July 12th, 2019

The Ultimate Kids Summer Guide to the Charlotte Area

School’s out for the summer and now it’s time to figure out how to fill the family’s schedules until August rolls around. In between family vacations and summer camps, what do we do with all of this free time? How can we keep everyone entertained during the long days of summer? We’ve broken down some of the more family-friendly activities and events around Charlotte for your summer schedule.


Anne Springs Close Greenway

The Fort Mill greenway and outdoor recreational space is home to concerts, events, summer camps, and more. Take the family to visit Anne Springs Close Greenway and experience 2,100 acres of nature where you are able to hike, mountain bike, ride horseback, host picnics, and kayak.


Discovery Place Science

Discovery Place Science is Uptown Charlotte’s museum for kids of all ages. With plenty of hands-on and interactive exhibits, the whole family will be interested in a visit to the museum. Don’t forget to check out the IMAX film and live show calendar when scheduling your trip to make the most out of your day.


Discovery Place Kids

Plan a visit to the Discovery Place Kids location in Huntersville and explore the museum’s many exhibits and classes. With regular featured exhibitions, live shows, and educational programs, your little ones will love their time spent at Discovery Place Kids. The museum covers topics like children’s creativity, arts and crafts, health and nutrition, live acting and singing, and so much more.


Latta Plantation

Historic Latta Plantation is a living history farm located on almost 1,400 acres in Huntersville. In addition to guided tours of the plantation home, several buildings on the property give visitors a glimpse of life in North Carolina from 1800 to 1865 during self-guided tours. The venue offers educational programs featuring animals, workshops, camps, and re-enactments from that era. Outside of the educational setting, Latta sits on Mountain Island Lake and is home to nature trails, horse stables, and lake access for endless summer fun.


Lazy 5 Ranch

Come feed the animals at Mooresville’s Lazy 5 Ranch! This area staple is a go-to for family adventures and field trips. Lazy 5 Ranch is home to a wide variety of exotic animals including pot-bellied pigs, red kangaroos, camels, llamas, giraffes, rhinoceros, and porcupines. The more tame list of animals at the park include cattle, deer, antelope, sheep, goats, ducks and birds. Guests are welcomed to tour on your own or with a guide and feed the animals seen along the way.


Carowinds Amusement Park

For over 45 years, Carowinds has been a must for kids and families over the summer! Thrilling roller coasters, a huge waterpark, and daily shows wait for you at Carowinds. Be sure to check the event calendar online for special shows and exhibits throughout the summer.


Carolina Raptor Center

The Carolina Raptor Center is a wildlife preservation center, whose goal is to inspire engagement in nature through exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey. Bird species that have found refuge at the Raptor Center include eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and much more. Bring the family out to observe the birds, walk the trails, and learn more about nature.


U.S. National Whitewater Center

To satisfy your more adventurous side, check out the events calendar at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Aside from the planned events and programs, the Whitewater Center has nature trails, kayak rentals, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting to fill your days. River Jam is another popular summer pastime, occurring Thursday-Saturday evenings from May until September. There will be live music, food trucks, and more entertainment at these nightly events.



Visit one of Charlotte’s most popular educational venues, ImaginOn! With several libraries for kids of all ages, an in-house theater putting on regular shows, and an interactive exhibit space, ImaginOn is constantly providing learning programs for kids and teens. ImaginOn brings stories to life through extraordinary experiences that challenge, inspire and excite young minds.


Charlotte’s kid-friendly scene is ever growing. Check out these family friendly places along with some of the kid-friendly restaurants around Charlotte. This list doesn’t include the several YMCA summer camps and neighborhood pools and clubhouses around the Charlotte area. Check your neighborhood calendars for more hyper local options, use this list of general ideas, and before you know it, school will be back in session!