Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to many wonderful things to do from parks, hiking, museums, sporting events, and festivals. There is something fun to do just about every weekend if you look for it. As residents of the Charlotte area since 2008, we have had the opportunity to do many things. I have narrowed my long list to our top 5 FREE things to do as a family. Hope you enjoy!
Experience Charlotte, North Carolina
Airport Overlook Park. There is nothing fancy about this park located in Charlotte, North Carolina but it does have a certain glow. It’s just down a quiet road with picnic tables, benches, and some shaded areas. However, the main attraction is the landing strip before you. You can sit on a bench and watch airplanes coming in and going out. It is fun to see them flying in from a distance and trying to guess with the kids how big they will be. We also like to watch the airplanes line up for takeoff. We will often hypothesize about which ones will be the loudest as they take off.
|Airport Overlook Park.|
Concord Mills Mall. This mall in Charlotte, North Carolina is fun for moms and kids alike. As you walk this giant figure 8, you will find more than just shopping. Near Children’s Place and the Disney Store are two fun free options that are especially perfect during the week when school is in session. There is the Lego store, where they have tables of Legos and you are allowed to sit and build, no purchase necessary (good luck). There is also a fun kids play area with a few slides, tunnels, and other objects to climb on. Grab your Starbucks first and you can sit there for quite some time as your little one meets new friends. While you are sitting there, you can see the train that will drive by the kids area. Last time I checked it was a whopping $5 per person, so my kids have always been happy with waving to the driver.
|Concord Mills Mall.|
As you continue to make your way around the mall, you will find other kid-friendly, but not free, things such as the carousel, an indoor trampoline, a brand new aquarium, a movie theater, and even go-karts and mini golf outside. My children always convince me to make one more stop at Bass Pro Shop, which I do because it is free. In Bass Pro Shop, you will find a giant fish tank with some cool observatory areas and very large fish.
Romare-Bearden Park. This park is one of my kids’ favorite parks, and also my favorite, because it is in between the skyscrapers of Charlotte, North Carolina and the new Knights baseball stadium. It has a large green area where you can picnic and play ball, and you can often find numerous events landing here. If you work in or live near Uptown, you can come for lunch on Tuesdays and Fridays for the “Music Box Lunch” where different artists will play while you eat. On Wednesday evenings, you can go for a weekly concert.
Although there is always something fun going on at this park, it is the actual park we enjoy. We can walk around the beautiful gardens and observe butterflies and various bugs. The kids can hop around to different water features that will spray mist, or play music you create by hitting or stomping in the Children’s Muze Plaza. If that’s not enough, kids can get under the cascading waterfall and splash around. At night, the waterfall lights up, and if you happen to be there after a baseball game you can catch the fireworks.
Frank Liske Park. Although this park is in Cabarrus County, it is well worth the short drive. The website doesn’t even do it justice. This park is very large with 11 soccer fields, 6 tennis courts, 4 softball fields, and a 10-acre lake. There are also volleyball courts, hiking trails, horseshoe pits, picnic shelters, and several playgrounds. For only $2 per person (kids younger than age 5 are FREE) you can rent a paddleboat or play 18-hole mini golf. When driving to my son’s soccer practices twice a week, I can spot friends playing Frisbee golf, kids on the playgrounds, and couples having picnics. A family can easily spend the entire day at this park.
Imaginon. Imaginon is a fantastic place for all ages. Most people think of Imaginon as a library, but it is much more than that. Located in Uptown, you can find numerous free activities to do other than read books. You can play with trains, computer games, and puppets. You can even try on costumes and put on your own show. Numerous exhibits in the lobby change throughout the year. Want a moment to let someone else read to you and your child? You can visit a free story time.
Imaginon also offers several different kids plays throughout the year and numerous theatrical camps throughout the summer. We visited Imaginon several years ago to see Tarzan. Although it wasn’t free, it was well worth our money. Every seat in the auditorium was great. The show was well put on and our children, ages 5 and 3 at the time, enjoyed every minute of it. That alone impressed me.
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