Ana's Suggestions for kid friendly places to go:
I grew up in Charlotte, NC and quite a few of my family members still live in the area, so I visit a few times a year and we usually keep our schedules full with fun activities. Here are a few of my suggestions for places to visit with kids:
Discovery Place (Science, Nature, and Kids)- The perfect places to go with young children to give them a variety of fun, educational experiences. For my children, at their current age, the Huntersville kids museum is the perfect entertainment for the whole day. They have loads of dress up and play pretend activities, along with craft and building areas, and even a baby play section for tiny ones. I grew up going to the science museum and IMAX theatre, so once your kids are older, I highly suggest the science museum for fun, hands-on learning.
Imaginon- Absolutely recommend visiting Imaginon with your kids if you are ever in the Charlotte area! They shift learning exhibits every few months, but they are always fun! We first went to the Clifford exhibit, which Aria loved because of her love of dogs. Our second visit, they had a mix of ocean, Mr. Potato Head, and space activities that both my 2 year old and my 5 month old could enjoy. They also have weekly library story times for a variety of ages that are worth checking out if you are looking for learning activities in the area.
Sciele Museum- Went to the Schiele Museum on a trip to Charlotte last year and discovered we were visiting on the perfect day! Activities, animal petting, and relay games were just a few of the fun events we were able to enjoy, though on a normal day you may not get to experience some of the fun games Aria got to try out. On a normal day, there are great dinosaur, space, pirate, and nature exhibits to check out, which could go along with a multitude of units! They also have a great outdoor village to learn about Native American living.
Charlotte Nature Museum and Freedom Park- Freedom Park always has the best festivals, so I highly recommend keeping an eye on park happenings if you are visiting the Charlotte area. There is a small lake you can walk around and loads of fun playground activities. But the big draw to the park is its easy access to the Charlotte Nature Museum. While I am not a huge fan of the museum because I have a snake phobia, the girls absolutely love it. Really well done and catered to kids.
South Park American Girl Doll Store and Cafe- Huge American girl doll store in the mall with a cafe where you can reserve a table for lunch or high tea for your child and their doll of choice. Super fun experience for girls.
Romare Bearden Park- Has fun festivals from time to time, but the big draw is the water play area, where kids can wear their suits and play in a unique splash pad. Great kids park.
Symphony in the Park at Southpark- A fun summer outdoor music series held outside the mall at Southpark. The girls love to picnic and dance along for hours while the Charlotte Symphony serenades us with great music.
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte- A great place to watch performances for children (perfect if you like theatre but don’t want your kids bothering other people). I grew up going here for camps and performances, and they are super well done and very professional.
The Matthews Library- Has a large selection of books and a great kids play area in the children’s section. Just a really great atmosphere overall.
Charlotte Renaissance Festival- The perfect place to get to play pretend for a whole day. Super fun way for kids and adults alike to get away from modern distractions and live like someone from the medieval times.
Blakeney- Has a great kids play section for while parents eat (right behind Brixx) and we love Pigtails and Ponytails for an awesome, kid friendly haircutting experience.
See a performance at Blumenthal Theatre
The Mint Museum kids area (Uptown)- has an awesome area for kids crafts and activities where parents can trade off watching kids and wandering the beautiful exhibits
At the holidays…
The Thanksgiving Day Parade (Uptown)- A yearly tradition for my family, the girls absolutely love the fun floats and enthusiastic people in the parade.
NC Transportation Museum- Has a fun Polar Express train that you can ride. Recommend paying for nicer seats, as our cheaper seats didn’t have a great view, but the activities before the train ride are worth arriving a few hours early for some thematic fun.
The Train to Christmas Town (Gastonia)- This train ride doesn’t have the best view, but the train workers are super enthusiastic about the holidays and the girls had a blast getting to greet a ton of characters from the book the train is based on.
The Billy Graham Library- At the holidays, the library puts on a really well done live nativity scene. They also put on carriage rides around the property, which is fun for small children. Great for getting in some Christian focus at the holidays.
Afternoon Tea at Ballantyne Hotel- They have special holiday tea time perfect for young girls to enjoy with mothers or grandmothers
Some other great things to do with kids (just not my favorites) include:
Going to a Panther’s, Checkers or Hornets game
Go to NASCAR speedway
Take the Lynx Rail uptown and wander around Uptown
Levine Museum of the New South (for older kids)
To be continued...Feel free to offer some suggestions below of places I may have overlooked!
Please keep comments contructive
Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.