Importance of Multicultural Classrooms


Published:

Back to school means back to the basics, and in North Carolina classrooms today, this means more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. Schools across the state increasingly recognize the importance of a multicultural education, with teachers educating students about our global society. Parent-teacher associations also involve parents in the process, and families are bringing home the lessons of diversity and inclusion.

Carnette Debella, a teacher who heads up the multicultural fair at Pearsontown Elementary in Durham, believes multiculturalism is an important component of a well-rounded education. "A student's knowledge base is increased by learning about different cultures," she says, citing lessons in world geography and history, national flags and languages.

Debella also says current events and international disasters can teach kids about other societies — from government and economics to family structure and housing. Through studying disasters, such as the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti and famines in Africa, children's minds are open to lend a helping hand when others are in need. "If our young people have been taught about different cultures, as adults they will be more willing to help in times of need," Debella says.

Nurturing open minds

Gilmara Johnson, an English-as-a-Second-Language teacher at University Meadows Elementary in Charlotte, believes strongly that multiculturalism is a valuable part of education. "Cultural content helps (students) review their preconceptions about a certain culture and hopefully treat everyone the same," she says.

Johnson says teachers should be aware of the nationalities represented in their classrooms to share knowledge and to prevent misunderstandings that may arise from language barriers or the expression of varying customs. In her classroom, new students are encouraged to present information about their home countries to their classmates. Johnson also frequently incorporates activities about her own home country — Brazil — into her lesson preparations.

"I usually make a compare-and-contrast activity, especially about holidays and monthly events," she explains. "I also have a world map on the wall and the name of each student on an index card with a thread linking to the country where the student comes from."

Technology enables children today to live in a global society, where they can view and communicate instantaneously with others around the world, says Roanne Ornelles, director of diversity at Summit School in Winston-Salem. "However, children cannot truly understand, appreciate and communicate with others unless they have experienced the culture in an authentic way," she says.

Parents understand the importance of multiculturalism, too. Tuyet Huynh, a Raleigh parent of three children, appreciates that her kids were exposed to different cultures at an early age. She says she feels her children, as a result, will grow into open-minded citizens who will more easily work and live within a global society.

Celebrating diversity

As students move beyond high school and college into the workplace, they will enter jobs that require not only critical thinking skills, but also acceptance of others' differences, since corporate offices, retail centers and manufacturing plants are hubs of people from all over the world. To translate academic achievement into a successful career, today's children need to graduate with a different set of skills than their parents.

"Students who learn to accept others of different cultures will have success in the diverse workforce they will find themselves in as adults," Huynh says. "They'll be open-minded, productive team players."

Beyond English, math and science, Ornelles says children must also learn "adaptability, effective communication, problem-solving and collaborative working skills for them to work well with others."

School communities that foster acceptance and inclusion among families are paving the way for the next generation of doers and leaders.

Providence Day School in Charlotte held a Global Day last fall, which was an outreach event from the school's Global Studies Diploma program. More than 600 faculty, staff, students, families and community members attended. Every region of the globe was represented, with exhibits featuring indigenous crafts, regional cuisine and facts addressing issues ranging from poverty and disease to economic development.

"The children really enjoyed learning about the cultures of some of their friends and experiencing some of their traditions," says Lisa Sicard, a Providence Day parent. "They particularly enjoyed watching the Indian dancing, playing backgammon in the Middle Eastern tent and trying out some fencing moves."

Many schools hold similar events. At the Pearsontown Elementary Multicultural Fair in Durham, children share art they create based on their impressions of the countries they study. Members of the community also are invited to participate.

"This year we had Chuck Davis and his famous African Dance Ensemble," Debella explains. "Previously, we had representatives from a local Turkish Cultural Center."

At Cary's Davis Drive Elementary, the PTA supports the cultural arts program, which offers performances that expose students to different cultures and forms of arts, such as the Liang Chinese acrobatic show.

Frank Porter Graham Elementary in Chapel Hill holds family focus nights in an effort to strengthen the school's connections with minority families. During Latino Family Night and African-American Family Night, families are invited to bring foods that reflect their cultures.

