Within the next month schools all across the country will be out for the summer. As a parent of school age children I’ve found there is nothing more exciting or daunting than the first few days of summer. On one hand, we turn off the alarms and don’t have anywhere we need to be. But, on the other hand, we don’t have anywhere we need to be and that can feel overwhelming too.

If I make a point to schedule a few activities during the first few weeks of summer, the rest of our summer falls into place. There’s a fine line between good free time and too much free time. I plan specific destinations and then fill in the calendar with playdates and the pool. It keep everyone busy while we settle into the new laid-back summer routine.

With that in mind, over the next few weeks I’m going to post some suggestions of great things to do in major cities across the country. Obviously, these are just starting points. It’s fun to be a tourist every once in a while in your own city!

Charlotte is an incredibly family-friendly town with SO many great activities!

Here are 20 great things to do in (or near) Charlotte with kids this summer:

  1. Discovery Place
  2. Lazy 5 Ranch
  3. Carowinds
  4. Nascar Hall of Fame
  5. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
  6. Charlotte Knights Baseball Game
  7. Carolinas Aviation Museum and Airport Overlook
  8. Great Wolf Lodge
  9. North Carolina Zoo
  10. US National Whitewater Center
  11. Billy Graham Library
  12. Discovery Place Nature
  13. Dan Nicholas Park
  14. Epicenter
  15. Schiele Museum and Planetarium
  16. Tiger World
  17. Ray’s Splash Planet
  18. Ride the Lynx Rail
  19. Sea Life Aquarium
  20. NC Transportation Museum

In addition to these activities, Charlotte offers some amazing parks and recreation areas. A great summer plan can involve a new park and a picnic! Here are a few of my favorite outdoor spots in the area:

  1. Greenway System
  2. Cane Creek Park
  3. Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
  4. Blakeney Splash Fountains and Playground
  5. Charlotte Liberty Walk
  6. Freedom Park
  7. Matthews Community Farmers Market
  8. Jetton Park

**All of the activities listed are within a 1 hour driving radius of Downtown (or “Uptown” as locals refer to it!) Charlotte. **

What are your favorite activities to do in the Charlotte area?

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