99 Things to Do in Charlotte, NC with Kids Before They Grow Up

Charlotte, North Carolina is the second largest city in the southeast and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. With museums, parks, sports teams, great dining and shopping, it's no wonder. There's lots to do in Charlotte for families. Whether you are a native Charlottean, one of the thousands of transplants, or just visiting, we hope you will love exploring the history, diversity, culture and beauty of the Queen City.  

If you somehow get bored in Charlotte, you can always head to nearby Asheville, NC. We've got the scoop on things to do with kids in Asheville too. 

1. Learn about the American Revolution on the Charlotte Liberty Walk
2. Watch a Civil War re-enactment at Latta Plantation
3. Cheer on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium 
4. Ride a boat on Lake Norman
5. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Ballantyne Hotel
6. Take in the beauty of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
7. Stay the night or get a day pass at the indoor water park resort Great Wolf Lodge, AKA Las Vegas for kids!
8. Go see the Annual Singing Christmas Tree
9. Visit Charlotte Motor Speedway for a race or the Petty Driving Experience
10. Meet new animal friends at Carolina Raptor Center

Practicing levitation (and learning physics) at Discovery Place Museum.

11. Get lost in science at the interactive Discovery Place Museum
12. Ride all the roller coasters at Carowinds​
13. Get your love of racing on at the NASCAR Hall of Fame
14. Get dessert at The Ritz-Carlton's Bar Cocoa
15. See the aircraft from "Miracle on the Hudson" at the Carolinas Aviation Museum
16. Get soaked at Ray's Splash Planet
17. Eat fried pickles at Diamond Restaurant
18. Have brunch and stroll the shops and galleries in funky NoDa 
19. Explore the butterfly pavilion and animal exhibits at the Charlotte Nature Museum
20. More than a market, enjoy live music, cooking demos and family activities at the Matthews Community Farmers' Market
21. Get your girly on at the American Girl Store at SouthPark Mall

Cooling off in the waterfall fountains at Romare Bearden Park.

22. Enjoy free weekly live music at Romare Bearden Park
23. Learn regional history at the Levine Museum of the New South and then go for hush puppies at Queen City Q
24. Watch the Charlotte St. Patrick's Day Parade (and don't forget to wear green)
25. Party at the Speed Street 600 Festival
26. Attend CLT New Year's Eve in uptown Charlotte
27. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through uptown and then have a meal or snack at 7th Street Public Market
28. Watch a performance at ImaginOn and then visit the modern library
29. Root on the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena
30. Park at South Blvd. and take the Lynx Rail uptown to visit Epicentre
31. Sample sweet potato pancakes at Tupelo Honey Cafe
32. See a show at the Belk Theater
33. Run through the fountains at Blakeney and stay for an outdoor concert
34. Explore the childhood log cabin homestead reconstructed at the James K. Polk Historic Site
35. Meet some underwater friends at Sea Life Aquarium
36.  Step up to STEM at the Main Library Maker Space
37. Watch the floats and bands at the Charlotte Thanksgiving Day Parade 
38. Visit the Mint Museum on Sunday Fun Days
39. Order the kids' bento box at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar 

Amazing cakes at Mert's.

40. Smack on shrimp and grits, okra and more at Mert's Heart and Soul
41. Eat BBQ at Mac's Speed Shop
42. Meet exotic animals at Lazy 5 Ranch
43. Celebrate diversity at the Yiasou Greek Festival in Dilworth
44. Take in a show by kids, for kids at Matthews Playhouse 
45. Visit Fan Fest at the Belk Bowl, even if you don't attend the game.
46. Dance on the stage at Waldhorn's Oktoberfest 
47. Enjoy fun and music at Romare Fest. 
48. Get some exercise at one of Mecklenburg County's 15 greenways 
49. Tour the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture 
50. Check out the Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Race at Ramsey Creek Park 
51. Test your agility at the NFL Play 60 course at Freedom Park 

Playful fountain in Wells Fargo Plaza.

52. Learn about gold mining in NC at the Wells Fargo History Museum 
53. Attend a Charlotte Checkers hockey game 
54. Ice skate outdoors at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Rink 
55. Take a walking tour of historic Dilworth 
56. Kick off the weekend at Food Truck Friday in the South End.
57. Zipline, kayak, raft, hike and more at U.S. Whitewater Center 
58. Splash around at Birkdale Village spray pad
59. Chill out at Summer Pops at Symphony Park 
60. Marvel in the merriment of the Carolina Renaissance Faire 
61. Amuse your bouche at Amelie's French Bakery 
62. Honor Dr. King at the Charlotte MLK Holiday Parade 
63. Get tickets to a Charlotte Knights baseball game 
64. Have breakfast at the Original Pancake House 
65. Learn through play at Discovery Place Kids 
66. Savor the Taste of Charlotte festival 
67. Celebrate the season at the Southern Christmas Show 
68. Tailgate before seeing a UNCC Football Game 
69. Hike at the Anne Springs Close Greenway
70. Spend the day or weekend at Matthews Alive Festival

Artful programs introduce modern art to kids at the Bechtler Museum.

71. Play Bechtler Bingo as you explore the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
72. Enjoy nature at the Little Sugar Creek Greenway 
73. Build away at the LEGO Store at Concord Mills 
74. Get a sugar rush at Gigi's Cupcakes 
75. Explore our planet and beyond at the Schiele Museum of Natural History 
76. Spend the day at the train-themed Matthews Library 
77. Splash and play at the Stallings Park interactive fountain
78. Jump up, jump up, and get down at Sky Zone Charlotte
79. Enjoy the beauty of Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve
80. Take a day trip to nearby Davidson for small town fun
81. Spend a spring afternoon strolling the gardens at the VanLandingham Estate
82. Putt putt away at Lake Norman Mini Golf
83. Pick strawberries and pumpkins at Hall Family Farm 
84. Immerse yourself in Southeast Asian culture at the Festival of India

Kids love to splash in the fish fountain. 

85. Get wet at the Green Uptown fish fountain  
86. Celebrate fall with a hayride at The Hunter Farm 
87. Hike, boat, play or picnic at Colonel Francis Beatty Park
88. Wear a kilt to the Rural Hill Scottish Festival 
89. Ride go-karts and more at The Speedpark at Concord Mills 
90. Pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine
91. Drive through scenic Myers Park and admire the homes and trees 
92. Pig out at the Fiddle n' Pig Shindig BBQ & Bluegrass Festival 
93. Attend the ACC Football Championship and Fanfest
94. See a movie or shop at Stonecrest Mall and eat at Flying Biscuit 
95. Play for hours at ultimate fun zone Sports Connection 
96.  See an on point performance from the Charlotte Ballet 
97. Bowl at game or two at Strike City 
98. Stroll down the ideal small town Main Street in Waxhaw and stand on the bridge 
99.  Learn local history at the Charlotte Museum of History

How many can you check off your list? 

See all our city guides for more family adventures. 

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