"Each event offers brief presentations by the staff and the community regarding opportunities available for families and children," says Susan Pegg, interim principal at the school. "The main goal is to reach out and say, 'We are here for you and your children. Please let us know how we can help.'"

Taking global awareness home

Whatever the format of a school's multicultural efforts, one of the ultimate goals is to encourage further exploration at home and within the community.

Scouting organizations provide excellent opportunities for students to gain a global awareness. Cassie McGowin, a Fort Mill, S.C., mom of twins, says Girl Scouts World Thinking Day promotes girls and their families getting together to learn about traditions in other countries.

Families can watch cultural programs on television, visit museums, and attend local festivals that celebrate cultures from around the globe, like the area Latino festivals this month. (See our Calendar Highlights page for more information.

Ornelles says the best way for parents to teach children to empathize with others is to model acceptance through their own interactions with others. "It is absolutely true that children learn by what respected adults do as much as by what they say," she says.

Lee Rhodes is a freelance writer in Waxhaw.

Diversity Increasing in the Triangle

More school-age children in the Triangle, or their parents, are from another country compared to the state as a whole. Of children ages 6-17, 6 percent in the Triangle are foreign-born compared with 3.5 percent in the state as a whole.

In the Triangle, in that same age group, 19 percent of children had at least one foreign-born parent, as compared with 13.5 percent in North Carolina.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Durham and Raleigh-Cary metro areas for Triangle populations

Wake County Public School System demographics reports show that diversity has increased in the state's largest school system during the last 20-plus years. The percentages of Asian, Hispanic or Latino, and multiracial students have increased significantly while the populations of white and black/African-American students have decreased.

Below are statistics that show growth for various race/ethnicity groups between 1987-1988 and 2009-2010.

American Indian/Alaska Native
1987-1988: 0.2 percent
2009-2010: 0.3 percent

Asian/Pacific Islander
1987-1988: 2.1 percent
2009-2010: 6.1 percent

Black/African-American
1987-1988: 26.7 percent
2009-2010: 25.9 percent

Hispanic/Latino
1987-1988: 0.5 percent
2009-2010: 11.8 percent

Multiracial
1987-1988: 0 percent
2009-2010: 4.8 percent

White
1987-1988: 70.5 percent
2009-2010: 51.1 percent

Source: Wake County Public School System

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Explore Ski Resorts in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Plan a family fun getaway within driving distance to ski, snowboard and tube.

When Children Hear Horror Stories on the News

How do you nurture a children's confidence in a safe world even when they are exposed to disturbing news.

Science Activities for Kids

Cool summer science projects to keep your kids in learning mode while they are away from school.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2016

Take the family to enjoy a large O gauge train layout with over 18 child friendly interactive modules from the Eastern Carolina Rail Roader club. The Kids Club will be entertaining younger...

Cost: $6.00 and available at the door. Children under 13 are free with paying adult

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
Kerr Scott Building
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: Southeastern Train Collectors Association
Telephone: 919 731-7027
Contact Name: Ken Mitchell
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $28-$33

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 6-10 enjoy nature activities and projects. Registration required.

Cost: $26/resident, $34/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Discover how the animals of Lake Crabtree survive the darkest, coldest season through hibernation, migration and adaptation. Registration required for all participants. Ages 5 and older.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Learn about seasonal changes in nature and explore how various kinds of wildlife prepare for the cold, as well as what you can do to enhance your own winter survival skills. All ages with adult....

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, AL
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy the holiday story featuring elaborate scenery, a live orchestra, magical illusions, the entire Carolina Ballet company, and more than 100 local children. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $27-$112

Where:
Memorial Hall
145 E. Cameron Ave.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

See the toughest kids in town take over the annual holiday pageant. Directed by Debra Grannan and Dan Martschenko, this family-friendly show Barbara Robinson show is performed by the Cary Players....

Cost: $20/adult, $18/student

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Hear a new composition by Allan Friedman and selections from Alejandro Rutty's "Down Home: The Cantata."  Donations accepted.

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Triangle Jewish Chorale
Contact Name: Bernie Most
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $28-$33

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in the DTM Tinsel Toss Corn Hole Charity Tournament to raise money for the DTM Foundation. https://dtmfoundation.org/ The event will consist of: 1. Corn Hole $20/team for...

