Whether you are planning a vacation or simply want to move to the city, you may be wondering what to do with your family in Charlotte, NC. The city is known for its wide variety of urban amenities, beautiful skyscrapers, diverse neighborhoods, cultural attractions, lavish shopping facilities, and masterful culinary restaurants.
If you are planning a day out with your family but are unsure where to start, here is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular attractions and things to do in Charlotte NC that will make it well worth your while!
Nascar Hall of Fame
Right off the bat, we have Charlotte’s crown jewel. Charlotte is most popularly known for housing the Nascar Hall Of Fame. People who are avid fans of NASCAR racing will feel a strong connection to the city that has deep roots in NASCAR’s history. The hall of fame covers over 5 acres of land and is filled with several high-tech venues and hands-on exhibits that honor the history and heritage of NASCAR racing.
The facility is generally open Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, whereas admissions will cost you $27 for adults and $20 for younger children aged 4-12.
Hit a Museum or Science Center
If you want to look at interesting exhibits and enjoy inspiring education, you will find plenty of museums in Charlotte NC you can visit.
For sharing the love of modern art, check out the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. To look at the city’s evolution of culture and arts, the Mint Museum is the place to be. For exploring hands-on science exhibits and delving into science education, check out Discovery Place Uptown (Charlotte children’s museum). And if you wish to explore intriguing natural history and the stunning world of science, visit the Schiele Museum.
All of these are award-worthy museums and science centers that showcase the most sought-after facilities and exhibits in Charlotte City! It is simply one of the top things to do with in Charlotte with kids.
Looking for some exciting things to do with kids? Nothing beats spending the day at an indoor kart track where you can blow off steam and spend quality time with your loved ones. Charlotte, NC, has its fair share of wonderful go-kart tracks that will get your adrenaline pumping.
The GoPro Motorplex, Frankie’s Fun Center, K1 Speed, Victory lane Indoor Karting, Speed Karts Inc, The Speedpark At Concord Mills, and The Pit Indoor Kart Racing are all wonderful destinations you can explore for go-karting opportunities!
Take a Hike
If you want to go out with the family while also incorporating some healthy cardio exercise, why not go for a hike? You can explore many walking trails and natural parks in the region, but the most popular is Crowders Mountain State Park.
The Crowders Mountain State Park covers around 5,300 acres of North Carolina ground, meaning there is plenty to explore. It is filled with many hiking trails that lead to the summit of Crowders Mountain, the 8000 ft mountain rise that gives it its name. The Rocktop trails (1.5 miles), the Pinnacle trail (2 miles), the Crowders trail (2.8 miles), and the Backside trail (0.8 miles) are all challenging tracks to explore.
Besides hiking, the park is also popular for paddling, fishing, rock climbing, and picnicking. There are no general fees for entry however you may have to pay fees for activities such as camping or group climbing.
Putt Putt Golf
Putt putt golf is a simplified version of mini golfing played with a putter on a shorter course field with fewer obstacles. If your family is new to golfing or if you want to introduce them to this fun sport, take them out to a putt-putt golf course in Charlotte.
There are plenty of putt-putt and miniature golf courses in the area. Some popular destinations include Monster Mini Golf, Mr. Putty’s Fun Park, Puttery Charlotte, and Lunar Mini Golf. Kids of all ages can enjoy a round of putt-putt golf on these mini-golf courses.
Visit the Arcade
If you want to enjoy some old entertainment with your loved ones, head to Pins Mechanical Co. in Charlotte. Pins Mechanical is a lovely arcade center and bar located in the heart of the South End.
It is one of the most popular social destinations in the area, where family and friends can come together to enjoy craft beer and classic cocktails. The real fun lies in the many pinball machines it houses, along with fun activities such as foosball, duckpin, and ping pong. The location can also be booked for personal family events, corporate outings, or even birthday parties! It is one of the most recommended things to do in Charlotte with kids.
Take The Family Bowling
Bowling is another wonderful activity that helps you bond with your loved ones and have a truly enjoyable time with them. Bowling with your kids can also help develop their hand-eye coordination and depth perception.
One of Charlotte’s most popular bowling alleys is Piedmont Social House, a hybrid restaurant and entertainment venue. Visit this downtown hotspot where you can hang out with your family, munch on delectable foods and drinks, and enjoy a nice bowling game. Besides the 12 bowling lanes, they also have pool tables, ping pong, foosball, and billiards for you to enjoy.
Go Rock Climbing
For a more challenging but fun experience, go rock climbing with your family. If you are looking for an indoor rock climbing venue, head to Inner Peaks.
