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Old 05-05-2018, 09:27 AM
Location: GA
73 posts, read 128,702 times
Reputation: 81



We and another family are planning to meetup halfway between us, and Charlotte is that halfway mark. The kids are boys and they are 12, 12, and 13.

We need something fun for a 1-day thing where the boys can have a blast together. Plan is for this summer, and will be on a weekday.

Also, any nicer hotels where we could stay for 1 night, price range around $125/night?

But, more importantly we need advice on ENTERTAINMENT for the tween boys.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated!!

Edited to add: Please don't recommend Great Wolf Lodge, unfortunately, it is out of the affordable range for the other family.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:20 AM
Location: Washington DC
4,369 posts, read 3,867,359 times
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You can take the light rail into the downtown (called uptown). Kids like to ride it.

In downtown:

- Movie Theater
- Discovery Place (children’s museum but pricey IMO)
- NBA game or minor league baseball (baseball might be more fun. Area for kids to run around)

- Romare Park (got some water features)
- Biking (there are bikes to rent on nearly every block. First ride is free. then it’s a dollar an hour. You can take the free Trolley down to Little Sugar Creek Greenway and bike it to Freedom Park.)


Lake Norman:

“Ramsey Creek Park” is an awesome swimming area like a beach on lake Norman. It’s like. $7 a car or something

“Birkdale Village” is a nice place to eat, get ice cream, watch a movie.


Other stuff:

US National White Water Center is nice. Cost a few dollars to park. You can walk the bike trails or it’s like $25 for a singl activity. It’s for zip lining, white water rafting, biking, etc but like I said. Bike trails are still fun.

Airport Overlook: Watch the planes take off at the airport. Lots of people there. It’s the 7 or so busiest airport in the world so it’s pretty cool.


What I would do:

1.) Go to Lake Norman area (Cornelius.) Have breakfast wherever (I recommend Famous Toastery in downtown Davidson or there’s an ihop on Sam Furr road.)

Downtown Davidson

2.) Go to Birkdale Village. Get Ice Cream. There’s several places with ice cream from like “Kilwins”

3.) Ramsey Creek Park to swim

4.) Take light rail which spans the city to downtown. Go look up “Lynx Charlotte” to find where you can park. The line just expanded so it should be 20 miles. If you just google you might still find old maps. In North Charlotte (where Lake Norman sorta is) find the “JW Clay Station” or south Charlotte find “485 Station” and take it to “3rd Street Station.” You could get a pizza at Mellow Mushroom or any restaraunts by there or epicenter they have cheaper options and chains.

Eat. And visit Romare Park

5.) at Epicenter, go to Studio Movie Grille. Tickets for movies are cheap


If you still need to burn time. Either drive or take the trolley to “Elizabeth Park.”

If you take the Trolley: Trolley is free. It’s called “City Lynx” it’s on Trade street by the Charlotte Hornets “Spectrum Arena” at the intersection of Brevard and Trade. You’ll see one Shelter for the trolley before Brevard directly in front of the bus station. Just walk down away from downtown to the next stop light and get on that one. You’ll take it to “CPCC” - you have to pull a cord. BUT, it’s the most popular stop you won’t have to worry. Just pay attention, maybe ask the driver to point it out to you. Once you get off, just walk towards downtown. Once you pass that intersection, Elizabeth Park is right there.

Or just drive to “Elizabeth Park.”

There should be random bikes around that park. 3 different companies, all generally the same. You need a smart phone for them and down load the app. And just ride that greenway (Little Sugar Creek Greenway) to Freedom Park.

(Near the entrance of freedom park, there is a play ground and right beside of it is the Carolina Panthers obstacle course that’s fun for bigger kids to play on

And believe me. That is a low budget good time.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:26 AM
Location: Washington DC
4,369 posts, read 3,867,359 times
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Nice hotel is actually right by JW Clay light rail station called “Hilton at University Place.” Around 115$ a night

Also it’s only around 20 minutes to Lake Norman (Birkdale & Ramsey Creek Park) plus it’s right at the JW Clay Station train to downtown and the hotel is just a nice area with a hog pond and lots of little restaurants)
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:32 PM
6,800 posts, read 5,320,368 times
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:57 PM
3,717 posts, read 3,671,083 times
Reputation: 4214
Urban Air in Mint Hill.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:34 AM
6,464 posts, read 10,550,541 times
Reputation: 4994
Carowinds or the Whitewater center. One thing to note about Carowinds. A day pass is cheaper now online than it would be if you purchase at the gate in the Summer. Just check with park officials to see how long your early purchase is valid. I usually get season passes so I'm not too familiar with the day pass process. Also, local restaurants such as Bojangles are known for carrying discount Carowinds coupons in the Summer.

Last edited by urbancharlotte; 05-06-2018 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:14 AM
Location: Matthews, NC
716 posts, read 642,478 times
Reputation: 752
Carowinds has a ton of larger-scale roller coasters. Whitewater center is also a great time. If you're worried about price, just get the zip line package and skip on the actual whitewater portion. Will save a lot of $$ and there's a lot of zip line/ropes course options with that day pass. Good thing about whitewater center is that parents can go for free to watch, whereas with Carowinds all people need to purchase a pass.

If you need something under $50/pp though, then there's a lot of trampoline parks in the area. Someone earlier mentioned Freedom Park with the NFL type obstacle course and playground. There's Adventure Landing (now "Funtasticks") with 3 mini golf courses and an arcade. I wouldn't recommend Discovery Place for 12+ ages...they're probably a bit too old to truly love it. If you want something very cheap, head up to Crowder's Mountain. Take the backside trail up to the top and walk down the tower trail for a solid 3-4 mile walk with great views at the top. It'll also burn out all their energy (& yours).
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:01 AM
1,748 posts, read 1,390,377 times
Reputation: 2108
Knights game could be fun if they like baseball. Stadium has a great view of Uptown too.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:50 AM
Location: Indian Trail, NC
822 posts, read 1,425,251 times
Reputation: 607
I'd recommend Topgolf. If you can go before noon, it's $25/hr for up to 6 people playing, $35/hr from noon-5 PM. Lots of fun for young teens. I'd 2nd a Knights game as well, once again voted the #1 park in the Minor Leagues.
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