The Teen Dating Game

What to love and when to worry


Published:

Bigstock photo

Today’s teens are navigating a social media-infused world where the only sure thing is change. But one thing remains constant: Teens love being in love. Their relationships are often powered by texting, Snapchat, Twitter and selfies, but they still contain all of the pleasures — and risks — of pre-internet dating. Whether or not your child has gone on a date, now is the time to start a conversation about building healthy relationships.

What is Dating?

Ask teens how many kids they know who date and they are quick to respond. “Everyone,” says Durham eighth-grader Wyatt — though he adds, “Not me.” Mason, an 11th-grader in Charlotte, says “more than half” of his friends date.

How do teens define dating? Brooke, a 10th-grader in Raleigh, says the classic definition still applies: A longer-term relationship between two people who are romantically interested in each other.

“If you’re dating someone but don’t think it’s going anywhere, that’s not dating,” Brooke says. “That’s just ‘a thing’ or a hookup.”

Brooke guesses that around 40 percent of the kids at her school date, but adds that only about 10 percent of those relationships are “more serious.”

Lindsey Copeland, a Durham psychologist who owns Copeland Psychological Services and also works as a counselor for Durham Academy’s Upper School, says she does not see evidence of “real” dating until students are in 11th or 12th grade. While middle schoolers might do some group dating on trips to the mall, or might connect with a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” via daily texts, Copeland says “younger students are still sorting out their own identity and are usually not ready to focus on another person in any serious way.” Such relationships, she says, usually end with an abrupt text or, even more awkwardly, by third-person word of mouth (or text).

Strict definitions aside, all teen relationships are learning experiences — from middle school pairings to high school hookups to watching a friend date his or her true love. The earlier you step in to discuss these interactions with your child, the better.

Benefits and Risks

For some kids, dating can be a wonderful learning experience. At its best, dating provides teens with increased confidence, and the chance to learn how to empathize and practice navigating adult relationships.

Brooke, who has had several in-person relationships and is currently involved in a long-distance relationship with a boy she met through social media, credits her success with looking for the right qualities in a potential boyfriend.

“The most important thing is that your boyfriend is not ashamed to show you off,” she says. “That’s a real relationship — where he says, ‘I appreciate you and I care about you.’ Both sides should be proud of each other.”

Parents can use dating as a teaching tool. “Ask your child what they think is important in a relationship,” says Betsy Thompson, coordinator of Mental Health Services at Teen Health Connection in Charlotte. “If they have a girlfriend or boyfriend, ask them how their partner shows them respect. If there’s a breakup, ask them what they learned.” It’s easier to teach kids who have experience, she says, because kids don’t always learn from peers’ mistakes.

Dating, unfortunately, is not always a positive experience. Parents typically worry most about sex, but there are other issues to watch out for — like emotional and

physical abuse, which parents often don’t consider until after their child experiences it. Copeland sees “too many” college students who have suffered from relationship violence. She says the teen years provide the best time to be open with your child — when family members and adults are nearby and able to identify warning signs.

Self-confidence can provide excellent protection against abuse, says Reana Johnson, a UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and president of the university’s chapter of “Queen in You,” a mentoring program for middle school girls that helps them discover who they are instead of seeing themselves through the eyes of potential boyfriends. She advises teens not to be in a rush to start a relationship.

“You’re your own person before and after this other person, and you need to take care of

yourself before you can take care of other people,” she says.

Talk to your child about what it means to be treated well, and about the signs of a potentially harmful situation. If a teen is not being treated appropriately, he or she needs to know what steps to take in order to stay safe.

“It’s important to recognize when boundaries are being crossed. They especially need help learning to communicate when their needs conflict with their partner’s,” Copeland says. She suggests coaching your child in such a way that he or she knows what to say when a dating partner wants something he or she is not comfortable offering.

Teens and Sex

While dating can lead to sex for some teens, it does not for others. Being in a committed relationship can be safer than being a part of a crowd prone to hooking up. Brooke is careful to separate sex-based relationships from love-based dating. “When you’re just in ‘a thing’ with a person, that’s more about sexual attraction than a real attraction,” she says. “A lot of girls are looking for long-term relationships, while guys just want to mess around.”

Contrary to popular belief, not all boys enter relationships just for sex. Some are looking for a deeper connection. Mason says he can be more relaxed and honest with his girlfriend than he can with his guy friends.

“With my baseball friends, it’s all about competing and playing jokes,” he says. “With my girlfriend, it’s sometimes easier because we can just sort of be nice to each other.”

