Charlotte is a kid-friendly city. From parks and museums to bigger attractions like Discovery Place and Carowinds, you’re sure to find something suitable for children of any age.
Let’s start with some of the bigger attractions. Charlotte is home to Discovery Place, Inc., which operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS. Discovery Place
offers interactive science exhibitions and dynamic presentations for all ages as well as an IMAX Dome Theatre. Visitors also can get close to nature by visiting Charlotte Nature Museum, adjacent to Freedom Park. Daily programs include puppet shows and hands-on activities. Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville is designed for children ages birth through second grade. Several other Discovery Place KIDS locations are in the works for opening in the next few years.
When thinking of things to do in Charlotte, who can forget Carowinds? This 105-acre theme park and water park offers more than 50 state-of-the-art rides, attractions and shows. While the thrill rides are better suited for older children and adults, Carowinds also has Planet Snoopy, with rides for younger children, as well live entertainment.
Close by in Huntersville is the Carolina Raptor Center, where visitors can stroll along the nature trail for a self-guided tour and observe raptors in their aviaries. Also nearby in Mooresville is Lazy 5 Ranch, a drive-through animal farm with more than 750 animals from six continents. Mooresville also features Lake Norman’s only family entertainment center, Queen’s Landing, with everything from mini-golf and bumper boats to dining, sightseeing and dinner cruises.
At Mint Museum Uptown, kids of all ages can visit the Lewis Family Gallery, a hands-on space providing a creative environment for creating art, engaging in building and puzzle challenges, posing for pictures, creating a giant doodle, and stepping into a Romare Bearden collage. Also, every third Sunday is family-time at Mint Museum Uptown where families can participate in craft projects, family tours, movement activities, artist demonstrations, and more.
If you are looking for more day-to-day activities as opposed to bigger day trips, Charlotte has plenty of those as well. There are 210 parks and playgrounds scattered around the city. Some favorites among families include Reedy Creek, Boyce Park, Freedom Park and Francis Beatty Park. To cool off in the summer heat, families can head over to one of five free spraygrounds open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In addition to outdoor spraygrounds, Ray’s Splash Planet, an indoor water park, offers year-round fun for all ages.
Families also love ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, an uptown magnet of family fun that is part children’s theatre, part library, and always free. The center has scheduled programs as well as drop-in, informal events for children of all ages including children’s theatre productions, puppet shows, storytimes, and rotating exhibits. It also includes a special area just for teens ages 12-18 called The Loft.
These are just a handful of some of the attractions for families to enjoy in Charlotte. There are endless possibilities of things to keep your kids busy with programs and events at numerous museums, libraries, parks and more.