Charlotte can be an amazing place for kids in the summer packed with great activities if you know where to go. It’s conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the shore in the center of North Carolina. This bustling, up-and-coming, mid-size city boasts so many things in and around it that you could probably do something every weekday with the kids without repeating an activity.
We have compiled a list of things to do within two hours (or so) from Charlotte and hopefully it helps your family have fun all summer long.
Water Park at any YMCA ($20/adult, $10 child for an all-day pass)
Cool off at one of the many YMCA pools and water parks where you can jump, swim and splash the days away. List of YMCA Pools and Water Parks.
Splash Pad Crooked Creek (FREE, Open Daily 9-7, closed Tuesdays), Stallings Park. The Splash Pad will be in operation until Sunday, September 11. 5900 Oakwood Lane, Indian Trail, NC
SouthTown Wake Park in Rock Hill. Kids and teens can learn how to wakeboard or kneeboard ($25-$59) at SouthTown Wake Park. The Aqua Park obstacle course ($15) is an additional bonus that kids will love. 255 E. Rambo Rd. Rock Hill, SC.
The Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville. The water is twenty-five feet deep and the temperature of the water in the summer is very refreshing, making it ideal for swimming. A white sand beach and lush green lawn surround the water. ($20-$23 per person on weekdays, more on weekends, reservations required, cash only, includes $5 food voucher) 1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville NC 28115.
Windjammer Park in Tega Cay Friday Night Water Ski Shows (free parking without permit on show nights only) 2022 Show Dates: June 17, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug 5, 12. 8999 Windjammer Dr. Tega Cay, SC
With many farms around the area, here are some of our favorites that may have strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and/or flowers during the summertime. Make sure you call or look online for hours, costs, etc.
–Carrigan Farms in Mooresville – 1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115
–Bush-n-Vine Farm in York – 1650 Filbert Hwy, York, SC
–Lineberger’s Maple Spring Farm in Dallas – 906 Dallas Stanley Hwy, Dallas, NC
–Ivy Place in Lancaster – 8525 Van Wyck Road, Lancaster, South Carolina
–Black’s Peaches in York – 1800 Black Highway, York, South Carolina
–Wise Acres in Indian Trail – 4701 Hartis Road Indian Trail, NC 28079
–Cotton Hills Farm in Chester – 2575 Lowrys Highway, Chester, SC 29706
–Millstone Creeks Orchard in Ramseur – 506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd., Ramseur, NC 27316
–Justus Orchards in Hendersonville – 187 Garren Rd. Hendersonville NC 28792
–McLawland Farms in Charlotte – 8632 Reedy Creek RoadCharlotte, NC 28215
–Rivers’ Blueberries Farms in Rock Hill – 1595 Colony Rd.Rock Hill, SC 29730
–Shady Oaks Farm in Newton – 3487 Yount Rd, Newton, NC 28658
-Summerberry Farm in Concord – 3430 Rimer Rd, Concord, NC 28025
–Mountain Creek Farm in Albemarle – 32286 Laton Rd, Albemarle, NC 28001
–Campbells Berry Farm in Monroe – 27 Tracy Bolick Ln, Hickory, NC 28601
–Buttermilk Creek Farm in Burlington – 1905 Gwyn Rd, Burlington, NC 27217
–Dallas Lavender Farm in Dallas – 937 Old Willis School Rd, Dallas, NC 28034
HIKING & NATURE
Big Rock Nature Preserve – An unassuming wooded area & wildlife habitat features 22 acres & large granite formations. 6500 Elmstone Dr, Charlotte, NC 28277
Robinson Rock House in Reedy Creek Nature Center – Robinson Rock House Ruin and Plantation Site, also known as Site 31MK272, is a historic archaeological site located in Reedy Creek Park at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It is the remnants of an 18th-century stone dwelling of the Colonial period. 2900 Rocky River Rd, Charlotte, NC 28215
Seven Oaks Nature Preserve at Lake Wiley – This 2.6-mile natural surface trail meanders along the shoreline of Lake Wylie and is located on 78 acres of preserved land managed by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. The trail also connects to other trails at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, including two segments at either end of the trail that create a 5-mile loop from the trailhead at the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail.
Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Center – Rocky Face Mountain is located in the northern part of Alexander County and is considered to be the southern edge of the Brushy Mountains. The mountain is a dome shaped mass of granite with a maximum elevation of approximately 1800 feet above sea level. Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area is approximately 318 acres in size, with six miles of hiking trails leading to the mountain summit. 3451 Rocky Face Church Road, Hiddenite, NC 28636
40 Acre Rock in Kershaw SC (easy, flat hike with small waterfalls & crater-like rocks) – 2296 Conservancy Rd, Kershaw, SC 29067
Anne Springs Close Greenway & Lake Haigler – Nestled amid beautiful lakes and hardwood forests, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is a nature preserve more than twice the size of Central Park. Minutes south of Charlotte in Fort Mill, SC, its 2,100 acres serve as a natural buffer from urban development and provides a wide-open space for countless activities.Hiking, camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, $5 parking & $12/person admission, kayaking lessons & sunset kayak nights, outdoor concerts.
ANIMAL FARMS & ZOOS
Cotton Bean Farms in Mt Pleasant (reservations required, $10/person) – Come spend time with our goats. Depending on the time of year you can bottle feed the baby goats during your private Baby Goat Playdate. Unlimited goat cuddles and snuggles included. 29631 Herrin Grove Rd Mt. Pleasant, NC 28124
Sweetwater Farms in Huntersville ($4/person, reservations required) – Along with plenty of wide open spaces for children to explore, we also have several natural play areas designed to help children increase physical activity as well as have lots of fun. Sweetwater kids come in all sizes and so we have made sure to offer different learning experiences for children of all ages. In addition to having an abundance of farm fun, children as well as adults, can enjoy interacting with the most beautiful, loving, and peaceful animals in the world! 11412 Beatties Ford Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
Good Karma Ranch (alpacas) in Iron Station ($10/person, 45-min tour, reservations required) – Good Karma Ranch is a small, family-run farm in North Carolina focused on farming the renewable resource of alpaca fiber in a sustainable manner. 1041 Brevard Place Rd, Iron Station, NC 28080
Cedarbrook Farms (alpacas) in Charlotte ($15/person) – CAF is a small mini urban farm nestled on 3 acres of lush wooded landscape in east Charlotte/ Mint Hill. We offer educational farm tours and customized sessions by pre-booking or appointment only. Our tours include an open farm environment for a hands on experience where you can interact up close and personal with alpacas, goats, pigs, chickens, emus, and ducks! 7408 Cedarbrook Dr, Charlotte, NC 28215
Tatanka Bison Ranch (bison & products) in York ($15/adults, $7/kids, buggy tour for minimum of $100, reservations required) – Located in historic York County SC, the beautiful 215-acre ranch offers our visitors the unique opportunity to view and learn about bison in a natural environment. We manage our ranch and herds using holistic and sustainable practices. We share our passion for these wonderful animals with people of all ages. Our motto is: “Preservation, Education & Agritourism.” 8088 Kays Dr, York, SC 29745
Zootastic in Troutman ($17/adults, $15/kids, drive or walk through, many various animals, personal animal encounters for additional fees) – We have a wide variety of exotic animals such as, tigers, lions, leopards, giraffes, monkeys, lemurs and more! 385 Ostwalt Amity Rd, Troutman, NC 28166
Tiger World in Rockwell ($15/adults, $12 kids/teens) – Tiger World is a different kind of Zoo. We are dedicated to the conservation and education of all threatened and endangered species. Our educational tours personally guide visitors throughout the preserve learning about each animal providing an individual hands-on experience. You will see the animals in a natural setting and have the opportunity to observe them running, playing, swimming, eating, sleeping, and interacting with their handlers. 4400 Cook Rd, Rockwell, NC 28138