Fun Things To Do In Charlotte With Kids Family Friendly Activities
- David Reeve
If youve set your eyes on Charlotte for your next family trip, then you and your fam are in for a marvelous adventure.
The Queen City is a true Southern jewel that lures family vacationers for its wide variety of unique attractions. With so many options, deciding what to do in Charlotte with kids can be a bit tricky.
So to help you with your travel itinerary, weve featured this list of our top favorite fun things to do in Charlotte with kids.
Spend A Couple Of Hours At The Bechtler Museum Of Modern Art
Tucked away in the citys downtown area, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a world-class art museum that showcases some of the most renowned American and European artists of recent times.
With its collection numbering upwards of 1400 pieces including works by Picasso, Pollock, Calder, Warhol, and Matisse this intimate gallery is one of the non-negotiable things to do in Charlotte for art-lovers.
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is open every day bar Tuesday, and entry wont cost you more than $10.
Schiele Museum Of Natural History
The Schiele Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular family attractions close to Charlotte and should definitely be on your must-do list. Your children will enjoy a day of fun learning activities both indoors and out and parents are also bound to learn a few new facts and figures. You can start your adventure learning about North Carolinas habitats and terrain, and the large number of animals and plants that live there. Moving further afield you can learn about other North American habitats, wildlife and native populations. Outdoors the fun continues as you explore the Nature Trail, Wildlife Garden, Catawba Indian Village and an 18th Century Backcountry Farm.
Schiele Museum of Natural History, 1500 Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054, Phone: 704-866-6908
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Sit Front Row At Ovens Auditorium
Found in the Bojangles Entertainment Complex, the 2400-seat Ovens Auditorium wields the title of being Charlottes biggest performing arts theater.
Okay, so what does that mean? It means that Ovens attracts the biggest, fanciest, most popular names from near and far! From Franki Valli to Wicked to Tyler, the Creator, theres plenty to choose from.
Just check the website to see whats on during your trip.
Turn The Page At The Billy Graham Library
Established by Charlotte-born evangelical pastor Billy Graham, this booktopia is regularly thrown into the mix as one of North Carolinas most unique libraries.
Known for its extensive collection of books and manuscripts on the Bible as well as evangelism, it houses thousands of items in its dairy barn-shaped building, making it a fascinating destination for anyone looking to explore Charlottes religious heritage!
After getting your religious reading fix, consider a guided tour of Grahams home too.
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Get Dressed Up For The Carolina Renaissance Festival
Combining a love of history with Queen Citys one-of-a-kind flair, the Carolina Renaissance Festival is one of the unmissable things to do in Charlotte.
One of North Americas largest annual outdoor events for adults and children alike , this 16th-century-themed gathering, which runs on the weekends in October and November, features everything from stunt shows to belly dancers, circus performers, and hundreds of costumed characters.
Hot tip: be sure to wear your own Renaissance-style costume for the occasion!
Try Indoor Skydiving At Ifly Charlotte
Charlottes iFLY is the first indoor skydiving facility in North Carolina a state-of-the-art space that provides a safe and exhilarating way for people of all ages and experience levels to enjoy the hair-raising thrill of jumping from a plane without having to worry about the elements or dangers!
This wind tunnel will have you swooping through the air like Superman , as you learn how to fly with lessons from an instructor.
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Parks In Charlotte Nc
There are tons of parks in Charlotte youll want to check out with your family, starting with Arequipa Park in downtown Charlotte, best known for its decorative fountain. The Green is a great place to settle in the grass with a blanket for a picnic, or if youre looking for walking trails in Charlotte, you may want to try Frazier Park.
But one of the best parks in Charlotte is Freedom Park, known for its lush fountain, year-round activities and gorgeous flowers.
James K Polk Historic Site
The James K. Polk Historic Site is located just a few miles from Charlotte where it commemorates the life and boyhood of Americas 11th president. It is an interesting site to visit with children who will come away from the site with a better understanding of what daily life was like in the 1800s. You can join a guided tour of the site to see a reconstructed log house , a barn and a carefully tended kitchen garden which have been carefully furnished with common household items dating back to the time when the late president lived on the estate. Once you have toured the house you can take a walk along the nature trail and enjoy a picnic in the shaded picnic area.