Cost: $20-$25

Where:
Craft House
1040 Tryon Village Dr #601
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-710-2760
Contact Name: Melissa Pauletich
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tour Historic Oak View County Park’s Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Josh Ingersoll
Website »

More information

Experience the natural world and the critters that live in it through stories, hands-on nature activities, games and more. Dress warm for outdoor fun in nature. Ages 1-3 with adult. Meet at the...

Cost: $2/child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-4342
Website »

More information

Ages 3-5 enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Read "Night Tree" by Eve Bunting and create treats for backyard wildlife. Ages 2-6 with adult. Meet at the Cypress Shelter. Registration required.

Cost: $4/child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-4342
Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week in December. TheCoderSchool is joining the global "Hour of Code" movement. Be one of the tens of millions of students around the...

Cost: Free

Where:
theCoderSchool
201 Davis Grove Circle
Cary, NC  27519
View map »


Sponsor: theCoderSchool
Contact Name: Ravisha Weerasinghe
Website »

More information

This session provide an overview of impact of ADHD on the family and will outline specific strategies including resources to help you advocate. The speaker is Barbara Donadio, RN, BSN. Call...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Child and Family Study Center
2608 Erwin Road, Pavilion East
Suite 300 (3rd floor)
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Duke ADHD Program & Duke Children's Primary Care
Telephone: 919-416-3853
Website »

More information

See the toughest kids in town take over the annual holiday pageant. Directed by Debra Grannan and Dan Martschenko, this family-friendly show Barbara Robinson show is performed by the Cary Players....

Cost: $20/adult, $18/student

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn about the Moravians' special holiday traditions and make a candleholder to take home. Ages 3-5 with adult. Register online.

Cost: $1/member, $3/nonmember

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-807-7979
Website »

More information

Tour Historic Oak View County Park’s Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Josh Ingersoll
Website »

More information

Explore pelts, skulls, tracks and scat of white-tailed deer through hands-on discovery stations. Learn about the dangers for white-tails by playing a fun predator and prey game. All ages with...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Explore all of Wake County Schools' Magnet Middle School programs in one location. Visit with parents, staff and students and get your questions answered by Magnet Programs staff. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Davis Dr. Elementary School
2151 Davis Dr.
Cary, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Schools Office of Magnet & Curriculum Enhancement Programs
Telephone: 919-533-7295
Contact Name: Tamani Anderson Powell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take time out to spend with your little one as you crawl, explore and bounce in a safe environment exclusively for children ages 12 mos-3 yrs. Parents play free; admission is $5 per child....

Cost: $5/child

Where:
BounceU of Apex
3419 Apex Peakway
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Children delight in discoveries of shapes, colors and textures in nature. Ages 1 and older with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Discover how gingerbread came to North Carolina and learn what makes it such a special treat. Listen to a story and make a ginger-y craft. Ages 6-9. Register online.

Cost: $1/member, $3/nonmember

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-807-7988
Website »

More information

Tour Historic Oak View County Park’s Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Josh Ingersoll
Website »

More information

Rags to Riches Theatre delivers the classic tale of a gingerbread boy who meets an inchworm, a bee and a turtle on his incredible journey. All ages.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn all about communication, habitat and the diet of deer and rabbits through games and hands-on activities. Go on a habitat hike searching for tracks and signs of white-tails in the park. Ages...

Cost: $4/child

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Find out about these early North Carolinians including how they celebrated Christmas. Fold a Moravian Star ornament to take home. Ages 10-13. Register online.

Cost: $1/member, $3/nonmember

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Read a story about deer and rabbits, practice hiding from predators and make a craft. Ages 3-5 with adult. Registration required.

Cost: $4/child

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

The Raleigh Boychoir makes an appearance before its big Christmas concert.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week in December. TheCoderSchool is joining the global "Hour of Code" movement. Be one of the tens of millions of students around the...

Cost: Free

Where:
theCoderSchool
201 Davis Grove Circle
Cary, NC  27519
View map »


Sponsor: theCoderSchool
Contact Name: Ravisha Weerasinghe
Website »

More information

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week in December. TheCoderSchool is joining the global "Hour of Code" movement. Be one of the tens of millions of students around the...

