99 Things To Do in Charlotte, NC with Kids
With museums, parks, sports teams, racing, great restaurants, and shopping, there's tons of fun things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina, with kids. 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. It's one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the southeast, so there are often exciting new openings and pop-up experiences, too.
Learn about the American Revolution on the Charlotte Liberty Walk.
Cheer on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.
Explore this unique innovation district with restaurants, shops, and more. It's among our first stops when looking for things to do in Charlotte for all ages.
Hike the trails of Lake Norman State Park. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
4. Lake Norman
Ride a boat on Lake Norman or explore the state park.
Enjoy afternoon tea at the Ballantyne Hotel.
Take in the beauty of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.
Stay the night or get a day pass at this indoor water park resort, AKA Las Vegas for kids!
Tour the speedway. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
Take a speedway tour of this famous raceway.
Meet new animal friends at Caroline Raptor Center.
The Discovery Place Science Museum is full of wonder. Photo courtesy of the museum
Get lost in science at the interactive Discovery Place Science Museum.
Ride all the roller coasters at this Carolina theme park.
Test your driving skills at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
12. NASCAR Hall of Fame
Spend some time learning about the history and legends of NASCAR.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at this uptown chocolate shop.
See the aircraft from "Miracle on the Hudson" at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. *Note: Closed to the public while a new facility is developed for 2023.
Eat fried pickles at this traditional Greek diner.
Have brunch and stroll the shops and galleries in Charlotte’s historic arts and entertainment district.
Explore the nature trails and animal exhibits at this nature museum.
More than a market, enjoy live music, cooking demos and family activities.
Get your girly on at the American Girl Store at SouthPark Mall.
Learn regional history at the Levine Museum of the New South.
Party at this popular annual event with entertainment and activities for the whole family.
Ring in the New Year in uptown Charlotte.
Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through uptown and then have a meal or snack at 7th Street Public Market.
Watch a performance and explore this modern children’s library.
Root on the local NBA team at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
26. No-Da Escapes
See if you can make it out in time at this escape room experience.
27. Epicentre NC
Park at South Blvd. and take the Lynx Rail uptown to visit this dining and entertainment hub.
Sample made from scratch sweet potato pancakes at Tupelo Honey Café.
Book tickets to a Broadway show at Blumenthal Performing Arts.
The trails at Congaree National Park are perfect for the young hiker. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
Take a day trip to the closest national park to Charlotte.
Spend the day shopping at Blakeney Shopping Center, and then let the kids enjoy the splash pad and playground.
Explore the birthplace of James K. Polk, the nation's 11th president.
Learn a little marine biology at the Sea Life Aquarium. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
Meet some underwater friends at this interactive indoor aquarium.
Get “creatively messy” at this fun learning environment located inside the Main Library branch. (Note: Temporarily closed due to COVID.)
Watch the floats and bands at the annual Charlotte Thanksgiving Day Parade.
36. Mint Museum
Participate in a kids program at the Mint Museum.
37. Tiger World
See lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) at this educational wildlife preserve.
Order a kid’s Bento box at this popular restaurant.
39. Mert's Heart and Soul
Snack on shrimp & grits at Mert’s.
40. Mac's Speed Shop
Enjoy live music & BBQ at Mac’s Speed Shop.
41. Lazy 5 Ranch
Drive-thru this safari park and feed exotic animals.
Celebrate diversity at the Yiasou Greek Festival in Dilworth.
Take in a show by kids for kids at Matthews Playhouse.
44. Fan Fest
Visit Fan Fest at this College Football Bowl game, even if you don't attend the game.
Get some exercise at one of Mecklenburg County's many greenways for a fun outdoor activity with the kids.
Enjoy unique cultural experiences at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture.
Watch a dragon boat race and celebrate the traditions and culture of Asian Americans at this outdoor festival.
Test your agility at this one-of-a-kind play area at Freedom Park.
Attend a Charlotte Checkers hockey game to watch the players zip across the ice.
Take a walking tour of this area of the Charlotte Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stroll this open-air market in the south end, complete with live music, vendors, chefs, and more.