Inner Peaks has two state-of-the-art rock climbing facilities in the South End and Mathews, where you can stay fit, build focus, and enjoy yourself. They cater to all individuals, including beginners, professionals, and kids. They have professional guides on site to teach you all about rock climbing. As for entry, a single-day pass will cost you $22, whereas you will have to pay for equipment rentals separately.
Trampoline Park Charlotte NC
If your kids don’t look forward to sports activities or exercise, take the entire family to a trampoline park. Trampolining is perfect for keeping the body fit and active; it is a type of exercise in disguise.
The Big Air Trampoline Park is one of the most popular trampoline parks in Charlotte, NC, spread over 37,000 square feet. The facility includes trampoline dodgeball courts, slam dunk courts, climbing walls, foam pits, and a stunning virtual reality arcade. General admissions to the park will cost you $17 for an hour or $35 for the complete day. Kids aged under 2 are granted admission for $5.
Tubing on the Catawba
If you plan to partake in an easy water group activity, visit the Catawba River for a tubing adventure with your family. The river is known for its scenic beauty and offers plenty of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and tubing, which is one of the most popular activities among families.
You simply have to bring your own bumper tube or inner tube to the river and allow the current float of the river to carry you downstream. Most will start their journey at the Lake Wylie Dam all the way to the Riverwalk Carolinas, a total journey that should take 3.5 hours to complete. You should also bring your own water shoes, drinks, and snacks to fully enjoy your time.
Hit The Whitewater Center
The Whitewater Center was established in 2001. Since then, it has been bringing people from all over the city together. If you want to enjoy exciting, adventurous activities in the glorious outdoors, this is where you want to be.
The facility features 1300 acres of land. You can enjoy ice skating, zip lining, yoga, mountain biking, kayaking, and rock climbing. It also includes over 50 miles of natural trails you can cover. As for pricing, you can get an all-access day pass for $75 or pay for individual activities.
Go on the Uptown Charlotte Liberty Walk
If you want to learn about the origins and history of Charlotte, go to the uptown Charlotte Liberty Walk. It is an educational opportunity to learn how the city developed and its role in the American Revolution.
The entirety of the walk is 19 miles starting from Cordelia Park in North Charlotte, going through the uptown and historical neighborhoods, and ending at the North Carolina and South Carolina State Line. The walk covers plenty of historical sites, halls, encampments, and churches that recount the rich history of Charlotte.
Go See a Show
Going to the theater to see a show is an excellent way to spend the evening with your family. Charlotte has a wide variety of theaters and has become a top destination to see live shows in North Carolina.
In particular, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is one of the most popular nonprofit theatrical arts centers in Charlotte. It is also one of the largest performing arts centers between Washington and Atlanta, entertaining over 690,000 individuals annually. Besides this, the Children’s Theatre Charlotte, Charlotte Comedy Theatre, and Theatre Charlotte are all great facilities you can visit with the family.
The Latta Plantation, now known as the Latta Place or Latta House, is one of the most popular historic houses located in Huntersville near Charlotte. It is known for acting as a living history exhibit and museum that depicts the many aspects of daily living during the antebellum period in North Carolina.
Throughout the year, the plantation opens its doors to the public for events, reenactments, summer camps, and other activities. It is also officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places, making it well worth the visit. It is simply one of the most recommended things to do in Charlotte.
Take A Garden Tour
Sometimes the best way to refresh yourself is to spend time among plants and greens. Taking a garden tour is not only a way to calm the mind, but it can also help you learn about new plants and varieties. One of the most popular botanical gardens in Charlotte is the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. This is a beautiful, meticulously maintained botanical garden with rich varieties of plants. The best part is, admission to the garden is completely free, making it one of the best free things to do in Charlotte!
Apart from this, you also don’t want to miss the McGill Rose Garden and the Wing Haven. Both are equally stunning gardens you can explore with your family.
Go To The Library
A trip to the library can be more enjoyable and fruitful than you think. Not only can you spend quality time with your loved ones, but you can also promote reading habits among your children. ImaginOn is one of Charlotte, NC’s go-to destinations for reading and arts.
It covers over 102,000 square feet and is the top children’s library countrywide. Over 300,000 people visit the library every year to enjoy its literary treasures. The library includes a large collection of picture books, fiction, folk, and fairy tales, along with nonfiction books and biographies.
