Kid-Friendly Stuff To Do In Charlotte

Charlotte is fun for everyone! But sometimes it's hard to know what activities are kid-sanctioned. Here's a list of kid-approved activities for your little ones!

Asheville Drum Circle (Asheville)

Free, every warm Friday

Carolina Speedway (Gastonia)

Dirt track racing action almost every Friday! (Bring earplugs/muffs, camp chairs, and clothes you don't care about getting a fine crust of red dirt on)

Lazy 5 Ranch (Mooresville)

My favorite #1 thing to do near Charlotte, especially with out-of-town friends. Pet and feed exotic animals from inside your own car! It's a hoot! (Buy at least one feed bucket! Take your crappiest car, it WILL get animal slobber all over the outside and millions of tiny food pellets on the inside. Note: cash only)

Airport Overlook (Charlotte)

Bring a blanket, sit on a bench, or just watch from your car. Depending on airplane schedules, you can either watch airplanes take off or landing (bonus points if you get to witness the giant Lufthansa flight arrive in the afternoon!). Sometimes you have to wait an hour before you get any action. Open 'til 10:30pm!)

NASCAR Hall of Fame (Uptown Charlotte)

Fun, even for non-racers with zero clue (*me*.) They have plenty of kid-themed activities (decorating a car with magnets, obstacle courses) throughout the museum. Older kids? Make sure you pay for the unlimited simulator rides! More expensive, but 100% worth it. (You'll be there ALL DAY.)

Knights Baseball (Uptown Charlotte)

April-August. You can always find cheap tickets on Groupon, and kids can play in the Rookie Play Zone with inflatables and slides.

Charlotte Hornets Basketball (Uptown Charlotte)

October-April. You can usually find tickets under $20 on Groupon.

Charlotte Checkers Hockey (Southeast Charlotte)

October-April. You can usually find tickets under $20.

Discovery Place Kids (Huntersville)

Hands-on museum just for kids!

US National Whitewater Center (Outer West Charlotte)

Take a hike, go mountain biking, paddleboard on the river, watch kayakers go down the rapids, take your dog on a walk around the river, rock climb, zipline, do ropes courses. (Parking $5) There is always something going on at the Whitewater Center: festivals, free films most Fridays, RiverJam Thursdays and Saturdays in the summer (bring a blanket or camp chair).

Latta Plantation (Huntersville)

The house tour (though small) is pretty interesting, and sometimes they have historical actors in-costume around the house gardening, chopping wood, etc. (Kids under 5 free!)

Carolina Raptor Center (Huntersville)

See predatory birds up close and personal. (Just a few minutes from Latta Plantation, if you want to spend a Saturday.)

Rural Hill (Huntersville)

There's always fun events during weekends at Rural Hill (Scottish games festival, hummingbird festival, sheepdog festival, music festival, etc.)

Reed's Gold Mine (Midland)

Take a self-guided tour through a mine shaft, walk through a museum, and in the warm season pan for gold for $2 extra! (Probably best for older kids.)

Tiger World (Rockwell)

Get up close and personal with every big cat you can imagine. (Make sure to call ahead and ask when feeding time is (it's different based on the season) because what's more fun than watching lions attack giant hunks of meat launched over a chain link fence?)


Who doesn't love roller coasters?

Carolinas Aviation Museum

Remember the Miracle on the Hudson? That plane is here!

Cars and Coffee 

On the first Saturday of every month, car-lovers gather, walk around, and gawk at each other's cars. Also - free donuts and coffee supplied by the local car dealerships.