5 Family-Fun Festivals Not to Miss

Live music, art and activities for kids make them a win-win for kids and parents.
C 12 Insects
Hanart Culture
New in 2017 is the Chinese Lantern Festival at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, happening Sept. 7 through Oct. 29.



New in 2017, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont will be all aglow with life-size illuminated lanterns in the form of pandas, grasshoppers, lions, flamingos and many other fauna from the world’s seven continents at the Chinese Lantern Festival September through October. In addition to the lanterns, see masters of Kung Fu perform and have a taste of different Asian cuisines. The festival begins Sept. 7 and runs through Oct. 29, 2017, and is open Wednesday-Sunday, 5:30-9:30 p.m.


Enjoy a weekend of hot air balloon events in October at Statesville Regional Airport. Each day of the three-day festival 50 balloons take flight during two balloon launches, in addition to tethered balloon rides and a walk-in balloon. Other activities include live music and artist booths, plus a Kids’ Zone filled with inflatables, a climbing wall and a bungee jump. There are also magicians on hand to keep the little ones entertained.


Held each Labor Day weekend, Matthews Alive boasts some of the best Midway rides, festival food, crafts, fun and games for families with kids in a range of ages. Local, regional and national recording artists perform throughout the weekend, and there’s a designated Kids Stage with entertainment just for the young set.



Celebrate spring in Rock Hill at the Come-See Me Festival. The 10-day festival each April spans venues across the city. From the Everything Trucks event to a barbecue cook-off, fireworks extravaganza, skydiving exhibition and Mayor’s Frog Jump, it’s worth a visit.


Each September since 1964, Charlotteans have flocked to Festival in the Park at Freedom Park for music, art and family-friendly fun. The award-winning three-day festival hosts local and regional artists set-up around the 7-acre pond selling their wares, as well as a main stage with live music, a family-fun zone with bounce houses and other carnival-like games and activities, a youth-variety stage, magicians and more.