Hit An Amusement Park
An amusement park is the best place if you seek adrenaline, fun, and excitement. Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, is one of the most popular amusement parks in the region boasting over 60 world-class rides. These include thrilling roller coasters, camp buses, drop towers, train rides, and carousels. Also, be sure to visit Carowin’s Carolina Harbor, one of the best waterparks in the city. Daily tickets to the park are available at $29.99. It is one of the most fun things to do in Charlotte.
Besides Carrowinds, don’t forget to visit the Great Wolf Lodge and Frankie’s Fun Center. These are some incredibly competitive amusement parks you would not want to miss!
Go To A Game
If you are a sports lover, you should take the day to see some of Charlotte’s leading teams in action. In particular, check out the Charlotte Knights, one of the leading minor-league baseball teams; Carolina Panthers, a professional football team based in Charlotte; Charlotte Checkers, Charlottes’ minor league professional ice hockey team; Charlotte FC, Charlotte’s professional soccer club and the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte’s professional basketball team. Each is highly talented and will make for an entertaining play!
Bike riding is an amazing way of incorporating cardio and anaerobic exercise into your daily regime. It can also be pretty exciting and great for family bonding. Charlotte, NC, provides you with ample opportunities for bike riding. The Charlotte Rail trail covers over 3.5 miles and attracts many bike-riding enthusiasts daily. You will also find plenty of other greenways, and beautiful paths spread across the city to bike and run on. It’s a simple past time that should be top of mind next time you’re considering what to do with your family in Charlotte.
Pan For Gold At Reed Gold Mine
The Reed Gold Mine is one of the first documented gold mines in the USA. In fact, it is what led to the expansion of gold mining in North Carolina. Until 1848, NC was a top leader in the national gold production industry. Today, you can visit Reed Creek and take a chance at panning for gold. Panning is available every Tuesday to Saturday and tickets are available for just around $3. It is one of the most recommended fun things to do in Charlotte.
Go To The Park
Nothing beats a nice trip to the park. You can enjoy a gentle walk, breathe fresh air, set up an outdoor picnic, and bond with your loved ones. Charlotte has plenty of parks you can visit. One of our personal favorites is Freedom Park. It is undeniably one of Charlotte’s most beautiful parks with thriving green grounds and mazes of bike and walking trails.
Go Get Some Ice Cream
On hot summer days, go out with your family for some sweet and cooling ice cream. There are numerous notable frozen treat sellers and ice cream shops in Charlotte.
The Cabarrus Creamery is one of the city’s most popular ice cream shops and has served the community for over 80 years. Other notable sellers include Golden Cow, Seemingly Overzealous, Carolina Cones, and the Elizabeth Creamery.
Go To The Beach
To elevate your mood, head to the beach. Rest on the warm sand, watch the blue waves, and bond with your family. The Ramsey Creek Park is one of the most popular waterfront parks covering a total of 46 acres. The family-friendly destination includes a boat launch and dock, a playground, a public swimming access area, and plenty of picnic shelters. It is one of the top things to do in Charlotte NC with kids.
Another notable mention is Windjammer Park, a popular beach and picnic location in Tega Cay that attracts hundreds of tourists every year.
Take A Self Guided Tour
Sometimes it serves best to go out and do some sightseeing on your own through a self-guided tour. It becomes even more exciting if the whole family joins in. Charlotte has plenty of wonderful self-guided tours and art and culture centers you should explore. Notable mentions include the Art and Science Council Mad About Murals Tour 1 and 2 and the Fourth Ward Historic District Walking Tour.
Go To A Farm
A farm visit can be a wonderful way to show your children farm animals. And kids can learn how crops are cultivated up close. Carrigan Farms in Charlotte is one of the region’s most popular working farms and rock quarries. It is a treasure of aesthetic scenery and even serves as a premier outdoor wedding venue. The farm also specializes in the growth of fresh fruits and vegetables.
When harvest season comes around, the farm holds plenty of special events, educational school tours, and field trips so the community can see the efforts of this family-owned farm up close.
Hit A Food Hall
For some fine dining experiences, check out Optimist Hall, one of the most popular food halls in Charlotte. You can feast on a rich variety of dining options, including locally developed restaurants and cafes. The 7th Street Market is also well worth visiting. It serves as a nonprofit food hall where you can savor food from the top vendors in the city.
Charlotte, NC, is a wonderful city with a rich source of entertainment, excitement, and adventure you can explore. You can do plenty in the city, especially if you are planning a day out with your loved ones. The next time you don’t know what to do with your family in Charlotte, pick any of the family-friendly attractions from our list. All are more than well worth the visit!