Whether your teen is in a committed relationship or hanging out with a larger social group, the experts we spoke to advise making your values and preferences on sex clear before it becomes an issue. Educate your child about the dangers of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases — and how to prevent them. If you do not teach your child, he or she will learn from sources you may not agree with or trust. Remind your teen (often) that alcohol and drugs lower a person’s inhibitions to the point where he or she may not have control over his or her decisions. The more your teen hears this, the more likely he or she is to think before acting.

What About Social Media?

Social media apps have become an integral part of teen culture. “Teens use social media to communicate and connect with romantic partners in ways that may be both healthy and normative, as well as in ways that may be more problematic,” says Jacqueline Nesi, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill and lead author of a study on social media’s effect on teens’ long-term relationship skills.

Her research suggests that teens may use text messaging for riskier behaviors like “sexting,” but also to have necessary conversations about things like sexual health decisions with partners. For some kids, the chance to sexually express themselves online might lead to less sex and less physical contact, whereas other kids might be more curious about the actual act of sex after seeing or reading something about it online.

“For some kids, it is a slippery slope,” Thompson says. “For others, seeing nude pictures and sex online may desensitize them to risky behavior.”

Social media usage has changed relationship norms. Copeland hears from a lot of teens who are frustrated by their dating peers’ online showboating.

“Some teens go out of their way to post how much they love each other and how happy they are — lots of heart emojis, happy couple photos and ‘Look, I’ve got a boyfriend,’” she says. “There’s definitely a social leverage component to some of these social media-style PDAs.” Copeland suggests talking with teens about these public displays of affection, and asking them what role online grandstanding might play in nurturing or harming a relationship.

Brooke believes girls’ reputations are more at stake online than boys’. Male and female teens often take a negative view of girls who are involved in hookups or who share nude photos. “Guys — or even other girls — will call them sluts or hoes,” Brooke says. “That can really hurt a girl’s self-esteem, especially when it gets out there on social media. My friends and I would never do nudes, but it’s pretty unfair. Guys can do whatever they want and don’t get any negative feedback.”

Mason agrees. “Girls get it pretty harsh online,” he says. “My friends try to stay out of all that.”

Warn your teen about the consequences of posting compromising photos — even in the see-it-and-it’s-gone world of Snapchat. It’s easy to take a screenshot of any image and post it for a broader audience.

Strategies for Starting a Conversation

The most natural way to teach your child about healthy partnerships is to model mutually respectful relationships at home. Single parents can teach their children by drawing on what they have learned from good and bad experiences.

Organizations like “Queen in You” can offer resources for teens who are shy and might respond more comfortably to mentors closer in age. You might also consider watching a TV show or movie together to jumpstart a conversation about relationships. Ask your child what he or she thought of a character’s actions, and whether there were alternative avenues he or she could have pursued.

Still don’t know where to start? Copeland recommends the website loveisrespect.org as a resource for learning about how to maintain healthy teen relationships.

Experts say keeping the lines of communication open with your child is key.

“Research shows that communicating with kids — even more so than monitoring their online activity — is effective in promoting healthy social media use,” Nesi says.

Know what social media platforms they are using and who they connect with, and make sure they understand how to safely present themselves online.


Caitlin Wheeler is a freelance writer in Durham.

* Names of teens were changed for privacy.


Preventing Digital Relationship Abuse

The constant availability of social media can lead to possessive and predatory behavior. Teens should be aware that it is not normal for a partner to want to know where they are all the time, or for a partner to demand instant responses to messages.

Reana Johnson, a UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and president of the university’s chapter of “Queen in You,” a mentoring program for middle school girls, suggests using social media to fight social media. The “mute” option is her favorite feature on Twitter.

“It can be great to just block someone out sometimes, especially if you’re going through a breakup,” she says. “You can always un-mute them later on.”

If muting one person is not enough, Johnson encourages teens to “mute” social media altogether. “On social media, the pressures are constant,” Johnson says. “You have to realize there are other things to do with your time. Paint. Keep a journal. Go outside. Otherwise, you’ll get trapped in this virtual reality. Just remember it is not real life.”

Teen Texting Acronyms and Phrases

Keeping up with your teen’s social life means understanding his or her language. Here’s a cheat sheet for some of the more popular terms or phrases you might discover — and some you hope you won’t — when you scroll through one of your teen’s text threads.