Cost: Free

Where:
theCoderSchool
201 Davis Grove Circle
Cary, NC  27519
View map »


Sponsor: theCoderSchool
Contact Name: Ravisha Weerasinghe

More information

Irish Tenor Emmet Cahill presents Celtic Christmas selections and piano accompaniment in a family-friendly concert. Tickets are available by contacting accurso@sacredheartcathedral.com or by phone...

Cost: Call for prices

Where:
Sacred Heart Cathedral
200 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Children delight in discoveries of shapes, colors and textures in nature. Ages 1 and older with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Tour Historic Oak View County Park’s Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Josh Ingersoll
Website »

More information

Mocha Moms hosts its monthly group support meeting for mothers of color who choose to work less than full-time outside the home. Children welcome; an indoor playground is on the premises.

Cost: Free

Where:
Greystone Community Indoor Park
7713 Leadmine Road
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Mocha Moms of Raleigh
Contact Name: Lauren Massie
Website »

More information

Cookies, crafts and a children's show await families.

Cost: Free

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Enjoy a live nativity journey. This nonticketed event is open to all ages. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Salem Baptist Church
1821 Salem Church Road
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Salem Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-362-7327
Website »

More information

Kick off the Christmas season at this drive-thru Nativity. Enjoy live animals (including a camel and more). A drawing will be held for wreaths decorated with gift cards to local businesses...

Cost: Donation of a canned good or new toy for an area crisis ministry

Where:
Corporate Chaplains of America
1300 Corporate Chaplain Dr.
Wake Forest , NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: Corporate Chaplains of America
Telephone: 919-570-0700
Website »

More information

See favorite Disney characters, including Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory and all the princesses, perform in dazzling ice skating show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13-$85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy an energetic, musical storytime with Amy Godfrey, who was a Durham County librarian for six years. Babka and challah will be served as...

Cost: Free

Where:
Levin JCC
1937 West Cornwallis Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
"Pump it Up" Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Enjoy a kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified and participatory music show. Children delight in active,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump it Up Briercreek
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Tour Historic Oak View County Park’s Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Josh Ingersoll
Website »

More information

Parent and child make holiday crafts using materials from the garden. Drop-in program. Register online.

Cost: $5/child member, $7/child nonmember

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Read the story by Patricia Polacco and hear how other people celebrate the winter holiday season. All ages with adult.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, AL
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Kick off the Christmas season at this drive-thru Nativity. Enjoy live animals (including a camel and more). A drawing will be held for wreaths decorated with gift cards to local businesses...

Cost: Donation of a canned good or new toy for an area crisis ministry

Where:
Corporate Chaplains of America
1300 Corporate Chaplain Dr.
Wake Forest , NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: Corporate Chaplains of America
Telephone: 919-570-0700
Website »

More information

Enjoy a live nativity journey. This nonticketed event is open to all ages. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Salem Baptist Church
1821 Salem Church Road
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Salem Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-362-7327
Website »

More information

The Estrella de la Esperanza/Star of Hope campaign is in its 12th year of collecting and distributing gifts and food to local families in need. The Arbolito de la Esperanza/Tree of Hope Lighting is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy the holiday story featuring elaborate scenery, a live orchestra, magical illusions, the entire Carolina Ballet company, and more than 100 local children. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $27-$112

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

City Ballet Raleigh presents its 24th annual performance of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." The family-friendly, full-length ballet features guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing...

Cost: $15-$30

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Contact Name: City Ballet
Website »

More information

See favorite Disney characters, including Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory and all the princesses, perform in dazzling ice skating show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13-$85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy "Christmas All Over the Place," "Ten Minutes Till Christmas" and "Bring On The Snow." Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/adult, $6 ages 16 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $28-$33

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Help find candy canes hidden in Bond Park. Ages 6-12. Register online by Dec. 1. Choose course #97272.

Cost: $10/child

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a 5K, 1-mile fun run and kids' dash. The event benefits St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Cary. Register online.

