If you’re traveling with your family, you’ll find plenty of kid activities in Charlotte, NC. Kids’ activities in Charlotte range from museums and discovery centers with interactive exhibits, to wildlife centers and nature preserves. Amusement parks and water parks provide additional options for family fun in Charlotte, for kids of all ages. Learn about 9 ideas for kid activities when visiting Charlotte, NC, for a memorable family vacation.

Kid activities in Charlotte, NC: Cultural sites and Museums

Visiting Kid-friendly museums and cultural sites in Charlotte ensures that you won’t have to utter a single “don’t touch that” toward the kids. Hands-on spaces in Charlotte are designed for kids to interact and play with, no delicate antiques found here. Learning-through-play style exhibits make education fun and engaging, the kids won’t be stuck behind a desk or looking through glass.

Get lost in a good book at ImaginOn

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center is no ordinary children’s library, offering a makers-space, shows and theater, programs, and events. Separate spaces are available for children of all ages, from a children’s space to a pre-teen block, a loft for teens, and an interactive story lab with hands-on exhibits for all ages.

Perform experiments at Discovery Place Science

Discovery Place Science brings science lessons to kids in a learn-through-play style, with completely hands-on exhibits. Kids can experiment in different learning labs, explore on a guided aquarium tour, and get involved with interactive experiences and creative projects on different topics.

Charlotte, NC, kid activities: Nature and Wildlife

Charlotte offers an incredible amount of natural beauty, with walking trails, public parks, lush gardens, and native wildlife. You’ll also find non-native and exotic animals in wildlife centers, preserves, and ranches around the area.

Drive through a safari at Lazy 5 Ranch

The Lazy 5 Ranch houses animals from around the world, in a drive-through safari zoo. You can drive your own vehicle through the ranch, or sign up for a wagon ride tour around the park. You can purchase a feed bucket and have opportunities to potentially feed or interact with some animals. You’ll see giraffes, zebras, ostrich, elk, and antelope, among the diverse exhibits.

Go wild at the Discovery Place Nature Museum

At the Discovery Place Nature Museum, you’ll find Charlotte kids’ activities like live encounters with animal ambassadors, and immersive interactive exhibits. You can check out live insects on Insect Alley, play in Fort Wild, go underground in the Big Backyard, and explore scenic trails and a nature pavilion with your family.

Check out the Dinosaur Garden at UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens encompasses landscaped gardens and greenhouses, with plenty of exhibits that kids will find fascinating. Kids love the Dinosaur Garden’s collection of fossils, and the Carnivorous collections of plants that feed on insects, as well as the weird-smelling Titan Arum plants. The botanical gardens are free to visit, though donations to the gardens are appreciated.

Kid activities in Charlotte, NC: Historical Sites

Charlotte’s colorful history spans generations, offering unique historical sites to explore with kids. You’ll find living museums and restored plantations, historic farms, and interesting regional landmarks in the Charlotte area.

Explore a restored plantation at Latta Nature Center and Preserve

At the Latta Nature Center and Preserve you can explore a living history museum within a restored 19th-century plantation estate, outbuildings, and a plantation house. You’ll also find the Carolina Raptor Center within the nature preserve, where you’ll see Eagles and other birds of prey being rehabilitated. Latta Nature Center and Preserve also hosts miles of scenic nature trails for hiking and relaxation.

Visit a historic farm at Rural Hill

Historic Rural Hill combines a historic site, nature preserve, and working farm into a unique family destination in Charlotte. You can explore historic structures and restored buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse, and stroll extensive scenic walking trails. Rural Hill also hosts annual family-friendly events including the Loch Norman Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

Family Fun in Charlotte, NC

Families in Charlotte can enjoy fun for all ages at theme parks and seasonal water parks in the area. From crazy roller-coasters and swirling rides to racing down water slides and relaxing in a lazy river, there’s something for everyone at Charlotte’s theme parks and water parks.

Ride roller coasters at Carowinds Theme Park

Carowinds Theme Park is a good spot for family fun in Charlotte, for kids of all ages, across a theme park and separate water park. Carowinds serves up thrill rides and coasters for older kids, plus tons of kid-friendly rides and attractions for smaller kids too. In the summertime, Carolina Harbor brings the temperature down with cool water rides, pools, slides, and play.

Splash in an indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge Water Park

Great Wolf Lodge Water Park is an indoor water park, so you can enjoy family fun in any weather. Inside you’ll find play spaces for kids of different ages, from toddlers to thrill-seeking teens, as well as slides, pools, and splash-pads.