Charlotte’s fun activities and attractions for Kids

After exploring all of Charlotte’s fun activities and attractions, your kids won’t want to leave! Charlotte is a city that understands how to play. Whether your kids’ idea of fun is traveling the rapids, rocketing around a racetrack, or standing so still that butterflies sit on their shoulders, Charlotte will bring out their smiles.

Indoor Family-friendly Fun

Discovery Place Nature

This museum introduces young children to nature through gentle activities. A favorite is the “Butterfly Pavilion,” where children can view butterflies in all stages of growth. The museum backs up to Freedom Park, which offers a playground, expansive pond, and walking trails.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Bring the entire family to experience the excitement of the performing arts and then encourage them to participate in it first-hand at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Since 1972, the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has become one of the top performance and educational organizations for youth in the country. Get the kids involved in one of the creative drama classes or workshops to see why the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has been recognized nationally for its programs.

Discovery Place Science

One of the most exciting attractions in the Charlotte area, this science museum, takes “interactive” to a new level. Kids build structures with PVC pipes, solve engineering challenges, create music by breaking light beams with their bodies and launch their lightweight sculptures into the air. Kids up to age 7 have their private hands-on area with a water table and wind wall, among other attractions. Both kids and adults love The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre and Discovery 3-D Theatre.

Great Wolf Lodge

There’s no debate: Great Wolf Lodge is a favorite hotel for kids. Just minutes from Charlotte, Great Wolf Lodge features themed rooms, an arcade, and the interactive MagiQuest, where kids battle dragons and goblins. Most importantly, though, there is an indoor waterpark that includes numerous water slides, a giant wave pool, and a toddler area.

ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center

An interesting joint-venture with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, ImaginOn has a full season of theater for kids, an award-winning children’s library and free activities spead out throughout the whimsical cnter. Your preschoolers play dress-up on a stage and teens can create animation videos in their studio.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Adult racing fans love the 40,000 square feet of exhibits celebrating Piedmont’s homegrown sport, but kids love the interactive features. They can become the pit crew challenge, narrate a race on the radio and solve an engine puzzle. Fifty hands-on activities will keep them busy.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium

Participate up close and personal with a stunning 5,000 sea creatures at SEA LIFE Aquarium in the Concord Mills Mall. This unique aquarium brings you up-close and personal with sharks, seahorses, starfish, jellyfish, octopus, and more. Visitors also learn what we can all do to protect our oceans.

Sky Zone Charlotte

The same-old gym may have innovative new competition. As the self-proclaimed master inventors of “fun fitness,” the world’s foremost indoor trampoline park is redefining the way your whole family can be active. Sky Zone has something for the whole family, and features an open jump, a foam pit, a SkySlam court, ultimate dodgeball, and skyrobics classes for the parents.

Sports Connection

If you have energetic kids with no chance of slowing down, you need a place that has something for the whole family. Where else can you find indoor sports, laser tag, a ropes course, bowling, and rock climbing all in one place? With three locations in Charlotte, teens can master the bumper cars, arcade games, and rock climbing Sports Connection offers, while the younger ones enjoy mini-bowling and jump-n-play.

The Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC

Outdoor Family-friendly Adventures

Carolina Raptor Center

Stroll the 1-mile nature trail and get to know 25 species of raptors. The Carolina Raptor Center rehabilitates injured eagles, hawks, owls, and other birds of prey, which are sure to intrigue and fascinate the whole family.


Boasting major thrill rides, family rides, rides for small children, the sprawling Carolina Harbor waterpark, and the throwback County Fair attraction, Carowinds is a theme park that genuinely does have something for everyone. The major draw, Fury325, is the world’s tallest and fastest Giga coaster!

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

The expansive grounds of these 400 acres of pristine pastures are made for strolling. Whether you’re looking for a family afternoon filled with horticulture education or a weekend exploring the “Wee Houses” exhibition, which is part of the collective “Playhouses, Treehouses and Forts” attraction, little ones of all ages will love stepping into a new world of imagination inside the garden.

Lazy 5 Ranch

Get a bucket of animal food and enjoy face-to-face encounters with more than 750 animals from six continents. Tour the Mooresville animal park in a horse-drawn wagon or your car.

The Speedpark at Concord Mills

Located at Concord Mills, the SpeedPark offers five go-kart tracks for children and adults as well as bumper boats, a climbing wall, mini-golf, and an arcade.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Home to the largest human-made whitewater river in the world and the world’s first deepwater solo climbing tour, the center’s adventures include rafting, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, zip-lining, and more. Kids can’t help but burn off energy here.

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