101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around Charlotte | What’s happening in Charlotte

101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around Charlotte


**Follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).
Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Charlotte. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!

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Take A Deep Breath In the Garden

Dallas Lavender Land Farm
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
McGill Rose Garden
The Duke Mansion
Wing Haven Gardens
Glencairn Garden
Biltmore Estate


Get Wild on a Hike

  Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk
Crowders Mountain State Park
Lake Norman State Park
Kings Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
Anne Springs Close Greenway


Time Travel Today

Charlotte Museum of History
Rowan Museum 

Hickory Ridge Museum

Horne Creek Farm 
Fort Dobbs
President James K. Polk Historic Site


Let's Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sliding Rock
Catawba Falls
Stone Mountain Falls
  Hickory Nut Falls 
Looking Glass Falls
Mingo Falls 


Splash Around the Swimming Hole

Hunt-Fish Falls at Wilson Creek
Wintergreen Falls
Midnight Hole


Spend the Day at a Museum

  Discovery Place Kids
The Mint Museum
Nascar Hall of Fame 
Discovery Place Science
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture


Explore These Cities

Greenville, SC


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Boats!)

NASCAR Hall of Fame
Charlotte Motor Speedway 
N.C. Transportation Museum
Great Smokie Mountain Scenic Railroad


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

  Hodges Family Farm
Riverbend Farm 
Red Wolf Farm 
Devine Farm 
Darby Acres Farm


Play Ball!

  Charlotte Hornets
Carolina Panthers
Charlotte Checkers
Charlotte Knights


Treat Yo' Self

  Two Scoops Creamery 
Cabarrus Creamery
King of Pops
Elizabeth Creamery
Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop
Golden Cow Creamery 
SAS Cupcakes


Connect with Nature

U.S. National Whitewater Center 
  Lenux Stables and Riding Center 
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden 
Wing Haven
McGill Rose Garden
Quest at Latta Nature Preserve
Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks

  Great Wolf Lodge 
Frankie's Fun Park
Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe 
Land of Oz


Talk to the Animals

  Darby Acres Farm
Why Not An American Ark 
Lazy 5 Ranch 
Zootastic Park 
Tiger World
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Carolina Raptor Center
North Carolina Zoo


Explore the Globe Close to Home

Culture & Heritage Museums
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
Harvey B. Gantt Center


Get Active Indoors

  Big Air Trampoline Park
Inner Peak Climbing
Swimming at Harris YMCA
ExTreme Ice Center
My Gym Ballantyne


Challenge Yourself

  Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour 
The Escape Game Concord
Crazy Dash Digital Adventure


Shop Your Heart Out

  Park Road Books
Paper Skyscraper 
Rebel Base Comics and Toys 
Toys & Co 
Northlake Mall

Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from downtown Charlotte. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away