Talking With Kids About School Violence

Lucy Daniels Center recommends a three-part approach to discussing school violence with children


Published:

Photo courtesy of Fantom_rd/Shutterstock

Finding the words to comfort your child when he or she hears about school violence tragedies is never easy. Events such as what happened in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, 2018, are terribly upsetting to all of us. It’s hard enough for adults to make sense of such horrific events — just imagine how difficult it is for children to wrap their minds around concepts like violence, evil and death.

Children react in individual ways to scary events depending upon their age and psychological makeup. To help them understand frightening real-life events, such as school violence, wars, terrorist strikes, hurricanes and so forth, the Lucy Daniels Center recommends a three-part approach:

  1. Protecting and supporting
  2. Discussing
  3. Individualizing.

Protecting and Supporting

  • Control access to information. Children 6 years and younger cannot manage information about real dangers without experiencing excessive anxiety. Parents can best support their development by shielding them from scary information as much as possible, including all radio and TV news. Children ages 7-12 benefit from basic information, but may also suffer excessive anxiety if exposed to overly detailed information or images. Teenage children should have fuller access to information and images, but they still require protection from media bombardment, which can increase anxiety for teenagers and adults alike.
  • Provide support and diminish other family stresses. If children learn of a disturbing event,parents should assume that their children will be shaken even if there are no obvious signs. This is a good time to provide increased support. Parental love is the most important source of comfort. There is no adequate substitute for hugs, hot cocoa, a game of Scrabble and verbal reassurances.
  • Regularity is calming for children (and adults). Change — whether positive or negative — tends to produce stress. Parents can reduce controllable sources of family stress by spending more time with their children or deferring an elective surgery, a nonessential overnight business trip or even the adoption of a pet.
  • Maintain parental emotional balance. Children have a sixth sense about how their parents really feel, and they can only feel safe if their parents are feeling safe. Since all parents are concerned by the reality that our schools are no longer safe havens, they must do their best to gain perspective and calm themselves, relying upon trusted people, faith, and stress reducing activities. Parents should restrict what they say in grown-up conversations within children’s hearing, because it if often at those times that parents share their deepest worries.

Discussing

Words can help children master emotions, information and images. Parents should encourage discussions while respecting the preferences of those children who rely upon other means to work out difficult situations. Although children ages 6 and younger should learn as little as possible about school violence, parents should provide simple and reassuring explanations about anything they do learn.

For example, if your 4-year-old asks about school violence (he just might hear about it from friends or siblings), you could say: “A man hurt some children in a school far away. He is now dead, or, the police are taking care of him. Your school is safe and this will not happen here.” Although parents can’t be 100 percent sure that any school is safe, young children should not be exposed to each of life’s remote dangers. There is a time for a bit of exaggerated reassurance, and early childhood is that time.

Children ages 7-12 benefit from more detailed discussions. You should be reassuring, clarifying the rarity of such events and the specific ways that their school keeps children safe. Emphasize your confidence in your children’s teachers and principal. Children of this age are learning the rules of life, and they may have difficulty with events that violate expected order. This is an opportunity to discuss the fact that that not all events in life follow rules or predicable patterns.

It’s unlikely that school-age children will be interested in pondering the unpredictability of life. Such is more likely the concern of teenagers, who are also inclined to want to understand the reasons for unpredictability and the violence in the world. School violence is an opportunity to engage your teen in discussions about larger topics, such as the role of a community in episodes of school violence and factors that lead someone to act violently. You can emphasize and demonstrate the positive actions that an individual can take to increase the order and goodness in the world. In this sense, tragedies can offer parents an important opportunity to help their children grow in their own personal commitment to constructive moral action.

Regardless of your child’s age, you should respect his or her views, even if they differ from your own. And, although you should withhold frightening details from your very young children, with the exception of the extra reassurance for young children, be honest. Distorting facts will shake your child’s confidence in you and cause anxiety. Holding back all the details is a matter of good tact and judgment; don’t confuse protection with a lack of honesty.

You need not wait for your child to raise concerns. A dinner discussion between adults when there is not a preschooler around can provide children with an important opportunity to learn and to join the discussion. Just as adults need to talk to many people, children older than 7 can benefit from varied discussion about frightening current events.


Individualizing

It's important that you make a judgment about how vulnerable each of your children might be to frightening news. Some children react more powerfully to worries than others. There are many reasons that some children are more reactive. For example, children who have had unexpected or traumatic events in their life may react strongly to reminders of life’s unexpected dangers. Also, recent or current stresses in the family increase vulnerability to anxiety.

The signs that a child is excessively affected by news of school violence are very varied. Dreams about dangers occurring in school and excessive questioning about something happening to their school are clear signs of excessive worry. Worries about separation or about the safety of parents are also common reactions of children who are having excessive anxieties.