Bae: Baby or sweetie

Catfishing: Fabricating an online persona in order to lure a potential partner

Ghosting: Cutting off all communication as a means to end a relationship

IRL: “In real life” — a relationship that moves from online to face-to-face

Netflix and chill: Code for going to each other’s house in order to make out

Swerve: To avoid

Talking: Casual dating

A Thing: Not quite dating, but almost

Thirsty: Need lots of attention (sometimes sexual); desperate

GNOC: “Get naked on camera”

Smash: To have casual sex

NIFOC: “Naked in front of computer”

CU46: “See you for sex”

 

Source: Urban Dictionary, a crowd-sourced online dictionary of slang words and phrases

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Deciphering Teen Text Messages

New slang is often harmless, but parents should monitor texts that fall into these areas.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 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

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Join park staff in collecting data for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

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

Enjoy a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the show, along with a few mammals. This slideshow, which has accompanying...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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

The Wake County New Vehicle Dealers Association brings the world of cars and trucks to Raleigh. See hybrids, electric cars, SUVs, compacts, luxury vehicles and more. At the expo, the Carolina...

Cost: $10/adult, $5/preteen. Free for ages 5 and younger

Where:
Dorton Arena
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Celebrate Black and African-American artists and stories. Ages 5-11 and caregiver.

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Parent and child spend time collaborating in a playful workshop that weaves music, color and improvisation. All ages. RSVP required by emailing admissions@studioschooldurham.org.

Cost: Free

Where:
Studio School of Durham
1201 W. Woodcroft Pkwy.
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: Studio School of Durham
Contact Name: Danielle Clark
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

Meet the farm's beloved animals and enjoy a Valentine's photo with you and a favorite goat. Meet Peppa Pig, feed the horses and more. Kids can ride the Valentines Express Tractor...

Cost: $10/person; free for ages 3 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Shop for gently used children's clothing, juniors', ladies', and teen boys' clothing, toys, educational materials, infant equipment, nursery furniture, maternity wear and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrisville Outlet Mall
1001 Airport Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

More information

Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

More information

Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

More information

Join a park naturalist on a one-mile hike around Yates Mill Pond and help to identify and count the birds that we see along the way. Learn how to identify backyard birds by sight, sound and other...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn about the use of birds in national symbols and make your own bird-themed Great Seal to take home. Drop-in program. All ages. Registration not required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Join park staff in collecting data for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

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

Enjoy a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the show, along with a few mammals. This slideshow, which has accompanying...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Search for common birds of the park and count them along the way. Practice using binoculars and learn how to identify these animals by shape and color.  All ages with adult....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Join park staff for games and activities in celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Ages 5 and older. Register online. 

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Shop for gently used children's clothing, juniors', ladies', and teen boys' clothing, toys, educational materials, infant equipment, nursery furniture, maternity wear and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrisville Outlet Mall
1001 Airport Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
Website »

More information

Create a bird. Materials provided. All ages with adult. Registration not required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

There are many kinds of raptors or birds of prey that call Harris Lake County Park home. Some stay all year like the Bald Eagle and others like the Osprey live here only part of the year. Discover...

Cost: Free

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

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

There are many kinds of raptors or birds of prey that call Harris Lake County Park home. Some stay all year like the Bald Eagle and others like the Osprey live here only part of the year. Discover...

Cost: Free

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

Spend the afternoon learning about birds and bird conservation. Go on a bird behavior scavenger hunt, play the migration game, and learn how to identify common species on the lake and at a...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Get snug in the farmhouse and listen to a nature story. Explore nature items and make a themed craft. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Advance registration required online. Choose course #215883.

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in an Open Studio Exploration. Children are invited to use the materials in the studio to create at their own pace. Parents and caregivers participate by helping children achieve...

Cost: Free

Where:
Our PlayHouse Preschool
3501 Highway 54 W.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Our PlayHouse Preschool
Telephone: (919) 967-2700
Contact Name: Elizabeth Lenn
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Support the American Red Cross by making thank-you cards for its staff and volunteers. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course code #111616.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center Ballroom
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

See L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" come to life in this stage adaptation by Peter DeLaurier. Enjoy the misadventures of Anne Shirley, a...

Cost: $12/adult, $6/ages 18 and younger

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


Sponsor: Clayton Youth Theater
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn how to help your baby excel in motor development and master standing, cruising, and first steps. The class will look at standing from the earliest stages, all the way through learning how to...

