This article is a part of the Fun in the Foothills Passport series. Download your free, printable Passport and adventure in the Western Piedmont of NC and beyond!
Welcome to the Western Piedmont of NC, an area full of rich history and amazing opportunities to reconnect with nature and your neighbors! Our area, including the cities of Hickory, Morganton, Lenoir, Taylorsville and Statesville (as well as many wonderful small towns), provides many chances for your family to make memories together while learning something new. From aviation to zoology, our museums and attractions are great places to get acquainted with our region and find your family fun!
The Fun in the Foothills Passport and Guide is made possible by great sponsors like Adventure Bound Books. Adventure Bound Books is an Independent Bookstore located in downtown Morganton, serving individuals and families in Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and McDowell counties. Patrons can find new and used books on the shelves in diverse genres, celebrating diverse authors, characters, and stories for the youngest budding readers to the most experienced readers. Weekly story time beckons children each Saturday at 11:30am, and monthly book clubs bring adults together to discuss new stories. Adventure Bound Books offers Poetry Nights regularly, as well as writing workshops and writing contests, and hosts community groups for events. Beginning in September, they will be striving to be your favorite independent bookstore from a larger space, just up the road from their current location, and will be adding birthday parties, after school programming, and youth book discussions to the calendar. Learn more about this great community bookseller at their website.
Our region's libraries are outstanding for their commitment to providing reading and learning opportunities for families. Summer reading programs, Ready-to-Learn story times, and special events and classes for kids, youth and adults (everything from cooking to crafting to science programs) are just some of the ways our libraries are encouraging reading. Get connected with your local, public library with these links, and check our Event Calendar for all story times and family programming!
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is now available in every county across North Carolina. Children ages 0-5 will receive a book in the mail every month from the time they are born until their 5th birthday at no cost to your family!
Register here and the site will walk you through registering each child under age five in your household.
Catawba County Library System
Eight branch locations (including mobile Library to Go) offer free computer and internet access, learning opportunities, story times and more.
Hickory Public Library
Two locations in the city connect residents of Hickory and Catawba County with empowering resources, and offer fine-free borrowing
Alexander County Library
Serving the residents of Alexander County from three locations in Taylorsville, Bethlehem, and Stony Point.
Burke County Public Library
Three locations, Morganton, Valdese, and Hildebrand, serve the residents of Burke County by providing informational, education and creative opportunities.
Caldwell County Public Library
Three locations, Lenoir, Hudson, and Granite Falls, serve the public and residents of Caldwell County.
Iredell County Public Library
The Iredell Public Library serves residents at their Statesville, Harmony and Troutman locations.
Lincoln County Public Library System
Three locations serve the public at West Lincoln Branch in Vale, Charles R. Jonas in downtown Lincolnton, and Florence S. Shanklin in Denver.
Our area has so many ways to encounter the arts! Here is just a sample of the many ways your family can get to observe the visual arts in and around the Catawba Valley.
City of Hickory Art Walk
Downtown Hickory, NC
This guide celebrates artistry and craftsmanship in Hickory. The "Hickory Art Walk" Is a way for individuals and families to become familiar with some of the outstanding public art within walking distances of downtown Hickory.
Hickory Museum of Art
243 Third Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601
This free and open to the public museum's mission it to bring people together and inspire creativity throughout the power of art.
Read a review of a previous exhibit from our archives
City of Morganton Art in the Hall
305 E Union St a100, Morganton, NC 28655
Art in the Hall is a juried art and display program located at Morganton City Hall. Artists submit a portfolio of work to be displayed; the shows change every two months.
Foothills Folk Art Festival
The first Saturday in October, Downtown Newton, NC
A family friendly festival, which draws thousands of visitors from throughout the region, showcases a variety of local and regional contemporary folk artists - whose work will be for sale - as well as artist demos, hands-on art activities for kids, live music, food from area restaurants and food truck vendors and more!
The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center and Celebration of the Arts
316 Hiddenite Church Road, Hiddenite, NC 28636
A non-profit organization, located in the Hiddenite community of Alexander County, serving the people of Northwest North Carolina by providing quality arts and cultural heritage programming that is accessible for all. The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center’s Celebration of the Arts festival is a free admission, family friendly arts festival that features diversely talented artists, crafters, and performers, held annually on the fourth Saturday in September.
Newton Public Art Commission's Art for the Public
Various locations throughout Newton, NC
A rotating public exhibition of sculpture throughout the city, funded by the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Use this list as a scavenger hunt through the town!
Pots on Parade Face Jugs
Downtown Lincolnton, NC
Public art installation features ten life-sized face jugs which are rotated regularly.
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