However, excessive anxiety can take many subtle forms, including various regressive symptoms. In preschoolers, common reactions are sleep difficulties, toileting problems, clinginess and temper tantrums; in school-age children and teens, psychosomatic physical complaints are the norm. Children who are reacting to school violence with such strong reactions may be the kind of child who benefits from more reassurance and stability of family life when a worry crosses their radar. If such extreme reactions to worrisome events continue for more than a month or two, or occur in other situations as well, professional consultation should be considered.

School violence is a painful aspect of our modern life. Although it strikes every parent in a vulnerable place, try to maintain perspective and use this disturbing reality to assist your child in developing protections against excessive anxiety. Violence in all its myriad forms is not likely to go away, but, with your help, your children can be among those working to curb and address these problems in our society.


The Lucy Daniels Center is a nonprofit agency in Cary that promotes the emotional health and well-being of children and families. Visit lucydanielscenter.org to learn more.

This article was originally published in Aug. 1, 2009 but was updated Feb. 15, 2018.

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Calendar

December 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

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Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
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Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
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Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Cost: See website for fees

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Dorton Arena
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Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd.
Chapel Hill , NC  27516
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Telephone: 919.407.1806
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Fidelity Bank Parking Lot
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301 Pogue St.
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2 E. South St.
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Cost: Free

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Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
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Theatre In The Park
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Telephone: 919.929.2787

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Cary Arts Center
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Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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Cost: $13 and up

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PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
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Cost: Free

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Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
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Gladwell Orthodontics
13271 Strickland Rd., Ste. 100
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

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Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
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Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
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215 Glenwood Avenue
Suite A
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2106 Crossway Lane
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

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Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
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Cost: $35/child

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Little Guru Kids Yoga and Creative Arts
215 Glenwood Avenue
Suite A
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-720-4921
Contact Name: Jen Fisher
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Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

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Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Cost: Free

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Chick-Fil-A
2720 Timber Dr.
Garner, NC  27529
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Sponsor: The MelodyMaker Entertainment
Telephone: (919)639-9328
Contact Name: Melody Scruggs
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Cost: $30 and up

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309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: Free

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5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-865-5725
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3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Telephone: 919-870-4330
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Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
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More information

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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
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Cost: $30 and up

Where:
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Cost: $36 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Benson, NC  27504
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Telephone: 919-606-9703
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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


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Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
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Cost: $36 and up

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123 Vivian St.
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View map »


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Cost: $2

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Raleigh, NC  27614
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Cost: $26-$30/person

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Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
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5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Morrisville, NC  27560
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Cost: Free

Where:
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4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
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More information

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View map »


Sponsor: Crossroads Fellowship
Telephone: 919-981-0222
Contact Name: Lorraine Entwisle
Website »

More information

Kids enjoy games and food while parents enjoy a night out. Ages 5-10. Register online. Choose course #117711.

Cost: $16/child resident, $20/child nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #117241

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Enjoy an evening of holiday fun with your canine friend.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Armory
212 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Telephone: 919-560-435527295

More information

Kids have fun and make pottery at the clay studio while parents enjoy a night out. Each kid will complete and paint a piece of pottery that will be glazed and fired by the instructor and...

Cost: $18/child

Where:
The Clay Studio
1058 West Club Blvd.
Space 836
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2735
Contact Name: Lauren Tannenbaum Whittaker

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

This class is a chance for adventurous women to get together for a fun-filled workshop where we explore the basics of aerial silks. No need for a background in aerial yoga, this is a workshop...

Cost: $25

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

Where:
Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


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

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
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: $26-$30/person

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


Website »

More information

The Justice Theater Project presents the rebirth of its annual holiday family favorite, "Black Nativity by Langston Hughes," Dec. 14-18 at two locations: Umstead Park United Church...

Cost: $27 Adults, $23 Seniors/Students/Military, $21 groups of 10+.*Prices do NOT inc

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theater
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC   27607
View map »


Sponsor: The Justice Theater Project
Telephone: 336-655-2119
Contact Name: Melissa Zeph
Website »

More information

Enjoy a solo theatrical performance to benefit post-Florence recovery at Shelter Neck. Actor Peter Battis becomes Charles Dickens (and his beloved characters) as Dickens tells his classic tale...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU
106 Purefoy Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU
Website »

More information

Celebrate the season with favorite carols and enjoy a singalong.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC
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Website »

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Enjoy a continental breakfast (juice, muffins, fruit, juice, etc.), a story read by Mrs. Claus, and photo opportunities. Be sure to bring your letter for Santa that Mrs. Claus can take back to the...

Cost: Free

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

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing polkhouse2@bellsouth.net. 

Cost: $22/attendee. $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday 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
4028 Carya drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theatre
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


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

More information

Take the family to make gingerbread houses. Workshop takes place at 2 p.m. An allergy-free workshop takes place at 11 a.m. Registration required online for all workshops.