Cost: $30

Where:
Baby + Company
226 Ashville Ave
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Telephone: 773-495-8117
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Read "Secret Pizza Party" by Adam Rubin and make personalized pizzas. Register online. Choose course #109612.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

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


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

Ages 5 and older enjoy an astronomy program that begins with an indoor presentation and moves outdoors after sunset to view the moon, stars, and more with the preserve's telescope,...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Historic Stagville and Morehead Planetarium will present a stellar program that focuses on the astronomy and night sky myths and legends told in African cultures, as well as the related stories...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Stagville
5828 Old Oxford Hwy.
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Telephone: 919-620-0120
Website »

More information

See L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" come to life in this stage adaptation by Peter DeLaurier. Enjoy the misadventures of Anne Shirley, a...

Cost: $12/adult, $6/ages 18 and younger

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


Sponsor: Clayton Youth Theater
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the imagination behind the creation of riveting novels as D.G. Martin, of UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch,” hosts a candid conversation between top-selling authors John...

Cost: $45-$175

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


Telephone: 919.996.8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
Website »

More information

Applause! Cary Youth Theatre presents the tale of Scraps, who intends to go her own way until she happens onto an adventure that broadens her understanding of herself and the world around....

Cost: See website for fees

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


Website »

More information

Relive the magical adventure of Harry Potter's second year at school like never before. This concert features "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in high-definition while...

Cost: $50-$80

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


Telephone: 919.996.8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
Website »

More information

The tribute band Rain celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of "Sgt Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band" by performing the historic album in its entirety in a psychedelic...

Cost: $35-$89

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy a beautiful morning on this easy-paced bird walk at Horseshoe Farm. We’ll likely see birds that frequent meadows and forests as we make our way around the unique habitats at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in fun, hands-on science experiments, which include chemistry, physics, materials and an engineering experiment. See website for ages and times. Register online. 

Cost: $55/child

Where:
SMILE Camp
6301 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: SMILE Camp
Telephone: 919-538-5278
Contact Name: Sheila Marsh
Website »

More information

Celebrate Black and African-American artists and stories. Ages 5-11 and caregiver.

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Future Tigers, 'retired' Tigers and Tiger Fans of all ages can have a turn to take 10 swings at the plate for a $5 donation.  A prize of Tiger apparel and an autographed Tiger baseball...

Cost: $5 for 10 swings

Where:
Chapel Hill High School
1709 High School Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Chapel Hill High School Baseball Team
Telephone: 856-952-3054
Contact Name: Coach Lee Land
Website »

More information

Celebrate literature during Black History Month at the State Capitol, and hear the words and experiences of African-Americans echo through a structure built by African-Americans. The program...

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina State Capitol
1 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

The fifth annual Marbles Future Me Kids Career Fair introduces children to an architect, dentist, engineer and many other professionals representing a wide variety of...

Cost: $7 ages 1 and older

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


Website »

More information

Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online.

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

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

New York Times bestselling author and distinguished scholar Carole Boston Weatherford discusses how American history and cultural evolution is shaped by slavery, segregation and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Library
1930 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences performs three spider tales,"Ananse and the Talking Melon," "Ananse and the Moss Covered Rock," and "Ananse Goes...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27703
View map »


Sponsor: The Scrap Exchange
Telephone: 919-213-1278
Contact Name: Anna Graves
Website »

More information

Walk with a park naturalist to look and listen for wildlife in the woods and fields as daylight transitions to night. Ages 4 and older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Register...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

See L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" come to life in this stage adaptation by Peter DeLaurier. Enjoy the misadventures of Anne Shirley, a...

Cost: $12/adult, $6/ages 18 and younger

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


Sponsor: Clayton Youth Theater
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

More information

Applause! Cary Youth Theatre presents the tale of Scraps, who intends to go her own way until she happens onto an adventure that broadens her understanding of herself and the world around....

Cost: See website for fees

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


Website »

More information

See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a family-friendly comedy show from The Un-Intentionals Improv Troupe. Purchase food and beverages at the The Comedy Cafe before, during and after the show.

Cost: Free

Where:
First Baptist Church Morrisville
209 Church St.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: The Un-Intentionals
Telephone: 919-475-4211
Contact Name: Marc Moore
Website »

More information

Relive the magical adventure of Harry Potter's second year at school like never before. This concert features "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in high-definition while...

Cost: $50-$80

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


Telephone: 919.996.8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
Website »

More information

The Town of Cary’s 22nd annual celebration of African-American history and heritage features live entertainment and informative discussion. See the website for hours and fees. 

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
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

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.