Places to Go Out And About (Safely) in and around Charlotte this Winter
Your family could really use a fun outing, but you're committed to social distancing. You've already walked your neighborhood, and many of your usual destinations are too crowded for comfort. Luckily, there are new and interesting places to explore while staying a safe distance from others. If you can, switch your schedule and do your outings on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. KidsOutAndAbout offers a few suggestions you may not have considered, and all of them nearby.
Take A Hike
Thinking of taking your kids on a hike nearby? It's great exercise, it lets you connect with nature and each other, and best of all, it's free. If you dress appropriately, you can take a hike year-round. Put away the phones (except for cool activities like geocaching, looking up new plants, or making a photo collage or map) and head out to the trail! Click the link below for nearby options, and also check out our article of tips and tricks for making the most of the experience and avoiding whining.
Zoos and Nature CentersFauna and flora in our corner of the world
While you're staying away from crowds of people, now's a great time for some animal encounters and the peace we find in the natural world. Your local zoos and nature centers offer just what we all need right now: space. Many have created brand-new programs designed to accommodate safety procedures while still giving visitors the opportunity to interact with meaningful parts of our world with room to breathe.
Winter At the Drive-In
The Hound and Charlotte Speedway have extended their season to accommodate demand for socially-distant movies. The Hound is open on Friday and Saturday nights and the Speedway is showing films Thursday - Sunday (through the end of January). Be sure to check their websites to see what's playing and to review COVID-19 procedures before you go.
A Few Hours In the Tropics
A trip to the Carribbean might be out of the question, but a morning or afternoon spent in the humid warmth of a jungle habitat closer to home will make the cold temperatures outside melt away. Visit the Orchid Conservatory at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Dedicated to a display of orchids and tropical plants, your kids will discover a waterfall, showy blooming orchids and tropical plants like a cocoa tree, vanilla orchid and an orchid tree.
Go On A Hunt
Kids love a good hunt! There is something very motivating and satisfying about seaching for something, whether it's treasure or not. One fun way to lean into that impulse is to go geocaching. Did you know that little treasures are hidden all over the place? If you've never tried geocaching, it's a wonderful opportunity for kids to get some activity outside while using using their deductive skills. There are also tons of companies that offer virtual scavenger hunts, either for items that you can find just about anywhere, or region-specific hunts that provide a tour of a special place. Both activities offer the chance to safely explore while keeping a distance from others.
Hit the Slopes
North Carolina is better known for its sunny beaches than its snowy mountains but we have several places to snowboard, ski, and tube within a days drive. We're south enough to dodge the frigid temperatures and winds of our friends up north but our mountains are at altitudes cold enough to make snow for a few months each year. So, dig out your mittens and get ready to try something new this year! Remember, different resorts may be following different protocols so be sure to click on the ski resorts website to get all the details before setting out.
When Staying Home Is the Only Option
We know that things are changing quickly, and whether it's new local regulations or your own family's need to isolate, even the safest "out and about" options may not be appropriate for you at some point this winter. If that's the case, keep in mind that we've got plenty of ideas to keep life interesting while you're at home.