James K. Polk Historic Site, 12031 Lancaster Highway, Pineville, NC 28134, Phone: 704-889-7145
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Things To Do In Charlotte With Toddlers
Charlotte, North Carolina may surprise you with how many fun things there are to do with toddlers. Fortunately, Charlotte doesnt usually get too cold throughout the year so you have plenty of time to explore fun outdoor venues. Here we break down our favorite 7 things to do in Charlotte with toddlers.
Bechtler Museum Of Modern Art
A family visit to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art could prove to be the first vital step you take to awaken your childs inherent artistic creativity. The museum offers both audio tours and docent-guided tours which offer a great insight into the amazing collection of art on display. If you are visiting with younger children you should try and schedule your visit for one of the museums regular Family Days when special guided tours are arranged especially for younger visitors and children are encouraged to have fun creating their own works of art to take home with them. The museum has a brilliant shop where you can buy a variety of childrens art books and equipment.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Levine Center for the Arts, 550 S Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 980-236-1521
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Pikes Old Fashioned Soda Shop
Nothing provides pure joy and nostalgia quite like an old fashioned soda shop. Pikes Old Fashioned Soda Shop has a friendly and comfortable spirit, much like classic American diners all over the country. It is a wonderful place to grab some ice cream with the family or take your loved one on a casual date.
Sea Life Concord Aquarium
A bit out of the way of downtown, the aquarium is located in a huge mall and is another great place to visit.
This just might just be your ticket to get the kids to agree to a couple of hours shopping in Charlotte.
I loved the kid-friendly touch tank featuring sea stars.
Also worth seeing is the octopus . The highlight is definitely a cool walk through the tunnel with sharks, Rays, and a school of fish swimming over and all around you.
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Unc Charlotte Botanical Gardens
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens: Many parents dont know about this free resource, or might not know if its appropriate for kids. It is. Paths wind around Asian gardens, a butterfly garden, a waterfall pond, a 120 year old cabin and so much more. This is a place that will ignite kids imagination. Botany classes are also offered to both kids and adults.
Bonus: The MacMillan Greenhouses most famous resident is Bella, the Titan Arum. This giant plant blooms so rarely, just twice in her life so far, that its a major event when she does, and visitors line up to smell her. Yes, smell. Thats what makes her famous, the pungent aroma when she blooms.
Have An Outdoor Adventure
Take your older kids to the U.S. National Whitewater Center for intense outdoor adventures. This natural area in Charlotte offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, zip lines, ropes courses, mountain biking, and rock climbing in a natural setting. You dont need previous experience to participate in the activities. Relaxing on your vacation rentals deck is the perfect way to lower your heart rate after this intense Charlotte adventure.
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Discovery Place Things To Do In Charlotte
If you are looking for something fun to do in Charlotte with kids, be sure to check out the Discovery Place in Charlotte.
This is the quintessential childrens science museum.
There is a man-made rainforest to explore, experiments to conduct and structures to build. Of particular interest are their jellyfish breeding facilities and coral growing program.
Before your visit, check out the website for a list of special programs.
Looking for even more United States family-friendly vacation ideas? Check out Things To do in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Imaginons Summer Exhibit: Some Assembly Required
ImaginOn has a new summer exhibit! Some Assembly Required is free to visit, and is available whenever ImaginOn is open, Monday to Saturday. The exhibit invites children and families to construct a bridge, form a band, plant a community garden, take part in storytelling, do coding and more. It will be at ImaginOn from May 28th to September 11th, 2022.
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Grab A Book At Imaginon
Ask any parent in Charlotte about one thing their kid loves to do, and you’ll hear ImaginOn mentioned frequently. Located Uptown, ImaginOn is a library geared towards kids and teens that’s been named one of the best kids’ libraries in the nation. In fact, it even has two theaters on site: the Wells Fargo Playhouse and the McColl Family Theater.
