10 Great Outdoor Activities for Families in Charlotte, NC

With the long weekend upon us and summer vacay approaching, parents everywhere are starting to stress over what to do with the kids this summer.  Parental concerns are steeply rising over the possibility of endless Netflix, texting, and social media use.  Let’s not underestimate the nerve shattering whining over iPads and tantrums over mindless cartoons.  TV, phone, iPads, iTouches, video games, oh my!!  So stressful, what to do, where to go??

Here are a few of my favorite places in Charlotte to Explore with your children of all ages.

  1. Wing Haven Gardens – lovely manicured paths among beautiful plants.  Birdwatching, pathfinding, plant searching, and generally exploring a beautiful garden tucked away here in Charlotte.

2. Latte Plantation – hiking, educational exploration of a farm, horseback riding, picnic

3. Geocaching – a treasure hunt that it’s free and is located on your phone. Thousands of locations just in Charlotte.  Treasure finding intrigues even the most ornery of teens and whiniest of kids.  They won’t even realize that they are not sitting on a couch.  You can play this game with your family all over the world.  Fun, exciting, and lots of walking. Checkout their brief YouTube video and let the fun begin.


4. Park Road Park – great giant playground AND lots of trails which start behind the baseball fields near concession stand. Intermediate Bike loop. Connection to Green Loop About 2 miles on the Blue. Great to ride, run, or hike with kids and pets. It’s wonderfully shaded place in mid summer.

5. Lazy5Ranch – Exotic animals which you can feed while driving or riding through the park.   We prefer the wagon which gets you up close and personal to the Giraffes, Zebras, and many more animals. Go early in the morning and call for reservations. Giant playground for all ages.  Petting zoo with lots of fun animals  as well

6. Zootastic Park – Play with baby wolves, feed baby kangaroos, laugh with the lemurs, snuggle baby tigers, etc. Great time for all.

7. The US National White Water Rafting Center – great outdoor fun for all in Charlotte.  Zip lines, free fall platforms, ropes courses for all ages, paddle board, rock climbing, rafting, canoes and lots more.

8. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens – many trails, thousands of plants, beautiful gardens.

9. Marion Diehl Park and Recreation Center – park for kids, workout stations for all ages, trails for walking and jogging. Located next to the “Backyard Bike Riding Trails”

10. Freedom Park  – trails for biking, running, walking. Spectacular views. Play60 playground for all ages

Stay tuned for more ideas next week.  GO OUT AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!

In Good Health, Ana-Maria Temple, MD



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