Cost: $8-$35

Where:
Wake Med Cross Country Course/Wake Med Soccer Park
201 Soccer Park Drive
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop more than 100 vendors, enjoy pictures with Santa and raffles prizes, and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Garner Magnet High School, South Campus
8828 Hebron Church Rd.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: GMHS PTSA
Telephone: 919-559-6018
Contact Name: Shanna or Shalon

More information

Parent and child move from station to station crafting original holiday gifts and treats for friends and family. Work alongside a talented group of Makery Fellows and area artists to create...

Cost: $35/child, $15/adult

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Kidzu Children's Museum
Telephone: 919-933-1455
Contact Name: Kidzu Info
Website »

More information

Take part in the preschool's annual Breakfast with Santa. Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, sausage and fruit, as well as photos with Santa and doing Christmas crafts with your kids. Enjoy a...

Cost: $6 in advance, $8 at door. Free for ages 2 and younger

Where:
Windborne United Methodist Church
9121 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Windborne United Methodist Preschool
Telephone: 919.342.6075
Contact Name: Laura Bass
Website »

More information

Join Mrs. Claus for breakfast and a short story. After visiting with Mrs. Claus, enjoy a holiday craft. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Garden Supply Company
1421 Old Apex Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Garden Supply Company
Telephone: 919.460.7747
Contact Name: Kathy Burns
Website »

More information

Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call the park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resource Inventory Database and other citizen science projects. Ages 14 and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Create a keepsake gingerbread house. Register online.

Cost: $12/member, $15/nonmember; $20/house

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn, explore and play outdoors while doing a fun nature-based activity. Ages 18 mos-5 yrs with parent. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Forest Hills Park
1639 University Dr.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Telephone: 919-806-7502
Contact Name: Kate Macartney
Website »

More information

Beginner, amateur and advanced BMX riders take part in a competition. Register online. Spectators attend free of charge. Food available for purchase.

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex
171 Tradition Trail, Ste. 207
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex
Telephone: 919-557-8088
Website »

More information

Enjoy an introduction to cloth diapering. This class includes information about types of diapers, accessories, and care of cloth. The class will include handouts to take home so that parents can...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grow, The Family Boutique
2885 Jones Franklin Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Telephone: 919-803-3521
Contact Name: Heather Dickens
Website »

More information

See favorite Disney characters, including Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory and all the princesses, perform in dazzling ice skating show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13-$85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

City Ballet Raleigh presents its 24th annual performance of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." The family-friendly, full-length ballet features guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing...

Cost: $15-$30

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Contact Name: City Ballet
Website »

More information

Make a holiday ornament with the Durham Arts Council.

Cost: Free

Where:
Northgate Mall
1058 W. Club Blvd., Ste. 132
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Make memories by creating a gingerbread house with freshly baked gingerbread, handmade icing and candy. This event benefits a community preschool. Register online for either the 11 a.m.-noon...

Cost: $40/house (includes a whole group of family or friends)

Where:
Family Preschool
4907 Garrett Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Family Preschool
Telephone: 919-402-1500
Contact Name: Ginger B. House
Website »

More information

Discover handmade treasures and wonderful treats at this years holiday shopping event of the year. Holiday refreshments will be enjoyed throughout the event. Door prizes will be given out every...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fuquay-Varina Woman's Club House
602 N. Ennis Street
Fuquay-Varina, NC  27526
View map »


Sponsor: Ballentine-Spence House
Telephone: 925-399-1629
Contact Name: Anna Campbell
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $28-$33

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week in December. TheCoderSchool is joining the global "Hour of Code" movement. Be one of the tens of millions of students around the...

Cost: Free

Where:
theCoderSchool
201 Davis Grove Circle
Cary, NC  27519
View map »


Sponsor: theCoderSchool
Contact Name: Ravisha Weerasinghe
Website »

More information

Visit with Santa at the birth center, and enjoy milk and cookies and storytime. Kids can talk with Santa about their holiday gift wishes. Santa will also be handing out candy canes. All attendees...

Cost: Free

Where:
Baby+Company Cary
226 Asheville Ave Ste 20
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 6-10 enjoy nature activities and projects. Registration required.

Cost: $26/resident, $34/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Decorate a gingerbread house. Participants receive an undecorated gingerbread house with royal icing and tasty toppings. Hot chocolate bar included. Ages 4 and older with family.