Part of Charlotte’s public library system, ImaginOn is completely free. The library is broken down into several different areas, each focusing on a certain age group. The main Spangler Library is a traditional children’s library that’s geared towards kids from infants to fifth grade. You will find plenty of books that can be checked out plus plenty of spaces to curl up and read. An area called “The Loft” on the third floor is only accessible to teenagers. This space has lots of quiet areas for studying but also features an award-winning sound and animation studio that’s free to use.
Watch An Outdoor Movie At Village Park
About a 30-minute drive from Charlotte, Village Park in Kannapolis, North Carolina is the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends.
Besides the expansive greenery ideal for a picnic under the sun, the locally adored park also showcases a regular Summer Concert & Movie Series and offers a carousel and miniature train rides.
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Meet Lemurs At Zootastic Park
Just 35 miles north of Downtown Charlotte is one of North Carolinas most exciting attractions: Zootastic Park!
Hosting an array of private animal encounters with baby spider monkeys, lemurs, armadillos, kangaroos, and plenty more, plus educational programs, the family-friendly attraction offers both walk-through and safari-like drive-through experiences, each unique and noteworthy in their own right.
Why We Recommend This Activity
Carowinds is more than just an excellent amusement park with tons of free kid-friendly things to do in Charlotte. Its also a prime attraction for visitors to get a taste of North Carolina culture.
Not only are there world-class rides but families also enjoy the Carolina cuisine and lively special events provided yearound.
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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Covering nearly 400 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie, the David Stowe Botanical Garden is a spectacular tribute to nature and beauty. Here the entire family can enjoy a memorable day out admiring nature in all its glory. Even the youngest visitors can enjoy learning about nature at one of the gardens special childrens programs which are aimed at children between two and five years of age. Some of the highlights of the garden include the Orchid Conservatory, the Kimbrell Childrens Garden and the colorful Canal Garden. In November and December the garden is festively dressed up in thousands of lights and hosts a Fairy Festival for the children and Beer Garden for the adults.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012, Phone: 704-825-4490
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Have Fun At Frankies Of Charlotte
Your classic low-key theme park with Bumper Cars, go-karts, a flashy arcade, and a handful of rides , Frankies amusement park is a hidden gem on the outskirts of town in nearby Huntersville.
Besides the main attractions, the family-friendly park also delivers some top-quality black-lit bowling and laser tag!
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Take A Segway Tour Of The City
Despite the occasional cobblestone street, rolling around on a Segway is a terrific, convenient, and ultimately fun way to tick off some of the citys main haunts.
Typically venturing through Uptown, led by a charismatic local, segway tours skirt past must-see landmarks like Trade & Tryon , exploring vibrant locales like Fourth Ward and the Arts District too.
Walk Around The Freedom Park
The 93 acres Freedom Park is situated around a 7-acre lake, about 3 miles from the heart of Charlottes downtown area.
The park features 4 baseball fields, batting cages, 12 tennis courts, 4 soccer fields.
Here youll find countless walking trails and 5 outdoor picnic spots with grills.
If youre tired from walking around, the park also has shade and sun garden beds with wide grass paths where you can rest and relax.
This 93-acre park located in Charlotte, North Carolina showcases free films and musical performances in the park pavilion during the summer season. Meanwhile, every September, the Freedom park hosts a five-day-long festival.
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Take An Electric Cart City Tour
Cant be bothered with a walking tour? On those humid summer days, we dont blame you.
For a completely different view of Charlotte, hop in an electric cart and take a two-hour tour to see both the citys high-trafficked and offbeat attractions.
With a friendly local guide at the wheel, youll get a look at Charlottes historic district and some of its many impressive skyscrapers while also learning about Charlottes culture and getting recommendations for secret entertainment and restaurants you might not read about online.
Shop Till You Drop At Charlotte Premium Outlets
For the big spenders and fashionistas, theres no better way to while away a day than by hitting up Charlotte Premium Outlets, Queen Citys premier shopping destination. With more than 100 stores on over 300,000 square feet of land in Berewick , Charlotte Premium Outlets is a shopaholics heaven on earth!
Youll find all your favorite brands from Kate Spade to Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas at huge discounts , spanning the latest trends to timeless classics.
Hungry after maxing out the credit card? CPO is also home to a range of lip-smacking dining and entertainment spots the hearty Charleys Philly Steaks being a great shout any day!
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