Zip-line, kayak, go whitewater rafting, and bike at this premier outdoor center.
53. Birkdale Village
Splash around the sprayground and enjoy weekly Birkdale Buds events for preschoolers.
Amuse your bouche at Amelie's French Bakery for one of the tastier kids activities in Charlotte.
55. Zootastic Park
Encounter a wide variety of animals at this drive-thru and walk-thru zoo at Lake Norman.
Root for the home team at a Charlotte Knights minor league baseball game.
Enjoy a complete pancake breakfast at the Original Pancake House.
Explore the interactive exhibits at Discovery Place Kids. Photo courtesy of the venue
Learn through play at this popular children’s museum near Charlotte.
A favorite activity in Charlotte is enjoying all the great southern restaurants. This annual festival allows you to sample delicious local food all at once.
Celebrate the holiday season in Charlotte at the Southern Christmas Show.
Tailgate at a Charlotte 49ers football game.
Explore over 2,100 acres of land at Anne Springs Close Greenway. Bike, hike, or ride horses!
Celebrate Labor Day weekend at the Matthews Alive Festival.
Take your speed fans to see the race cars. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
Learn about the history of one of NASCAR’s most storied organizations.
Hike over 19 miles of trails at the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.
66. Lego Store
Among our kids' favorite things to do is always building...and buying new toys! Satisfy both requests at the Lego store at Concord Mills.
Any flavor is the best flavor at Gigi's cupcakes. Photo courtesy of the shop
67. Gigi's Cupcakes
Get a sugar rush at Gigi’s cupcakes.
Explore our planet and beyond at the Schiele Museum of Natural History.
69. Matthews Library
Spend the morning at this train-themed library for a low-key indoor activity in Charlotte.
70. Stallings Park
Choose from among three playgrounds to explore at Stallings Park.
Jump up, jump up, and get down at Sky Zone trampoline park.
During the winter season, explore a half-mile immersive light display through the forest.
Enjoy many amenities at this 927-acre preserve, including a nature center, athletic fields, hiking trails, playgrounds, and more.
Take a day trip to nearby Davidson for small town fun.
Teach them to skate at Extreme Ice Center.
Challenge your family to a round of putt putt mini golf.
77. Hall Family Farm
Pick strawberries in the spring and pumpkins in the fall at Hall Family Farm near Charlotte.
Immerse yourself in Southeast Asian culture at the Festival of India.
79. Fish Fountain
Kids will love splashing in this fish-themed splash pad in Charlotte.
80. The Hunter Farm
Celebrate fall with a hayride at Hunter Farm.
Hike, boat, play, or picnic at Colonel Francis Beatty Park.
Wear a kilt to this Scottish festival.
Ride go-karts and more at the Speedpark.
84. Reed Gold Mine
Pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine.
85. Just Play
Kids can expel some energy at this indoor playground in Charlotte.
86. Carrigan Farms
Swim in a deep, natural quarry at Carrigan Farms. It's just 30 minutes north.
Hike through this nature preserve with large exposed boulders.
88. GoPro Motorplex
Travel at speeds of up to 55mph at this authentic racing experience.
See a movie or go shopping at Stonecrest.
Play for hours at this ultimate indoor family fun zone with arcades, games, and sports.
91. Charlotte Ballet
See an on point performance from the Charlotte Ballet.
Bowl at game or two at Bowlero.
Stroll down the streets of this small town and walk the iconic overhead bridge.
Learn about Charlotte’s past at the Charlotte Museum of History, with historic buildings and hands-on experiences.
Plan a camping trip at this family-friendly camping resort, complete with water park, pool, mini golf, jumping pillow, and more.
Challenge your family to a go-kart race at this indoor attraction.
Explore this public trail through the heart of Charlotte, complete with Instagram-worthy art murals.
Kids will love the inflatable water park at SouthTown Wake Park.
99. Aw Shucks Farms
One of our favorite things to do in Charlotte during the fall season is a visit to a nearby farm to enjoy a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and more.
How many can you check off your list?
This article first published in 2015 but has since been updated and revised. Additional reporting by Charlotte Blanton