Cost: $25

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Kidzu Children's Museum
Telephone: 919-933-1455
Contact Name: Kidzu Info
Website »

More information

Join Wendell Falls for its first Holiday Sip and Shop event, which is free and open to the public. Tour gorgeous model homes while picking up last-minute gifts from a variety of vendors. Tasting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wendell Falls by Newland Communities
320 Vintage Point Ln
Wendell , NC  27591
View map »


Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet gets families into Christmas spirit when one of its principal dancers, Lara O'Brien, reads "The Nutcracker." Ages 4 and older.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Walk through the scenes of Jesus' birth in the maze. Take a flashlight if you plan to arrive after 4 p.m. The event also features Santa, storytime and cookies with Mrs. Claus, crafts and games...

Cost: $10/person at the farm gate. Cash only

Where:
Lazy O Farm
3583 Packing Plant Road
Smithfield, NC  27577
View map »


Sponsor: Lazy O Farm
Telephone: 919-934-1132
Contact Name: Tami Thompson
Website »

More information

Take a hike with park staff to investigate animal lives and adaptations using your five senses. Ages 5 and older. Registration required.

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Enjoy the holiday story featuring elaborate scenery, a live orchestra, magical illusions, the entire Carolina Ballet company, and more than 100 local children. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $27-$112

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

Make creative gifts for friends and family using items found in nature. Enjoy hot chocolate. Ages 6-12. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register online. Choose course #194798.

Cost: $5/person

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Telephone: 919-870-2871
Website »

More information

See favorite Disney characters, including Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory and all the princesses, perform in dazzling ice skating show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13-$85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Santa for wagon ride to explore the back roads of the park. Listen to stories and sing Christmas carols. Take a blanket. All ages. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter. Register online.

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-4342
Website »

More information

Enjoy "Christmas All Over the Place," "Ten Minutes Till Christmas" and "Bring On The Snow." Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/adult, $6 ages 16 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

City Ballet Raleigh presents its 24th annual performance of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." The family-friendly, full-length ballet features guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing...

Cost: $15-$30

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: City Ballet
Telephone: 919-844-9799
Contact Name: City Ballet
Website »

More information

Learn about nature as the sun sets. All ages with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $20/resident, $28/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Enjoy a live nativity journey. This nonticketed event is open to all ages. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Salem Baptist Church
1821 Salem Church Road
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Salem Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-362-7327
Website »

More information

This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family with just the right mixture of comedy and romance to add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $28-$33

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church presents "Christmas Plugged," a drive-up, synchronized, Christmas music light show to 90.1 FM. Enjoy  20,000 LED bulbs as they dance to familiar tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
4109 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Sponsor: Rose of Sharon Baptist Church
Telephone: 919-477-3993
Contact Name: Jonathan Hendrickson
Website »

More information

Celebrate the 20th birthday of Jellybeans Super Skate Center. Free skating takes place from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Jellybeans Super Skate Center
1120 Buck Jones Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids ages 7-17 take part in a hands-on magic workshop. Learn the performance art of theatrical magic from local masters on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Details available at...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Magic Corner Magic Shop
3684 Capital Blvd.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Ring #199,The Int'l Brotherhood of Magicians
Telephone: 919-272-6465
Contact Name: Roger Way
Website »

More information

See favorite Disney characters, including Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory and all the princesses, perform in dazzling ice skating show. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $13-$85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy the holiday story featuring elaborate scenery, a live orchestra, magical illusions, the entire Carolina Ballet company, and more than 100 local children. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $27-$112

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Ballet
Telephone: 919-719-0900
Website »

More information

Enjoy "Christmas All Over the Place," "Ten Minutes Till Christmas" and "Bring On The Snow." Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $8/adult, $6 ages 16 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module

Magazine

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Exceptional Child

Children with special needs face unique challenges. Find resources from A-Z in areas of advocacy, education, camps and therapies to support them as they grow.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

GPS is your guide to explore all the Triangle has to offer, from museum expansions to new parks and schools to youth sports and family fun. Plus, discover our 2016 Readers' Favorites.

Education Guide

The 2016-17 Education Guide offers 643 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.