When my wife and I moved to the Charlotte, NC. area a little over eight years ago with our four kids ranging in age from 9 to 2 years old one of the first things my wife looked out was kid friendly things to do in Charlotte, NC after we got settled in. It allowed her to go out and see the town and hopefully meet some people along the way and get the kids acclimated to the area.
The list of kid friendly activities would take a lot of space to write about everything that Charlotte, NC. has to offer for children. So, I decided to hit on some of the main ones that we have explored and felt were worth the time to visit with children.
First on our list was Carowinds. Located on the North and South Carolina border this amusement park is truly designed for kids of all ages. A great place to spend an afternoon or a day. My kids especially love the water park and the various rides and wave pools that it offered. The drawback is it is open seasonally so it closes down at the end of October and does not reopen again until April. But truly a fun place to go if you enjoy amusement parks.
Second, Discovery Place museum. My children have always been fascinated with museums. Especially ones that let you touch and feel and play with things in them. The Discovery Place museum is a great place in uptown to take the kids to explore different scientific things and watch them as they use their minds to have fun and learn at the same time. With some exhibits that are permently part of the museum and others that are traveling it seems never to have gotten boring or dull for my kids....
Third, was the whitewater center located in Northern Charlotte area. This is a great place to take the whole family if you are looking for a fun outdoors day. Besides the whitewater rafting, they have over 24 different activities for kids and adults of all ages and skill levels. Numerous water rafting and kayaking is available. They also have some great trails to go hiking or mountain biking on and various rope courses and zip lines designed for all ages and skill levels....
Fourth, Rays splash planet. It is basically an indoor water park for young children. Probably best suited for kids ten and under....It has water slide and a swimming area as well as a kids play area all indoors. Being open year round helps and the kids love the fact they can go swimming in the winter time.
Fifth, Charlotte parks and recreation. One thing I was impressed with when I first moved to Charlotte and continue to be impressed with is the amount of parks and playgrounds for kids. Despite being a large city Charlotte has been able to maintain large vats of land scattered strategically throughout Charlotte for playground sets and fields for the kids to go and run around in and play.... They even in the summer time have splash zones. They are basically water sprinkler systems that shoot water on the kids during the summer and my kids love going and running through the sprinklers and enjoying a cool off while playing out at one of the parks.
Sixth, staying with the theme of the parks and recreation Charlotte has numerous greenways and is working on expanding them continuously as well. They are scattered throughout Charlotte and on any given day you will see people walking, jogging, and riding bikes with their kids pushing strollers through... I is a great family fun activity that cost nothing to do as well.
Seventh, The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places to visit. Named after the founder who left the 400 acres to make in a garden for all to see and view it is a great afternoon to spend visiting the wonderful flowers and plants that the garden has as well as seeing some of the most beautifully preserved area of Charlotte as well.
Eighth, Carolinas aviation Museum. Charlotte is not known for it's planes or aircrafts except for the busy international airport. Yet we are home to a wonderful aviation museum that is home to the plane from the miracle on the Hudson. The one where the plane landed in the Hudson River. With so much rich history to see and a constantly expanding museum that is mostly indoors this is truly a gem that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle in Charlotte.
Ninth and last on my list is the Imaginon. It is the main library branch for the Charlotte library system and is also home to a lot of other things. I guess it is not your typical library. It is a collaboration of a library and a theater that brings books to life through children's plays put on by the kids. Finished in 2005 it hosts two state of the art theaters, a library section devoted to children under 11 years old, a teen only library, classrooms, it's own multimedia production studio and interactive exhibit space all under one roof.....I have gotten lost spending a day in there with my kids with all the things to do and books to see......
Like I said earlier there are probably a lot of other things to do in Charlotte and I have probably with my wife done most of them as well. I thought these were the best of them. Some required admission and others were free but it gives our kids a broad range of things to do in the Charlotte area and is a good way to start your experience in Charlotte, NC. with children as you get to know the area.
Helen Adams Realty