The official travel resource for Charlotte is titled “Charlotte’s Got a Lot” for very good reason. Charlotte does, in fact, have a lot! Families living in Charlotte have tons of kid-friendly options for school breaks and weekend fun with little to no traveling involved. On top of the cultural events, museums, and sport tournaments, there are five places in Charlotte your kids are going to beg to go to and beg to never leave.
Carowinds is a massive theme park located right on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. Your kids will love being in two states at the same time. But, they will really love all the amusement park rides! Carowinds has over 40 rides including several roller coasters that your big kids will love. Then, there is Planet Snoopy, which your little ones will want to spend all their time. Plus, Carowinds is also home to Carolina Harbor, which is a fantastic water park that is open in the summer.
2. Great Wolf Lodge
Who says water park fun should just happen in the summer? It doesn’t matter what time of year it is at Great Wolf Lodge because it is an indoor water park! Children think Great Wolf Lodge is the best place ever – and they are not wrong. This resort caters to families with tons of family-friendly activities and food options. And, of course, the amazing water park that is never below 84 degrees. The Charlotte location even includes MagiQuest, which allows your children to become wizards. If that is not enough, the lodge also includes a rope course, a 4D movie theater, bowling, mini golf, and an arcade.
3. Concord Mills
Concord Mills is a giant indoor shopping experience right outside of Charlotte. You may be surprised to see a shopping mall on this list of places your kids will love, but trust me on this one. Concord Mills is not your average shopping mall. In addition to tons of outlet stores with exceptional prices, Concord Mills is also home to several kid-friendly stores like the LEGO story and the Disney Store. But, that is not all! Concord Mills is also home to the Sea Life aquarium! On top of all this fun, the mall also has a movie theater, Dave & Buster’s arcade, and the Speedpark go cart racing experience.
4. Discovery Place
My family absolutely loves Discovery Place! We like it so much that we even buy a season pass each year. Discovery Place is a museum dedicated to science, nature, and technology with tons of hands-on activities. Children love exploring the museum and seeing the animal exhibits and the aquarium on the ground floor. Then, as you head upstairs, you children will get to participate in several STEM learning exhibits such as laying on a bed of nails. There is also an IMAX theater at the downtown location. Don’t worry about whether your child is old enough to enjoy this museum – it has a special section just for little ones that is interactive and exciting.
Finally, those living in Charlotte know ImaginOn is a hit for families. ImaginOn is a collaboration of the public library system and the Charlotte Children’s Theatre. This library is much more than a place to check out books. It has a theater, several separate library spaces dependent on age, a production studio and exhibit spaces. In fact, it was recently ranked the number 1 children’s library in the United States. The event calendar at ImaginOn is always packed with kid-friendly events making it a frequent place for families to visit.