information

Register for home school visual arts classes with ceramics, pottery, glaze and design.

Cost: $10-$80

Where:
McDowell Arts Center
123 East McDowell St.
Matthews, NC  28105
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Delivered
Website »

More information

Youths are invited to shoot hoops with their families.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mallard Creek Recreation Center
2530 Johnston Oehler Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore art and music through the eyes of your child. Registration includes access to Family Portrait and Musical Saturdays programs.

Cost: $10 per child

Where:
The Bridge
4100 Raleigh St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows presented faith of Jesus Christ in song. Come discover the ways the Lord used their efforts and their music to open hearts around the world. Read inspiring...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: The Billy Graham Library
Website »

More information

Families can jump for free Mondays through Saturdays at Springree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center.

Cost: Free

Where:
Springfree Trampoline
9848-E Rea Road
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Come build a different project each session. Register online.

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Come for an Easter story time, and frost a cupcake!

Cost: $15 per child

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


Website »

More information

The City of Charlotte's Animal Care and Control will bring a selection of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens to the center court inside the mall for adoption.

Cost: Adoption prices may vary per pet

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


Website »

More information

Meet Peter and his friends while enjoying family activities and spring blooms.

Cost: $8-$15, children younger than 2 free

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


Website »

More information

Participants will learn about African drumming and get hands-on experience with African instruments. Youth session is 11am-noon; session for all ages is noon-1pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugar Creek Library
4045 N. Tryon St.
Suite A
, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

This program will teach photography and videography using point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras. Participants will also learn about effective social media interaction as a photographer/journalist. Call...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 980-314-1110
Website »

More information

On Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm, the arcade bar opens to all ages with a parent or guardian present.

Cost: Cost for games

Where:
Abari Game Bar
1721 N. Davidson St.
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 980-430-4587
Website »

More information

Let Arts+ teaching artists guide you towards your artistic goals. Any young artist interested in a career in the arts can benefit from this collaborative creative environment.

Cost: $10

Where:
The Bridge
4100 Raleigh St.
, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Arts+
Website »

More information

Explore a different trail on the preserve every first Saturday afternoon of the month, and meet new hiking buddies. Registration is required.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a live program that explores what is currently visible in the nighttime sky.

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

Come relax to the sound of live jazz.

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Park
201 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way...

Cost: $12-$20

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


Sponsor: Davidson Community Players
Website »

More information

In Fort Dobbs’ largest event of the year, discover French and Indian War history through demonstrations, vendors, period music and weapon firings. Sat., 10am-4pm. Sun., 10am-3pm.

Cost: $4, children younger than 5 free

Where:
Fort Dobbs State Historic Site
438 Fort Dobbs Road
Statesville, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $8-$11

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $6-$7, includes museum admission

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


Telephone: 704-866-6908
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $10-$40

Where:
NarroWay Theatre
3327 Hwy 51
Fort Mill, SC
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Sponsor: NarroWay Productions
Telephone: 803-802-2300
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The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts, returns this spring, bringing together thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports...

Cost: $13, children 13 and younger free

Where:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Pkwy. S.
Concord, NC
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Search for colored eggs and prize golden eggs hidden in parks throughout Harrisburg. Redeem golden eggs for larger prizes. On April 9, attend the Easter Event at Stallings Park from 6-8pm for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various Harrisburg Areas
Stallings Park, Pharr Mill Park, Veterans Park, Harris Depot Park and around Harrisburg Town Hall
, NC
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Take a 25-minute train ride with the Easter Bunny. The furry friend will hand out candy and pose for pictures. Do not miss the inflatables, crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and face...

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

Where:
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC
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Through this new exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame pays tribute to the trucks and racers who made the Truck Series such a success. Haulin': 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks features eight race trucks,...

Cost: $18-$25, children 3 and younger free, included with admission

Where:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
, NC
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The number one New York Times bestselling phenomenon comes to life in a big way as the taco party of all taco parties literally brings down the house. See website for show times. Enjoy a...

Cost: $12+

Where:
McColl Family Theatre
300 E. 7th St.
, NC
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Telephone: 704-973-2828
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One of Williams' most famous works and his personal favorite, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is a masterful portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own...

Cost: TBA

Where:
The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
501 Queens Road
, NC
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Sponsor: Theatre Charlotte
Telephone: 704-372-1000
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Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology

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

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

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

Where:
Discovery Place Science
301 N. Tryon St.
, NC
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Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs by exploring their eggs, nests, and young. This colorful and interactive exhibit features an amazing collection of real dinosaur eggs and...

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

Where:
Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
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A piglet destined for eventual butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheep dog, and discovers a special secret to success. Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm.

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 E. McDowell St.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse
Telephone: 704-846-8343
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This high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story....

Cost: $9-$10

Where:
Matthews Community Center
100 E. McDowell St.
Matthews, NC
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Sponsor: Matthews Playhouse
Telephone: 704-846-8343
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This exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. 

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

Where:
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
, NC
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TEN features a selection of works from sixteen past fourth-floor exhibitions to showcase the excellence of the Bechtler collection in celebration of the museum's ten-year anniversary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost: Free

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

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

Where:
Carowinds
14523 Carowinds Blvd.
, NC
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Marvin Ridge High School proudly presents "The Wizard of Oz." 

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Marvin Ridge High School
2825 Crane Road
Waxhaw, NC  28173
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Sponsor: Marvin Ridge Theatre Arts Boosters
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Annual Guides

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

Your guide to raising kids in the Queen City, plus our 2019 Readers' Favorites for places to play, explore and learn with the kids.

Education Guide

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