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Enjoy the summer weather with this free outdoor fun in Charlotte

By Jody Mace
Jody Mace
Jody Mace is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and a dog, Shaggy.


Summer Camp

Mon-Thur 10 a.m. Concord Mills.

Concord Mills is offering free “summer camp” activities for kids ages 3-8. Activities include crafts, miniature golf, bowling and live music with popular local children’s performer Mr. Nigel. Kids need to join the Kidgits Club to participate. Membership is $5 a year and kids can sign up on site.


Thursdays on Main Evening Entertainment Series

Thur 6-9 p.m. Veterans Park, North Main and East First streets, Kannapolis.

Kannapolis’ extensive summer entertainment series includes music, movies and stories for kids. One new feature this summer is evening concerts at Veterans Park. The July concert features Coconut Groove Band playing covers from soul, Americana, rhythm and blues, rock and funk.


Nature’s Fireworks Hike

Sat 11 a.m. Saturday. Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Road. 704-432-6460.

Celebrate a different kind of “fireworks.” Walk 2 to 3 miles on uneven terrain and see explosions of colors. Learn about fireflies, birds and flowers. Call to register.


Family Campfire

Fri 7 p.m. McDowell Nature Center, 15222 York Road. 704-588-5224.

Every Friday through Aug. 23, enjoy stories, songs and s’mores around a campfire at McDowell Nature Center. After the campfire, go on a “Nature at Night” hayride around the nature preserve. The hayride, which costs $1, has limited capacity, so either get to the campfire early to sign up or register by phone.


‘The Gathering Power of Food’

Thur 7 p.m. Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh St. 704-333-1887

Explore the role of food in creating cultural identities and starting conversations. Levine Museum’s historian Tom Hanchett will moderate; panelists to include Stephen Crotts, a Rock Hill artist and communal food enthusiast; and Amy Rogers, author and editor of WFAE’s food blog, “WFAEats.” Register on the website. Before or after, enjoy food from food trucks across the street at Chow Down Uptown, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. It’s wise to get your food early before your favorites are sold out.

WANT MORE FREE STUFF? Jody Mace runs and is a member of the Charlotte News Alliance, a network of hyperlocal websites.
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