Family Activities » Charlotte, NC

Family Activities in Charlotte, NC

Record music at a state-of-the-art iStudio, kayak the nearby Catawba River Discover, get a roller coaster adrenaline rush, expand your mind at a history museum -- Charlotte’s got fantastic kid-friendly activities for family bonding.
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Discovery Place

Wow your kids with the power of play at Discovery Place. This hands-on, interactive museum invites parents and children alike to explore, learn and grow while playing with the concepts of science.  Discover North Carolina’s coastal habitats and exotic rainforest in World Alive. If you can dream it, you can build it at Think it Up where kids can make music,  design and build and test their own contraptions.  Little ones can play and learn too at KidScience, the museum’s interactive exhibit designed for children age 0-7.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

The outdoor-loving family’s dream come true, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is located only a short drive from Charlotte along the banks of the Catawba River. The 400+ acres of woodland boasts 14 miles of trail, one of the biggest outdoor climbing facilities and the world’s largest recirculating river, creating an amazing combination that makes for adventurous fun for the whole family. The Center features rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater and flatwater kayaking, zip lines, adventure courses, hiking, walking and eco trekking or geo caching.

Mint Museums

Explore the family-friendly side of the Mint Museum’s Randolph and Uptown locations.  Mint Museum Randolph was originally the first branch of the U.S. Mint.  Today it houses a rich and diverse collection of visual arts. The Mint Museum Uptown has craft and design exhibits of studio jewelry and furniture, wood art, glass, metal and fiber art. Together, both museums offer fun, interactive ways for families to explore art, including its monthly scavenger hunt – ARTventure; the Lewis Family Gallery play space at the Uptown location; and the free Art Studio the second Saturday of each month.

Other location: Mint Museum RANDOLPH at 2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207

Homeland Creamery

How does the milk get from the cow to the cup? Make a visit to Homeland Creamery your family’s foray into the wonders of dairy farming. Homeland Creamery is a family-owned and operated dairy farm open to the public for tours.  The 1-1/2 hour tour begins with a twenty-minute hayride across the farm and includes bottle-feeding the baby calves, hand-milking a simulated cow and a visit to the milk parlor.  The tour wraps up with a tasting of their delicious ice cream.

Lazy 5 Ranch

Once a private ranch where owner Henry Hampton raised his exotic animals, the Lazy 5 Ranch is now home to more than 750 animals from 6 continents and is open to the public for tours. Take a safari-style drive through the grounds in the comfort of your own car, or call in advance to reserve the ranch’s horse-drawn wagon. Along the 3.5 mile route, you will see Luther the rhino, as well as giraffes, kangaroos, camels, llamas, tortoises, horses, ducks, swans, deer and elk to name a few.