Cost: $40/per family

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

Enjoy making a rustic wreath for winter starting with twine, pine cones, and some unexpected objects. Join artist Leatha Koefler in creating unique wintry garlands and wreaths for this...

Cost: $10/member, $15/nonmember

Where:
Artspace
201 E. Davie St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-821-2787
Website »

More information

Take part in a fun and playful aerial yoga and movement class for ages 8 and older. No prior aerial yoga experience required. Register online. $40 one parent+one child (age 8-12) $20...

Cost: $40 child+adult or $20/child $25/adult

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 888-587-9530
Website »

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
View map »


Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents a condensed version of the holiday story featuring Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: $12/person

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Celebrate the holiday season with goats, farm animals, a new hay ride and tractor ride, holiday treats and a Christmas Market. Santa will be at the farm on all weekends giving you the perfect...

Cost: $13.50/person

Where:
Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd.
Chapel Hill , NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Spring Haven Farm
Telephone: 919.407.1806
Contact Name: Andrew Crihfield
Website »

More information

Free Kidz Connection Event for kids in grades 1-5 featuring games, snacks and fun. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Bible Fellowship
9043 Chapel Hill Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Bible Fellowship
Telephone: 919-468-4590
Contact Name: Yvette
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: $26-$30/person

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


Website »

More information

Saturday, December 15; 1:00–3:00 p.m. Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about soil! Registration is not required. The display table is located at the Upper Playground.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850

More information

Enjoy a 75-minute workshop learning the fundamental components of aerial yoga in a relaxed and fun learning environment. The student will experience yoga asanas (poses) on...

Cost: $40/person

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
Website »

More information

Families make gingerbread houses together. Register online. 

Cost: See website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing polkhouse2@bellsouth.net. 

Cost: $22/attendee. $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of Historic Oak View County Park and see holiday 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 Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Contact Name: Ken Peters
Website »

More information

The Johnston County Chorus presents "A Christmas Spectacular," its annual holiday show featuring favorite seasonal songs and skits. Special guests this year include dancers from...

Cost: See the website for fees

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Learn to identify a few common winter “feeder birds” and make some yummy bird treats to take home. Ages 5 and older with adult. Register online. 

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

Harris Lake will welcome a special holiday visitor this December!  Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join us for a cup of hot cocoa and a ride on our wagon along the back roads of...

Cost: $2 per person

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

City Ballet presents the full-length, richly costumed and staged version featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing alongside nearly 100 City Ballet student dancers to bring the...

Cost: $15-$30/person

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


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

More information

Discover what's happening as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #117095.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Barriskill Dance Theatre School present its annual production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Reynolds Theater, Duke University
125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC  27708
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: $26-$30/person

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


Website »

More information

The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See favorite characters Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster,...

Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-886-4591
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Drop your children off to enjoy games, a pizza dinner, activities and crafts while you finish your holiday shopping or just enjoy a night off.  Ages 6-14. Registration required...

Cost: $25 for first child; $20 each sibling

Where:
East Coast Gaming
218 Nottingham Dr.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy Ira David Wood III's musical comedy adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $36 and up

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


Website »

More information

The Johnston County Chorus presents "A Christmas Spectacular," its annual holiday show featuring favorite seasonal songs and skits. Special guests this year include dancers from...

Cost: See the website for fees

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a one-act performance of Clara’s journey to the Kingdom of the Sweets to life, with dazzling costumes, animated narration, and a talented ensemble of young dancers.

Cost: $12-$15

Where:
Heritage High School
1150 Forestville Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Cary Ballet students presents the holiday story of Clara, her heroic nutcracker, the evil Mouse Queen and all of Clara’s colorful friends. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-200-3939
Contact Name: Michelle Gisondi
Website »

More information

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

The Justice Theater Project presents the rebirth of its annual holiday family favorite, "Black Nativity by Langston Hughes," Dec. 14-18 at two locations: Umstead Park United Church...

Cost: $27 Adults, $23 Seniors/Students/Military, $21 groups of 10+.*Prices do NOT inc

Where:
NCSU Stewart Theater
2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC   27607
View map »


Sponsor: The Justice Theater Project
Telephone: 336-655-2119
Contact Name: Melissa Zeph
Website »

More information

Experience The Raleigh Ringers live in concert as they dazzle concert audiences with unique interpretations of sacred, secular, and popular music, including famous rock ‘n’ roll tunes...

Cost: $20/adult, $11/student

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

The ArtsCenter’s annual Songs from the Circle shows are a celebration of the best in classic American folk and bluegrass. The Circle cast has added a second program to celebrate the...

Cost: $15

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: The ArtsCenter
Telephone: 919-929-2787
Contact Name: Patrick Phelps-Mckeown     
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.