Searching for things to do with your kids? Here's the scoop from moms and dads in the Covenant community.
mint museum uptown
Lauren Sawyers: Kids of all ages (yes, even toddlers!) will find something fun to do in the Lewis Family Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown. Not only is there an arts and crafts area with an abundance of materials to create your own masterpiece, it also has a play kitchen, building blocks and a foam block pit for the littlest visitors. Make it a real adventure by parking on the Lynx line and riding the train into town. Bonus tip: Admission is free every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m.!
Bonus idea: Go prospectin’ at Reed Gold Mine, site of the first documented gold discovery in the United States, located 40 minutes east of Charlotte. You can tour the museum, explore an underground mine and stamp mill, and pan for your own piece of gold. There’s no fee for admission or tours and you can pan for gold for $3 per person. Stop at The Sundae Shop in Midland, NC (4400 Highway 24 27 E) for lunch and ice cream!
Campbell Creek Greenway
Matt Garfield: A wooded trail in east Charlotte feels like you've entered your own private nature preserve. You'll find a winding stream, the ruins of a grist mill and lots of rolling green plant life. This is a great option if you only have an hour or two. The trail on this stretch is paved, which makes it ideal for strollers. For a longer walk/hike, you can park at McAlpine Creek Park and head north, and you'll hook up with the Campbell Creek section.
whitewater center obstacle course
Sarah Gaither: Off the main walking loop at the Whitewater Center is an obstacle course in the woods. Parts of it are very challenging but there are places where kids ages 3 and up can give it their best try! Bring a blanket to watch the other action and play on the kids climbing rocks. Free (except parking). It can be very sunny out there!
Rob Dicks: We love to visit this park in Dilworth on Saturday afternoons because it's a short walk from our house. Sometimes we'll walk the length of the park to get some family exercise. My daughter loves the swings. We are looking forward to the sprinklers this summer - an area with water jets that you can run through. I've run into many friendly faces from church.
Jenn Godwin: Suit up and play in the (covered!) sprayground at Veteran’s Park, located off Central Avenue near Plaza Midwood. Opens at 10 and has water fountains of varying heights, so it’s fun and approachable for toddlers through elementary-age splashers. When the kids need a break from water play, there’s a large playground and plenty of picnic tables for lunch or a snack. There are also newly renovated restroom facilities.
anne springs close greenway
Lisa Lindvall: Head south to Fort Mill for a half-day of fun - or make it a full day if you can. We usually walk to the old cabins, go across the swinging bridge (multiple times), play in the creek, hike around the lake, visit the horses and donkeys and rent canoes/kayaks (check rental hours). Pack a picnic, bring towels and extras set of clothes for little ones. Pay to park and they provide a map. It's a pretty spot! Note: Some trails are a bit rugged but we have taken our jogging stroller and faired well.
children's gardens at duke mansion
Juliet Kuehnle: Bike or walk to The Duke Mansion and wind your way through the beautiful paths to see the fairy garden, one of several garden "rooms." There is also a children's play garden and swing set next to the kitchen garden with herbs and produce. It's a beautiful, tranquil spot to take the kiddos. Bring snacks and sit on one of the many benches for a picnic!
The garden of the Duke Mansion, 400 Hermitage Road, is open to the public during daylight hours when the mansion is not rented for a private function. Weekends are often booked. However, if the gate on Ardsley Road near the intersection of Hermitage is open, please feel free to enter. Parking may be available in the mansion’s front lot, from which the garden is accessible on the side.
main street waxhaw
Amber Brown: A couple of summers ago, I took my two oldest girls to Waxhaw for a day of exploring. The town has a wonderful playground right in the main shopping district where we grabbed lunch and ice cream!